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Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring has Sprung...

Finally Minnesota is experiencing warmer weather! The snow has finally melted and I feel like I can begin to pack up my winter turtle necks and sweaters!  Derek and I had a wonderful weekend that was spent mostly outside (when you have been cooped up all winter you just can't help but be outside 24/7)!

Friday I took off work a little early and met Derek and his cousin Nate for a beautiful 5.3 mile run around Lake Harriet! I had to laugh that I was dressed in shorts and a tank top while there was still ice on the lake! We ended up grabbing a drink after our run at a little snack shack on Lake Calhoun.  Where we got to enjoy the most beautiful sunset!

Later we ventured over to JJ's wine bar for a light dinner and then called it an early night!

Saturday I woke up bright and early with the sun streaming into my room and I was instantly in a good mood! I was ready to seize the day I guess you could say! My parents came up for the day/night so we spent most of our day walking around little shops and enjoying the beautiful weather on patios and roof tops! Check out our view from Stella's roof top, where we enjoyed dinner!

We ended our wonderful weekend Sunday with church followed by brunch with both Derek and my family! It was relaxing and enjoyable to be able to spend time with both families! We wrapped up our night with our last long run (12 miles) before our first ever half marathon.  Race day is next Sunday!  I have to say I am glad that our race is just a week away! I anxiously awaiting the run!

And just because the weather has been so beautiful, (the type of weather that makes you want to grill everything) I thought I would share a few of my favorite grilling/summer recipes from around the web!
Chicken with Honey Beer Sauce  from  Cooking Light (delicious and one of Derek's Favs!) - could easily use the Honey Beer Sauce as a marinade 

and because who doesn't love a good spring/summer dessert! 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Perfect Muffin - Chocolate Banana Bread

I made these muffins from Vegetarian Times for the first time last week when my mom sent me home with a million over ripe bananas!  And I was thrilled that these muffins were moist and full of flavor!  Even Derek gave them two thumbs up!  And he requested that I make a second batch!

So I say make these muffins if you need a delicious on the go breakfast, love the chocolate/banana combo, need a healthy snack or are just craving banana bread!  I guarantee you will not be sorry you made them! 

**I think adding chocolate chips into the batter would make them extra decedent!  Try smearing peanut butter on top for an added treat! 


Monday, April 22, 2013

My Love for Risotto

 Risotto is a dish that kinda screams comfort food to me and is perhaps one of my favorite meals to make. 

Savory and full of flavor risotto is a dish that I never get sick of.  Simple enough to make on a week night but still one of those dishes that is worthy of a special occasion dinner (Such as Valentine's Day).

What I think is so great about risotto is the endless flavor options you have.  You can virtually add any meat or vegetable you like into risotto and 9 times out of 10 I am sure it will be delicious! I know that without a doubt any time a suggest risotto for dinner Derek is on board (my shrimp risotto is one of the dishes requested most often by him), so I knew the night I told him I was going to experiment with a brown rice mushroom risotto he would be game. 

The original recipe comes from Cooking Light and can be found here.  I made a few adaptations to cater to the ingredients I had!  Check it out! 

Mushroom Risotto
Slightly adapted from Cooking Light


1 cup short-grain brown rice
2 cups hot chicken broth
1 Cup hot Water
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound mushrooms, sliced 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided 
1/2 cup chopped shallots

1/2 cup white wine 
1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1- Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add rice and simmer for 15 min (rice will not be done).  Drain and set aside.

2- Heat your chicken stock in a sauce pan on the stove and set aside for later.  In a microwave safe bowl heat your 1 cup water and reserve for later.

3- Heat one tablespoon of oil in sauce pan.  Add your mushrooms and saute for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove mushrooms from sauce pan and set aside. 

4- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to your sauce pan.  Add shallots and saute until tender. 
5-Add rice and cook for about 2 min.  Add a little pepper.  

6- Now stir in your wine and cook until evaporated.  

7- Now add 1/2 cup chicken broth  to rice mixture.  Cook until absorbed.  Stir in remaining chicken broth followed by your hot water 1/2 cup at a time.  You will need to stir constantly - this process will take about 30 minutes.  

 8- Now stir in your mushrooms and parmigiano cheese and serve! 

** I Served our risotto along side baked breaded chicken.  The meal was delicious! 


    Monday, April 15, 2013

    Thoughts and Prayers

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Boston who were effected by the bombing during the Boston Marathon.

    You are not alone! 

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    Happy Birthday To...

    This Guy!

    Happy Birthday Honey!
    Wishing you a wonderful day full of celebrating, you deserve it!  Thanks for pushing me to be a better person and supporting me 100% all the time!

    Here is to many more Birthdays!! 

    Happy Birthday! 

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    I'm Hooked...

    Yes, you heard me!  I am completely hooked on my morning Green Smoothie!  I am now one of those people who craves my morning smoothie.

    Who would have thought this day would come?  Not me!  The green drink used to give me the shivers just thinking about it.  So what made me go from disgust to love?  Well, I finally found the perfect combination of fruits and veggies!  And let me tell you even Derek and my mom said this smoothie wasn't bad!

    Check it out! 

    Fall in Love "Green Smoothie"

    1/2 Mango - Skin Removed 
    1/2 Banana
    1/3 - 1/2 Cup Orange Juice ( I like Simply Orange Calcium and Vitamin D) 
    1.5-2 Cups Cold Filtered Water (more or less depedning on how thick you like your smoothies) 
    1/2 Bag of Spinach 
    1 huge handful baby kale 
    Honey to taste - if you like a sweeter smoothie
    Ice as needed 

    1- Add water and OJ in the blender along with kale and spinach.  Blend until smooth. 
    2- Add in your Banana mango and honey (if using) and blend again till smooth. 

    ** I usually make my Green Smoothie the night before and place it in the fridge to chill overnight.  If using the ice you would add it at the end and blend till smooth.