Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

Last week I had the privilege to take dinner to a friend that just had a baby.  I absolutely love being able to share my love of cooking with others and am that girl that takes “orders” when it’s my turn to deliver.  This particular mom requested something healthy so I made a quinoa casserole that I knew would feed them for a few meals as well as keep the calories in check while still being delicious.  Since it was a casserole and only one dish, instead of dessert I made her some breakfast/snack cookies.  I honestly had no intention of sharing this recipe but after getting a text message claiming she was going to have to hide them from her toddler, I knew they were worth sharing.  Big Guy also ate these cookies for breakfast last week – he liked to warm them in the microwave and add some cashew butter on top.

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The cookies are absolutely full of good-for-you ingredients.  If you don’t have a lot of these ingredients on hand, I recommend heading to Trader Joes.  They have everything on the ingredient list and they’re priced much better than say Harris Teeter or Whole Foods.

In the mix (plus a few other ingredients)…

Coconut Oil – it doesn’t give the cookies a coconut flavor, so don’t be scared!
Coconut Sugar (I actually bought this at Walmart)
Banana – naturally sweetens the cookies
Flaxseed Meal – great source of Omega 3 and fiber
Cinnamon – not only does it taste delicious, it’s helps regulate hunger
Rolled Oats – a whole grain and full of fiber
Chia Seeds – a powerhouse ingredient!
Blueberries – full of good for you vitamins and fiber
Walnuts – sign me up for their antioxidant properties

They taste like a blueberry muffin and I promise you’ll love them!

 

Mortadella Pizza + Pear, Date and Burrata Pizza with Crispy Sage

On Friday I said that the week had flown by.  And here I am on Monday telling you that the weekend flew by even faster.  Why does that happen?  On Saturday I taught before we headed to get pedicures.  That’s right, Big Guy requested we get pedicures and they were awesome.  We had plans in Raleigh on Saturday evening and we headed that way early afternoon.  Before heading to dinner, we had a little happy hour at Vivace complete with wine and a delicious cheese plate.  We had the best time hanging out.

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We didn’t want to leave but we needed to head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.  We had reservations at Second Empire, an amazing restaurant that we love but haven’t been in years.  I didn’t snap in pictures at dinner because I really just wanted to enjoy my time with the husband.  It was an incredible dinner and I am so thankful for our date nights.

Sunday ended up being incredibly fun after a last minute decision to invite some friends over for pizza.  The recipe for the dough requires a little time but it ended up being a great crust.  One of the pizza was topped with mortadella, an Italian sausage that is studded with pistachios, as well as mozzarella, parmesan and a pistachio-oil drizzle.  The other pizza was full of flavor with juicy pear slices, sweet dates, creamy burrata and crispy fried sage.

The pizzas were so different but super yummy.  I will never get tired of pizza Sunday.

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And now it’s back to the grind.  This week is a busy one but I’m looking forward to a few dinners at home and a fun weekend that lies ahead.

 

Friday Favorites

This has seriously been one of the fastest weeks of my life.  How is it already Friday?  I mean, I’m not complaining.  The later part of this week has been incredibly busy so I’m excited about a sloooooow down tonight and the rest of the weekend.  Here are my favorites from the week:

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Favorite Indulge:  Red Wine Brownies.  How perfect would these be for Valentine’s Day?

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Favorite Tips:  How to Mix and Match Patterns in a Room Like a Pro.  My favorite sentence in the whole article:  “Leopard is a neutral.”  Amen.

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Favorite Trend:  Thai Beef Bowls.  I feel like I’m seeing rice bowls and noodle bowls everywhere these days.  I love this variations with the spiralized veggies.  And the peanut sauce.

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Favorite Addictive:  Brown Butter Maple Bacon Popcorn.  This stuff looks dangerous.  And would be absolutely perfect for a raining day.  Or the Super Bowl.  Or a Netflix kind of night.

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Favorite Print:  Champagne Twirl.  I’ve fallen in love with several illustrations lately.  This one is just so fun.

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Favorite Spoonful:  Turmeric Roasted Sweet Potato and Macadamia Soup. Turmeric is the spice of 2017.  I’ve seen it used in soups, in lattes, and everything in between.  I think I should make a batch and then freeze some for lunches next month.

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Favorite Football Food:  Chorizo and Avocado Nacho Potato Skins.   Y’all, planning our Super Bowl menu stresses me out juuuuust a litttttle because I want to make EVERYTHING!

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Favorite Forecast:  Predicted Paint Colors for 2017.    The hunter greens are growing on me, people.

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Favorite Brunch:  Chilaquiles Frittata Bake.  I’ve seriously been loving our new tradition of having brunch and this little number looks so dang good.

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Favorite Celebrate:  Winter Champagne Punch.  And everything is worth celebrating.

Cheers!

 

 

Sausage Potato Pie

Big Guy and I have never really been brunch people.  On the weekends we typically eat a light breakfast, light lunch and then have a killer dinner.  Until lately.

Over the past several months, I’ve truly started to love Sundays.  Gone are the days of complaining about Monday being just around the corner.  And gone are the days of not having brunch at home.

I’ve really enjoyed our slow mornings that start without an alarm clock.  After waking up, I make coffee, enjoy a cup with a small breakfast and then we go on a walk.  After we’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time for brunch.  And have I got a deliciously comforting yet incredibly easy brunch dish for you.

