Saturday, January 3, 2015

A New Year, A New Post

Happy 2015 everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your holiday season with your family and friends.I know I sure did. 2014 closed out one of the best years of my life. It's truly going to be hard to top, but I'm excited for a new year and to find out what's in store for 2015. One of the things I am hoping to do this year that was lacking in 2014 is get back to blogging! I can't promise how frequent these posts will happen, but any blogging at all would really be a bit of improvement. I thought I'd start out my first post of 2015 with a recipe. It is one that has now become a staple for me with most holiday meals and gatherings as it pairs well with pretty much anything you put with it. Trust me.

Baked Gnocchi with Kale
(serves 4 as a main dish)

- 1 (17.5 oz) package of gnocchi
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch of kale
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Parmesan cheese, for topping
- Salt & pepper, to taste

1. Cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions. 
2. Once the gnocchi is done, strain it and place back in the same pot on low heat. 
3. To the pot, add in the olive oil, kale, garlic, chicken broth, salt & pepper. Stir all together with the gnocchi until combined.
4. Place the gnocchi and kale combination in a rectangular baking dish and spread across the bottom so that it is evenly distributed.
5. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over top the gnocchi (the amount here is to your liking, I am usually pretty generous as I like a lot of cheese). 
6. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has fully melted. 
7. Optional: Put the dish under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese becomes golden brown.

While this recipe makes for a great side dish, it honestly would be delicious on its own for dinner. Give it a try, even the pickiest eaters have liked this one.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Snowy Sunday

It officially no longer feels like Fall here in Chicago. Waking up to snow this morning definitely confirms that. I will say while I'm not exactly "ready" for winter (I don't really know that one is ever really ready for it), it does make it just a little bit better when snow happens to fall on the weekend. There's typically no place I have to rush off to and if I want to stay in my pajamas for longer than I should, I totally can and it's completely acceptable. So in this moment, I welcome days like today and it actually got me to thinking.. since it's been a while since I've shared any of my recipes around here, I thought I would bring back some of the recipes already on this blog that are the perfect comfort foods on days like today. Warm, cozy, goodness. Hoping these may be new to some of you and if not, i'm hoping they get you excited about some of the yummy recipes to come.

Happy Sunday!  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What A Difference

A year makes. In the past 14 months I got engaged, married, and honeymooned in Europe for two amazing weeks. It's been one fantastic year that will be tough to top.

Needless to say the craziness that has been my life for this past year has not allowed for much else in the free time department and so my blogging had to be put on hold temporarily. I started this blog as an outlet to write and log my recipes (the good ones of course) and once it became something that seemed like a chore, it had to be set aside for a while. I've decided that I'd like to pick it back up and try this whole blogging thing again. I can't make any promises on the frequency of my posts, but I will say I am looking forward to sharing more often than I have this past year. After all this time i'm honestly not even sure I still have any readers out there, but if you are still out there.. I'd love for you to say hello! Stay tuned for more posts to come.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Two Surprises!

As some of you may have seen via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.. on Sat, Sept 28th, I got ENGAGED!

While I was very surprised (and am still in shock every day when I look down at my hand), that's not the surprise I want to focus on today. Don't worry friends, will get to that another day. I promise. Today's post is about a "surprise" I thought I was playing on my guy for the same week we got engaged. As it turns out he definitely ended up outdoing what I thought was a sweet little something to show my affection.

A few weeks back I was contacted by Uncommon Goods to select a person to secretly give a gift (or gifts in this case) to. Along with the gift itself, they offered to include a personal note to the recipient. If you have visited their site before, believe me when I tell you it's the perfect place for unique gifts. With the holidays coming up, I am sure there is something you can find for those friends and family in your lives who you think "have everything", at any and all price points

Of course choosing who I was going to gift was easy. I love doing small things for my special someone. After searching around Uncommon Goods, I knew I wanted to do something with a traveling theme, since we have been talking about taking a trip just the two of us for quite some time. Believe it or not in our almost 4 years of dating, we have never taken a trip that was just about us. We are always visiting friends and family, or heading off to watch people we care about get married. Thank goodness now we'll have a honeymoon as our first of what I hope will be many trips together that are just about "us".

My personal message (that was included) read: "These gifts are to represent where our true love began (in a city you love), and where our love will take us together in our future." Again, I thought I was being the sweet one this week. 

While browsing these gifts under $50, here's what I come up with as the gift to represent where our love began in the city of Chicago. 

These Neighborwoods coasters are great, and make for a one-of-a-kind gift. They also come in a variety of cities which makes them perfect for anyone who loves their city as much as my guy does. For the "where our love will take us in the future", I selected this awesome scratch-off map. 
For a while now we had been talking about documenting our travels together on something we could hang up in our house. This is a really cool way to keep track of where we have been, and a reminder of where we still want to go. 

I really can't say enough good things about working with Uncommon Goods. Give them a try for your next gifting occasion, whether it be a birthday (here), the holidays (here), or just because (as I did) - you and your gift recipient won't be disappointed. 

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Uncommon Goods, though the opinions expressed above are that of my own.   

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Broiled Salmon with Red Pepper Salsa

Today's recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare fish. If you haven't tried broiling your fish in the oven before, you have been missing out. It is one of the quickest ways to cook fish, and it may just be one of the tastiest. This salmon dish is jam packed with flavor and comes together in minutes (literally about 15 to 20 with prep time). 

Broiled Salmon with Red Pepper Salsa
(serves 2, adapted from here)

For the Fish:
2 salmon filets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Cooking spray

For the Red Pepper Salsa:
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 roma tomato, chopped
- 1/3 red onion, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- Dash of salt 

1. Place the broiler of your oven on high. 
2. Spray the bottom of a baking sheet with cooking spray. 
3. Season the salmon - brush with olive oil, squeeze the lime juice over top both filets, and sprinkle with salt & pepper (to your liking). 
4. Place the salmon on the baking sheet and broil for 5 to 10 minutes (until fully cooked and crispy). I usually check at the 5 minute mark and set the timer accordingly. 
5. While the salmon is cooking, combine all of the ingredients for your salsa in a medium mixing bowl. 
6. Remove the salmon from the oven once cooked and top with a few spoonfuls of salsa. 

For a nice little addition to the meal, I like to bake some corn tortillas in the oven (sprayed with a little cooking spray on each side) for 5 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees until they are nice and crispy. It's my version of healthy tortilla "chips" and it is the perfect pairing with this dish. Make this meal for dinner tonight, you won't be disappointed.

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