Feb
24

A few months ago, Tony and I had the chance to visit Pensacola, Florida where we had the absolute BEST truffle fries on the planet. The heavenly hot fries were full of garlic and truffle flavor, melted in your mouth and had this beautiful crusty golden exterior that I just couldn’t get over.

I finally reached my French fry heaven. One of my weaknesses in life. Yours too?

Good, because I’ve got the absolute BEST baked french fries on the planet for you to devour…

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Oct
26

Oh hey friends. Happy Monday! This weekend I spent time at Deer Valley Resort for the Better Blog Retreat. Of course, I’ll tell you more about it in an upcoming post, but for now all I want to mention is that I CANNOT even begin to explain to you how completely gorgeous Utah is. I had no idea!

For the rest of the week, Tony and I are driving down to Moab, Utah to see my Mom, then we’re headed to Denver for a little vacation. Honestly, we need it. The past month has been CRAZY face due to moving, painting, traveling, projects and basically everything else that life throws at you.

And now it’s almost November? I just can’t even.

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Jun
29

Each and every Summer since I was a babes, I’ve gone to a family cabin in Northern Minnesota to celebrate the 4th of July. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite holidays because we all get together and celebrate with ridiculous little traditions.

It all starts early in the morning when my Godmother (my second Mom) puts an old school Shaggy CD on full blast. When we were little, we hated his music with a passion. These days, it makes us laugh and we stumble out of our rooms cracking up and shaking our heads.

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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.

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Oct
07

Sometimes I go on a french fry craze. Like get out of my way, I’m going to eat that entire plate of fries because I haven’t had them in nearly a month, and they look pretty dang terrific.

Welcome to the world of a girl who is in love with food.

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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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Jan
08

Oven roasted green beans with garlic, parmesan cheese, and tomatoes – the perfect side dish!

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Green things! Finally, right?

For the last month, I ate way too much Mexican food, drank too many bottles of wine, and consumed wayyyy too much sugar. Talk about an overload. What I really need in my life (and maybe yours, too) is a little balance.

The good news is that work finally seems to be slowing down and I’m planning a couple of things including a blog redesign and a trip to Australia!

Yes, my boyfriend and I are headed down under for almost two weeks next month! Our trip starts in Sydney, then we’re road tripping from Brisbane to Byron Bay, then back through the Gold Coast, and finally ending in Brisbane for one of my darling friend’s wedding. She just sent me a picture of the bridesmaid’s dress and it’s beyond gorgeous!

Monique at Byron Bay

Even though I briefly lived in Australia and explored, I’m excited to head back and do some adventuring! Above is a picture of me at Byron Bay, the most eastern point of Australia; it was where I first learned to surf!

If you have any recommendations of things to do, see, or visit – please leave a comment or send me an email! I’d love to hear them!

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Feb
24

So this weekend I shoveled snow in my heels because I didn’t have any boots with me. It was completely ridiculous but also a little riveting as it proves I’m a total badass. Call me Beyonce.

Just kidding, please don’t do that.

Something that’s actually ridiculous though? My complete obsession with brown butter. It’s life-changing, and I have a slight feeling that I may be responsible for introducing many of you to the magic it can create in a recipe. How can something so simple be that delicious? I don’t ask questions I just try and put it in as many things as possible.

Now I enjoy making my own sweet potato fries, but if I’m in a bind I’ll purchase Alexia Sweet Potato Fries; they’re delicious and a great option if you don’t feel like peeling and cutting your sweet potatoes. Plus, you can always spice up your fries to your liking. My favorite sweet potato fries are heavily dusted with cinnamon and sugar. They remind me of the flavors of Thanksgiving, like I’m eating a slice of sweet potato pie.

But do you know what really takes it over the top? Drizzling them with a brown butter marshmallow glaze.

I think need to repeat that. A BROWN BUTTER MARSHMALLOW GLAZE. I feel giddy every time I think about it.

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Feb
03

Are you a french fry lover? I sure am! Good quality french fries of all shapes and sizes are one of my favorite ways to indulge on a Sunday.

In my experience, some of the best fries can be found at your local burger joint — you know that hole-in-the-wall spot everyone loves? In Minnesota there’s a small dive bar called The Nook and my goodness… it is completely amazing! I don’t even eat beef burgers, but I would totally devour a Juicy Lucy (a burger stuffed with cheese) if I was there. Oh and their fries? Heavenly, hand-cut, and rich with flavor to balance out that juicy burger. Please go if you ever find yourself in the Tundra.

And now that we’re onto the subject of restaurant fries, we should chat about Manhattan Beach Post in Manhattan Beach, California. This place is one of my favorites and truly has some of the best fries I’ve ever tasted in my life. I should also mention that MB Post makes bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits that are so good they make you want to cry, which is another reason you should stop by. Just please don’t forget the seriously huge steak fries that are so effortlessly perfect for dipping. Mmmm I just lovvveee them!

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Now of course, I can’t go around eating hand cut french fries at restaurants allll the time. That’s why I love that Alexia Foods makes frozen fries that come out perfectly crisp when you bake them in the oven. Their sweet potato waffle fries were my go-to snack during the Super bowl and I made an incredible spicy dipping sauce to go with them. It’s essentially love at first bite. And no, I’m not just saying that.

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Jan
29

Have you ever wondered what type of recipe would pair perfect with my Teriyaki Salmon? Or perhaps my Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps?

Or even your own crispy baked chicken fingers?

I think it’s obvious what the answer is: this coconut rice!

I was offered the opportunity to partner with Campbell’s to make a recipe from their site, which to be honest, I didn’t even know existed until now!

I chose to make a coconut rice dish I stumbled upon, because I knew it would pair perfectly with many of the things I eat. And guess what? I loved it! It’s incredibly simple to make.

Basically all you do is start with chicken broth and coconut milk and bring the liquid to a boil, then add the rice, lemon zest, crushed red pepper (for a little spice) and garlic powder, then simply cover and simmer over medium low for about 20-30 minutes or until the rice is sweet and tender. This side dish is then finished off by adding almonds and green onions, however I subbed in cilantro because I love the freshness it brings. I also think it’d be great to add chopped pineapple for a touch more sweetness.

Head over to Campbell’s website for the recipe, then check out their other simple and easy recipes that you can make or adapt to your liking.

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