May
06

It really felt like a Summery Cinco de Mayo weekend, didn’t it?

I spent the better half of it with my face in a bowl of chips and guac… like you would expect anything less from me. I’m just going to be honest and say that I’m hoping to repeat it every single weekend for the rest of my life.

But seriously.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to Summer. My ears are longing for Lana Del Ray and old Mariah Carey beats.

Everyone knows Minnesota summers are the BEST EVER!  Probably because we endure a solid six months of Winter? Nevertheless, a completely irresistible three months are coming soon. I can’t wait to lounge by the lake and catch the pink-painted sunsets with a drink in hand. YUM!

Anyway I was thinking we’d start enjoying the flavors of Summer a little early with a bit of mango avocado pico and burgers packed with fresh flavors. I already know you’re down.

(If you don’t know what that means, the just make the burgers and enjoy how freaking healthy delicious they are.)

Read more.


Mar
09

Spring is right around the corner so I thought I would make you something to brighten up your day! We’ve been waiting far too long for patio season, so I’m starting the party early with this Sangria Red Wine Punch.

Now you could probably call this a skinny sangria since I swapped out regular full-sugar juice for diet cranberry juice and diet soda. Skinny drinks = more drinks? Just kidding…

I love this recipe because the fruit soaks up the wine and juice, and so it’s perfectly juicy and flavorful when you drink it. It’s great for a party, or really anytime you need something refreshing.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Read more.


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.


Feb
04

Every week on Instagram I’m posting some new photo of muffins that I’ve baked. You’d think I’m running some sort of bakery out of my house but nope, just a huge fan of compact little flavor bombs for breakfast.

And yes, I just referred to muffins as “compact flavor bombs”… Who the hell am I?

Do you know who I wish I was? Beyonce. I mean did you guys see her last night during the half-time show? What a goddess! Seriously, can someone just explain to me how to jump around with 6-inch heels and a microphone in some tiny outfit? These are skills they need to teach you in college. Maybe I can practice next time I make muffins? Yes, definitely… look for the Instagram pics.

Just kidding, I’ll stick to the things I do best for now. You know like baking muffins with fresh strawberries, sweet bananas, healthy oats, and a bit of chocolate chips? That’s just how my brain works.

In fact, I think it may be one of the best combinations out there. However whatever they put in my margaritas is also up top on my list. But margaritas and muffins aren’t quite the same so we’ll revert back to the subject of baked goods. I apologize, it’s Monday.

Read more.


Jul
27

Thank goodness it’s Friday!

I have to admit that this week I was a little bummed. I don’t know if it’s because Bella cheated on Edward, or if it’s because I got rid of THIRTEEN pairs of shoes yesterday. Yes, THIRTEEN! It’s not like I ever wore them, but seriously getting rid of shoes is like throwing away memories.

So I took myself shoe shopping to make up for it.

What?

I’m a girl… it’s what we do. Anyway I feel much better now. I even made myself a cute little appetizer to start the weekend the right.

And I think that you just have to make these little pita pizzas too! They are my new favorite thing.

If you’ve never roasted berries before then now is the time to start; it’s so wonderful! The heat from the oven brings out the sugars and juice, giving you a melt in your mouth sweetness that will make you want to savor every single bite of the fruit.

Roasting berries had been on my bucket list for a while, but throwing them on a whole wheat pita and topping it with caramelized onion, mozzarella, and arugula? Completely spur of the moment and just a little bit heavenly.

I served these at a party and they disappeared in seconds!

Wearing new heels and making delicious pita pizzas with roasted berries.

Someone’s Friday just got better.

Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Cherry Pita Pizzas with Arugula

Serves 2-4

3 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided

1/4 teaspoon of salt

10 strawberries, hulled and quartered

10 dark red cherries, pitted and halved

3 or 4 whole wheat pitas (I use 100 calorie pitas)

1 cup of reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup arugula

Salt and pepper

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss strawberries and cherries in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Spread on baking sheet and place in oven for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat medium saute pan over medium high heat and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add onions and stir frequently until onions begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium low and add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cook 1 more minute and then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Place whole wheat pitas on a nonstick baking sheet. Brush pitas with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Evenly distribute roasted strawberries and cherries, cheese, onions onto pitas. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees or until edges of pitas begin to turn golden brown.
  4. Top each pita with arugula and cut into triangles. Drizzle with addition balsamic vinegar and top with fresh black pepper and salt if desired.

 

 

 


May
20

Wayyy back before my obsession with yoga, shopping for shoes,  and the Food Network, I was a child who loved the following:

-barbies

-baking

-drawing pictures of ballerinas

-reading mystery books

My mom says that I was usually happiest when I was being creative… but she’s so wrong. There was something else that made me completely happy. Uhhh no, it wasn’t a margarita… or Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. It was something much much better.

