Asian

Marinated Grilled Chicken with Asian Slaw

Whether the weather agrees or not, I’m declaring it officially grilling season! While this weekend has been less than stellar for any outdoor activities, last weekend when I was in Iowa visiting one of my best friends from college and her new little baby, the weather was absolutely perfect (I’d have to say this little guy was also just as perfect ;))!

Which also meant that we were grilling burgers. My mouth is watering just thinking about the burgers my friend whipped up on the fly. My gosh, were they good! It was a probably a combination of the beef coming from their own cows, my friend being awesome at making burgers, and me getting my first taste of a grilled burger of the season. There’s nothing like it!

While I don’t have my friend’s burger “recipe” to share with you (yet), I do have another delicious recipe that is just as easy to make and get on the table: Marinated Grilled Chicken with Asian Slaw. I just love this food season; everything is simple, fresh, and quick to prepare, so you don’t waste more time in the kitchen than you need to. It’s funny, people always ask if we “eat healthy” at home. Well, yeah, I guess? But I think what they really mean is if we eat boring and tasteless healthy food. I’m telling you, that is definitely not what we eat at our house. This recipe is case in point. So much flavor wrapped up in this meal!

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Orange-Sesame Salmon with Quinoa

Is it just me, or is this aaaamazing weather we’ve been having putting everyone in a better mood? I’m finally feeling like spring really is here and may just be staying around for a while now. It felt great to open up the windows and actually get some fresh air in the house. About time! Also, I think our neighbor’s kids were stationed on their trampoline in their backyard all day on Sunday. I’m not kidding, it was a really long time!

This fresh new season has me wanting fresh food! Orange-Sesame Salmon with Quinoa is that, plus it couldn’t be easier or faster to put together. I also love that it’s a recipe for a full meal — main and sides are all included. Even the vegetable is cooked right along side the salmon. I do a pretty good job of planning out meals each week for Philip and me, but to be honest, the sides are usually an afterthought for me. I love that this recipe is an all-in-one. :)

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peanut-Lime Sauce

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Whew! I don’t know about you, but we’ve had a few hot days around here. I’m really not complaining, though, since I’ve been able to make the most of the hot weather and actually enjoy it. Last weekend my two best friends from college and I got together again and decided to spend the afternoon going river tubing outside of Minneapolis. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend a hot day! Floating down the river with drinks in hand…sign me up!

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This past weekend, while it was indeed warm outside, Philip and I had a fun time biking around Madison and enjoyed a cold ice cream after the hot ride. Every bike ride should end with ice cream, imo. :)

Another way I’m handling the hot weather is by grilling as much as possible! I don’t even know the last time I turned on the oven, which has definitely helped keep our house a little cooler. When I do my weekly meal planning, I try to have at least one or two recipes for that week that involves grilling. Not only does grilling help me stay a little cooler while prepping in the kitchen, grilling makes it so easy to get supper on the table quickly without sacrificing flavor. In the summer, like I mentioned in my last post, I’m eager to get outside and soak in as much evening sun as I can, so the last thing I want to be doing is spending time preparing dinner.

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One of our most recent favorites is this Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peanut-Lime Sauce. Oh my. I know I told you the peanut sauce from the Spring Pad Tai was almost drinkable and could be used on anything, but I may have another new favorite. This peanut-lime sauce has so much flavor. It’s bright and citrusy from the lime and orange, has a tinge of heat from the red pepper flakes, and yet still has depth to it with the peanut-base. It totally made the meal.

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Spring Green Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce

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If your weekend weather was anything like what we were having, I hope you were able to get out and enjoy it! Talk about beautiful weather. In fact, as I type this, I’m sitting outside on our deck, enjoying a La Croix on ice (because that’s about as fancy as I get), and taking in as much fresh air as I can before rain moves in this week. This weekend has been full of fun activities from bike riding with Philip on Sunday afternoon to playing Red Light, Green Light with the littlest members in our small group from church Saturday evening. Gosh, it’d been a few years since the last time I’d played that! :)

While the weather has been consistently nice more frequently lately, it still has its moments of 70s one day to rainy and 50s the next day — the very definition of spring, right?! Even with the swings in temps, I absolutely love spring and all the vibrant color it brings with it. After a dull winter, the lush grass and budding trees is always a welcome sight for sore eyes.

