Whole Baked Cauliflower with Béchamel

At this point in our lives with our busy jobs, small apartment, and the amount that we travel we’re not at a place to get a dog. We watch instagram videos all the time of cute puppies playing and I will literally be on the verge of tears from all the cuteness, but still, we want to be settled and have a house before we have any sort of pet. That’s why this past weekend was THE BEST, because we got to dog/house sit for our two friends who are on their honeymoon! They have the cutest golden retriever, Cooper, who is the chillest pup of all time. I swear he sleeps 18 hours a day at least and loves to be cuddled non-stop. It’s been so nice to get a glimpse of dog life, as well as use a big kitchen for once! With the Fall weather already here, we spent the weekend making cozy dishes like my favorite lamb & butternut squash curry, apple pie, and this whole baked cauliflower with béchamel!

At first I was skeptical just eating cauliflower for dinner. Your girl here has an appetite and I wasn’t sure this would be satisfying. I was so wrong. This is seriously one of the best veggie dishes we’ve ever made. Super tender cauliflower covered in a garlicky cheesy béchamel sauce and topped with crispy prosciutto, pesto and roasted tomatoes. Such a cozy meal for Fall and Winter!

Whole Baked Cauliflower_-2.jpg
Whole Baked Cauliflower_-4.jpg
Whole Baked Cauliflower_-5.jpg
Whole Baked Cauliflower_.jpg

Whole Baked Cauliflower with Béchamel

Ingredients

-1 head of cauliflower
- 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese for the cauliflower
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese for the béchamel
- cherry tomatoes for roasting
- basil pesto for topping
- prosciutto

what to do

  1. To make the cauliflower, use a paring knife to cut the core out of the cauliflower: Flip the cauliflower over so the stalk is facing up. Insert the paring knife about 2 inches into the cauliflower, as close to the stalk as possible, and cut around the stalk. The goal is to leave the cauliflower intact while removing the stalk and creating a small hole where it once was.

  2. Heat a large pot of water to a boil, and boil the cauliflower for 10 minutes or so until it’s starting to get tender.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Transfer the cauliflower in a large oven-proof skillet and drizzle all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the cauliflower for a remaining 30 minutes or until the top starts to brown and a knife can easily slice into the cauliflower flesh. About halfway, sprinkle the cauliflower with grated parmesan and let it get golden brown.

  4. Halve the cherry tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and roast in the oven with the cauliflower.

  5. While the cauliflower and tomatoes are roasting, make the béchamel sauce. Heat the milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until steaming but not boiling. Turn the heat down and keep warm over very low heat.

  6. Melt the butter in a separate saucepan over low heat. When it's bubbling, add the flour and whisk until it forms a golden paste, about 3 to 4 minutes. Whisking constantly, add the hot milk in a steady stream. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg and the cheese.

  7. Fry the prosciutto slices in a skillet, transfer to a paper towel to dry, and chop into bite size pieces.

  8. Top cauliflower with pesto, roasted tomatoes, béchamel, and prosciutto! Enjoy!

French Onion Pot Roast with Creamy Polenta

It’s here, my favorite time of the year! Summer is magical in it’s own ways, but there is nothing better than Fall. It’s starting to get a little gray in Portland and I love it! I might not being saying that come January, but for now I love the breaking out my comfiest baggy sweater, pulling out the rain boots, and soaking up the season as much as possible. I think because I’m from Florida and the seasons have little variation, I appreciate each part of the year even more now.

And my favorite part of it all? Comfort food.

This french onion pot roast over creamy polenta is a game changer. Melt in your mouth meat that’s been simmering all day in the a glorious concoction of stock, red wine, lots of onions, and a surprise ingredient, celery root! Then to make even better it’s piled high on top of the creamiest parmesan polenta there ever was. If you’re a fan of grits, then you will LOVE this soft buttery polenta.

This is a perfect meal for a date night in, throwing a dinner party, or just when you need a bowl of happiness at the end of a long week. To top it off your house will smell absurdly amazing while this is cooking all day.

I am so excited to share more cozy Fall recipes with you guys! What’s your favorite comfort food to eat when it’s cold out. Gimme all of your suggestions!

French Onion Pot Roast with Creamy Polenta_.jpg
French Onion Pot Roast with Creamy Polenta_-4.jpg
French Onion Pot Roast with Creamy Polenta_-5.jpg

French Onion Pot Roast with Creamy Polenta

Ingredients

-2 1/2 pounds chuck roast (excess fat trimmed)
- 2 white onions thinly sliced
- 1 medium celery root, peeled and cubed
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup of red wine

Polenta
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of Polenta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan
- salt & pepper

What to do

  1. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. 

  2. Sear the beef until a nice brown crust forms on all sides, remove from the pot and add in onions, celery root, garlic, and thyme leaves, and sauté until onions start to become translucent.

  3. Place the beef back in the pot with onion mixture and top with Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, beef stock, and red wine. Add another big pinch of salt & pepper, and simmer mixture on low for several hours until the meat is falling apart.

  4. To make the polenta, bring the water and milk to a light simmer in a saucepan. Add in the polenta and stir on medium heat until it begins to thicken and get creamy, roughly 10 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the butter and parmesan and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Panzanella Salad

We needed to get out of Portland over the weekend for a little fresh air and R&R, so we packed up our car to go camping! It's too bad that you have to book a camping spot a year in advance in the PNW, but we decided to try our luck anyways. After driving for 4 hours in traffic and then in and out of campsites we finally found a pristine campground on Trout Creek a couple of hours outside of Portland. We may or may not have set camp on a site that was already reserved by someone else... but they never showed up so that's ok right?! We had a hilarious first night which is a good enough story for it's own post, but all around it was the perfect weekend getaway. Some people might not think camping is relaxing, but to us there's nothing better than sitting around a campfire under the stars, a cup of something strong in our hands, and talking until all of the coals have smoldered out. We grilled steaks and toasted s'mores over the fire, went on hikes, drank wine out of plastic cups, beat each other in Yahtzee, took dips in the creek when it was hot, cuddled in our sleeping bags when it was cold, and soaked up as much of the weekend as possible. 

Panzanella Salad-6.jpg

I've been exuding my desire for Fall for weeks now, however our little camping getaway made me realize that summer is something that you shouldn't wish to pass quickly. Once we got out of our hot apartment in the city and out into the peaceful outdoors it made me want enjoy summer to the absolute fullest. Which is why it's going to be camping, outdoor picnics, and wine on rooftops until it's time to pull out our parkas.

