26 New Recipes

I was perusing Instagram this morning while recuperating on the couch and came across a picture from Megan_NerdNest. She talked about how she’s documenting 52 new recipes this year in a book. I’ve now been thinking about this idea for the remainder of my afternoon and decided I wanted to do something similar. I’ll incorporate it into my regular Project Life album but I’m going to challenge myself to document 2 new recipes a month (less pressure for me not having to do it weekly!) This will require a little more planning on my part and cooking these recipes during the weekend so I can photograph them but I am up for the challenge!

I’ve already cooked at at least 3 new recipes so far this year and we’ve determined that 2 of them are coming into a regular rotation. I’m trying really hard to use my cookbooks and not just peruse the internet for recipes, so far it’s been a win! From here on out I’ll be sharing the new recipes and what we thought here on the blog!




Breakfast + Lunch + Snacks

While we’re much more diligent about planning out dinners the rest of our meals tend to be more of a fly by night operation. While I do take these other meals into consideration while planning for the week I could probably be more specific. Perhaps that would eliminate the scratching of the head at 5:30 in the morning…hmmmmm.

I thought I’d share some of the things we turn to more frequently than not for these meals since I always love fresh ideas from somewhere else. I’ve been finding a lot of inspiration on Instagram with the #Whole30 hashtag. We’re not doing Whole 30 specifically but we’ve been adhering to some of the pillars of it. I’ve eliminated almost all dairy and have had very little grains and sugar. The weekends are more relaxed and I do still indulge.



Trader Joes has awesome frozen oatmeal or oatmeal/quinoa (the only grain I’ve really been eating!) I like to top with a dollop of peanut butter or Justins Vanilla Almond butter and some berries.

Hard boiled eggs with fruit on the side

Avocado toast if I’m eating bread

Fried eggs with avocado slices and tomatoes

Green Smoothies (my favorite is kale, pineapple and coconut water with a scoop of vanilla protein powder)

Egg Cupcakes! (eggs + veggies baked in muffin tins)



Nuts! We love nuts from Trader Joes. Lately it’s been cashews and pistachios

Lunchmeat wrapped around bell peppers or with guacamole

Grapefruit (I am ADDICTED!)

Guacamole cups from Costco with veggies to dip

Hard boiled eggs

Apple and peanut or almond butter



I try to roast 3-4 chicken breasts and vegetables on Sundays and divvy it up for lunches. I’ll usually throw it together for a salad. I’m loving roasted beets, carrots and squash right now.

Tuna salad! I like to make a mediterranean version without mayo.

Roasted sweet potatoes with chicken and veggies on the side

Soup (Another thing I’ve been trying to whip up on the weekends is a pot of some kind of soup. Lately our favorite has been butternut squash. Super simple and delicious!)

If I’m eating grains I’ll make up a big batch of farro or quinoa at the beginning of the week. I’ll then add it to salads.

lunchmediterranean tuna salad + steak with veggies + fruit with muffin cups and avocado + quinoa veggie salad with arugula + sweet potato farro and arugula salad + roasted broccoli and butternut squash.

What do you do for breakfast + lunch + snacks?

Meal Planning

Anyone out there plan their meals for the week/bi weekly/monthly? We do it weekly here and then I spend Friday doing the grocery shopping for the upcoming week. We typically plan Saturday-Friday because that’s what works best for our schedule. Earlier this month I picked up a great meal planner from this great little Etsy shop. What I love most about it is that the pages are perforated and you tear them out weekly but then you can also tear off your shopping list! Win/Win. She doesn’t always have them in her shop but if you follow her on Facebook she lets you know when they’ll be available.

Since moving we have spent a LOT more time in the kitchen. It’s not as easy to say “I don’t feel like cooking tonight let’s just go grab something.” There isn’t much nearby and thing we were used to in Denver (Chipotle. Jimmy Johns. Wich Which.) are either non existent or way far away to make a quick run for dinner. We’ve picked up some great new cookbooks and have had fun trying out 2 new recipes a week. The Skinny Taste cookbook has proven to be a real winner! We’ve loved everything we’ve made so far.

I’ve been trying to double some meals so we have some easy freezer options as well. We’ve run out of all of those so I’ll spend today catching up! Going to make some bolognese to throw in the freezer as well as some more soup! Thought I’d share our meal plan in case anyone needs ideas! Happy Sunday!

Sunday: Pot Roast, Cesar Salad, Sweet Potatoes

Monday: Cubano Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Green Salad, Roasted Brussels Sprouts (I’ll roast an extra tenderloin as well that’s just got some good seasoning for leftovers)

Tuesday: Mediterranean Turkey Burgers with Greek Salad

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Taco Salads

Friday: Shrimp with Broccoli

Saturday: out!

Hello 2015!

Happy New Year! I can’t believe 2014 is over but I for one am ready for a fresh start. 2014 brought lots of changes, the biggest one being our move across the country. I’m still adjusting and missing Colorado like crazy but I think once summer rolls around my mind will be changed about living in New Jersey.

