Wine Braised Beef + Parsnip Purée

Happy Saturday! 

What is everyone up to this weekend? December weekends are simply magical aren't they?! Don't you love waking up in the morning and turning the Christmas tree on, sipping on hot coffee when you can tell that it's blistering cold outside. Tonight we're having a little date night and going to The Grotto for the festival of lights and listen to Christmas chorals. Apparently it's the largest Christmas choral festival in the world! I'm also going to pick out my veil and accessories for the wedding today at BHLDN. So excited! 

To continue date night once we're home from the festival,  we're going to dive into this wine braised beef and parsnip purée with a big glass of red. Thomas and I live for comfort food on the weekends and this is the ultimate winter meal that is seriously my go-to around Christmas time. You braise the beef low and slow for several hours until the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Parnsip purée is so good I could seriously eat in place of mash potatoes almost every time - which is big for me to say since I love potatoes so much. Boiled in milk and then blended until they are silky smooth, I promise you that these parsnips are the best possible cushion to all of the braised beef goodness piled on-top. 

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Wine Braised Beef + Parsnip Purée 


Ingredients

For the Beef
- 5 lbs chuck roast
- 1 medium sized onion, finely diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 3 celery stalks, finely diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced, 
- 1/2 a bottle of red wine
- 3 cups of beef broth (or enough to cover the beef in the pot) 
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb crimini or white mushrooms (sliced) 
- Flat leaf parsley for garnish

For the parsnips
- 3 large large parsnips, diced
- Half and half or heavy cream (enough to cover the parsnips in the pot)
- salt to taste

What to do

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Pat dry meat and generously salt and pepper all sides. In a large brainer or dutch oven heat oil until hot. Brown all sides of the meat. About 2 minutes per side. Set meat aside.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute until just tender. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  place the meat back in the pot and slowly pour in wine and beef stock. The meat should sit just above liquid line. For a good braise, you don't want it fully immersed in the liquid. Bring the dish to boil. Cover and place in preheated oven. Cook for 2 ½ -3 hours. Meat should gently fall apart with a fork when done.
  4. Once the meat is almost done, bring your parsnips covered in 1/2 and 1/2 or cream to boil. Boil for about 10 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and purée in a blender until silky smooth. 
  5. For the mushrooms: Heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, placed your sliced or quartered mushrooms in the pan and sauté until browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as they are finishing cooking. 
  6. Serve the beef  in shallow bowls on a bed of the parsnip purée and topped with mushrooms and parsley. 

DIY Advent Calendar

Hey there friends - Sorry it's been a little quiet around these parts the last couple of weeks. We went on a whirlwind trip for Thanksgiving back to Georgia and Florida. It was filled with planes, trains, automobiles, very little cell service, no internet, lots of turkey gravy, best friends getting married, our wedding food tasting, and very little sleep. It was an eventful 5 days to say the least. I only took a handful of pictures of my beautiful friend in her wedding dress and other than that my phone stayed in a bag. And you know what, it felt damn good to disconnect for a couple of days. 

Now it's full speed ahead into Christmas and I am feeling as tacky and festive as ever. Right now I am reporting to you from the couch wearing my red flannels, drinking hot chocolate out of my Christmas mug, and Kevin McAllister is blow torching Joe Pesci's hair in the background. Pretty perfect night if ya ask me! 

One of my favorite parts of the evening right now is when Thomas opens up a gift from the advent calendar that I made for him! He always had advent calendar's growing up and his mom would put chocolate or candy in each day - It was something he loved when he was young so this was so fun for me to recreate for him. This is so easy to make as a cute gift for your significant other or you kids! Paper Source is my go-to crafting shop and the first place I stop in when I'm needing holiday inspo. They have every paper/stationary product you could ever desire, holiday decorations galore, yarn galore, and so many other fun things that I could just go on and on. 

