I’m finally back from Arizona. Booooooooooooooooooooo.
I had so many fun nights I can’t even begin to tell you. The food, the margs!, riding around in a red convertible, soaking up the sunshine, swimming at night, baseball games, Mexican food, FroYo, plus a trip to Sprinkles cupcakes!
I want to be on vacation for the rest of my life.
Funny enough I also went on a date during my trip! (The most random things happen to me, I swear.) I met him through a friend and we hit it off. On our date we went to the zoo, ate really good Italian food, and laughed hysterically. I don’t think he reads my blog, so in my opinion it’s perfectly okay to talk about how sweet he was. FYI: I told him about the life-changing cookies and I think he was sold.
Seriously you guys, I have to stop telling people about the flavor profile of brown butter and those freaking cookies; it’s just too nerdy. Especially on dates.
I bet you’re hungry. I mean, it’s been a week since I’ve given you a recipe!
I’m not back from vacation just yet so I’m going to keep this short and sweet; I have to enjoy my last day in the sunshine!
Before I go, we must discuss these granola bars. They’re simple, delicious, and full of good-for-you ingredients and healthy fats to keep you satisfied. Plus they are incredibly easy to make!
First we toast the coconut, oats, and almonds in the oven.
Then simply mix honey, almond butter, a little coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan to heat thoroughly. The wet ingredients are then added to the dry mixture and then tossed to combine. Easy!
Sorry about not blogging as frequently; I think the fact that I haven’t seen sunshine in over a month is really starting to get to me. It’s depressing and quite frankly I have no idea why my parents decided to raise me in Minnesota? People who live here are super humans; they have the ability to handle bone-chilling weather and things like tator tot hotdish. (I’m being sarcastic, but it’s totally a thing.)
So the good news is that I’m going on vacation in a week and I can’t freaking wait. I’m headed to Arizona and you can bet I’ll be soaking up the sunshine like it’s my job. Don’t worry, I never fail to slather on the sunscreen. Oh and I definitely won’t be forgetting to consume copious amounts of Mexican food. Words cannot describe how much I love the Southwest culture.
Oh hey. I noticed that it’s been a while since I’ve given you a cookie recipe. Please forgive me as I made you these ridiculously good-looking, chewy, thick, fat peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Without flour or butter!
Wait… WHAT? I swear this isn’t a joke.
First I need to confess that I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter. In fact, I think if I was allergic I’d probably still eat it. I’m definitely one of those people who feels like it completes me in some way. Some of you may feel this way about Nutella and I totally get it; nut butters are creamy, addictive and awesome spread on just about anything. I usually do it animal-style aka straight out of the jar with a spoon.
Hmmmm I think I’m displaying signs of an addict. Are there any nut butter support groups out there?
Confession of the day: I’m an absolute lover of mini meals because I consider them real treats! For example, my go-to snacks are bananas rolled in toasted almonds, rice cakes with cottage cheese and honey, or cereal with ice cold almond milk. Oh and margaritas! Because those can be considered snacks, right?
Anyway I’m getting back to the point here… I eat a lot of carbs, and that’s a problem. But you guys, I just ADORE nooks-and-crannies english muffins and basically every flavor or Cheerios to ever hit the market (minus Dulce de Leche).
Raise your hand if I just described you, too.
Surprisingly I’ve managed to stop buying both bread and cereal so now the only carb-like food lurking in my cupboards is a pack of rice cakes, low-carb tortillas, and apparently marshmallow creme, which I ate from the jar last night while watching old episodes of Felicity.
I don’t know if you know this but teen drama from the 90s is extremely stressful.
So this whole low-carb thing means that I am forced to give up pasta and opt for something else to pair tomato sauce with. That’s where spaghetti squash comes in handy; it’s gluten-free, low-carb, and freaking delicious! Did you know that one cup of spaghetti squash only has 42 calories and 8 net carbs? I can literally eat platefuls of it!
The real star today isn’t the spaghetti squash though; it’s my homemade arrabbiata sauce — a spicy tomato marinara sauce with garlic and herbs. I was reading somewhere that arrabbiato means angry in Italian, which for me just translates into one mean, spicy marinara! It is sensational, especially when paired with garden veggies.
I enjoy making homemade tomato sauce because I love knowing what ingredients are being used plus the flavors are always bold and fresh. I thought it would be fun to show you how I make my favorite sauce without canned ingredients so that you can enjoy it too! Trust me, once you try this you won’t go back.Read more.
Every now and then I love a little real-talk blogging. Today is one of those days.
The past year has been full of life-altering changes for me. I’ve shed many layers from my life…. and can I just admit that it’s all been incredibly difficult?! I’ve started my own business, traveled at least a week out of every month, lived in three states, and have literally been pulling my hair out trying to figure out where this is all leading to!
So what does this translate into? Basically working insane hours and jeopardizing A LOT. Honestly it’s been a complete struggle. I’m sure it’s something you might be able to relate to: failure, disappointments, and well… whatever life throws at you. Of course, I’m a huge believer that everything happens for a reason. My passion for success and a career in food pushes me every single day to keep pursuing my dream no matter how many times I fail. And trust me, I fail more than you know! My list of unsuccessful ventures will always be longer anything I accomplish; it will be for all of us. However, these failures push you to become better and to learn.
