Pan Seared Salmon + Citrus Salad

Howdy dudies! Nick and I recently arrived home from a little getaway to New Orleans and holy cow…food, culture, drinks, FOOD…some of the most incredible food I’ve ever eaten. I might still be full, 3 days later. And, while I typically tend to slightly poo-poo the whole cleanse thing, this may be the closest I’ve ever felt to hopping on the bandwagon.
If you follow along on Instagram, you may have seen my stories blow up with beingets, cocktails, fried green tomato po boys, knock-your-socks off sandwiches, the whole shebang. And while we enjoyed every little indulgence in our time away together…man does it feel good to be back with the kids and on our normal eating routine!

This salad right here hit the spot once we were back and settled. It’s fresh, bright and packed with all kinds of yum. The “greens” can be any combination of shredded Brussels, broccoli, kale and cabbage that you’d like…or if you’re feeling lazy like me and have a Trader Joe’s near by, use this wonderful mix

This salad is a total cheers to it finally feeling like spring around here!

Pan Seared Salmon + Citrus Salad

Note: segmenting your citrus fruit is very simple…just follow this video. Once you’ve got the fruit segmented, squeeze the juices from the remaining membranes for the vinaigrette.


1 Large Grapefruit, segmented + 1/4 juice reserved

1 Large Navel Orange, segmented + 2 Tablespoons juice reserved

1 Heaping Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 Tablespooon Fresh Chopped Parsley

1/3 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt + more for seasoning the salmon

1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper + more for seasoning the salmon

3/4-1 Pound Wild Caught Salmon Filet

1 Avocado, sliced 

8 Cups of any mix of shredded cabbage, kale, broccoli or Brussels 


In a small glass jar combine the grapefruit and orange juices, Dijon, parsley, 1/3 Cup olive oil and salt and pepper. Shake well to combine. Alternatively, vigorously whisk all ingredients together in a glass bowl. 

Place shredded salad into a large bowl and add half of the vinaigrette, gently tossing with your hands to coat. Set aside while you cook the salmon.

Heat a large skillet (cast iron works great here) over medium high heat and add remaining 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil to the pan. Season both sides of the salmon liberally with salt and pepper. Add Salmon, skin side up, to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes or until nicely browned. Flip and cook an additional 4 minutes or until salmon is just cooked through and skin is crisp. Remove salmon and flake with a fork.

Place shredded salad on serving plates and top with flaked salmon, avocado and segmented oranges and grapefruits. Drizzle additional vinaigrette on top, as desired. Serves 4.

Brussels Sprout Gratin

Friends, it is my call of duty in life to get these darn kids to EAT THEIR BRUSSELS! It’s debatable, no? I mean is it really required? Sure they love plenty of the veggies we serve around here, great, fantastic, I’ll take it! But they just don’t do the whole Brussels Sprout deal. They cringe at just the mere sight of them…before even a taste.

But Im a giant fan…and so is Nick…and it has been my 6-year long quest to find a way for these kiddos to see that they really are yummy. We roast them, throw maple syrup on them, butter them to the nines, even shred them and still, nothing. Nada. “Mom, I tried them but I just don’t care for them” is usually the response I get when they are served. 

So, it is with great accomplishment and near tears of joy that I present to you the recipe that has done it. They are believers. They are Brussels Sprout believers! 

Perhaps it’s because I called this dish “Brussels Sprout Macaroni and Cheese” when I served it. Perhaps it’s because they are just trying to make me stop experimenting with new ways to serve them. Or perhaps it’s because you can’t see much green in that dish full of gooey, delightfully-cheesy madness. But whatever it is, they ate them. And you wanna know what? I got a “mom, I really do like these” out of the deal!

So I can now sleep at night. Please try these…and the brown crispy edges around the dish? I’ll fight you for them!

Brussels Sprout Gratin


16-20 Ounces Brussels Sprouts, halved

1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

3/4 Cup Heavy Cream

1/2 Cup Whole Milk

2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour *sub gluten free AP flour for gf

1 Garlic Clove, grated or minced

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1/3 Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese

*Butter for the baking dish


Preheat oven to 400. Butter an 8×8 baking dish and place halved sprouts in the dish. Drizzle olive oil on top of the sprouts and toss to coat. Bake for 15 minutes.

