Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

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Not only is this dish DE-LISH, it is also a visually beautiful contribution to the menu. The burnt orange from the butternut squash and persimmon, combined with pomegranate, celery, and parsley make it an artistic winner at any meal. This Thanksgiving, I had a number of friends with dietary restrictions joining my family gathering, so I knew there would be a new variety of side dishes to try. Thank goodness I’m a foodie Instagram addict and found MindBodySoul’s awesome recipe reposted by Whole Foods. I was inspired and contributed something totally different from the other typical Thanksgiving dishes. Even the carnivores were impressed! Can’t wait to go round two with this recipe.

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Braided Puff Pastry Chocolate

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Oh, hello! I realize the past few months flew by without a peep from me, but I promise it’s not for lack of cooking! I’m happy to share that I recently began a new job, and while I am loving the challenge, it also means I have little time to do the blogging I love so much. After some extensive badgering  “reminders” from friends and family (“WHEN are you posting the recipe to insert dish here?!”), I decided it was time to get back into the swing of things, so be on the lookout for new, fun, fresh recipes.

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Tropical Turmeric Smoothie

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Bam! Wow! That’s what my taste buds and immune system said after concocting this doozy of a smoothie. I’ve known for awhile that turmeric is a great immunity booster as well as aiding digestion and reducing inflammation*, but I hadn’t figured out how to incorporate it into my diet. A smoothie seemed the perfect opportunity to try it and it worked in spades! Test it out for yourself and let me know what variations you enjoy. Continue reading

Crazy Good Olive Tapenade

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Whoa. I mean, serious whoa. This stuff is so delicious, you’ll want to put it on everything. I first made it up as a dip, complete with warmed baguette, double creme brie and prosciutto, but it would also be awesome as a chicken marinade. However you dress it up, it’ll be a huge hit (I even converted a staunch anti-olive eater!). Find additional recipe ideas at the bottom of the post. Continue reading

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chilean Grapes

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Why I haven’t followed more grocery stores’ twitter feeds until recently is crazy to me. If you ever are in need of dinner inspiration, go straight to your favorite grocery establishment’s social media feeds, not the least of which being Whole Foods, New Seasons, Trader Joe’s and Fred Meyer. This brussels sprouts recipe came from Freddy’s, and I’ve recreated this side dish on multiple occasions. Grapes are usually available, but for the more seasonal foods focused people out there, replace the fresh grapes with raisins or even dried cranberries. Want a meat-friendly alternative? Fry up some bacon – a beautifully salty pairing with the sweet grapes and goat cheese. Continue reading

Persimmon, Pomegranate, Celery Salad

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The winter season often leaves me in a rut for colorful, light food, so when I come across something that’s both in season and not heavy on the root vegetables, I’m quite excited to try it.

New Seasons Market is a Portland grocery store that not only has a ton of wonderfully organically and locally grown produce, but they always have super delicious samples to pass out (I promise that’s not the only reason I shop there). Recently I can across this persimmon, pomegranate and celery salad, which completely won me over. Between the sweetness of the persimmons, pomegranate tang and celery crunch, this salad is beautiful as a side dish or a meat dressing. I paired it with a peach bourbon glazed salmon (which basically is 4 tbsp of Aunt Becky’s Peach Bourbon jam on 2 lbs of salmon steak, baked at 350 for 25-35 min) and quinoa, of which there were absolutely no leftovers to speak of. Continue reading

2015 Most Grateful Moments

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As 2015 came to a close, I realized that while I wouldn’t call it the best year, it was full of challenges and events which have helped form me into a stronger (albeit slightly wider) person. As an active Oregonian, it was most difficult for me to hang up my snowboard for the season as well as my road bike in order to make way for bodily healing. I’m happy to report that I am on the mend and look forward to sharing more outdoor adventures with you in 2016, but 2015 was absolutely the year of much cooking and a few outdoor memories. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and while I didn’t accomplish all my wishes during 2015, I made many other memories that wouldn’t have been possible if life happened the way I planned.

Below is a compilation of the best of the best: