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Showing posts from January, 2013

Studio 5 Chicken Pesto Sandwich Segment

Can I just say how amazing Studio 5 is? They're show is wonderful, their content is always applicable, and the hosts are adorable. Let me let you in a little secret (not the most surprising secret, either) - everyone at the studio is absolutely polite and genuinely kind to me off-camera as well. Brooke complimented my sandwich, and Darren showed me how he managed to look a little taller (I was wearing heels, and he has special shoes). They're super-classy, and I love, love, LOVE being on the show.   Today I was asked to make my take on Cafe Zupas Chicken Pesto Sandwich/Panini. It's is my most favorite sandwich at Zupas, and I was thrilled to be preparing my version on TV - so much fun! Huge thanks again, Studio 5, for having me on the show today.
For the Chicken Pesto Panini/Sandwich Recipe, click here.
For the video of my cooking segment today, click here.

Egg and Avocado Breakfast Pita Pizza

The Princess Bride was an excellent distraction at the gym from my aching legs, and slower pace than the girl next to me. She stepped on the treadmill beside mine, and started the thing at full-blast up to 7:45-minute mile pace. I've never had coffee before, but I can only imagine she didn't miss hers that morning.   

It was another crazy Monday, and once again, I successfully neglected starting my laundry until the afternoon.I loathe laundry day (mostly the going up and down the steep staircase several times to change loads), but I love the "recharge" feeling of having fresh clean clothes hanging in my closet (especially at the beginning of the week). Mondays are kind of beautiful that way - I have a chance to start over, reset my batteries, rework my plans, revamp my priorities, revisit my goals, reassess the way I treat others, make a change, and have a better week than the last.

What did you do with your Monday? 


I made my first sunny-side up egg :)

I usual…

Chocolate Mousse Cake with Butterscotch Mousse Frosting and Chocolate Sprinkles

- Last Sunday we had my little brother and his adorable wife over for some dessert. Seeing them reminds me of when Ryan and I were pushing through our undergraduate degrees together. It was such a busy time, but such a fun time for us. I thought we'd be in college forever, but looking back, those 4 years blew by so quickly! It's kind of the same deal with Law School - I thought it would never end, and here we are at Ryan's final semester only 3 years later. I can't wait for the next phase to begin, but I'm reminding myself to slow down, savor the journey, and soak up every moment left in our "student mode" phase of life.
Little cakes are kind of adorable, and a bit easier to doll-up than a full-sized one. This one, however, was a bit more work than anticipated. But after taking a single bite of the end result, it was all worth it. The chocolate cake was spiced by a bit of cinnamon, each layer was slathered with creamy whipped mousse, enveloped in smooth …

Zuppa Toscana

Drooling my face off over this one.
Whenever I go to Olive Garden, I always happily devour a bowl of this soup. 
Every. Single. Time. 
There's plenty of other wonderful things on the menu I could order, and each more delicious than the last. But I always come back to a delicious serving of Zuppa Toscana. It's annoying, really. How can such a simple little soup have so much power over me? It has me so perfectly wrapped around each savory spoonful - so much, in fact, that I have to make the dang soup at home between Olive Garden visits (which are far between, unless we have a gift card). Obsessed much?

This recipe tastes 100% like I walked into the restaurant and left with a bowl full. The creamy smokey taste of the initial spoonful, then the spicy aftertaste from the sausage and red pepper flakes only make you wish you had a bigger spoon for the next helping. Plus, there's greens! You get your serving of kale - check that one right off your veggie list today. I also found…

My Favorite Post-Run Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

Within the first 45 minutes after my morning run, I have a ranging hunger enough to take out half the refrigerator. Not always do I have time to sit down for some oatmeal, make some eggs, or even pour your typical bowl of cereal. The Manchild is usually redecorating our carpet with his breakfast, Ryan is suiting up for work/getting ready to head to class, there's a pile of dishes in the sink from the previous evening's dinner, and I feel like there's almost no time to sneak in anything for breakfast.

However, I know well enough that after a long (even short) run, it would be a serious mistake to not drink plenty of water or even neglect eating altogether - even if your time to prepare it is pretty slim. It's a bad, bad, bad idea.

