Smokey Pork and Citrus Kale Salad

SONY DSCCan you believe it’s February already?  How is this happening, you guys?  It seems like just yesterday we were in the midst of Thanksgiving preparation, and now, we are full blown into winter and darn near our decent into Spring.  Spring!  I mean I know I’m jumping the gun a bit here…but it will be here before we know it, no?

And that pretty much makes me feel all sorts of crazy emotions.  Because spring equals baby’s arrival…eek!  I can’t even begin to tell you how insanely fast this pregnancy has gone..wow.  I mean we have two trimesters under our belt and one to go; I swear I blinked and here we are.   And while I have seen so incredibly many changes in myself/my body during these last several months, there is positively one thing that has remained constant throughout this entire journey….CITRUS FRUIT.     Continue reading

Quick-Chili Loaded Baked Potatoes

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You guys, this weather we are having around here!  It’s COLD!  Gorgeous, but man does that change in temp feel like a chill or what?  It’s pretty much the best kind of weather.  You know, the kind of weather where it’s not too cold to sleep with your windows open…but them when you wake up in the morning you can’t possibly seem to peel yourself out of those perfectly warm, cozy covers because your room has an insane chill going through it.

We have been comfort-fooding around here like crazy people lately.  It must be the weather.  And these Quick-Chili Loaded Baked Potatoes made the roster.  I feel like I say this a lot, mostly because I only tend to share the recipes that get my family’s stamp of approval, but these are definitely a favorite among the kiddos. Continue reading

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

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I suppose we are due for a Super Bowl friendly recipe, no?  Sunday is the big day-I have no idea who is playing in this game.  I also have no idea where this game is being played. One thing I do know, tho, is that I look forward to the commercials.  And I also know of the perfect recipe to pair with this hyped up event.   Continue reading

Southwest Chorizo and Bean Soup

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Well, my guess is, by now,  you have gathered that soups are kind of my thing.  We just click well, for so many reasons.

I love to make them as I go, adding this, that or whatever is left sitting in my fridge or pantry-it’s like piecing together a flavor puzzle; the pieces being whats available in your kitchen.  It teaches me so many dynamics about true cooking. What pairs well together, which flavors and textures don’t mesh.  Soups and stews tend to be my best learned lessons-and provide me my most creative time in the kitchen, which I love. Continue reading

Lentil and Sausage Stew

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I may have had MFPD when I threw this stew together.  That’s a thing, right?  Multiple Food Personality Disorder?  You know, when you get cooking and throw a bunch of random ingredients together that aren’t typically supposed to “go” with one another?

Italian sausage and greek yogurt?  Eh, it’s happened I suppose.  But cilantro?  Now thats just peculiar.  But right.  So very right with this stew. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili

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My husband was craving chili big time last week.  And chili is one of those weird things I have a hard time making on any day of the week other than Sunday.  It’s a Sunday food, no?  It needs time to simmer on the stove and smell the house up beautifully while everyone gets cozy and football is blaring in the background.

But last week on Sunday I had an event to attend.  Which meant no time to let that chili bask in its glory on the stove.  So I decided to try a stab at it in the slow cooker. Results?  Delicious.  So simple.  And perfect for days where time has got the best of you. Continue reading

One-Pot Cincinnati Chili

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Well, friends.  I’m just going to lay it all out there.  Consider this a no-judgement zone.  Tell me your deepest and darkest secrets….it’s safe here.  This is a blog made up of love, compassion and trust between you and I.  The tree of trust, lets say.  Ate all your kids Easter candy before it made it to the baskets and told yourself it was for their own good?  Confess here, you’re in the tree of trust.  Do you secretly love the “get cash” option when you are checking out with your Red Card at Target so that you can disguise your coffee addiction?  Tree of trust.  What?  It was just a random guess.  I would never do something like that.  Friends.  My name is Melissa, and I have a major crush on Chef Michael Symon. Continue reading

Beef and Bean Chili

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Well, we’ve come and gone from our winter getaway.  Sun, warmth and peace was had and, much to my dismay, winter greeted us back home with a big, fat hello.  Every year we go away around this time.  And every year as we are sitting on the beach the sun soaks all of its optimism into my body. We talk about how the winter will always be so much more bearable if we make it a priority to get away somewhere warm for a short time.  And how we aren’t even sure if we could live in a place so consistently warm all year around.  How much we love the seasons change in Minnesota.   And how our winters are really not that bad.  And then it happens.  The airplane lands back in our home state. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

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Busy busy times are approaching.  Hustle and bustle take over and meal times become as rushed as ever, unfortunately.  This slow cooker chili can help in that department.  Throw all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and let it go while you’re at work or out running. And when you arrive home your left with a hearty, healthy, warm bowl of nums.  We love to scoop this chili up with corn tortilla chips.  Don’t forget the toppings.. they’re essential!  And not to worry…you won’t miss the meat.  My carnivore tendencies were totally satisfied after one bite 😉 Continue reading