Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Looking for an easy, delicious & unique pizza recipe? Well, I got yo’ back. Introducing…

Roasted Vegetable & Pesto Pizza

Yields 1 pizza (approx. 8 slices)

What You’ll Need:

– 1 pre-made whole wheat pizza crust (or homemade if you prefer)

– Pesto

– Mozzarella cheese

– Veggies of our choice (I used green bell pepper, red bell pepper, yellow onion, mushrooms & broccoli)

What You’ll Do:

1. Chop your veggies, lay them on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until edges start to brown.

2. In the meantime, spread a generous amount of pesto on your pizza crust. Truth be told, I have an unnatural love for pesto. I really need to learn how to make it. Have a recipe or tutorial? Shoot it my way, please!

3. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over pesto.

4. Pop the crust into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

5. Remove both the crust and the veggies from the oven and top crust with roasted veggies.

6. Top the whole pizza with a sprinkle of feta cheese (I was out last night).


Remember, there’s a surprise coming tomorrow!


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I’ve been putting off grocery shopping like it’s my job, which is forcing me to get creative with the little amount of food that we have.

Here’s what was concocted last night:

Buffalo “Chik’n” Salad

Yields 2 salads

What You’ll Need:

– 1 block extra firm tofu

– Buffalo or wing sauce

– Romaine lettuce

– Spinach

– Onion

– Cucumber

– Celery

What You’ll Do:

– Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain and blot tofu with paper towels until most of the water is out.

I know some of my readers are completely freaked out when I talk about tofu, so if you’ve never seen it before, here’s what a block looks like:

While we’re on the topic, a lot of people ask me what tofu tastes like. That’s the awesome thing about tofu – it tastes like anything you want it to! Whatever you season it with is exactly what it will taste like. The texture depends on how you cook it.

– Cut tofu into small chunks and transfer to a small mixing bowl

– Mix with a generous amount of buffalo or wing sauce. I chose Cookies Wings-n-Things sauce (a local brand).

I bet Speed never thought his Wings-n-Things sauce would be used for tofu!

-Transfer cubes to a small baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.

While the tofu was baking, I made a homemade “ranch” dressing to top it all off with by mixing 1 cup of plain greek yogurt with cilantro, parsley, chives & cajun spice.

– After your dressing is made, chop all your veggies and mix it all together.


If you’re hesitant about tofu, try this. Baking the tofu gives it the perfect consistency – nice & crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Such a filling meal, it put us all to sleep.

Let’s Talk.

Have you used tofu? What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

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You get excited about new bakeware!

An awesome friend sent us a 1 year anniversary gift certificate a couple weeks ago and we redeem it for these!

So, last weekend on Labor Day night, in an attempt to avoid greasy take-out pizza and a trip to the grocery store (& to use my new pans!), we scrounged through our pantry and refrigerator to see what we could come up with. And this is what happened…

Easy Cheesy Lasagna Roll-Ups

Yields 8 roll-ups

What You’ll Need:

8 whole wheat lasagna noodles

– 12 oz (approx. 1/2 jar) tomato sauce of your choice (I use Newman’s Own)

– Shredded cheeses of your choice (I had mozzarella & colby on hand)

– Ricotta cheese

What You’ll Do:

– Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions

– Lay one noodle out and spread on spoonful of ricotta cheese.

– Top with a spoonful of tomato sauce.

– Sprinkle with shredded cheeses.


– Repeat for remaining 7 noodles. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees or until cheese is gooey and melty.

While these were baking away, I dusted some brussel sprouts with a touch a olive oil, garlic powder and pepper and stuck ’em in the oven for 15 minutes.

For a quick, thrown-together meal, it came out perfect!

Kya approved.

And Kota seemed pretty excited when we told her about it.

Let’s Talk.

What creative meals have you come up with when your pantry and refrigerator are low?

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Hello! After one crazy week, I’m back!

Let’s start with Friday. What was supposed to be a pretty low-key weekend before our big 5K on Sunday, started with this:

Meet Kota!

