Dec
13

Before I shove more cookies in your face, I have some very exciting news to share!

I’m headed back to Australia!

During college, I studied abroad on the Gold Coast and it literally changed my life. I’m not sure if it was the travel aspect or meeting new people, but I felt like a new person after living there. Most of all, I felt so lucky to meet one of my best friends, Susie.

susie

Susie and I hit it off right away; it’s as though we were sisters, I swear! We met in a public speaking course at Bond University and immediately clicked. Our daily ritual consisted of drinking soy lattes, eating white chocolate chip macadamia nut muffins, and laughing nonstop. We supported each other, shared secrets, and talked about what we wanted to do when we graduated from college. Of course, we both had big dreams: Susie wanted to be a reporter or a pilot (she now flies a small private jet), and I wanted to own my own business (check!). Now it’s been nearly four years since I’ve seen Susie, but our friendship hasn’t changed one bit.

Well, except for the fact that she’s getting married! And best of all, I’m beyond thrilled that she asked me to be her Maid of Honor! I won’t be there to help her plan many of the details, but we’re going to Skype and I’ll do as much as possible from America! She deserves this happiness more than anything.

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Oct
14

SO much to say. So little time. Currently I’m in a coffee shop as I just moved into my new place and haven’t set up the internet yet. It’s a weird world without the internet you guys. As in I actually went to bed before midnight yesterday. CRAZY I know. Maybe it’s a good thing.

Hmmm what else? I bought a new couch! The color looks like the inside of an almond; I’m in love with it because it’s one of those couches that completely gorgeous but also amazingly comfy. It’s being delivered on Friday so I’ll be sure to share some photos soon. I’m also getting an AMAZING vintage refinished table from a good friend (Hi Sherry!). If you couldn’t tell, I’m going for the romantic shabby chic/Californian look with a touch of vintage. It’s been a blast hunting for pieces and shopping!

By the way, have I mentioned that I miss you guys? Like really, life is getting INSANE. I wish I had the time to blog more! Right now I’m taking two classes, working a full time job, creating recipes, working out, and trying to have a social life. But hey, that’s life.

And sometimes you just have to reward yourself with brownies.

Yep. Fudgy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies.

Made without flour. Made without animals (vegan). Made WITH love.

And made supremely decadent (yet still healthy) by the best combo known to mankind: pb & chocolate.

Are you with me here?

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Jul
18

Please excuse my mini absence from blogging! I’ve really wanted to bring you a recipe, but I’ve been quite busy demolishing chickpea blondies, working, and hitting the yoga studio. Every day I look at the clock and it seems to always be 11PM… I have absolutely no idea where the time goes. I do know that the weather in Minnesota has been OUTSTANDING lately, so instead of editing photos and cooking all the time I’ve been trying enjoying the sunshine (we only get 5 months of it).

And these cookies? Well I’ve been enjoying them, too.

Due to my recent yoga challenge, I’ve been trying to eat better but obviously my sweet tooth is ridiculous. I will admit that I’ve gone through a couple of batches of my black bean brownies, but I kind of wanted something a little different.

Cookies are always a great solution.

Read more.


Jun
19

Learn how to make homemade almond butter with vanilla, honey, and sea salt. This is better then the store bought version!

You guys know I’m a peanut butter lover for life. I mean whoever thought of grinding a nut into a magical spread is a FREAKING genius!

I literally slather peanut butter on everything in sight. I dream about it. I also wake up with peanut butter sandwiches next to my bed.

Yeah, don’t even ask.

Know what else I’m head over heels in love with? Homemade almond butter! It’s ridiculously smooth and perfect on muffins, pancakes, and in chickpea blondies. After making this vanilla bean honey almond butter, I just don’t know if I can go back to the plain PB.

Almond butter is packed with nutritional benefits too; this includes fiber, protein, and good-for-you fats. I’m not sure about you, but I kind of want to dive face first into the jar.

Read more.


Jun
13

Yes, the weekend is here. I should be thrilled, but to tell you the truth, I am sooooooo tired. The only thing I’m thrilled about is the chance to sleep in.

I don’t think I’ve recovered from last weekend yet, plus my new job started on Monday so I’ve been going, going, going. Maybe I’ll take the weekend to recover just a little bit. This is really just me explaining why I haven’t been posting as frequently.

But here’s something to look forward to: A brand new redesigned Ambitious Kitchen! Yes, each day we’ve been plugging away on my new site! I’m excited for it to launch, but let me tell you, it takes more work than you would think!

Anyway since I’ve been on the go lately, I’ve needed to make sure that all of my meals and snacks are prepared ahead of time.

I’m also kind of on this no-wheat experimentation diet, thus I’ve been eating high protein breakfasts  — including these awesome veggie-packed egg white muffins.

Read more.


