Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs: Bold, spicy and delicious with tons of flavor and NO mayo make this snack both healthy and crave-able!

Jalapeno poppers and deviled eggs come together with bold, spicy and delicious Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs. Tons of flavor and no mayo make this a perfect appetizer or snack!

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs: Bold, spicy and delicious with tons of flavor and NO mayo make this snack both healthy and crave-able!

Sometimes I stare at that little blinking cursor and I have no idea where to start. I asked Steve what to say about my eggs and his response was “They were good”. Well….yes. They were good–like, really, really good. If you think about the flavor you love in a jalapeno popper, and the flavors you love in a deviled egg, and marry them together in your mind, that is what these taste like.

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs: Bold, spicy and delicious with tons of flavor and NO mayo make this snack both healthy and crave-able!

So I piped 6 beautiful eggs just like that. Then my backdrop fell on them. It was a very sad 10 minutes while I said the F word about 7 zillion times and repiped 6 new eggs. But it’s okay. There was wine, and they were so dang good that they were totally worth it. #foodbloggerproblems

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs: Bold, spicy and delicious with tons of flavor and NO mayo make this snack both healthy and crave-able!

Okay, here’s the deal: If you like deviled eggs, you will love these. If you don’t like deviled eggs, but you do like eggs: you will probably still love these. Most people who are on the anti deviled eggs team hate mayo. It’s not my favorite either, but these have NONE! And if you love mayo? They are not missing a thing–I promise. The cream cheese and Greek yogurt work together to give you way more flavor than mayo ever could!

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs: Bold, spicy and delicious with tons of flavor and NO mayo make this snack both healthy and crave-able!

They come together in minutes with just a few ingredients making them perfect for any occasion, so go on and spice up your generic old deviled eggs with these babies!

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2 dozen

Jalapeno poppers and deviled eggs come together with bold, spicy and delicious Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs. Tons of flavor and no mayo make this a perfect appetizer or snack!
Ingredients
  • 12 hardboiled eggs (I used Eggland's Best)
  • 3 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 small jalapenos, roasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 4 slices center cut bacon, cooked and very finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Slice hardboiled eggs length-wise. Remove yolks and transfer to food processor*. Add cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and roasted jalapeno and garlic. Process until smooth and creamy.
  2. Transfer to a piping bag--if you don't have one, you can use a ziplock back and cut off the tip, or just spoon filling in--and pipe filling into empty egg whites. Top with a tiny pinch of bacon. Serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Gluten-free Lemon Bars

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Bright and dreamy gluten-free lemon bars still have the perfect buttery crust and creamy, bold lemon custard dusted with a generous amount of powdered sugar for the perfect treat.

Gluten-free Lemon Bars

So I recently started this whole 8-5 job thing. I mean, I worked a LOT before, and probably more than 40 hours most weeks, but something about the structure of this whole straight through 8-5 business leaves me every evening at 8pm wondering where the heck my day went. Waking up at an hour that shouldn’t even exist on the clock, working out, work, a sorry excuse for dinner (usually microwave brown rice, black beans, eggs, cheese and enchilada sauce), and then it’s almost time for bed. Granted I am a grandma and bed time is 9pm…sometimes earlier.

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Also, for the first time in my life I’m sitting at a computer the whole work day–writing the work blog, and managing what feels like 7 million social media accounts. It’s awesome and I love it, but I have to say I definitely found myself wondering where this little piece of internet space would factor into the equation. But eventually I found myself missing it–missing you! And of course missing talking about my two favorite subjects: food and me.

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So now that we’ve gotten the me part out of the way (not that I’ve ever run out of things to say on the subject), let’s chat about my new favorite dessert. So favorite that I made them twice in about a month’s time, then turned them into lemon bar ice cream and then didn’t share with anyone…

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These are not a healthy dessert–I mean, I feel like you just can’t do lemon bars without that buttery crust, but it is an incredibly delicious gluten-free option of the original. The taste is *almost* exactly the same, except for my baking blend adding a slight nutty flavor to the crust (due to the almond meal) which I actually think makes them taste even BETTER than the original. No funky textures, no weird ingredients, just the real deal minus the gluten. 😉

Gluten-free Lemon Bars

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 9 large or 16 small bars

Bright and dreamy gluten-free lemon bars still have the perfect buttery crust and creamy, bold lemon custard dusted with a generous amount of powdered sugar for the perfect treat.
Ingredients
For the crust:
For the filling:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free baking blend
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9" square pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. Make the crust by combining butter, baking blend, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Press into your prepared baking pan and pierce several times with a fork. Bake until just set, about 15 minutes.
  2. To make the filling, beat eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Add zest from one lemon and the juice from both. Stir in milk and baking blend. The mixture will look very thin--don't worry, it will thicken as it bakes. Pour the filling over prepared crust and bake for just set, about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely, then cover and store in refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
  3. Before serving, dust generously with powdered sugar.
Notes
Lightly adapted from Averie Cooks.