I successfully (well almost I missed 10 days) completed a 365 Day Photo Project on Instagram. I had so much fun being a part of the community at #my_365. The people there are the friendliest and the challenges were a lot of fun. I didn’t always follow the prompts but I still managed to snap a photo almost every day. I’m doing it again this year, I’m going to *try* to get my Nikon out and use it more regularly…but having my iPhone is so freaking convenient! Doing this project also made putting together my Project Life album for the year so easy! Especially since it had all been packed away in boxes for most of the year and I didn’t get around to putting it together until last month. I’m happy to say I just placed on giant photo order which will get my 2014 album caught up!

This year we are looking forward to lots of fun (we’ve already got a cruise planned and 2 weddings to attend!) plus there will most definitely be lots of exploring up and down the east coast. We’re looking forward to hosting friends + family in our little home on the water. We’re talking about a trip to Iceland(probably more likely in 2016) We want to see Yankee’s game. We want to eat lobster rolls. We want to see a Red Sox game. We can’t wait to stick our toes in the ocean. We want to catch crab off our dock and eat it for dinner. We want to get to NYC for a weekend if not more.

I’m excited about continuing to cook. We don’t have many options for eating out that excite me which has made cooking at home a bigger deal than usual. We’ve found some new cookbooks and I’m looking forward to getting started with some new recipes. (Cooks Illustrated Asian Favorites, Americas Test Kitchen New Family Favorites + The Skinnytaste Cookbook!) I think I’m way late to the game with the new found love of Skinnytaste but I’m so excited to cook from her new book!

Wishing you the best year yet in this new year!




Goodbye October!

I can’t believe that October has already come and gone. It was a great month around here. While I’ve been missing home a lot, New Jersey put on quite the spectacular fall show for us. The colors and weather were incredible. We had a lot of fun exploring our new home. Looking forward to what November has in store {maybe everything aside from the cold weather…}

Not working has allowed me to spend a lot of time in the kitchen which I have been enjoying. I’ve been incorporating 2 new recipes a week into our menu and have loved being back in the kitchen. We don’t have many options nearby for going out or even for takeout/delivery so whatever is on the menu is what happens in the kitchen. Sometimes I get so annoyed and just want to call for delivery but for the most part it’s worked really well for us. I do one big grocery shop each week, usually on Friday, and then if I need to I might run out mid week and pick something up. We have a German Butcher in town which I love. We can get fresh cut bacon, really yummy meats and breads.


photo 1

farro, roasted veggies + poached eggs || sweet potato hash with fried eggs || french onion soup pasta || roasted butternut squash + balsamic pork tenderloin and green beans || makings of apple crisp || freezer soup with trader joes pot stickers



photo 2


fall colors on the New Jersey parkway || fun at Allaire State Park || gorgeous fall colors + buildings at Allaire || 60th birthday party || exploring Red Bank || fun at a 2nd birthday party at Happy Day Farms


photo 3


Verrazano Bridge into NYC || Long Beach Island exporing || Jersey Shore || LBI Oyster Fest || More beach fun || enjoying our new copper mugs

Pinning Away….

Things I’ve stumbled across this week that I’m loving. Pinterest and I have a love hate relationship, lately it’s a loving one.

it’s like new clothes for your phone, since I’m not getting the iPhone anytime soon I feel like changing up the screen makes it feel new. there are lots of awesome options here!

this living room feels so cozy. I want to create a gallery wall and have a couch filled with gorgeous throw pillows.

the light! the sink! I want these things in a kitchen in my future house.

I love sushi. how can you not love this baby sushi?! we did something like this as a couple five years ago and won a few awards.

hello gorgeous. I adore those latte bowls from anthropologie. might have to find a way to add and add and add to my collection!

yes! I’ve been looking around for a way to display my instagram photos, I’ve got one corner with some hung up but I like this idea for a main wall in the house.

fall is officially here. this could definitely be my go to outfit all season long.


have a great weekend!

Life Lately…

my life in pictures lately…can’t believe that we’ve been here a month. finally beginning to learn my way around and feel settled. looking forward to getting the rest of our things to NJ soon!


Fall Is Here!

Fall Is Here!

Lobster In Asbury Park

Cotton Candy Skies Out Our Back Door

Candy Color Houses On Long Beach Island

October Beach Day Long Beach Island


Homemade Pizza Night


I Found Starbucks! PSL For My Road Trip

Verrazano Bridge. Hello NYC


Mom’s Apple Cake!


Meal Planning. Coffee. Sunshine. Cake.

We Went To A Party!

Found This Little Guy Antiquing

Stopped By The Beach On My Walk


Storm Is Rolling In. Can You See The Rainbow?

Clouds Over The Ocean!


happy Tuesday!




Good Morning and hello Monday! We woke up to temps of 27˚ outside this morning! What the what?! I was so not prepared for the bitter chill that temperatures that cold bring into the house. Especially when you don’t turn on the heat (whoops!) Luckily we learned that our house warms up quickly and our heat does indeed work.