While sprouts are baking, whisk together the cream, milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper. After Brussels have cooked for 15 minutes remove from the oven and turn the oven up to 425. Pour the cream mixture over the sprouts and top with shredded Swiss. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until bubbly and the top is beginning to brown. Serves 4+ as a side.

Best Beef Stew

You guys, I just can shake this need for comfort food! It’s officially spring, but this weather has me feeling the need to stay warm and cozy. Am I alone here? We are slowly sprinkling in lighter, brighter foods these days, but for now, this stew is tasting so very yummy!

It’s perfect for lazy Sunday’s and special enough for truly is one of my favorite dishes. It’s savory and so incredibly flavorful….super simple and amazing leftover. So if you need a revamp from your old Beef Stew recipe, this one is a total winner!

Best Beef Stew

Adapted from this recipe 


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 

1 Tablespoon Butter

1.5-2 Pounds Beef Stew Meat, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper 

1 Medium White Onion, diced

3 Cloves Garlic, chopped

1/3 Cup Dry Red Wine (any blend you enjoy drinking is great)

3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

4 Cups Beef Stock

1 Teaspoon Honey 

4 Carrots, peeled and sliced


Heat a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat and add 1 Tablespoon oil and 1 Tablespoon butter. Add stew meat, in two batches, and brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per batch. Remove beef to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for one additional minute. Stir in the red wine and let it cook down and reduce to about half, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 additional minutes. Add the beef stock, honey and beef back to the pot and bring to a light boil, stirring occasionally. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the carrots to the pot, cover and simmer for an additional 20 minutes or until carrots are to desired tenderness.

Serve spooned over prepared mashed potatoes or cauliflower. Serves 4-6

Buffalo Shrimp Salad

Hi buddies! Wanted to drop by and officially remind you (I’m sure you don’t need the reminder-my guess is you have been counting down the days, too) that tomorrow is officially the first day of spring. SPRING! Hallelujah!

So, I’m sure those of us that live in MN will magically wake up tomorrow to sparkly green grass, chirping birds, beaming sunshine and warm air…as if those lovely little leprechauns left it here for us this weekend..bless their hearts.

And let’s be honest, there’s a good chance none of that will really magically happen. So let’s just make a yummy salad to celebrate and pretend with, k? K.

Truth be told I’m not much of a shrimp gal. But doused in buffalo sauce? Paired with bleu bliss? Give me that shrimp! This salads perfect for when you’re craving that bar food fare but don’t want all the grease….which is pretty much on the daily around here;)

Buffalo Shrimp Salad

Note: if you are able, purchase a block of bleu cheese and crumble it’ll see a huge difference in taste/moisture vs store bought crumbles.

For the Bleu Cheese Dressing

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

2/3 Cup Crumbled Bleu Cheese

1 Cloved Garlic, minced

1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1-3 Tablespoons Milk

Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

For the Buffalo Sauce

4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

1/2 Cup Franks Hot Sauce 

1 Tablespoon Honey

Salt, to taste

For the Shrimp + Salad

1 Pound Jumbo Shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil or other high heat cooking oil
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
Baby Spinach

Diced Avocado

Diced Tomato

Shredded Carrot


For the Bleu Cheese Dressing

Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until well combined, adding one tablespoon of milk at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Can be made 2 days ahead; Store in the refrigerator.

For the Buffalo Sauce 

Melt all ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 2 minutes, whisking often. Remove from heat and season with salt, to taste and set aside.

For the Shrimp + Salad

Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan or outdoor grill over high heat. Rinse shrimp and dry thoroughly. Add the shrimp, oil, paprika and salt to a bowl and toss to coat. Place shrimp on the skillet/grill pan in a single layer and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until shrimp is no longer opaque. Add shrimp to the saucepan of buffalo sauce and toss to coat.

Arrange spinach on serving plates. Top with avocado, tomato, carrot and bleu cheese dressing. Add buffalo shrimp right on top. Serves 4

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Burrito Bowls

After a friend recently asked for this recipe it occurred to me I don’t even think I’ve shared it with you..which is an absolute disgrace considering how much i utilize this one.

I make this meal no less than once every two weeks..sometimes it squeezes its way into the rotation weekly, even…for several reasons.  

1) It is hands down the easiest…you just throw the ingredients into the slow cooker and let it go, then all that’s left to do  is a quick assembly of the bowls at dinnertime. Chances are you always have these ingredients on hand, too, which makes it perfect for days that you don’t have a meal plan.