 So since I'm still on the summer train, that means I'm on the tomato train. You feel me? Hear me out! Two words, Panzanella Salad. It's tomatoes, and bread, and fresh basil-y deliciousness and it needs to be on your table stat. Let this not be confused with croutons. No no, it's way better than that. This is your favorite loaf of crusty bread that is crunchy on the outside yet a little soft from the tomato juices. It's as simple and summery as dishes come and you likely have most of the ingredients in your fridge. And a plus? If your bread is stale than that's even better!!

Panzanella Salad-3.jpg
Panzanella Salad.jpg

Panzanella Salad

Ingredients

- 2 1/2 pounds or (3-4) heirloom tomatoes (different colors), cut into bite sized pieces. 
- Your favorite loaf of crusty bread (I use sourdough) cut into bite size pieces- about 6 cups worth
- 1 small red onion halved and thinly sliced
- 4-5 persian cucumbers chopped into bite-sized pieces (instead of Persian you can peel regular cucumbers and use those if need be) 
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 gloves of garlic minced
- lots of good olive oil for drizzling
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil

What to do 

  1. Place cut tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, minced garlic, lemon juice, and a generous seasoning of salt and a couple grinds of black pepper in a large bowl. Gently stir to incorporate and let sit at room temperature while your bread cooks. 

  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F and adjust rack to center position. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake until crisp and firm but not too browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

  3. Once bread is slightly cool, toss bread in the bowl with tomato mixture and add basil leaves and a generous drizzle of good olive oil. Toss everything to coat and season with more salt and pepper if needed. It's good if the bread soaks in the juice a little bit, so you can let your salad rest 10-15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Chicken Gyro's

I am all about the easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy lately. When cool weather hits, it's go time for slow braises in the oven, bubbling stews on the stove, and roasting things into submission - but in the summer 'ain't nobody got time for that'! Like today, I got home from work and we drizzled lettuce with olive oil and lemon juice, added Trader Joe's grilled balsamic chicken and topped with homemade basil pesto and BAM, dinner done in 5 minutes. Beautiful weather and summertime temps call for dinner on the table in a snap with as little time and cooking as possible. 

Chicken Gyro's-3.jpg

These chicken gyro's are my summertime obsession right now. Juicy marinated chicken, tangy tzatziki, crumbled feta and a fresh cucumber tomato salad all rolled up in warm pita. Yes puhlease! It may seem like a lot of different steps, but you can let the chicken marinate the night before, and then the day of you can whip up your tzatziki, chop your veggies, grill the chicken, warm the pita and assemble!

Summer gives you permission to not try so hard - elaborate recipes are not necessary. Invite your friends over, pop a bottle, spread everything out on a table outside, and soak-up every last drop of summer.

Chicken Gyro's-5.jpg
Chicken Gyro's-2.jpg

Chicken Gyro's


Ingredients


For the chicken
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 3 large garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar (or red wine or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- big pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper

Cucumber tomato salad
- 10 oz container of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3 cucumbers , diced. I like to use Persian or English cucumber so you can leave the skin on
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
- drizzle of olive oil
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
- Salt and pepper

Tzatziki
- 2 cucumbers (to make about 1/2 - 3/4 cup grated cucumber after squeezing out juice)
- 1 1/4 cups plain Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or more if you want richer)
- 1 small garlic clove , minced
- salt & pepper to taste

-Pita bread
-crumbled Feta

what to do 

  1. Place all marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag and shake and massage to mix. Add the chicken into the ziplock bag and massage to cover all the chicken. Marinate for at least 2 hours and no longer than 24 hours. 

  2. Make the Tzatziki. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scrape the watery seeds out. Coarsely grate the cucumber using a box grater. Then wrap in paper towels or a tea towel and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Place cucumber in a bowl and add remaining ingredients then mix to combine. Set aside for at least 20 minutes for the flavors to mix. 

  3. Make the cucumber salad by mixing all of the ingredients together. 

  4. To cook the chicken, brush the outdoor grill with oil, then preheat on medium high. Or you can cook this on the stove by heating a little oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through (cooking time depends on size of chicken).

  5. Remove the chicken from the grill / fry pan onto a plate. Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing

  6. To assemble the gyros, top warm pita with grilled chicken, cucumber salad, tzatziki and crumbled feta! 

It's fun to lay it all out and let people help themselves! And you can also lay a piece of parchment down under the pita and roll and wrap it up on the bottom so it stays secured. Enjoy!

Stuffed Poblanos with Cashew "Queso"

One of my favorite junk foods and the ultimate football Sunday indulgence is "creamy tacos". It's what we would make in our house growing up anytime there was a party happening or when we needed a little junk food fix. What is it you may ask? It's a glorious, bubbling vat of velveeta cheese, ground beef, Hormel Chili, and spicy Rotel tomatoes. You crunch up Doritos on your plate and pour the "creamy taco" all over the Doritos. IT IS MONUMENTAL. I am telling you this because I am definitely not beneath shoveling Doritos covered in Velveeta into my mouth - However it's simply not good for you to eat whatsoever, so that's why I try to keep "Queso" in my life as much as possible but in healthier ways! 

ENTER CASHEW QUESO. 

Stuffed Poblanos with Cashew %22Queso%22-2.jpg

I was very skeptical of this at first, but with our new Vitamix I knew we could definitely get the creaminess factor going on. Now I will say this, nothing will replace the amazingness of gooey cheesy queso, so you have to think of this as more of an alternative. But for me, something that resembles queso, is creamy like queso, has a rich delicious taste, and is actually nutritious for you is an A+ in my book!

One of my favorite go-to meals is stuffed poblano peppers. A lot of times we make my old stuffed poblanos with chicken recipe, but lately I love tossing roasted sweet potato, corn, black beans, cilantro, and spices to make it meatless. Top with creamy cashew queso and you've got the golden ticket! 

