Thursday, February 4, 2016

E is for: Everything Bagel Dip with Homemade Bagel Chips

My friend Devon and I have this hilariously awesome Christmas present tradition in which we insist on buying each other some sort of kitchen or food related gift.

It started off as ridiculous kitchen gadgets. She's gotten me things like a cake tester (aka metal toothpick) or a special ginger peeler. (I use both BTW). I got her a "butter boy" one year for helping to butter corn on the cob.

This year, we gravitated to more "food stuff" items. I got her a special tea infusing travel mug and some of my favorite coconut green tea. She gave me a colorful set of Le Creuset ramekins (I love me some ramekins), and some deliciously wonderful spices from Oaktown Spice Shop.

I'm excited to report that both are prominently featured in today's post!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

D is for: Date Energy Bites with Almonds, Oats & Coconut

I don't know if I'll ever get used to the early mornings. Never once in the past year has my alarm gone off and I've thought to myself "Wow, I'm wide awake and ready to start my day."

Generally speaking, it's more like "Ugghhhh. Noooooo. Just five more minutes." Followed by "Ok five more minutes." Usually I do that a few too many times before I frantically throw the covers off the bed and try to quickly hurry out of the house.

To help speed my getting ready process along in the morning, I do as much as I can the night before... including prep my breakfasts on Sunday for the week ahead. My go-to grab and go breakfasts these days: Overnight Oats, hard boiled eggs, and these date energy balls to eat as a mid-show snack.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

C is for: Chicken Parm Meatballs {you taste so good...}

Sing it with me now...

"Chicken Parm you taste so good..."

It's funny the places I draw my inspiration. I actually thought of this recipe during one of those Peyton Manning Nationwide commercials.

Seemed like a natural combo. All of the ingredients of delicious Chicken Parm (chicken, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, mozzarella, herbs, marinara sauce) wrapped up into one tasty meatball.

I've actually made these twice this month and they were hits both times. The first was at my college girlfriends' annual ornament exchange (which I got to attend for the first time in Seattle!) and the second was at a co-worker's Christmas party. I made a few tweaks and I am really happy with the finished product. They are fabulous as a party appetizer but would also be amazing on a big plate of spaghetti or on a sub.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

B is for: Barley Risotto with Brussels Sprouts, Fennel & Apple

How is it possible that Christmas is in a week?!?

I feel like I got back from Mexico, blinked and it was Christmas. I also feel like I probably say this every year.

The sad part is, I was trying to be proactive and actually made this risotto for my friend Dana pre-Mexico so that I could post it shortly after I wrote about my trip to Tulum.

A month later, here I am.

But enough apologizing. Let's talk risotto. Similar to my farrotto and my brown rice risotto... I decided to use a whole grain to keep it healthy but still cook in the traditional risotto style. This dish also utilizes some of my favorite fall/winter produce: brussels sprouts, fennel and apple.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A is for: Ahau Tulum, Avant Rent A Car & the Tres Amigas

When Sachi asked me last year if I wanted to go to Mexico with her, I said "absolutely" without hesitation. Not because I had strong feelings about the specific destination, but because she is a dear friend and we'd been talking about taking a trip together for awhile. (You may remember her from blog appearances such as "Sushi with Sachi" or my forays into Indian cooking).

Our schedules never really coincided last fall, so we postponed 'til 2015. The timing couldn't have been better. It was a much-needed escape for both of us, and we added a third traveler to the mix, my friend & makeup artist Susie Popovich... who, as it turns out, was a frequent visitor of Tulum.

And as it also turns out, Tulum is a very magical place that should absolutely be on your list to visit if you haven't already.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A is for: Avon Prime Meats & Apple, Caramel Cornbread Stuffed Pork

Perhaps it's my Montana roots or my rural upbringing (I grew up on a cattle ranch/wheat farm 'til the age of 5), or the fact that my Granddad once owned a butcher shop (Leon's Lockers)... but I'm a sucker for a mom and pop grocery store with a quality meat counter.

So when Matt Cormier of Avon Prime Meats reached out to me via Twitter, I jumped at the opportunity to come check out his shop.

And then I was sad I didn't do it sooner.

I was completely blown away.

It's like Disney Land for foodies! Tons of local specialty products, an impressive prepared foods section (Matt has worked in restaurants previously), and of course some of the highest quality meats you'll find in the area.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Z is for: Zucchini Muffins with Cherries & Chocolate {Gluten Free} + a Costco Giveaway

I love me some Costco.

Sometimes people are surprised I shop there considering I live by myself. But you don't have to be a big family to make a Costco membership worthwhile.

Among the things I often buy there: organic olive oil, organic chicken, frozen shrimp, prosciutto, canned tuna, sun dried tomatoes, San Marzano canned tomatoes, castelvetrano olives, chicken stock, gluten free pasta, almonds, toilet paper, laundry detergent, Advil, Zyrtec, gas... I could literally could go on and on.

So I'm super excited today to not only offer up a great recipe that uses a lot of my favorite Costco ingredients, but also a giveaway for people in the New England area as we get ready to celebrate the opening of the New Britain Costco!
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