2. They taste really stinking good….the chicken is hands down my favorite flavor and texture that comes out of the slow cooker. And it’s  is so versatile…use it for nachos, tacos, quesadillas or salads. I’m just sharing it in bowl-form here because that’s how we eat it most frequently.

3. My kids beg for this for dinner! There just aren’t a ton of meals that both of my two big kids adore…usually one loves something and the other can’t stand it..and visa versa. But these burrito bowls are such a sure thing…we just never get sick of them!  

Make them twice and you’ll have the recipe memorized, they are that simple. Hope these sneak their way to your table soon!

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Burrito Bowls


For the Chicken

1.5 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast’s , both sides seasoned with salt and pepper

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder 

1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/2 Cup Prepared Salsa Verde

6 Ounces Cream Cheese, cut into cubes 

For the Bowls

Shredded Romain

Prepared White or Brown Rice 

Shredded Cheese

Diced Avocado

Canned Black Beans, drained and rinsed 

Your Favorite Salsa or Pico de Gallo 

Chopped Cilantro


For the Chicken

Place the chicken in the bowl of a slow cooker. Sprinkle with onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika and cumin. Pour salsa over the chicken and top with cubes cream cheese. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours or until easily shredded with a fork. Once finished cooking shred the chicken in the bowl and stir it around in the sauce.

For the Bowls

Place all ingredients in a bowl and top with shredded chicken. serves 4-6

Best Ever Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

Happy flu/cold season! Has it hit your house yet? Fortunately the kids have managed to dodge the flu (please, karma, don’t jinx me here) but we’ve all had a round of yucky colds. And, as I made this recipe for about the 5th time since Christmas, it occurred to me I don’t think I’ve even shared it with you!

I realize “best ever” is fairly aggressive, friends. But for as little time and ingredients you need to put into this soup I’m not sure you’ll find an easier recipe that yields this kind of superior comforting, savory flavor. My kids love this…and I wish you could see the baby kicking those chubby feet when he gets to indulge in a piece of crusty bread that’s soppedup all of the broth…it’s a sight for sore eyes! It just has that warm, healing effect. Such a staple!
Best Ever Quick Chicken Noodle Soup


1 Tablespoon Butter

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, both sides liberally seasoned with salt and pepper

1 Large White Onion, peeled and halved

10 Cups Chicken Stock + 1 Cup Water

2 Bay Leaves

3 Carrots, peeled and sliced

2 Cups Dried Pasta, cooked el dente


Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes, or just until it begins to turn golden. Flip the chicken over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. 

Add onion to the pot and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, water and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pot, turn heat to medium, cover the pot partially and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and place on a plate. Shred with two forks. Remove the onion pieces and discard. 

Add the carrots and shredded chicken/juices to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and season the soup, to taste, with plenty of salt and pepper.

Place cooked pasta in bowls and ladle the soup over the top. Serves 4+

4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Chorizo Queso Dip

Well, friends, the Vikings lost. While I’m not much of a follower of the NFL, that game was a major deal in our home. Mostly because we were excited to watch our hometown team while having an “appetizer dinner” on the couch….but nonetheless, my heart couldn’t help but break a little for those players. It was a good run, MN! 

Our dinner consisted of the worlds largest charcuterie board put together by the kids complete with dips, fruits, meats, chocolate, nuts, the whole she-bang…and this queso dip. This little gem of a queso dip!

Huge fans of queso around here, we are. Anything that involves gobs of cheese and tortilla chips is always welcomed. But this ones a keeper!

The star ingredient? Pub cheese! I tell you what…that stuff sneaks it’s way into so many things around here when we are up for splurging. And I can guarantee you it makes THE best macaroni and cheese…I’ll share that ditty with you sometime soon. But it does a darn queso proud, for sure! Pair it with the smokiness of ground chorizo and I’ll just go right ahead and dive in head first;)

This recipe is so stinking easy…and perfect for any gathering. Just 4 ingredients, to boot. Yes! 

4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Chorizo Queso Dip


1/2 Pound Ground Chorizo

8 Ounces Sharp Cheddar Pub Cheese

8 Ounces Cream Cheese, cubed

3/4 Cup Your Favorite Prepared Salsa


Cook chorizo in a skillet over medium high heat until nicely browned; drain on paper towel.

Add cooked chorizo and the remaining ingredients to the bowl of a slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until everything comes together and is nicely melted. Serve in slow cooker on warm setting with tortilla chips.