 

Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats

Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats: A creamy, healthy, protein-packed breakfast loaded with flavor and ready for you when you wake up! Take the prep work out of your morning and start your day off right.

Blueberry almond overnight oats are creamy, hearty and delicious. With protein-packed Greek yogurt and wholesome ingredients, this is a breakfast worth waking up for!

Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats: A creamy, healthy, protein-packed breakfast loaded with flavor and ready for you when you wake up! Take the prep work out of your morning and start your day off right.

Hello, I’m a healthy food blogger cliche. Have you ever had overnight oats? Some people call them Swiss oats. I’d never heard of them until I started reading healthy living blogs and everyone was like “OOOMG OVERNIGHT OATS!!” Okay, but for real, they’re really delicious. The oats, instead of being heated in liquid, soak in liquid in the refrigerator for about 8 hours. You can have them in there for up to a few days if you want to make a big batch, and you can soak them for as short as an hour if you’re in a hurry–they won’t be quite the same, but it’s a good trick if you’re in a pinch.

Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats: A creamy, healthy, protein-packed breakfast loaded with flavor and ready for you when you wake up! Take the prep work out of your morning and start your day off right.

The chilled oats come out creamy and delicious. They’ve soaked in protein-packed Greek yogurt and almond milk resulting in almost a pudding texture with the perfect oatmeal flavor. The base is always the same–oats, Greek yogurt, milk, chia seeds (these are optional, but they do a lot for the texture!), and then you add in all the mix-ins and flavors you like. I typically do a chopped apple or sliced banana and nut butter, but this time I switched things up.

Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats: A creamy, healthy, protein-packed breakfast loaded with flavor and ready for you when you wake up! Take the prep work out of your morning and start your day off right.

I added almond extract to the base almond with dried wild blueberries and vanilla bean, and topped it off with a generous drizzle of local honey and Blue Diamond blueberry roasted almonds. If you use a flavored Greek yogurt, you probably won’t need the sweetness from the honey (you can still add a touch for the flavor!), but if you use plain, the honey is a non-negotiable.

Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2-3

Blueberry almond overnight oats are creamy, hearty and delicious. With protein-packed Greek yogurt and wholesome ingredients, this is a breakfast worth waking up for!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if applicable)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat, but use whatever you like)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (plus extra for serving)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ vanilla bean, split length wise
  • ½ cup dried blueberries (not freeze dried)
  • Honey for drizzling (please use real honey, not the stuff from the bear)
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped Blue Diamond Blueberry Roasted Almonds
Instructions
  1. Place oats, yogurt, almond milk, chia seeds and almond extract in a large container. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and stir to combine. Stir in blueberries. Cover and refrigerate for 8+ hours.
  2. When ready to serve, stir in a splash of almond milk to loosen the texture. Serve topped with a generous drizzle of honey and a tablespoon of chopped Blue Diamond blueberry almonds.

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. All opinions are my own.

 

Mediterranean Nachos

Mediterranean Nachos: Taking comfort food to the next level with this Mediterranean inspired twist!


Mediterranean nachos take the ultimate comfort food and gives it a new, mediterranean twist. So gooey and comforting, no one will ever know these nachos have less than half the calories of traditional nachos with a protein boost that makes them healthy enough to call dinner!

Mediterranean Nachos: Taking comfort food to the next level with this Mediterranean inspired twist!

So I have this thing about nachos. Like a serious love, can’t get enough type of thing. But they always seem to be on that unofficial list of foods I don’t eat. My husband will order them at a restaurant in a heartbeat, and I always just sit there with food envy.

Mediterranean Nachos: Taking comfort food to the next level with this Mediterranean inspired twist!

Some of my very favorite nachos (I of course have to taste test every time her orders 😉 ) are at Pita Jungle. It’s ironic because Pita Jungle is supposed to be “healthy” then they have these bomb nachos and now whenever I go there, that’s all I want to order. I mean, at least they’re made from real ingredients? No funky processed cheese or weirdness.

 

Mediterranean Nachos: Taking comfort food to the next level with this Mediterranean inspired twist!

