Lemony Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Soup

Lemon, Chicken, & Kale Soup3

I am fully aware that I have no business talking about winter. Our California winter could barely be described as “mild.” But, I’ve become a wuss. Now, when it drops below 60, I need a big jacket and a beanie. That…and a big bowl of soup. On one particularly chilly day in February after I put my son to bed I needed 3 things: my cozy bathrobe, The Bachelor on DVR, and this soup.

Lemon, Chicken, & Kale Soup

My husband is always extremely complimentary about my cooking. I’m lucky that he likes most things so he’s pretty easy to please. He likes soup, but has this “thing”… he doesn’t consider soup a meal. An appetizer? Yes. Part of a meal? Sure. But soup period for dinner isn’t usually his first choice.

So you can imagine my surprise when he could not stop raving about this soup. Period.

Lemon, Chicken, & Kale Soup2

In fact, it was this soup that made him say, “You really need to start blogging again. People need to know about this soup!” So, here it is!

The secret to this soup is the lemon. The recipe calls for a good amount (1/2 cup) of lemon juice – more than you’d find in most soups. But don’t worry, the soup doesn’t turn out sour at all. The acidity is the perfect offset for the bitterness of the kale. Using chicken thighs gives you the richness you need to make the soup hearty and the white beans bulk up the soup and add just the right texture. Everything works together in perfect harmony.

Lemon, Chicken, & Kale Soup 4


Go low carb and serve it as is, or get crazy and add a big hunk of warmed bread. For all of you in other parts of the country, this is just what you need to warm you up from those freezing temperatures. For those of you in California, I hear it is going to dip below 70 soon. Better have a bowl of this soup ready!

Recipe: Lemony Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Soup


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 10 oz package kale
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • lemon zest for garnish
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Salt and pepper chicken thighs. Roast 20-25 minutes. Coarsely chop. Set aside.
  2. Preheat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Swirl with oil to coat. Add shallot and cook 1 minute, add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes.
  3. Add stock, lemon juice, and kale. Bring liquid to a boil. Stir kale until it begins to wilt and all kale is covered by the liquid. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover partially and cook 15 minutes.
  4. Add white beans. Cook 5-10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle into big bowls. Top with lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil.




Seared Salmon with Buttered Green Onions

Hey there!!!

I’m back with a recipe that is worth the wait! :) Well…at least I hope so! Turns out, getting ready for a baby is hard work. And time consuming work. Time consuming work that leads to #1 not that much time to make delicious foods and baked goods and #2 even less time to blog! But I haven’t forgotten you – I promise!

This recipe is based off of one my mom used to make all the time when I was a kid. Last month when we were up in Seattle, we stocked up on fresh, wild caught, Copper River Salmon so we’ve been enjoying it pretty much weekly since we’ve been back. I thought I’d get to try out some new salmon recipes with all the fillets we got, but I made a huge mistake. This was the recipe first and now my husband won’t let me make it any other way!

But who could blame him? How bad can a recipe be when it starts like this…

Am I right?!?! :)

This recipe is a perfect weeknight meal – cooks up in a jiffy and you can even use one pan to make it if you want – less clean up = more time to watch the bachelorette!

The key to this dish isn’t the butter (although it helps!), it’s really, really good salmon. If you don’t have a bunch straight from Seattle, don’t worry! Head on down to your local seafood market and grab some wild caught Alaskan Salmon and it will be just as delicious.

Searing the salmon couldn’t be easier. My husband and I have a favorite seafood restaurant in San Francisco called Gigi’s. They make all kinds of seafood all kinds of different ways, but our favorite is the pan seared. The salmon gets a nice crispy crust and as an added bonus it cooks up really fast!

While the salmon is cooking (or right after if you want to use the same pan!) cook up the green onions. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the chopped green onions. Cook until soft and translucent. Pretty easy huh?

When the onions are done, top the salmon with a big scoop of onions (don’t forget to scoop up some of that butter!). You’ll have a dish you’ll want to make again and again.


Recipe: Seared Salmon with Buttered Green Onions


  • 1 pound wild salmon, cut into 2 fillets
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, let oil preheat for about 30 seconds.
  2. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Add salmon to oil, skin side up. Cook 4-5 minutes per side. Until crust forms and inside is just barely cooked though.
  3. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted, add chopped onions. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  4. Serve salmon with a big scoop of onions and butter, season again with salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Lentil Salad

Hi friends!

