Rhubarb dessert

It's officially spring and in about 3 days it will be my summer. :) This calls for one thing, one simple thing; Rhubarb, of course!!

This is a family recipe that is gooey, sweet but tart, and so so delicious. I made it last weekend and it's gone now.... just in time for rhubarb jam from Minnesota. Thanks Grandma!
4 cups of beautiful rhubarb
Baked to a golden brown...
It is somewhat custardy on top with a shortbread crust. Yummmm


Perked Up Tacos

Who doesn't love a perfectly grilled steak? or a thick and juicy Iowa chop? I know I do! Heck, even a corn dog and brats do me in. I'm crazy about them!

However, I'm not so crazy about loose prepared beef like taco meat. It is so high in sodium and drips continually with orange grease. yuck. I do love tacos though, so what's a girl to do!? With no chicken or black beans to be found, I came up with this. Give it a try, it was great!!
Wilt spinach and sautee fresh mushrooms
with about 1/3 cup prepared taco beef.
It was so good!
Top with cheese and tomatoes.
and enjoy... a couple of them :)
for dessert?
multigrain cheerios.

Milo & Diem

One thing I may miss most about 'college' is meeting with Lacey at Cafe Milo or Cafe Diem to study. We always joke that we just know how to study with each other. We can talk and talk and talk and then tell each other to stop talking and not be offended, we treat each other to cookies, remind each other of deals or, like last week, turn each other onto the BEST entrees!

Tomato Bisque with Toasted Bread.
The best entree at Cafe Milo. It is so delicious! Spicy and yet creamy, tomato-ey, and yet peppery. Absolutely my favorite.

Tying with Cafe Milo's entree is Cafe Diem's incredible Black Bean Burger!! You know how I feel about black bean burgers.....
I think we are headed to Milo today and I truly can't wait! 2 oclock needs to hurry! After that, one presentation (last big assignment of my college career!) and class. :) Have a great Tuesday!


MultiGrain Cheerios

I cheated. This picture is from yesterday morning [The sun isn't out yet today] These little things are my absolute favorite. Im so glad I broke my cereal rule because these were completely worth 350 cents. yu uh uh uh uuuum!!



Who doesn't love granola? ..... especially homemade granola??

This recipe has become a staple recipe for us. My mom and I just love it! I made a batch this morning because our supply is getting low, and thought I'd share. Enjoy!

have you ever noticed that nuts and grains are commonly packaged in red?
reds make ya hungry! think McDonalds and KFC

3 1/2 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower kernals

Mix in a bowl like zis!
Love this. grains grains nuts and grains
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, combine honey, brown sugar, and oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar melts and mixture is completely heated. Remove from heat; add peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until well blended.

Drizzle over oat mixture and toss to coat evenly. Spread mixture in greased 15x10-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 275 oven for 60 minutes, be sure to stir every 20 minutes!!

Keep fluffing this every couple minutes once it is out of the oven.
It will 'steam' and not become crunchy if you don't.

Yuuuum. Can't wait to try this batch!


Peaches & Pears & Peppers

Peaches are my favorite fresh fruit, but I'll take these gorgeous pears until the peaches are ready!

I love Target. I love looking around Target. and recently I love trying new healthy snacks..... that's where this guy comes in. I was perusing the grocery side of Super Target last wk and found this to-go container of red pepper hummus with pretzels. I decided to give it a whirl, and man it was good!!

I just picked up 2 more of these today! One for me and one for my professor Troy. He commented on how good it looked in class and he will be graduating and moving to VT in a couple weeks. Hope he likes it!
Sabra - only $1.89
Hummus on the bottom and pretzels on the top


Ooooooh yeah

Oooooooooh yeah -- imagine it like this song! :)

I think my little experiment worked because these were my frozen cookies from a couple months ago. They turned out fabulous! Good to know..... I will be making an extra batch and freezing them from now on.

My dad has been working on my car for so many nights now, so I thought I'd have these waiting for him when he came in from the garage. I think he liked them :) Thanks Dad!! I owe you!!

so so good!

Ya know what else I'm excited for!? Grilling. summer. steak. brats. hot dogs. chicken. grilled veggies. shish kabobs. anything. done. on. the. the grill.

I grilled this steak late last night, made a bit more quinoa, and gobbled. This was perfect.
Peppery and perfectly grilled.
bad picture, my apologies.


My brother and I used to eat mushrooms right out of the can. Those were the only type of mushrooms I liked. well. I'm a bit classier now. I can't get enough mushrooms! I love portabella burgers, shitakes in pasta dishes in Italy, and fresh mushrooms on pizzas like this one.

so. flavorful!

We use 'Mama Mary's Gourmet Pizza Crusts,' top with olive oil, pizza sauce, a few pepperoni slices, green peppers, fresh mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and red pepper flakes. Bake at 425 for 12 minutes. pizza perfection.