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DIY Advent Calendar 

You'll need: 
- 1 poster board (or any cool wooden frame, chalkboard, or sturdy item that you have) 
- Thick yarn
- Various bags, cards, gift tags, paper for gifts
- Holiday stickers, ribbon, and other festive things for decorating
- Little clips or clothes pins ( I got the cute gold ones below at Paper Source, but anything will do!
-  GIFTS! Whiskey stones, honey jars, and love notes are my jam, but scroll down for a list of ideas!

What to do

  1.  Pierce 3 small holes with scissors or an X-ACTO knife along both sides of your poster board - just big enough to fit your yarn through. 
  2. Put one end of the yarn through the hole and measure around the board to see how much you'll need. Cut and tie off the yarn on the back of the board. Keep in mind that some of your gifts might be heavier than others, so make sure the yarn is tied tight and has room to stretch down. 
  3. Decorate your bags or cards with numbers and cute decorations! 
  4. Add gifts, write notes, fill with candy, or booze...whatever your little heart desires :) 
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Egg-in-a-hole Breakfast Skillet

How is everyone's pre-thanksgiving weekend?! Prepping the meal for the big day? Or maybe you're just prepping your tummies and not doing any cooking at all. Whatever floats your boat! I'm currently writing  from the Atlanta airport after my work training, getting ready to board to head back to Portland. We are literally turning right back around and heading back to Georgia on Tuesday to spend a few days at the cabin for Thanksgiving with the fam. 

I feel like from the moment we get to the cabin for Thanksgiving it's non-stop eating. You would think that we would eat lightly before the big meal on Thursday but nope -  not the case. It's literally fried chicken, fried fish, or fried venison the night before (something is bound to be fried), always fresh baked cookies coming out of the oven, and big breakfasts every morning!

I am definitely making these adorable breakfast skillets this year for the fam! They are SO darn good. It reminds me of my moms biscuits and sausage gravy, but these are just jazzed up a little with puff pastry and a sunny side up egg! The creamy, sausage-y richness from the gravy, combined with flaky pastry and a runny egg yolk is something out of breakfast heaven. I had only one little cute cast iron skillet, but if you have enough you can make everyone individual ones, or you could do one big skillet or casserole dish. This time of year is the absolute best to sit around with your family, sharing good food and make memories together.

I would love to hear what traditions you have every year with your family at Thanksgiving! :)

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Egg-in-a-hole Breakfast Skillet 

Ingredients: 
- 16 ounces hot Italian breakfast sausage (choose mild if you don't want spice)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 red potatoes, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk (add more depending on consistency)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 8 medium eggs 

Note: This is to feed 8, so if you only want to feed 4 cut the recipe and half and only cut holes out of 1 puff pastry sheet. 

What to do

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2.  Sausage gravy filling: Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown/crumble sausage, about 4 minutes. Transfer sausage to a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Drain grease from skillet, add butter and melt over medium heat.
  4. Add potatoes and onion and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes or until potatoes turn tender and onions lightly soften and caramelize. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in herbs. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir together for about 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly stir milk into the mixture and continue to stir until gravy is smooth and mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add more milk in this process if it's too thick. Fold sausage back into the gravy mixture and adjust seasonings. Set aside and keep warm.
  6. Puff pastry topping: Cut thawed puff pastry sheet down the middle, both vertically and horizontally, so you have 4 even rectangles on each sheet. Using a 2 1/2 inch circle cutter, cut a circle out of each piece of puff pastry. Place each rectangle, plus cut circle onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. To assemble: Divide the filling mixture amongst skillets/ or big skillet. Remove pre-baked puff pastry rectangles from the baking sheet and set each one over a gravy filled skillet and gently press. Crack an egg into the cut out circle of each pastry rectangle and place skillets onto the baking sheet (circles of puff pastry should still be on the tray).
  8.  Place baking sheet back into the oven and reduce temperature to 375˚F.
  9.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown and the egg whites have set, with the yolks still runny. Lightly season with salt and pepper, top with minced thyme and serve. 

