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!


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!




Sunday Dinner: Individual Tamale Pies

Sunday Dinner: Individual Tamale Pies

Hot damn. It’s been a minute. Christmas is over – and it was another fantastic one for the books.  Now, I’ve purged the house of all the sweets, and I’m ready to get back to clean eating.  We hosted a … Continue reading

Halfway Homemade Egg Pizza

Some days you just need some pizza, and usually that day is Friday. BAM! Today IS Friday!  YAY pizza!  Okay, this is more like Saturday morning or afternoon pizza, but really, it works for anytime that you want to put an egg on a pizza.  What? You’ve never done that?  It’s time my friend. It is time.

Anyways, in our house there are 5 classifications of pizza: true homemade, quarter homemade, halfway homemade, frozen, and delivery.  I like to put frozen and delivery in one classification but R begs to differ.   True homemade means labor intensive dough, quarter homemade means dough from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, halfway homemade means altering a frozen pizza, and of course frozen and delivery are pretty self-explanatory.

A couple weeks ago we hosted a baby shower at our house – it was a last minute venue change and we quickly decided on a pizza party.  Given the circumstances, I picked up a bunch of frozen specialty pizzas – not my usual style, but sometimes you just have to go with the convenience factor.


The next day, S and I were contemplating what to make for brunch and joking about how our latest kitchen habit is cracking an egg on anything we make.  We both looked at each other and Sarah immediately grabbed an artichoke pesto chicken from the freezer.  We topped it with halved cherry tomatoes from my garden and cracked a few eggs on top in the last minutes of baking.


We pulled the pizza out when the whites had just set and the tomatoes were starting to burst a little.  Let it cool for a minute or so and cut in triangles or squares so each person gets one of the yolks, which should be cooked on the over medium side.  The best part is that when you break the runny yolk, you can use the crust to soak up the gooeyness.


Halfway homemade pizza is awesome because it is fast, easy, and tastes delicious.  Seriously – it could be like one of those cheesy commercials where the lady claims to have made it all from scratch.  Everyone will be all like, “Did you make THIS?” And then you’re like, “Well, SORTA!”




Wine Tour Bus Bachelorette

I think I’ve mentioned that this is the year of the wedding, 2 of my best friends, my brother, and several other family friends along the way. I LOVE weddings and every excuse to celebrate that goes with them – engagement parties, showers, bachelorettes, and then the main event. Last weekend, S and I drove over to Spokane for my friend Kristen’s bachelorette. Rachel, Kristen’s sister, had arranged for a wine tasting tour bus to pick us up and take us to some of the area wineries/tasting rooms.


We stopped at Latah Creek, Townshend, Bridge Press, and then Nectar.

Latah Creek was having their anniversary sale – which was awesome because they had all of their wines open for tasting and lots of snacks. Plus, they have lots of really cute gifty items.

Next we headed to Townshend, it’s a beautiful area, right on the vineyard. Their T3, is one of my fave red blends, and a great wine to take to a party.


After Townshend we headed to downtown Spokane and stopped at Bridge Press, which is a warehouse style winery. They bring the grapes in from elsewhere and bottle on site. It was a really cool building.

The final stop was at Nectar, this place was awesome. The guy working was so incredibly patient and obviously amused by our group. It’s kind of like a co-op of 5 Washington wineries. I absolutely love the concept. We tried a couple Hard Row to Hoe wines, that are very cheekily named – an Orange Muscat named “Afternoon Delight” and a sparkling named “Good in Bed”.  Sarah and I both ended up buying bottles of Skylite Sauvignon Blanc to take home.



The tour bus was SO much fun!

I can’t wait for September to celebrate Kristen and Justin’s wedding!!!