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Showing posts from January, 2014

Pan Seared Chicken Breast with Whole Grain Pasta and Cherry Tomatoes

Easy weeknight dinners. They help me survive the crazy! This recipe was no exception. It's not the dump-five-cans-in-a-crockpot-and-call-it-good easy (even though I love those recipe sometimes). This dish requires a little attention, but if I can make it while unloading/loading the dishwasher, doing a dessert photo session, and entertaining a toddler... you've got this in the bag.

The chicken gets a couple turn in the pan (on it's own to get a lovely sear, and then a second time to finish cooking, covered, in a pool of the most incredible simple sauce). The cherry tomatoes bursted in the sauce, melding perfectly with the fragrant garlic and light green onion pieces. I chose to serve it all over a bed of whole grain pasta - good, good stuff. Really filling! And no, the chicken is NOT a pile of sliced bread - even though my photo, and husband's reaction, suggest otherwise :)

If you look through the ingredients, you may notice the use of white wine. A lot of people are n…

Broccoli Leek Soup

I feel like every week should have a soup night. When Ryan and I were finishing up our undergraduate degrees, and during a great deal of law school, I felt like we were rocking that weekly soup night with a can opener and a couple cans of whatever soup was on sale that week at the grocery store. That worked for us just fine then, and I will always look back on those days with fondness (even though they were hard). I still love to have soup night, but I get to have a little more flexibility in the grocery budget to skip the can (even though these days I sometimes feel like it would be easier to just heat a bowl of canned soup and call it good). Either way, soup night always finds us - and I love it!

This soup is pretty inexpensive as well, if you have most of the ingredients on hand (chives, leeks, and broccoli might not be everyone's regular lineup). We've come around to liking broccoli quite a bit - but really had only had it in a soup paired with cheese. So this soup was a …

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Bars

A few of you have noticed that I've put the "dessert" portion of my blogging on hold for a little bit. I've still tried to deliver at least 3 new dinner/lunch recipes for you to try during my hiatus, but I miss the sweets. 
My main reason was because a lot of us are trying to "stick to our resolutions" by cutting down our sugar, and I didn't want people to get out the pitchforks. 
But then I realized - I've still been making desserts on weekends, and the recipes are piling up! So if you have a cheat day, or still need a little bite of something sugary sweet every day, this blondie is back on the sugar wagon with y'all. 

What a fun place to start, eh? PEANUT freaking BUTTER CUPS. They are by far my favorite candy (okay, Peanut M&Ms take #1, but these are a very close second). Throwing them in a bar with marshmallow and graham cracker-blondie crust? It's out of control awesome, and worth every piece you sneak for yourself before sharing t…

Lemon Chicken Scaloppine in Pine Nut Parmesan Crust

I'm a firm believer in green smoothies and getting in plenty of exercise. 
I'm also a firm believer in the occasional juicy bacon-loaded cheeseburger.
Maybe I'm just a little selfish, but I believe we can have both. 
The only "diet" I've ever really been on is:
striving for balance.
I make some of the sugariest/sweetest desserts you've dared let cross your tongue (my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe has 3 sticks of butter in them - for crying out loud). But I've also made sure to prepare and eat equally as straight-up-healthy recipes as well. Why? Because that's how we eat in our house! 
We eat as healthy as we can throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening, (and get in our exercise every day except Sunday). But if I make a sinfully sweet dessert - we don't shun it like the plague! We enjoy it. We soak in every sugary morsel (okay, not EVERY morsel. we usually give half of it away). We don't treat it like junk food, or hate oursel…

Baked Chicken and Avocado Taquitos

My toddler has a brand new trick, and it's pure evil I tell you.
Sure, he has the most beautiful big blue eyes you've ever seen, and he says and does things that could melt your heart in less than a second. But when he does something bad, he seems to play all his crazy cards and milks it for all it's worth. 
Milk. 
(face palm)
I can't even look at the stuff now.
It was Saturday morning. The kid shot out of bed at 6:30am, and it was my "Saturday turn" to watch him while the spouse slept in. I hate this system - but only on the days it's my turn. What can I say? I'm kind of a bad sport that way. Anyway, it was about 9:00, and I was getting a little hungry. I didn't want to eat because I knew I was going to go for a run that morning. Ryan was still snoozing away. The manchild/toddler was happily eating his breakfast with his pirate hat and batman jammies on. There was no sight of liquid to be seen in the kitchen, and I had his favorite cartoon strea…

Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup with Kale

Ryan is training for his first marathon (St. George or SLC Marathons). He mapped out a training schedule, and has been really great at getting up each day to run before the sun comes up (even in the well-below freezing temperatures a couple weeks ago). I can't wait to see how well he does! He seems pretty happy to be back in the running game again after a three-year break for graduate/law school. Before he was pumping out 90+ mile weeks, and now he's trying to build back up to it again (with more, I think). I've seen him do great things with his running, and I can't wait for this summertime to unfold, and see his hard work pay off (good news for me, is that he's eating like a horse again - reminds me of our newly-wed college days!) 
On the other hand, I can't do the cold temperatures (at least when the sun is down). I wuss out. IT'S NUTS OUT THERE. Humans should not be allowed to be outside before 7am in temperatures that evil. A couple years ago, when I w…

Kale Pesto Pasta

It's the beginning of a new week. What's on your plate? 
Are we keeping everything balanced? Or are our plates overflowing with too much of a good thing? 
Either way, I've learned that if you take it one small bite at a time, eventually you'll make it through, and all will be alright. 
Not talking about food, folks. But since this is a food blog, we can pretend, right? :) 

This kale pesto was ridiculously simple to make - if you have a food processor or killer blender, use the heck out of it. You just toss everything in, pulverize it until you have a thick dreamy paste, and toss it over a pile of al dente pasta. Simple as that.


It was so flavorful for the simple, but beautiful, ingredients used to make it. It had quite the earthy taste with such a rich bite. The red pepper flakes go a long way, and the toasted almonds add such an incredibly warm depth to the pesto. Normal pesto probably uses less garlic, but I like my pasta to have a little something extra, and the ga…

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Roasted Veggie and Chicken White Lasagna

We're a family of three, but sometimes we just need to make something for dinner that's going to last a couple days. It certainly cuts down the crazy on busy weeks, and that hour or two it takes to make the large meal, saves a lot of dinner-time prep in the long run.


As many of you, I've been trying to incorporate more veggies into my diet for the past month. Even though there's a crazy-rich sauce all around (you could easily make a cauliflower sauce to replace the alfredo - won't taste nearly as good, but whatever), there's more than a pile of veggies in this dish. 

Check that out, right there. 
You've got a heaping doze of spinach, and a pan-full of deliciously roasted carrots, zucchini and yellow squash. If that's not your serving of veggies for the meal, I don't know what is. 

The chicken can either be rotisserie, or you can do what I do (toss a couple chicken breasts in an EVOO-coated bread pan with about 1/2 C of chicken stock. bake at 350 fo…

Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Sandwiches

So we have the WORST luck with cars. WORST EVER, people.

We get in a lot of accidents - the real kicker is maybe 10% of those accidents are our fault. The rest are from other people backing into us without leaving notes, construction barriers flying into our front and side windows from the crazy West Jordan wind, teenagers slamming into our bumper and totaling our vehicle, and college students slamming into the side rear of our car from ice (Utah in the winter is a suck fest driving-wise). These all actually happened - and our poor car has taken a serious beating.

Unfortunately for us, a few of these accidents are cases where we're having to pursue the companies and people who are responsible because they won't pay-out. It's super-frustrating, but they should realize that when you hit the car of an attorney, and leave tracks and serious damage, you're going to get pasted to the wall with some serious evidence against you.

Why? Well, the first thing I do when an accide…

Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

Have you ever had one of those moments when you feel like your head is being squeezed in by two giant fists right above your ears?

Me neither. 
Just kidding. It happens to me a lot. Today, in fact. My life right now seems to reach the highest threshold of crazy more frequently. It's like I'm making a giant cake, and just when I think things are stacked tall and perfectly sound, someone asks nicely for more layers, more piping, more flowers, more pears, more everything! I don't really mind - I love making the "cakes of life," but man does it call for a few rounds of chocolate before I can pull myself out of the coma aftershock.

Nothing a good nap can't fix, right? Thank heavens I have a wonderful husband who will let me close the door, and sleep off the crazy for an hour. My Grandma used to call her short power naps "taking off the edge." It's true. The crazy is still there when I wake up (it never sleeps after all), but it's less of a heada…

Easy Red and White Pasta Bake

I love seeing everyone make their New Year's resolutions list, setting new goals, and focusing on new lifestyle changes along the way. Improving oneself isn't always easy, and usually there's a habit or two to reprogram to make it all possible. The way I've found my way around this hurdle is by setting sub goals within the goals, and doing a dry-run before the new year begins. 
Hear me out. It has worked pretty well for our little family. I set a goal, listing the what (what the goal is), the when (if you don't have a set time each day or timetable to measure that goal, there's really no point), the how (what you're specifically going to do each day or within that timetable to achieve that goal), and lastly the why (why do you want this change to happen?).
For instance: If your goal is to exercise daily (M-Sa), here's the process: what: Get in the habit of exercising daily.  when: Every morning from 7-7:40am.  how: At the gym in our apartment complex if it…