Stuffed Poblanos with Cashew %22Queso%22.jpg
Stuffed Poblanos with Cashew %22Queso%22-4.jpg

Stuffed Poblanos with Cashew "Queso" 

Ingredients

Poblanos
- 4 poblano peppers
- 2 sweet potatoes cubed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic gloves, minced
- 1 (15 oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can of sweet corn, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- salt and pepper to taste

Queso
- 1 cup raw cashews , soaked for up to 4 hours and drained
- 1/4 cup water (plus more, if needed)
- 1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
- 1 lemon juiced
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional) provides more coloring
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles

What to do

  1. Using a small sharp knife, cut a slit lengthwise along one side of each poblano pepper, then make a small crosswise slit along the top to create a T-shape, being careful not to cut off the stem. Carefully cut out and remove the core and scoop out the seeds. On a baking sheet, roast the poblanos and jalapeños under the broiler in the oven turning often until the skin is completely blistered. Transfer to a paper bag (or place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap) and let steam for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. To make the filling, preheat the over to 350 degrees. Toss cubed sweet potato with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and roast until sweet potato is golden brown and cooked through, stirring occasionally. 
  3. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat and saute onion until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in minced garlic cloves and cook another minute or two. Then mix in chili powder, cumin, a big pinch of salt and grind of black pepper. Mix in black beans, corn, and lime juice and cook another minute before turning off the heat and mixing in cilantro and roasted sweet potato. 
  4. To make the Queso, In a high-speed blender, or food processor, combine the cashews, water, salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and the liquid from the can of diced tomatoes and green chiles. (I was able to get about 1/4 cup of liquid from the can.) 
  5. Blend until a smooth and creamy cheese sauce is made, adding a little more water, if needed for blending. Transfer the cheese mixture to a small pot and heat over the stove until warm. I love serving it in a little cast iron skillet!

  6. To assemble the poblanos, fill them to the brim with the filling! You can either pop them in the oven to bake a little longer or leave them as is since everything is still warm! Cover in Queso :) 

Enjoy! 

Watermelon Cocktails

All of my fellow weekend warriors...WE MADE IT! It has been a week let me tell ya. I have been especially scatter brained and feel so unorganized for some reason! Maybe it's the heat going to my brain - My desk at work has more coffee rings than usual and paper thrown about, my clothes are strewn in places everywhere but a hanger in the closet, there always seems to be a dish in the sink, and this is the first blog post I've done since Sunday...so yeah, hot mess express reporting to you live. I think everyone has weeks like this sometime, but I'm definitely going to take this weekend to get refreshed and start anew on Monday. 

But since it's Friday and the clock is striking 5 o'clock soon, let's talk COCKTAILS. Watermelon cocktails to be exact, and they are the answer to all of your summer dreams. I'm normally a bourbon gal and love a good old fashioned, but in the summer I crave a light and refreshing cocktail that I can sip soaking up the sun!

We bought a giant watermelon at the farmer's market and I immediately knew I wanted to make watermelon juice! First off, have you done this before? It's fairly easy to do, but I wasn't prepared how messy it was going to be! De-seeding the watermelon was the only messy part, but after that you just throw the watermelon flesh into a blender, puree, and then put it through a strainer!

Any mess that it makes is SO worth it. Watermelon juice is naturally sweet yet super refreshing. It's great with just a squeeze of lime on top of ice - but Friday's after a crazy week calls for boozy watermelon cocktails! 

Watermelon Cocktail_-2.jpg
Watermelon Cocktail_-4.jpg
Watermelon Cocktail_-5.jpg

Watermelon Cocktails

- To make the watermelon juice: Using a large knife, cut 1 inch off the top and bottom of the watermelon and then cut it in half crosswise. Place the watermelon cut side down on a carving board and, using the knife, cut off and discard the rind. Cut the watermelon vertically into 1-inch-thick slices. Working with 1 slice at a time, gently break the watermelon along the vein of seeds. Using a small spoon, scrape off the seeds and transfer the seedless watermelon portions to the blender. You may have to work in batches. Puree the watermelon for a few seconds and then strain the watermelon juice through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and then pour into mason jars to store for up to a week!

For the cocktail

  1. fill glass with ice
  2. fill glass halfway with watermelon juice
  3. add a shot (or two!) of vodka 
  4. squeeze half of a lime in there 
  5. top with club soda if your heart desires (or keep it as it is) 
  6. stir it up and top with some fresh mint
  7. drink up!

BBQ Chicken Sliders

It's friYAY and summertime and I need some BBQ in my life. You feel me? On the weekends in summer, I'm on the constant verge of drooling thinking about BBQ and beer while soaking up the sun. Do you know what's even more glorious? BBQ that's so tender that IT. HAS. SHREDDED APART! Can it get much better than that? Or you might be thinking - "Could there be anything more gross?!" For some people the thought of pulled meat might give them the heebie jeebies, but I on the other hand am a big fan. 

BBQ Chicken Sliders.jpg

In my hometown in Florida, there's a little bbq sand on the side of the road in town and at least once a week I would stop and get a bbq sandwich. I love the way the sweet barbecue sauce would soak into the bread a little. I would take a bite of the sammy and then a bite of coleslaw for crunch - pure perfection. 

While I love grilling, BBQ can be just as easy to make from your kitchen. These chicken sliders are the ultimate summer party food! So easy to make and definitely a crowd pleaser. Sweet Hawaiian rolls, piled with juicy pulled chicken, and then topped with a tangy crunchy slaw to balance it all out. You guyssss. Put this on repeat all summer long because it is that goood.

BBQ Chicken Sliders-9.jpg
BBQ Chicken Sliders-7.jpg

BBQ Chicken Sliders

Ingredients

- 3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs, or a mix of thighs and breasts
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade plus more to serve
- Hawaiian rolls for the sandwiches, or any other slider bun that you like

Coleslaw
- 1/2 small head of purple cabbage, shaved thinly, I love using a mandolin for this
- 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced, also used the mandolin for this
- Juice of half a lime
- a big pinch of salt

What to do

  1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Remove the chicken from the packaging and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. In a Dutch oven or heavy pot (with a lid) heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the chicken one piece at a time, stirring to mix well with the onion. Stir in the salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Pour in your favorite barbecue sauce and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat.
  3. Cover the pot with a lid and put in the oven. Bake, covered, for 90 minutes, or until the chicken is extremely tender. Remove from the oven and use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a large bowl. 
  4. While your chicken is baking, make your coleslaw. Mix the cabbage, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt in a medium bowl and let sit until ready to serve. 
  5. Use two forks to shred the chicken. While you're shredding, put the sauce, uncovered, back on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid in the pan to about half of its volume. Pour the sauce over the chicken and stir to incorporate. 