 

Ice cream! Had you guessed by the giant picture of the ice cream cone?

Back up. Let me just fill you in for a sec. I pretty much ate ice cream in any form possible.

Bubble gum push pops.

Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches.

Snickers ice cream bars.

Moose tracks.

Bowls of vanilla bean.

Sundaes. (I always asked for more hot fudge and peanuts.)

Peanut butter cup DQ Blizzards.

Wait… Banana split? Happy for weeks.

I mean seriously what’s better than ice cream when you’re a kid?

Absolutely NOTHING.

My favorite way to have ice cream was every Sunday with my Dad. We sort of had this ridiculous tradition which consisted of eating everything my Mom wouldn’t give me. So at the end of each weekend in the summer we’d go to Dairy Queen. I’d get a vanilla cone with sprinkles on it; sometimes even dipped in butterscotch or cherry. Mom always told Dad to stop bringing me, but we just laughed about it and kept showing up at the house with ice cream cones bigger than our faces.

I totally miss the days where I could eat anything I wanted. Last summer I looked up the calories in dipped cones at DQ; let’s just say I now reserve those for special days. When I’m craving ice cream, I opt for frozen yogurt and even make my own that tastes just as good as the real thing. It doesn’t require an ice cream maker (although you can use one) and it’s perfect for the single girl (or guy).

This fro-yo is made with plain nonfat greek yogurt (good for you), cocoa powder (antioxidant), and stevia (all natural sweetener). I have a berry and chocolate obsession so that’s what happened here.

All that on top of a sugar cone? #freakingdelicious

Yep I just hashtagged in this post. Time to go eat a cone.

Blackberry & Chocolate Greek Frozen Yogurt Cones (with or without an ice cream maker)

Makes 1 serving

1 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt

2 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 packed all natural sweetener (I used Truvia-it’s less bitter))

6 berries (blackberries or raspberries)

1 sugar cone

 

Directions (without an ice cream maker)

  1. Mix yogurt, cocoa powder, and sweetener together in a small bowl. Next scoop yogurt into an ice cube tray. Cover and place in freezer for at least an hour or two.
  2. One yogurt is frozen, remove from freezer and let it thaw out for a bit until it starts slightly melting or becoming creamy around the edges.
  3. Once yogurt is a bit thawed, remove from ice cube tray and place the yogurt in a blender. Blend for about 5-10 second or until yogurt is slightly creamy, scooping down the sides if needed. Add berries and scoop out of blender and immediately place in cone.

Notes

  • If you are using an ice cream maker, simply mix all ingredients together then transfer to your ice cream maker
  • Feel free to omit the berries and add sprinkles instead
  • This recipe would make great frozen yogurt pops

 


Aug
22

 

How many times will you drive in your car, laugh at a joke, or hold someone’s hand?

How many sunsets will you watch, thank you notes will you write, or hot chocolates will you drink?

How many times will you fall in love, kiss a stranger, or dance in front of the mirror?

How many lattes will you order, glasses of wine will you drink, or pizza will you eat?

How many nights will you live to remember?

AND How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? Does anyone have the answer?

Truthfully, I always wondered as a kid how long it would take to get to the center. I think I tried it once but gave up after 100 licks and ate the pop in one bite. What delicious little tootsie roll pops they were though.

But really, do you ever wonder what life will be like in the future for you? What you’ll be doing? If you’ll have the same people in your life?  The same opinions? The same choices? Who you’ll meet? Where you’ll live? What you’ll be known and remembered for?

I do. 

Sometimes I think I should have gone to culinary school.  Yet sometimes I don’t want to cook at all. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making the right choices; choosing the right path for myself.  Sometimes I like going to movies and other times I like reading magazines.  Sometimes I feel like oatmeal instead of pie or red velvet cupcakes instead of broccoli. Sometimes I want to run, sometimes I prefer yoga.

But sometimes I really want ice cream.  Like big time cravings. It’s as though pints of ice cream dancing around my head.  It was like that for a weeks, so I ran to Target and bought an ice cream maker.  Now I’m content.  No more wondering.

In fact, I’ve learned that giving up something isn’t as hard as it seems.  Little changes create big results.  That goes for anything, really.

….that’s exactly why they make frozen yogurt, right?

Tastes just like ice cream, except you can have more and it’s healthy for you! Simple swap.

 

Ooo lala, I know you just fell head over heels in love. Or you will after you try this.

I made this using raspberries, fat free greek yogurt, honey, and dark chocolate chips.  It was creamy irresistible love at first bite.  I can’t get enough.  I’ll be making this again and again.

