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Showing posts from March, 2014

Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce

Sometimes we feel like our lives are soaked to the bone in complete monotony. 
Every day follows the same sequence, same take-husband-to-the-train-to-go-to-work, same peanut butter sandwich for the toddler at lunch, same holy-smokes-my-pants-are-getting-tight, same walk up and down three flights of stairs to the apartment, same mess to clean up after the day, same laundry to clean and fold, same naptime battle, same stories to read at night, same everything. 
We look around and feel the day we're living is the same as the last, and tomorrow is almost guaranteed to be a repeat. Like we're somehow trapped in too much of the same. Groundhog day comes to mind. Ever seen that show?

Pirate Birthday Party

As most of you know, I usually stick to food on my little blog here. That is, except for once a year when we celebrate our son's birthday! I LOVE planning and throwing birthday parties. I plan well in advance, so the details aren't labor-some by any means. If you do a little each week, instead of leaving it to the last minute, the party falls into place without any effort at all. So yes, the parties I throw may seem a little crazy, and may be over-the-top for some, but I enjoy every second of the before, during, and after the yearly event. We are fortunate enough to have all our families on both sides live here in Utah (almost - they're moving back to Utah this Spring!), so all our parties for our little man so far have been family parties. It has been a total blast! 
For his first birthday, we celebrated "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" style. It was such a blast with all the fruits for each day of the week, a caterpillar made from Chinese lanterns, and a huge pil…

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Whole Grain Enchiladas with Avocado

One of my favorite things to eat on the planet is a giant bowl of tortilla chips alongside some fresh salsa and a pile of guacamole. There's something so creamy and addicting with that delicious crunch of the chips with the heat of the salsa and the softness of the smashed & seasoned avocados. It's the best! Whenever we get to go out to dinner, I will almost always suggest we hit up a Mexican food restaurant. Ryan can usually tell we're due to go on a date to dinner when I make some kind of a Mexican dish almost every night that week. The cravings come right out in my cooking, I guess. Thankfully, he loves that zesty bowl of guac and salsa just as much as I do, and happily eats yet another pan of enchiladas.

Cookies & Cream Frosting

Happy Monday, everyone! I have some seriously mouthwatering goodness to share with y'all today. These cupcakes are off-the-hook, and the frosting was really what sealed the deal on these little beauties...

Pesto Pasta Salad

This week in the lovely Beehive State of Utah we went to our local caucus meeting. 
Now, before I married my sweet Ryan, I honestly had no idea what the heck a caucus was. It sounded like a kind of beetle to me. "Darned caucuses destroyed our tomatoes again!!" and "It sure is satisfying to hit those filthy caucuses with my car on the way to work!" or "Man, that mother-loving caucus is pillaging our pantry like he owns the joint." 
Please excuse me. It's Friday for crying-out-loud.

One Skillet Cheeseburger Casserole

With the new daylight savings changes, I feel like dinnertime is feeling less like something-we-squeeze-in-right-before-bedtime, and more like something-we-do-to-fuel-up-for-some-last-minute-playtime-outside!  I know for sure there are a lot of people who hate the time change twice a year, but I actually really love it! Switching things up every once-in-a-while is kind of fun for us (sure, it's hard at first, but effectively resets my mental clock for a new season). With a kid, yes, it can be tricky. But it still somehow makes me that much more excited for Spring and Fall when the time changes come into play. (please don't throw rocks at me!)...

Slow Cooked Sweet and Sour Corned Beef Brisket with Roasted Carrot and Baby Dutch Potato Coins

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! 
The only way I remember my family celebrating this lovely holiday growing up was my Mom making us green pancakes. They were always light and fluffy, and filled our tummies for the rest of the afternoon. School was filled with anxious boys and girls waiting to see if everyone was wearing green. If not, they wouldn't waste any opportunity to pinch their latest victim! Some kids were extra sneaky and wore a green sticker somewhere on their hands to avoid getting pinched if they forgot their green attire. 

