Crostini with Arugula Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Happy Tuesday! It is a happy day for my today because it is my hubby’s birthday! This morning I woke up early to make him some homemade blueberry lemon scones (don’t worry I’ll be sharing that recipe soon!) and tonight I’m being a great wife and letting him grill his own birthday dinner! :) I am making a special birthday dessert though! Shhh it’s a surprise!

Ok back to Superbowl week! Today’s appetizer is quick and easy enough for your superbowl bash, but also fancy schmancy enough for your next dinner party!  Continue reading →

Homemade Pickles

Happy Monday to all! I hope everyone had a great weekend! Now the start to another week…want to know the only thing getting me through the Monday morning blues? The promise that at the end of this week is one of my favorite days of the year…Super Bowl Sunday! For a girl who likes appetizers and finger foods as much as I do Super Bowl Sunday is like the Holy Grail. I mean, you get to eat and drink ALL day, hang with friends and scream at the TV, and because of some weird Super Bowl vortex, absolutely no calories count that day!  Since I thought you might need some inspiration, this entire week is dedicated to appetizers, drinks, and treats that will make your Super Bowl Party a smash!

First up.. HOMEMADE PICKLES. I am telling you, put a jar or two of these out at your Super Bowl party and they will be gone faster then Tom Brady can throw a football. Store bought versions don’t hold a candle to these homemade gems AND they are both cheap and easy to make. What could be better?!

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Oven Roasted Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary

Salmon is one of my very favorite things so my hubby and I eat a LOT of it! I am always trying to find new and interesting ways to prepare salmon we we don’t get bored with the oh-so-nutritious fish. This is a super simple (and no mess!) way to get your daily supply of omega-3′s in under 30 minutes!

The great part about this recipe is that you bake the salmon in it’s own tin foil wrapping paper so there is absolutely no clean up required! So feel free to tell your husband/wife/roommate/significant other that you’ll do the clean up today and they can do it tomorrow! ;) Another great thing about this recipe is the salmon steams in the foil so it says really moist and delicious without any tending at all!

Gather up your must haves..

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What I ate (for breakfast) Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday! So, I was so excited for my very first What I Ate Wednesday post! This saturday I photographed my entire day of food (it was pretty good I won’t lie) then what happens? I totally forget my camera and cord to load my photos into my computer. Wha wah wahhhhhh :( Oh well! Luckily I have been meaning to post this smoothie recipe for ages and since I had it for breakfast this morning I’m doing a special edition of WIA(for breakfast)W ! :)

I have this smoothie at least a few times a week for breakfast. It is packed with nutrition and so yummy! I even make them for my husband! He was skeptical at first, what with the green color and all, but now loves them! I really wasn’t lying when I told him you can’t taste the spinach at all in this smoothie, but you still get all the nutritional benefits – score!

Looks like the start to a delicious smoothie huh?! :) Trust me on this one. Try it once and you’ll be hooked!

I use pretty much the same recipe, but it is definitely something you can (and should!) make your own with whatever fruit you like!

Super Healthy Green Smoothie (makes 2)

5 cups spinach

2 big scoops vanilla protein powder

1 T ground flaxseed

1/2 cup frozen mango

1 banana sliced

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Blend until smooth, add a straw, and you are ready to take on the day! Enjoy! 

Oh and don’t worry, I’ll post my original  WIAW post next week! :)

Cranberry Almond QUINOA Cookies!

Yep. You heard me right. QUINOA cookies! I can barely contain my excitement over these  delicious drops of heaven. Not only are they so delicious that I nearly burned my tongue eating as many as I could straight out of the oven, but they are also packed to the brim with tons of healthy ingredients – quinoa, flax seed, oat bran, greek yogurt, etc. – so much so that I have decided that eating a few of these cookies is basically like spending 20 minutes on the treadmill. You get my logic right???

I adapted this recipe from one I found in Bon Appetite and was at once so excited and shocked that I had never thought of this before. Quinoa in cookies! It is genius! I had high expectations and these cookies more than delivered. I mean any cookie you can get away with eating for breakfast is a winner in my book! Continue reading →

Are you ready for some football?

We were! Yesterday a few Bay Area friends gathered to watch the 49ers crush the NY Giants and march along to the super bowl…

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite turn out that way :( For the past month the Bay Area has been electrified with Forty-Niner fever which culminated in the championship game last night. Even though the Niners played a good game, they lost in overtime to the NY Giants. Bummer. Huge bummer. As a Bay Area resident I would have loved to see the 49ers go on to the superbowl, but the silver lining is that now that I won’t really have a team to root for in the superbowl I can really concentrate on the 2 most important parts of Super Bowl Sunday: the commercials, and the food! :)

Our friends Greg and Elise had us, along with our friends Brandon and Rachel over to their new home (which by the way could definitely be on some TLC show about the cutest homes ever!) to watch the games and to try out Greg’s new man-toy: a giant and very shiny BBQ.

