Chopped Chicken & Farro Salad

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If you live in Arizona, Southern California, Dallas or Denver and have not yet been to True Food Kitchen, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.  It is one of the most delicious restaurants in existence AND and and and all the food is super duper good for you – even the desserts! My next recreation attempt will be their Lemon Tart with Coconut whipped cream – Hello!

Onto this salad, it is inspired by the one at True Food Kitchen in San Diego – obvi.  As a salad doesn’t actually require that much cooking, I will use my words to tell you about the Farro I like and the dressing I like.  Have you discovered Farro yet? I recently did and have become a big fan. I have my woman crush, Giada, to thank for helping me discover it.  Trader Joe’s has a good one that cooks quickly and easily. Here it is:

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And then there is the champagne dressing. Is it actually made with champagne? I don’t know but I hope so. Maybe it’s called champagne because it’s the dressing of the rich and famous? Maybe I’m starting to lose it? Maybe I need a bottle glass of champagne right now to get me through the rest of the work day? Maybe.

If you can’t find champagne dressing, any dressing will do.  Use whatever your heart and taste buds desire

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Let’s make some salad.

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Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Pancakes

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Sorry I didn’t make you something Irish today. I also forgot to wear green. I know, I am a terrible person.  Hopefully, after you take a bite of these healthy yet delicious pancakes, you will find it in your heart to forgive me – and not pinch me.

Don’t you just love it when you can sneak chocolate into something good for you? Fruit, whole wheat, chocolate, more fruit – it’s totally hidden in there, a guilt-free indulgence!  Continue reading

Funfetti Cupcakes

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How was your Valentine’s Day? Did you stop and smell the roses and eat heart-shaped chocolates and write romantic poetry by candlelight? Or did you binge on taco bell and House of Cards while cursing Hallmark and everything they stand for? Both are perfectly acceptable options in my opinion FYI.

However, no matter where you’re at in your love life, any holiday that celebrates sugar is really one that should be loved by all – except maybe by Diabetics. Sorry, that was not very P.C. Next time I will shove a cupcake in my mouth to keep me from saying such inconsiderate things.

So these babies have a few steps and take a bit of time, but the sense of pride both you and your taste buds will feel when you are done is worth it. Get on it.

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Breakfast Quesadillas

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I get really anxious when someone asks me what my favorite food is. How am I supposed to choose just one thing??!! It’s like asking Mike and Carol Brady to choose their favorite child. It’s just not fair. It’s just not right.

But, when forced to choose, it always comes down to some sort of combination of cheese and bread – pizza, quesadillas, grilled cheese, mac and cheese. Carbs and dairy fat – what more could a girl need? And you can make all these things work any time of the day. I’ve had breakfast pizza and love it.  A breakfast sandwich is basically breakfast grilled cheese, and here come breakfast quesadillas. Next project – breakfast macaroni and cheese. Cue the drool now.

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White Bean & Arugula Salad

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Beans on Greens. Greens and Beans.  Not Green Beans. Mean Beans and Greens.

Did you know the book “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss uses only fifty different words? He wrote it after his editor bet him it was impossible to accomplish such a feat.  There’s your fun fact of the day. Who needs Snapple when you have me? You’re Welcome.

Moving On….I’ve been watching the Barefoot Contessa quite regularly lately. Her life is like a living version of a Pottery Barn catalog rolled up inside a Gourmet food market.  I now have a sudden, strong urge to plan a trip to the Hamptons.  But only if I can stay in her guest house and have her cook for me. Ina, are you reading this? I’ll help Jeffrey pick out the wine, just send me an invite!

Enjoy these beans on greens. They’re delicious. It doesn’t sound like much, but trust me.  Continue reading

Red Wine Spaghetti Sauce & Meatballs

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Have you been to Santa Barbara, California? It is a magical place. I hope to retire there one day. And yes, I know I am crazy for already thinking about retiring at age 30. What can I say, I’ve always been one to plan things way in advance.

Just a few miles Northeast of Santa Barbara is beautiful wine country and one of my favorite wineries – Lincourt.  The winery was named after the owner’s two daughters, Lindsey and Courtney. How cute is that?! After a few trips, I decided I needed to join their wine club.  Along with my wine shipments, they send a recipe featuring one of their club wines.  This recipe is meant to be made using one of their Pinot Noirs.  The sauce cooks low and slow, perfect for a lazy weekend dinner.  I served it over cooked spaghetti squash so I could save the calories for more wine. Duh.

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Full English Breakfast Frittata

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It’s no secret that I am a bit obsessed with the Middleton sisters. I named one of our dogs Pippa and came very very close to calling in sick to watch every single second of Royal Wedding coverage. I also may or may not have a large framed photograph of Kate and Will on their wedding day with me and my husband’s faces photo-shopped over them.  And, I refer to the Duke and Duchess as Kate and Will like they’re life-long friends of mine.

The good news is, I have wonderful friends who share in my delusions and help support them.  My friend Kerry actually went to London for the Royal Wedding and wears a knock-off royal engagement ring. Compared to her, I am 100% normal which is just one of many reasons I love Kerry.  Reason #2 is that she gave me Pippa Middleton’s cookbook for Christmas. I tried out my first recipe this weekend and it was delicious.  However, there is no way those skinny sisters actually eat this, it has about ten gallons of bacon grease in it. So, if your goal is to fit into your pre-holiday skinny jeans, this recipe may not be for you. But, if your goal is to cure a hangover with a nice greasy breakfast, this recipe will be your new best friend. Continue reading

Banana, Date & Walnut Smoothie

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I like to think that my Husband’s food experiences were greatly improved after he met me. I don’t think he knew what asparagus or pancetta was and he’d never had homemade pesto.  To his credit however, he did introduce me to a few new culinary delights – care asada fries, California burritos and date shakes.  Before I met him I thought dates only belonged wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese. I had never heard of a date shake or ever fathomed putting dates in a smoothie. But guess what? Its delicious! Dates are sweet without being overpowering and provide a little substance to smoothies to help make them more filling.  And the combination of dates with bananas is something magical.  Here’s another healthy and delicious star from none other than Ms. Giada. Add it to your list of guilt free New Year’s recipes ASAP!  Continue reading

Spicy Rosemary Nuts

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One of my Christmas presents this year was Giada’s new book “Feel Good Food”. It has all the recipes she actually cooks at home to help her stay so tiny.  I’ve already made a list of about fifty that I want to try.  I made these for a little pre-Christmas wine night at my house. They’re super easy and can be made in advance. They have the perfect amount of spice and are a great cocktail party snack.  Plus, it gives you an excuse to say things like “Who wants to try my hot and spicy nuts?!” Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Clearly, I played one too many rounds of Cards Against Humanity over the Christmas holiday…

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Cheese Dreams

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My book club recently read a book by Julia Reed entitled “But Mama Always Put Vodka in the Sangria”. The book was a collection of stories surrounding food and drink from the author’s life growing up in the South. As the title suggests, there were many delicious cocktail recipes and of course a recipe for the namesake Sangria. However, one can’t live on vodka alone, so there were also many recipes for  southern goodies to help soak up all that booze.  These cheese dreams are certainly not something you would make while on a diet but man oh man are they delicious. They are like little grilled cheese sandwiches with extra butter. While assembling all these tiny treasures is a bit tedious, it is totally worth it. These would be a great appetizer for Christmas or New Year’s parties. Yum yum yum.  Continue reading

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