 Sometimes the most delicious recipes come out of thin air. Case in point: grilled lentil salad. Last week my hubby and I were at a loss for what to have for dinner. I didn’t want to go to the grocery store because I had a full fridge. The problem was, I went to the grocery store without any kind of plan as to what my meals for the week would be. I don’t usually do this, but when I do, it almost always ends up with me stringing together the hodge podge of produce, protein, and grain I did pick up in any way that remotely makes sense. Luckily, this time not only did it make sense, it was utterly delicious!
We have a charcoal grill, which is great because of the flavor we get when we grill anything, but not so great for the time it takes to get ready. So, when we grill, I want to grill everything. I figure, if we’re going to the trouble to turn it on, why not use it! After putting our heads together, we decided to make this grilled lentil salad. I cannot lie, the original idea was really Michael’s, but then I thought of this grilled panzanella salad I made last year and thought, why couldn’t I do something similar with lentils? Turns out, you can! And it’s delicious!
You could really use whatever veggies you have on hand, but red peppers, onions, and zucchini offered a nice mix of flavors and textures. You can also choose how charred you want them, I like my veggies really charred, especially with a charcoal flavor, but if you don’t, just take a couple minutes off of grilling time.
Lentils are great. Yummy and versatile. Plus they are nutritional powerhouses. We try to incorporate lots of lentils into out diets, but you have to be creative. No one likes a big bowl of plain ol lentils. Green lentils work best for this recipe because they stand up well in a salad. You could also use black lentils, but red lentils won’t hold together enough to be tossed in this salad.
The dressing for this salad is tangy, a little spicy, and works great with the lentils and veggies. Once you taste it you’ll probably also want to put it on green salad, dip grilled chicken into it, or use it for one of a million other things for which it would also be really delicious!
Make sure to pour it on the salad while everything is still hot so that it can soak in and coat everything. Speaking of hot, a great thing about this salad is that it can be served hot, room temperature, or cold. It would also be great to take to a picnic or potluck since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated and will hold up well even after a few hours.
In every bite of this salad you get the grill flavor of the veggies, the meaty texture of the lentils, and the tangy dressing. It’s perfect for a side dish or as a very balanced lunch on it’s own, complete with protein (thanks lentils!). Better yet, make it as a side dish one night and you’ve got lunch ready for tomorrow! Score!!

Recipe: Grilled Lentil Salad


  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 2 red bell peppers, whole
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook the lentils according to package instructions until al dente. Set aside
  2. Slice onion into three equal rounds (about 1/2″ thick). Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Drizzle onion, red pepper, and zucchini with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Toss to coat. Grill over medium high heat on a charcoal or gas grill (you can also use a grill pan on the stove). Grill red peppers until they are charred and black all around (you will remove skins later). Grill onions 4-5 minutes per side, until dark grill marks appear and onions soften. Grill zucchini 3-4 minutes per side, until dark grill marks appear and flesh softens. Remove from the grill and let cool slightly before slicing. For a tutorial about how to remove skins from a red bell pepper, look here.
  3. Chop veggies and add them to a large bowl with the lentils.
  4. Mix together mustard, oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice for the dressing. Beat with a whisk for a minute or two until completely emulsified. Drizzle over the still warm salad. Toss to coat.
  5. Top with chopped chives. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.

Thai Turkey Salad

Happy Friday!!