I’ve been dying to make some nachos of my own and I wanted to play a little off theirs, but give it more of a Mediterranean twist. You know hummus, tzatziki, feta, marinated chicken, and of course California Ripe Olives. California olives are a great piece of the Mediterranean diet, and I’m not one for “diets”, but I think we can all agree that those Mediterraneans are doing things right. Lean protein, olives, olive oil…the good stuff.

Mediterranean Nachos: Taking comfort food to the next level with this Mediterranean inspired twist!

They were so dreamy and decadent tasting that Steve and I gobbled up a good portion of the batch pretty darn quick. So many of my favorite flavors, tons of textures and a generous drizzle of Sriracha for spice makes these babies pretty irresistible.

Mediterranean Nachos

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2-4

Mediterranean nachos take the ultimate comfort food and gives it a new, mediterranean twist. So gooey and comforting, no one will ever know these nachos have less than half the calories of traditional nachos with a protein boost that makes them healthy enough to call dinner!
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces blue corn chips*
  • ⅓ cup hummus (I used cilantro jalapeno)**
  • ¼ cup black beans, drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 8 ounces grilled chicken breast, sliced
  • 2 ounces freshly crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup tzatziki
  • 2 tablespoons sliced California Black Ripe Olives
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sriracha
Instructions
  1. Lay chips out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle hummus over the chips then add black beans, tomatoes, onion, chicken and feta. Broil until cheese softens, about 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully because food can quickly go from cooked to burnt.
  2. Top with a generous scoop of tzatziki, olives a pinch of fresh cilantro and a drizzle of Sriracha. Serve immediately.
Notes
*To lower the calories, bake your own corn chips with corn tortillas, a little olive oil and salt until crispy.
**I recommend gently warming the hummus before topping to make it easier to drizzle over the chips.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

The Breakfast Burger

The Breakfast Burger: A waffle bun with crispy bacon, a poached egg and a drizzle of maple syrup. This burger has the perfect combination of flavors and textures and will turn even skeptics into believers!

With a waffle bun, crispy bacon, a poached egg and a drizzle of maple syrup, the breakfast burger has the perfect balance of sweet and salty with all the textures you could dream of. It may sound strange at first, but one bite and you’ll be hooked!

The Breakfast Burger: A waffle bun with crispy bacon, a poached egg and a drizzle of maple syrup. This burger has the perfect combination of flavors and textures and will turn even skeptics into believers!

Okay, okay, let’s chat about this burger before you decide that I’m completely off my rocker. Because, well, I am. Off my rocker, that is, but that has absolutely nothing to do with these burgers, which are only 100% perfection. I have to admit, even my taste testers gave me that one eyebrow look when I said I was putting maple syrup on our hamburgers, but after one bite, they were turned to the other side. The side where sweet and savory always wins. The side where sugar and salt are like pb&j.

The Breakfast Burger: A waffle bun with crispy bacon, a poached egg and a drizzle of maple syrup. This burger has the perfect combination of flavors and textures and will turn even skeptics into believers!

I’ve always loved pancakes for breakfast. With eggs and bacon on top and then drizzle maple syrup over the whole thing, then eat. This is not a totally uncommon love, but it’s one that you don’t understand until you’ve tasted it.I wanted to turn that into a hamburger. The perfect breakfast burger that could combine my love of bacon, maple syrup, eggs and hamburgers.

The Breakfast Burger: A waffle bun with crispy bacon, a poached egg and a drizzle of maple syrup. This burger has the perfect combination of flavors and textures and will turn even skeptics into believers!

Of course you have to start with a waffle bun.I made gluten-free cornmeal waffles and they were the bomb (does anyone else still insist on saying “the bomb”? Just me?), but you could use whatever you’d like: frozen waffles, paleo waffles, dairy-free waffles, even chocolate chip waffles; whatever your heart desires. Once you choose your waffle, the rest is so easy.

The Breakfast Burger: A waffle bun with crispy bacon, a poached egg and a drizzle of maple syrup. This burger has the perfect combination of flavors and textures and will turn even skeptics into believers!

Even poaching the egg. Don’t be nervous. I’ve now had 5 successful poached eggs and the only failure was when I tried to change what was working. If I can poach an egg, so can you my friends! I, of course, used Eggland’s Best. My poaching buddies. The whole dinner comes together in minutes, and it is definitely a fork and knife burger. A fork and knife burger you will love digging into.

