Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

Happy Tuesday my friends. This weekend was a bit crazy because of some work things, but my in-laws took Madelyn for us on Friday so that helped balance out the work/home life a bit. She got to have fun in Chicago with her grandparents and I got to come home, after a crazy Saturday, to an empty house. It was kind of amazing actually, because I can’t remember the last time I was home alone.
What’s a girl to do on a Saturday night all alone? Grab a $10 take and bake pizza from Whole Foods, a salad to go with, and of course swing by cheesecake factory for a piece of dessert. Everything was delicious and I was sounds asleep by 9:30pm.
saturdaynightLeftovers for days…
On Monday, I enjoyed a much needed workout at The Barre Code, ventured off to a doctor’s appointment, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon playing with Madelyn in the backyard while picking some rhubarb. I was never a huge fan of rhubarb until we inherited a huge plant when we bought our house a few years ago (mostly because I didn’t know how to eat/prepare it). We’ve had so much that I’ve given some away and I still have some in our freezer from last year.
Yesterday, Instead of utilizing nap time to catch up on household chores, I decided to whip up a batch of paleo strawberry rhubarb muffins. I was going to make strawberry rhubarb crisp, but decided muffins would be a much better option since I was still in a sugar coma from Saturday night’s lemon torte dessert. I am also sick of eating hard-boiled eggs for breakfast and muffins seem to be the next best “grab and go” breakfast option. They were delicious! I can’t wait to make them again.
-2 heaping cups of almond flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-a pinch of salt
-3 eggs
-1/4 C honey
-1 Tbsp ghee, melted
-1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 tsp orange juice
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 C strawberries, chopped
-1/2 C rhubarb, chopped
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line muffin tin
-combine all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients into a separate bowl until well blended then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir in strawberries and rhubarb.
-fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full
-bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool (or eat warm) and enjoy!
Healthy tidbit of the day: If you have left over strawberry rhubarb mixture, stir it into some plain yogurt and sweeten with honey. It’s a delicious breakfast treat without all the added sugar that most  “fruit-in” yogurts have in them.
What’s your favorite summer produce?
During a busy morning, what’s your go-to breakfast?

Knock-off Salad

Friday never looked better. Things have been crazy over here this week, as we’re adjusting to new work/life schedules only to be totally spoiled over the weekend and having to adjust again come Tuesday morning. It’s a vicious circle, I know. This little face definitely makes the long days worthwhile.
Earlier this week I had a craving for pizza. Lucky for me, hubs picked us up some frozen Lou Malnati’s pizza when he was in Chicago last and we still had one left in our freezer (which I completely forgot about-always the best).
Besides a big glass of red wine, the sweet taste of the Malnati salad always pairs well our pizza. Since we didn’t have a salad from Lou’s, I attempted to re-create it from memory and cross my fingers. The kitchen gods were watching over me because it was right on point. Larry even said he couldn’t taste a difference between mine and the restaurant’s.
IMG_3558The only thing that I could’ve done better was maybe look up the actually ingredients on their website ;-) I used blue cheese instead of gorgonzola and bacon instead of salami. I could pick out the blue cheese mistake right away, but I had no idea they used salami, I always thought it was bacon.
Ingredients for the salad:
Romaine lettuce
Fresh Mushrooms
Salami (pan fried)
Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
Since the dressing is heavy with sugar (it’s a sweet vinaigrette), I substituted coconut sugar for regular white table sugar. Some of the health benefits of coconut sugar are lower glycemic rate (doesn’t raise blood sugar levels quickly), lower amounts of fructose, and contains some traces of vitamins.
-1/3 C extra-virgin olive oil
-6 tbsp. white wine vinegar
-4 tbsp. sugar
-2 tsp Italian seasoning
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 salt
Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and pour over each individual serving of salad. There’s nothing worse than making a salad soggy and throwing it away.
One thing I will never attempt to re-create? Chicago-style pizza…it’s in a category all its own.
What’s your favorite restaurant salad? Any success making it at home?
Enjoy your Friday & your weekend! I know I will!
What’s your favorite restaurant salad? Any success making it at home?
Enjoy your Friday & your weekend!

