Friday, February 22, 2013

homemade granola bars

oh how I love the barefoot contessa. here's hoping her homemade granola bars will be the perfect apres-cycle snack with cider & hot toddies after our 'full moon lake ride' around white rock lake tomorrow evening with friends.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

brussels sprouts

why don't we eat these little gems more often?

with a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil + kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper, these babies are so good. into the oven at 425 for ~20 mins... don't be scared of some crispy greeny-browny bits. to quote anne burrell, "brown food tastes good!" brussels sprouts always reminds me of my dear friend katie.

Monday, January 21, 2013

guacamole & jicama chips

i'm always trying to sneak veggies into my kids' bellies and jicama is a new one for us. a cross between a mexican yam & turnip, it's innocuous enough, the texture is almost like a crunchy asian pear (less sweet) or raw potato. jicama is high in vitamins A, C and B, along with calcium and phosphorus. pretty nice with guacamole and a fresh tomato salsa. oh fiesta.

look at this cutie...

  • 1 jicama, peeled, cut in half, and sliced into bite-size "chips"
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 cup red grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 yellow tomatoes, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1//4 red onion, finely minced
  • *1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 lime
  • drizzle of evoo
  • kosher salt & pepper

toss tomatoes, garlic, onion, cilantro in juice of lime, evoo and s&p. *i did not include jalapenos because of my kiddos, but that could be nice... let the veg mingle & marinate a bit, then serve over scooped avocado (seasoned with kosher salt & pepper, squeeze of lime).  serve with jicama chips.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

whole lotta nuts granola

i first found this emeril lagasse recipe when working for a triathlete in austin as a private chef (hehe, more like glorified grocery girl). it was his favorite guilty pleasure, loaded with all kinds of protein & energy in the form of nature's candy, seeds, nuts & dried berries. really good sprinkled atop greek yogurt with fresh fruit & honey.  i'd double the recipe and take some home for my own cutie triathlete, td.  now my little one likes to help me make it... as if she needs any more energy.

mix, mix, mix that melted honey, butter & vanilla into the oats, nuts, coconut...

bake at 325, stirring every 5 mins for ~20 mins

keep it in a jar on your counter or in a baggie in your purse for a fun crunchy snack, by itself or on top of greek yogurt, ice cream, etc

Thursday, January 17, 2013

thai chicken salad

oh my goodness, look what i found in my blog posts drafts from ~2 years ago, thai chicken salad.  i recall it was pretty tasty after all.  might have to go with the pictures to discern just how this salad came together... maybe just follow the pics like an ikea direction packet :)

  • ~2 cups grilled chicken, cubed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 mango, diced
  • handful of fresh basil, torn
  • handful of fresh mint, torn
  • bibb lettuce
  • 1 package of ramen noodles, prepared according to directions
  • dressing, i'm guessing:... 1 T soy sauce, 1 T teriyaki sauce, ~2 T evoo or veg oil, juice of 1/2 lime, 1 tsp sesame seeds, salt & pepper, drizzle of sesame oil, squirt of sriracha sauce, little bit a brown suga... season to taste 


toss together and enjoy... the dressing can be doubled and used to marinate the chicken prior to grilling.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

rainy day soup

it's rainy & 55 degrees outside on this chilly january day. perfect soup weather. and since i couldn't bare to drag the kids to the store in the rain, i'm thankful soup loves odds & ends and is very forgiving. chop up whatever you have on hand.  here's what i've got going on the stove right now... thanks for enduring my iphone pics, prettier in person :)

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 4 oz pancetta
  • ~1 pint of mixed yellow & red grape tomatoes 
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 2 32oz chicken 'stock'n a box', i love pacific's organic free range broth found at costco
  • 2 cups dried bow tie pasta
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 2+ cups arugula & spinach
  • 3/4 chopped parsley
  • evoo
  • salt & pepper


saute' diced pancetta in ~1T olive oil until it begins to color. add the onion, celery & carrots and a generous couple of T of extra virgin olive oil + ~2tsp salt & pepper and sautee until softened & glistening.  add tomatoes and continue to cook veg until softened.  add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  add bow tie pasta and garbanzo beans and simmer until pasta is al dente. season with s&p. add 1/2 stick of butter.  {* i know that may sound like a lot, but this soup doesn't have much fat and the butter will richen it up a bit.}  wilt in spinach & arugula and fresh parsley. serve with fresh parm.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

chocolate apricot almond bars

these chocolate apricot almond bars are my go to cookie this holiday season. originally found here, i love them with apricot preserves & sliced dried apricots. easy to make ahead & keep in the fridge until party time.

