Kale Cheddar & Feta Grilled Chee

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Hey y'all.

I probably know what you are thinking... what the heck? Kale cheddar and feta grilled cheese?? Super random, I know...but I promise you won't be disappointed.

I would like to consider myself as the leftover queen...which also means I hate wasting food. So when you combine the two characteristics...you get random but delicious recipes.  I just couldn't stand to waste any of the kale I got for my Spicy Turkey and Kale Chili recipe earlier this week. 


Kale Cheddar & Feta Grilled Cheese: 1 sandwich

Ingredient:
  • Two slices of wheat grain bread
  • 1/2 cup of kale
  • 2 slices of sharp cheddar
  • Thin slice of red onion
  • 1 tbsp of feta cheese
  • A splash of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of butter (or mayo...I'll explain below)

Instructions:

  • Heat up olive oil in a small pan. Once the pan is hot wilt the kale in the pan with a splash of red wine vinegar. Once the kale turns a little brown you can toss the sliced onions in there to cook together.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Place the mix into a bowl and place it on the side. Do not turn off the pan once you are finished with the kale and onion - you will need it hot to toast the sandwich on. 
  • Butter one side of both slices of bread. This will crisp up the outside of the sandwich. However, if butter doesn't do the trick then you can use mayo instead (will make it crispier but not burn the outside). Shout out to my friend Kristy for that awesome tip!
  • Layer the cooked kale and onion on the bread...butter or mayo on the outside! Once you place the kale and onion on the bread, sprinkle the feta on top. Place 1-2 slices of cheddar to cover the kale, onion, and feta mix.  Place other slice of bread on top of sharp cheddar. 
  • Pick up the sandwich and place it in the pan. Put a lid on top so it forms a little oven on your stove top. Flip sandwich over after 1-2 minutes and keep flipping till you see the cheese melt. 



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Coconut Oat Granola Bars

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A co-worker of mine brought these granola bars into work right after New Years Eve. They were so good that when he offered for people to take the leftover's home, I quickly packed a few bars into a plastic container. 

Eating healthy...fail.

Anyway...I felt like it was time to replicate these amazing coconut oat granola bars. Nooo...these granola bars below are not from the first week in January! I ate those up... like when no one could see me. 







Coconut Oat Granola Bars: 10-12 bars

Ingredients:

Dry
  • 2 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup nuts or seeds (I just used pecans and walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter
Wet
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, soft
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients. In a different bowl, combine wet ingredients. Once dry and wet ingredient are mixed in their separate bowls...pour wet ingredients into dry and completely combine ingredients.
  • In a separate microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and stir in peanut butter.
  • Line a 8x8-inch dish with wax paper. Press half of the granola bar dough into bottom of the dish. Spread the chocolate peanut butter mix evenly over the granola bar layer. Top with another layer of the granola bar dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 1/2 hours. Cut into 10-12 granola bars. You can store them in the freezer for longer... but you won't want to. 


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Ice cream for Breakfast

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Whoever said ice cream is not for breakfast?!

Welllll OK...I am teasing...but a little scoop never hurt anyone. 

Its been over a week and I've been making the same fruit smoothie recipe everyday for breakfast... it was definitely missing something. I looked into my fridge... then freezer...and ah ha! Ice cream!

Here's the thing - the whole point of me making this fruit smoothie was to make sure I ate a "healthy" breakfast... we might have to turn this recipe into a dessert one eventually. Key word...eventually. 







Fruit Smoothie Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries
  • 1/4 cup of blackberries
  • 2 tbsp. of pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp of ice cream (I prefer Edy's Vanilla)
Toppings:
  • Granola 
  • Fresh fruit

Instructions:
  • I used a magic bullet blender but a regular blender will do.
  • Put all ingredients into blender and blend till the consistency is smooth.
**I made a big batch and put it in a mason jar to keep in the freezer. This way I don't have to blend a new batch everyday and can just thaw out a cup the night before.



