Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that are the best.

Simple pretty things that dance around in my head.

Like the summer flavors brought together in this salad. Juicy ripe watermelons, creamy avocado, annnnnddd lime + cilantro? Holy. I took one bite and I knew I had fallen in love.

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I have some very important information to share with you.

I’m on a no pie diet. The importance of that statement can’t be questioned.

Does this mean you won’t see sweet recipes? Nope, it just means I’m going to bake and eat brownies, cookies, and homemade pop-tarts instead. Pie baking is saved for special occasions only (otherwise my thighs would hate me). Wait, my half-birthday is coming up! That’s a special occasion… right? More pie please!

Focus Monique. Obviously we’re not taking about anything sweet here. What we are talking about is a Sweet Potato & Chicken Mexican Stir-Fry that you’ll want every day for the rest of your life. Facts only.

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What do you do when life hands you lemons?

I don’t know about you, but I make pie. Then I eat half of it, decide it’s too good to share, and say I forgot to bring it over for Easter. Oops. Good thing my Mom made a lemon meringue pie for the family or there would have been tears. Seriously, they’ve got mad love for butter and sugar.

Baking lemon pie brings memories of my Grandmother back to me. She made an incredible lemon pie with sky-high meringue. It was sensational, just like her. She was also very snippy and demanding at times. I think she mostly lived off of coffee and buttered toast, and the occasional chili from Wendy’s. I remember once she put a pizza  in the oven and asked me why it looked so funny…  it was upside down. True story. I miss her humor, attitude, and that lemon pie.

I really like pie. Like reallllllllyyyyy like it.  I made this pie out of memory of my grandmother but also because I had this insane craving for lemon, sugar and butter. I’m convinced this pie is a complete breakfast, I mean… there are eggs in it. Counts for something.

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You are who you choose to be.

I know this to be true.

I’m the girl who gets up early Saturday mornings to bake and cook. I could spend an entire day doing it. There is no doubt that waking up every day to do something with food would make me happy. It’s becoming evident that it’s so much more than a hobby.

Which is why I am choosing to leave my current job.

Yeah, this just got serious.

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I seriously need a vacation.

A place where I can go to have both a delicious experience and a delicious time. I just want to eat all day and bask in the sun. Hmmm… Mexico? They may have Cartels, but that won’t stop me. Homemade guacamole, fresh pico de gallo, cheese on everything. Yes please! But wait, I can’t forget about those warm salty tortilla chips. Note to self: warn dates of obsession with tortilla chips so they don’t touch the bowl.

There’s just so much comfort in the simplicity of good Mexican food.

My obsession with fish tacos began last summer when my Godfather and I went to the local Minneapolis food truck, Barrio. They happen to be known for their tacos & tequila. (Hell yes!) We spent nearly a half hour waiting in line under the beating sun. I can tell you that it was absolutely worth sweating for. The fish was beer battered, fried crisp to perfection, then wrapped between a corn tortilla and topped with a creamy slaw. I put a little habanero salsa in mine too. Such a delicious experience.


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What are you doing this weekend?

I purchased an Ostrich egg from Whole Foods. What?! I know. The egg is bigger than my head, cost $30 dollars, and could quite possibly feed a family the size of the Duggars. Soo… are you hungry?

Welcome to the world of Monique where I impulse grocery shop and talk about things that are just weird. Apparently I was utterly fascinated with this egg. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it now. Perhaps an Easter egg hunt? I would totally be excited to find an egg the size of my head.

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French fries have gotten me through some pretty tough moments in life.

That includes last weekend’s St. Patrick’s hangover. Okay… probably the year before that too. I’m actually nibbling on them as I write this post and procrastinate in packing for a trip tomorrow. Fries seem to be total problem solvers! They fix my late night hunger crisis all the time. Sometimes I count them as suitable vegetables. I think I’ve even dipped my fries in every sauce around. Thank goodness because if fries didn’t exist I’d probably just eat spoonfuls of ketchup. Embarrassing, but true.

Seriously who cares if fries aren’t the healthiest if they are just plain delicious? Some of us (me) can’t be vegan and eat pretty salads all the time. I’ve got to indulge a little; if that means eating sweet potato fries for breakfast, I’m totally down! Lucky for me I’m apart of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program where I occasionally get to sample products. Alexia foods kindly sent me a coupon for french fries. 

Eating french fries for free? Yes please. 

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What insprires you?

My list is huge. Successful women. Chefs. Writers. The mom in Whole Foods with four kids. My bike. The guy in yoga with those incredible abs (call me). Those who live compassionately. History. A challenge. People who believe that everyday brings a new opportunity to grow, take risks, and smile.

Last time I was in California I met up with Veronica, the founder of the vegan, gluten-free Pure Bars. She is a person who truly inspires me. Veronica started her own business and is completely passionate about healthy living. Naturally we had much to talk about including food and her incredible success as an entrepreneur. Veronica also mentioned that California had great restaurants, particularly if you are gluten-free, vegan, or if you only eat raw. I experienced meals in California that I will never forget . Fresh. Healthy. Just damn good!

I got curious and thought I’d challenge myself to make a vegan cupcake, which actually turned out to be very easy and delicious.

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I was exhausted by noon today but felt better immediately after I discovered a stock of thin mints in the freezer. I powered through the rest of the afternoon by munching on those bites of heaven and blasting music in my ears. I may feel silly singing to Katy Perry, but sometimes a good jam session with cookies is all you need.

Typically every year I tell myself that I won’t buy girl scout cookies simply because I know the damage they can do …but then again, how could I not buy them? That would be rude, especially as an ex-girl scout! I’ll also admit that they are just delicious and that sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t want to do. I feel obligated to buy and eat those damn cookies!

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