 Hope you are looking forward to a wonderful, relaxing weekend. I’ll be doing some work around the house, hanging out with some friends, and watching the Master’s. I love seeing all that bright green grass – makes me want to go kick some butt on the putt putt course! :)
This salad is #1 delicious #2 so quick and easy and #3 super healthy. Does it get much better than that for a recipe? I think not. In fact, after dinner, my husband said to me, “You are putting this on the blog, right? People definitely need to know about this.” So, per Michael’s recommendation, here it is!
The Thai flavors in this salad not only come from the garnish (mint, lime, peanuts) but they are infused into the meat so every bite is more flavorful than the last! So head to your pantry and fridge and grab your Thai flavor essentials.
Fish sauce. Don’t be grossed out. Fish sauce is to Thai food what soy sauce is to sushi…or something like that. I mean, I don’t know that anyone actually dips anything into fish sauce (that would be a bit much) but the point is, most Thai dishes have fish sauce in there somewhere. So even if you don’t like fish, don’t worry! Fish sauce won’t leave your turkey tasting like you just grabbed it out of the ocean, I promise. Mirin isn’t traditionally Thai, but I like the added sweetness and tang. I also can’t get enough Sambal Oelek. We pretty much put it on everything. Feel free to add more than suggested if you like things hot, or less if you have a tender tongue!
It’s a toss up as to what the most difficult part of this recipe is…Turning on the stove? Mixing up the sauce? Chopping the cucumbers? ;) It’s all so easy! And comes together in just minutes, perfect for a healthy, flavorful meal, even if you get home from work a little late. First, brown the ground turkey and then add the sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes. While that is cooking, get the rest of your salad ready. A big bed of green cabbage, chopped cucumber, and lots and lots of fresh mint. The fresh mint is one of my favorite parts of Thai food, so I pile it on, you can use your on discretion.
If you are like me, once you get the salad assembled, you might think, there is not going to be enough dressing on this thing! Because basically, you have the squeeze of lime and the juices with the turkey (which aren’t a lot), but trust me, it is just perfect. It is a bit of a “dry” salad, but it works. I really works. If you just can’t possibly imagine a salad without some extra liquid, squeeze another half lime over everything to lossen it up a bit, but really these is so much flavor happening here you won’t miss gobs of dressing. Top everything off with some shelled peanuts and you’re off to the races.
Make this for someone special and see what kind of compliments you get…I was pretty happy with mine!

Recipe: Thai Turkey Salad

(serves 4)


  • 6 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup shelled peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek
  • 1 teaspoon mirin (optional, adds a little extra sweetness)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 limes, halved
  • lime wedges for garnish


  1. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned (about 7-10 minutes).
  2. Mix together fish sauce, honey, mirin, sambal, and water. When turkey has browned, reduce heat to medium and pour sauce over meat. Cook an additional 5 minutes, until most of the liquid is gone.
  3. Assemble salads: place cabbage in the bottom of a large salad bowl, top with cucumber and mint. Squeeze 1/2 lime over each salad. Top with turkey mixture. Sprinkle peanuts over the top and garnish with additional lime wedges and mint, if desired.

Spice Rubbed Tri Tip with Spicy Chimmichurri

Hi friends!

This week has been long and I am ready for the weekend! Finally, it’s Friday! :) This weekend should be a good one too – St. Paddy’s Day AND Selection Sunday on the same day?! Guess I’ll be filling out my bracket with a big cup of Green…tea. Turns out St. Patrick’s Day is considerably less exciting when you are pregnant and can’t drink! :) Oh well, I’ll make up for my lack of green beer with lots of green baked goods. Fair trade…right??
If you aren’t totally into corned beef and cabbage, this is a yummy alternative that will still get you in the spirit to celebrate. I mean, do you see how bright green that chimichurri is?? No one will be pinching you during this meal!
It’s been warming up here in northern California, and we’ve been taking full advantage of the warmer evenings and extra hour of daylight by BBQing as much as we can. Tri tip is one of those classic bbqing meats. Well… I know that now. But would you believe that I had never even heard of trip tip until I came to school in California?!? Apparently, it is a very California “thing” because as soon as I got here it was pretty much the only thing on the menu at every bar-b-que. If you didn’t have tri tip, you were in trouble. And now I can see why. It’s a perfect meat to grill.
Especially if you give it a little rub. A little spice rub, that is. A dry rub on tri tip works WAY better than a marinade, plus you can leave it on anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour, so it’s a super go-with-the-flow preparation. *Note: the rub recipe featured here makes more than you will need for one tri tip, but it keeps well in a sealed container in the pantry.
While you are grilling the steak (or in my case, while your husband is outside grilling!) you can make the chimichurri. A chimmichuri is a blend of herbs, oil, and whatever else you fancy. This spicy version contains garlic, serrano pepper, and red wine vinegar. It goes wonderfully with the steak and not too spicy rub. If you want to, you can make the chimichurri ahead of time, as much as a day or two, to let the flavors blend. Just be careful because if it’s in your fridge you’ll want to slather it on sandwiches, dunk veggies in it, and whisk it into eggs, among other things! Did I mention you should probably make a double batch??
After the steak is grilled and rested, slice it against the grain and douse with chimichurri. Don’t forget to have some extra on the table for dipping! If you’re eating it on Sunday it would go great with a big green salad and some grilled asparagus. Throw in a green beer, green tea, or drop some food coloring in your milk and you’ve got a meal St. Patrick would envy!

