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Showing posts from February, 2015

Baked Potatoes with Broccoli Cheese Sauce

Happy Friday, everyone! I know I've recently tried to have a dessert recipe ready to go for you fine people on Fridays, but to be honest, I've had a couple recipe kind of bomb, and decided a bag of chocolate mini eggs was the best way to get through this week instead of stressing about it. Sometimes recipes take time, and I think the two I'm working on still need a little bit of work. Until then, grab yourself a bag of mini eggs this weekend, and thank me later.  I still, however, didn't want to leave you heading into the weekend without a little something to make your Sunday dinner easy and extra tasty! These baked potatoes smothered in a heavenly cheese sauce with broccoli is the stuff a simple Sunday savory dinner is made of, and thankfully, the prep/cook time is pretty simple. Plus, more broccoli. I told you I was on a broccoli kick lately. 

Fresh Broccoli Salad with Cheddar and Bacon

So there was this time in my life when broccoli was the devil, and I still slept with night light. I couldn't stand broccoli. If my Mom made something with broccoli (especially a casserole), I just hated it. How could one small vegetable look so hideous and infect the flavor of an entire bed of what could have been the best dinner ever? One time she hid it in my favorite au gratin potatoes and I thought I needed to move out at the age of 10. It was an abomination, and I wasn't having any of it for a second.  I see this behavior already in my almost four-year old son.  Thankfully, I can look past it, because in my adulthood, I've learned that broccoli is actually really delicious! It's refreshing, almost, to have steamed on a plate with dinner. Or even raw! Don't even get me started on how lovely raw broccoli is!  I know, I don't even recognize myself anymore when it comes to my likes/dislikes with certain veggies. Which is why, I don't stres

Grilled Ginger Steak Tacos with Pineapple Pico de Gallo

I know, I know. We're still tailing the end of winter here, and some of you are still a couple feet deep in snow. To you, I send my condolences. Snow and winter are the devil. Thankfully, a couple weeks ago here in Utah, we had a mini winter heat wave, and jumped up to the high 60's and up to even the low 70's one day. It was dreamy. No, it was HEAVENLY, man. Everyone got a little crazy; busting out the flip flops, plenty of shorts, lots of t-shirts were to be seen when I was out and about here in mid-February.  I joined them. Wholeheartedly. Winter depresses the heck out of me. Being outside in the lovely warm breeze, opening up my windows and heart to it, it's what the good stuff is made of, my friends. One day in that mini-heat wave, I thought it'd be fun to bust out the grill on the balcony.  And grill I did, folks. My heart was the happiest it's been for a while. The promise of spring and summer were at the forefront, and the smell of juicy mea

Slow Cooker Garlic Herb Potatoes

Sundays are a constant trip to crazy town around here. There's just a lot to do, plenty of places to be, and a lot for me to remember. The last thing I want to have to worry about is dinner. Unfortunately, dinner is always the first thing me and my family are sniffing the air for when we walk into the apartment after church  each week.  I've learned to lean on my slow cookers, and lean on them hard! Our oven doesn't have an automatic self-timer, and I get a little nervous leaving it on when I leave. So the slow cookers it is, and they continue to save my sanity - especially when it comes to Sunday dinner.  When I was growing up, my Mom was a pro at Sunday dinner. She's always have the most beautiful roast in the oven, falling apart at the touch of a fork, or a gorgeous pan of Italian food (usually manicotti shells or lasagna) waiting for us when we walked in the door. So you see, I feel like the standard (according to my entire childhood, anyways) has been

Pesto Chicken Alfredo French Bread Pizza

Well, folks, I'm 100% happy to report that thanks to my husband's government job, we have him home today! Yay Presidents Day!! (We love history and the presidents, which is why we intend on using another favorite president's name as our second son's middle name - just like our first!)  President's Day also means our weekend fun has officially been extended.  Who am I kidding? We don't have any plans! Ha ha.  Whenever we have a long weekend, we go crazy with everything we have  to do, and then use the extra Monday to just chill, relax, and slowly come back into reality. Instead of filling our extra day with all kinds of plans, we're probably going to just hang out. Sure, we'll hit a park later or something with the manchild, but mostly we just like to keep it simple.  On days like this, I usually serve up something we'd have on the weekend - and that definitely includes our traditional french bread pizzas! Only this time, for the

Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Brownies

So, tomorrow is the big day! Are y'all excited?! This year, we are feeding the missionaries on the 14th, so we obviously won't be able to get all lovey-dovey in front of those sweet boys (that would be severely awkward). So we've decided to stick to our usual plan of going out the night before instead (on the 13th)... which is tonight! It's my year to choose where we go out to dinner, so I'm taking us to one of the tastiest restaurants in downtown SLC: The Red Iguana.   After, we'll sneak over to the Cheesecake Factory    to pick out a cheesecake to take home and share (because after stuffing our faces with Mexican food, we probably will need a few hours to chill out our stomachs before something sweet). We don't exchange store-bought gifts for Valentine's Day anymore (because it just gets super expensive really quickly), so we always bring a little sentimental love note or something like that instead. Of course, Ryan always somehow sneaks in some

Fresh Broccoli & Apple Salad with Walnuts

Sometimes there's a recipe I try that I love so much, I just can't wait to share it with you! So I bumped today's scheduled recipe to next week, and threw this bright lovely salad right on the menu for you today. Because, um, look at it. Springtime, summertime, right here in February. Makes my heart melt with happiness, and it tasted like I was right there at a summer picnic, with the warm soft green grass under my feet.  Okay, I know it's still only February in the real world, but with all the unusually warm weather we've been having in Utah, I couldn't help it! Truth: I even busted out our grill yesterday on our balcony. It smelled like heaven.  Let's jump into this salad before I venture too far ahead into the next few seasons, eh? 

Creamy Chicken and Asparagus with Whole Grain Pasta and Bacon

Today we're just keeping things simple with something you can make in under 40 minutes for dinner during the crazy work week (or even this weekend for a special Valentine's Day "in." It stars something that I think screams springtime: fresh bright green asparagus! It's just gorgeous, and plays together so well with the crispy bacon, juicy morsels of herbed chicken, whole grain penne, and a thick sauce that hugs every one of these lovely flavors perfectly. 

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cupcakes

I bake cupcakes on a weekly basis. 100% of the time it's for an order (I bake cakes and cupcakes in the Salt Lake Valley, in Utah, if you need something sweet for your upcoming gatherings! haha). This weekend, though, I didn't have an order to fulfill. You'd think I'd take a break and step away from the kitchen, right? NOPE! This woman is a baking addict.  I started dipping strawberries before dawn, and by the time the boys were awake, there was a batch of chocolate cupcakes in the oven. Ryan came out of our room and asked: who are these cupcakes for? (A usual question in this house). I then explained to him that I can't remember the last time I baked cupcakes for fun, just for us, just for the heck of it. It was really fun to not have the stress of making everything super-perfect for a client, and to leave it all up to experimentation. I have a few classic cupcakes recipes I draw from for orders, and it was fun to just take a morning, do my own thing, and

Slow Cooker Asian Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Glaze

With Valentine's Day coming up quickly next week, I thought instead of focusing on what cards, flowers, or decorations you should be prepping for the big day, we could jump to something that I believe is the ultimate love language: food.  Seriously. Those other things are nice, and everyone has their own buzz that gives their relationship the ultimate twitterpated feeling around this time of year. But quite frankly: I don't think anyone should shout about what me or my man should give each other on Valentine's Day (followed with some kind of sponsored ad in the blog post, especially. haha).  We (and you couples out there!) know each other best. You'll know what to do. They're your love, and you've already got this. Do they love roses? Give them roses. Do they like going to a sports game? Bam. Let's find some tickets. Do they just want to have a night in with absolutely no distractions? Done and done. It should be simple! There shouldn'

Valentine's Day Heart Pizzas

For lunches with my little man, we usually keep it pretty simple. My son usually requests a peanut butter sandwich (absolutely NO jam, or we'll have some drama), or I heat up a few dinosaur chicken nuggets in the microwave to serve with some veggie straws and fruit slices. Really, we are super low-key around here.  But sometimes it's fun to take a little extra time to make something extra special. After preschool one day, I had all the fixings out and ready for us to make these little heart pizzas. My son doesn't realize that it's Valentine's Day soon, so this was a fun way to get the "heart" theme flowing, and start talking about the cute holiday festivities that come along with Valentine's Day! Plus, I mean, pizza is super-easy, so he was able to help almost every step along the way. Let's jump right into these little lovers, eh?