Oreo Chocolate Chip Funfetti Cookies

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I mean…you can already tell that they’re amazing, right? These cookies were the perfect homecoming treat for my hubster when he finally made his way back to Columbus.

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These are totally, melt in your mouth, over the top sweet, best of all worlds, type cookies. MAKE THEM FOR THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE!!

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When your process looks like this, you know it’s going to be perfection:

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A word to the wise: don’t eat them all by yourself. Don’t even eat four of them. You will feel gross. Not that I know.

Stella and Dot Love

Recently, I hosted a little Stella and Dot party. It was such a fun excuse to play with jewelry, hang out with some girlfriends, and eat some yummy food. If you haven’t checked out S&D jewelry, I highly recommend it! Such high quality, and completely worth what you pay for them.

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Had a great time socializing with these lovely ladies. Of course, I served yummy apps, including bell pepper nachos

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And DEFINITELY a lot of sangria…

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Bell Pepper Nachos

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Um, heck yeah. The summer always leaves me hankering for more fresh veggies, and less time using the oven. These “nachos” are absolutely the most perfect appetizer for a summer party. Girls night, anyone? These are vegetarian, but you could definitely take this idea and do whatever you’d like with them. Add beef, chicken, or anything you like on your regular nachos! Also, these are not exactly paleo, but could easily be made that way if that’s how your roll.

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Bell Pepper Nachos
adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients
2 lb. bag of mini bell peppers
1 cup corn (frozen, fresh, whatever is easy)
1 cup black beans
3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 squeeze of lime juice
shredded cheese for sprinkling on top
cilantro for garnish

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice all your bell peppers in half, stemming and seeding them along the way. Lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

3. In a bowl, mix together corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, onion, jalapeno, salt, pepper, and lime juice. You can make this in advance and refrigerate if you’d like the flavors to meld together a bit more.

4. Fill each bell pepper half with your black bean mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, and place in oven for 5-6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and ingredients are heated through.

5. Garnish with cilantro, and enjoy! Other suggestions: Serve with sour cream, salsa, extra guac, or whatever suits your fancy.

Delicious, healthy, fresh, and summery!! And the best part? GUILT FREE!

#foodhacks :)

Hot Chicken Takeover #HCT {Columbus Adventures}

If you have spent some time in Nashville, you have proooobably tried, or at least heard of, hot chicken. I’m gonna go ahead and say that Prince’s and Hattie B’s are the most popular. There is even a Hot Chicken Festival every 4th of July! I know, right??

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Well, recently there has been a tiny movement of Hot Chicken pop up here in Columbus, called Hot Chicken Takeover. So naturally, me and these clowns had to go on an adventure to find it.

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They partner with a local co-op, and are only open Saturdays 12-5, and Sundays until they run out. If you’re in Columbus, check it out!! My only complaint? It’s only open two days!

Fresh Herbs

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I’ve always wanted to have some herbs growing outside my kitchen window, so finally, here we are! My lovely friend Katy got me this sweet herb planter for our wedding last summer, and I was so happy to finally put it to use.

So the two plants you see are cilantro, which I bought already blooming. The little pot on the left has basil seeds in it, but no basil quite yet. I have LOVED having this right outside my kitchen door when we want cilantro. And hopefully soon, basil!

An item from my 30 before 30 list is now checked off… Grow* some herbs!

*yes I am counting this as growing. I mean, I water the cilantro…and the basil will pop up eventually!! Don’t judge.

 

The Angry Bear Kitchen

One of the most fun things about being in a new city is trying new restaurants, obviously. But even after not even a year here, I find that we keep going back to some of our favorites, also obviously. So in an attempt to try some new places, we went to a brand new spot in our neighborhood called the Angry Bear Kitchen.

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Here’s a little article from Columbus Underground: http://www.columbusunderground.com/first-look-angry-bear-kitchen-aw1

And I gotta say, I really loved it! We didn’t have anything with this nice of an atmosphere in our neighborhood before – we’re kind of in a gentrified neck of the woods. We just sat at the bar and had some wine and mussels (some of the best I’ve had, honestly). I enjoyed the bar tender, and I’d love to go back to try some other dishes. The menu isn’t posted online, but it’s uniquely creative. I look forward to exercising my taste buds there! If you’re in Columbus, go check it out.

 

Clean Eating + The Easiest Pancakes EVER

So, upon completeing my Whole30 (which left me feeling THE BEST EVER), I was totally all like “I’m totally going to eat CLEAN like this ALL the time, and just cheat once in a while when out with friends or wanting a bit of sweets. Hooray me!”