A Fun Little Weekend + An Easy Weeknight Meal

Happy Monday friends! Mondays aren’t too bad for us here, because our week doesn’t start until Tuesday :-) Today we have a {rainy} fun day filled with chores, grocery shopping and parent/tot tumbling classes! But first sweaty workouts followed by meeting up with friends.


This past weekend was a very eventful and fun one for us. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we started our Saturday off with a nice 3 mile run. I woke up at 6:30am on Saturday morning and the first thing I did was check the weather…Currently 57. First thought, “We need to get out and run!” Then I heard a little person next door to me clapping and singing BINGO. I could’ve laid there and listened for a little while longer, but I got us up, ready and out the door in about a half hour. Madelyn still in her pajamas and me in my running clothes :-)


When we got back, little miss kept herself occupied with a back dated issue of Runner’s World Magazine, while I got us ready to meet up with a friend and her daughter at the zoo. It was a wonderful afternoon, followed by an effortless nap time. We will be spending as much time as we can outside this summer because fresh air followed by youtube kids lullaby station = hours of afternoon napping. Everyone wins.

Later that day, my mom came over to babysit Madelyn for us while hubs and I went out to enjoy some quality adult time. It was our first date night out since I’ve been back from my trip…the first date night since Valentine’s Day! We were long overdue. We decided to mix things up and try out a new to us restaurant called La Reve. It’s a french restaurant located in the village of Tosa and their food was amazing. A few people raved to me about how good their food was so we decided to check it out. It did not disappoint. After eating dinner at La Reve, we got a little creative and ventured over to Arte for some drinks and canvas painting. I have been to wine/painting bars a few times now, but hubs was a first timer. He was a little hesitant, but after a few beers, he was feeling artistic. We both had so much fun and agreed it was a nice way to switch up our typical date night.


Weeknights tend to be a little more chaotic and on the go around here. I try to keep our meals as quick, easy and healthy as possible and avoid eating out as much as possible during the week. Varieties of slow cooker chicken tacos are amongst a household favorite. A few nights ago I was craving sweet potatoes. I bought a whole bag of them from Trader Joe’s and needed to use them up before they went bad, so I came up with a great concoction, I had to share it with you guys. I used this recipe for rice (subbed olive oil for canola oil). It was quick, easy and delicious. Much better than any boxed “Spanish” rice I had thought of getting. Hubs peeled and cut up some sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and chicken thighs. I cooked the chicken in olive oil and seasoned it with garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Once that was almost done cooking, I added the sweet potatoes and lastly the bell peppers. When I had everything combined in the skillet, I added this fajita seasoning. Once everything was done cooking, I some rice in a bowl, topped it with the chicken mix and added avocado, cheese and a little bit of sour cream. It was delicious! So quick, healthy and easy. You can really add anything to the skillet mix. I think next time I would add onions, but we were all out.


I’m off to finish up {er, start}  the rest of my to-do list and work on a photo project for tomorrow’s photography class. Have a great day!

Question of the Day: What’s one of the funnest date nights you’ve ever had? What’s your go-to meal for busy weeks? 

My First Blue Apron Experience

Every now and again, we fall into the same old dinner routine. Because our time is so pressed during the week, I usually stick to something quick and easy. Rotations usually include salmon, chicken, spaghetti squash or zoodles with marinara and meat. Always served along a side of vegetables. I try to avoid eating out during the week. The 21 day sugar detox helped mix things up a bit and even added some new “go-to” items to our weekly menu.