Simple Cobb Salad

Mondays are for hitting the reset button. We try and keep weekends as balanced as possible, but more often than not ice-cream gets consumed, bottles of wine get drank, and sometimes you just have to say eff-it and eat that bowl of pasta. "Sunday Scaries" may be a real thing, but I still get a satisfying feeling on Sunday nights when I pack my bag for Pure Barre on Monday morning at 6 AM, get a healthy lunch ready for the next day, and know that I am going to reset and get ready for the week! 

Keeping homemade dressing in the fridge is a lifesaver for work because I can throw a salad together quickly the night before. If you haven't made your own salad dressing before then I would definitely get on board! Have you looked at how much sugar and weird ingredients are on the back of those store bought salad dressing bottles?! Not only that, the taste will be SO much better as well. 

One of my favorite simple salads to make for lunch or dinner is a cobb. I know there's a lot of  argument as to what goes into a cobb but "our version" includes tomatoes, bacon, jammy eggs, blue cheese (if we have it on hand), and a good creamy homemade lemon parmesan dressing. I caught myself licking the spatula after making this dressing the other night...it's that good. I'm talking about being "healthy" but this dressing has mayo in it blah blah blah. #balance

ALSO, we just bought a salad spinner from IKEA for like 6 bucks and it is the BEST THING EVER. No more drying off lettuce with paper towels or watered down dressing!! I always thought it was a useless kitchen tool, but it's awesome! Plus you can use it as a crisper in the fridge for your lettuce!

Simple Cobb Salad.jpg
Simple Cobb Salad-4.jpg
Simple Cobb Salad-3.jpg

Simple Cobb Salad

Ingredients

- Butter lettuce or any lettuce that you like
- boiled eggs - I like 1 per person for this salad
- crispy bacon - 2-3 pieces for person
- Sliced cherry tomatoes - a handful per person
- Parmesan for topping
- Blue cheese or gorgonzola (if you have it on hand, if not it's great without as well!)

Creamy Lemon-Parmesan Dressing

- 1/2 cup of mayo
-  1 lemon - squeezed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- milk to thin (add 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency that you like)

What to do

  1. Heat a skillet on medium -hight heat and fry your bacon until crispy. Set on paper towels to drain. 

  2. while the bacon is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Place eggs gently into boiling water and set timer to 6.5 minutes. We like our eggs with a jammy yolk but if you want yours hard boiled than set your timer for 8 minutes. 

  3. While the eggs are boiling, wash and spin dry your lettuce, and slice your tomatoes. 

  4. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender or mason jar and blend (or shake vigorously). I usually make a double batch of this and store it in the fridge for throughout the week. 

Enjoy!

Open-Faced Shrimp Sandwiches

On one of our very first dates Thomas took the top piece of bread off of his sandwich and I thought it was a little weird. Who is this guy who eats his sandwich that way?! :)  Being from the South I suppose, I had never been exposed to the idea of an open-faced sandwich. Sure, I've had slices of baguette or crostini's with toppings as appetizers, but I had never willingly left off that extra piece of carby deliciousness. However, now it's my preferred way of sandwich eating because A) it looks cuter  B) I can pile on even more yummy toppings and C) if I only eat one piece of bread with each sandwich that means I can just eat sandwiches more often right?!

Open-Faced Shrimp Sandwiches_-2.jpg

When I first went to Norway with Thomas, we took a weekend trip to Copenhagen and tried delicious Smørrebrød at Aamanns and I quickly joined the open-faced sandwich train. (Also, this is so creepy, as I was writing this Phil In Somebody Feed Phil walked into Aamanns in the episode we're watching! How random is that?!) Anywho, once we returned to Norway from Copenhagan, Thomas' family made delicious shrimp sandwich's and there was no turning back! The shrimp have the heads on and they are the sweetest shrimp I have ever eaten! Don't get grossed out k, but the ONLY way to eat these shrimp is to tear the head off and suck the salty delicious juice out. You won't be allowed to sit at our table unless you eat them this way... ;) 

Open-Faced Shrimp Sandwiches_.jpg

Since we can't find shrimp like this easily at our local grocery stores, we use the little guys below and they are good as well! In Norway these beauties normally consist of a white piece of bread, a generous pile of shrimp, a hearty squeeze of Mills Majones (why isn't all mayo in squeeze tubes), a drizzle of lemon juice, with a sprinkle of fresh dill on top.

For one of our favorite Sunday lunches to date, we used Ken's Artisan Bakery country blonde bread, made a garlicky aioli, and added lettuce and radishes! This is such a great lunch to make on a summer day with a ice cold glass of white wine. Perfection.

Open-Faced Shrimp Sandwiches_-6.jpg

Open-Faced Shrimp Sandwiches

ingredients 

Sandwich
- Fresh peel and eat shrimp, or whichever kind of shrimp you prefer. 
- sliced crusty white bread
- thinly sliced radishes
- butter lettuce
- Lemon wedges
- Fresh dill

Aioli
 - 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- ¼ teaspoon (or more) coarse kosher salt
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

What to do

  1. To make Aioli - Mash garlic and ¼ tsp. salt in a small bowl until a paste forms. Whisk in mayonnaise, oil, and lemon juice. Season with additional salt if needed. 
  2. Layer a slice of bread with a smear of aioli, then lettuce, a generous pile of shrimp, a squeeze of lemon juice, and top with sliced radish and fresh dill. 

And of course, give yourself a full glass of white wine to wash it all down! :) 

Enjoy!

Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

The annual tart has arrived!! I love that it's become a tradition of ours to make a strawberry tart around this time every year. The first one wasn't so pretty, but it kick-started the tradition. Then last year we made these strawberry panna cotta tarts which had remained one of my favorite treats to this day - BUT today's recipe really takes the "tart"... Badum-tishh. 

Berry tart with lemon mascarpone cream. Let me try that again, Oregon strawberry and marionberry tart with airy lemon curd mascarpone cream. I mean how much more dreamy could it get?! First off, have you ever made lemon curd? At first I thought that it was a waste of time and how good could it really be,  I WAS SO WRONG. It is SO worth the extra steps and it's pure lemony bliss. I'm going to start putting it on everything - seriously. I want to make crepes and pancakes just so I can coat them in lemon curd. Secondly, how have I never put mascarpone and whipped cream together before?! Brilliant! And lastly, and most importantly, is the berries. Oregon berries are in a caliber of their own. They are so sweet and delicious that I struggle getting a carton full because I eat every other one that I pick. It's one of my favorite day dates of the year when Thomas and I go to pick berries - it's almost as fun as our apple picking adventures in the fall.