The Breakfast Burger

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

With a waffle bun, crispy bacon, a poached egg and a drizzle of maple syrup, the breakfast burger has the perfect balance of sweet and salty with all the textures you could dream of. It may sound strange at first, but one bite and you'll be hooked!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (90% or higher)
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 waffles
  • 8 slices of center cut bacon, cooked
  • 4 eggs,poached (I used Eggland's Best)
  • Pure maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to 350. In a large bowl add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to ground beef and lightly mix to combine. Form into 4 hamburger patties. Gently press the center of each patty with your thumb (this promotes even cooking). Grill burgers to desired doneness (about 4 minutes per side for us).
  2. Layer each burger on a waffle. Top with 2 slices of bacon and poached egg. Drizzle with maple syrup and then top with second waffle. Serve immediately.

The Breakfast Burger: A waffle bun with crispy bacon, a poached egg and a drizzle of maple syrup. This burger has the perfect combination of flavors and textures and will turn even skeptics into believers!

 

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Greek Yogurt & Almond Loaded Baked Potatoes

Greek Yogurt & Almond Loaded Baked Potatoes: + The secret to making the BEST baked potatoes!

The ultimate side dish, these greek yogurt & almond loaded baked potatoes take traditional baked potatoes to a whole new level. Complete with crispy bacon and melty cheddar cheese, these are the epitome of side dish comfort food.

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It’s almost August and, for the first time in years, while all my teacher friends are saying their bittersweet goodbyes to summer vacation, I’m…not. Something about going back to school has always signified the end of summer to me, but this year, as I just continue living my now-somewhat-normal 8-5 office job life, I realize that we’re only a month into summer and, in Phoenix especially, the end of summer is nowhere in sight.

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It’s a love/hate kinda thing because while I’m pretty over waking up at 4am to run in 85-90 degree weather (this constitutes “beating the heat” in these parts), I love pool days, margaritas, and grilling almost every night of the week. Steve is the grill master which leads to endless BYOM (bring your own meat) get togethers with friends and family.

It’s our summer tradition, and after 2 weeks in Europe, it’s about as adventurous as we’re getting this summer. But there can be fun and adventure without leaving the house. All you need are your favorite people, a good bottle of wine and, of course, great food.

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Summer grilling seasons means I’m in charge of sides. It’s the time of year I get to relax from doing the majority of cooking and just create some simple, delicious side dishes. And because I’m not in charge of the main event, I like to take advantage of the break and take things easy, creating recipes that are simple, hands off, and leave me plenty of time to drink wine with our guests stress-free.

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The secret to the perfect baked potato–regular or sweet potato. Brush the outside of the potato with olive oil (or melted butter if that’s more your style) and generously sprinkle with coarse sea salt. If you’re not a lover of the skins, this flavor and texture boosting trick will change your mind, and if you already love the skins (like me), this will just make you love them more.

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I’m normally not a white potato fan, and they’re still not my potato of choice, but with the right toppings, they can be something worth writing home about. The white potato doesn’t have much flavor on it’s own, so you have to pair it with amazing flavors. Normally this includes loads of butter and sour cream, but I changed things up and ditched the butter, swapped out the sour cream for plenty of Greek yogurt, swapped out regular bacon for healthier center cut bacon, kept the melty cheddar cheese (because…cheese) and added tons of flavor and crunch with some Blue Diamond roasted salted almonds. That little extra addition goes a long way and adds so much to your potatoes. All together the flavors and textures complement each other perfectly, creating a potato that is absolutely something to write home about.

Greek Yogurt & Almond Loaded Baked Potatoes

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2

The ultimate side dish, these greek yogurt and almond loaded baked potatoes take traditional baked potatoes to a whole new level. Complete with crispy bacon and melty cheddar cheese, these are the epitome of side dish comfort food.
Ingredients
  • 2 small russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Heaping ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2-4 tablespoons Blue Diamond Roasted Salted Almonds, crushed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a small-medium baking dish with tin foil. Set aside. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork. Brush or rub potatoes with olive oil then generously coat with coarse sea salt. Bake potatoes until fork tender, about 40-60 minutes depending on size.*
  2. Cut about ¾ of the way through the potato to create a pocket. Stuff with a generous scoop of Greek yogurt, a hefty pinch of cheese, and a generous pinch each of crumbled bacon and crushed almonds. Serve immediately.
Notes
*You can get the potatoes started in the microwave for 2-3 minutes before cooking to reduce cooking time.
**Measurements are approximate and do not need to be well measured. Eyeball it and use the amount that fits your tastes. I like a lot of Greek yogurt to take place of the butter and sour cream traditionally used, but to each their own.

This “Flavor Your Adventure” post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. For more snack ideas to “Flavor Your Adventure” this summer, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Greek Yogurt & Almond Loaded Baked Potatoes: + The secret to making the BEST baked potatoes!