The way I see it, I put my body through a workout, and it deserves some lovin'. This shake is by far my favorite one to throw together in a flash. All you do is throw all the components in a blender (mine looks like we found it in the gu…

Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad

My poor man. He claims he's okay with the salads I've been making lately, but I know deep down inside he's screaming for a big, juicy, steak. Luckily, he's a really good sport. I'm trying to be more creative with the veggie intake, and sometimes there's nothing like a classic salad loaded with them. Especially with the southwestern flavors at the forefront.
When I saw this beautiful salad on Pinterest, I thought it looked so fresh and colorful. I made it during the daytime for the photo, then we had it later for dinner. I think it tasted even better after chilling! And the green peppers had a chance to almost marinade with the romaine into a really awesome flavor. What? Romaine, you ask? Yes, there's a bed of romaine hidden under the top layer. 
I promise. Funny story about the "dressing", though. A while ago, I wanted to serve up a few parfaits for Ryan and I on a date/family night. I must have spaced it when I was in the dairy section, bec…

Parmesan Gnocchi with Spinach and Sausage

The sub-zero temperatures outside have crossed any border of sanity I can possibly think of. I've lived in Utah my entire life, and can't remember it ever being this cold for so long. Nonetheless, this blondie's still strappin' on the Sacony's, tank and shorts and making the run to the car in the morning to pray to the indoor treadmill gods.

Today we're hunkering down, making some of my favorite soup, and attacking the usual Monday-morning laundry loads. Ryan, surprise surprise, isn't taking advantage of the holiday to take a break from his studies (and after receiving his grades from last semester on Friday, it proved to be 100% worth it). So it feels just like a regular Monday around here - even if my face is pressed up against the heat vent each cycle. 

Onto the food:

The spinach in my household is being used before the bag goes bad... a sentence I thought I'd never use.

Whenever we bought spinach before this new year, I'd use a couple cups o…

Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was highly skeptical. How the heck can you make cookies without flour, people? This was too much crazy-face for one boring Tuesday afternoon.

I was craving cookies, and my cupboards had a complete lack of flour, so any hope of baking was futile. I casually browsed my Facebook feed during the Manchild's afteroon nap, and lovely Miss Jessica over atMy Baking Addictionhad just posted a picture/recipe. My mouth was stuck wide open. I couldn't take my eyes off the word "flourless" and it's devilishly delightful grin. It was sign, I tell you.

Rarely do I have all the ingredients for a recipe to make it when I see it, but with an ingredient list like hers, and my severe craving for cookies, I honestly walked my laptop to the kitchen and started baking. With only a small amount of dough barely making it to the oven (dough addict), I waited in anticipation while the glorious smell of chocolate and peanut butter filled my home. They were amazing, and had just the righ…

Bucatini with Turkey Kielbasa and Yellow Squash

Oh, how I love my bucatini.

It's never at my local supermarket, so I usually have to drive to another place or two to find it. But it's always worth the extra trip. There's just something so deliciously fun about eating thicker noodles, and wondering how in the world they were able to make that signature hole down the middle of each and every one.

What I loved most about this recipe was the absolute simplicity. You make the pasta, cook up some kielbasa, chop and cook up some beautiful vegetables, add some seasonings and cheese, and you're done.

Just like that.

This dish was light and fresh. It had just the right amount of veggies, meat, and grains without a thick sauce to overwhelm the plate. The original recipe called for turkey sausage, but they were fresh out of it on my grocery run. So I settled for one of my husband's favorites: kielbasa. It's like a giant sausage that you can easily slice up and cook in a EVOO-drizzled pan. Ryan loves the smoky taste, …

A Lovely Cake for a Little Miss

This past weekend I had the wonderful privilege of making a dear friend's daughter's first birthday cake. Her little one seriously has the biggest eyes you've ever seen on such a little girl - accompanied by a teeny tiny mouth that is almost always at a pucker. It's downright adorable. 
When she had so willingly babysat the Manchild when I was recording a couple segments with some local tv stations, I was more than happy (and eager!) to make her dear little one's birthday cake. When I dropped off the cake, you should have seen the amazing decorations and beautiful food she had ready for the party. It was a French Cafe theme, and so perfect for such a little sweet girl. I thought the cake was perfectly feminine, and with just the right amount of daintiness. The Eiffel Tower is actually a souvenir from Paris when the little one's Mom visited France a while ago.
The cake was two-layers, with the top layer being slightly smaller than the bottom. To me, the cake w…

Spinach & Arugula Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Plenty of us have made new-years resolutions in regards to food: Eat less of it. Eat healthier portions of it. Eat less meat. Eat less fat. Eat less sugar. Eat more green. Eat more of the good stuff. Eat less of the bad stuff. Eat it, period. 

