Individual Strawberry Rhubarb Pies with Almond Crust

Individual Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Almond Crust

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! My parents were able to make it into town, so it was a fun-filled weekend for me! I hadn’t seen my parents since Christmas and they hadn’t been to Madison since October, so there was lots of catching up to do. This included showing them around to the different places I’ve worked since October (don’t worry, there’s only two…and I plan on staying at my current one for awhile. :)). There’s just something about being able to visualize where somebody’s at during the day.

Plus, it was fun to show updates to our home, especially my new spring decorations I had made and put up. It’s been so dead and dreary in these parts that I finally said enough was enough and had to extend the bright colored jackets and clothes to our home decorations. I scavenged Pinterest for some ideas and on my day off last week I picked up the things I needed to spruce up our living space. Of course, after getting home and attempting the Pinterest version (and eating too many of the jellybeans that were meant to be only for decoration—who was I kidding?!), I realized it looked a lot better in my head (isn’t that always how it works?). So, I scrapped those ideas and actually used my own creative brain cells to make up my own. It made me remember what the days were like before Pinterest.

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I think they turned out pretty well! Who needs Pinterest anyway?

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Besides showing off my minimal decorating skills to my parents, I made sure to make something tasty for dinner when they arrived on Friday. Of course, dessert was the main thing I was concerned about. :) I had seen the recipe for individual pies awhile back and instantly knew I wanted to save it for my parents. My mom loves almonds, fruit pies, and is as excited as me for spring to really get here, so I knew Individual Strawberry Rhubarb Pies with Almond Crust would meet all of those criteria.

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Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies

Cookies 'n Cream Cookies

I’ve been holding out on a good one for you guys. I’ve been patiently impatiently storing it in my back pocket, waiting for the perfect time. But then I realized, there’s never a wrong time to share this one with you. It’s without a doubt, my favorite cookie to date. It’s Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies, folks! I love a lot of desserts and have tried a lot of cookies, so for this to be my favorite is definitely saying something!

I think I came across this cookie while still in grad school and I haven’t looked back since. Whenever I need to bring a dessert to an event or am having people over, I know this is a guaranteed winner. None of that worry about whether it’ll turn out or if people will like it. It has Oreos in it. It has white chocolate chips spattered throughout. It has pudding and sugar in it. How can you go wrong? You can’t.

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Roasted Beet and Farro Salad

Roasted Beet and Farro Salad

I’m so glad you all enjoyed my Creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese as much as I did! I received so many great comments and feedback from so many different people. Thank you! Since starting this blog about a month and a half ago (really, has it only been that long?!), it’s been fun seeing trends and what people like most. What I think is going to be a hit isn’t always the case, but then others that I don’t give much thought to turn out to be some of the most liked recipes thus far (don’t worry, my mac and cheese was not one of those; I knew it was a good on the second I made it!).

Well, I’m switching it up on you guys! So long cheese-laden-noodles (for now). Today I’m bringing you Roasted Beet and Farro Salad! Say what, right?! Ok, don’t click out of this just yet; hear me out. As an RD in the Midwest, I love my comfort food in moderation (aka macaroni and cheese), but then I balance it out with more nutritious meals most of the time. I find it my duty to bring you a variety and to introduce you to some things you wouldn’t normally try. There’s no time like a Monday to go all out and bring to most of you two new things—beets and farro.

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Creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Would you just look at that creamy goodness! How can you even resist? I couldn’t. My mouth waters just remembering those creamy, cheese-covered noodles my taste buds experienced when I had this on Sunday for lunch.

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You know when I said a couple weeks ago I would probably start craving macaroni and cheese after talking about all my childhood favorite “recipes” (I don’t know if you can consider the Blue Box a recipe)? Well, it happened. Philip and I enjoy watching episodes of America’s Test Kitchen and soon after writing that post, they had a segment on macaroni and cheese. I took it as a sign and put macaroni and cheese on my menu planner app. It actually was supposed to be made later this week, but I couldn’t wait and it jumped to Sunday for a lunch meal. Because Philip and I usually don’t get home from church until after noon, this is definitely saying something—1) It is a breeze to make. 2) I really wanted it if I was willing to do anything but heat up leftovers or make a sandwich. We were eating by 12:30 with only one bowl and one pan dirty. Not bad clean up for Philip either! (I do the majority of the cooking, he does the dishes—it works well for us).

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Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken Salad

Hi all! I think Spring has finally decided to come for a visit in the Midwest! I’m hoping it’s an extended visit. Even if it isn’t, I’ve been breaking out my spring jackets, bright clothes, and (gasp!) going sock-less, nonetheless! This is saying a lot, since my feet are always cold. For me to make this sacrifice means I’m ready for spring already!

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Homemade Almond Butter

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My love for peanut butter is a big one (I hope you’re starting to catch on to this). I really don’t know how it came to be, but for some reason I can’t get enough of it. Growing up, I don’t remember feeling the urge to grab a spoon and dig into a big jar of peanut butter or the need to add it to anything and everything it could remotely go with (Cereal? Check. Yogurt? Added. Smoothies? Of course. Apples, carrots, bananas? Check, check, check. Granola? Yep. Chocolate chips, Oreos, chocolate bar? Yes, please). Sure, I had my fair share of PB & J in my lunch box in my middle school years and I loved the free peanut butter sandwiches at lunch in high school, but that’s pretty much where it ended…until sometime in college when I rediscovered the simple joys of creamy peanut butter.

 

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Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

First of all, can I get a “Go State!” from all of my Iowa State fans out there?! Woot woot! I have to admit, I’m not a sports fan. at. all. But, Iowa State is my alma mater and if I’m going to cheer for any school, it’s going to be that one.

Ok, enough about sports. That was plenty for me. In other news, how was your weekend?! I had a fun and much needed girls’ getaway weekend with my two closest and dearest friends from college—Sarah and Alex. Sarah and I met the first day we arrived to Iowa State; we were assigned as random roommates at Iowa State and it could not have been a better fit! We hit it off immediately and were roommates for all four years, making several good memories together along the way. Let’s just say, unlike many people in college, we both had a great roommate experience during college! We were so similar in almost every aspect, that we were (and still are) often mistaken as sisters—I’ll take that as a compliment!

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Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

I like to pretend I can eat with chop sticks. I really can’t, though. Philip has practiced before in the past and is somewhat proficient, except I feel like I learned improperly (as in I never officially learned) and now my hands just won’t do what they’re supposed to do. I attempt for about 2 bites and then give up because I want to actually taste and enjoy my meal instead of getting one granule of rice at a time—the exception is only made for sushi, which is easy to pick up and put in my mouth…I don’t feel quite so incapable when it comes to eating sushi.

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Easy Chicken Minestrone Soup

Easy Chicken Minestrone Soup

You know what I wish? I wish Mother Nature would make up her mind on whether it’s spring or not. And when she does finally decide, I hope she decides on spring…considering it officially starts on Thursday and all. This past Friday we had gorgeous weather. It felt so freeing to be able to wear a spring jacket, to get into my car and feel warmth, and to actually not dread going out and doing errands. Buuuut, then Sunday rolled around and it was back to freezing temperatures. Sigh…

On the plus side, that gives me a chance to post one more (but maybe more will be coming…who knows) soup recipe since winter is not over yet here in Wisconsin! I’ve come to really enjoy soups this winter and I love the ease of them. It’s like the winter form of a salad (kind of)—throw lots of random cut up vegetables, beans, and whatever else into a pot, let it simmer, and magically you have a wonderful and comforting creation!

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