Recipe: Spice Rubbed Tri Tip with Spicy Chimmichurri


  • 3-4 lb tri tip
  • For Spice Rub:
  • 2 T paprika
  • 2 T salt
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 2 t black pepper
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • For chimichurri
  • 3 cups loosely packed parsley
  • 3 cups loosely packed cilantro
  • 1 serrano pepper (*note: serrano peppers are spicy! Remove seeds and ribs if you want it less spicy)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. To prepare chimichurri, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Remove tri tip 1 hour before you are going to be grilling to bring to room temperature.
  3. Mix all rub ingredients together. Rub generously over meat. Let sit 5-60 minutes.
  4. Sear tri tip over direct heat until grill marks form, about 10 minutes per side. Move to indirect heat and grill 20-30 minutes, until temperature reaches 130 degrees. Remove and let rest 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with chimichurri.

No Breadcrumb Turkey Meatballs with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Hey there!

 It seems like after a few years of lying a bit dormant, the low carb craze is back. I can’t tell you how many pictures are on my instagram/facebook feed/etc. of various Paleo meals. To be completely honest, I am not very clear on the rules of Paleo, but I know it limits (eliminates?) carbs. There is also this thing out called the Four Hour Body which I saw on Dr. Oz and heard about from my Dad, so it must be legit. It’s sounds pretty similar to Paleo but totally eliminates fruit. Sorry, Charlie. Not gonna happen. I mean, I can go along with not having a big bowl of pasta at every meal, but don’t come between me and my fruit. It’s not gonna be pretty.
Anyway, this is a very long winded way of saying I decided to try making these meatballs without breadcrumbs. I was a little worried about how they would turn out seeing as I’ve only every made meatballs with breadcrumbs, but they actually turned out great! I think there was just a very slight textural difference in that they were a teeny bit more dense then traditional meatballs (because they were jut meat!), but it was workin’ for them. They were moist and flavorful and I didn’t miss the breadcrumbs at all!
I used ground turkey for this version, so I knew I had to kick up the flavor in the meatballs in other ways. I love ground turkey, but it doesn’t have much flavor on it’s own. So, pile on the herbs and spices!
When you roll these meatballs up, you’ll notice that they are much stickier then ou’re used too (duh, there’s no breadcrumbs!), so be sure to de-ring your hands and roll up your sleeves. While the meatballs are baking, you can get started on the chunky tomato sauce. This is a super quick and easy semi-homemade version. Perfect for a weeknight meal, but feel free to go full fledged homemade if you have the time! In a medium pot, sauté onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, then add one jar of your favorite marinaria sauce (I like tomato basil from Trader Joe’s) and one can of diced tomatoes. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked.
Then transfer the meatballs to a baking dish and douse in the chunky sauce. Bake until the tomato sauce reduces and begins to brown on top. Also, feel free to throw some cheese on here, I put mine on after baking which I now consider a huge mistake!
If you’re going low carb, this is a perfect dinner along side a big salad. Or pile these on top of some whole wheat pasta or between the slices of a sourdough roll. However you serve them, you’re going to love them and be really glad you made enough for leftovers. :)


Recipe: No breadcrumb turkey meatballs with chunky tomato sauce


  • For Meatballs
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • For Tomato Sauce
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 25 oz jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs. Use your hands to mix well. Form into balls and place on a prepared baking sheet lined with a wire rack. Bake for 25 minutes, until cooked though and just starting to brown.
  3. While the meatballs are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot. Saute carrot, onion, celery, and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir in salt and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Reduce oven to 350.
  5. Transfer meatballs to a baking dish and cover with tomato sauce. Bake 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

Lightened Up Chicken Pot Pie


First things first…Happy Birthday MOM!!!! Hope you have a great day and wish I could be there to give you a big hug!! Or, make you this for dinner! :) Ok, back to the food…

Do you ever notice that the term “comfort food” seems to only apply to things that are really, really, bad for you? I am here to say it doesn’t have to be that way! Comfort food can be comforting, tasty, AND healthy!

When I was a kid I loved KFC chicken pot pies. I didn’t get them very often because my parents were those horrible types of parents that hardly ever let us eat fast food ;) But when I did, it was pretty great. Now, I haven’t had one in almost 20 years, but I’m pretty sure this version tastes just as good and is way, way, WAY better for you!

