Friday, May 30, 2014

Cranberry Almond Kale Salad with Warm Shallot and Lemon Vinaigrette

I don't know about you, but when the weather is warm I have a really hard time eating heavy foods. Things like pastas and sauces just weigh me down and I swear they make me sweat more! Consequently, I am big on fruits and vegetables and salads to make up my summer meals... Which turns out to be awesome cause I'll drop a few lb's here and there.

I've been trying to jump on the kale bandwagon because I know it's like, sooooooooooo good for you but I'm just not a huge fan. Husband loves to grill up some kale in olive oil and eat it for lunch and every time he offers me some I just want to barf on him. Gross. HOWEVER, I know that kale is versatile and can be prepared in such a way that everyone can like it so when I saw this recipe on Gimme Some Oven, I went for it. And what do you know? With two minute changes, I loved it (and obviously Husband loved it too, that kale-loving-son-of-a-bitch)!


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, ribbed and very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta 

How To Make It

  • heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat 
  • add shallot and saute for at least 5 minutes or until tender
  • add garlic and saute for 1 minute
  • then add cranberries, red wine vinegar and lemon juice and zest, and stir to combine
  • season with salt and pepper
  • in a large bowl, toss the kale with olive oil and an extra pinch of salt, and massage kale with your fingers 
  • add in the cranberry/shallot mixture and almonds, and toss to combine
  • serve topped with crumbled feta

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


It's been so wonderful and summer-y out lately. I. Can't. Get. Enough. Seriously, I live in the wrong part of the world. If it was sunny all day everyday I would be so happy. All those people out there that are like "no but you have to have the rain you'd get sick of the sun if you had it all the time..." No. Get out. You're wrong. The sun is amazing and I want it always.

Anyway here is an amazing dress I got from H&M recently, it's comfortable and versatile and I love it. Now go out in the sun.

Dress: H&M
Boots: Nordstrom / Steve Madden
Watch: Charlotte Russe
Bracelet: Forever 21

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

So my personal favorite is Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli soup, but my mom is obsessed with their Zuppa Toscana so I thought I would give it a shot! I even got Erka's approval and she is a former Olive Garden employee people so buckle up! And yes, like I said in the Pasta Fagioli post, I know Olive Garden isn't "real" Italian. That doesn't mean it isn't delicious and doesn't cover my mouth in a party of awesome. Step off.


  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and then 1/4" thick (think little half moons)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 c. kale, finely chopped
  • 2 cans (15oz) chicken stock
  • 1 qt. water
  • 1 c. half and half 

How To Cook It: 

  • brown sausage and break it up really well, drain and set aside
  • cook bacon, then chop it
  • place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, garlic in pot 
  • cook on medium heat until potatoes are done
  • add sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste
  • simmer for another 10 minutes
  • turn to low heat, add kale and half and half 
  • heat through and serve

Monday, May 19, 2014


It was SO HOT here last week! Have I ever mentioned that there is no air conditioning in my office? Cause there isn't. So yeah, this was my best option. Summer is coming!

Tank top: Nordstrom
Maxi skirt: Forever 21
Leaf necklace: Forever 21
Watch: Charlotte Russe

Friday, May 9, 2014

Gold Mugs

Like a lot a people, I've been slightly obsessed with gold lately. IT'S MAKING A COMEBACK! So when I saw gold accented mugs on Pinterest, I just about died. Husband loves coffee... no like, seriously. He's ridiculous. He also loves tea, and so do I, so we go through a disgusting amount of coffee mugs in a week. This project had me written all over it.

What You'll Need: 

  • gold spray paint
  • clear top coat spray paint
  • clean, white mugs
  • painters tape
  • patience 

How To Do It

  • it's an easy enough project...
  • WASH YOUR MUGS, paint doesn't stick to a dirty mug
  • apply painters tape in the design you would like - this is where the patience comes in: mugs are round so tape isn't just gonna rock around in a strait line
  • once your tape is applied PRESS IT DOWN! seriously, be super-anal about this step other wise you'll get chips and bleeds. I used my fingernail to squish out any wrinkles in the edge of the tape and to make sure it was stuck down tight
  • make sure you tape up the inside of the mug too, you don't want over-spray in there or it will look gross
  • take your mugs outside (duh, this is spray paint) and spray your first coat of gold
  • let dry and spray your second layer of gold
  • let dry and spray a layer of clear coat
  • let dry COMPLETELY and CAREFULLY peel the painters tape off
  • place in a COLD oven and turn the oven to 200 degrees (if you place the mugs in an already warm oven, they will crack)
  • let sit for a few hours (minimum of 2)
  • turn the oven off and let the mugs cool inside the oven

I was really worried about the paint coming off in the dishwasher but so far so good! I have not used them in the microwave yet. I'll update this post as I find out! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwich

I have been obsessing over this recipe for a while now. I loooove chicken salad sandwiches but I hate mayonnaise (I know that seems like an oxymoron but it's just true). So I was so excited when I found this recipe that uses greek yogurt instead. This is the PERFECT meal on a hot summer day when you want something more substantial than salad but not heavy to weigh on your stomach in the summer heat. It's crisp, refreshing and just the right balance of sweet and savory.


  • 1 lb. cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/2 c. diced red onion ... I actually used onion powder because I'm not a fan of biting into raw onion but if that doesn't bother you then go for it!
  • 1/2 c. diced apple
  • 2/3 c. grapes, halved
  • 1/3 c. craisins
  • 1/4 c. sliced almonds
  • 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 rolls ciabatta bread, toasted, for serving.... I have since made it with just whole wheat sliced bread and I actually liked it a little better that way, I think with the ciabatta the bread to sandwich ratio goes awry HOWEVER ciabatta does make it seem fancier

How To Make It:

  • ummmmm it's not rocket science, toast (and maybe butter) your bread 
  • mix all the other ingredients together in a big bowl
  • serve on toasted bread