I’ve debated posting for several days now. This is an honest post and I hope it doesn’t bore you to tears! Lately, I had been having a lot of negative body and self talk going on. Thinking, ‘my jeans are too tight. The scale is too high. I’m so chubby. My photos are never good enough. My writing is so boring.’ The self doubt became persistent. I began wondering why I even bother blogging. How can I preach balance when I clearly do not have it? I felt very unsure about this space.
Last week we attended a dinner party. After dinner had been served everyone was standing around chatting. Across the room, I hear my daughter talking about my blog and promoting her little heart out. She often tells people (everyone she meets!) about the blog and how good the recipes are, but on this particular night I couldn’t have been more humbled and proud. She reminded me why I created this space.
I started this blog to create a balanced life. I started this blog to show my daughter how important it is to eat healthy and take care of yourself, physically and mentally. I started this blog to say that it doesn’t matter what the scale shows, what size your pants are, how you look in a bathing suit. I realize not everyone is blessed enough to have an eight-year-old rooting them on everyday. I hope that when you visit my blog you are reminded to find beauty and balance in your life. Being healthy and happy is the ultimate goal everyone should strive for.
We all have days of where we feel uncertain and I believe that is okay. That is even, dare I say- healthy! We need those days to make us more determined, to encourage us to become better and stronger human beings. So instead of shunning these uncomfortable times acknowledge them and move on.
This weather we’ve been having has made the transition to spring hard. One day it’s 16*, the next it’s 60*. I know it’s not quite spring, but with these 60* days give me hope it’s just around the corner.
To brighten our Saturday dinner this week, I made these gorgeous parsnip and sweet potato fries with yogurt Dijon horseradish sauce. They not only added stunning color to our plates but satisfied our palates with an amazing refreshing flavor. The combination of the savory fries and pizzazz of the horseradish and hint of lemon from the yogurt sauce was wonderful.
I served these fries at room temperature with grilled chicken. It was a delicious dinner. One I can’t wait to make again.
Parsnip and Sweet Potato Fries with Yogurt Dijon Horseradish Sauce
There is nothing more relaxing than starting your morning off with a delicious slice of blueberry coffee cake and steamy mug of coffee. This may not be the best way to start your day every day, of course. Sooner or later your body will not believe this is the best way to start the day. But every once in a while it is good to slow down and enjoy the sweet things that make life blissful. That is totally blueberry coffee cake and coffee, for me.
I adore this cake because it is not overly sweet. Most coffee cakes have a thick crumb topping. I choose to make this a bit lighter by topping it with a light dusting of powdered sugar. It paired perfectly with a cup of coffee.
I was recently in the market for a coffee maker. We went back and forth about just purchasing a single brew maker. I kept hesitating though. I love having people over and sometimes this involves having a big pot of coffee with our dessert. I wasn’t ready to sacrifice that just because I didn’t have enough counter space for two coffee makers. That’s when I found this Hamilton Beach Two-Way Brewer.
I love having the option of both single-serve and a full 12 pour coffee maker. It’s compact and elegant looking. My favorite feature is the built in timer. This baby starts working its magic before I’m even crawling out of bed. So I wake up to the sweet smell of coffee every morning. It’s the little things.
You won’t want to be without your favorite cup of coffee when you have a slice of this blueberry coffee cake. They are a match made in Heaven. This cake is moist and perfectly flavored.
Whether, enjoying alone or at a ladies brunch this cake is sure to impress. Just don’t forget the coffee!
Need an amazing dinner that comes together in 30 minutes? This spicy bbq chicken quinoa bake will be the highlight of your week. It is full of healthy quinoa, juicy shredded bbq chicken and gooey mozzarella. This is all kicked up a notch with some jalapeno. The bbq sauce is taken to a whole new level when it simmers with the jalapeno. I was really surprised actually how spicy the jalapeno became when sautéed for a few minutes.
This super flavorful quinoa dish is perfect for those busy weeknights when you want a warm delicious dinner. Like always, I highly suggest prepping your quinoa and chicken on the weekend. Then during the week you can just throw it all together and dinner on the table in no time.