Sausage Potato Pie is full of potatoes (I used pre-shredded hashbrowns, oh yes I did), sausage, eggs and cheese.  A little milk helps bring it all together along with some spinach for nutrients and any seasoning you desire (I used a Savannah Summer Salt).  Simply brown the sausage and then whisk together the eggs, milk and seasonings.  Then fold in the potatoes, some of the cheese (we used a smoked gouda), spinach and cooked sausage.  Pour into the prepared pie dish, top with more cheese and bake.

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Add a mimosa on the side and you’ll really be living.

#brunchgoals

 

Cider Cheese Soup in Pretzel Bread Bowls

Hey, friends!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Ours was wonderful but went by way too fast.  Doesn’t that always happen, though?  Good news:  I have lots of food to share with you this week.  But first, CHEESE.

So no one felt the need to give me a heads up on National Cheese Day last week.  I was bummed that I was unable to celebrate but we made up for it yesterday with lots of cheese.  The soup is similar to beer cheese soup that is popular in pubs but instead of beer, apple cider is used.  We used an Angry Orchard hard apple cider – the alcohol cooks out but you could totally use a non-alcoholic apple cider and it would be equally delicious.  The soup was served in homemade pretzel bread bowls.  Bread bowls have been on our “kitchen bucket list” for a couple of years now and I’m not sure why it took us so long to check it off the list.

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The soup starts with crisping up some bacon and then cooking onions and garlic in the bacon fat until softened and translucent.  Butter and flour are used to thicken the soup and then the cider is added and cooked until slightly thick and the alcohol is cooked out.  Add in the half and half for the ultimately richness and then comes the cheese.  The recipe called for cheddar and colby jack – if I were to make this soup again I might use a monterey jack for a little heat.  I felt like it was missing that.  The crisped bacon is added and then serve in the bread bowls.  We topped our soup with a little bacon, fried sage (!!!) and some chives for freshness.

The ultimate comfort food = cheese + carbs and that’s just what this dinner is all about.

Thai Basil Chicken

Christmas 2016 has come and gone – can you believe it?  The past week was filled to the brim with family and laughter.  We spent the first part of “Christmas break” with my parents in my hometown before heading to the mountains on the 26th to spend some time with Big Guy’s family.

I felt beyond blessed to be with my family for three whole days.  And the best was when we were ALL together.  OH, and in some exciting news, I’m going to be getting a new sister soon.  My youngest brother proposed to his girlfriend before Christmas so we were able to celebrate that exciting news, too.

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Christmas day was non-stop from 7am until 11pm, in fact, Big Guy and I didn’t get to exchange gifts until 10pm.  Despite how exhausting the day can be, it’s always so much fun and by far one of my favorite days of the year.

We got up on the 26th and helped clean up the mess from the night before and then hit the road to the mountains.  Big Guy’s dad rented a mountain house for us all for a few days and it was the perfect post-Christmas retreat.  I always find the 26th to be kind of depressing because all the “fun” is over but our fun started all over again.  I am so thankful for the time I was able to spend with his sisters.

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We arrived back at home late yesterday afternoon and spent the evening unloading seven days worth of Christmas.  Today was spent taking down Christmas.  And while I’m always sad to see the magic of Christmas be put back into boxes, I’m also glad to have my living room back.  The house is clean and ready for a weekend at home.

Obviously our fridge is quite bare after being away for so long, so a quick trip to the store was necessary.  (p.s. I am not a fan of coffee with almond milk…which is all we had this morning)  While putting together a grocery list, I jumped online to try and find an easy recipe for dinner.  It didn’t take me long to come across Thai Basil Chicken which looked not only easy but had a simple ingredient list.

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Dinner was delicious!  It came together in under 30 minutes with only 7 ingredients – most of which were in my fridge or pantry.

Tomorrow is not only NYE but it’s also Big Guy’s birthday!  We’re going to keep things low-key but I can assure you that our menu for the weekend is worthy of a birthday.

Cheers to all that was 2016 and all that is to come in 2017.

 

 

Pimento Cheese Ball + Sweet Potato Mezzaluna

Christmas week is here!  I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.

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Like  mentioned the only social plans we had this past weekend was Supper Club on Friday night.  We had a blast with our friends and enjoyed seeing everyone during this crazy time of year.

On Saturday evening, after getting a few things done around the house, it was time to simply relax and enjoy some Christmas music.  As an appetizer, we had a pimento cheese ball.  For some reason, the only time I really think about cheese balls is during Christmastime.  They’re such a retro appetizer, in my opinion.  This cheese ball was stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, some habanero Monterey Jack cheese, pickles (!!!!), garlic and of course, pimentos.  The entire cheese ball was rolled in roasted pecans which gave great texture and nuttiness.

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This is an awesome appetizer option for the coming weeks because you can totally make it in advance.

The real show stopper of the night was our dinner – homemade sweet potato mezzaluna with a garlic and sage cream sauce.  Honestly, it’s the best homemade pasta we’ve ever made.  We were still talking about it this morning.  The pasta is stuffed with a simple mixture of mashed sweet potatoes, Parmesan, rosemary and salt and pepper.  Once the pasta is cooked, it’s tossed in a rich and savory cream sauce that was loaded with flavor thanks to a head of roasted garlic, shallot and lots of fresh sage.  Incredible!

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The pasta was topped with toasted pecans and dried cranberries.

By far the best bite of the weekend!

I know everyone has a busy week ahead and I can’t wait to see my family in a matter of days.

6 days…