I had been to the Humane Society earlier in the week and spotted a gorgeous husky. After begging Dillon to go out and visit him, we took Kya out for a meet & greet on Friday. The meet & greet went well, but the husky had some aggression issues.

Before heading back out, we checked out the rest of the dogs and that’s when we ran into Kota (named Flower at the shelter). She, along with 7 of her brothers and sisters, had arrived at the shelter just 1 1/2 hours before we got there. It was love at first sight and just a couple of hours later she was coming home with us.

She’s just 8 weeks old and full of spunk.

Although, after 10-15 minutes of play, her little legs need a little rest.

Saturday it was off to the dog park!

Big sister Kya isn’t sure what to think of Kota yet, but she was sure to protect her from the big dogs.

And when Kya wasn’t around, Kota found shelter elsewhere.

After our visit to the dog park, we all headed downtown to the Arts Festival where Kota was the center of attention.

She even got to visit with some of her sisters who were waiting for her at the Humane Society booth!

We can’t forget about our first baby, of course.

It was a long morning, so the rest of the day was spent lounging around.

Not without a little bit of play, though.

Amongst all of this excitement, Dillon and I had to try to focus on what was happening on Sunday!

We woke up bright & early (well, we were up anyway with the puppy ;)) and prepared for our first 5K! We’ve been training for a couple of months and felt pretty prepared, but I was still nervous at the start line.

I’m proud to say, though, that we finished (without stopping!) the full 3.1 miles! To make things even better, it was my birthday! I really couldn’t think of a better birthday present to myself…

The night before (while the pups were sleeping) we both made Operation Beautiful signs to wear on our backs.

Not only was it motivating for me as I repeated these mantras to myself as I ran, but we got thumbs up, smiles, thank you’s and shouts of “YES, BE STRONG!” from other runners as we ran. Operation Beautiful makes my adrenaline rush. đŸ™‚

After the race, we came home to play with the pups, and much to my surprise Dillon had more birthday presents for me!

I’ve been wanting this cookbook for a long time, so I can’t wait to dig in! Plus, when I opened it up a gift certificate for a 1-hour massage was beaming back at me! He’s the best.

Later in the afternoon, we went out with a group of friends and their pups for the last doggie sundae of the summer.

Even Kota got in on the action!

Post-ice cream coma.

As if the weekend couldn’t get any better, we dropped the pups off at home and Dillon took me out for a birthday dinner to Carinos!

A birthday pomegranate martini for her!

Delicious, creamy tortelloni.

Followed by the BIGGEST pieces of chocolate cake I’ve ever seen. So good, we almost needed to be rolled out of the restaurant.

Whew! What a whirlwind of a weekend, but all so worth it! Thank you all who sent me messages, texts, called and sent cards for my birthday – I couldn’t ask for better friends and family!

Have a great week!

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Catching up? Poppers, Shrimp & Family

We started Saturday morning off with this beauty:

Cinnamon crunch bread from Great Harvest Bakery. It was beyond delicious – chewy & a melt-in-your-mouth type of bread & best if eaten plain!

After a slow-going morning, we finally got around to lunch, which consisted of build-your-own sandwiches, complete with Great Harvest Dakota bread. I’m not lying when I say this: It is the best bread I’ve ever had in my life. It literally put me in a good mood just eating it. It was such a hit, I couldn’t even snap a picture of it! You’ll have to take my word for it…and go buy it (or order online). Now.

Now, if you ever come to visit us in Sioux Falls, you will not leave without seeing Falls Park. We’re mighty proud of it. And that’s exactly where we swept our house guests off to next.

We took a break from climbing for ice cream, naturally.

Played around

And hopped a ride back to the car (well, some of us anyway).

Later that night, we came home for a taco bar and a vicious tournament of ladder ball.

But only while Chantae serenaded us with Justin Beiber tunes.

It was an awesome weekend with family filled with lots of laughter, fun and food. We’re already looking forward to next time.