To save time, you could always buy lemon curd at the grocery store and pre-made crust. However, this homemade lemon curd and this sugar cookie like tart crust in this recipe gives it some extra pizzazz. I hope this little tart of mine makes it to some of your 4th of July festivities!! 

IMG_1641.jpg
IMG_1646.jpg
IMG_1665.jpg
Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream-3.jpg
IMG_1659.jpg
IMG_1673.JPG
Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream-6.jpg

Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

Ingredients

Crust
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling
¾ cup whipping cream
- 1 8 ounce container mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1 heaping tablespoon powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup lemon curd, store bought, or I used this recipe
- mixed berries for topping
- lemon zest and powdered sugar for garnish

What to do

  1. To prepare the crust, whisk together the flour and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, using a standing mixer or electric hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture on low speed until just incorporated, being careful to not over mix. Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9 inch tart pan. I also have mini tart pans I use often! 
  3. Once the dough has chilled, press the dough into the tart pan and up the sides. Use a knife to score the edges and make them even at the top. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the edges begin to lightly brown. If it has puffed up a little during baking, just gently press it down when you remove from oven. Cool completely in pan.
  4. Next if you're making the lemon curd, make it while the crust is baking that way it has time to cool. 
  5. Then to make the filling, whip the cream on high with a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Add the softened mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar and beat to mix well. Fold in the lemon curd with a wooden spoon.
  6. Fill crust with filling, top with berries, a little lemon zest, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar

Enjoy!

Spicy Lamb Meatballs

Meatballs. Lamb meatballs to be exact and they are magical-spherical-bombs of greatness and are what date night dreams are made of. I've said this many times before, but what I look forward to most when Friday or Saturday night rolls around is hanging with Thomas in the kitchen, cooking a delicious meal, popping open a bottle of Trader Joes' finest, or two to be exact, and spending a date night "in". Just the two of us.

To be honest, some of those Friday "date nights" turn into us eating dinner on the couch and me falling asleep at 9:30 right as we are starting to watch a movie. I know, I HATE when someone falls asleep during a movie that I am excited to watch yet I am the biggest culprit of it. But other date nights, like this past weekend when we whipped up these meatballs, we spent the night talking until the wee hours of the morning - laughing, reminiscing, and spending quality time together being totally disconnected. 

Maybe we were so utterly blissful because we had just eaten the most incredible lamb meatballs of our lives. To be honest, I'm not a huge meatball fan usually. They are good -  but I would rather have a hearty bolognese sauce instead. But lamb meatballs? That's a different story. The combination of the spicy lamb, cool greek yogurt, spattered with a sweet mint raisin pesto is beyond words. This meal is so easy to put together, looks fancy enough for date night, and will no-doubt have you going back for seconds. I have been wanting to make these from bon appétit since the recipe was published in December, so I can't believe we just got around to making them. This recipe should 100% be on your menu for this weekend!

Lamb Meatballs-6.jpg
Lamb Meatballs-2.jpg
Lamb Meatballs.jpg
Lamb Meatballs-8.jpg

Spicy Lamb Meatballs with mint raisin pesto

Ingredients 

- 1 large egg
- ½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley, plus 1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems
- 2 Tbsp. plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
- 2 garlic cloves, divided
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 2 cups mint leaves
- 3 Tbsp. golden raisins
- Plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (for serving)

what to do 

  1. Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°. Combine egg, panko, cumin, red pepper flakes, turmeric, finely chopped parsley, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 1½ tsp. salt in a large bowl. Finely grate 1 garlic clove into bowl. Add lamb and mix with your hands until evenly distributed. 
  2. Gently roll lamb mixture into 1½"-diameter balls (about the size of a golf ball; you should have about 20). Place on a rimmed baking sheet, spacing evenly apart. Bake meatballs until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, purée mint, raisins, parsley leaves with tender stems, remaining garlic clove, remaining ½ cup oil, and a big pinch of salt in a blender until smooth. Taste pesto; season with more salt if needed.
  4. Spread yogurt over plates and divide pesto and meatballs on top.
  5. Do Ahead: Pesto can be made 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Meatballs can be formed 2 months ahead; freeze on baking sheet until firm, about 2 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag and keep frozen.

Strawberry Basil Moscow Mules

How is it Friday already?! I'm not complaining by any means, but the weeks have been going by lightening fast. I am sorry I have been slightly neglectful on here lately - but I am determined to stop being a lazy ass and start posting for you guys again at least 4-5 times a week! I am finishing You are a Badass and I am so inspired to stop wasting my time and start pursuing this little blog of mine at full speed ahead! You heard it here...no slacking from me now! 🙃 

Anywho- IT'S FRIDAY AND I'M SO EXCITED. Sleeping in on Saturday morning has never sounded so good as it does right now. This weekend we are going to be low-key since we are both going to bachelor/bachelorette parties next weekend! Two of our closest friends are getting married and next Thursday all us girls are headed to Austin for the bachelorette and the boys are heading to Lake Billychinook for the bachelor party on a house boat! Should be a very eventful weekend to say the least. 

Being in weekend mode, I wanted to share one of my favorite cocktails! A Moscow mule recipe is one that I love pulling out whether it's a relaxed night at home with Thomas or if I'm hanging with the girls - like next weekend in Austin! They are quick to make, easy to drink, and you can change out the fruit with the seasons! Since strawberry season is in full-swing right now, I wanted to combine their luscious sweetness with one of my favorite herbs - basil. The two together is so delicious, and combining those flavors with Fever-Tree's Ginger Beer makes it even more of a winner. Fever Tree is my absolute favorite since it's not too sweet and has the most incredible ginger flavor!

I hope you all have a great weekend! Take a breather, relax, soak up some vitamin D, and make a Moscow mule for good measure! 😀

Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule-2.jpg
Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule-4.jpg
Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule-5.jpg
Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule-6.jpg

Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule

Ingredients per drink

- 3-4 medium ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered (plus extra for garnish)
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
- 1-2 teaspoons of sugar, agave, or honey if you want it slightly sweeter
- 2-3 ounces of Vodka
- juice from 1 lime
- crushed ice
- 2-3 ounce chilled ginger beer

what to do

  1. Place strawberries, basil, lime juice, and sugar (if using) in copper mug and muddle by using a muddler or the bottom of a wooden spoon to smash the berries and basil together for 1- 2 minutes, until juices are fully released and you have a good mash. Pour in vodka. 
  2. Stir and then fill mug about 3/4 of the way full with crushed ice and top off with chilled ginger beer.  Stir again with a spoon and garnish with a fresh strawberry and basil leaf. Enjoy!