This Chicken Pot Pie is “lightened up” in a couple of ways. First, you only use a top crust. Second, instead of thickening up the sauce with lots of butter and cream, I thickened it up with a flour and water mixture.

And of course, you pack it with veggies and roasted chicken breast.

This is a comfort food meal you don’t have to feel the least bit guilty enjoying. Grab a big bowl, a nice glass of wine (or water for me!), and cozy up with your honey. This recipe is going to be a frequent guest at our dinner table that’s for sure!


Recipe: Lightened Up Chicken Pot Pie


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 11/2 cups chopped carrot
  • 11/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1.5 ounces (about 1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups (or more) diced cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen petite peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 lightly beaten egg


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. To prepare filling, melt 2 teaspoons butter in a Dutch oven over meduim-high heat. Add carrot, celery, onion, and thyme; cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Combine flour and 1/3 cup water in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Return veggie mixture to a boil. Slowly drizzle flour mixture into veggie mixture, stirring constantly.
  4. Cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens. Stir in chicken, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Spoon chicken mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  5. Roll pie crust out on a lightly floured surface until big enough to fit over baking dish. Place dough on top of chicken mixture, pressing to edge of dish. Cut 4 slits in top of crust to allow steam to escape. Gently brush crust with beaten egg.
  6. Bake at 400° for 50 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Greek Bulgur Salad

Why hello.

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you’re never quite sure what day it is? For example, every day this week I have thought it was actually the next day. I was positive it was Wednesday on Tuesday. I did my Thursday gym routine on Wednesday (yes, I have different activities for each day of the week, don’t judge!), and worst of all…I got to work today thinking it was Friday. There aren’t many things worse than thinking, believing, feeling, that it’s Friday and then coming to the harsh realization that it is in fact, not.

But, I suppose I’ll make it through. Mostly with the help of this salad for lunch!

I really like Greek Salad. What I don’t like is how salad leaves get soggy. You see, as much as I’d love to have time to make something for lunch each morning, I jut don’t. Between the gym and the blowdryer, I’m barely running out the door in time. So it really helps to make a big batch of something delicious and nutritious that I can easily grab on my way out the door.

This salad has all the goodness of Greek Salad in every bite, plus the soggy-free and protein and fiber packed benefit of bulgur. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Another plus, this is one of those things that actually gets better after a day in the fridge. Not too shabby for a grab and go lunch! It’s packed with veggies, so you won’t have the dreaded after lunch can’t keep your eyes open feeling.
If you’re one of those people (like my husband!) who just can’t bring themselves to pack a lunch, this is a delicious side dish to some lemon chicken or a seared steak. It would also be great with some shredded chicken added for a wholesome one-bowl meal.

Recipe: Greek Bulgur Salad


  • 1/2 english cucumber, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup fat free feta cheese
  • 1 cup bulgur, uncooked
  • For the Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced


  1. Cook bulgur according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Stir in bulgur.
  3. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad.
  4. Top with feta and toss well.

Linzer Stars

Oh heyyyyy,

Isn’t Christmas season the best? You get to wear cozy (and sometimes sparkly!) clothes, drink cozy (and usually spiked!) drinks, and eat some delicious, decadent food without feeling the least bit guilty about it. It’s the holidays! Right??? ;)

These festive cookies are sure to put you in the holiday spirit and will bring a smile to anyone who sees them. That smile will then turn into a WOW! as soon as they take a bite. Trust me, I’ve been there.

The batter for these buttery, almond-y cookies comes together in a snap. But I won’t lie to ya, the entire process is a bit labor intensive. But don’t worry! Grab a friend, a bottle or two of wine, and throw on some Christmas tunes and you have got a super fun evening ahead of you.

Even if you kitchen is covered in flour and powdered sugar after it all ;)

The best way to deal with this dough is to keep it very, very, VERY cold. The cookies cut out easily and stick-free rolling is simple…as long as you keep the dough cold. If you don’t keep it cold…well, let’s not even go there, just keep it cold, OK?

You’ll need two different sizes of the same shape of cookie cutter. It doesn’t have to be a star…but stars sure turn out pretty, huh?!?! Just don’t do what I did and make an entire batch of big stars and and entire batch of small stars. Whoops! You need to make all the stars the same size then cut small stars out of half of them. Duh, Tara!

The raspberry jam filling is amazing, and so easy! I think it helps if you have homemade raspberry jam from your mom like I did, but store bought will work just fine too.