Jun
03

Well that title is certainly a mouthful. But guess what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I made you another delicious flourless treat without any weird ingredients. This time it includes two of my absolute favorite things: peanut butter AND nutella. OH BABY. And if you want to get really crazy, you can add bananas into that mix! But we’ll get to the various adaptations behind these bars in a bit. First I’d like to share some VERY exciting news with all of you!

I’ve taken a new job!

I will be joining General Mills as a full-time employee managing social for Gold Medal Flour and Bisquick. I’m completely thrilled as I have been working on and off with General Mills for the past two years in social media, thus it was only natural for me to move into a full-time role.

So what does this mean for Ambitious Kitchen?

You probably won’t notice a difference at all, other than my posts may be a little sporadic as I transition into my new role. Naturally you might hear me mention cereal and yogurt a bit more often (because I will be surrounded by it at work), but other than that I will continue to stay true to what I love: creating unique, (mostly) healthy recipes and sharing my passion for healthy living with all of you.

Again, thank you so much for your continued support of Ambitious Kitchen.

Note: Everyone has different opinions on the food brands they support; please know that Ambitious Kitchen is my personal food blog, and will continue to remain that way.

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Feb
21

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.


Nov
29

Soup is one of my favorite things during the cold winter months. I literally dream about the days where I can sit with a good book, a cup of soup, and a slice of crusty bread to soak up  all that warm comfort left on the bottom of my bowl.

And of course in between eating pie for breakfast (there were leftovers!) and shoveling Christmas cookies in my mouth; my soul craves soup. Perhaps because it’s the only thing that isn’t made up of purely sugar and butter. Goodness, my body needs a break from that. And this soup? Well, it leaves me full, warm, and richly satisfied.

The butternut squash is roasted in the oven to bring out it’s natural sweetness. Meanwhile the apples, carrots and onions are sauteed with a bit of cinnamon. Lastly the maple and milk are added. The soup is easily pureed into a fairly thick and creamy delight which ends up being quite delicious paired with croutons, or a warm crusty bread for dipping.

It’s really quite perfect in between those overindulgent family get-togethers, cookies exchanges, and peppermint lattes.
Enjoy!

Sep
19

 

I just wanted to tell you all that I’m in a Starbucks writing this post. I’m hungrier than a lion and those little salted caramel cake pops are staring at me. Seriously, whoever invented those is a genius because I want to destroy about three of them… with my mouth.

Sorry if that was too much, but writing about food, staring at food, and smelling food is making me a little bit weird. Minus the fact that I’m already weird, so this post is just extremely weird. Got it?

Anyway I’ve gathered all of my willpower so we can chat about what’s been actually going down in my kitchen. About a month ago I posted a simple photo of tilapia on my Facebook page. Many of you asked for the recipe, so although I don’t have photos of the finished, plated meal, I thought that you would still enjoy it. But here’s some truth: half of the things I create or bake don’t end up on my blog. Sometimes it’s simply because I didn’t snap a photo; realistically it’s because I’m a little bit of a perfectionist now that I own a nice camera. Most of the food I create is made at night for dinner, so finding time to set up a photoshoot when I’m hungry can be difficult. Not to mention I only use natural lighting, so I’m a little bit bummed that it’s getting darker, earlier.

Let me introduce you what’s been happening. Usually my kitchen is a mess.

 

Mostly because I make a lot of pancakes. Like every morning. They’re always different and damn, they are delicious.

I’ve also been making a lot of brown butter and sea salt chocolate chip cookies. While they are amazing, I can’t say they benefit my waistline. Oh well… WORTH IT.

To balance it out, I eat A LOT of veggies. Roasted in garlic and tossed in olive oil. I could eat the entire pan… and often times I do.

Snack time happens a lot. I’ve been drinking vegan kale green monster smoothies (I have a recipe coming soon).

I think they totally make me kissable. My kale bag thinks so too.

Read more.


Aug
31

I have a little confession…

I don’t eat a lot of Italian food.

I know, crazy right? I think it’s because I’m a tiny bit obsessed with all things Mexican (enchiladas, chips, guac, tacos… etc)! It’s just too good to refuse.

This past week though I just had a craving for ravioli, lasagna, garlic bread or basically ANYTHING ITALIAN. Unfortunately all I had in my cupboard was tomato sauce, but man, did that sauce look good. Like I sort of wanted to eat it out of the jar and call it dinner.

Is that weird?

Yep.

I thought to myself for a very long time about what I could do with the tomato sauce. I mean, besides spooning it into my mouth or just warming it up and pretending it was tomato soup. At one point I considered ordering breadsticks from Pizza Hut just so I could dip them in the sauce, but decided I wasn’t that desperate.

I ended up searching the freezer and found lean ground turkey. Obviously cute little meatballs came straight to mind!

Just look at that steamy goodness!

I especially love this recipe because it only takes about 30 minutes to throw together. The ground turkey is combined with an egg and the following spices: cumin, garlic salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, a pinch of cayenne, basil, oregano, plus a bit of dijon mustard. Now that may seem like a lot of spices, but it results are drop dead delicious!

Read more.

 
 
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