Fall off the bone Korean Spareribs with Kimchi Coleslaw

Grill season is here!! Summertime is the best when the sun is out until late into the evening, you're hanging out with friends in the backyard, and you're cooking up a storm on the grill with a drink in hand! 

Sadly in our current apartment we don't have a space to keep our own grill, so we often go over to friends houses to grill out. However the good news is that you don't have to have a grill to make amazing ribs - which is one of our favorite things to make in the summer! The way my mom has always done ribs is to slowly bake them in the oven until they are falling off the bone, and that's how I make my ribs! 

Over the last year or so I have been introduced to different Korean ingredients and I am obsessed with the flavors! For these Korean spareribs the base of the bbq sauce is Gochujang - a Korean chili paste which is one of the backbone ingredients to Korean cooking. And then there's Kimchi! The bubbly fizzy fermented wonderment is horrendous to some people, but I can't get enough of it! Kimchi essentially means "salted vegetables" and you can pretty much 'Kimchi' anything, however the traditional and most common Kimchi is made out of napa cabbage and typically seasoned with a coarsely ground red pepper known as gochugaru, plus garlic, ginger, and some kind of fermented or fresh seafood. I buy the Seoul Kimchi from our local Fred Meyer and it's the absolute best. The kimchi dressing I made for this slaw is a perfect companion to these melt in your mouth Korean spareribs! I adapted these recipes from bon appétit's grilling issue! Definitely give them a try!

Korean Spareribs with Kimchi Coleslaw  (1 of 1).jpg
Korean Spareribs with Kimchi Coleslaw  (3 of 1).jpg

Fall-off the Bone Korean Spareibs with Kimchi slaw

ingredients

Ribs
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) 
- 1 can of chipotle chiles in adobo (less if you don't want as much heat) 
- rack of pork spareribs (about 4 lb.)

Spicy Kimchi Slaw
8 scallions
- 1/2 cup kimchi, plus 1 tbsp. juice from jar
- 2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Sriracha
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 small head of napa cabbage
- 1 6" piece daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups store bought shredded carrots
- salt for seasoning
- toasted sesame seeds and cilantro for serving

What to do

  1. Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Whisk vinegar, brown sugar, gochujang, and adobo in a medium bowl until sugar is dissolved. Transfer half of sauce to a small bowl and set aside for serving.

  2. Season ribs all over with salt and pepper. Place rack on a double layer of foil and wrap up. Set on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until very tender but not falling apart, 2½–3 hours. The last 30 minutes of cooking remove top foil, baste generously with bbq sauce and let continue baking. Remove from oven, baste with more sauce and serve extra gochujang bbq sauce for serving. 

  3. The last 30 minutes of the ribs cooking, make your Spicy Kimchi Slaw. Remove dark green tops from scallions and thinly slice; set aside. Blend scallion bulbs, kimchi, kimchi juice, vinegar, Sriracha, fish sauce, and sesame oil in a blender until smooth. With motor running, very slowly stream in vegetable oil; blend until dressing is thick and airy. Set aside.

  4. Tear off leaves from cabbage until you get down to the crunchy white part. Rip outer leaves into 2" pieces. Thinly slice core crosswise until you have about 6 cups; reserve remaining cabbage for another use. Toss in a large bowl with daikon, carrots, and reserved scallion tops. Season with salt; pour reserved dressing over. Toss to coat, transfer to a platter, and top with sesame seeds and cilantro.

Norwegian Gas-Station Bratwurst

I'm very much a fall/winter gal. I'm a sucker for big sweaters and cozy scarves. I love curling up with hot chocolate or a belly-warming Old Fashioned, cooking up a pot of stew on a cold night and settling in for a movie or good book - That is my happy place. But that is a fairly recent development since moving to Portland where it's generally chilly 8 or 9 months out of the year. My OG happy place and when I feel most at "home" is when the sun is beating down, the smell of sunscreen and BBQ in the air, and there's an ocean or lake somewhere near by with preferably a boat ready to go for a spin. One of the biggest things I miss about living in Florida is being able to strike up the grill on any given day and have friends and family over for a BBQ and "lake day". 

That's why I am SO excited for Memorial Weekend kicking off on Friday! Thomas and I are heading down to Central Oregon to Lake Billy Chinook with four other couples for a fun-filled weekend of camping, boating, cooking over campfires, drinking good ol' Coors Light and Jack Daniels out of red solo cups, and undoubtedly lots of laughs and great memories.  We did the same thing last year with the same group and I'm so happy it's becoming a tradition! 

Since hotdogs and brats are definitely on most people's menu's for Memorial Weekend, I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to eat a hotdog now - Norwegian style! In Norway it's called "pølse i lompe" which you can get EVERYWHERE! My favorite is in the Norwegian gas stations - not kidding! The hotdogs are served in a flat potato bread (lompe) and you can eat it plain or top it with potato salad (yum), or shrimp salad (gross), and lots of yummy condiments like crunchy fried onions! Ever since Thomas introduced me to this, my favorite combo is with potato salad, crunchy onions, and sweet mustard. SO GOOD. We even served this at our wedding for our late night snack!! 

I somewhat "Americanized" this beloved Norwegian junk-food by using Bratwurst (which I guess is actually German?) and hoagie rolls! I love the combination of the hot brat right off the grill with the cold potato salad, sweet/tangy mustard, and the texture of the fried onions. Give it a try, you won't regret it! I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend and stay safe!