Second time around

This meal was wonderful!!
grilled chicken
b. e. a. uuutiful!
this had so much smokey flavor. just deelish!
brussel sprouts
fresh this time!
(drum roll please......)
Quinoa (keen-wa)!!
I have been wanted to try this for months.
We added sauteed celery, carrots, and onions and toasted almonds.
Quinoa is a complete protein grain. Very nutritious and tasty! Love it!
Leftovers from that great meal went into my lunch. I don't usually crave salads, but today was different. I think the combination of the gorgeous warm weather and knowing we have spinach and romaine made me want one. This did not disappoint!! Spinach, romaine, fresh mushrooms, black beans, leftover quinoa, and a tid bit of ranch. SO good.
Last night was VEISHEA and I'm off to celebrate another night! Happy Saturday!



At the moment, I feel a little swamped. like I'm drowning. It's not a good feeling.

slowly, and I hope by the end of the day, I'll feel like I'm treading water.

And by next Thursday, I'll be ready for a margarita and my chicken taco.

I am very ready for next Thursday, April 22nd to be over. I will have accomplished a lot by then.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


The way to my heart...

They say the way to a man's heart is through their stomach... The same could be said for me, because I'm in love with Tommy!

Spring Break was all Austin TX for me and I picked this up at one of my favorite spots in ATX; Whole Foods Headquarters. ohhh my! where to begin..... fruit so colorful it felt like we had walked into a candy shop, fresh grind-your-own-nut butter (my favorite was almond!), lots of fresh samples in the bakery!, amazingly unique products that are difficult to find in Iowa like kale chips and gfree options...

Chips and salsa are definitely the way to my heart! When I saw Tommy giving samples and selling his new salsa at Whole Foods I knew I had to buy some. He had just received his first shelf space -- how exciting! :)
After we all dipped in to several of his different types, I chose the Fire Roasted Corn & Black Bean salsa. I love black beans and this was nice and smoky.
I gave it a try last night with my cheap bag of Santitas- gotta love 'em. It was indeed smokey, but not very tomato-ey. I liked it a lot, but I do think I'll try adding crushed tomatoes next time to add extra flavor and stretch it out a bit.

This would be awesome used on blackened chicken or maybe on top of rice?! I'm glad I picked it up! Have a great Monday!


Homemade croutons

I remember posting this a few months ago while in Roma. My absolute favorite way to start the day was with a cioccolata cornetto and a cappuccino from Bar Del Cappuccino. yum. In the states, however, I want my day to start with this. Every day. Ooo wouldn't that be nice?!
Chocolate Chip Bagel and Hazelnut cream cheese from Panera!
Paired with a perfect Cinnamon Sticky Buns french press coffee. deeelish!

After a great Friday at work I came home to an awesome dinner. My mom made these homemade croutons. oh yeah. She's good. :) These were very crunchy and very good! Not to mention, she put them in one of my favorite dishes. I have a thing for dishware.
They were a great addition to thiiis salad :)
um hello?! so colorful! so delicious!


Fresh, Real Food

This breakfast was the perfect start to my day! I am loving the combination of frozen raspberries (no sugar added!) and banana on Total or Special K or Crispix. It is so great -- a must try!

Sometimes it's George Strait, sometimes its Norah Jones. or Lady Antebellum. Lately it's been a lot of Straight No Chaser's Man That Can't be Moved. A little Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Vince Gill, Bon Iver, Matt Wertz.... anything goes really. My little bose speakers are always playing some sort of music in our kitchen.

I feel like I could cook and bake, cut and chop, for hoooours when I'm listening to music. Last night I did just that.... I grabbed a lot of the veggies in our frig and started chopping.
Fresh, real, healthy food makes me so happy.
I sauteed onions, minced garlic, s&p, cumin, green and orange peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, black beans, and wilted spinach right at the end.
I served this mix with brown rice pilaf. It was pretty good! Not that flavorful... but really good. I think I liked it even more because I know its so good for me. Is that weird!?



Truffles are always pretty.
Their dainty decorations make most girls swoon.
And their decadent fillings... oh, that's another story.

These truffles, however, are absolutely. stunning.

oh. my. goooodness. They are perfect! Each one is vegan and they come in the most creative flavors (how yummy does a Pumpkin Chai Truffle sound?!)

Please visit nicobellaorganics.com and read about them.


Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!! I'm stuffed. :) such a good feeling! Now Im sipping on a french press and blogging!

Instead of waking up to cinnamon rolls like a few weeks ago... I woke up to potatoes baking in the oven. Since about 9am I've been cooking! Its been a busy day but it paid off. Here are the goods--
Cornish Game Hens
My dad seasoned the little guys with s&p on the inside and Famous Daves Rib Rub on the outside (with a little butter to make it stick) and popped them onto the Weber for about an hour and 20 min at about 350.
These were DELICIOUS.

Next up-- Brussel Sprouts.

I know..... gross, right? WRONG. I have been reading about roasted brussel sprouts on my two favorite blogs (iowagirleats.com and katheats.com) for the past year or so and finally decided to give them a try. I am so glad I did! They were great! Even my brother and my dad who reminded me many times how they were not thrilled about them, said they really liked them! Score.

(these were frozen so prep may change a bit but it will be similar)
cut off stem. remove raggy leaves on the outside.
slice in half lengthwise. toss with olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper then bake at 425 for 27-30 minutes.

And... Spinach and strawberry salad with homemade poppy seed dressing by my mom! It was so fresh!
Also... twice baked potatoes and french bread.

for dessert.... Special K bars. Half the pan is already gone... I give my dad until tomorrow morning to polish the rest of the pan off :)