Thursday, January 31, 2013

Two Bean Hummus

One more day till the weekend! 

Are you all gearing up to watch the big game this Sunday? I know I am! Like I said before, I love the Super Bowl. Really, I love anything that involves good food, good friends and good drinks! Yum! 

I wanted to share a great appetizer with you all before the big game, in case Husband's Pulled Pork Sandwiches weren't enough for on game day. 

Hummus is a staple appetizer in my family. My Sittee (pronounced Sit-Tey) was Lebanese, so we grew up eating a ton of Middle Eastern food...Kibbeh, Tabbouleh, Meat Pies and lots and lots of Hummus! (Don't worry I plan on sharing all these secret family recipes with you in the near future!) 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Power Breakfast Smoothies

You guys the green monster, KALE, is back! And it's all husband's fault! 

Both husband and I are really working on getting healthy. 


You wouldn't think so by some of my posts lately, but it's true. And if you look closely, we are incorporating healthier, more filling, good-for-you foods into our every day lives. Sweet potatoes and whole wheat flour in that AMAZING Foccacia Bread. Muffins full of fruit and whole wheat flour. Grilled Chicken Burgers. See...healthy! It just goes to show, that being healthy doesn't mean you have to eat boring foods at all. If anything, I think it really has enhanced my relationship with food and forced me to venture out in new and exciting ways. I LOVE that.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Husband's Pulled Pork Sliders

Happy Tuesday! Tuesday's are always better than Mondays. Don't you think? I sure do.

Who are you rooting for in the Superbowl this coming Sunday?!? I love the SuperBowl! I'm pretty sure it's an un-declared American holiday, and I'm all about holidays! The food, the drinks, the excitement that comes from watching, well, pretty much any sporting event. It's all good in my book! 

While I  am pretty bummed my Seahawk's aren't playing, I still love watching the Superbowl, and this Sunday will be no different. I'll be cheering on the 49ers this year (West Coast Lovin'). 

Monday, January 28, 2013


Here it is...January's iFoodagraphy post. There were some pretty good eats this month that I'm super excited to share with you! 

First, there was a New Year's Eve dinner at Noble Rot. Simply put, it was AMAZING. I had the butternut squash grilled panini. Mouthwatering good. And the perfect way to end 2012 and ring in 2013. 

(Sorry this picture is a little dark!)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sweet Potato Foccacia Bread with Garlic & Thyme

Does anybody else out there have a case of the Mondays? I feel like that happens to me every Monday. But really, how can it not? In my "professional" opinion, weekends are just too short, go by too fast, and before you know it, you blink and it's Monday. Bleck! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Grilled Chicken Burgers with Spicy Guacamole

This is the stuff of warn summer days and backyard BBQs so it seems a little odd that I would post a recipe that screams Summertime in the middle of January. Well, here's my rational: It's beyond cold outside and has been in the lower 30s for one too many days now, and I am seriously craving some warm weather and a weekend BBQ. So I figured if I can't have warm weather, I can at least have warm weather food for a Winter Weekend BBQ. Sound Ok? Good :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Black and Blue Streusel Muffins

So I know I promised a hummus recipe this week, but then I decided that making muffins would be more fun :) So I did! But I also thought I'd be posting this on Wednesday this week, and now it's Friday (FINALLY) and this is the perfect recipe to start off your weekend.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Resolutions...Schmezolutions: Pesto Chicken Lasagna

Resolutions....Schmezolutions. This Pesto Chicken Lasagna is soooo not healthy. Sooooo not good for you. But you know what? It's so good, I don't even care. I loved every. single. bite of cheesy deliciousness. And you will too! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy MLK Day!

Happy Monday! 

I hope everyone had a fun long weekend, thanks to Martin Luther King Day! I know I did (and still am). 

My weekend started off a little like this:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pantry Meals: Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Brown Rice

I told you I make my so-called "pantry meals" a lot! This one was a really good surprise! I had some leftover onion, a red pepper, half of an orange pepper, chicken and rice and I sautéed it all together to make a quick and easy chicken veggie stir fry!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Raspberry Ricotta Oat Scones

Just a little side note before we get into the post below and boy oh boy is it a good one! For those of you, and I know there aren't a lot of you out there reading this now, but hopefully one day there will be, what do you think of the new blog design? I only ask because I've been toying around with it a bunch, and while it's not quite how I want it yet, it's getting closer! I welcome any and all feedback in the comments below or feel free to contact me at! 

Also, since I'm still new to this whole blogging world, I would love some feedback and ideas  on what you like, what you don't like and things you think would make it better!

Ok, now back to the good stuff:

Raspberry. Ricotta. Oat. Scones. Are your mouth's drooling yet? If not, they should be. 

