Basil Chimichurri Sauce


Hey gang! It’s been a while! How’s it going in those kitchens of yours? Lots of grilling going on over here and man do I love the lack of prep and cleanup that comes with it. This weather has been so great!

Chimichurri sauce. Let’s chat about it. Are you a fan? Do you have a favorite recipe? We love this stuff around here…like the make-a-double-batch-and-pour-it-on-everything kind of love. 

If you aren’t familiar with it here’s the lowdown. It’s a simple uncooked sauce that’s made to be a condiment for nearly everything under the sun. It’s most commonly used for grilled meats or fish of any kind, but it is stellar on roasted veggies or potatoes as well. It’s an Argentinian staple and is nothing more than a mixture of fresh herbs, olive oil, garlic, vinegar and a bit of acid from lime or lemon juice. Simple food at its absolute finest.

I typically throw a bit of all of the herbs I have on hand into the recipe…but I always ensure there’s quite a bit of cilantro in there because we just love it. But just last night grilled steak was on the docket and I had no cilantro. All I had was basil and parsley on hand so I went with a ‘Basil Chimichurri’ and I think I’m forever sold.


It’s bright, fresh and so incredibly flavorful….not to mention it takes about 1 minute and 12 seconds to put together. You’ve got to try this one. And if I had it my way I’d make you use it on a perfectly marbled grilled steak…the combination is straight up amazing! A perfect recipe for switching up the boring grilled proteins in our lives:)

Basil Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients 

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Roughly Chopped Basil Leaves

3 Tablespoons Rougly Chopped Parsley

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Small Garlic Clove

1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt 

Directions

Add all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until combined and almost smooth. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours.

“Mexican Street Taco” Lettuce Wraps


Just in time for Cinco De Mayo, dear friends! At first I thought, Who really needs another taco recipe? But I answered myself with Everyone! Everyone on this glorious planet needs another taco recipe, obviously! I mean, can you ever really have too many? Not if your family is anything like my Mexican-loving one.

But this one? This recipe? It trumps all. I’m proclaiming that these are MY FAVE TACO that’s ever come out of this kitchen. Shouting it from a mountaintop. And I’ve got a few good reasons 


This pico. I could weap. It’s the star of this show…fresh and flavor packed with just the right amount of heat and lime. And if you need me Ill just be over here drinking the remaining juices straight out of the bowl


This chicken. You won’t find a faster way to season chicken that yields this kind of smokey, slightly sweet flavor. It grills up so quickly…in just a couple minutes. And look at those beautiful char marks…way to go Nickyboy!


And this cheese. Queso fresco. For the love of all tacos you just can’t beat it. Dream. Boat.


Put those three bad boys together and you want to talk about a cinco de mayo party? This recipe sounds so basic…but just you wait, guys. And on the table in less than 30 minutes!


Nick and I went the lettuce wrap route..the kids used tortillas..totally your choice. Either way, make a batch of margaritas and get these made… so so SO yum!

‘Mexican Street Taco’ Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

For the Pico

1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

1/3 Cup Finely Diced Red Onion

1/3 Cup Packed Cilantro Leaves, chopped

1 Small Jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed and finely diced

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

For the Chicken/Lettuce Wraps

1 Pound Chicken Tenderloins

2 Tablespoons Grape Seed Oil or other high heat cooking oil

1 Teaspoon Honey

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder 

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder

Avocado, mashed

Queso Fresco, crumbled

Romaine Lettuce Leaves

Directions 

For the Pico

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine; set aside.

For the Chicken/Lettuce Wraps

Whisk the oil and honey together in a large bowl. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, Paprika and chili powder and whisk to combine. Add the chicken to the bowl and toss, using your hands to rub the seasoning blend into the chicken.

Heat grill over high heat. Place chicken on the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping once in between cooking, or until chicken is nicely browned and cooked through. Remove chicken and dice.

Spread avocado on lettuce leaves. Top with chicken, Pico and Queso Fresco, wrap up and enjoy! Serves 4

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.


Ingredients 

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 

Directions

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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 company..it 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 

Ingredients

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

Directions 

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 yourself..you’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

Directions 

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

Ingredients 

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

Directions 

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