And if I had to sum up my clean eating success since my Whole30 in just two words, they would be:

WOMP and WOMP.

Okay so, not total failure, but OMG when Easter came, so did sweets, and that really put me over the edge. It didn’t help that I made these. And THEN I made THESE. Ugh, what was I thinking. So last week was a total sweets fest, and let me just say I can feel it. Now I’m trying to find the balance. Almost no one can live 100% of the time on Whole30, or really even paleo, but I tend to be a little…binge-y, if that’s a word. I’m learning that I’m better at abstaining than I am at moderation. So I need to work on the moderation thing.

The last few days though, I’ve eaten pretty clean, without overthinking it. My goal is just to feel good consistently, and find the balance where I’m not only feeling good, but feeling confident and happy with myself! We should all feel happy with ourselves! And most the time, I honestly do. But if I can feel even BETTER, then why not?

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So have y’all seen the “egg and banana” pancakes on pinterest? They are everywhere. I was pretty skeptical, but I happened to have one very ripe banana on hand over the weekend, so I went for it. Not only was this easy, but it was actually QUITE tasty. Mash (and I mean, pulverize) a banana and an egg together. Add a hefty dose of cinnamon as well. Fry these suckers up just like pancakes, and VOILA! I drizzled a bit of Sun Butter on mine (it’s my absolute favorite non-peanut butter). Here’s a close up with a beautifully fried egg…

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And for dinner the other night, I made some pork chops on my grill top pan, along with mashed cauliflower and kale chips. It might look bland, but this is definitely one of my favorite clean meals – simple, warm, cozy, and filling. It’s clean comfort food!

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Are you on a clean eating journey? How’s it going?

Recipe Box

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I’ve been working on a fun little project here on the ol’ blog – A Recipe Box!

You’ll see a link at the top of the blog that says “Recipe Box.” Click it, and you’ll find a whole list of all my recipes (well, probably not quite all of them…I may have missed one or two) sorted out by top of food. And get ready…because WHOLLY SWEETS it’s a lot of sweets. I will update the page whenever I post new foodie recipes, so if you ever want to explore or dig around a little, it should be easy to do!

I’m starting to make a few small changes to the blog as sort of an ongoing makeover (per my 30 before 30 list). This is just one of those things I’ve wanted to do for a while. I hope you enjoy it!

Beeeeets

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I have been on a maaaaajor beet kick lately. For one thing, beets are crazy good for you. For another thing, they are pretty. And for one more thing, they are yummy!

Apparently, heating them too much zaps a little bit of their nutritional umph, but what can I say, I like my beets roasted. The last few weekends, I’ve bought three beets at the grocery, chopped off the greens, and roasted them whole with a little olive oil and salt. The temperature and cooking time for this varies a bit, but I just throw them in the oven along with the other things I prep Sunday nights, and just check them once in a while. I like them to still have a little bit of firmness, but you should be able to stab them with a fork. After they cool, I chop them into salad-sized cubes and store in a large ziploc baggie in the fridge. I recommend not putting these in your plastic storage containers, as they will most deifnitely stain it. Oh, and they will stain your fingers, so either be cool with that or wear some gloves. And wash your cutting board right away!

The salad pictured above is among my favorite salad-combos. In general, I treat spinach like another salad ingredient rather than a base. I like to just mix all my goodies together in equal proportions. So here, for example, we’ve got spinach, tomatoes, shredded carrots, onions, black olives, beets, avocado, and baked chicken. I really don’t use salad dressing because I find that the creaminess of the avocados plus the juices of the tomatoes and beets add plenty of moisture to the salad. I honestly really don’t get sick of these salads at all – that’s seriously my ultimate power salad right there, and I can’t argue with how awesome it always makes me feel for the rest of the day. And if I’m still feeling hungry (not cravings, but actual hunger) after about 20 minutes from finishing my lunch, I eat an apple or pear.

Do you have secrets to spicing up your salads? Any fun ingredients that just make you totally happy??

 

Berry Crumble Bars

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Even though it was just the two of us for Easter this year, I still really wanted to at least make ONE Easter breakfast treat! So I made a huge pan of these awesome Berry Crumble Bars from Willowbird Baking. I only made a few adjustments to her recipe – I used 4 cups of frozen mixed berries, and I only used half the cornstarch and sugar to coat them. I also replaced two of the three cups of flour with whole wheat flour. I highly recommend these!! I think they could have used a bit more lemon (maybe some zest?) but I just love the cakey texture of a good old fashioned breakfast pastry. YUM.

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Do you have any Easter brunch or dinner traditions? We are only just beginning to establish our own traditions!

Happy Easter, everyone! HE is RISEN!!!

J&M