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Sage Brown Butter

It is chilllly in Portland folks. It's dropped down in the 40's, all the leaves are starting to fall, and Starbucks already has their Christmas cups out. WHAT IS THIS CRAZINESS?! Wasn't it just summer? Regardless, I am so excited for the fact that Thanksgiving is in a little over two weeks and Christmas is right around the corner! I am forbidding myself to not start listening to Christmas songs until after Thanksgiving though. I had the itch to turn on holiday jams today but I restrained myself. Two whole months of listening to Mariah Carey is just a tad much. 

With the cold weather brings lots of staying inside and cooking up yummy things which makes my heart happy. I have loved seeing all of the beautiful Thanksgiving recipes start to come out from other bloggers! Thomas and I are having a mini Thanksgiving for ourselves this weekend, so I'm excited to share what we come-up with for you! 

But now can we talk about these little pillows of sweet-potato gnocchi heaven? MIND BLOWN. The last time I had good gnocchi was in West Hollywood with my friend Paige at Laurel Hardware. They were so freaking soft and pillowy I thought it would never be possible to make gnocchi as good at home. Well my friends, I was wrong. This recipe is simple, delicious, and is the perfect Fall/Winter pasta dish. They are tossed in a balsamic brown butter and topped with crispy sage and grated parmesan- I mean seriously. Permission to do a swan dive into that please? 


Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Sage Brown Butter
recipe adapted from Salt & Wind


Ingredients
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (yams) halved lengthwise
- 1/2 pound Russet potatoes halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper as needed
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnsish
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose or white whole wheat flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 to 15  fresh sage leaves
- 2 medium shallots, quartered and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

What to do

  1. For the gnocchi: Heat an oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, season with a few good pinches of salt and a few cranks of pepper, place on a baking sheet cut-side down, and roast until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop flesh out of skins then mash with back of a fork) and stir in cheese, egg, honey, and the 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms. Taste and add additional salt, as needed. You've added enough flour when you touch the back of the dough and it is damp but not sticking to your hand.
  3. Turn dough out onto floured surface and shape into a square. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into a rope (about 1/2 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. (However, don't add too much additional flour, as too much will make for heavy gnocchi.) Cut each rope into 1/2 -inch pieces. Stop here or, as desired, using your thumb, roll each piece down over the tines of a fork to indent.
  4. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, simmer gnocchi until they float then cook and additional 30 (if fresh) to 60 seconds (if frozen). Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a clean rimmed baking sheet. Reserve 2/3 cups of pasta cooking water and drain the rest.
  5. For the sauce: Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once it foams, add sage and cook until crisp and fragrant. Remove sage to a plate and return frying pan to stove. Add shallot and, watching it carefully and stirring often, allow the solids to begin to brown and the butter to become fragrant and nutty. Scrape along the bottom to prevent the solids from sticking and burning.
  6. When the butter is brown, immediately remove from heat, and carefully stir in the vinegar (otherwise it may sting your eyes). Stir in pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, return to heat, and cook until just coated in the sauce. Add freshly ground black pepper, taste for seasoning and finish with additional pasta water, salt, black pepper, the crisp sage, and freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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Our Go-to Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie + Homemade Magic Shell!

Helloooo! We meet again! How was everyone's weekend? Mine was uneventful/eventful if that's a thing? My weekend consisted of:

- Thomas and I sleeping in every morning past 9:30 which was heaven on earth after what seemed like the longest week ever. 
- We watched too many Friends episodes then I would like to admit and we watched Blood Diamond (have you seen it?! SO GOOD), SPLIT (which was weird but fascinating), and I may or may not have made him watch the first Sex in the City movie for like 10 minutes until I turned it off because I knew how mean/torturous I was being. 
- Besides countless hours on the couch doing nothing, I was also productive somewhere in there! I made homemade sweet potato gnocchi for the first time for you guys that's coming to the blog this week as well as a insanely good egg-in-a-hole breakfast skillet that fulfills all of your carbacious desires. 

Now it's back to Monday and I wanted to share our go-to smoothie recipe with you. I'm not kidding when I say that IT'S SO GOOD. I honestly feel like it's a treat every time I drink it AND it has all-natural healthy ingredients. We drink this in the morning heading to work, as an after-workout snack, or an after dinner dessert by adding chocolate and making it more of a ice-cream consistency.

