When I was little, my mom used to make pesto pasta for me all the time. In fact we had it so frequently that I grew to dislike it quite a bit. I know you’re probably wondering how that’s even possible, but it’s true. As I grew older I could never get back into it either until about a few weeks ago when I finally tried pesto again.

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I know today is supposed to be Wellness Wednesday, but I’m taking a small break until the New Year. No worries — I’ll be back next week with a new WW post; I know I’ve been away for a while! I’m guessing we all probably have. This year is such a wonderful time to just kick up your feet, read a new book, and just enjoy family time. And basically every cookie in sight.

That being said, I’ve done my fair share of eating, drinking, and cooking. Tony’s birthday was last week and I had the pleasure of making him a version of King Arthur Flour’s deep dish pizza, then homemade French Silk Pie for dessert. Swear to goodness, it was the best meal I’ve ever made him. The pie was perfect. I really feel awful about not posting the recipe, but it also seems a bit wrong to throw you a dessert full of butter, cream and chocolate when we’re all trying to eat healthy again. What do you think? If you’d like the recipe, I’d be happy to make it again and photograph it. Let me know!

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Quinoa enchilada bake is a delicious appetizer or dinner! Best of all it’s made with an easy homemade enchilada sauce!

How was your weekend? Did you do any holiday baking? I flew back into Chicago on Saturday night then enjoyed a relaxing evening with Tony. We tried to find something to watch on Netflix since we recently finished Breaking Bad, but nothing seemed convincing enough. That and we can’t seem to make a decision ever. What are some of your favorite TV series on Netflix? I thought The Fringe looked really good, mostly because Pacey is in it.

In other news, my birthday is next week (on the 22nd!) and I’ll be turning 26. I don’t know what I want for my birthday treat, usually it’s pumpkin pie but this year I’m kind of feeling a BIG fat doughnut or chocolate mousse. Is it sad that dessert is the most important thing to me on my birthday?

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I’m back in Minnesota this week enjoying some time with my Mom. She’s making me pour over  coffee right now. Outside the trees are bare, the wind is cold and well, basically it’s freezing. But alas, this is where I grew up and I’m happy to be spending time with her.

As I mentioned before, the reason for my visit was based on the fact that my body has been super crazy lately; we’ll be visiting a few doctors and a chiropractor to get things figure out. I was able to go for a 2 mile run on Saturday, but I’m eager to start running longer distances and doing yoga again (I may try today!). Fingers crossed!

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Sometimes I go on a french fry craze. Like get out of my way, I’m going to eat that entire plate of fries because I haven’t had them in nearly a month, and they look pretty dang terrific.

Welcome to the world of a girl who is in love with food.

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Rotisserie Chicken Naan Pizza with Spinach, Queso Fresco, & Fire-Roasted Tomato-Mango Chutney Sauce

I’m a little relieved that Easter is over. I can stop staring at photos of monkey breads on my Pinterest feed and get back to seasonal cooking and baking. I’ve been craving fresh fruits and veggies, and can’t wait to head to the farmer’s market to see what I can pick up.

Today, I wanted to share with you a simple pizza recipe that’s not only easy, but incredibly flavorful. Over the past few weeks, I had the privilege of developing three recipes using Just BARE® chicken for the Just BARE® Chicken +5 Ingredient Challenge; it was just a fun creative process for me and the ingredients were incredibly diverse as all of them were submitted by fans! I felt like I was on an episode of Chopped. Except there was no José Andrés to stare at. Booo.



Anyway as you may already be aware, I participated in this challenge alongside some of my other blogging friends and now it’s time for you to vote for your favorite recipe on the Just BARE Facebook page. Voting is open between now and May 5th. All three of my recipes were selected for the final round, so I’d love your vote! Plus did I mention that you could win $250 in groceries just for voting?! Five eligible entrants will be randomly selected to receive the prize.

The five recipes with the highest combined Online Popular Vote and Culinary Score points will be awarded grand prize packages worth $1,500 that include a year’s worth of Just BARE coupons, a $1,000 gift card for merchandise from Food52 & Provisions website, The Food52 Cookbook, and a one-year subscription to Eating Well magazine.

Rotisserie Chicken Naan Pizza with Spinach, Queso Fresco, & Fire-Roasted Tomato-Mango Chutney Sauce

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How to make the Perfect Party Cheese Platter -- great for holidays, football, or any party!

I LOVE snacking. It’s one of my favorite party essentials. A classic cheese platter is one of the best things you can make for a party, in my opinion. It’s not too fancy, it’s ready in 10 minutes or less, and your guests will LOVE it!

I always place the platter in the center of the kitchen action, so that all of my friends and family can mingle together. It makes for such easy entertaining during football parties or the holidays.

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July is officially here! I booked a flight for a fun adventure. I have two jobs I love. Plus, I made you truffles, cookies, tacos, and this easy & fun Summer berry crostini.

I’m also currently obsessing over zucchini and have way too many ideas in my head; I literally had to force myself out of the grocery store after three hours of pacing the aisles. Pretty typical.

Besides being a grocery store stalker, I was quite busy this past weekend. The majority of my Friday was spent working then I caught a movie and stayed up until my eyes felt like heavy bricks. Saturday went by too quick; I hit a yoga class in the morning, did some editorial planning for the blog, and watched an episode of Cats from Hell. NOT KIDDING. I love cats.

I had a little ‘me’ time yesterday though and spent most of my day in the kitchen. I’m trying to get caught up on recipe creation so that I can take a little vacation over the weekend and relax. My wonderful mom also stopped over to show me her StitchFix collection (I got her hooked!). We haven’t seen each other in nearly two weeks so it was good to catch up. It’s important to remember you can never be too busy for your family. However, you can be too busy for when your mom tells you about how much she loves Jeremy Piven.

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How was your weekend?

Of course… mine was delicious! I took the day off Friday to spend time with my mom; we had a fun lunch at Panera and got pedis. Then I spent the better part of the afternoon getting organized in preparation for a move. I have come to the conclusion that will never like packing things or getting rid of clothes.

On Saturday I had a fun date night at Borough in Minneapolis (more to come on that another time).

Yesterday was Mother’s Day; my family celebrated with a light brunch and they also forced me to make my best apple crisp. Afterwards I got in a beautiful 6 mile run, then dabbled in the kitchen a bit with some cooking. Some days there’s nothing better than doing exactly what your passionate about, you know? Grocery store runs, organizing my recipes, and photographing the end result always makes me feel a bit accomplished.

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So this weekend I shoveled snow in my heels because I didn’t have any boots with me. It was completely ridiculous but also a little riveting as it proves I’m a total badass. Call me Beyonce.

Just kidding, please don’t do that.

Something that’s actually ridiculous though? My complete obsession with brown butter. It’s life-changing, and I have a slight feeling that I may be responsible for introducing many of you to the magic it can create in a recipe. How can something so simple be that delicious? I don’t ask questions I just try and put it in as many things as possible.

Now I enjoy making my own sweet potato fries, but if I’m in a bind I’ll purchase Alexia Sweet Potato Fries; they’re delicious and a great option if you don’t feel like peeling and cutting your sweet potatoes. Plus, you can always spice up your fries to your liking. My favorite sweet potato fries are heavily dusted with cinnamon and sugar. They remind me of the flavors of Thanksgiving, like I’m eating a slice of sweet potato pie.

But do you know what really takes it over the top? Drizzling them with a brown butter marshmallow glaze.

I think need to repeat that. A BROWN BUTTER MARSHMALLOW GLAZE. I feel giddy every time I think about it.

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