Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

What a busy weekend! We were so blessed this Easter to get the chance to spend lots of time with friends and family. On Saturday, our dear friends Seema & Tim hosted a brunch and egg hunt for the kids. They live on a huge, grassy lot with a creek running along the back of the property. It was the perfect place for kids of varying ages to hunt for eggs. Addie found all of hers in the middle of the grass, not so much “hidden”, but it was just perfect and she had such a fun time eating and playing all morning.

After a good, long nap, Auntie Alyssa came over to color eggs with us. This was actually Addie’s second time coloring eggs this year, as she got to color eggs with her daycare friends at Linda’s. She drove all the way home with her favorite egg in hand Thursday and didn’t put it down until dinner time that night!

It didn’t take Addie long to dig into her basket Easter morning. We tried to wait for Auntie Alyssa to come over, but college sophomores don’t wake up before 10 am and Addie is impatient (like her mommy). The Easter Bunny was especially generous this year giving her a play kitchen. Really, we were just too lazy to put it together last weekend when we bought it, so why not just include it in her Easter basket?

We had a lovely dinner with Aunt Trisha, Ed, Papa, Auntie Alyssa, Gram & Gramps (links below to the things I made which were all worthy of a repeat!).

Prosciutto Cups with Goat Cheese 

Skinny Spinach Dip

Peach and Arugula Salad

Potato Salad with Pancetta and Lemon

Cauliflower Puree

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

Addie wasn’t feeling so hot all weekend, a bit of a cold and cough, so it took her a while to warm up to a full house, but she eventually got comfortable and charmed the room as usual. She had on a super cute Easter dress, but this is the best picture I could get (the other option is with an angry face and it looks like she’s about to throw a book at me!).

After the weekend’s festivities, it was pretty late and she was beat, so we headed upstairs for a bath and her usual bedtime routine.

I imagine normal children want to read a book or snuggle, but Addie’s routine for the past week has been to roll the floor with a giant lint roller. She loves it! We alternate between this and “wrestling” with Daddy until she’s tires herself out. Never a dull moment in our house! She’s such a funny girl!!

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe for you. Occasionally, Jimmy and I make delicious meals at home, though not nearly as often as our pre-Addie days (we cook at home often, just not delicious meals that are blog-worthy!). Lately, anything we cook seems to be a distant second to the exciting things Addie does, so I never get around to posting them. However, last night’s dinner was just too yummy – and pretty – not to share. And, super easy to make! We bought these fantastic little Mahi Mahi burgers from Whole Foods. We’re not usually WF shoppers, however, they tend to have the best selection of organic produce for Addie’s meals, so we caved. Anyway, back to the burgers. We opted for ciabatta buns slathered with a zesty guacamole topped with mango-red pepper salsa. So good! Or, islandy, as Jimmy put it!

To take your mini-vacay to the tropics, pick up a pack of Mahi burgers from your favorite WF market, mix one mango, 1/2 of a red pepper, 1 very small red onion, and juice from one lime. In a separate bowl, mash an avocado with juice of 1 lime and salt and pepper to taste (this may seem too limey but it works). Spread avocado on the top and bottom of the ciabatta, put a layer of fresh lettuce on the bottom and mango salsa on the top, then grill up your burgers. Serve with Jimmy’s amazing sweet potato fries, yum!

And for those of you who could give a hoot about our delish dinners and only come here for Addie, well, here’s your update too ūüôā

We finally got a good picture of the teeth. Jimmy had to taunt her with a spoon full of potatoes (our new food of the week) to get her to open ¬†her mouth this big…

And, she’s finally mastered the crawl, instead of the inch worm! Watch out world!!

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Cooking Therapy

For me, cooking is like retail therapy without the lingering feeling of buyer’s remorse. I spent many grad school days in the kitchen baking cakes, experimenting with new recipes and making huge messes to get me through projects. While at the Palms, I had an amazing co-worker, the author of cb&j blog, who I’d share all my kitchen success stories (and failures!) with. She’s also the driving force behind my vegetarian life shift…which after watching Oprah Vegan for a Week, might just come back in full force very soon – more on that later!

So, with this love for being in the kitchen, it’s hard to believe that I’ve spent the last two months on the couch ordering take out! I’ve been longing for home cooked meals, fresh veggies, anything that isn’t deep-fried. Last week, I made the commitment – new recipes, cooking at home for the whole week, and it was so worth it! Yes, Adelyn accompanied me in the kitchen strapped in the Baby Bjorn for a few prep sessions until Jimmy came home from work. We’re starting her young!

If any of you are neglecting your kitchens these days, give a few of these recipes a try. They’re all delicious!

Vegan Chili

Shrimp Tostadas

Red Pepper Penne

BBQ Chicken Salad (toss this with romaine for a yummy dinner sized portion, and substitute mayo for ranch dressing, of course!)