I have to say, a little powdered sugar goes a long way. The dusting of powdered sugar on the cut outs makes these cookies look so fancy and elegant. If you want some major “ooh’s and ahhh’s” at your Christmas party or cookie exchange, these are the cookies to make. Or, just make a batch to leave out for Santa, I know he’ll appreciate them!

These delicious cookies are definitely worth the little bit of work they take to put together. Give them a try and you’ll see!


Recipe: Linzer Stars


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups slivered almonds
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)
  • Special equipment
  • A 2-inch star cookie cutter; a 1/2-inch star cookie cutter


  1. Pulse flour, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until almonds are finely ground.
  2. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients. Beat dough just to blend; gently knead if necessary to form a ball.
  3. Divide dough in half. Place each half between sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Working with 1 piece at a time, flatten dough into a disk; roll dough, occasionally lifting paper on both sides for easier rolling, until 1/8 inches thick. Chill dough in paper until very firm, at least 2 hours.
  4. Arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Working with 1 dough disk at a time, remove top sheet of paper and, using 2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer to baking sheets, placing 1/2 inch apart; chill. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather scraps; repeat rolling, chilling, and cutting until dough is used. Be sure to keep the dough chilled!
  6. Using 1/2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out a star from the center of half the cookies. Working in batches, bake cookies until light golden brown, dry, and just firm to the touch, 11-13 minutes. (Cookies will firm up as they cool.) Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.
  7. Bring jam and 2 teaspoons water to a boil in a small saucepan; let cool slightly.
  8. Arrange whole cookies flat side up. Spoon 1 teaspoon cooled jam in the center of each, dabbing slightly to spread. Arrange cookies with cutouts flat side down on a wire rack; dust with powdered sugar. Set atop whole cookies, lining up star points and allowing jam to push up slightly through center.

Recipe adapted very slightly from Bon Appetit

On another note: My heart is still breaking for all the families involved in the Newton school shooting. I feel helpless, but I’m not. I can do this…and I’m going to. Maybe you can too??! xoxo, t

One Pot Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Hey there!

Sometimes, weeknight dinners are tough. You get home from a long day of work and the last thing you want to do is open the fridge and see what’s doin’. Sometimes, spending hours over a cutting board, stove, or sink could not sound more…well, unappetizing.

Luckily, this dish is nothing like that!

This is a weeknight dinner everyone can get on board with. Even if you’ve had a super long day and thai/sushi/pizza/anythingthatcanbedelivered sounds like the best meal you can imagine. Even if you’ve got a full DVR and super ready to catch up on all the latest episodes of (insert your favorite show here). Actually, especially if that’s the case!

Why? Because this dish couldn’t be easier. After a teeny tiny bit of prep all you do is stick it in the oven and it’s time to relax. You’ll have time for a glass or two of wine and to fast forward through the commercials of one or two of your favorite shows. Ok, ok, you could also do laundry/check email/return phone calls/finish the Times crossword…but I recommend wine and tv ;)

Oh, another thing. It’s absolutely delicious. And a dish you can feel great about eating (and having dessert!). AND if you really want to go for it…use paper plates and you’ll only have one dish to clean!



Recipe: One Pot Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Apples


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 granny smith apples, chopped
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped sage
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine chopped sweet potatoes, apples, and onions in a large casserole or baking dish. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  3. Bake about 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes just start to give when pressed. Remove from oven. Sprinkle on sage. Season chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place chicken on top of apples and sweet potatoes.
  4. Return to the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and apples and sweet potatoes are tender.


Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale

Hey there!


I made this recipe a couple days ago and I was so delicious I was telling everyone about it. When I told my dad about this flavorful, hearty, soup, he told me, “You know, I think you should change the name of your blog to Tara’s Kale Blog!” Hahaha :) Ok Dad, so maybe I love kale. Maybe I eat it all the time and can’t get enough…maybe I put it in everything from soups to salads to smoothies…but come on, that name has absolutely no ring to it :)
If this was “Tara’s Kale Blog” I would tell you how a couple years ago my husband hated kale. How I had to hide it, disguise it, and dress it up for him to eat it. I’d also tell you how now, he eats it all the time and said while eating this soup, “the kale in here is so great, it adds so much flavor!” But it’s not Tara’s Kale Blog…so I won’t. ;)
This soup has all the makings of a comforting fall supper. It’s packed with lots of good-for-you vitamins and nutrients and it’ll keep you full well past dessert time.
Active work time on this soup is really low. Chop and saute the vegetables over medium low heat until translucent. Then add the herbs: rosemary and thyme. I just threw a whole thyme bunch in and let it cook till the leaves fall off. Just don’t forget to fish out the twigs before you serve, no one wants a branch in their soup!
Add the chicken stock, lentils, sausage. When you are almost ready to serve, stir in the kale. Lots and lots of kale. You are thinking 10-15 cups?? Are you crazy!? Nope. Guys, trust me, the kale cooks down so much you might even end up adding a few extra handfulls like I did!
I made a huge batch of this soup and froze half to have ready for a quick weeknight meal. It’ll freeze well on plastic containers, or in a big ziplock bag!