I served this spicy bbq chicken quinoa with side salad full of greens and shredded cabbage. It was the perfect dinner after a busy day.
I’m telling you this is one quinoa dish you won’t want to miss. Enjoy.
This hearty Irish stew is one of my favorite ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I know it’s still a few weeks away but with bitter cold temperatures I’ve been craving a big bowl of this.
After a few hours simmering away on the stove the beef becomes delicate and lends a wonderful rustic flavor. I add lots of vegetables not only for their color but their flavor as well. The carrots literally melt in your mouth. They are quite possibly the main reason I make this stew. The sweet green peas add a wonderful pop of green color. These delicate beauties add a touch of wonderful sweetness to this rich dish.
I highly suggest getting in St. Patty’s Day mood a bit early and making this wonderful stew. This St. Patrick’s Day recipe is the perfect way to celebrate. Serve with Irish soda bread and a good dark brew. Life couldn’t get much better.
It’s Monday. All Monday’s should include a cocktail. This refreshing Cran-Lime cocktail is one of my favorites. The ingredients are simple and this is really a no-fuss cocktail. I love the vibrant color, too!
Whether having a casual night at home or hosting a fancy dinner party, these cocktails are perfect for any occasion. Sugar the rims of your glasses and garnish with lime wedges to spruce them up a bit.
This light and refreshing drink is the perfect way to end any day of the week. So serve up a glass and enjoy.
Mardi Gras Season is here!! Jambalaya has always been intimidating to me. It just seemed like you if you weren’t going to be having the real thing in a cozy dining room in Baton Rouge, why bother? I’ve never had the real thing. I’ve been a bit bitter about not having the real thing. That’s why, until now, I’ve never attempted this jambalaya dish.
I’m not promising you this recipe is authentic. But I do promise that is really, really good. Knock your Mardi Gras beads off good!
Perfectly seasoned this spicy, but not too spicy, jambalaya was just what my family needed on a cold winter night. I used a mild sausage because my eight-year-old would hate me if I used spicy. If it was just me, I would definitely use spicy. If it was just me, I would add shrimp and okra and swoon over a big bowl of it in my comfy pjs. Good thing it’s not just me! We ate this meal properly at the dinner table!
This recipe may not be authentic but it is totally versatile. You could add chicken, shrimp or no meat at all. I prefer the veggies I have but I bet okra, red pepper or mushrooms (if you are not adding meat) would be a good option.
Spice up your winter and have a big bowl of steaming hot jambalaya!
A broccoli frittata is one of my favorite dinners. It’s simple, filling and a crowd-pleaser. I usually serve this frittata with roasted potatoes and grapes. It is also perfect with a simple green side salad.
Most of the time, I end up using broccoli and cheddar because it’s a popular combo in my house. I’m sure you could use whatever veggies and cheeses you have on hand. I would suggest sautéing your veggies a little before putting them in the egg mixture. Just so they are tender and delicious- they won’t have time to fully cook in the oven.
This broccoli and cheddar frittata is perfect for lazy Sundays or busy weeknight dinners. Your kiddos will finally love eating broccoli!
I have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day. I mean, who wouldn’t adore a day dedicated to all things LOVE?! Honestly though, I can’t help but slightly roll my eyes when I see all the candy, greeting cards, balloons, roses…blah blah blah. I feel like saying in my best Cindy Lou Who voice, “Isn’t this all a bit much?”
But then Valentine’s Day gets here and I’m totally gushing over chocolates and flowers. One thing that I can’t get into though is going out to eat on Valentine’s Day. Waiting for hours, being around a bunch of people, eating mediocre food – it’s just not my thing.
I would much rather have a romantic night in. Eating delicious food and getting cozy in the comfort of our home. It really makes for a perfect night.
Need a yummy meal? Here’s my favorite romantic meal – from start to finish. Goodness. It is wonderful, easy and perfectly romantic.