This Spring Green Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce is the perfect resemblance of spring — fresh, vibrant, and full of all shades of green. Not to mention, a good helping of all those spring vegetables in season right now. :) If you even just sort of think you like pad thai or stir fry, then I know you’re going to love this recipe!

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Panko-Crusted Asian Salmon + Walt Disney World Adventures!

Panko-Crusted Asian Salmon

Hello again, everyone! I’m back after having a magical time in Walt Disney World last week! (see what I did there… ;)) My entire immediate family packed our bags and flew in from three different states to meet together at Disney World for a week. And boy, did we have a fun-packed time! I hadn’t been there in over 17 years (!!) and Philip had never been, so we were due for a trip to the most magical place ever. Seriously, Disney does it all!

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Going as an adult made me appreciate all the details, personalization, and exceptional service that much more (who am I kidding, I didn’t even notice as a kid). They make it a magical place for all ages. The classics were all still there (hello Space Mountain!), but from the MyDisney Experience app, PhotoPasses, and FastPass+ to the meal plans and MagicBands (#disneylingo), I felt like it was a completely different and streamlined experience. Never in my life have I had the luxury of checking my bags at the airport and not worrying about them until they showed up in our hotel room. Talk about service!

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All the extra perks aside, spending five days with my family creating memories, plus seeing the awe in my four-year-old niece’s face when she got to hug and see all the princesses was the best. Isn’t she the most adorable Belle ever?!

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I felt like this was a classic family vacation: On-the-go nonstop until you finally crash each night out of pure exhaustion. From breakfast with Disney characters to dinner with the Disney princesses, parades, and fireworks at the parks, we were out and about all day. I think it’s safe to say that I’m successfully living up my word of the year: Fun! #yearoffun

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While my word of the year is fun, I also made a very vague and unmeasurable goal at the last minute: Eat more fish. So far this year (one month in!), I’d say that has also been successful. Disney, thanks for offering Ahi tuna and salmon at almost every meal. :) It was delicious.

You know what else is delicious? This Panko-Crusted Asian Salmon, which is my latest recipe to help increase our fish intake to a weekly basis. Fish is a great, lean source of protein, plus fatty fish like salmon and tuna are filled with healthy Omega-3 fats that can help prevent heart disease, inflammation, and promote brain health. #winning

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Anniversary Week Recap + Asian Mango Chicken Slaw with Lime Vinaigrette

Asian Mango Chicken Slaw

I’m baaa-aaack! From an awesome vacation that is. Philip and I turned our second anniversary into an anniversary week celebration. I’ve never been one to celebrate my birthday week, but I am definitely loving this tradition we’re forming of celebrating our anniversary for a week. I’m going to run with this tradition as long as I can!

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While our actual anniversary day was pretty low-key (although still made very special: We admired the sunset over Lake Mendota in Madison on a blanket while listening to our wedding ceremony — another tradition that always makes us smile), the rest of the week just kept getting better and better.

On Wednesday of our anniversary week, we toured one of the oldest and finest wineries in Wisconsin — Wollersheim Winery. It’s located on a beautiful hillside outside Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, dating back to 1840.

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The tour satisfied our interest in all things history and we even saw a glimpse of the owner and winemaker, Philippe Coquard, who does a fantastic job keeping up a well maintained winery…and not to mention, developing excellent wine! My new realization of the art and science behind wine-making made me appreciate our wine that much more. :)

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After the tour, we took advantage of the beautiful day and sipped on wine overlooking the winery. Talk about relaxing!

