May
07

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Salad with Honey-Orange Dressing - light, lovely and so delicious!

I’ve been getting back into vinyassa yoga lately. Most of the time I do yoga sculpt classes with weights, but recently I’ve needed some deep stretching and some major stress relief. The mind-body connection that yoga brings me is often times my favorite part of the class; I’m more self-aware, compassionate, and thoughtful with each class. I’ve also noticed that my anxiety diminishes.

The other day my instructor was talking about how you have to be brave in order to become your true self. How you have to go beyond what you think you’re capable of if you want to make something happen. Take a chance on something or someone.

Little conversations like those push me to be better. I’m happy to have the ability to to make choices, change my future and create opportunities that I would have never thought possible. Thus on my journey to having a clear mind with less stress, I’m also focusing on having a healthy body. Eating clean, preparing my meals, and taking care of myself is so important.

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Salad with Honey-Orange Dressing - light, lovely and so delicious!

This past weekend I made a big batch of this summery salad (with fall flavors?) My mom came over to help taste test, and she absolutely loved it. We enjoyed it cold served with some greek yogurt.

This salad was inspired by my favorite little meal at Whole Foods made with couscous. Every time I’m there I search for it.

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Salad with Honey-Orange Dressing - light, lovely and so delicious!

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May
01

Homemade pecan nut butter sweetened with a tiny bit of maple syrup, vanilla, and spiced with cinnamon. This sweet and salty combo will be your new favorite to spread on toast.

Homemade pecan nut butter sweetened with a tiny bit of maple syrup, vanilla, and spiced with cinnamon. Great spread on toast with sliced bananas!

Do you love pecan pie? How about toasty, nutty pecans on top of coffee cake? Or those cinnamon-sugar pecans around Christmas time? Mmmm absolutely yes.

A few days ago, I was strolling around Trader Joe’s checking out all of the new products when I noticed that there really weren’t that many nut butters besides almond and peanut. And I hate to break it to you, but cookie butter doesn’t count.

Anyway now I feel like I’m on some sort of quest. I MUST MAKE ALL THE NUT BUTTERS. Or at least a few. Anything I can smear on toast or spread all over my pancakes is a must.

Homemade pecan nut butter sweetened with a tiny bit of maple syrup, vanilla, and spiced with cinnamon. Great spread on toast with sliced bananas!

Pecans happen to be my new favorite nut, so I opted to create pecan butter that taste like the flavors of fall in a jar.

You know you want some.

Homemade pecan nut butter sweetened with a tiny bit of maple syrup, vanilla, and spiced with cinnamon. Great spread on toast with sliced bananas!

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Apr
17

Quick and easy gluten free oatmeal pancakes made in the blender! These healthy pancakes are topped with the most incredible creamy peanut butter maple syrup then finished with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Cinnamon Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes with Salted Peanut Butter Maple Syrup

I’m on another one of my pancake kicks. This obsession is ridiculous.

But until I run out of pancake making ideas (and toppings), I’ll keep bringing them to you. Because really, who doesn’t love pancakes?

Cinnamon Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes with Salted Peanut Butter Maple Syrup

In reality, I’ve been eating pancakes more than what should be considered normal.

What do I eat for breakfast? Pancakes, obviously. With blueberries to start the day out right.

Lunch? Ugh, guess I should do a salad to get some veggies in. Note: The entire time I’m thinking about breakfast and ways I can top my pancakes.

Dinner? PANCAKES ON MY MIND. Again. Wouldn’t you agree that breakfast for dinner never gets old?

Cinnamon Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes with Salted Peanut Butter Maple Syrup

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Feb
26

A healthy Moroccan-spiced Stew with butternut squash, chickpeas, and lentils! You’ll love this protein and fiber packed meal!

Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Moroccan Stew

Let me just start off by saying that this winter has been one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. Minnesota is an icicle and I’m about ready to pack my bags, abandon everything, and get on a plane to any place with good margaritas and warm weather (Cali?).

It’s gotten to the point where every time I venture outside, my toes automatically become numb, even with wool socks. To top it all off there was a blizzard last week, my car got stuck, and I didn’t leave my house for two days. THE WORST.

Enough complaining though! It’s time for a little soup for the soul. The comforting good kind that warms your heart. I like those kinds, don’t you?

Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Moroccan Stew - healthy, vegan and gluten free!

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Dec
11

Super chewy White Chocolate Cherry Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies. These cookies are made with coconut oil and whole wheat flour for a hearty cookie that everyone will love!

I’ve always believed that doing little things is what really matters in a relationship. You always look back and appreciate those moments.

Oh you know, like those times when your boyfriend opened the car door for you. Or when he wrapped you in his jacket because you were freezing. The moments when he gave you a kiss on the forehead when you were down. When he made you dinner because you were too busy to cook for yourself. When he showed up with flowers just because. All of the little things add up. To me, they matter.