What’s your favorite ice cream/frozen yogurt flavor or brand?  Please share in the comments and like me on Facebook here.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Raspberry Greek Frozen Yogurt with Dark Chocolate
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Frozen Yogurt
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Delicious, refreshing frozen greek yogurt with raspberries and a drizzle of dark chocolate. Easy to make and healthy too!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of fat free Greek Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 packet of sugar substitute such as Truvia
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
Instructions
  1. Blend yogurt, raspberries, and lemon juice in blender.
  2. Taste and add honey depending on how sweet you'd like your yogurt and blend. Next, add Truvia if desired.
  3. Pour in ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.
  4. Once frozen yogurt is done, melt chocolate chips in microwave for 20 seconds. Stir. Melt for another 15 seconds or until melted. Stir again.
  5. Place frozen yogurt in bowl and add raspberries and spoon dark chocolate glaze over the top. Serves 4.


Aug
13

Welcome to Ambitious Kitchen.

I’m so delighted you are here. I feel like squealing like a little piggy. Is that weird?  Probably.  But it’s just me, you’ll get used to it.

Hold on… I have to switch my Pandora station.

…Okay, Louie Armstrong was playing.  Who put that on? I write to Adele and Florence and the Machine, not Louie Armstrong with his giant saxophone. It’s official, Pandora’s gone crazy.

But apparently I’ve gone crazy too. Crazy in thoughts.  Overwhelming myself with what I want to accomplish. Putting to do lists everywhere. Throwing clothes around my room.  Missing episodes of Project Runway.  You know the big things in life.

But really I was thinking about how short life is.  Each chapter ends as soon as it begins.  I literally blinked my eyes and college flew by. That happens to everyone though right?

You get dropped off on campus by your parents then… you cry, you party, you sleep in, you get an internship, you balance, you eat a lot of ramen, you gain 10 pounds, you learn right from wrong, you balance again, you struggle, you live, you laugh, you find love, you meet heartbreak, you find meaning, you find your best friends, you find you.

I swear that happens in a moment.  A small little flash that is taken for granted most of the time.  I thought about how I don’t want to take anything for granted. Ever.

Then I thought about pies. Ohhh pies. Sweet summer pies. Dutch and laced. Sugar crumbled and those topped with meringue. Blueberry, peach, raspberry, strawberry. All those summer fruits in that buttery flaky golden brown crust.  Never take pie for granted. It’s good for the soul.

 

I used to be afraid of pies. Probably because I couldn’t have one slice.  Pie was an enemy. The best tasting, most delightful soul soothing enemy.

I used to scream “Screw you pie. Screw you for making me eat 3 slices!”  I would always take it back. I love pie. And I always will.

If you can’t stop at one slice here are some suggestions: Bring it to the neighbors, they’ll invite you over for cocktails more often. Bring it to your boyfriends, his friends will love you and he might too.  Bring it to your parents, they’ll be impressed.  Or you can bring it to work and watch other people look at you like you are the next Betty Crocker.  Just sayin.

 

Making homemade pie crust is sort of an art. A scary art that will piss you off and haunt your dreams.  Just kidding, it’s just something you learn as you go.  Kinda like life, you learn as you go.

So don’t buy the Pillsbury boring crust from the store.  For heaven’s sake please don’t buy it. I’m begging you.

Make this pie. While your making it, think about what you’re taking for granted.  What are you thankful for?

Of course, you’ll be thankful for the pie when it comes out of the oven.  You’ll bask in pie glory. Sweet heavenly pie glory. You can do it. I know you can.

After all, It’s the summer of pies. The summer of baking. The summer of love. Don’t ya think?

 

Summer Berry Peach Pie
 
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • For Double Crust Pie Dough:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks of very cold, unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons ice water
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • For the filling:
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups stemmed and pitted cherries, chopped
  • 3 medium ripe peaches, sliced
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. To make the crust: In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, and salt.  Place in food processor or pastry blender and add the butter. Pulse several times until small peas form.  Add lemon juice.  Next add 2 tablespoons of ice water to start.  Work dough so that it forms a mass.  Add remaining ice water if necessary.  You don’t want the dough too sticky, but in a large ball.
  2. Coat your hands in flour and separate the dough into two round balls.  Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together blueberries, cherries, peaches, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and flour until well mixed.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. After 30 minutes, remove one dough ball from fridge and roll out using a flour coated rolling pin.  You will have to work at this.  You want the dough very thin and flat.  Next carefully place the rolled out dough into a 9 inch pie pan.  Fill with your fruit mixture. Take your remaining dough ball out of the fridge and roll out.  Cut out roughly 10, 1-inch thick strips.  Weave over fruit mixture, then trim off edges and make your pie crust pretty, if desired.
  6. You can brush edges with melted butter or egg wash and then sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Take foil and wrap around the edges of the pie crust so they do not burn.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown to liking.  Cool on a wire rack.

 
 
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