Clearly, the BBQ works great! As amazing as these skewers look they tasted even better! Steak, chicken, and lots of veggies, all with an amazing char and some delicious marinade that I am determined to recreate. As if that wasn’t enough, Elise whipped up this amazing orzo salad…

which I am totally stealing. It was delicious and “so easy” according to Elise. The basic recipe is : one box of orzo, chopped red bell pepper, chopped red onion, basil, chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil, and feta cheese. Then you just drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss in some pine nuts and that’s it! I can’t wait to try it out myself!

Just to put things over the top, we ended the night (and drowned our sorrows about the loss) with a batch of absolutely delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Mmmmm I can almost smell them through the computer! The best part was, as everyone was raving about how amazing they were and asking Elise what her secret was, Brandon (who is somewhat of a chocolate chip cookie connoisseur) mentioned, “These cookies have the perfect amount of salt!” That’s when Elise told us that as Greg was helping her bake and he confused a tablespoon for a teaspoon when measuring the salt! Come one now, we’ve all done it once! :) The funny thing was that apparently a tablespoon minus “scooping out as much as we could” turns out to be the perfect amount of salt for absolutely irresistible chocolate chip cookies. Next time I bake I am definitely inviting Greg over to help!

Such a fantastic Sunday and a great way to cap off the weekend!

Have a great Monday everyone!!!

Jalapeño Basil Martini

Happy Saturday everyone! It is becoming somewhat of a tradition to post a cocktail recipe on Saturday, and why not?! It’s the weekend! As promised, this is the cocktail Michael created for our dinner party last Saturday. We had a version of this cocktail at a sushi restaurant a few weeks ago. The name just sounded so interesting that we had to try it-and it was delicious! Ever since Michael had been saying he wanted to recreate it and I actually think his version is better than the original!

Before you start fill your martini glass with a couple ice cubes and some cold water. This will chill your glass and really impress your guests :)

Gather your ingredients. Basil, lime, jalapeño, vodka, simple syrup, and ice. The most important step in making this drink is to remove all the seeds and ribs with you are chopping the jalapeño. That’s the stuff that makes them hot, so by removing them you get all the flavor without going crazy on the heat.   Continue reading →

Mixed stone fruit granola

Happy Friday to you all! So, I actually had a different post ready for today, but I just ate a big bowl of this granola with greek yogurt for breakfast (seriously! check my twitter :) and I was so overwhelmed with love and yummyness that I had to post it today! So you will have to wait until tomorrow for Michael’s newest cocktail creation- sorry Julie but I promise it will be up tomorrow!

If you don’t already know, I LOVE granola. Serious, make a batch a week (at least!) love. We eat it on everything, with greek yogurt, on salads, frozen yogurt, on top of smoothies, as a dry snack. Sometimes I think I am keeping the Quaker Oats company in business with all my bulk purchases of dry old fashioned oats! And, if you saw this post you already know my granola secret, but more on that later.

I usually like pretty simple granola texturally and prefer to add flavor into the oats themselves so I don’t put a lot of “extras” in my granola, but this granola is different. It is silled with delicious dried stone fruits and I am reminded that change can be good :)

First step: gather your ingredients

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Double Chocolate (low calorie!!!!) brownies

It’s Thursday, which means the weekend is so close I can taste it! You know what else you should taste? One of these brownies! :)

I made this batch of brownies as dessert for our dinner party last weekend and they were a hit! I got the recipe from Ellie Krieger, who I call the “Healthy Lady” from the food network. I honestly don’t know why I make recipes by here because this is how it usually goes:

“Oh these brownies are so good! But they are from the healthy lady so I can have two! or three…or four!” you get the idea.  Continue reading →

Scenes from a dinner party

Last saturday our friends Jenn and Travis came over for a dinner party and boy! did we have fun! Having friends over for dinner is one of my absolute favorite things to do-what is better than combining food and friends?! PLUS Jenn and Travis decided to spend the night so they brought over their oh-so-precious doggie Bailey. How can you not love that face?!

We started off the evening with a few of Michael’s famous cocktails (recipe coming soon!) and some appetizers (also coming soon!) we moved  onto the main course… Continue reading →

Kale and White Bean Stew

There is a chill in the air in California this morning and have I got the perfect cure your you! If you have a little time off this Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, after taking some time to think about why you have the day off (I’m constantly reminding myself to do this on days off-there IS a reason right?!), make a big pot of this delicious stew and cozy up on the couch with a good book. There, you just got a picture of how my day will go!

In an effort to use my giant Costco bag of kale that brought about this perfect side dish I found this recipe from Bon Appetite. I tweaked it a little, most notably, I used baby kale instead of curly kale and added chicken sausage. You can easily omit the sausage if you want a vegetarian version, but I think the sausage really bumps the stew up into the “hearty enough to eat for dinner” category. Plus, this stew is filled to the brim with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, even fiber! AND it is low in fat and calories, so go ahead and fill your soup bowl to the brim!

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