Jan
25

Hello from beautiful Napa Valley! I spent the better part of the weekend on the Culinary Institute of America with the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council learning about pulses, cooking in their gorgeous kitchens, and gaining some serious skills in gluten free/grain free baking!

I’m leaving feeling inspired and so very thankful to be chosen as an ambassador for the 2016 International Year of Pulses! That’s right, this year the United Nations declared 2016 as the year of pulse and I’m thrilled to be able to create recipes using some of these powerhouse foods!

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Jan
13

One can never have too many squash recipes. Especially considering that it’s cheap, seasonal, and boasts some pretty terrific nutrition stats.

Since we’re talking squash, I’ll admit that butternut squash is one of my favorites. The sweet, nutty taste is brought out even more when roasted too. I’m such a butternut squash fan girl, it’s ridiculous.

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Dec
28

We spent Christmas in Minnesota with some of my family members. Honestly, I didn’t answer emails or pay attention to my site for a second. The only thing I did was cradle in by the wood-burning fire, bake cookies, chop veggies and laugh until I couldn’t anymore. Most of this was due to wine, and it was more than needed. December has been a crazy month full of travel, planning and posts. A mini blog break always leaves me feeling rejuvenated and eager to do MORE MORE MORE. Actually not sure if that’s a good thing? Ha.

After a quick three days in the always-freezing tundra, I returned home late Saturday night craving nothing but vegetables, smoothies and all things nutritious. After Christmas, it’s 100% safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of meat, booze and sugar.

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Nov
15

I had never experienced homemade cranberry sauce until a few years ago. The only version that sat on our non-traditional Thanksgiving table was the jellied version from OceanSpray.

For goodness sake, most of the time we were eating enchiladas and Spanish rice during the holidays; the cranberry sauce was only there because Mom loved it.

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Nov
11

Mid-week vibes coming at you because I CANNOT wait for the weekend. Tony and I are headed to Pensacola, FL and we couldn’t be more excited to hit the beach. Somehow Chicago went from 70 degrees last week to a measly 45 with a wickedly cold Lake Michigan wind chill. NOPE, I’m just not ready for it.

Plus, I still haven’t unpacked my mittens from our move so there’s that.

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Oct
12

How was your weekend? We finally set up our living room with our new rug, plus I just ordered a custom designed ottoman, which I’m really quite excited about. We picked a dark blue velvet color and can’t wait to see it when it arrives in a few weeks. Other new things? A black custom french-looking desk and a small side table that’s going to be painted a bronze gold. Obsessed is an understatement.

Hmmm what else? Chicago’s been insane lately. We’ve had the Chicago marathon, the Cubs in the playoffs and the Bears actually won TWO games. Thus, I’ve been eating a little too much pizza and bar food lately. What I’m really craving now is a seriously good veggie burger with a huge side salad.

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Oct
08

It’s getting chilly here in Chicago. Surprisingly the leaves haven’t started changing to a yellow-orange hue, but I expect them to soon enough.

Fortunately, I haven’t been forced to turn the heat on quite yet but have definitely been tempted. Especially since my entire apartment is made up of hardwood floors that turn ice cold during the evenings. The only solution? Cranking up the oven to 350 degrees F and filling the apartment with the aroma of all things sweet and spice (and everything nice?).

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Sep
07

Happy Labor Day, friends! I hope that your enjoying your day off — whatever that means for you. I really don’t have any special plans. Maybe a Mariah Carey jam sesh and cookie baking, but nothing extraordinary.

But I’m super excited for tomorrow because Tony is officially done with baseball and I’m looking forward to having him back home. Even though our Fall months are going to be jam-packed with moving, redecorating, painting, concerts and trips; I can’t wait to do it all with him. All the romantic, mushy feels are happening.

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Jul
20

My mom used to grow zucchini in her garden in Minnesota. She was the type of nonchalant gardener who allowed the zucchini to grow large enough to become the size of your arm. I actually never minded when the zucchini got that big because then I could stuff it with goodness and make batches upon batches of baked goodies.

Sadly I’m no longer as close to my mom since she lives in Minnesota (soon Utah!). This year I wasn’t expecting to get any free zucchini and figured I’d have to pick some up at the local’s farmer’s market. Turns out that Tony’s mom grew zucchini in her garden and so she kindly has been supplying me with all the zucchini I could ever dream of. I still have three left and have already baked three batches of muffins and two loaves of bread. Perhaps it’s time for a little something savory? Oh la la.

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Jun
02

It’s Taco Tuesday and I’m prepared to blow your mind.

First question I had for myself after making these tacos was how do I only have only one other legit taco recipe on my site?! The Hispanic in me is disappointed.

On the other hand, I’m now on a mission to bring you approximately three more taco recipes by the end of summer. Might just have to whip out the slow cooker for one of them.

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May
18

It was a beautiful weekend, wasn’t it?

On Saturday I met up with Tony’s family and attended his Grandmother’s 95th birthday party. You guys, she’s amazing! She still lives on her own, cooks for herself and is in great health. Over the past year, I’ve gotten fairly close with her; probably because I bring her all the treats I make and she just so happens to love cookies as much as I do. This makes me happy, of course. I actually baked the nutella-stuffed chocolate chip beauties for her party; it always blows my mind how much people truly love those cookies.

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