In a sense, I feel as though I’m in the middle of a transformation. I’m trusting my intuition and regardless of how difficult it becomes or what disappointments I find myself in, I’m both blessed and thankful to be on this journey.
So my question to you, is what pushes you to be the best you can be? What drives you to be better than you were yesterday?
I’m just a twenty-four year old girl who is literally obsessed with food, styling, photography and the inspiration I find in every day life. I’m not here to pretend I’m perfect in any way, because I’m not. I’m just explicitly in love with sharing my passion with you.
Oh sorry, that’s a bit obvious and this is getting preachy. Excuse me, let’s get to the FOOD!
Is it normal that I sleep with my iPhone under my pillow? Or that when I immediately wake up I check all of my SEVEN email accounts? Um, probably not.
I need to figure out a way to unplug from all of the communication sometimes. Or just find a balance. When I’m not working on my site, I’m constantly plugged in for my other job. As much as I tell myself that I need to take a break and relax, it’s hard to step away from the chaos of work and the busyness of life; I’m sure many of you can relate!
Usually the only thing that gets me away from all of it is the chaos of my own kitchen — my own little sweet happy spot. As soon as I put on a little music and begin to dice and chop, my creative energy pours into pots and pans, creating good food for loved ones.
This stew was made during an evening when my mind was cluttered and I needed a release. I had a busy day full of meetings. Okay and I was also dreaming about when I would actually get those girl scout cookies I ordered — like how long it would take for me to destroy 5 boxes this year? Whattttttt? Girl scout cookies are stressful to think about.
Anyway there was a jar of lentils that had been sitting in my cupboard along with gorgeous organic sweet potatoes from Whole Foods. It was time to put the iPhone down. A lovely pot of stew was an adventure I was ready to take on.
This past weekend I spent my time catching up with a friend and enjoying a short trip to DC. I absolutely love weekend trips! You get in and out of cities with a few fantastic meals, memories to laugh over, and the excitement of travel. There’s only really one thing I despise: travel aftermath.
I always find myself in a state of chaos after an adventure. I’ll even fully admit to you that my suitcase isn’t getting unpacked for at least two weeks. There will also be piles of laundry starting at me, and it will take at least two days to sift through emails. Oh and then to top it all off I have to think about cooking myself dinner after dining out all weekend and guzzling margaritas like I have the metabolism of a gymnast… forget it! At that point all I desire to do is spread out in my bed and watch a marathon of shows that used to be cool in the 90s. Or the Food Network because it’s truly the only channel I need.
This is the time where super lean turkey sloppy joes come in. They’re so easy to throw together — and healthy too! Total travel worry diminished. Really you guys, you absolutely have no idea how obsessed I am with favorite childhood foods, particularly heaping tomato slathered juicy turkey sandwiched between a whole wheat hamburger bun. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. As a kid, I used to eat them with corn chips almost every day. Now that I’m an adult, I hold the hope that someone will create a sloppy joe food truck and park it in front of my house during lunch time.
Okay I admit that’s an unlikely scenario, but I really do adore them! These joes are a quick fix for my comfort food cravings.
Seriously how much easier could dinner get? Minimal ingredients. Healthy and easy. Just awesome flavor in your mouth. They remind me of being a kid! This recipe calls for a bit of BBQ sauce which means the sloppy joes aren’t as sweet, but instead have a perfect tangy, rich flavor with a hint of spice. I recommend using a bbq sauce with minimal sugar, and a spicy flavor, although your favorite sauce would work too. My favorite way to serve them? With sharp cheddar cheese on whole wheat crusty buns. Doooo it.
How was your weekend? I know it’s Tuesday, but I feel like we can spend a little time reminiscing.
Mine was of course filled with food. I made Lobster Bisque for the first time; it was soooooo creamy and wonderful with a garlic ciabatta. On Sunday one of my best friends and I went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant where I ordered a skinny margarita and major amounts of chips and salsa. With the amount of political advertisements on the TV, sometimes margaritas are necessary.
Today though, I wanted to share with you another one of my obsessions. You know the latest and greatest.
I’ve been really into this sandwich for the past week or so. Okay actually I dream about this sandwich everyday. I make it for breakfast nearly every morning, and sometimes I have it for dinner too. I’ve been calling it the ‘power breakfast sandwich’ because of how healthy it is. The flavors are fresh, and I simply adore the creamy avocado and slices of tomato topped with fluffy egg whites and bits of sea salt and pepper. Yesterday I even added a little fresh basil on top.
It’s completely simple, isn’t it? In fact, I can’t believe I’m blogging about it. But… it’s sooooo good!
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I always look forward to it, even if it’s just a bowl of cereal or a slice of peanut butter toast. But the best breakfast? Pancakes. Obviously.
When I was little my Dad used to make me his famous pancakes; they were the size of a skillet pan, thin, and yet incredibly fluffy. I remember drenching them with rich maple syrup and devouring it in pure bliss. Every single bite would melt in my mouth. I loved waking up to those.
Since I’m trying to eat healthy while still enjoying my favorite breakfast, I’d thought that I would create a pancake recipe that’s tastes just like banana bread… because in case you hadn’t noticed, smashing bananas in baked goods is kinda my jam.
And besides putting hearty amounts of love into this recipe, I wanted these to be good for you, without sacrificing that amazing pancake taste.