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Energy Boosting Toast

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Sliced apples + Peanut butter + Honey + Pomegranate seeds



Ingredients:
  • Piece of wheat bread
  • 1/2 of a honey crisp apple (thinly sliced)
  • Handful of pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp. of Jif creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. of honey 
  • 1 tbsp. of cinnamon 
Instructions:
  • Toast bread and spread creamy peanut butter on toasted slice of bread. 
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on thinly sliced apples and bake for 10-15 minutes on 350F.
  • Take apples out of oven and layer on top of peanut buttered bread. 
  • Melt tbsp. of honey in microwave for 15 seconds, then drizzle on top of apples. 
  • Pepper pomegranate seeds on top of the honey






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Spicy Turkey and Kale Chili

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Chili was one of the first recipes I created on my own...so naturally it's a dish that stays close to my heart. Of course, it has evolved since the first time I made it and I swear it gets better every time! 




Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey meat
  • 2 cups of kale
  • 2 cups of Trader Joe's tomato basil marinara (substitute for tomato paste)
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 can of Bush's Bacon and Brown Sugar Baked Beans
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 3 tbsp. of cumin
  • 1 tbsp. of salt
  • 1 tbsp. of pepper
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
Instructions:
  • Heat 2 cups of water with 1 chicken bouillon cube till boiling. Once the water is boiling, turn down to a medium heat temperature.
  • Put ground turkey meat in broth and break apart into pieces with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook for a couple minutes while breaking the meat apart.
  • Pour two cups of tomato basil marinara into pot. 
  • Chop tomato, green pepper, kale, garlic, onion, jalapeno and set aside. Open can of beans and add bean/vegetables into the mix.
  • Add the rest of the spices. Feel free to add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Let the turkey and kale chili cook on low for 1-2 hours, but honestly I believe the longer you cook the more flavor comes out. 






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Back to the basics: Eggs

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One of the reasons I started this blog was to become a better cook...but before I get too overwhelmed I need to remember before chefs become chefs, they learned cooking basics. Like cooking with eggs, for example.

Eggs tend to be most peoples source for delicious and quick breakfasts - plus the right breakfast can jump start anyone's morning. The thing is... you can make SO many dishes out of eggs.

Here I go again... getting overwhelmed. Breathe...


Here is a quick and easy recipe I whipped up the other morning (1 serving):

Ingredients:
  • 1 egg (sunny-side up)
  • 1 onion ring - thawed from frozen bag of onion rings or leftover... your choice.
  • Piece of wheat bread
  • 1 tbsp of butter for skillet
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 scoop of fresh salsa (on the side)
Instructions:
  • Crack an egg over a hot buttered skillet and salt/pepper to taste. 
  • Then place a thawed out onion ring next to the egg and cover skillet with lid. This way the egg and onion ring will cook from the top down.  I used a leftover onion ring from The Depot Tavern, but you can easily batter up a fresh one or use a frozen one in the same skillet as the egg. If you use a frozen onion ring make sure to thaw it out first!
  • Toast bread in a toaster or oven at 250 F. Make sure to butter both sides.
  • Once everything is cooked stack the onion ring on the toast first with the sunny side on top of the onion ring.  The first cut into the sunny-side up egg will moisten up the bread and onion ring with egg deliciousness. 




How eggcellent was that?

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Exploring the new city limits

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These days with technology it makes it hard to get lost...but sometimes it is fun to get out into a new city and experience it for yourself. 

This past weekend I had my first friend, Emily, visit from Chicago... I could have not asked for a better person to try new places with!

Here is a snapshot of all local eats and breweries we visited... 








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City Garden

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My last place in Chicago had a pretty large patio with plenty of room for my "city garden". Whereas, there was plenty of room the natural light only shined for a couple of hours onto the patio...which is why I am very excited about my new place in Minneapolis - SUNSHINE all day!!

After only one year of gardener experience (plenty of time to figure out if you have a green thumb) I found top three herbs that do pretty well in your apartment. All I need to do is make sure their roots don't rot and they have around 5 hours of sunlight...easy enough right?