Norwegian Style Brats (1 of 1).jpg
Norwegian Style Brats (3 of 1).jpg
Norwegian Style Brats (2 of 1).jpg

Norwegian Gas-Station Bratwurst

Ingredients
- Bratwurst or hotdogs
- Hoagie rolls, Hawaiian hotdog buns, or Norwegian Lompe if you want the traditional way! 
- Crispy fried onions (such as French's
- Potato salad (homemade like this recipe from the Kitchn, or store bought is usually good from the deli section!). 
- Dijon mustard or stone-ground mustard
- honey

What to do 

  1. First things first, grill your brats. I use Char-broil's method! They should be grilled slowly over medium-low heat (between 300 and 350°F) for the best results. It should take about 20 minutes to hit your desired internal temperature of 160°F. That should take about 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the brats. Remember to turn them often so each side gets caramelized. Trying to rush the process by using high heat is a cardinal sin in the bratwurst world. Too much heat is going to char the outside and cause the casing to split open, which will allow the juices to spill out.
  2. Once your brats are off the grill, lightly toast your buns. You don't want them to crunchy, just get them warm and slightly golden . 
  3. Next assemble! Top your bratwurst with potato salad, crispy onions, and sweet mustard. 

Enjoy!

Spring Veggie Mini Quiches

Happy almost momma's day to all the wonderful momma's out there! Sadly, I won't be with my mom this year since we took off so much time for the wedding, but if I were home I would definitely treat her with these spring veggie mini quiches for brunch! For starters, how freaking cute are they?! Everything tastes better when it's mini in my opinion. These guys are loaded with all kinds of spring veggies. Walking around Portland I have been so inspired lately -The farmer's markets are bursting with beautiful fruits and veggies and everything is so vibrant right now. I wanted peas, scallions, spring mushrooms, radish's and fresh herbs to be the highlight of these. What better vessel for all of this spring egg-y deliciousness than a flaky buttery crust! These are super easy to make, especially if you use store bought pie dough, and you can even make them ahead of time to make preparing brunch a breeze. And of course, don't forget the mimosa's! All the mom's out there deserve a little R&R 🥂 

Mini Spring Quiches (4 of 1).jpg
Mini Spring Quiches (7 of 1).jpg
Mini Spring Quiches (6 of 1).jpg

Spring Veggie Mini Quiches

Ingredients

- 6 mini pie pans (or tartlet pans, but you might have some extra egg mixture leftover)
- 1 (14.1 ounce) package of refrigerated pie dough (we use Trader Joe's!) 
- 1 bunch of scallions chopped, reserving some of the green tops for garnish
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 8 oz of mushrooms (any variation you prefer!) 
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk or half and half
- Garnishes: Fresh parsley, chopped scallion tops, thinly sliced radishes, and snap peas (quickly blanched and sliced exposing the inner peas)  

what to do

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. First rub a little butter on each pie or tart pan that you're using. Then, rolling our your thawed pie crust, lay your pie pan or tart form down and cut around it leaving a little extra room. Flip over and press the dough evenly around the pan, and crimping along the sides as you go. 

  3. Place all of the quiche crusts on a large baking sheet and bake the crust in the preheated oven until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes or so and then remove them from the oven. The tops will continue baking after you pour the eggs in, so don't let them get too dark! 

  4. Heat a skillet over medium- high heat until hot before adding in mushrooms. Let them cook down until seared and brown all over before seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove mushrooms from the pan onto a plate. In the same skillet sauté the scallions in a tablespoon of olive oil for a minute over medium heat before adding 2 cloves of minced garlic. Remove from heat. 

  5. Whisk all 6 eggs and milk in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper before gently mixing in the mushrooms, onions and garlic. Turn down oven to 350 degrees. Pour egg mixture into pre-baked quiche crusts and continue baking until egg mixture is set, about 10-15 minutes. 

  6. While the mini-quiches are baking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Quickly blanch the snap peas for 1-minute and then move them into a bowl of ice water. Gently halve the peas with a paring knife once they are cool to expose the inner peas. Drizzle them with a little olive oil. 

  7. Remove the quiches from the oven and garnish with fresh parsley, green scallion tops, thinly sliced radishes, and the halved snap peas. 

Mini Spring Quiches (2 of 1).jpg
Spring-Veggie-Mini-Quiche's.jpg

How to Perfectly Poach an Egg

We've been back in Portland a little over a week now and I think we are becoming somewhat normal again. I have never experience let lag that before! The first few days of being back from Bali we could barely keep our eyes open in the evening and would fall asleep around 6 PM and then be bright eyed at 2 or 3 in the morning. It doesn't make for a great schedule, but I gotta tell ya, I love having so much time in the morning! I loved waking up and catching up on the news, drinking my coffee and slowly getting ready as opposed to springing out of bed 30 minutes before I have to be at work.

What do you guys do for jet lag? Anything special? I read an article that you should limit your light exposure at certain times to try and get back on schedule and putting a few drops of this Dr. Singha's Travel Tonic in your water to feel more refreshed! Next time I'll definitely be more diligent on trying to get back on schedule quicker! 

If you all followed along on our honeymoon then you know that the food we had in Bali was AHMAZINGG, but it's always a good feeling to get back home and whip something up! We've made all the food we've been missing this past week, including lots of avocado toast and poached eggs. Bali definitely has it's fair share of avo toast and healthy cafés from Australian's bringing western cuisine over, so we got our fix on the honeymoon - But doing it at home by this method ensures that you have a perfectly poached egg every time! There is nothing worse then ordering a poached egg in a restaurant and the yolk comes out fully cooked. 

I've made terribly ugly poached eggs more times than I can count, but I think I finally got it down - so here's a little tutorial for you! 

How-to-Poach-a-Perfect-Egg.gif

How to Perfectly Poach an Egg

  1. First things first, heat some water in a medium sized pot. Make sure to put enough water to fully submerge your eggy. Don't let your water boil! You just want very hot water. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Just get it hot enough right before it boils and control the temperature if you see it start to bubble. 
  2.  Put a splash or two of vinegar in your water. This helps your egg firm up faster so the egg whites don't disperse in the water. 
  3. Crack your egg into a small dish. It makes it easier to slide the egg into the water as opposed to cracking it. Maybe someone should teach me how to properly crack an egg because I swear I always get a piece of shell in there somehow and it's a real pain in the ass to get out. 
  4. Make a whirlpool in the water with your spoon
  5. Gently slide the egg into the middle of the whirlpool 
  6. Now just wait...don't stress. It might look a little wonky at first but the whirlpool will help pull the egg together and then it will bind to itself. You can always help it out by gently pushing it all in with your spoon but that's not necessary. 
  7. Keep an eye on it, but it usually takes about 3-4 minutes for a perfectly cooked poached egg. Nudge it a little with your spoon to make sure the whites are fully cooked, but you want a wobbly egg, not a hocky puck. 
  8. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. 