One miracle I discovered this weekend is HOMEMADE MAGIC SHELL!!! All of my childhood dreams have come true! Did anyone else use to squeeze magic shell in their mouth when your parents weren't looking? No - Just me? Well I have found a slightly healthy version to jazz up your smoothies, frozen yogurt, or ice-cream at home. Scroll down to get the magic!

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Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:
- 1 frozen banana ( I freeze all of my bananas as soon as they get too brown to eat)
- 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter (we use this no-stir crunchy peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup of almond milk (add more or less depending on the consistency you're going for) 
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds
- Toppings: Sliced banana, cocoa nibs, homemade magic shell
 

What to do

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth! 
    Note: If you want an ice-cream consistency for dessert, we freeze almond milk in ice-cube trays. 

Homemade Magic Shell

For 1/2 cup of chocolate shell, you'll need: 
- 1 cup good quality chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 heaping tablespoons of coconut oil

What to do

  1. Add the chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl or container along with the coconut oil.

  2. Microwave, in 30 second intervals, until completely melted.

  3. Pour it over ice cream and watch the magic happen (allow 30 seconds before you try to crack it.

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Caramelized Beef Ramen with Roasted Miso Squash

How was your Halloween?!

I hope you got into as much face-painted, monster-mashing, candy corn-eating, jello-shooting debauchery as we did. 

Our Halloween festivities started on Saturday night with a get-together at a friend's house where we drank jello shots out of huge syringes, boogied down with Napoleon dynamite and a slutty nun, ate my annual spinach "throw-up" dip out coming out of a pumpkin's mouth, and clowned around until the wee hours...solid party as you can tell. 

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On Sunday when all we were craving was comfort food, we cooked up a huge batch of this homemade ramen complete with melt-in-your-mouth caramelized beef and miso/curry crusted, acorn squash roasted to perfection. I mean Come-onnnn. Could there be a more perfect Sunday meal? I don't think so. 

I seriously dream of one day meandering my way through ramen shops in Japan and slurping my way through the country - but until then making it at home can be just as delicious and satisfying.  This is definitely not a weeknight meal - You want the meat to cook long and slow, so you don't want to rush it! However leftovers for the rest of the week? I'm down with that! 

Last night, for actual Halloween, we heated up bowls of this leftover ramen, popped open a bottle of wine, and watched Young Frankenstein. It was the most perfect mellow Halloween night. You really know you're an adult when a bowl of ramen is more delicious then a bowl of Halloween candy 😜

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Caramelized Beef Ramen with Roasted Miso Squash
 

Ingredients
SOUP
- 2-3 pound beef chuck roast
- 6 cups beef broth, plus more if needed (we use Better Than Bouillon) 
- 1/2 cup + 2-4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce <--Use low sodium
- 1/4 cup + 2-4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste, or to taste
- The juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice (you can buy this or make your own at home!)
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 cups wild mushrooms left whole/sliced depending on size - or any other mushroom sliced
- 4 packs Ramen noodles seasoning packets discarded
- 4 soft boiled or fried eggs for serving
- sliced jalapenos, cilantro + green onions, for serving

MISO/CURRY ROASTED ACORN SQUASH
- 1 medium squash seeded + diced, acorn, butternut, or kuri squash are our faves
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Pepper to taste

What to do

  1. Add the beef to a crockpot. Pour the beef broth, 1/2 cup soy sauce (adjust depending on your taste), 1/4 cup rice vinegar and fish sauce over the beef. Add the red curry paste, ginger, sambal oelek, juice of 1 lime, Chinese five spice powder, black pepper and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours (I recommend going low and slow).
  2. About 40 minutes before you are ready to eat, roast the squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  3. In a small bowl mix together the melted coconut oil, curry powder, cayenne powder, miso, brown sugar and a good pinch of pepper. Add the cubed squash to a baking sheet and pour the curry/miso mixture over the squash. Toss well. Bake for 30 minutes or so, tossing a couple of times during cooking. You want the squash to be lightly browned and crisp.

