Dirt Pudding

Dirt Pudding

Happy Monday, everyone!

If your weekend weather was as nice as it was here in Madison, then I hope you were able to get out and enjoy it! I was able to be outside quite a bit (my pink red face is proof of that!). To start it off, I had the fun opportunity of helping out at a kids road race on the UW campus bright and early on Saturday morning. A couple things about this:

1) I’ve never been on the set-up/tear-down side of a race before. Whew! Even for a small kids race, it was quite the production! I have so much more appreciation now for all the work that goes into just the day-of work, not to mention all the planning beforehand that goes into races.

2) It was so cute to see the kids all decked out in their running “outfits” and their pure, genuine excitement for the race. They may have been cute, but these kids were definitely legit! I think they’d give me a run for my money.

Philip and I spent the rest of the day together, mostly outside of our home…which is my excuse for not noticing this change in our dining room wall art until well into the evening.

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Lettuce…Turnip…the Beet. Get it? For some reason (maybe it has to do with my love for food and nutrition), but this phrase just makes me smile and I’ve been obsessed over it for quite awhile.

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Months ago I talked about wanting a t-shirt made with this saying on it (which my sister-in-law has graciously volunteered to do!), but had no idea my sneaky husband was planning on doing this the whole time. None. Zilch. Nada. He never ceases to surprise me!

I previously had these up on the walls, which I also really loved. Philip somehow took these, did a little Photoshopping magic, and turned them into something any dietitian would want to have in her kitchen. The colors match our kitchen perfectly and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they turned out. Didn’t he do an awesome job, you guys?!

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Corn & Black Bean Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

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Sheeeee-ee-rry, Sherry baby. Shee-ee-rry, Sherry baby…

This song. It seriously won’t leave my head. As soon as I think it’s gone, it comes back. For those of you who didn’t grow up with the oldies being played around your house like I did, this is “Sherry” (fitting name, right?) by The Four Seasons.

Philip and I went out on a date night on Friday and saw our second movie in the theatre since we’ve been together (I know! We just like our homemade popcorn and M&Ms too much, I guess). The movie? The Jersey Boys—a movie all about the struggles and successes of The Four Seasons.

We were probably the youngest ones there by about 20 years, but nevertheless it was entertaining, had lots of music and dancing (have I told you I absolutely love musicals?), and music that evidently gets stuck in your head for the entire weekend. For me, it brought back memories of riding to school every day with my mom, listening to her cassette tape (I was very young, of course :)) of The Four Seasons. Good memories, I tell ya.

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Leaving the movie theatre, Philip and I started talking about our differences in “movie theatre going”. I couldn’t believe he only went to the movies a handful of times during high school. I was practically in shock, because coming from a small town, the only thing to do was to go to a movie.

The movie theatre and I probably saw each other on a biweekly basis. Perhaps it was the excitement of leaving our small town and driving 30 miles to the next “largest” town that had not just one movie theatre like our town did, but a mere seven! Or maybe it was the Wal-Mart we’d hit up first to stock up on the dollar boxes of candy (since we had no Wal-Mart, that, too, was exciting). I think I better stop now…

Whatever the reason for my high movie theatre attendance, I almost always had Karen, my partner in crime, along for the ride. Which brings me to this post (poor transition, I know). She asked me months ago to do a recipe with quinoa in it and I can’t believe I’m just now getting around to putting my first quinoa recipe on here. I tell myself I was waiting to start with the best, and I think I did. This one is a keeper, folks!

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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Grilled Salmon & Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope you all had a fun-filled Fourth of July weekend! I had probably the most “summer-like” weekend that I’ve had in a looong time! Something about bike rides, s’mores, boating, sitting out in the sun, grilling, and having ice cream just screams summer.

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Enjoying the fireworks on the lake with Philip and my uncle.

It was a wonderful, mini-vacation from work and I’m already feeling a lot more rejuvenated than I was last weekend—plus, my second attempt at jam making yesterday afternoon was a success!

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Philip and I started off our long weekend with more strawberry picking! We knew we couldn’t wait much longer if we wanted any more fresh strawberries. We lucked out and hit the tail end of the strawberry season here in Wisconsin (why does the season have to be so short?!). The sweetness of these strawberries are incredible! I’m telling ya, after having these, the strawberries in the grocery store don’t even compare. Besides just canning the strawberries, I’ve been eating them plain, in fruit salads and spinach salads for a sweeter spin.

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One of my favorite salads right now is my Strawberry Spinach Salad with Grilled Salmon & Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette. Not only does it have the strawberries that are in season right now, it also has another food that’s “in season”—salmon!

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Kitchen Catastrophes + Triathlon Updates

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I’m alive and feelin’ good! I crossed off another one of my races on my list on Saturday—my first Olympic-sized triathlon…well, my first triathlon of any kind, really. Surprisingly, the only pain I have is the sunburn I have on my shoulders and back from the 5+ hours of being outside on Saturday morning. I almost woke up on Sunday morning in shock that I was in less discomfort and had less soreness than any of the running races I’ve done. I guess next time I need to push myself a little harder. ;)

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Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everybody has their favorite go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. It may be just the back of the Nestlé chocolate chip bag or some special recipe that has been passed down through the family. I don’t care what it is, where you got it, or how much you love the cookies—you need to change cookie recipes, because you’re going to love these more. I’m telling you, these are your new favorite. Guaranteed. I’m usually tentative on telling people to change what’s currently working (I mean, why rock the boat, right?), but I’m tellin’ ya, I’m boldly stating that these are worth it!

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Favorite Beef Fajitas + One Year in Madison

Favorite Beef Fajitas

You know those pivotal moments in your life that you always seem to go back to as a time marker? Things like a child’s birth, a wedding, starting a new job…the moments where you say, “wow, a month ago I was doing this…” or “it’s been 6 months since (insert event here).” Well, that’s what I’ve been thinking this weekend, since exactly a year ago, I packed up my belongings (which felt like the millionth time since moving off to college), and moved up to Madison, my new home, with the help of my soon-to-be-father-in-law. I had just finished my internship a week earlier and was about to embark on a whole new adventure in my life. Moving brings all kinds of emotions, but I was for sure, without a doubt, 100% excited to be moving up to Madison to be closer to Philip. Plus, how can you turn down a sunset and view like that?!

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Thai Beef & Noodles

Thai Beef & Noodles

Welcome to another week, Friends!

I’m just going to jump right into this recipe, because, even though it’s worth waiting for, I really don’t want to and I know you’re going to love it! I made it for dinner one night and it instantly got “pinned” in my favorites category in my recipe keeping app I use. And that’s saying something, because out of all the recipes I have (and I have a lot!), I only have 19 favorites; two of which are my Homemade Granola and Cookies ‘n Cream cookies…so this Thai Beef & Noodles is ranking pretty high!

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Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza with Fresh Basil & Mozzarella

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza

I got a good one for you guys today! Everybody loves pizza, so this one is for sure a crowd pleaser. Plus, it’s 100% whole wheat, so the health-conscious people can be happy, too.

But first, I have to give you a quick update on my weekend. Now that it’s finally nice out and summer is officially here (in my opinion), my weekends are filling up with fun things, unlike the winter when it seemed like nothing was really happening (besides it snowing daily). So, in other words, get ready for some regular updates!

I headed back to the heart of the Midwest—Iowa—to see family for the weekend. It was beautiful (and hot) weather. Of course, that meant another trip to DQ for me. #everythinginmoderation

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My aunt and uncle (the ones that introduced me to this quiche) made the trip to my parents’ house and we had a fun day of playing games, eating, and catching up since it had been way too long since I’d seen them.

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It was a fun weekend, but it sure was nice coming back home again and getting outside between during scattered rain showers to catch Philip up on my weekend.

So anyway, back to the recipe that I know you’re eagerly waiting for. :)

This pizza crust recipe is a family favorite—for Philip and myself, but also for my brother’s family. My sister-in-law is the one who originally gave me this recipe several years ago and it has been my go-to pizza crust recipe ever since. It’s simple, fast, and delicious—could I ask for anything more?

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Memorial Day Weekend Picture Recap

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I hope everyone has been enjoying the extended weekend as much as I have. After a couple of really busy weeks at work and an especially crazy busy one this past week, I was more than ready for a little R&R this weekend.

I suppose rest and relaxation wouldn’t be quite the best words to describe my entire weekend, since I stayed pretty active with the first of my summer races this weekend; nonetheless, the rest of my days were much more relaxing and being able to spend quality time with Philip was just what I needed. :)

Instead of rambling on about my weekend (and because pictures are worth a thousand words, right?!), here is a picture summary of my weekend. Enjoy!

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Very Berry Chia Smoothie

Very Berry Chia Pudding

As I type this, I’m recovering from a longer than expected bike ride with Philip…isn’t that always how it goes with bike rides? You start out great and then you realize you still have to turn around and do that same mileage back. By the end, my bum was sore and I was ready to get a snack (food is never far from my mind).

But before my mind started wandering to everything food, we had a great time exploring more of the bike trails Madison has to offer (I realized there are a lot!). Philip just got a new bike this spring, so it was fun to be able to get out together, since that didn’t really happen much at all last summer. I’m hoping for many more bike rides this spring and summer…although maybe not quite so far. :)

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