Panang Curry (served over brown rice)

Twice Baked Potatoes

Oatmeal Cookies

We have a ton going on this week, board meetings and work (did I mention I started back last week?) so this week is semi-homemade from Trader Joes -artichoke raviolis, orange chicken, stir fry, pizza. Nothing too fancy, but we need to be broken of the fast food cycle once and for all! These last 10 pounds have been hanging around for far too long!!

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What a wonderful first Christmas for Adelyn!

We’ve been so busy enjoying our first few weeks with her. In the days leading up to Christmas, she had quite a few adventures. She had a photo session with the wonderfully talented Kendall Price (click here for a slide show of pictures from the shoot). And¬†she finally got to meet her sure to be life-long friend Priya.

And, while we didn’t celebrate with our usual family traditions, we did our best to adapt them to life with a baby. At just 16 days old, travelling with Addie was out of the question, so my mom, Vic and Alyssa spent Christmas with us in Reno this year. We had a great time, but sure did miss the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who have always been¬†part of the festivities.

Every Christmas Eve, Vic cooks steak and lobster and this year was no exception. Being vegetarian for the past¬†few years, I passed on the steak, but¬†I certainly enjoyed it this year! Adelyn didn’t miss out either as she insisted on being held by Gram throughout dinner, though I don’t think Gram¬†would have had it any other way!

While living in Vegas, Jimmy and I had another tradition of attending Christmas Eve¬†church at Community Lutheran with Grom. Sadly she passed away just before Christmas this year and is already missed dearly, but I know she’ll be happy to know that next year, we plan to¬†introduce Adelyn to Christmas Eve services. I hope one day she enjoys¬†Christmas Eve church with her grandma as much as I enjoyed it with mine.

Our Christmas morning consisted of a delicious breakfast of blueberry and mango crepes and turkey sausage followed by hours of present opening Рnot because of the quantity of presents, but just because everything takes three times as long with a newborn!! While Jimmy, Vic and Alyssa relaxed by the fire watching Elf and the Grinch all day, my mom and I cooked a lovely dinner of turkey breast with brussel sprouts, poached pear salad, parmesan mashed potatoes and oatmeal dinner rolls. We ended the night with velvety berry cheesecake then headed to bed with full bellies and grateful hearts.

Jimmy and I got the best present this year and feel so blessed that we have this amazing little one to enjoy each and every day. We can’t wait to share her with all our friends and family! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

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Happy Friday!

Three weeks into the semester and I’m¬†feeling burnt out¬†already! I’ve given two presentations, wrote one 10-page research paper, started a blog and read three books. What have I gotten myself into?

Yesterday was my first day without school related work to do. I visited my dear friend Lindsay and her precious little baby and watched three episodes of Days of Our Lives on DVR. You would think I would have taken the opportunity to get some reading done, but no, relaxing sounded so much more appealing.

So now it’s Friday and I’ve procrastinated long enough. Here’s how I’m starting my day (at 11am!!)…

I borrowed¬†a cookbook from Mama G last weekend, Vegetarian Meals for People on the Go by Vimala Rodgers. I’ve only made one recipe so far but I’m in love! Best oatmeal ever!! It’s like a less sweet version of an oatmeal cookie. I think everyone needs to start their day out with this an a nice cup of tea. Jimmy bought some Davidson’s Lemon Ginseng Green Tea the other day and it has hints of fruit loops…I’m not kidding!! So good!!!

OK, I know I said I was off recipes for a while, but make this one. It’s super simple and I promise you’ll love it.

Down-To-Earth Oatmeal (this would make a ton…I half the recipe for just 2)

4 cups water

2 cups rolled oats, uncooked

1/8 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp allspice

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (I’ve been using walnuts instead)

1 tsp vanilla

1 apple, cored and diced

1/2 cup raisins (I’ve been using dried cranberries)

Boil water, spices and oats together for a few seconds then add seeds, vanilla, apple chunks and raisins. Simmer for three minutes.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed the week of food! This is the last recipe post for now. We’re heading to EDH today to celebrate Jimmy’s birthday, but before we leave, I want to share this last recipe…breakfast (or brinner, if you prefer, I’d never turn down breakfast for dinner)!

During the week, my breakfast usually consists of a piece of fruit, or if I’m feeling ¬†really ambitious, some homemade banana bread (which I’m sure I’ll share with you at a later date)¬†or blueberry muffins (recipe here from vegweb.com). Come Saturday morning, Jimmy & I start our weekend with a sensational breakfast! Sometimes it’s our favorite sunrise sandwich, egg, cheese and a morning star sausage patty sandwiched between a buttermilk¬†biscuit. Other weeks, it’s french toast. Regardless of the main course, more often than not, it’s paired with¬†Jimmy’s potatoes. And, while I think everyone should have this recipe as a go-to for breakfast,¬†I have no idea how he makes them! Maybe one day he’ll write a blog on here with the recipe…but don’t hold your breath!