 

Southwest Tuna Melt

Southwest Tuna Melt: Take your regular sandwich to the next level with this bold, spicy and healthy southwest tuna melt!

Southwest Tuna Melt: Jazz up your traditional tuna melt with spicy southwest flavors for a delicious and crave-able lunch or dinner packed with flavor and healthy too!

Southwest Tuna Melt: Take your regular sandwich to the next level with this bold, spicy and healthy southwest tuna melt!

Let’s talk about lunch. I feel like lunch is the hardest meal of the day to keep up with healthy eating. Okay, so maybe for like a week you’re super good and pack your healthy lunch every morning and eat it while magically resisting the donuts and chips lying around the office calling your name, but eventually you run late just one morning and all of the sudden you’re totally out of the habit all over again. Is that just me? I remember countless days of ordering Jimmy John’s and convincing myself it was healthy because I got the lettuce wrap…that I then proceeded to fill with their delicious salt and vinegar chips.

One of my very favorite easy lunch options is tuna salad. With canned tuna, it takes all of 5 minutes to make, and with 13 grams of protein per serving, the health benefits of tuna are tough to beat. I can’t say the same ol’ thing doesn’t get boring though. Sometimes you have to jazz your favorites up a little.

Southwest Tuna Melt: Take your regular sandwich to the next level with this bold, spicy and healthy southwest tuna melt!

I’m really loving Bumble Bee’s Tuna Strong movement. I love that it focuses on strength and health rather than being “light” or “skinny”. And I love their Tuna Mind…Tuna Body…, Tuna Soul…Tuna Strong™ because strength really is about the whole package: mind, body and soul.

Southwest Tuna Melt: Take your regular sandwich to the next level with this bold, spicy and healthy southwest tuna melt!

To jazz up the traditional tuna melt, I mixed my Bumble Bee canned tuna with avocado and Greek yogurt instead of mayo (although if you eat dairy free, you could totally sub an olive oil mayo for the Greek yogurt). Then I added some lime juice, green chilies and spices for extra flavor.

Southwest Tuna Melt

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Southwest Tuna Melt: Jazz up your traditional tuna melt with spicy southwest flavors for a delicious and crave-able lunch or dinner packed with flavor and healthy too!
Ingredients
For the tuna:
  • 2 x 5 ounce cans Bumble Bee tuna, drained
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • ⅓ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (or olive oil mayo for dairy-free)
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • 1 x 4 ounce can green chilies
  • Generous pinch cilantro
  • Generous pinch cumin
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch lemon pepper
For the sandwich:
  • Whole grain bread (I used Udi's multi grain gluten-free)
  • Pepper jack cheese (omit if dairy-free)
  • Chalulah for topping, optional
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for tuna together. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  2. To make your sandwich, toast bread in a toaster oven until desired doneness. Place a slice of cheese on your bread. You can either leave the sandwich open faced and add the tuna to that slice without adding an other piece of bread (that's how I eat it), or you can place the cheese on one piece and the bread on an other. Put bread topped with cheese/tuna mixture back in the oven until cheese is melty, about 1 minute.
  3. Top with chalulah if desired before fully assembling sandwich. Serve immediately.
Notes
If you don't have a toaster oven, you can make your sandwich on the stove top just like a grilled cheese.

Ready for more healthy tuna meals? Follow Bumble Bee on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Bumble Bee.

Life Lately

Cinque Terre Italy

…has been crazy.

Things have been a little quiet around these parts, and there has been so much I’ve wanted to share, but there just hasn’t been any time.

Cinque Terre Italy

I went to Italy and Spain. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience. My brother and I have been planning to go to Italy for about 10 years now. It all started when we were sitting at a little pizzeria and he looked at the map of Italy on the wall and said “We should go to Italy.” That day we decided that when he was 18 and I was 30, we would go to Italy the summer after his graduation. It felt like the day would never get here but, once it finally did, it lived up to all of my expectations and more! I ate gelato every single day. My diet consisted almost entirely of pizza, pasta and paella. I saw beautiful things and, for the first time, understood the expression “It’s so beautiful it takes your breath away”.

RNR San Diego

finally ran a sub 2 hour half marathon. 1:59:05 to be exact. Then I never wrote about it. Mostly because there wasn’t much to say other than it was freaking hard. My recap would have been something like this: The race started and it felt only a little hard. Then it got harder. Then I was sure I would fail. Then I did it, but I was too busy thinking about how hard it felt to really be excited. Then the next day I was even more tired. Then the next day I was happy. And of course now I just want to run one faster.

I got a new job! Actually, this is probably the biggest one because I didn’t just get a new job, I started an entirely new career path. For as long as I can remember, my entire life has revolved around theatre. I decided it was what I wanted to do when I was 10 years old and I never really looked back. In fact, I had only ever had 1 or 2 jobs that were not theatre in my entire life and one of them was public speaking so it hardly even counts. Without going into too much detail (because that would take forever), I had become increasingly unhappy in my field dealing with the politics and administration of education in charter schools, and the overwhelming pressure I put on myself to only put on the best work possible. It didn’t make me happy anymore, and I was working endless hours for practically no money–which was fine when it made me happy, but then it didn’t and I started to feel undervalued and generally unhappy.

I was looking for a new path and exploring what else I could do when a perfect opportunity literally landed in my inbox. I have my first real “grown up” 8-5 job…in an office. It’s weird, and it’s not what I ever imagined myself doing, but I love it! This little blog turned into an opportunity to do social media professionally and work for an amazing company with really great people. Most days I can’t believe that I have been lucky enough to have my life always work out the way it has. Things seem to have fallen into place and I just feel…almost undeserving? But mostly just happy. One day I’ll tell you the story of the time I sang karaoke at work and then realized I finally found a place where I fit perfectly. :)

Middle Sister Wines: Drama Queen Pinot Grigio

With so much going on, there have been so many occasions to celebrate with friends and family, and I was super lucky that Middle Sister Wines helped furnish some celebrating with some vino!

Middle Sister Wines: Drama Queen Pinot Grigio

They have a super cute concept highlighting the way birth order affects personality, and specifically the strong, unique personality of the middle sister. I’m the oldest (and bossiest) in my family, so I don’t know much about the middle sister personalities (I only have brothers and only one on each side, so there’s no middle child), but I do know that they nailed my personality (and my favorite type of wine!!) with the Drama Queen Pinot Grigio. I may have given up a career in theatre, but I am still a theatre nerd to the core, and I will always and forever be the most dramatic drama queen. That part of my personality I have no desire to change.

Middle Sister Wines: Drama Queen Pinot Grigio

We opened this baby when we got home from our European vay cay and had our family over to look at the (hundreds of) pictures we took. Vacation is awesome, but after over two weeks away, being home and sleeping in your own bed truly does feel like something to celebrate! The wine was light and crisp, and definitely matched the quirky, middle sister personality. Definitely a bottle I would pick up again–especially since it’s super affordable  at Target, and I got to Target about once a day.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce: The BEST peanut free pad Thai copy cat there is!

Grilled chicken with Sriracha almond sauce has all the flavor of traditional pad Thai with a suped up, peanut-free sauce that tastes even better than the original!

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce: The BEST peanut free pad Thai copy cat there is!

Peanut allergy suffering friends, I have the bessssttt thing for you! Pad Thai, especially that delicious sweet and spicy peanut-y sauce, has been one of my very favorite crave-able comfort foods for as long as I can remember. It’s been a pretty consistent theme on this li’l blog because the things I love, I love really freakin’ hard and I just can’t get enough.

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce: The BEST peanut free pad Thai copy cat there is!

Well, I have to admit that I have a new love and it’s peanut-free. This Sriracha almond sauce is just like the original except, um, even better. There is so much flavor that I literally can’t get enough. I even threw some of my leftover sauce on plain ol’ steamed broccoli the next day and, the next thing I knew, I was in love with steamed broccoli too.

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce: The BEST peanut free pad Thai copy cat there is!

It all started when Blue Diamond sent me their newest Sriracha almonds. I had super high hopes, but I was sure there was no way they could be as delicious as I was dreaming of. Ummm, they were even better! As I was cooking dinner, it took all of my willpower not to eat the entire rest of the container. I kept reaching my hand in for “just a few more”, and by the time I photographed these bad boys, the container was very looking pretty darn shallow. I don’t even feel bad. They are just so good.

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce: The BEST peanut free pad Thai copy cat there is!

 

Making the sauce was a breeze. I started with the whole Sriracha almonds and threw them into my food processor, then I continued on with my normal pad Thai sauce recipe and did everything right there in the food processor while Steve grilled up the chicken. Almonds do take a particularly long time to break down into almond butter. When I first started making my own almond butter, I was always sure it wasn’t working. Be patient. It’s working. I promise. You don’t need to add oil and your food processor isn’t failing you. Just process, scrape, repeat, and your new favorite sauce will be ready to eat in about 10-12 minutes.

Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Almond Sauce

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Grilled chicken with Sriracha almond sauce has all the flavor of traditional pad Thai with a suped up, peanut-free sauce that tastes even better than the original!
Ingredients
For the grilled chicken
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6-8 ounces each)
  • salt and pepper
For the Sriracha Almond Sauce
  • ½ cup Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½-1 tablespoon honey (please use real honey and not the kind from a bear)*
  • ½ tablespoon coconut aminos (or gluten-free soy sauce, or regular soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha*
  • water, as needed
  • pinch cilantro
For topping
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Thinly sliced green onion
  • Chopped Sriracha almonds
Instructions
  1. To make the grilled chicken, season chicken with salt and pepper. Preheat grill to 350 and cook chicken until juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side.
  2. To make the Sriracha almond sauce, place almonds in your food processor or high quality blender and blend. Almonds will break down into very small pieces, then eventually they will form into a ball. This may take up to 10 minutes. Make sure to turn your food processor off and scrape down the sides every few minutes.
  3. Once almonds are broken down into a ball, keep food processor running and stream in lime juice, honey, coconut aminos, and Sriracha.
  4. Once those are incorporated (it will still resemble a ball more than a sauce), very slowly (about 1 tablespoon at a time) stream in water until the sauce has reached your desired consistency. I used about ¼ cup water. If you like a thinner sauce, feel free to add more--it won't dilute the flavor.
  5. Once sauce has reached your desired consistency, scrape down the sides again and blend in cilantro.
  6. To serve, topped grilled chicken with sauce then top with fresh cilantro, green onions and extra chopped Sriracha almonds.
  7. Leftover sauce should be stored separately from chicken and can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week. Sauce will thicken to more of an almond butter texture when refrigerated, when serving again, you can heat it up in the microwave to thin, and also add more water if desired.
Notes
*The Sriracha almonds add their own sweetness. If you don't like a lot of sweetness, you can either omit the honey and then taste, or start on the low end, then taste and add as you wish.
*Feel free to add more/less Sriracha depending on desired taste and heat level.

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. All opinions are my own.

Pesto Parmesan Green Eggs & Ham

Parmesan Pesto Green Eggs & Ham: A healthy and flavorful breakfast, lunch or dinner

Hearty and full of flavor, pesto parmesan green eggs & ham are the perfect healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Parmesan Pesto Green Eggs & Ham: A healthy and flavorful breakfast, lunch or dinner

I went to college in a verrrry small town in Idaho with approximately 2 breakfast options: The Bagel Shop, which was awesome, but more for for those 2am after the bar kinda nights, and The Breakfast Club, which was packed every single weekend morning with all the college kids making their visiting parents take them out for breakfast. Myself included.

Parmesan Pesto Green Eggs & Ham: A healthy and flavorful breakfast, lunch or dinner

I would always either get pancakes (with bacon and eggs and maple syrup on top, of course) or their almost-famous green eggs and ham with pesto and parmesan cheese. It was the bomb. I know nobody says the bomb anymore, but I am stuck in 1997. Don’t judge me. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to recreate this dish for a good long time, and after 20 hours of travel and a crap ton of jet lag, this super easy dish was the absolute perfect dinner.

Parmesan Pesto Green Eggs & Ham: A healthy and flavorful breakfast, lunch or dinner

Lately I’ve been eating a lot of eggs and I’ve been using Eggland’s Best eggs. Compared to regular eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs have 25% less saturated fat, 1o x more vitamin E, 4 x more vitamin D and 3 x more vitamin B12. If you’d like more information on their nutrition benefits, you can check out their nutrition info. They worked out great in this dish with the creamy pesto, and simple balance of flavors.

Pesto Parmesan Green Eggs & Ham

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2-4

Hearty and full of flavor, pesto parmesan green eggs & ham are the perfect healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs (I used Eggland's Best)
  • 4 egg whites
  • small pinch salt
  • generous pinch pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • large handful baby spinach
  • 3 ounces chopped Canadian bacon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese (+ more for topping)
  • fresh basil for topping
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites until well combined. Heat a medium-low nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray (or olive oil or butter). Add eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook about ¾ of the way (about 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of your pan), stirring often using a spatula or wooden spoon. Add pesto, spinach, Canadian bacon and parmesan cheese, and cook until eggs are fully cooked and spinach has wilted.
  3. Serve immediately topped with more parmesan cheese (if desired) and chopped fresh basil.

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites: The perfect easy and delicious appetizer or snack!

Ridiculously simple and easy fig, prosciutto & brie cracker bites are the perfect appetizer for entertaining, or just an afternoon snack. Just 4 delicious ingredients and next to no prep time!

