Friday, March 16, 2018

Kale Detox Salad with Roasted Chick Peas & Sweet Potatoes

I'm a big fan of salads and lately I've been drawn to kale as the base because (1) it's super healthy and (2) it's super sturdy, which means that I can literally make an entire salad hours in advance, including tossing it with dressing, and it will hold up till dinnertime. It will even hold up for leftovers the next day and still taste amazing. No wilty lettuce here! I love that this recipe uses hearty fillings like chick peas and sweet potatoes so I'm not left feeling hungry after the meal. With some chicken, this is a great salad for dinner.

Kale Detox Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake/Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed
Olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
dash dried thyme
Grilled chicken
Brown rice (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine chopped potato, chopped carrots & chick peas. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, basil, garlic powder, and thyme. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool.

While vegetables are baking, prepare chicken. In a sauté pan, heat two tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle two chicken breasts with garlic powder and lemon pepper. Sauté for 8 minutes on each side, keeping the lid on pan to lock in moisture. Chop.

Chop kale into small ribbons and transfer to a large salad bowl. Massage the kale for 1-2 minutes and add in pesto. Mix until evenly covered. Add in vegetable, chicken, and (if using) brown rice. If using top with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Skillet Bread

This bread is known in our house simply as "the bread".  Bradford loves it. 
"What are we having for dinner tonight?", he'll ask.
"White Chicken Chili and bread", I'll answer.
"Is it 'the bread'?", he'll ask hopefully.
"Yes, it's 'the bread'", I'll answer.
He sighs happily.
This bread is one of the best kept secrets out there. I'm telling you, it's so good, so simple and so easy! Truly a staple in our home.

Skillet Bread


1 cup water, lukewarm
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dry yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt


In a bowl, mix water, honey, and yeast. Leave it for five minutes so that the yeast starts to work. Add flour, salt, and oil. Work the dough together. Cover with plastic and let rise for one hour. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add a couple glugs of olive oil to a cast-iron skillet. Transfer dough to the skillet, add another glug of olive oil on top and use your fingers to spread it over the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh herbs.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Wanderlust: Tasmania

Ever since my cousin Kelsey decided to move her little family to Australia for six months, I can't get enough of the land down under. Having grown up by the beach in Southern California, I've always felt an affinity toward Australia as it seems to share a similar vibe to SoCal. Every Australian I've met in my life has been fairly laid back and easy to talk to. Beautiful beaches, sustained economy, outdoor adventure. And the fact that it's just this small island continent out and away from the main hubbub of the goings-on of the world, make it seem wild, intriguing, and appealing. 

Last week, I was made aware of Tasmania, thanks to Ellie Bullen, who was there enjoying a gorgeous dinner on a hemp farm. If Australia seems a little wild in my mind, then Tasmania takes it to another level...look below to see for yourself: towering sea cliffs, wild Tasmanian devils, deserted sandy beaches. Put me on a plane tomorrow, please!

Click each picture to view the source.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

My Little Valentine

I've always looked forward to having a three-year-old. This month that dream comes true! Since the second she was placed in my arms, I've felt a super special bond with Petra. It's funny how such a tiny human can give you so much strength. In the last year, Petra's shining, fun-loving, independent personality has really come out and it's so fun to see, although frustrating at times too. Ha! There is nothing like having a toddler repeatedly ignore, defy, and disobey you to teach you that the best way to connect with someone and get them to listen to you is to slow down and listen to them! 

Since Leland's arrival, I've learned that it is extra important to give Petra quality one-on-one time when I can: get down on her level, get in her world. This often results in singing and dancing to Disney songs. She's on a big Beauty and the Beast kick lately and her favorite thing is to recreate the "Tale as Old as Time" ballroom scene...she mimics the choreography from the movie and it's super freakin' cute to see how serious she takes it. 

A few months ago, I was really struggling with having a two-year-old...the terrible two's are real, people! Then one morning at the park as I watched Petra's pigtails bounce around from slide to slide, I had a realization that changed everything. I realized that for the rest of my life during major life moments, like Petra's graduation or wedding day, I'm going to think back on her as a little girl and wish for those days back. For the next sixty years or however long I'm lucky to live on this earth, I will wish for these next few years! But RIGHT NOW, I get to live them! So I am going to enjoy the heck out of them. 

Eliminating distractions so that I can be present with my kids makes all the difference in my ability to enjoy my time with them and be a better Mom. Everything from phones to clutter around the house to even the clothes that I wear can be a distraction. I love this shirt from Cleo Madison for how long it is in the back! As a Mom, I'm constantly living with "crack potential" (ha!): bending over, sitting on the floor, squatting down. It seems so insignificant but wearing clothes that cover up my lower back makes a big difference in my overall stress and comfort level, resulting in a kinder, happier Mom.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Leland Eric

On July 11, 2017, six months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful 10 lb., 11 oz. (!!!) baby boy. Having a boy feels different than having a girl. Maybe it's his size, maybe it's his gender, maybe it's his spirit, or maybe it's just me, but I've always had this feeling that Leland is gonna be okay. He is strong and capable and mellow and just so darn happy! I love him so much and can hardly remember life without him. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Kung Pao Chicken

Since I got married, I've had a goal of obtaining a strong arsenal of dinner recipes that I can cook up fairly easily so that when I have a house full of children and chaos, I will still be able to provide nutritious, home-cooked meals for my family without feeling too much stress. Some of my favorite go-to meals currently are Chicken Parmesan, Smoky Sweet Turkey Chili, and Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos. I just discovered this Asian recipe a couple months and I can already see it joining my list of tried and true dinner recipes. The corn starch coating gives that awesome crispy texture that makes Asian food so good.

Kung Pao Chicken
From Maebells
Yield: 4 servings
Time: about 45 minutes


2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon water
1 bag frozen stir-fry veggies (optional)


Place chopped chicken and 1/2 cup corn starch in a large plastic bag and lightly shake until all of the chicken is coated well.

Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat and pour in just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook chicken (in batches if necessary), taking care not to over crowd your skillet.

Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, and minced garlic in a small bowl or measuring cup to make your sauce. Add to cooked chicken.

Combine one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of corn starch and mix well. Add to chicken.

If desired, add one bag of frozen stir fry veggies and cook until heated through.

Serve with rice. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

As I've transitioned to the busy life of a business-owner Mama, I've really grown to appreciate delicious, hearty meals that take a minimal amount of effort to prepare. I'm hoping to add more of these to my repertoire and I've been really grateful to discover this yummy slow cooker chicken tortilla soup. I prefer my soups thick and creamy and this tortilla soup is just that, with the right kick of spices and a great dose of filling protein. And it's just so easy. 

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Yield: about 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4-6 hours
Total Time: about 5-6 hours


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup salsa
2 cups frozen corn
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese

{Optional Toppings:}

Sour Cream
Diced Tomatoes
Green Onions
Shredded Lettuce
Diced Avocado
Tortilla Strips


Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray. Add chicken to the bottom of the slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix cream of chicken soup, salsa, corn, black beans, water, cumin, and cilantro. Pour over the top of the chicken. 

Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Place back into the slow cooker and add shredded cheese. Continue cooking until cheese has melted, about 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings.