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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Zuppa Toscana {Olive Garden Copycat Recipe}

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Greetings. I'm here today to offer up to you my copycat version of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. 

Or maybe I should say a copycat of a copycat of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana, seeing as how I've never actually had it at Olive Garden myself. I only even knew about its existence through the wonderful world of Pinterest. 

But, the idea of this soup captivated me, so I decided to try my hand at it. 

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Greek Spaghetti

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You know the feeling.

5 o' clock is rolling on in and you still have no dinner plans. You look in the cupboard and find a box of spaghetti noodles.

"Hello, old friend," you say to yourself.

You thaw a brick of ground beef in the microwave and get out the familiar can of Ragu (or Prego! I don't mean to offend the other party).

Well, this spaghetti is for one of those nights. Only instead of ending the meal saying, "Well, I am no longer hungry," you will begin dancing and singing for joy at the amazing sensations that your palate has just experienced.

So, get ready to change your life by always keeping a jar of Kalamata olives and artichokes handy. This one is about to become a regular.

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    • Greek Spaghetti 
    • Serves about 4 

    • A few tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • Salt and pepper (freshly cracked is best)
    • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts if you prefer white meat)
    • 1/2 pound (or 1/2 box) spaghetti noodles (You can also use GF spaghetti)
    • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
    • 1 small onion, diced (I used yellow, but red would be even better)
    • 1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
    • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
    • 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes
    • 1/3 cup canned artichoke hearts, roughly chopped (if they're marinated, all the better)
    • A few sprigs of fresh oregano 
    • Feta cheese for serving

    • Heat the oil in the pan and season the chicken generously with salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Cook the chicken over medium heat, covered, for about 10 minutes per side or until an internal thermometer reads 165ºF. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. 

    • Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. 

    • Add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan (if necessary) and add the onion and garlic to the pan. When the onions and garlic begin to brown, add the spinach, olives, cherry tomatoes, and artichoke hearts along with some fresh oregano leaves. Continue cooking until the spinach is wilted and the tomatoes burst. 

    • Slice the cooked chicken into thin strips and add to the pan. 

    • Drain the pasta and add a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and some oregano if you want. Toss the pasta with all of the veggies and chicken in the pan. 

    • Top with feta cheese and additional fresh oregano and serve immediately.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

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Being a mom means that I don't have all the time in the world for baking that I used to. I spend most of my waking hours playing with, reading to, feeding, squeezing the thighs of and bouncing the curls of my (six month old!!!!!!!) son. But does this mean I am any less worthy of a freshly baked cookie? I think not.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Grandpa John's Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

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I had the best grandpa.

From Grandpa, I learned how to be frugal. When we would go to Sam's Club (partly for the groceries, mostly for the free samples), he would always buy us a big pop right when we got there. He always advised us to drink it fast so we could get a refill, and as we walked out the door, he would say with a wink,

"Save that cup so you can get a free one next time."

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Naked Juice Green Machine Copycat Recipe

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Flashback to Insane Cross Country Road Trip of '17:

We climb into the car to start another day of driving. Samuel turns to me.

"Honey, you know what I was thinking we should do today?"

"Get some Naked Juice?"

*Blink blink* "How did you know?"

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Chipotle Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

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So, here we are, back in the US for good. The whole living in Germany thing was fun, but being home is even better. We are back in my glorious home state of Michigan, less than 15 minutes away from the beautiful, sandy beaches of Lake Huron. 

The move went great (mostly). We flew from Berlin to London to Boston where we had an overnight layover. Then we flew to Denver the next day, bought a car, and then proceeded to go on a road trip to Michigan, visiting family along the way. People said we were crazy to do it. I can't say they were wrong. But I can say that I don't regret it a bit, because we had a blast. 
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

How to See Venice on a Budget

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A few weeks ago, I was sitting around feeling overwhelmed about packing to move to the US. I turned to Samuel, who happened to be writing a paper for school, and said, "Hey, what about our one last trip in Europe before we move?"

Samuel sighed and got up and pointed to the calendar, "These three days I am free. You can plan a trip if you want, but just try to make it cheap."

About an hour later, I had booked flights and a hotel in Venice.

Even on the plane we were thinking, "What are we doing?! We don't have time to be taking this trip!"

But as soon as we stepped into the city, we knew we had made the right decision.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Prosciutto wrapped Brie Bites with Rosemary Crusted Walnuts

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The day is quickly approaching (18 days!!!) until we move from Berlin back to the US.

How do I feel about this? Excited, sentimental, happy, sad, and totally underprepared, to name a few of my many bursting emotions. But (most of all?) frantic to enjoy as much of the amazingly underpriced foods here in Germany as possible before I leave.

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