Butternut Squash Meatball Breakfast

Saturday mornings are my favorite.  I wake up, run, drink coffee, grocery shop and cook.  There are not many things I love more than spending the morning in the kitchen whipping up a meal (okay – I love my boyfriend, cats, family, friends and sparkling wine more – in no particular order).  When one of the first free Saturdays in weeks rolled up, I had a mish mash of ideas of what I wanted to make.  Here is what I had to work with:

1 sweet potato that NEEDED to be used.

I decided to go with some kind of bowl with a fried egg on top.  After walking through the grocery store with an extremely empty stomach, I settled on turkey meatballs with a butternut squash sauce and swoodles (see below).

Swoodles: Sweet Potato Noodles – I recently discovered the Zoodle Maker which is a tool used to grind zucchini into a spaghetti-like shape.  It’s actually really great and can be used for a number of other veggies, too.  I.E.: Swoodles! (See photo below).

Swoodles: Sweet Potato Noodles

Swoodles: Sweet Potato Noodles

I threw the Swoodles in with some homemade turkey meatballs and Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce.

Butternut Squash Turkey Meatball Swoodles

Butternut Squash Turkey Meatball Swoodles

Since the single sweet potato did not make quite as much as I expected, I also made some quinoa which resulted in the layering as so:

1st layer: Quinoa

2nd layer: Meatball/Swoodle/Sauce

3rd layer: Mozzarella Cheese (I also had this at home, but admittedly realized the way home from the store that I really needed a good soft rich goat cheese – next time!)

4th layer: Fried Egg

Butternut Squash Swoodles with Quinoa and Egg

Butternut Squash Swoodles with Quinoa and Egg

Let me tell you, I was full from this meal from 11am to 7pm!


1lb Lean Turkey

1 Chopped Onion

Sprinkle salt/pepper

Sprinkle Basil (fresh and dried)

Sprinkle Rosemary (fresh)

Sprinkle Oregano (fresh)

2 eggs

1/4 cupish bread crumbs

Grease pan and ball in 2 inchish balls and bake for 20 minutes.

Once Meatballs are finished, spoon into sauce with Swoodles and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve by self or over quinoa, brown rice, potatoes or other!  Add cheese and egg as preferred!




Sip & Stroll

This weekend is the Gig Harbor (WA) Food and Wine Festival and it kicked off last night with the “Sip & Stroll” which was a wine, beer, liquor and food tasting all along the beautiful Gig Harbor waterfront.  The Gig Harbor Food and Wine Festival is in it’s fifth year, but this was the first year for the Sip & Stroll, which will surely become the festival’s staple kick-off for years to come.  One of many highlights shown below from Heritage Distilling Company’s tasting room, where they were serving up an array of classics with a twist:

Heritage Distilling Co. Sip&Stroll

Bevanda (n): Italian working meaning: drink, beverage, or fizz. By: Heritage Distilling Co.



Easy Weekday Meal: Chef Salad

After spending an awesome weekend in Park City, Utah with family and friends celebrating one of my bestie’s wedding, I needed something that would take away the shakes and make me start to feel a little more human again.

I love a chef salad, but they are definitely one of those salads that calories can overtake the effectiveness in restaurants quite easily, so it’s always been one of my favorite make at home salads.


On a large plate layer chopped romaine, spinach, and kale.  In stripes, add halved cherry tomatoes, cubed avocado, crumbled goat cheese and bleu cheese, a sliced hard boiled egg, and diced chicken.  Serve with your favorite ranch dressing (mine is Bolthouse Yogurt Ranch).

Recently I feel like I’ve finally nailed the hard boiled egg.  Sounds simple, those eggs, but they aren’t always that way.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs:

-Start with old eggs, the older the better.  This makes them easier to peel.
-Place the eggs in your pot and cover with cold water to about an inch over the top of the eggs.
-Bring to a boil.
-Take off the heat.
-Cover, and wait 12 minutes.
-Rinse with cold water until they are no longer warm.

Moist Grilled Chicken:

-Take a chicken breast and sprinkle both sides with salt/pepper, then place in a plastic bag, or cover in plastic wrap.
-Pound to about an inch thick.
-Grill for 7-8 minutes each side on medium-high heat. Do not cut into it to check temperature or doneness.
-Let rest for 1-2 minutes.

Happy summer!


Packed Party – Yes, Please

My friend Allyson, posted a pic on Instagram of a Packed Party, and I was like, uhm, excuse me, what is that. Instant follow.  Now, I’ve done a little more research and I love this concept!  I have a couple go-to gifts for my gals for birthdays, break ups, house warming prezzies, engagements, and babies, including Glassy Baby and BKR.  Now, I’m adding Packed Party as well.


photo: via PackedParty.com

Still need to get your Mom something for Mother’s Day, the “You Pampered Thing, You” is a great option.


Photo: via PackedParty.com


Confused? Their “How it Works” page explains it all.  You don’t know what you’re going to get, but they promise excellence.  I can tell by the Instagram teases, you won’t be disappointed.



Tuesday Shoesday: DV Dolce Vita Jentry

Last year in the Nordstrom Catalog there was a slew of spring time booties including the DV Dolce Vita cutout back Jentry.  I was obsessed.  Recently, I found them at Nordstrom Rack, scooped them up protectively.  I nearly wore them out of the store and have been wearing them practically daily since.
Dolce Vita Jentry Booties Set

Zella legging ($58) / Dolce vita shoes  ($48 at the Rack) / J Crew  Necklace / Factory chambray shirt ($46)
I wish I could find them tan color as well because I can already tell these will be a wardrobe staple for me.

Guinness Cake with Baileys Frosting

St. Patrick’s Day is a big day in our house, this comes from R’s side of the family, who really goes big on March 17 annually.  My first St. Patrick’s Day with the Hanley’s, I flew up from SLC to visit Rory in Bozeman and we drove back to Billings to spend the holiday with his family.  A couple memories stand out from that trip, sipping Amaretto with R’s grandmother, then watching her complete a full jig while all the young cousins tried to keep up, and of course the Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Last week, we couldn’t make it back to Montana for the big day so we hosted a get together at our house and I prepared Corned Beef and Cabbage, plenty of potatoes, coleslaw, and the finale, Guinness Cake.


Instead of the traditional cream cheese frosting, I whipped in a couple tablespoons of Baileys.  The result was rich, sweet, and tasted a lot like an Irish Carbomb.


Although St. Paddy’s Day has passed, this cake would make a great Father’s Day treat as well.


P.S.  Nigella’s recipe can be found converted and adapted a bit here to use American style measurements.

Baked Eggs

I’ve been really into baked eggs lately (okay more like the last year) – breakfast, lunch, dinner, any meal… throw an egg on it.  The nice part is – you can use whatever is in your fridge as the base, crack an egg on top, bake it, that’s a well balanced meal right there.

Sunday, I started by frying some chopped pepper bacon, added sweet potato, and brussels sprouts and let those roast for 10-15 minutes. (Use a pan that is oven safe.)



Crack an egg on top…


And bake at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until the white is no longer runny.

You really can use whatever you have on hand – tomato, spinach, onion or kale, hash brown, garlic or root vegetable (beet, turnip, sunchoke), onion, garlic, greens.  It’s easy to add a breakfast meat like bacon or ham, and just as simple to omit the meat.

Have a great week everyone!




I grew up in the PNW, but I’m rooting for the Broncos

There is a lot of excitement leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl when the Seattle Seahawks face the Denver Broncos.  I love an event that brings a city together as much as anyone else, and I’m totally feeling the energy surrounding the game.  Even though, I grew up in the Seattle area, I’ll be rooting for the Broncos.  I feel almost guilty about this and have been contemplating why I feel that way for the past week or so.

I didn’t grow up in a pro football family, college ball, yes, but NFL – not so much.  Last time the Seahawks were in the Super Bowl, I was in college and skied 24 inches of fresh snow at Big Sky instead of watching the game.  I hardly even paid attention to the NFL until about 7 years ago, when I started dating Rory.  Usually, I’d spend Sundays at the gym or skiing and meet him to watch the end of a game.  His family has always been huge Broncos fans, and had season tickets his whole life.  We drove from Montana or Utah a couple times a year to go to Mile High Stadium, where I would spend the game high fiving when appropriate, and purchasing 2 giant beers at a time in steady increments.

Broncos2007Our first Broncos game together in 2007.

Moving back to the Seattle area, I would root for the Seahawks and Broncos simultaneously and we went to the pre-season game at Century Link Field.   It was my first Seahawks game and my first time in the stadium.  I was impressed by how loud it really is.  Despite the Broncos loss, our group had a good time.

I really am happy that a football team has united the whole area.  The Seahawks have taken over all of my social media feeds and every single business is featuring some sort of Seahawks pride with a discount.  That’s awesome.

Tomorrow though – I want the Broncos to win because it will make my husband happy.


glassybaby 2nds sale

glassybaby 2nds sale

It’s wall to wall packed and I’m frantically looking around for S.  Panic in my eyes, a lady whispers, “Need a light?” I nod enthusiastically and she shines it into the grayish/blue candle holder.  Sarah appears out of nowhere and … Continue reading