When I first heard about Blue Apron, I was intrigued. I had read about it on a few other blogs and decided to give it a try when one of my favorite bloggers had a coupon code available. I loved the idea of having fresh ingredients delivered to my house ready to cook up for a delicious meal. A while back, I tried out Pairdd, a local company that had the same concept except all there meals were gluten-free. They’ve since gone out of business :-/

The box was delivered on Wednesday. My sister was actually at my house watching Madelyn while it was delivered and she sent me text asking if she should put it in the refrigerator. I told her no, I’d take care of it when I got home. Everything came pre-packed over dry ice and was still ice cold when I got to it.

I was sent two meals for a family of 4 for $49.94. If you break it down, it comes out to about $6.24 per meal. Not too bad. I’m glad we opted for the family of 4 instead of two because we had more than enough food left over to take for lunch the next day.

The first meal that I made was Coconut Fish Curry.


It was delicious. Everything came portioned out, so there was no measuring. I just had to do some prep work and chopping and the recipe was very simple to follow.


I like how the recipe cards are printed out on large pieces of card stock so they’re very sturdy for the kitchen. On one side, there’s a picture of the meal and what it should look like. On the other side, there’s step by step instructions along with pictures. I loved this! It made it easier to follow along and made me feel better that I was following the directions correctly.


Overall, the meal took a little less than an hour to make with all the prep work involved and it being my first time. Not too bad for something that tasted so delicious. I was a little hesitant about making this meal because I’ve been kind of sick of fish lately (mostly salmon), but the coconut curry put a different spin on things.


I would definitely use Blue Apron again. I do wish they had dietary restriction options (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, etc) but the meals overall appear to be fresh and healthy. I like that everything came pre-packaged and no food went to waste. A lot of times I’ll buy something and only use a little bit of it before it goes bad. Blue Apron does seem to cost a bit more than say going to Trader Joe’s, but the ingredients are really fresh and it saves me from having to put any thought into what we’re making for dinner when weeks get really hectic.

Have you ever used any food delivery service like Blue Apron? What was your experience like? Another meal planning service I really liked was CookSmarts. This generated weekly meals for you based on dietary restrictions. It provides you with recipes and grocery lists-you just have to do the shopping!

Caramelized Sweet Onion Dip with Bacon

Tomorrow is the BIG GAME! And while I’m still sad that my beloved Green Bay Packers blew their chance to be a Superbowl team, I will still be tuning in to tomorrow’s game if not for the game, the commercials and half-time entertainment.

One thing I love about football Sundays is relaxing with my family and consuming yummy food. Although I enjoy eating wings, chips with guacamole, and all things delicious, I try to make a conscious effort to make sure that the food is somewhat “healthy”. To me that means as wholesome and void of any added “junk”.

I was THRILLED when the people at Chobani reached out to me and asked if I’d be interesting in creating a healthy game day recipe using Chobani as the main ingredient. I said, “Yes!” of course because not only do I love Chobani yogurt, I love using it as a substitute for cooking on a regular basis. My favorite thing to use it for is sour cream. Instead of using sour cream for tacos or chili, I substitute it with Chobani Greek yogurt. You can hardly taste the difference and it’s so much better for you.


So for the big game tomorrow, I bring to you a Caramelized Onion Dip with Bacon. I used a sweet onion and added balsamic vinegar for an original taste. I’m a huge fan of onion dip with potato chips and well, who doesn’t love bacon?

Caramelized Sweet Onion Dip with Bacon 

1 Sweet Onion Large-Chopped
2 tsp Ghee
1 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup chobani greek yogurt
1/4tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
3 strips of cooked bacon chopped

1. Chop the onion
2. Heat ghee or butter on a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until they turn translucent and start to brown. Roughly about 8 minutes. If at any point the cooked onions start to stick to the skillet, add a tsp of water to help loosen them up and continue to stir.
3. After 10 minutes, stir in the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, pepper, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and worcestershire sauce.
4. Lower heat and and gently cook for another 15 minutes or until the onions are caramelized.
5. Remove the onions from the heat and let cool. In a separate bowl, mix together the Chobani greek yogurt, mayonnaise. Stir in the caramelized onions. Add in 3 strips of cooked bacon and stir all the way through. Serve with chips and enjoy!