Okayyyyyy it’s true, I’m a romantic at heart; I always have been. And the best way I know how to show I care is by baking. I’ve found that a way to a man’s heart is with cookies. Because let’s face it: no one can resist a freshly baked cookie. Especially my cookies.

This holiday season I’ve been baking more cookies then I know what to do with. Too many to eat, too many to give away. I wish you guys could come over and eat cookies with me. And drink wine. Because I like wine. A LOT.

But seriously, I need to be put on a baking restriction. I’m considering locking my mixing bowls and flour in a closet until January.

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Nov
19

Healthy Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal topped with bananas tossed in a mixture of brown sugar and vanilla bean! A great breakfast!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this blog and what it represents to me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s so much more than just sharing recipes; this blog is a place for inspiration and stories. At least that’s what I’ve always tried to make it; however, lately I feel like I’m getting further from that.

It just feels… redundant. I have to put my passion back into it.

So, we’re getting back to it! Back to when I shared my inspiration, fitness posts, healthy living tips, dreams, and stories! More personalized. I hope you don’t mind, but it’s not just food that makes me happy anymore; it’s the story behind the food.

First I’d like to tell you about the first time I fell in love with pumpkin. I was 9 years old and my mom and I baked a pie from scratch. The comfort pumpkin pie brings me is unparalleled.

I’m also a huge fan of oatmeal which I really didn’t start eating until I was in college. Now I eat oatmeal pancakes, bowls of oatmeal, and oatmeal in muffins! I love how healthy it is and am constantly trying to find new ways to add it to my recipes.

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Nov
12

Healthy Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins with a lovely vanilla bean cream cheese glaze!

I spent last night catching up with one of my best friends; we don’t live near each other so it’s wonderful being able to chat for an hour or two. Unfortunately I haven’t seen her in almost a year, but I think a trip to Chicago for New Years is in the works now!

Speaking of Chicago, I’m actually headed there over Thanksgiving and couldn’t be more thrilled! Michgan Ave, high rises, shopping, incredible food, and that gorgeous water. For some reason that city speaks to my heart.

It just so happens that food also speaks to my heart (obviously). Lately, I can’t get enough pumpkin! Wait a sec. I can never have enough pumpkin. If you guys have been reading my blog, you know it’s just one of my serious obsessions. I’m even asking for pumpkin pie for my birthday this year! Weird, I know… but what else can you expect from me?

I’ve been hoarding these muffins for a good month! Shame on me. I’m sorry to do that to you.

To be honest, I couldn’t even remember what they tasted like so I convinced myself to test the recipe once more before posting; I will never forgot these again. The muffins were superb, full of pumpkin and chai flavors, and incredibly moist. Seriously probably my favorite muffin ever. EVER you guys!

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Oct
25

I’m on vacation right now. Except I’m still in Minnesota… just spending some time with someone special. I’ll have to fill you in on that later. It’s a pretty cute story. But let’s just say, I’m incredibly happy. Yesterday we went to the apple orchard and I’m hoping to make an apple pie or my best apple crisp. Tonight we’re making my favorite turkey meatballs (make them!).

With this mini staycation, it’s been great to take a break from the internet and blogging. In fact, I recently cracked my iPhone screen so while it’s being repaired, I don’t have access to Email, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. At first I didn’t know what to do but found myself actually paying attention in conversations and not constantly checking my notifications.

But today, I just couldn’t resist blogging because you definitely need these cookies in your life.

I was experimenting when I made these. I knew that I wanted to create a cookie for the holidays and nothing beats a chewy molasses cookie, but what was going to make it special?

A little brown butter. And a little oatmeal for a perfect chewy texture.

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Oct
01

Hi guys! Sorry about taking last week off of blogging. I was in Boston on a little vacation with some of my friends from college. We had an unbelievable time baking cookies (new recipe coming soon), exploring the North End, running around Southie, and laughing until we couldn’t anymore. Life is good! I’ll have a recap soon of all of my Boston outings plus some favorite things of mine, too! But of course, Monday came and vacation ended. And now it’s October; I can’t believe it! I’ve been busy running outside trying to soak it all up before Minnesota weather comes swinging in with negative temperatures. Obviously since it’s been so lovely, I’ve been slacking in the baking department. Sorry about that! I’m back now… with tasty little bars. You’re excited, right?

You should be! I’m a HUGE fan of all things pumpkin. In fact if I had to choose my last meal on earth, it would be a simple slice of warm pumpkin pie with whipped cream. That’s my heaven. Seriously pumpkin is the JAM to my peanut butter. What I really mean is that it completes me.

These bars are just as wonderful as pie in their own way. They make mornings a little brighter. Somehow they feel romantic and will definitely have your house smelling like fall.

Oh and did I mention that they’re healthy? Yes, you can totally eat them for breakfast or as a snack — there’s only 128 calories per bar and healthy ingredients, too!

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