Let’s Talk.

– Do you get to see your family a lot? Do you have a tradition of some sort that you always do when you’re together?

We ALWAYS play lots of games and laugh until our cheeks hurt. đŸ™‚

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Well, my in-laws made it out alive.

The first ones of the bunch arrived around 6 p.m. on Friday and I was prepared for hungry family members who began to gather in the kitchen. Here’s what we went with:

Baked Jalepeno Poppers


– 12-15 whole jalepenos

– 3 oz. low-fat cream cheese

– 1/2 sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

-1/4 tsp. garlic powder

– 2 eggs (salmonella-free, preferably)

– Whole what breadcrumbs


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut your jalepenos in half & hallow them out (be sure to get all the seeds!).

3. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, shredded cheese and garlic powder.

4. Stuff your peppers.

5. In a small bowl crack your eggs and mix ’em up. In a separate bowl pour a handful of whole wheat breadcrumbs.

6. Dip each pepper into eggs, then in breadcrumbs.

7. Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!

To keep hunger under control while dinner was on the grill, we also prepared some Grilled breaded shrimp.


– Approx. 20-30 uncooked shrimp

– 3 Tbsp. olive oil

-3 garlic cloves, crushed

– Whole wheat breadcrumbs

– 1/2 tsp. dry seafood seasoning

– Cocktail sauce


1. In a small bowl combine olive oil and garlic. Let stand for approx. 20 minutes.

2. In another bowl combine breadcrumbs and seafood seasoning.

3. Dip each shrimp in the olive oil mixture then in the breadcrumb mixture.

4. Thread shrimp onto skewers and grill for approx. 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are pink.

5. Serve with cocktail sauce and eat ’em up!

For the main course we made goat cheese stuffed chicken. Remember this recipe?

This time I skipped the red peppers and used spinach instead of arugala & they were even better! We served the chicken with grilled red potatoes and fresh corn on the cob.

After dinner I set out the whoopie pies and held my breath.

Whoopie pies for the birthday girl!

They were a hit! As in, I had one and was left with no leftovers. Phew!

The rest of the night was spent catching up and laughing.

Stay tuned for Saturday’s activities and FOOD!

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You guys, I suck at baking. I mean, I really enjoy the preparation, but I hold my breath for the outcome.

We have family coming into town this weekend and in an attempt to have an array of healthy foods, I chose to (try to) make these whoopie pies. Why I tried to attempt these just one week after last Thursday‘s occurrence is beyond me.

Anyway, it started out smoothly and after my first batch of the chocolate cookies came out edible, I was ecstatic! While the rest were in the oven, I started in on the filling.

All went well and I popped the bowl into the fridge to chill. After a night of sand volleyball and a co-workers going -away party, I came back home and assembled three. Just three. I’ve learned to test run just a few before I ruin everything.

And it’s a good thing I did. The filling is nothing like what whoopie pie filling should taste/feel like. It was jiggly like jello (it has gelatin in it, so obviously) and gooey in my mouth. Fail. BUT, I don’t think it was my fault this time; I think it’s just the recipe.

The jello-like filling. Nasty, right?

So, I slept on it (because we all know kitchen + no sleep cannot equal good things) and this morning I consulted Kristen. I remembered she had made whoopie pies before and knew she would not let me down. Low and behold, I ended up mixing up some butter, cream cheese and marshmallow fluff (after running to Hy-Vee for the 3rd time in 3 days) and they were as good as new!

No worries, the filling will harden up. I’m just impatient.

I might even try to make some of the Whoopie pie cookies from the 2nd recipe and see if they’re any better. My lesson for the day: always trust a girl from Iowa.

I’ll let you know on Monday if my in-laws made it out alive. đŸ˜‰

Update: I’ve now made the whoopie pies from this recipe (sans the red food coloring) and they are a million times better. Forget that 1st jello-like, too-thin whoopie pie recipe. This one’s for real.

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