So instead, I give you amazing blueberry pancakes.¬†I think this was actually our¬†New Year’s Day breakfast, and for once, Jimmy was the one craving pancakes! I thumbed through my cookbooks trying to find something new and exciting to start the new year and stumbled upon this great recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens pink cookbook. I had just bought a tub of frozen blueberries to make the muffins I mentioned so thought it was a perfect fit! It’d be better with fresh blueberries, as you can see, the frozen blueberries left my batter a little green, but they were fabulous just the same.

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

1 cup flour

2 tablespoons cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 egg, beaten

1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons applesauce

1 cup blueberries

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Combine egg, buttermilk and applesauce in another bowl. Pour into well in flour mixture stirring until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto hot, lightly greased skillet flipping when pancakes are bubbly and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve warm topped with syrup or honey.

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Pizza – Three Ways

I’m not one to brag, but Jimmy and I make a mean pizza! When we lived in Vegas, there was this little place right by our house called Mark Rich’s NY Pizza¬†which we just adored. We received a pizza¬†stone for a wedding gift (nearly 5 years ago) but rarely used it until Mark Rich’s inspired us to try our own pizza creations at home.¬†After¬†deciding to be vegetarian, we discovered so many amazing pizza toppings fresh from the garden (well, from someone’s garden, I haven’t quite mastered that skill yet!).

Our love and appreciation¬†for pizza grew even more when we discovered this amazing recipe on epicurious.com.¬†Roasted Garlic, Spinach and Tomato pizza…so ridiculously amazing! Our first attempt was made on our giant foreman like the recipe says, and while it was delicious, nothing beats grilled pizza on the barbeque. It’s the perfect way to enjoy this fresh¬†pie on a summer day.

But, since Reno is like the inside of a freezer right now, we’ve taken our pizza baking indoors for the season putting our pizza stone to good use. It’s no secret that I spend most of my days watching Food Network, and while on break from school, it’s more like all my days. My favorite chef by far is Giada but somehow, unexpectedly, Ina Garten has won me over. She may have¬†secured her place in my heart with¬†this¬†White Pizza with Arugula.

I make this arugula salad all the time, paired with pasta, fish and of course pizza, but I never thought to use it as a pizza topping in itself. The white pizza she makes is great but my personal fav is pepperoni and jalapeno. I know, a cute little pig was slaughtered to put that pepperoni on my plate, but a couple times a year, I pretend to forget about it and just enjoy¬†this fabulous pizza discovery! The key is to chop the jalapenos up into small pieces so every bite has a little kick…mmmm, so good!

Ina’s garlic infused olive oil is amazing too (also in the recipe above). Since finding the grilled pizza recipe on epicurious, I use garlic infused olive oil on all my pizzas in place of tomato sauce. That’s always been my least favorite part of any delivery pizza, tomato sauce just isn’t my thing. But, I found this recipe last weekend on¬†allrecipes.com¬†¬†and had to give it a try. The tomato sauce is actually on top of the cheese which may be why I am such a fan!

Brick Oven Pizza (Brooklyn Style)


  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 6 ounces low moisture mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup no salt added canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, torn
  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes to proof. Stir in salt and cold water, then stir in the flour about 1 cup at a time. When the dough is together enough to remove from the bowl, knead on a floured surface until smooth, about 10 minutes. Divide into two pieces, and form each one into a tight ball. Coat the dough balls with olive oil, and refrigerate in a sealed container for at least 16 hours. Be sure to use a big enough container to allow the dough to rise. Remove the dough from the refrigerator one hour prior to using.
  2. Preheat the oven, with a pizza stone on the lowest rack, to 550 degrees F. Lightly dust a pizza peel with flour.
  3. Using one ball of dough at a time, lightly dust the dough with flour, and stretch gradually until it is about 14 inches in diameter, or about as big around as the pizza stone. Place on the floured peel. Place thin slices of mozzarella over the crust, then grind a liberal amount of black pepper over it. Sprinkle with dried oregano. Randomly arrange crushed tomatoes, leaving some empty areas. Drizzle olive oil over the top.
  4. With a quick back and forth jerk, make sure the dough will release from the peel easily. Place the tip of the peel at the back of the preheated pizza stone, and remove peel so that the pizza is left on the stone.
  5. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the crust begins to brown. Remove from the oven by sliding the peel beneath the pizza. Sprinkle a few basil leaves randomly over the pizza. Cut into wedges and serve.

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