  4. Meanwhile, remove the beef from the crockpot and add the mushrooms. Cover the crockpot and crank the heat up to high. Lightly shred the beef with two forks or your hands.

  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame oil. Once hot, add enough beef to cover the surface of your skillet, do not over crowd. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over the beef, add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, toss. Allow the beef to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir and continue caramelizing, about 3-5 minutes total. Remove the beef from the skillet, repeat with the remaining beef. 

  6. Add the Ramen noodles to the crockpot and allow them to cook 5 minutes. Once the noodles are cooked, stir in only half of the beef. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with extra caramelized beef, miso roasted squash and an egg. Season the egg with salt and pepper, Add the jalapeños, green onions and cilantro if desired. 

Happy slurping!

Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup

Hey, hi, hello. Happy Friday! 

Do you realize that we are already almost done with the month of October?! WHAT IS THAT??!!
There's so much left on my fall bucket list that I haven't checked off this year. Apple picking, pumpkin patching, lounging in my Pj's all day and having a Halloween marathon. I'm definitely going to be doing some of that this weekend. We have a party we're going to on Saturday night so on Sunday I am anticipating an all-day pajama fest. We're doing clown makeup so fingers crossed that it turns out! I'm going to practice on Thomas first... poor guy. Are you guys dressing up this weekend? If so please tell! You have to know by now that halloween weekend is one of my favorites of the year, so I want to know everyone's costumes!

To stick with my crazy Fall/Halloween lady vibe, I should tell you that I'm totally squash obsessed lately...I know I know, that is probably a weird thing to say and probably  even weirded that I would be obsessed with squash but it's the truth. In all of it's colorful, creamy, belly-filling glory it has been a component to most of our meals as of late.

We roast it, mash it, purée it, slurp it, put it in our smoothies...kidding. But maybe that's a good idea! This moroccan butternut squash soup is EVERYTHANG you want for a satisfying meal. It's such a healthy soup yet feels like you're splurging! It tastes like it has so much cream but it's just the silky butteriness of the squash mixed with the coconut milk. I made this one that was similar last year, but I love how this recipe is jazzed up with pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, and cilantro. I adapted this recipe from Half Baked Harvest! So, so good. 

I hope you guys have an amazing halloween weekend! I'll be around these parts sharing my favorite spooky treats from around the web - I'm also brewing up a witchy cocktail to share with you guys on Halloween day! 

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Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup


Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 cups butternut squash peeled + cubed
- 1 teaspoon spicy curry powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
- 2 cups veggie broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces goat cheese softened + more for topping
- roughly chopped cilantro for topping
- pomegranate seeds for topping

What to do

  1. Add the coconut oil to a large soup pot set over medium heat. Once hot, add the red pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add the minced garlic, cubed butternut squash, spicy curry powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes then pour in the coconut milk and veggie broth. Bring the soup to boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork tender.

  2. Once the butternut squash is tender, add the crumbled goat cheese to the soup. Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool slightly, then puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return the soup back to the stove and heat through.

  3. To serve, ladle the soup into bowl. Drizzle cream over the soup and swirl with a spoon. Garnish with chopped cilantro and crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Note: I mixed sour cream with a little almond milk to make a thinned cream to garnish the soup. You could do this with coconut cream as well!

Enjoy!

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Coconut Curry Shakshuka

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone is having a great October so far! Sorry I've been a little absent the last week or so - I feel like it's been so go-go-go lately. Two weekends ago we went to Black Butte, which is about 3 hours outside of Portland, and had the best couple of days with friends. We stayed in the cutest cabin, went on a snowy hike, and simply had the best little getaway getting to disconnect for a bit. This past weekend was spent wedding planning and researching our honeymoon in Bali! Please share if you guys have any suggestions on things to do/general travel tips in Bali. We are thinking of staying 1 week in an Airbnb and then splurging our final week in a pool villa at a resort!