In our house, the only goal I've made with respect to food is with my snacking habits. When I eat meals throughout the day, and try my best to feed healthy meals to my family, I feel like I make good choices (well, as much as I can with a husband for a definite thirst for butter and comfort food).

When I snack, I bomb. Hard core.

I head straight for the chocolate. The cookie. The bowl of sugary cereal. The candy. The cake. The cupcake. The dessert in it's many beautiful forms. Thank heavens for exercise, but MAN, sugar and I can hit the town together.

I know it's horrible, but I love it. And I will never give up my beloved sugar. But I can reduce the amount of it I choose to have each day.

So what I've done since day 1 this …

Beefy Macaroni and Cheese

I know, more man food. But whenever we have all-fruit + spinach smoothies for breakfast, and a couple new salad recipes planned for the week for dinner, I have to bribe Ryan to be okay with it. Dishes like this seal the deal in our house.
At first when I saw this recipe, I thought it would be some kind of nasty Hamburger Helper relative. And that made me very, very nervous. That stuff is kind of gross (to us), and I still have nightmares thinking about it. I promise I'm not a box-meal snob. On a day impossible to throw anything together for dinner, we sometimes sneak in Mac & Cheese or a Homestyle Bake, and I'm okay with that. But we stay far, far away from the white glove smiling on the box.
I was happily proven wrong. This dish isn't related to that nasty box of filth by any means. It's a decadently creamy bed of beautifully cheesy shell noodles, with a hidden layer of beef with just the right amount of spice. From the first bite Ryan loved it. We shared half o…

Whole-Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones

The negative temperatures here in the morning (and afternoon, and early evening) is becoming the new norm. I don't remember it ever being this freezing in the valley - and we've lived here for quite a while. The sun can be pretty deceiving, too. It looks like a beautiful day outside, then the minute you set foot out that front door, your nostrils freeze shut.

Thankfully, my husband gifted me a way to run inside through these frigid months (last year I ran outside the entire season, but never did it get this cold.) So instead of busting out the running tights and freezing my teeth out every morning, I get to run inside in a tank and shorts. The only cold I feel is the distance from my front door to the car, and my car to the front door. I miss running outside, and think treadmills are boring, but I think I'd rather run in temperatures above the zero line. Sanity is important this time of year.

When I come home from running, I love to make all-fruit smoothies (I don't a…

Tomato-Glazed Meatloaves with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

If you husband is like mine, he will probably follow you around the house calling you ''goddess divine'' after you feed this dish to him.

Okay, maybe not goddess divine, but he will most certainly find some special way to say "thank-you." Men like this kind of food. They adore this kind of food. Meat and Potatoes, for Ryan, is practically all there is. If I ever want to make him extra happy, and fix something a little extra special, this dish is a guaranteed win.

It's straight from a fabulous blogger's book: the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. My brother's family, the Washintonites, sent it to me for my birthday last month. I fell in love at first sight - probably because I've always loved Deb, and her fabulous recipes. The book version was dinner and dessert page by page. Literally.

I grew up hating meatloaf. I thought it was some giant messed up gathering of nastyness in a pan. Boy, was I wrong. And if I could go back and slick up my plate every…

Southwestern Chicken and Corn Chowder

Okay, I admit it.

I'm kind of obsessive compulsive about clutter, and the removal of it immediately. Thankfully, this fascination with the removal-of-things-I-don't-need-in-my-home flares up when a new season starts. In our case this week, it was the beginning of, well, the new year.

I think it mostly has to do with my fear of having to go through everything when we eventually move to a new place. I don't want to transfer clutter from one location to the next. So, every so often I go through almost every nook-and-cranny in the house, and see what we haven't used/haven't worn in the past few years. Then, I take it either to the DI, pawn it off at Platos Closet, or torch the sucker. Only jesting about that last part; my pyro tendencies wouldn't be able to handle all the excitement.

Like I've said before, de-cluttering is the best kind of therapy for me. My house isn't always perfect, but my family can probably tell by my mood alone if I've felt the…