Something that I discovered is that you can make your poached eggs ahead of time! If you're ever throwing a brunch get together or having company over, you can store your poached eggs in cold water in the fridge for 1-2 days and then reheat them right before your party by submerging them in hot water for a minute! Life savor. 

I hope this was helpful and hopefully you'll all have poached eggy happiness from here on out! 

Poached Eggs (2 of 1).jpg
Poached Eggs (6 of 1).jpg
Poached Eggs (1 of 1).jpg

Flourless Fudgy Brownie Cookies + A Life Update

Hello Friends! 

It's been a hot minute since I've shared anything with you so I wanted to give a little life update. We are t-minus 26 days until the big day! We've been busy bees trying to get last minute things done like final alterations, buying gifts, choosing cocktails, fixing the seating chart, preparing speeches and the list goes on...but it's been so fun! I'm so incredibly excited for the day to finally get here when I get to marry the greatest person in the world in front of everyone we love. And to top it off, we jet off to Bali right after the wedding for two weeks for our honeymoon! It can't get here soon enough!

I know there's no excuse for my lack of blogging, but between work and wedding planning we also went to the Dominican Republic two weeks ago with my work which was so great to disconnect for a bit and escape the cold Portland weather. We soaked up the sun, drank a lot of presidente on the beach, rode ATV's through the jungle, and of course we ate A LOT. Have you guys tried Mama Juana?! ¡Ay, caramba! It's a Dominican Republic liquor that is concocted by allowing rum, red wine, and honey to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs. The first night we got a little ahead of ourselves - no more Mama J for me!

In other news, THOMAS ALSO TURNED 30! We threw him a surprise party in the Dominican a few days before, and on his real birthday I made a cozy meal at home with a scallop and fennel salad, slow braised lamb shanks, Israeli couscous and roasted tomato salad, and roasted sweet potatoes with yogurt and cilantro-chile sauce. I can't wait to see what's in store for this next decade of our lives - I have a feeling that a lot of good things are coming our way! 

The next 26 days are going to be a whirlwind I'm sure, but I'm going to try and soak it all in and relish in the moment as much as possible. I can't wait to share our wedding and our adventures in Bali with you! 

NOW FINALLY TO THESE GLORIOUS FLOURLESS FUDGY-AS-HELL BROWNIE COOKIES. In these days leading up to the wedding, we've been trying to workout, eat healthy, and not eat any refined sugar, but these cookies were calling our name on Sunday. They were SO good that I had to share them. I'm not the best baker, but I'm working on it! I always add too much freaking flour and my cookies end up like little puffy hockey pucks. But those days are gone folks because I've discovered FLOURLESS COOKIES. They are the bomb.com and answer all of my cookie prayers. 

Talk to you guys soon! I'll make sure I write at least one or two more posts as a Harper before I become a Knudsen :) 

Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Cookies (1 of 1).jpg
Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Cookies (4 of 1).jpg

Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients: 
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips  
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts or hazelnuts (optional) 
- Flaky sea salt for topping

What to do

  1. Combine the sugars and butter in a microwavable bowl (or in a pot on the stove). Heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and beat well with a hand mixer. 
  2. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat with hand mixer for two minutes (this, along with melting the butter and sugar, helps create a crackly crust on top of the cookies). 
  3. Stir together the cocoa and salt and add them to the batter. Beat for another 30 seconds. 
  4. Fold in the chips and nuts. The batter maybe be thin. Allow the batter to rest while you preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. The batter should thicken as it rests. 
  5. When the batter is scoopable (but still very sticky), scoop by about 3 tablespoons full onto pan 
  6. Bake cookies for about 9-12 minutes. When they come out of the oven, you can press a few more chocolate chunks into the tops of the cookies. 

Breakfast in Bed: The Essentials

You’re the cream to my coffee
Eggs-actly what I need.
All it took was one look
And I was toast.

I'm such a cornball I know... BUT HAPPY VALENTINES DAY FRIENDS!! No matter if you are a big V-day enthusiast or not, everyone likes a little love on this day. Normally we like to stay in and have a dinner at home but this year we are going to grab a cozy corner spot at one of our favorite restaurants in Portland Tasty and Alder and then catch a movie. It definitely felt like valentines day over the weekend when we had a pancake feast in bed. Besides it being slightly precarious with the blueberry syrup and sheet situation it was seriously the best thing ever. I love getting up to make breakfast just to craw back in bed after with a cup of coffee - or prosecco if you're feeling frisky. 

- One of the most crucial breakfast in bed essentials is a good/sturdy tray - Like this one from Pottery Barn!
- Also something important - THE BREAKFAST OF COURSE! You can keep it easy and simple with croissants or pastries that you pick up at your local bakery, or if you want to make it extra special French toast, waffles, or pancakes are always a good way to go. 
- If you're drinking coffee, Chemex is awesome and you can keep it on your tray!
- For optimal breakfast in bed coziness, you need a snuggly duvet or blanket like these throws from West Elm. 
- The last essential will be a nap after all the breaky goodness. Makes sense since you're already there anyways! :)

Keep scrolling to see the recipe for these healthier pancakes with blueberry grapefruit syrup!

Breakfast in Bed (1 of 1).jpg
Breakfast in Bed (6 of 1).jpg
Breakfast in Bed (7 of 1).jpg
Breakfast in Bed (8 of 1).jpg

"Lightened up" Pancakes with Blueberry Grapefruit Syrup 

Ingredients 


pancakes
 -2 cup quick cooking oats
 -3 scoops vanilla protein powder (Bob's Redmill) 
 -2 eggs
 -2 bananas
 - 1/2 cup of milk (add more until it becomes a thick batter)
 -coconut oil for cooking

Blueberry syrup
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 of grapefruit, juice squeezed
 
 What to do

To make the syrup: heat the blueberries, water, grapefruit juice and sugar over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Let the syrup come to a gentle boil and cook until thickened about 10 minutes. Add another squeeze of grapefruit if you need to make the syrup a little more tart! 
 - For the pancakes, put the oats, protein powder, eggs, bananas, and milk in a blender and blend until a smooth batter forms. We like the batter pretty thick because as it cooks it evens out, but if you like it thinner just add a little more milk! 
 - Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil on a griddle or in a small frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, pour batter into the pan making either a small or medium sized pancake. If you have a griddle this would go a lot faster, but since we only have a small cast iron skillet we just make one at a time. 
 -Once both sides are golden brown, transfer to a plate and top with syrup and extra blueberries!