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The following day, we sought out more relaxation time (and beautiful weather) to finish out our anniversary week by flying to Coronado, the island off of San Diego and home to the Hotel Del Coronado (a beautiful Victorian resort built in 1887 — one of the oldest wooden structures in the U.S.) and the Naval Base Coronado. Talk about beautiful! Sunny and mid-70’s temperature the whole time we were there. I could’ve gotten used to that. *sigh*

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Coronado is a city full of activity with runners, bikers, and surfers around you all day long. We were fortunate enough to stay right next to the ocean with a gorgeous view of the San Diego Bay from our windows…again, I could have gotten used to that. :)

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Fun shops and delicious restaurants with fresh caught seafood were within walking distance…it made enjoying good food way too easy. :)

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Our days were pretty consistent: Pool-side lounging in the morning and beach front relaxation with magazines and books in hand in the afternoon. While most of our time was spent lounging, we did do some active kayaking in the bay, and surprisingly my favorite thing of the trip  — riding the ocean waves on boogie boards. I seriously couldn’t get enough!
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Alas, we had to leave the boogie boards and the sand in California and head back to Wisconsin…where we were greeted with rain. Go figure. All in all, we couldn’t have asked for a better vacation or anniversary week!

Somehow between the short time we left Wisconsin and came back, fall decided to try to slip in. The mornings are chillier and there’s the sense that fall is right around the corner in the air. But I’m holding onto fresh, summer food as long as I can…especially California-style! California was a whole ‘nother world for this Midwestern girl! Hip and cool goes for the clothing style as well as the food.

To take me back to the brightness and freshness of California, I whipped up chopped up this Asian Mango Chicken Slaw with Lime Vinaigrette. I had to share this fresh masterpiece before fall officially arrives and our minds turn to all things apples, stews, and pumpkin.

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Spicy Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Spicy Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Welcome to another week, friends!

My weekend included a good balance of work and relaxation and enjoying the gorgeous weather we’re continuing to have! The only downside is I came down with a nasty cold over the weekend (due to my inability to slow down), leaving me sniffling and watching the clock for the next time I can take some DayQuil.

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I should’ve known I was maybe a little feverish when I was at the grocery store on Friday, embarrassing myself at the seafood counter. There to pick up some salmon that was on sale, I commented on the fresh salmon that was arranged into a “W”. I was wracking my brain, trying to figure out what it may mean, totally not thinking that I live in Wisconsin, in the same city as the University of Wisconsin, or the fact that the UW Men’s Basketball team was playing in the championships that day. What’d I come up with? “Wild Caught” for wild caught salmon (because everybody would come to that conclusion, too, right?). I quietly took my salmon and walked away…

In my defense, the salmon were wild caught.

Anyway, moving on… Since spring weather has been staying around for awhile, it has me in the mood for some light and refreshing meals that are loaded with fresh vegetables.

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This Spicy Pineapple Stir Fry is just that. It’s light, not heavy like some sauce-ladened stir fries can be. It’s fresh, with the lime juice and pineapple chunks along with the peppers, carrots, onion, and snow peas. And it has a touch of heat that compliments the sweetness from the pineapple perfectly. Plus, the vegetables stay slightly crisp, giving this stir fry a great texture.

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Asian Quinoa Salad + Salads-in-a-Jar

Asian Quinoa Salad

Happy Fall, y’all! Even though the weather has been hinting at fall for a couple weeks now, it is now officially the first day of fall today. This past weekend I finally started seeing a lot more trees changing colors—an absolutely beautiful site in Madison. The changing of colors always bring back memories of my very first trip up to Madison two years ago, which was a perfect fall weekend. All the fall colors and the rolling hills were breathtaking to a girl who grew up in the flat plains of Iowa. I almost didn’t want to leave on that very first weekend…er, maybe that was partly because of something (or someone) else. ;)

Let’s just say, I’m so glad I’m back in Madison—both to see the changing colors and to be with that “somebody else.”

Now let’s cut to the chase because this is a recipe I’m this excited for! Seriously, you guys, I know today’s recipe is a salad (I’m sorry, I know you all love ’em, but I can’t post desserts all the time) and it uses that “health food” known as quinoa, but this is so good! The flavors, the textures, the colors…gah, I just can’t get over it all.

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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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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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