On Sunday, I also had the pleasure of meeting a group of Portland bloggers and we all brunched at Tusk together. It was so great and if you haven't been to Tusk you have to get your booty there! The pistachio gooey butter cake is pure heaven and I could literally swim in the hummus if that was possible. 

Miraculously it's Monday again... I know right? Such a pity the weekend has to end - but I'm powering through my Monday with this Coconut Curry Shakshuka. I know I've told you this before, but Thomas and I make our normal shakshuka almost weekly. It's such an easy, comforting, healthy meal to make any-time of the week. For this recipe I spice it up with curry powder, bell pepper and a little jalapeño to give it a kick! If you don't like it as spicy, take out the jalapeño, but it definitely becomes milder after is simmers for a bit. Get yourself some naan, pita, crusty bread, or any type of carbalicious vehicle to sop up all of that spicy, coconut-y, tomato-y scrumptiousness. 

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Coconut Curry Shakshuka 


Ingredients
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded, and chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste ( I love the squeeze tube from Trader Joe's)
- 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1can full-fat coconut milk
- 6 eggs
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Chopped cilantro or parsley for topping

What to do

  1. In a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the bell pepper,  onion, and jalapeño, and a pinch of salt and saute until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, paprika, and ginger, another pinch of salt, a few turns of black pepper, and saute for a minute or two until fragrant.  Add the sugar/honey, tomato paste, tomatoes, and coconut milk; stir to combine; and simmer until the sauce thickens, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Crack the eggs and slide them into the sauce, distributing them around the pan. Gently spoon some of the tomato sauce over some of the egg whites to keep them from drying out. Cover and cook until the eggs are completely set, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Season with a last sprinkle of salt and pepper and top with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley. Serve with naan, pita, or crusty bread. 

Enjoy!

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Roasted Autumn Salad

HAPPY HUMP DAYYY! 

We're halfway there, don't give up on me yet! Does anyone else have any fun weekend plans coming up? We are heading up to Bend on Friday to have a cabin weekend with friends - SO EXCITED! Cozying up in the cutest cabin, cooking good food, drinking copious amounts of Shipyard Pumpkin Ale, roasting marshmallows by the fire, and hanging with great friends sounds like a perfect weekend to me. Plus! It's Friday the 13th in October...spoooky. 

If you're like us and going to be fueling your bodies with pumpkin beers and s'mores this weekend, then you probably will need a healthy, nutrient packed meal for tonight! Thomas and I have made this roasted autumn salad three weeks in a row now.

It's shockingly good for how simple it is. Roasted beets, brussel sprouts, sweet potato, onion, candied pecans, goat cheese, and a honey mustard dressing married together in perfect autumn matrimony. Are you picking up what I'm putting down here?

It's a lot of chop chop chopping, but once you pop it in the oven, you can go on your merry way and do whatever else you need to do while it's cooking. Prepare for roasted-smelly-goodness! 

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Autumn Roasted Salad 

Ingredients: 
- 2 sweet potatoes, diced into cubes
- 3 medium sized beets, peeled and diced into cubes
- 16 oz of Brussel sprouts, sliced in half
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 5 oz of candied pecans, 
- crumbled goat cheese
- olive oil for roasting
- salt & pepper for taste

Dressing
- mix equal parts of: 
dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, and honey. 
We usually only make a little of this, I would say 3 tablespoons of each, but if you want a jar to keep in your fridge, I would mix 1/3 cup dijon, 1/3 cup whole grain mustard, and 1/3 cup honey. 

What to do: 
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2) Spread the diced sweet potato, beets, brussels, and onions on baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until veggies are browned, stirring occasionally, about 25-30 minutes. 
3) Once the veggies are done, put into bowls and top with pecans, crumbled goat cheese, and drizzle with honey mustard. 

Roasted Zucchini Quinoa Burgers with Radicchio Slaw

It's Friday and I am dang happy about it. You in the same boat? Let's not kid ourselves, I'm ALWAYS excited about Friday's but this one seems particularly glorious. I feel like my days lately have been going by at the speed of light and I'm running a million miles a minute! It's great to be busy, but by the time the weekend rolls around I feel like Megan in the couch scene in Bridesmaids - which if you haven't seen put that on your to-do list for the weekend. 