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites: The perfect easy and delicious appetizer or snack!

One of my very favorite sandwiches comes from an awesome little wine bar here in Arizona. They have a great wine selection (obviously), but also lots of delicious sandwiches, salads and the BEST bruschetta. I always get sandwich that comes with fig jam, prosciutto and brie. I love sweet and salty. I will choose it almost every time.

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites: The perfect easy and delicious appetizer or snack!

Now that summer is officially in full swing (well, I know not technically, but technically…), the pool/grilling parties have begun, and I have already eaten my weight in grilled corn and zucchini. I always have a hard time figuring out what to put out for when people arrive, so the other night I had these delicious Nut Thins crackers from Blue Diamond hangin’ out in my pantry and I decided to put them to good use!

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites: The perfect easy and delicious appetizer or snack!

The crackers were fantastic! Salty and crunchy–the perfect base for any dip, cheese, or just straight from the box! It took me only a matter of minutes to spread on some fig jam (I used a balsamic fig jam and it was an excellent life choice), added a thin slice of brie, then topped it off with some cute little rolled up prosciutto. For someone who usually does not make “cute food”, I’d say these little babies are pretty darn cute.

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites: The perfect easy and delicious appetizer or snack!

With the sweet and salty flavors, crunchy and sweet textures and perfect simplicity, these little bites will easily become the hit at all your gatherings!

Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Cracker Bites

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Ridiculously simple and easy fig, prosciutto & brie cracker bites are the perfect appetizer for entertaining, or just an afternoon snack. Just 4 delicious ingredients and next to no prep time!
Ingredients
  • Blue Diamond Nut Thins (I used the original flavor)
  • Fig jam
  • Brie cheese, cut into 1" very thin slices
  • Sliced prosciutto, cut into 2" pieces, loosely rolled
Instructions
  1. Assemble by spreading fig jam onto crackers, then top with brie and prosciutto. Serve.

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond. All opinions are my own.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with a Poached Egg: The perfect healthy & easy summer side dish!

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus gives the best of this summer produce with perfectly roasted asparagus, flavorful prosciutto, and a creamy poached egg. Tons of flavor with only a handful of ingredients!

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with a Poached Egg: The perfect healthy & easy summer side dish!

You guys, you guys, you guyyyyysss! I poached my first egg today!!! It was so exciting, and nerve wracking, and I was 99% sure I was going to mess it up like 17 times before I got it right, but then this beautiful, perfectly cooked poached egg came out on my very first try, and I squealed like a little girl, and then immediately took 700 pictures, and came here to tell you about it.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with a Poached Egg: The perfect healthy & easy summer side dish!

I’m pretty sure I will never eat an egg cooked any other way again. A perfectly soft white with a creamy, drippy yolk…uggghhh I die. I used Eggland’s Best eggs, and they worked out great!. Compared to regular eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs have 25% less saturated fat, 1o x more vitamin E, 4 x more vitamin D and 3 x more vitamin B12. Also, I may just be biased, but I think they make bomb poached eggs. If you’d like more information on their nutrition benefits, you can check out their nutrition info.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with a Poached Egg: The perfect healthy & easy summer side dish!

Okay so let’s talk about this little combo. I am a huge fan of roasted asparagus. In fact, I will only eat it roasted or grilled. Steamed asparagus? Gag. I need those crispy, crunchy bites on the end. Asparagus is usually my go-to veggie. It’s so easy to make, and it comes out perfect every time. A little olive oil, salt and lemon pepper and you’re good to go.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with a Poached Egg: The perfect healthy & easy summer side dish!

I roasted my asparagus like normal, then just divided into two bundles, and wrapped each with half a slice of prosciutto and topped each bundle with a poached egg. Insanely easy (who ever thought you could say that about a recipe involving a poached egg! But it was!), and so delicious. Perfect for a side dish, appetizer or even breakfast!

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus gives the best of this summer produce with perfectly roasted asparagus, flavorful prosciutto, and a creamy poached egg. Tons of flavor with only a handful of ingredients!
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or less--just a light drizzle)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch lemon pepper
  • 1 slice prosciutto, sliced length-wise
  • 2 poached eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Lay asparagus in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and lemon pepper. Roast until lightly browned and ends are crispy, about 20 minutes.
  2. Divide into two bundles and wrap each bundle with prosciutto. Top with a poached egg. Serve immediately.
Notes
I used this tutorial for my poached eggs and it worked great! I did not have a ruler or a thermometer so I eyeballed all of it based on what I saw on the video, and everything still turned out ok. I used a paper towel for drying.

 

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.