Sunday, September 30, 2012

walnut, pear, arugula salad

do you ever say a word over and over 
until you're convinced it can't be a real word.

i think arugula is one of those words.

heather, can i get an amen? :)

recipe via cooking light

1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups baby arugula leaves
2 pears, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


1. combined first 6 ingredients in a large bowl,
stir with a whisk.

2. add arugula and pears to bowl, toss to coat.
place about 1 1/2 cups salad on each of 4 plates,
sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon walnuts.

3. enjoy!

ya'll, i honestly thought this salad was so simple and delicious!
wouldn't change a thing!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

black bean pumpkin soup

i've got good news and bad news folks.

i'll start with the bad news...
yes, i know. it's sad and ironic all at the same time.

here's the good news:
i've decided to stop texting and driving.

you heard it here first people.
in fact, if you are someone that i know and love,
(which i'm assuming all of my readers are)
will you take this pledge with me?

i'm going to start saying YODO (you only die once)
and i'd like it to NOT be while texting and driving.

***this public service announcement was brought to you with love :)

in other news, i decided to make pumpkin soup.
an obvious choice for fall.
and i LOVED this recipe.
it was almost a mexican pumpkin soup
with the black bean base and cumin flavors. YUM!

recipe via smitten kitchen

3 15.5oz cans black beans (about 4.5 cups), rinsed, drained
1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground back pepper
1/4 cup of butter
4 cups beef broth
16oz canned pumpkin puree (about 1.5 cups)
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8" dice
3 to 4 tablespoons sherry
garnish: sour cream, pumpkin seeds (optional)


1. in a food processor, coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.

2. in a large pot, cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, 
salt, pepper and butter over moderate heat,
stirring often until onion is softened and beginning to brown.

3. stir in bean puree.

4. stir in broth, pumpkin, and sherry until combined 
and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes 
or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

5. just before serving, add ham and extra vinegar.
simmer until heated through.
season soup with salt and pepper.

6. serve garnished with sour cream and/or pumpkin seeds.

Friday, September 28, 2012

kickin boot

as mentioned here, i have a new favorite place.
it's called kickin boot and it was recommended to me
by my bff and her husband for dinner last saturday night.

it's located just off the main drag in ballard,
but i promise you, you'll feel like you're in the deep south :)

tip: plan to go about an hour before you want to sit down to eat.
hang out in the bar and scout out a bar table for some drinks and an appetizer or two.
it took us about an hour to get a table for 6, but this place doesn't slow down.
so best just go and wait it out :)

each table was graced with 5 different kinds of BBQ sauce
(yes i tried them all) :)

there wasn't one thing on the menu i didn't want to try.

we had fried green tomatoes, a BBQ trio, and kickin' shrimp as appetizers.
and we all got some variation of BBQ chicken, pork, or brisket 
for dinner with our choice of the most amazing sides.

did i mention they serve AMAZING cocktails?

hello. you guys must try this place out ASAP!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

carrot parsnip soup

hi friends. guess where i've been?
ohhh, just my bed for almost 24 hours strait, feeling super sick.
at least i get to go back to eating one of my favorite meals... SOUP!

i actually thought this recipe had a ton of potential.
it's super healthy and easy. it's basically just blended veggies.

but despite what the color of the soup might suggest - 
this didn't have enough carrot flavor for me.
i would have added maybe 1-2 cups MORE carrot.
i know, i know... that's a pretty bold suggestion.
but that's how strongly i feel about it!

all in all i would give this soup just 3 stars out of 5.
even if it did make my throat feel better for 5 whole minutes.

recipe via cooking light

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
3 cups coarsely chopped parsnip
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped carrot (about 1 pound)
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (1/8-inch-thick) slices parsnip
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives


1. heat 1 teaspoon oil in large pot over medium heat. 
add the onion, and cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. 
add chopped parsnip, water, carrot, and broth; bring to a boil. 
reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 
remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes.

2. place half of carrot mixture in a blender; process until smooth. 
our pureed carrot mixture in a large bowl. 
repeat procedure with remaining carrot mixture. stir in salt and pepper.

3. heat remaining 5 teaspoons oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. 
add parsnip slices; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. 
drain on paper towels. sprinkle parsnip chips and chives over soup.

be sure you cook these until they are very crisp.

4. sprinkle soup with chives and parsnip chips. enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

my emmy favorites

just because i didn't watch the emmy's
doesn't mean i can't play favorites and show you 
my favorite looks from the award ceremony! :)

all images via us weekly

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

cranberry, oat & honey bread

i think i forgot to mention here that our fremont oktoberfest 5k team
'fremont is better than munich' placed 23rd out of 131 teams.

not bad :)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 cups fresh cranberries (or 1 cup dried)


1. preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.  

2. in a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, 
baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and oats.  

3. in a large bowl, mix together honey, vegetable oil, eggs and milk.  
mix in flour mixture until just moistened.  

4. stir in cranberries and pour into prepared baking dish.
bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

5. enjoy!

okay... for some reason my bread needed to bake for about
20 extra minutes until it was baked through in the middle. 
unfortunately, this made the bread rather dry around the edges.
i think this recipe had a lot of potential, and was super healthy with no butter or sugar.
but still... it wasn't my fave.

for some of my favorite breakfast breads, see here, here and here :)

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