Thomas and I look forward to what we're going to make every Friday and burgers are usually high-up on the list. I would usually be referring to  juicy, grease-dribbling-down-your-chin meaty kind of burgers - but not lately folks. While those hold a special spot in my heart, lately we've been trying veggie burgers. WAIT. Don't leave yet! I know that may not sound exciting for a Friday night meal, but I can assure you that these will make your meat loving souls feel a pitter patter. 

The roasted zucchini and quinoa patties that are crisp on the outside and delectably silky on the inside, combined with a tangy mustard sauce, radicchio slaw, and avocado piled high on a toasty bun. Burger bliss at it's finest. 

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Roasted Zucchini Quinoa Burgers with Radicchio Slaw


Ingredients: 
- 6 inch medium zucchini cut into chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, left whole
 - olive oil for drizzling
- kosher salt + pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (if you don't like anything smoky, add regular paprika)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less depending on how spicy you want it
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
- 4 hamburger buns toasted

Radicchio Slaw
- 1 small head of radicchio, sliced into strips
- 1/2 tablespoon mayo
- 1/2 tablespoon sour cream
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 garlic clove minced
- salt to taste

Tangy mustard sauce
- 1/4 cup cup of yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup of grainy dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- salt to taste


What to do: 
1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2) On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together the zucchini and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, salt + pepper and toss well to coat. Place in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is softened and golden, making sure most of the moisture has been cooked out of the squash. Turn the squash around halfway throughout cooking.

3) Remove from the oven and allow the squash to cool. Add the roasted squash and garlic along with the paprika, cayenne, quinoa, and panko and pulse to combine the mixture. 

4) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat the zucchini mixture into 8-10 even size patties. The mixture will be sticky, but do your best to form the patties. Once all the patties have been formed, place them in the fridge to chill, at least one hour or up to 1 day.

5) Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Once hot, add 2-3 patties at a time and cook until lightly browned, about 5-8 minutes, flip and cook another 5-8 minutes or until firm. Repeat wit the remaining patties. The burgers are delicate to be careful when you're flipping

6) Whisk together all the ingredients for the radicchio slaw, and gently combine with the sliced radicchio. 

7) Make the tangy mustard sauce by combining all the ingredients. 

7) to assemble the burgers, toast your buns, spread a layer of mustard sauce, top with patty, then layer with sliced avocado and radicchio slaw. 

 

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

It's October and I can hardly contain my excitement! My favorite month of the year by far. The combination of changing leaves, dropping temperatures, hearty soups, pumpkin beers, and Bette Midler's witchy self makes my heart oh-so-happy. My cooking agenda this month is filled with so many pumpkin recipes that it's going to be coming out of my ears. Another thing I love in the fall is butternut squash and these enchiladas are going to be on repeat in our household let me tell ya. 

These enchiladas are the ultimate fall comfort food that are quick enough to make on a Monday night, or perfect for Friday nights with a pitcher of sangria! I love the squash and black bean combo in these guys. And then drenching in homemade enchilada sauce? SO. MUCH. YES. 

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Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas 

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen


Ingredients
Enchiladas
- olive oil
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno, diced ( leave the seeds if you want extra heat)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 - 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- salt & pepper to taste
- shredded cheese (Mexican blend, pepper jack, or whatever you prefer)
- corn tortillas
- homemade enchilada sauce (recipe below)
- cilantro and sour cream for serving 

Enchilada Sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable broth (Chicken broth is great too if you're not going vegetarian)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic , minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

What to do
1) Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large oven-proof skillet. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno and cook 2-3 minutes until onions become translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add cubed squash, cumin and chili powder and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is slightly tender, 10-15 minutes. You want the squash to be fork tender, but not so tender that it starts to fall apart and become mush.  Add in black beans and adjust seasoning to your liking. (Once the enchilada sauce is made, mix in 1 cup of sauce into squash mixture)

