Schnitzel with Dill sauce with Honeyed Prosciutto Brussels Sprouts

28 Dec



Last night, Jonathan and I teamed up to make what turned out to be a delicious dinner! We made a pork schnitzel with brussell sprouts and cranberry sauce. Okay, the cranberry sauce was on hand, as you can tell from the perfect can-shape pictured above (thanks, Ocean Spray!). 

For the Schnitzel, we used this recipe: but with a few alterations:

- instead of seasoned salt, we used our seasoning favorite, Tony Chacheres’ Creole seasoning

- for the dill sauce, we added chopped shiitake mushrooms. 


The Brussels sprouts were actually made with a recipe I got from my big sister, using the honey vinegar that she gave me for Christmas. If you don’t have an amazing honey store from which to buy honey vinegar, you can make your own by stirring in a spoon full of honey into apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. 

Sorry that this is more of a description than a recipe, but I like to cook with my heart rather than with measuring spoons sometimes!

All I did for the Brussels sprouts was:

wash them, and chop into quarters. Drizzle with walnut oil and honey vinegar and toss. Tear up 1 piece of prosciutto and toss. Place onto a lined cookie sheet and cook for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Delish!  Thanks, big sis, for the awesome gift and the awesome Brussels sprout recipe! 

Meal plan!

3 Nov

meal plan



I wanted to share my healthy meal plan, and before I go any further, I have to thank the amazing folks over at Pursuit Fitness ( because this meal plan comes from them.  Getting organized is all me, but the food ideas for staying healthy and energized are all theirs.


Anyway, that’s what my Sunday food prep looks like!  The picture shows four days worth of daytime food (food for while at work!).

Breakfast: (not pictured, served hot)

2 turkey sausage patties

1 c spinach + 1 apple juiced


Snack 1:

1 oz almonds, 1 oz baby carrots, 5 strawberries



Salad + oil vinegar dressing + 3 oz turkey meat


Snack 2:

2 stalks celery + 2 tbspn almond butter, 3 oz blackberries


Dinner: (served hot, not pictured)

4 oz herb rubbed chicken

salad + oil vinegar dressing

brocolli + oregano + a sprinkle of parm cheese


Dinner we shake up sometimes, and have other things, but basically a protein, a salad, and a cruciferous veggie.

I think I’m going to add in and try some purple sweet potatoes next week!


This meal plan is actually from two weeks ago. This week, instead of turkey meat at lunch, I’m going to have hard boiled eggs.  And instead of blackberries, I am going to have oranges.  And instead of almonds, I am going to have walnuts. But you get the picture! Planning my meals ahead of time makes life SO MUCH EASIER and food tastes SO MUCH BETTER!

Cilantro Lime Steak with Citrus Salad

3 Nov

I got the inspiration for this dish from here:

The steak is basically the same as in this recipe, but since my measurements were different I will still post my version below. :) 

and this is how it turned out: 



Here’s how I did it: 

For the steak:


2 beef chuck tender steaks (or flank steak or whatever cut of meat you prefer)

1 lime, juiced

1 serrano pepper, seeds in (you can take the seeds out to cut the heat)

1 cup fresh cilantro

2 tbspns olive oil 

salt to taste

California Seasoning (basically powdered onion and powdered garlic) to taste

1 tbspn chopped garlic 


Blend all of the ingredients (except for the steak). Put half of the sauce in a ziplock bag with the steak, making sure that all surfaces get coated. We let it marinade about 3 hours.  Stir in 1 tbspn of sour cream (optional) to the remaining sauce. This helps cut the heat and adds a nice tang to the sauce. 

We pan seared the steak to about a medium temperature (140 with meat thermometer) and then thin sliced. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the sliced steak. 


For the salad, it was just fresh baby spinach, fresh navel orange segments, and slivered almonds, tossed. I didn’t put any dressing on, but a nice oil/vinegar dressing would have gone nicely. I found that the meat had such an assertive flavor that I didn’t want to add anything to the salad, just let the citrus and spinach add bright notes to the dress. 



The Jonny Burger and the Easiest Delicious Onion Strings

1 Oct

Jonathan’s birthday was yesterday, and since we had already celebrated by camping with our dear friends and then satisfying our foodie souls in Chicago and meeting Graham Elliot (yes, there will be an entirely separate post about all of this!!)-  I decided to keep his actual (and unfortunately landed on a MONDAY) birthday pretty low key. 

But, you know, they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so I created a signature burger just for my hubby’s bday. I call this masterpiece the Jonny Burger:



The Jonny Burger is made with a groundbeef and sausage blend, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a special smokehouse seasoning. Fresh butterhead lettuce, a whole wheat bun, and thick sliced bacon, topped with barbecue sauce and homemade spicy onion strings.  Oh, and cheddar cheese. How could we have a Jonny burger without cheese??

(You could lighten up this monstrosity by using ground turkey, and baked onion straws instead of fried… but hey… for my hubby’s birthday we went all out!)


Now, how do you get delicious onion straws?  actually, this is a recipe that my Mom and I created when I was a kid. We had onion straws at a restaurant and were determined to create our own. This recipe is so ridiculously simple yet delicious and so satisfying. You will be enjoying your own restaurant quality onion strings in NO time. 




1 egg

appr 1/4 c milk 


Seasoning (I recommend Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning)

A pot of hot oil 

A pile of thin sliced onions 

So, I will warn you, I don’t have precise measurements for this, but don’t worry, it is still super easy. 

Get an onion and thin slice a good sized pile. However many you want to make. 

Take a bowl, and pour as much flour in the bowl so you have a pile about as big as your pile of onions. Then shake on the Tony Chachere’s over the top in an even layer until you basically can’t see the flour. Stir. (You will probably have to adjust this to your own tastes, but this is how I judge how much to put. :) )

In a separate  bowl, beat an egg. Add as much milk as you have egg (appr a 1 to 1 ratio, which i find is about 1/4 c). 

Put the onions in the egg/milk mixture and stir to coat. In small handfuls, grab a handful of the wet onions, shake the extra liquid off, roll them around in the flour, shake the excess flour off, and set aside. Repeat until all the onions have a fine coating of your flour mixture. 

Now, is your oil hot? If not, heat oil in a pot. Don’t know how to tell if your oil is ready? Toss one onion in as a test. if it sinks to the bottom it’s not ready. When it’s ready, your test onion will pop to the top and crackle in the oil. 

When the oil is ready, drop a small handful of onions into the oil. I always stir the onions a little bit to keep them from clumping up. 

I sort of poke the top of the onions with my spoon. At first, they will feel sort of soft. When they are ready, they will feel crunchy. Trust your intuition! 

When they feel crunchy, remove them with a slotted spoon, shaking the excess oil off, and place on a paper towel to absorb the extra grease. Continue until you’ve fried all of your onions. 

I always pat the top with another paper towel. 

That’s it. Simple. Easy peasy! It’s a lot more intuition than an actual recipe, so if it isn’t perfect the first time, adjust and try again!  Frying takes practice and confidence! You can do it! :) 



Homemade Bubble Tea – EASY! :)

24 Aug jasmineboba

Today, I had the immense pleasure of spending the day with one of my favorite people to do crafty things with – Nancy!  We decided to take on something crafty AND delicious – making homemade bubble (boba) tea!


We had so much fun that I felt the need to share how delightfully easy and cost effective this is! A much cheaper way to enjoy bubble tea – and Nancy and I agreed that it tasted as good as at the local bubble tea cafe.




You will need:

- Boba (found at your local asian market)

- Condensed sweetened milk (or regular milk or almond milk or soy milk!)

- Tea of choice (or fruit juice or coffee!)

- Big straws (found at local asian market OR these were milkshake straws found at the local grocery store)

- Optional: brown sugar and white sugar and ginger for the sugar syrup


Now, as you can tell from the ingredient list, there are tons of options. The world is your oyster!


We tried two types of boba:

-  tapioca balls that were already precooked. These were easy and ready to use in about 10 minutes.

- dried starch balls (made from potato starch) that took over 40 minutes to get ready.

The package you buy should have some sort of instructions. The larger, colorful, precooked tapioca balls had great instructions, which we followed. The smaller, dried starch balls did not have instructions in English so we had to feel it out.

So here are the steps to making perfect Bubble tea:

Step 1:  Make a simple syrup (option)

- We boiled appr 3 c water with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar and a pinch of ginger powder. Fresh grated ginger would have been better but mine had gone bad. :( But it was delicious! We left the “syrup” more liquidy so the balls could roll around in it. It had a texture only slightly thicker than water.  Set aside once ready.

Step 2: Get your boba ready!!

For precooked tapioca balls: For every 1/4 cup boba, boil 2.5 cups of water. Once boiling, pour in the 1/4 cup boba.  Let boil for 5 minutes. Then empty into a colander and run cold water over the boba so they don’t stick.

For dried starch balls: For every 1/4 cup boba, boil about 8 c water. Once boiling, add boba. Boil for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Take off of heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. Empty in colander and run cold water over the boba so they don’t stick.

After the boba (either type) is rinsed, pour into your pot of now-cool simple “syrup.” Let sit for about 5-15 minutes. The longer is sits, the sweeter it gets! we let our first batch sit in the sweet water while we went out and get Indian chaat for lunch!

Step 3:  Make your tea!

While the boba is sitting in the syrup, make your tea. You could already have your tea made ahead of time, or have the water boiling while everything else boils (we had three stove aisles with boiling water because we were doing tea and two types of boba at the same time!)

We used Jasmine tea, and it was delicious. For iced bubble tea, I recommend making the tea ahead of time and letting it cool down.

Step 4: Add milk, ice, and boba, and TA DA!!

We took the jasmine tea, and added sweetened condensed milk and ice and shook it in a shaker. Delish!  I wish I could tell you how much sweetened condensed milk but it’s really just up to your preference. Add a little taste, and then add more if you like!

We then spooned the boba out of the simple “syrup” and into the bottom of a glass. Then we poured the delicious milk tea into the cup over the boba.


After drinking this yummy treat, we decided we needed to experiment. Since I am obsessed with tea, we had a ton of flavors to choose from. We decided to make a watermelon mint tea from Teavana.

bubblegumbobaI’m not sure if you can tell in this picture, but the tea and the boba are PINK! too cute. It actually tasted a lot like bubblegum -which I liked but Miss Nancy did NOT. :)




All in all, it was a great way to spend a day with a friend, and now we might have a new snack time obsession!!


30×30 for 30

12 Aug

Jonathan and I are always talking about what we can do better.  Frequently, those goals are actually results we want without any plan. I want to lose weight. I want a cleaner house. I want to save money.

We always seem too busy to do the things that get us there. We create elaborate and intricate plans and chore charts and diet/exercise regimens. And when we don’t stick to them exactly, we get discouraged and slowly give up.

So instead of just having a loose goal (clean the house) or creating an elaborate and insane plan for how to make our lives perfect, we are making a very simple commitment.

Every day for 30 days we will each spend a minimum or 30 minutes doing some sort of physical activity and a minimum of 30 minutes cleaning something in the house.

That is it. It is that simple.

Because we are very busy, we can each have a free pass on each activity once a week if we need it. If life explodes and we don’t get home until midnight. If we decide to be spontaneous and have an all day biking and picnic adventure that leaves us exhausted. Whatever it is. But only ONE a week.

We will see at the end of these 30 days how much (if at all) our lives have improved!


I started my 30 days today. Jonathan is starting tomorrow, so I guess I will do 31 days. Actually, I am hoping this becomes a habit that lasts well past 30 days, but we will see!


I am going to take some (embarassing) before pictures of our house tomorrow, so if we actually make some progress hopefully I can share some after pictures at the end of this! :)

I will try to make daily or maybe every other day reports on how it’s going.


Exercise: I went to pursuit fitness from 5:30-6:30

Cleaning: Bunny got a full cage scrub!! Fresh towels, changed the litter, organized his supplies, scrubbed the litter tub with vinegar, vaccuumed the office, and put new toys in his cage. Plus pets :)  lots of petting for Pancakes! :)  All that in only 30 minutes :)

Things I Never Understood Before Working Full Time

4 Mar

1. Weekends

Why were they so special? I mean, frankly, weekends weren’t really the bomb dot com to me. They were just another part of the week. Part of weekends were better than going to school (tv, sleeping in, time with fam) and other parts were worse (being bored, chores, homework, not seeing friends.)

Now that I am an adult with a full time job.. I feel like an addict. My entire being itches for the thrill of 5 oclock on Friday. The rush of freedom, the delight of my own time. As Sunday winds down, I already feel the withdrawal. The ache. The need.

(And I actually like my job. So I can’t imagine what it would feel like if i hated it!)

2. Bedtimes

as a teenager, I spent many an evening up until 2,3 or 4 am. Chatting with friends on the internet under the guise of doing homework – and many times actually doing homework. Reading a book I couldn’t put down. Laying in bed dreading the test the next day. I still managed to get my rump out of bed before 6 am, get to school, and get through the day.

As a college student, I napped if I got tired. big deal. Always plenty of time.

Now, if I’m awake past like, 10 (like tonight), I know the next day is going to be rough. I am already seeing a morning that involves coffee before and after my morning shower. Somehow, sitting at a desk for 8 hours straight focusing and trying to be a good employee is so much more exhausting. Or maybe I am old.

3. Coffee.

Blech. wait. no, now it is delicious sweet sustenance that pushes you from one meeting to the next.

4. Paying for salad.

Why would you waste that much money to buy raw vegetables at a restaurant? I can get 10x more for the same price at the store and there is nothing culinarily special!

Well, when you end up eating lunch out as often as I do, you realize that if you eat heavy carbs for lunch every day, you will be asleep at your desk the second half of the day. it has not happened to me yet (because of point 3, above) but I have come close! Thus, the salads. MMMmmmm ten dollars for a cup of leaves.

5. Not wanting to be on the internet.

Um, let me just say, by the time I get home from 8 hours of staring at the computer, the last thing I feel like doing is coming home and getting on the computer.

I think that’s about all. I can’t sleep tonight, not sure why. Tomorrow will for sure be harder than Mondays usually are.


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