Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Friday!

Can you believe December starts tomorrow?! You know what that means... Getting a Christmas Tree, Hot Cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps, Baking, Christmas Movies and General Cheer. I don't know about you, but I'm feel pretty blessed this Christmas Season, and am trying to remember my blessings ever day!

Photo from WeHeartIt

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


We went here for dinner tonight! So wonderful, so delectable, so relaxing!

(picture courtesy of Seattle Magazine press)

We shared the pulled pork & mac n cheese with roasted red peppers; for extra good girl points, I even had an entire ramekin of brown sugar squash to myself.

Next time, it's happy hour at Bitterroot... Just take a look at their HH menu!



Monday, November 26, 2012

Clean Eating: Mom's Apple Pie

For years now I've enjoyed my Mom's Apple Pie. The crust: flaky, thick, and warm. The apples: spicy and naturally sweet. Last night I had a strong hankering for this pie and decided to whip it up in my own kitchen.

I have so many memories of slicing the apples, sprinkling them with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, and then being unable to resist eating them straight out of the mixing bowl. The nice thing about this pie is that it contains no butter, no sugar, and nothing artificial. That's right, no sugar. The sweetness of your apples should do the trick. 

And while it's no Martha Stewart apple pie, it certainly is better for your waistline. I am happy to say that with the Clean Eating rage, it's nice to know that my mother had been feeding us "clean" apple pie for our whole lives! Way ahead of our time. 

2 2/3 cups  flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil or 3/4 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons cold water
4-5 medium sized Pink Lady or Gala apples; or 3-4 large apples; sliced thinly
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground ginger

Method: adapted from Mom's crust recipe and

Measure flour and salt into bowl. Add oil; mix with a fork, until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until flour is moistened and dough almost cleans the sides of the bowl. 

Depending on whether your dough seems to dry or wet, add either a tbsp. of oil or flour. Pick dough up and ball it together into one pressed ball.  Work the dough in your hands to make it a bit less crumbly.

Break dough in half and similar to rolling pizza dough, press it flat between two sheets of wax paper. Roll out into the general circumference and shape of your pie pan. Gently peel off one sheet of wax paper and turn dough upside down. Peel off remaining sheet of wax paper after placing bottom crust into pan leaving a 1/2 inch overlap around pan edge. Follow the above steps with top crust rolling out same as bottom crust leaving 1 inch overhang around pan edge). Fold and roll top edge over pie pan and press edges together with a fork.

Once your apples are sliced, throw them in a large mixing bowl. Add spices and stir well. Allow apples to sit at room temperature for about 3 hours, to macerate in their own juices.  Pour  apples into crust, then fold the pie dough for the top over pie pan, roll top edge over pie pan and press edges together with a fork. 

Slice about 6 slits in the middle of the pie and place in the oven for about 45-55 minutes. Check at 45 minutes and take pie out when edges are golden brown. 

Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then serve! It's yummy with a scoop of frozen yogurt, or my unconventional favorite- Coconut Bliss. Now, off to decorate for Christmas!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pulled Pork & Swiss Chard Sliders

Happy Saturday, darlings!

These are EASY. Super easy, yet tasty and cute enough for a small dinner party we had last week. This is a short recipe post; fortunately it's basically impossible to mess up.


1 Pork Shoulder, any lb. you like
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 c. barbecue sauce of your liking, I prefer Sweet Baby Ray's
4-5 stalks of swiss chard
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 tbsp. fine quality olive oil


Using your slow cooker, set on Low or High, cook your pork according to the size. I tend to use Google to search how long to cook it for, but generally I wind up cooking most sizes for 5-6 hours. You want the pork to be soft and easy to pull apart with two forks.

Place your pork in the slow cooker, then cut little slits on the top, and sprinkle your seasonings over it. Cover with barbecue sauce, and place the lid over it. Allow to cook according to directions.

Once your pork is done, cut about an inch of stem off the swiss chard and throw it in a large sauce pan with the garlic salt and olive oil. Allow to simmer and the swiss chard will cook way down. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Warm up your slider buns, scoop a little pork on it, and cover with swiss chard. That's it! I told you it was easy...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give Thanks

Pesto Kale Pasta

Just a quick post before Turkey Day! I made my Nigella Lawson's Rosemary Cake today, and can't wait to share it with you! Tonight I've been thinking about how thankful I am for everything I have. A simple phrase, but I feel it from the bottom of my little heart. Let us think about our gifts and blessings on Thanksgiving, as in every day!

The other night I whipped up a quick pasta dish with some kale we picked up. I also wanted to try and make a sauce from some whole tomatoes I picked up at Trader Joe's. Once they were seasoned with some garlic and Italian herbs, and the kale cooked down a bit, it was a lovely dish for a chilly, rainy, night.


4 cups of fresh kale

2 cups of fresh spinach
4 whole cooked tomatoes, skin removed
1 lb. whole wheat pasta, any type
1/2 c. pesto
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. Italian seasoning: basil, oregano, parsley
1 tsp. garlic salt
Pecorino Romano grated cheese, to taste


In a large sauce pan, combine olive oil, tomatoes, spinach, and kale. Allow to saute for about 5 minutes, then add seasonings and continue to saute.  

Add tomatoes and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until kale and spinach cook down. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions.

Once pasta and vegetables are completely cooked, combine in large saucepan with pesto and mix well. Add grating cheese, if desired, and dish it up! A quick, nutritious, and filling dinner, all less in thirty minutes! Who can argue with that, my friends?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Healthy Conversions!

Good Morning!

As I was perusing the web this morning, I stumbled across this... What a great find, especially so close to the holidays! I know in my home we're trying to keep as healthy as possible, and while it's a perfect time to indulge at the holidays, we still like to feel like we're treating our bodies well! The more often we eat vegetables, organics, and non GMOs, the better!

I'll be back tomorrow, with my recipe for Nigella's Rosemary Bread... YUM!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Around Town

Lately I've been inspired by the beauty my little neighborhood (in a big city) has to offer. From the docks to the old streets, I appreciate all the culture that has gone before me! Seattle is a wonderful place, please visit!

A Friend

While I usually don't write about too many personal things on here, I wanted to share something with my dear readers: a year ago, my husband and I adopted our precious, sweet black lab, Molly. We saved her from Animal Control, where they do, unfortunately, put down unwanted animals. Here's to many more years of companionship with our little darling! 

Hugs & Happy Friday!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, and, if you are off today, are thinking about our Veterans. We can never thank them, pray for them, or think of them enough!

I made this easy, simple, and relatively healthy dessert a month or so ago, before we moved. It is so lovely and delicious, I promise you'll love it! While it is more suited to warmer weather, (at least I like warm food in the fall and winter), you could melt some chocolate instead of the cocoa powder, and that may warm things up!  I added homemade whipped cream, which of course, makes everything tastier.

Recipe, courtesy of This Chick Cooks.


  • 1 avocado, soft and ripe
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup grade b maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons milk (coconut, cow or any type of milk you prefer)
Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out flesh and put in in the blender along with remaining ingredients. Process until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides. Serve immediately or refrigerate until you're ready to serve.

Hope you're all thinking of Thanksgiving treats, I know I am!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Friday & Whiskey Apple Cider

Happy Friday everyone!

We're headed Over the Mountains and Through the Woods to my baby nephew's First Birthday Extravaganza! I can't wait... and I'm making this and these. Whooppee! Is there anything better than a First Birthday Party? Other then, well, your wedding day ;)

*Courtesy of CreateLive Recipe!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Are you noticing a theme here?

Pumpkin, perhaps? Yes, it's an addiction. Just make this and you'll be even more of an addict. That's right, no cure for you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's the Little Things

...Like a sweet kitchen window

Autumn Cake

I'm back!

And I have news! We've moved! From Eastern WA, back to Seattle. Things are cheery, and autumnal, and our new little home is so cozy! My apologies for not blogging in days and days, but for those of you that may have moved across the state in less than two weeks, you can relate. But we're here, and to celebrate, my first baked treat was an entirely self-developed new recipe. I'm sure there are variations out there, and the concept of a Pumpkin-Apple Spice Cake is not new. But I thought I'd mix things up with a cranberry compote. It put me in the mood for Thanksgiving and all the foodie wonderfulness that is to come. 

Yesterday afternoon, after a busy day, I found myself in our new kitchen, that I painted a bright, Martha Stewart "cardamom" upon moving in, and wanted something warm, cream cheese-y, and pumpkin-y for dessert. While we've been enjoying fall produce, such as squash, kale, and swiss chard, there is nothing like some pumpkin flavored dessert to make you want to curl up and listen to the rain (which we have a lot of!)

So, here it is. Since I was so totally engrossed in cake development, I did not write down as I went, but I promise, it's accurate. Hugs, and Happy Fall!



8 oz. organic pumpkin, either cooked and blended yourself, but not pumpkin pie filling (Gross!)
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. cinnamon 
3 tbsp. softened butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs

1.5 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. white flour


5 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
3 tbsp. butter, room temp.
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon/brown sugar mixture
1/3 c. powdered sugar


1.5 c. fresh or frozen cranberries (for frozen, let sit in a bowl of warm water for ten minutes to soften)
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. water



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add butter and sugar in a bowl, and using your stand or hand mixer, beat on medium for one minute. Add spices and mix for thirty seconds, following with baking powder, vanilla, and flour. Mix until well blended. Butter and flour 9x9 square cake pan and place in oven for about 30-35 minutes, until sides turn a little darker than center.


While the cake is baking, start your frosting. Put all ingredients in your bowl and mix gently for about 2 minutes. Place in refrigerator to chill.


If you want your compote to be a warm topping after you've frosted your cake, wait until your cake has cooled and has been frosted to begin making it. Otherwise, if you don't care, and just want to eat your cake as soon as possible, warm compote or room temperature compote, make it any old time you want to. To start, cook up some simple syrup; combine sugar and water in a shallow pan over medium-high heat, and allow it to come to a simmer. Add cranberries and bring to a slow boil. When cranberries begin to soften, crush them gently with a spoon, allowing the juice to release. Bring heat down, and allow to simmer for about 5-7 minutes. 

When it cools, it will become a jelly, and is equally delicious on toast, or alone. 

Assemble this dessert by removing cooled cake from the pan, and placing it on a cake tray. Frost evenly and allow to set for a bit. Then, slice, and pour your warm, cranberry goodness all over it. And then, enter a food coma, and fall asleep.