IMG_3236What is your favorite game day appetizer?  I’m also a big fan of taco dip :-)

Christmas Brunch Casserole

Every now and then, there comes along a recipe that is so absolutely delicious you can’t stop thinking about it. I made this said recipe on Christmas Day.

For the past few years, I’ve been hosting a very low-key Christmas Day brunch with my mom and my sister. The only requirement is that you must wear pajamas and be prepared to lounge and eat the day away.

Last year I stumbled across a recipe for Cinnamon Roll french toast bake and I had to make it. Of course, it was a success. I decided to make it again this year, but substituted some ingredients to make it as dairy-free as possible. It was 10 times better than last year’s-which was already tough to beat.

I thought I’d share the recipe with you, just incase you’re looking for a delicious brunch item to make, maybe for New Years Day.

Dairy-Free Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake


  • 1/4 cup of Ghee melted
  • 2 12.4 ounce cans of Cinnamon Rolls (I used Immaculate Baking)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Cream
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C chopped pecans
  • 1 C pure maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the melted ghee, and use it to oil up the 13×9 glass baking dish. Separate the cans of dough and place the cinnamon rolls on a cutting board. There should be 16 rolls total. Set aside the frosting. Cut EACH roll into 8 pieces and place on the baking dish, on top of the ghee.


2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Once you’ve done that, add in the coconut cream, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Pour over all the pieces. Add the cup of maple syrup on top of that.


3. Bake for 28 minutes or until golden brown. Once it’s done cooking and making your house smell amazing, take it out of the oven and cool for about 15 minutes. Take the icing packs that came with the cinnamon rolls and drizzle over the top. I actually had some icing leftover, they give you a lot!


4. Cut up into desired size pieces and enjoy! You can serve it up with more maple syrup and powdered sugar if you so desire :-) I thought it tasted wonderful all on its own and I’m thrilled that there are still a few pieces in my freezer to enjoy for another day.

What are your Christmas Day traditions? Since Christmas Eve can be such a rush for us (I worked before all the festivities kicked off), it’s always so nice to enjoy some R&R with the family the next day. Before there was a husband and small child in the picture, we used to go see movies on Christmas day.

Extremely Easy Slow Cooker Chicken

Do I have an easy slow cooker recipe for you guys. If you even want to call it that. I stumbled upon this inspiration from Lina’s blog and it has been added to our monthly rotation of week night dinners. Lina is the Chief Training Officer of The Barre Code and writes an awesome blog focused on fitness, health and wellness.

Step one-buy a whole chicken. Cut up some of your favorite vegetables that will hold up nicely in the slow cooker (carrots, parsnips, onions, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, celery).

IMG_2881Lay the vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker. Season the chicken to taste. I used sea salt, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Place the chicken on top of the veggies. Placing the chicken on top of the veggies will help keep the chicken from falling apart too much. Turn the slow cooker onto low and cook for about 8 hours.

IMG_2882You want the internal temperature of the leg to be 160 degrees. The cooking time will vary based on the weight of your chicken. No need to add water or broth to this. It will not burn, the vegetables and the chicken will make its own lovely broth.

When it’s done, scoop out some veggies and cut the chicken off the bone. Dish up and eat! It’s that easy.

IMG_2886I’ve made this now twice and both times it was delicious and satisfying. My ONLY complaint is not having crispy skin. I usually pick the skin off anyway, but I think next time I will place the chicken in the broiler for a few minutes after it’s done slow cooking. I’ll make sure to report back :-)

It’s Friday! Hallelujah!!!! It’s been an extra long work week and I’ve been looking forward to my wine date tonight with my friend, Jen, all week. The rest of my weekend will be filled with Christmas cookie baking, birthday celebrating, and maybe some Christmas shopping (I only have 1 thing purchased!). I’m really looking forward to baking cookies this year, it will be Madelyn’s first year participating! She’s the best kind of kitchen helper :-)