I recommend heading to Trader Joe's - during the winter their selection is limited but it's good start.



1. Thyme. This bad boy needs around six hours of sunlight a day. If six hours of sunlight isn't doing the trick you might need supplemental light to keep him happy.



2. Basil. This is my favorite herb to cook with so naturally I had to add it to the bunch. The best type of basil to grow indoors would be Thai basil or African blue.



3. Sage. This is the tastiest herb to use for chicken or stuffing recipes. Plenty of sunlight and a roomy container is all you need to make your sage herb grow.



If all goes according to plan you will be seeing these little guys in upcoming recipe posts. 

Pretty gangster right?


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Modern Times Cafe

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A couple weeks ago, I had an astounding breakfast feast at Modern Times Cafe with a friend that is originally from Minnesota. The place was so good I couldn't pass up writing about it. Don't believe me? Check out the reviews for yourself (don't pay attention to the haters).

Modern Times Cafe is an American style breakfast and brunch diner - unsurprisingly, the place is staffed with uber friendly hipsters and/or hippies passing out handwritten menus on recycled paper. I absolutely loved it.




After ordering my second cup of coffee, I had made up my mind and ordered Emily's scramble - it was filled with a variety of veggies in lemon juice and thyme. I melted after my first bite.



I will definitely will be going back for seconds. Anyone with me?

Want to know more about Modern Times Cafe? Click here.



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Baked Veggie Buffalo Bites

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Hey y'all! Last night I decided to make some baked cauliflower bites and I was freakin' impressed. It's all the flavor without the calories of chicken, these cauliflower Buffalo bites are a lovely, healthy option. Even the meat eaters won't complain!

The finish product.

Here are the ingredients you need to get started....

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup rice flour (If you’re not eating gluten free, just use regular flour)
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce (the buffalo style if possible).
  • 1 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 t garlic powder
Prep:
  • Preheat oven to 450 F
  • In a small bowl combine brown rice flour (or regular), water, garlic powder, salt. Mix with whisk (or fork if you don't own a whisk).
  • Dip piece of cauliflower till completely covered with batter, then place lightly on greased baking sheet. 
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or until batter hardens, then flip with spatula and bake for another 5 minutes. 
  • Mix together Frank Red Hot Sauce and butter in a small bowl. 
  • When cauliflower is finished, brush the hot sauce mix lightly over the hot cauliflower. 
  • Bake for another 8-10 minutes or until crispy layer is formed on the outside.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool for 15-20 minutes.
Sauce:
Whisk 1 cup of greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of mayo, pinch of salt and freshly chopped dill (fine...you can use dry dill if you have it).


Right before I put these puppies in the oven to bake.


Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Cheers, Caroline

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Day 1

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Whoa...can't believe I am finally here and ready to roll. After months of making excuses on why my blog wasn't finished I finally dropped everything and made it happen. To be honest, I was actually pretty intimidated with the idea of people reading what I wrote and thought...but in reality my end goal was to get better at writing/photography and a blog was perfect for me to achieve those goals.

So over the past year, I've been hearing a ton about blogging and how satisfying it has been for the creator behind them - I started thinking...I must be crazy not to create one of my own!?

Again, so why blog?

1. I want to become a stronger writer. In general, writing to me is about thoughts on paper and captivating others to agree with them. Obviously, writing improves with practice. I know by starting a blog it will not force me to become a better writer...it will naturally happen as I write more and more. Practice, Practice, Practice!

2. Better photographer. A blog isn't the same without the right photography, am I right?! Half the time I visit my favorite blogs because of the amazing photos they post. Check out a few of my favorite blogs with awesome photography...Davy, cupcakes and cashmere, Love Taza, Pinch of Yum.


My attempt at food photography with an iphone



3. Encourage myself to try new things in a new city. I just moved to Minneapolis in November 2014 (sniff*sniff* goodbye Chicago) and not going to lie... its tough getting yourself to do things in a city you barely know anyone. Essentially, I will be more motivated to do different things and meet more people if I have a place to document them.


Moving Day


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