Dec
05

Hellooooo Friday. Thank you for being here FINALLY.

I’m basically sitting here being like WTF how is it already December 5th and wondering if it’s possible to do ALL my Christmas shopping online this year. I also have no freaking clue what I’m going to get Tony. Usually I’m really good about thoughtful gifts, but this year I am at a total loss. The man has everything he needs. Please help me if you have ANY cool guy gift ideas!

So anyway, I wanted to do a little catching up with you today via a little iPhone photo dump because that hasn’t happened in a while. I’ve also been OBSESSED with BlogLovin’ lately and all of the amazing blogs out there; there are just too many good things to share — especially this time of year. I feel like I could read cookie recipes and check out fashion blogs all day long. HELP ME.

Read more.


Dec
04

Do you know what’s been blasting in my car lately? Mariah Carey. Nothing’s better than blaring “O Holy Night” on the way to the grocery store. Her music has always made me so happy. I have no idea why, but she will forever be my favorite.

Another thing I’ve been into? Fanduel. As in I can’t stop making teams so that I can complete with Tony each Sunday. I’ve been addicted ever since I won $80 a few weeks ago, which is exceptional because football does not make any sense to me. AT ALL. I just pick random guys and it tends to work out.

Read more.


Dec
03

Wellness Wednesdays have become one of my favorite ways to share more with you outside of recipes. I feel like we’re good friends chatting about our experiences and similarities in this crazy world.

This week I wanted to share my recent health and wellness trip to Hilton Head Health in South Carolina; it was a complete eye opening experience and I’m so thankful that I was selected to attend. It has made me eager to go on more wellness and/or fitness trips. What’s better than eating good food, having fun exercise classes, meeting new people and finding some relaxation along the way?

Read more.


Dec
01

Hi there friends. Sorry for my short disappearance from the blog; my mom came to Chicago over Thanksgiving and decided not to blog and rather spend quality time with her. I’ve also been having some weird medical issues lately which have been incredibly frustrating! So I’m planning on flying back to Minnesota for a few weeks to get it all figured out.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few pictures of the past weekend activities.

Read more.


Nov
25

Oh hey, it’s me. And apparently I’m the only blogger around who hasn’t made an extensive list of EVERYTHING you need to make for Thanksgiving. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never been that into the traditional Thanksgiving meal up until a few years ago; before that my Thanksgiving consisted of Mom’s stacked enchiladas, posole, spanish rice and empanadas.

The only thing traditional we had was pumpkin pie (because I requested it of course). And who could get sick of those kind of leftovers? Not me.

Read more.


Nov
23

Have you baked something yet this holiday season? Something fantastically sweet, warm and ooey-gooey? If not, I encourage you to take the time out. There’s something spectacular about having a giant baking day with your friends and family; and of course, I’m here to set you up for baking success.

It’s actually quite ridiculous how many cookie recipes I have on this blog. Gluten free ones, double chocolate, lots of brown butter, and some hearty oatmeal bites too! So of course, when Caribou Coffee asked to partner with me to help celebrate their new Gingersnap Cookie Mocha, I was delighted to bake a cookie that would pair perfectly with their new creation. Or of course if you aren’t a fan of mochas or lattes, you could try dipping this scrumptious cookie in a hot cup of coffee (their holiday Reindeer Blend is absolutely fabulous).

Read more.


Nov
20

Thanksgiving is in a week. But instead of providing you with an extensive list of what you should absolutely make for the big T-day, I bring you stuffed peppers. Ummm with a homemade sloppy joe filling, quinoa and cheese. Sometimes I do not know why I do the things I do; they just seem delicious.

Read more.


Nov
19

Hi I’m Monique. And I’m a chronic late night over eater. That’s right, every night I find myself in the kitchen cupboards searching for something to eat; and I’m not talking about just a small sized snack, but more like a full blown meal. In fact, I wait until I’m practically starving so that I can have a larger portion.

Of course this whole habit of mine started when I wasn’t eating enough during the day. Does that ever happen to you? You know the whole I’m going on a diet this week reasoning that leads to a complete 180 in the opposite direction. Or perhaps you don’t eat enough at dinner just so you can save room for that giant slice of cake or for loading up on extra frozen yogurt toppings. Whatever the reason, I’m right there with you.

Read more.


Nov
17

There’s a part of me that says Thanksgiving isn’t really Thanksgiving unless we’re serving pumpkin pie for dessert. You may feel the same. A few years ago, I started incorporating other desserts into our menu; for both my creative pleasure and because I got the sense that not everyone is as outrageously nuts over pumpkin pie as I am. To those people: LIKE WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T EAT IT FOR BREAKFAST THE NEXT DAY?

Brain does not compute.

Read more.


Nov
15

Hello you lovely souls. I’m sitting in a beautiful, cozy king bed writing to you from Hilton Head Health, a fitness and wellness resort in Hilton Head, SC. This past week has been so refreshing for me in more ways than I can fathom to write about. Sometimes you just can’t put into words what you feel when your heart is steady and content.  I feel beyond lucky to be invited here; the inspiration in wellness classes, new friends and being a little more vulnerable has left me with a realization that I must let go of my fears of judgement when it comes to blogging and being more personal.

My goodness can you believe AK has been cooking for a little over 3 years? I’ve written here about my life experiences, career changes, moving, relationships, friendships and my ever growing obsession with Zac Efron.

What I haven’t included is my real and constant battle with food; certainly it is the love of my life (questionable due to Tony).  I don’t want this post to become too heavy, but do want you to know that this blog will change and grow, just as any human being does. And as any relationship goes, I hope we’re in this together; that you’ll still come to AK to make my recipes because they certainly are not going away. I’ll just be writing more about this journey I’m on.

Read more.


Nov
12

You would think that in the digital age cookbooks would have gone completely out of style, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. There’s something about holding that book full of cherished recipes in your hands; to get crumbs and grease stains over the pages. Cookbooks can easily become your go-to cooking resource for when your party planning, impressing a date or just baking up something sweet.

Yes that’s right, I believe cookbooks are here to stay for quite sometime. I love paging through all of mine and being enticed by all of the gorgeous, mouth-watering photos and stories that go along with each recipe. They challenge and inspire me to try something new in the kitchen AND get me excited about what I’m going to be creating. I also have learned to expand my culinary expertise and become a better cook/baker along the way.

This Wellness Wednesday post is a little bit simpler as I’m traveling this week to a Health and Wellness Retreat in Hilton Head, South Carolina. I wanted to take a step back and share with you some of my biggest healthy cooking resources as I know the holidays are coming up and it will be gift giving time. All of the cookbooks below have inspired me to eat healthier and think about food in new forms. All have different approaches to eating, but I know you’ll find a few that you’ll enjoy or of course, a few for some friends/family who love cooking and baking.

Andddddd if you’re wondering if cookbooks are worth the purchase, the answer is YES! You have the chance to own these book for the rest of your life, to pass them down and share with others. You can put it on a shelf and come back to it time and time again. So… here we go!

Read more.


Nov
11

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Kansas City to attend ChoppedCon, a small blogging conference with incredible speakers and attendees. It was one of the best conferences that I’ve ever been to, partly because of the location but also because the content was fabulous.

My friend Maegan from The BakerMama decided that we would take the weekend to have a fun trip and do some exploring around the city. Now when I usually get together with her, it means I’m eating a lot of sweets because she loves baking and exploring cute bakery shops. I love when I get to spend time with her because she’s always getting me to try the tastiest treats in each city!

Read more.