Recipe: Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale


  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups chopped carrots
  • 4 cups chopped celery
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 large sprig thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 4 cups green lentils
  • 10-15 cups loosely packed baby kale
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 4 chicken sausage links, sliced
  • olive oil


  1. Drizzle olive oil in a large pot, heat over medium low heat.
  2. Add celery, carrots, leeks, onion, and garlic. Cook 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent (but not brown).
  3. Add herbs and chicken stock, bring to a boil.
  4. Add lentils and sausage reduce heat, simmer partially covered, about 40 minutes, until lentils are tender.
  5. Add kale and cook until kale is reduced and tender.

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Pumpkin BBQ dipping sauce

Oh Heyyy.

Are you all candied out? I am! I stuck to the ol’ give one out, eat one, rule last night and while I enjoyed my Halloween binge immensely, I am paying for it today! Feeling in the mood for some good, clean, non-chocolate covered food!

These turkey meatballs will make a perfect like supper tonight paired along side a much needed green salad. :)

These meatballs pack lots of the big flavors of Thanksgiving into a perfect little bite. They are filled with earthy herbs and coated in breadcrumbs to make them extra crispy, they’d be fantastic by themselves, but then you dunk ‘em into the Pumpkin BBQ sauce and you’ve got an over-the-top flavor blast that will keep you coming back for more.

These meatballs are baked, which gets us all the crispiness we want without the fat and oiliness that frying brings. There are two keys to making these meatballs cracklin’ in your mouth crispy. #1 In addition to using breadcrumbs as a binder, you roll the meatballs in breadcrumbs before cooking, and #2 you sear the meatballs in a skillet before baking them. Both of these steps are essential in getting the perfectly crunchy exterior I’m always looking for in a meatball.

While the meatballs are in the oven, you can make the pumpkin BBQ sauce. Don’t gimmie that face! It is delicious.

I’ve really been working to try to increase my use of pumpkin in savory dishes. I use it all the time in sweet dishes and baked goods, as evidenced here…and here…and here! But I know it can be great in savory applications too, so I’ve been experimenting. This is one experiment that turned out very very well!

Plain pureed pumpkin is only slightly sweet, so it can really morph into whatever you need it to. Plus it has such a rich velvety texture it is perfect for this dipping sauce that needs to hold up to hearty turkey meatballs. You get some tang from the BBQ sauce, kick from the hot sauce (you can use any kind you like-I love Tapatio), and just a bit of sweetness from the honey. This sauce is a fantastic counterpoint for the herby (have I mentioned crispy?) turkey meatballs.

Perfect party appetizer, light supper, afternoon snack, any way you roll ‘em, I think you’ll love these flavors-of-Thanksgiving meatballs!

I’ll be enjoying them for dinner tonight, with NO just one ok maybe a few pieces of candy for dessert ;)


Recipe: Baked Turkey Meatballs


  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients (except olive oil) in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined – hands are a great tool for this!
  3. Shape into small meatballs. Roll in breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet. Continue until all meatballs are coated.
  4. Prepare a wire rack set over a large baking sheet.
  5. Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Working in two batches, sear the meatballs in the skillet (adding the 2nd T of oil after the first batch), and place on the wire rack.
  6. Bake meatballs on the wire rack 15-20 minutes, until cooked though.
  7. Serve with Pumpkin BBQ dipping sauce.

Recipe: Pumpkin BBQ dipping sauce


  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 T hot sauce*
  • Up to 1 cup water
  • *optional


  1. Comine pumpkin, BBQ, and hot sauce in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir together.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in honey.
  4. Add water 2 T at a time until you reach your desired consistency (I added about 8 T water total)
  5. Keep warm (adding water if sauce becomes too think) until ready to serve.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...