When I knew St. Patrick's Day was on it's way, I knew right away we needed to try out this amazing beef brisket recipe from the lovely Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. However, I wasn't about to go and spend such a pretty penny on a beef brisket. I found in the meat section, that the corned beef was half the price. For our budget, it was a great find and I threw it right into the recipe as if we were using regular beef brisket. 
Let me t…

Easy Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas

I always thought that having my birthday was the greatest thing on the planet. My Mom made everything super special by serving up a warm breakfast, having presents waiting at the table to open before school, planning an incredible themed party (usually switched off every other year between a friend party and a family party), eating delicious cake, and making sure we felt extra special that day.

Little did I know that having my birthday (as fun as it always was - except for the strep-throat episode when I was 9) isn't as exhilarating as throwing a birthday for someone else... especially when that someone is a bright-eyed little pirate boy...

Brown Butter Cinnamon Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

I'd like to introduce you to your new favorite cookie: 
Sometimes you meet a cookie, fall in love with the dough, and before it even makes it way into the oven you know it's going to be epic. 
Brown butter and I go way back, and it never ceases to amaze me. It's a sure-fire ingredient to make cookies and most desserts even more amazing. What a sneaky, but incredible, way it can completely transform something from tasting wonderful to tasting... 
INSANELY RIDICULOUS.

Fresh Raspberry Chicken Salad

Missed posting yesterday. Normally I use Sundays as a lovely opportunity to schedule a sweet recipe for you fine folks, but last week was kind of rough. And then Sunday I woke up with a cold - with a full day of church meetings, teaching sharing time to our 160+ primary children, and trying out a new baked spinach tortellini recipe for dinner. Needless to say, after a heroic dose of Dayquil to get through the afternoon, by the time everything was finished, all I wanted to do was crash on the couch.

And that's exactly what I did. 

Baked Teriyaki Chicken

I grew up about 45 minutes away from a small amusement park. In middle school, if we earned near-perfect attendance, had above a certain grade point average, or pledged to be drug-free or something, we were baited with a day-long trip to this magical place. An entire day away from school with the sole purpose of riding roller coasters that could make us puke our guts out? Only to refuel ourselves with cotton candy and hot dogs? We all thought we had gone straight to heaven.

I don't remember much from that specific day, but one thing I can still taste is the sweet sauce of teriyaki smothered over a bed of white rice and steamed veggies (from a small food booth they always had next to the Colossus; my first upside-down ride experience, ever). It was completely mouthwatering, and I was always stuffed to the max afterwards; immediately ready for another 5-6 straight hours of constant roller coaster crazy...

Tomato Basil Pesto Soup with Toasted Cheesy Croutons

As much as I really love the warmer weather we've been having here in Utah (in February/March - it's been awesome!), I was hoping soup season hadn't come to a complete halt. Luckily, I opened up my window this morning to the fresh smell of a beautifully rainy morning - and it hasn't stopped since. 
I love to cozy up to a fresh bowl of soup on days like this. The first time I tasted this soup was at the Kelsey Nixon book signing here in Salt Lake City. The smell was what first caught my attention. Pesto in tomato soup? The room was filled with such a hearty warmth with just the fragrance of this soup coming from the big soup pot the chefs had ready for us to taste! It was like a tractor beam for us. I knew right away that this would be one of the first recipes I'd try from her cookbook. And it didn't disappoint for a second.

French Silk Chocolate Pie with Whipped Cream Rosettes and Thin Mint Crust

For major holidays, my parents-in-law have made it a delicious tradition to have at least 3-4 beautiful pies for us all to share. They did a thoughtful job each time choosing pies of different genres to fit everyone's tastes (cherry pie, chocolate pie, apple pie, banana cream pie, etc). With each family gathering, they learned quickly there was always one mouthwatering pie that seemed to disappear the fastest of all...