2) While the squash is cooking, make the enchilada sauce. Heat the canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. 
3) Add- in the flour and chili powder and stir.
4) Cook until the bright red color turns a bit brown while stirring.
5) In a small bowl mix the tomato sauce with the rest of the ingredients until it is fully blended. Add to your saucepan and whisk until fully mixed. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium heat until thickened.
6) Assemble the enchiladas: Grease a large baking dish. Warm the corn tortillas for 20 seconds or so in the microwave to make them pliable. Place a large spoonful of the squash mixture in the middle of each corn tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, roll-up, and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Once all the tortillas are rolled, pour the remaining enchilada sauce over top, shaking the baking dish to fill in all the spaces. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, and place under the broiler until the cheese is browned and bubbling. 

Top with cilantro, siracha, and sour cream! For this recipe, I blended sour cream, cilantro, avocado, salt and a little milk to make an avocado crema. 

Enjoy!

Curried Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado Cilantro Yogurt

That's right folks - I'm back with another vegetarian meal. Who am I?! I'm usually the person who wants meat with every meal, but lately I've found a new appreciation for turning a somewhat "boring" meal into something that's worthy to stand up to it's slow-roasted-meat contenders. 

Thomas and I are trying to eat hardly any meat through out the week and on the weekends we'll splurge a little. Last Saturday we made braised lamb ragu pasta - literally the mack daddy of all Fall/Winter comfort food.  Sorry for the meat tangent, that dish is coming to the blog soon - Right now we're talking SWEET POTATOES. 

I know, this could teeter on the boring side right? Not these babies! I was shocked how tasty they turned out! You know me, I love anything with curry and coconut milk. This meal is so easy, cheap, extremely filling, and mind-blowingly delicious for his simple it is. 

Honestly, you could be super lazy like me sometimes and pop your sweet potatoes in the microwave. Then it's literally done in less than 15 minutes or however long it takes your quinoa to cook. Weeknight meal certified 👌🏻

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Curried Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
+ Avocado cilantro Yogurt

Ingredients

- 4 sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small jalapeño, deseeded and minced (for optional heat)
- 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 can coconut milk (1/4 cup reserved)
- 1-2 tablespoons of curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Avocado Cilantro Yogurt
- 1 ripe avocado
- 5.3 oz (150g) container of plain greek yogurt
-1/4 cup coconut milk
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro
- olive oil for blending
- 1 teaspoon of salt - more to taste
 

What to do

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F (190°C) OR use the microwave!

2) Rinse and dry the sweet potatoes. With a fork, pierce the sweet potatoes all over; place on foil and bake until tender, 45-60 minutes. If you're going the microwave route (while is a lot quicker), pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes, turning once halfway through. 

3) While the potatoes are baking, prep the filling.

4) Heat olive oil over medium heat in a sauce pot then add the jalapeño . Saute for one minute then add the minced garlic and the quinoa. Toast the quinoa for a minute or two and then add the curry powder and stir to coat.
5) Add the coconut milk keeping 1/4 reserved, and then add 1/4 cup of water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer covered for 15 minutes.
6) Stir in the chickpeas and remove from heat. 
7) Once the potatoes are out of the oven and cooled enough to handle, gently scoop out the soft  flesh of the sweet potatoes, trying to keep the skin intact. It’s ok if you don’t get it all out.
8) Add the potato flesh to the quinoa mixture and stir well to combined.
9) Spoon the quinoa mixture back into the potato skins until well stuffed and place back in the oven at 400 F for 10 minutes. You may have some filling left over, so either pile it high or save it for later!
10) In a small blender, blend together half the avocado, yogurt, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup cilantro, juice of 1/2 a lime, 1/2 teaspoon lime zest and a good pinch of salt. If the mixture is too thick, add in a little olive oil or water. Adjust the seasonings, lime juice, salt, cilantro to your liking. 
11) Serve potatoes with avocado cilantro sauce, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges. 

Enjoy! xo