After a long and busy weekend all I wanted to do last night was to head out to a bar and grab some dinner and watch football. I wanted nothing to do with the kitchen or dishes. We were both beyond tired though and opted to stay in, throw on jammies and watch more Breaking Bad. We are seriously addicted and almost done with season 3.

We decided on Gyoza Soup, otherwise known as clean out the freezer/fridge soup. It’s so good and so filling. I’m glad I made more than enough for lunch leftovers today! You can tune this soup to your liking and add in pretty much anything that sounds delicious or any vegetables that are about to turn. The first time we made this soup we used fresh spinach which was really yummy!

When the soup was done cooking I set up the perfect picture and snapped away. Then I set my phone aside and quickly dove in only to later realize that my phone didn’t actually take the pictures. My iPhone 5S is giving me a run for my money these days and it’s only 6 months old. Guess I’ll have to make a trip to the Apple Store this week.

Enjoy your Monday!

gyoza soup

1 medium onion {cut in half, then sliced thin}

4 carrots {peeled and sliced into circles}

2 celery stalks, diced

6-8 large mushrooms, sliced

8-10 Trader Joes frozen Gyoza {we used pork this time}

1 container Trader Joes organic chicken broth

2 cups water

1/2 bag Trader Joes frozen Kale



ginger powder

garlic powder

hoisin sauce

olive oil

sauté onions in olive oil until they are slightly translucent, then add in carrots and celery. cook until veggies begin to soften. add in mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown. season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger powder {we didn’t have fresh ginger or I would have used it and I was too lazy to deal with fresh garlic!}

add in the container of chicken broth and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. once boiling add in the frozen kale and bring back to a boil. allow the soup to boil for 5-8 minutes depending on the size of the kale pieces. add in gyoza and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes. don’t let the gyoza over cook!

serve immediately! this is delicious when you drizzle in hoisin sauce but just as good without it. we had some leftover rotisserie chicken so I shredded it and placed a little bit in each of our bowls. I ladled the soup on top and when we sat down to eat everything was nice and hot. this soup was super filling, we each only had one bowl!

have some fun with this recipe and add in vegetables to your liking. Trader Joes has other gyoza as well, there’s a vegetarian version and a chicken one too.

Beef + Butternut Squash Stew

This week’s meal plan had not one but two new recipes! While all of our cookbooks are still in storage in Denver {insert loud sobs!} I somehow managed to bring along a binder of recipes from magazines that I’ve cut out over the years. We’ve been working with that and checking out books from the library to fill in our meal plans. Last night’s dinner was a Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash served with couscous. I added more spices than the original recipe called for and I think I’d even bump it up a notch again next time.

This recipe came from a Cooking Light magazine in the January/February 2011 issue. I bought beef stew meat from Whole Foods because it was on sale. I think because of the cut of meat I used this was not a 40 minute recipe, which worked out well for me. I also believe this could be a great dish cooked low and slow in the crock pot or even in the oven on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I’ll be experimenting with this because we both thought that the flavors were so awesome and because the boy, ahem the husband requested lots of butternut squash in the future!

I’ll apologize in advance that there isn’t a single photo of this dish. It was dark + gloomy + rainy and I never took a single picture. {Must be better about that!!} The photo below is from the Cooking Light website.


Beef Tangine with Butternut Squash

adapted from Cooking Light

2 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 pounds beef cut into 1 inch cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 small onions, cut into thin wedges

4 garlic cloves chopped

1 cup chicken broth

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

3 cups (1 inch) cubed and peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)

Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the beef, toss to coat. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat (I used my large Le Cruset pot, it was the perfect size.) Add onions and let them begin to brown. Add in beef, stir occasionally until browned. Add in garlic, stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn but make sure it gets cooked! Stir in broth and deglaze the pan, scrape up all those yummy brown bits!! Add in tomatoes and bring everything to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, then add squash. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Serve over couscous.

{The cooking ingredients are what the original recipe suggested. My beef and my squash weren’t ready at this point. I allowed them to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. I believe it’s because of the cut of beef I used but nonetheless it was a delicious dish!}

treats, treats and more treats!

Did you know it’s National Dessert Day? Thank goodness for social media or else how would we keep track of all these fabulous “holidays” :) I’m currently trying to decide what to make later today but here are a few goodies that sound irresistible!

** These little chocolate salted shortbread bites sound so yummy!


** Caramel + apples + cheesecake? Has to be a winner in my book!


** I’m not a brownie lover (gasp! I know!) but blondies speak to me. These sound so so good. They might be the winner today as I bet I have all the ingredients!


** These are by far the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. Probably because it uses brown butter. Make these. Make these now! Also I can’t WAIT to get my hands on her new cookbook! The cake on the cover? Swoon.


** Then this cake. I mean seriously?! How gorgeous is it? This is one of my new blog finds and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites!



Are you making anything for National Dessert Day?!