The hubby and I headed over to our friends house this past weekend for a potluck brunch and to watch the Seahawk's play Atlanta. Can you believe they lost!?!?! After such a great comeback, to have Mr. Pete Carroll make a crappy timeout call.....OMG! I'm sure he is so unhappy with himself!! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pantry Meals: Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Ricotta Tomato Sauce

I make what I call "pantry meals" at least 1-2 times a week. Ask my husband, it's true. When it gets toward the end of the week, and groceries are low, but I'm too lazy to go shopping and we have a bunch of half-used ingredients in our pantry and refrigerator, I start to scheme about what sort of creations I can come up with in order to use the rest of those ingredients. 

Half of an onion, a bag of pasta, some leftover pasta sauce (from this recipe here!), leftover Ricotta cheese from delicious Raspberry Ricotta Oat Scones (don't worry the recipes coming!) I made this past weekend, what's left of my grape tomatoes from this delicious lunchtime salad, and woila Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Ricotta Tomato Sauce was born.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Buttered Sage Crisps

It has been sooooo cold in Portland the past few days! We even got snow!!! You'd think, living in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) that Portland would see a lot of snow, but I'm learning that we barely get any! And, on top of that, the temperature usually doesn't get very low (at least not like what I'm used to from back home). So the fact that it's been below freezing the past few days and we had snow TWO WHOLE DAYS IN A ROW is kind of a big deal. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cannellini Caprese Salad

This is definitely my favorite lunch of the New Year! I absolutely love Caprese salad, the mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil and drizzled with balsamic and a little bit of olive oil...DROOL! But I always make it as more of an appetizer instead of a meal. Well folks, that's about to change! 

I made my typical caprese salad using baby buffalo mozzarella, grape tomatoes and fresh basil, but then to add a little bit of protein, make the salad a bit healthier (i.e. able to take to work as lunch and not be hungry an hour later) I added in Cannellini beans, and man was it good! It's the perfect salad to make the night before, so that the balsamic and olive oil can really sink in and get absorbed by the cheese and tomatoes. 

It was, hands down, the best lunch I've ever made for work and you better believe it's going to be one that I make again. 

Best incredidbly easy. The hard part is waiting till lunch the next day to get to EAT it! 

Cannellini Caprese Salad
**note, I made this just for me for lunch, so if you're planning on serving it to more than one, you'll definitely need to up the ingredients :)

1/2 cup Cannellini Beans
1/2 cup diced grape tomatoes
1/3 cup diced buffalo mozzarella
1 tblsp chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of balsamic vinegar
drizzle of olive oil 

Here's the tough part....combine ingredients and stir!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Bowls

So, I've found a new food blog to follow that is perfect for my New Year's Resolutions!! She is all about making yummy, traditional family friendly foods, healthier. I'm sure some of you know about her and I've just been stuck in the middle ages over here, but if not, check out Skinny Taste. Her recipes are great and easy to follow and everything is waistline conscious!

I got this next recipe from her site and it is soooo good. I've done Spaghetti Squash before, stuffing it full of veggies, turkey sausage, and cheese, and it was delicious, but it was also time consuming and complicated. This recipe was so good and so easy to follow and if you have a little patience to let the squash roast, you will enjoy it just as much as me and the hubster did the other night. It also made a TON of food for two people, so we were extra excited that we'd get to enjoy some leftovers :)
This is also the perfect dish for any of you Atkin's loving peeps out there who are missing pasta, because it's low in carbs and low in calories!

Hurry up and make this for dinner, I promise you won't be disappointed!

Spaghetti Squash Bowls
Original Recipe at Skinny Taste

1 spaghetti squash
1 c marinara sauce (homemade or your favorite store-bought)
1-2 grilled chicken breasts (1 was plenty for the hubby and me)
1/2 c mozzarella
2 tblsp shredded parmesan
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut your spaghetti squash in half and season salt and pepper. Roast in the oven 45-60 minutes or until the sides of the squash are easy to push in (careful they'll be HOT!!).
While the squash is roasting, grill your chicken (season however you like. I like to use a mix of salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasonings). Remove from oven and slice.
When the squash is read, pull out of the oven and pull the meat of the squash into the center (it will be stringy like Spaghetti!). Mix garlic in with your squash and top with grilled chicken breasts. Pour spaghetti sauce on top of the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan. Put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I am full of healthy recipes this month! Look at me go!!!!!!!

I have to tell you that I was super excited about this recipe....until I made it, but I haven't given up on it! It wasn't bad, just a little too sweet for my liking and the bars, instead of firming up nicely, but still being chewy, like the granola bars we all know and love from our local grocery stores, well, simply put, they were hard. Really hard. Yucky hard. So, my plan is to lessen the honey and brown sugar and increase the peanut butter. I'm hoping this will make it less sweet, more peanut buttery (which is what I was going for) and hopefully less hard. 

If any of you out there have a granola bar recipe you love, please share it with me!!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips Granola Bars
adapted from Twin Tables

2 cups oats
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tblsp chia seeds

1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Butter a 9x9-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats onto a sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla and salt in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until combined. 

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and immediately add it into the liquid mixture, add the chia seeds and chocolate chips (if you let the mixture cool slightly, your chocolate chips won't melt, I didn't do this, but I didn't mind the melted chocolate swirled through my granola bars :). 

Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish. Cool completely and cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nothing Goes Better Together...

Than a nice glass of wine and a good book!

Unfortunately, one of my new year's resolutions was to only drink on holidays. I figured there's probably at least one legitimate a holiday each month worth celebrating, which would allow my body to detox and hopefully lose some extra poundage I've gained in recent months.I gained the marriage 15! YIKES!

But, more importantly, another one of my New Year's Resolutions was to read at least one book a month. I love reading. I used to be (used to being the key thing here) be quite the avid reader, but with work, and life and TV and the internet and everything in between, books got lost. So, I'm starting fresh, and my goal is to read at least one good book a month.

Which mean, lucky for you guys, I'm going to share what I'm reading each month! Maybe it will give you a good book suggestion, maybe you'll see what I like to read and send me some suggestions. I'm all ears!

This month, I'm pretty excited to start this book my friend Morgan shared with me. It's Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn...I'm starting it tonight, so I'll let you know how it is!

If you have suggestions, send them my way and if you've read the book, don't spill the beans!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Creamy Chicken and Veggie Quinoa Primavera

You guys this is so good! I mean so so so so good. And the kicker, is it's good for you too! 

This Creamy Chicken and Veggie Quinoa Primavera is definitely going to become a staple in my house. It's made with quinoa (duh!) (a grain super high in protein), lots of veggies, grilled chicken and I secretly threw in chia seeds (which are sooooo good for you - they're full of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and lots of other vitamins and minerals - thanks to the hubster for reading up on these and convincing me to purchase them!)

I love quinoa, but I'm still in the beginning stages of experimenting with it. I'm kind of addicted to pinterest looking for good ideas which is exactly where I found this one! It came from Let's Dish and I only changed it slightly (adding the chicken and chia seeds), but you can find the original recipe there. 

 I only just started using it last year, so when I find a recipe that is AMAZING, I get really excited about it. It does, admittedly have some cream cheese in there, but if you want to be super crazy low-cal, healthy about it, you can get low-fat or non-fat cream cheese and not feel guilty one bit. I'm more of the everything in moderation kind of girl, so I went with the full-fat cream cheese and it was melt-in your mouth good.

With yummy, delicious dishes like these, I will definitely be able to stick to my New Year's Resolution and you can too!

Creamy Chicken and Veggie Quinoa Primavera
1-2 Chicken Breasts
3/4 cups uncooked quinoa
1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups thinly sliced or bite sized pieces assorted uncooked vegetables ( I used carrots, broccoli, red onion, yellow peppers, and a spicy pepper to heat things up)
3 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional and just for added healthy perks)


Season your chicken with salt and pepper and if you prefer, any additional Italian Seasonings (basil, oregano, parsley, etc.). Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. 

Meanwhile, rinse quinoa thoroughly; drain. Bring quinoa and broth to boil in a 2-quart saucepan; reduce heat. 
Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until broth is absorbed. 

While quinoa is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic in butter for about one minute, stirring frequently, until golden. Stir in vegetables. Cook about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender. 

Stir cream cheese and basil into cooked quinoa. Toss vegetables and chicken with quinoa mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Serve and Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Cheers to 2013! I hope everyone had a very Happy New Year surrounded by those you love. I know I sure did :)

I'm sure many of you have the age-old resolution to lose weight, exercise more, be generally healthier, right? Yup, me too! Along with a few other resolutions I won't bore you with. So I figured in the spirit of things, I'd start my first post of the New Year off with both a totally delicious AND healthy roast chicken dinner dish. And the best part about this's good! Really really really good! It doesn't taste or feel like diet food, which is definitely the worst part about dieting (cardboard brownies anyone? I didn't think so).

The second best thing about this's a one pan kind of deal, so it's easy to clean up, which in my book is a double win!

So go make this now and don't feel bad about it one bit!

Cheers to a health, happy 2013!

Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

1 Large Sweet Potato, diced
2 Fuji apples, diced
2 Tblsp chopped sage
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 Chicken Breasts
2 tablespoons butter, thinly sliced

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl combine sweet potatoes, apples, sage and olive oil and stir. Lay on the bottom of a roasting pan. Salt and Pepper your chicken breasts and lie on top of the sweet potatoes and apples. Distribute pats of butter atop the chicken and apple/sweet potato mixture. 

Put pan in oven and roast for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Remove from oven, place the chicken on a plate and put the pan on top of your stove. Reduce the liquid in half to create sauce and spoon the sweet potatoes and apples over your chicken to serve.