  • 1 tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 jar apricot preserves, about 8oz
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, sliced
  • 1/2 slivered almonds
  • 3/4 semisweet chocolate chips for drizzling

preheat the oven to 350.  on parchment paper, roll out the sugar cookie dough to approximately 1/4" thick, ~9"x12".  place the parchment paper & dough on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for ~21 mins until slightly more done than soft/chewy (the cookie will absorb the preserves and soften with time). when cooled, spread the preserves on the cookie and drizzle apricots, almonds and melted chocolate. (i melt my chocolate in 15 second intervals in a glass bowl in the microwave, stirring all the time.) let the chocolate harden and cool in the fridge before slicing. store in the fridge in an airtight container. hope you enjoy!  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

salmon en papillote

i've been trying to get more flavorful protein into my family's tummies so we revisited salmon. rich & satisfying and full of omega fatty acids... {more health benefits here}  i found this giada recipe {love her} and adapted it based on what we happened to have on hand.  i must say this was very flavorful & easy!  yay.

i'm looking forward to trying giada's salmon soon, but in the meantime, i can attest to this combo: sun-dried tomatoes, capers, chopped onion & garlic, parsley, evoo and s&p.  mounded on top of salmon filets, wrapped en papillote, {doesn't that sound fancy} and baked at 400 for ~25 mins.  

we enjoyed ours on a spinach salad with feta, pecans, cukes & blueberries. putting together dinner looked something like this:

spinach smoothies

i realize as i see these pics now that i'm probably not helping my cause: promoting healthy spinach smoothies {as a replacement for my almost-daily vanilla coke from sonic}... sorry if these green bubbly images are less than appealing, was just looking for an alternative form of green energy for my afternoon slumpies.

if you're brave enough to try this, it was really quite nice.  i promise you won't even taste the spinach. add wheat germ for folic acid / b vitamins & a nice texture, and local honey to help fight allergies.

  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 TBLS wheat germ
  • 2 TBLS honey
  • 1 - 2 cups vanilla soy milk depending on your desired consistency

blend it to your liking and feel good about your healthy choice :)  *kids like these, too.

mmm brocky

can't believe it but both my babies luv broccoli.  "mmm, brocky."  

i think we've figured out the way we enjoy it best, and it goes basically like this: a hot sear / saute with garlic, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, lots of olive oil & kosher salt, then a splash of water to steam sauteed broccoli for a couple of mins under a lid, and tada, brocky.

  • 1 head broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes {don't worry, this won't make it too spicy}
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • liberal drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • lots of kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken stock

as i said above, this is such an easy method and we think it's the best way to enjoy vibrant, flavorful broccoli without having to blanch it in cold water to keep it green {who likes cold broccoli anyway}. so, heat a clove of garlic & red pepper flakes in a saute pan until very hot {almost smoking, but not burned... this happens fast}. toss in broccoli bites and watch them come alive & turn bright green.  

remember saute means to jump in french, so work your inner-chef and give them a toss.  get a nice hot sear, even brown bits on the edges just add more flavor.  add 1/4 cup water, cover and steam for ~3 mins.  serve immediately.  but blow on hot pieces for little ones :)

i'm craving brocky now and it's only 8:05am.

pioneer woman's banana bread

this week i had a bunch of borderline-soft bananas. my 8 month old will eat them this way, but i prefer mine almost green, the smell of a very ripe banana kind of gets to me. gag. but i didn't want them to go to waste so i googled and found the pioneer women's recipe, and surprisingly she feels the same way about bananas. 

so when she endorsed this recipe i thought i'd give it a try. we liked it! moist with a mild banana flavor, and i love that it's baked in a bundt pan and makes a nice size cake. enjoy 1/2, freeze 1/2... here's her recipe:


  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1-1/2 cup + 2 TBLS sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 4 cups + 2 TBLS flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition. Add mashed bananas and beat. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add dry ingredients and sour cream alternately to the mixing bowl. Beat well until all combined. Pour into bundt pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Invert on a cooling rack and allow cake to cool slightly before slicing and serving with softened butter.
*i added a big splash of vanilla, 3/4 cup walnuts and 1 cup chocolate chips, because that's all i had... might have enjoyed even more chocolate chips.  i baked at 350 for 55mins.