everyday food made simple

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1. Brian and I always joke that when we retire, we’re going to plan a road trip and travel across America. Apparently someone was reading our minds and came up with a perfect road trip for us.

2. This list kind of made me chuckle. I haven’t personally experienced a whole lot this, but I do catch myself talking a whole lot about the weather here on SEF. And for the record, the Minnesota State Fair is NOT stupid.

3. Looking for a summer book list? Here’s 16 books that apparently you should read and will love. I’ve read a few on here and have a few on my to-read list, but I don’t know if I would consider Gone Girl a personal favorite…

4. Healthy freezer-friendly breakfast sandwiches that can be made ahead of time? I foresee a lot of these in my future. I’m pretty sure I can eat breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos every morning for the rest of my life.

5. Pretzels are on my baking bucket list and I actually have a few pretzel recipes saved in my recipe box, but when I saw these sweet almond ones, I knew these would have to be the first ones I ever make.

6. I’m really really sad that our Kitchen Aid ice cream maker broke last year. Because this. I want to make this. Or can someone make this for me?

7. Scallops and shrimp and pasta? Holy yum. I need to make this sometime. Except I haven’t cooked with artichoke hearts before. I like spinach artichoke dip, so I think I’ll like it from a jar?

8. Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of some of the best food trucks in the U.S. – did your favorite make the list? Last summer we went to a food truck festival in Minneapolis that was loads of fun that I’m sure we’ll be doing again this year.

Have a good rest of the week, friends!

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1. Throughout the entire past winter, everyone – I mean everrrryone – around me was sick. Brian was sick. My mom was sick. Everyone at work was sick. No joke, people that I worked with were dropping like flies; people were calling in sick every other day with fevers, coughs, aches and pains, headaches, stuffy noses, you name it. It was like people were passing around their germy Kleenexes and drinking out of each other’s water bottles or something. It spread like wildfire, from one department to the next. I always took pride in my “superior” immune system – giving credit to years of building my immune system from touching germy things and getting coughed on everyday after years of working in an emergency room.

But earlier this month, despite the hard fought battle, I finally succumbed to my first cold in a long time. I even called into work sick; something that I’ve only done twice the whole year I’ve been there. I laid on the couch with my bag of cough drops, my box of tissues, my bottle of Aleve, my pets keeping me company, along with the TV remote and my Kindle… it was lame.


2. I also had the most out-of-this-world amazing oxtail pho ever. The meat was buttery, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth ridiculous. I mean just look at it. Seriously delish.


3. Earlier this month, Brian got himself a new job that he’ll be starting in a few weeks! After working so hard to get a degree and slowly climbing the ladder, he’ll finally be doing something that he’s wanted for so long, and I couldn’t be any prouder! Even though that means we can no longer carpool together, that I will no longer have my chauffeur to drive me to and from work, and that I will have to pay for a parking contract again, I’m still happy that he’ll be doing something that he loves.

4. Brian and I are probably the least artistic people you’ll ever meet, but somehow I managed to convince him to do one of those “wine + paint” nights with me to paint the iconic Stone Arch Bridge at our local Cheers Pablo. It was actually fun even without the booze!

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5. I watched the documentary film Blackfish a few weekends ago and wooooah. LIFE. CHANGING. Have you seen it before? My parents brought me to Sea World when I was young while we lived in Florida and I’ve always loved marine animals, but after watching it, I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to go to Sea World ever again. The film was so powerful and it touched me so much that I was actually bummed out the rest of the afternoon. I felt sad for those giant majestic creatures that should not have to live their lives cooped up in a tank. I felt angry that us humans think that we are entitled to capture such beautiful animals, even separating babies from their mamas, using them for our own profit and entertainment. I could probably write an entire essay about that film, but I’m not going to here. I am, however, going to recommend you to watch the film, because it seriously will leave you with lots to think about.

The funny thing is, the very next day after I watched Blackfish, a Sea World commercial came on while I was watching TV by myself. It had footages of veterinarians and trainers who claim along the lines of “I love working here… the animals here are treated well and they live just as long in captivity as they do in the wild due to the superb veterinary care they receive… we have the highest standard of care in the world and our whales are thriving; I wouldn’t be working here if they weren’t…” Uh huh. Sure.

It was as if the moment I clicked to watch Blackfish on Netflix, it pinned my location and Sea World sent me a commercial to watch on TV the very next day as an attempt to refute everything I just learned. Coincidence? I guess I’ll never know.

(And in case you’re wondering, whales in captivity do NOT live anywhere near as long as they would in the wild)

6. A brand new grocery store opened in our neighborhood last week, which we just had to check out to see what they had compared to the other 8 grocery stores in our city. They had an awesome butcher shop, a bakery, and lots and lots of healthy organic food/snack choices. But what pleased me the most was that every single item on their shelves were neatly organized. Every single box and packet was stacked with great precision with every single label facing the exact same way.

As stupid and sad as it sounds, it made my heart sing with joy, and apparently my life came down to finding happiness in neatly stocked grocery. #findhappinessinthelittlethings

7. We also finally visited the new fro-yo place right across the street. They had tiramisu fro-yo, yo! I’m already a fan.

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8. Spring cleaning: Garage Edition finally happened, and in case you didn’t know, apparently I’m a Hoarder with a capital “H”. I found all kinds of crap in bins that I’ve had since high school… things ranging from high school notebooks, shoes that I’ve had but never worn, newspaper clippings of random things, old skate wheels, old cell phones, lots and lots of MCAT prep books, mp3 players, and every single plane ticket stub I’ve ever owned for 4 whole years since 2004. Once again, can you say HOARDER?! Yikes. I was slightly embarrassed.


But remember those Blackberry Pearls? I still remember how cool I felt the day I brought mine home. They were the bomb back then (along with the Motorola Razrs)!

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1. I think spring has finally arrived in Minnesota. The moment the temperature becomes warm enough to bust out our grill, it’s officially spring in our house. Grilling weather also means s’mores before dinner.

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2. Speaking of s’mores, did you hear Starbucks is coming out with a limited time s’mores Frappuccino? We all know I love s’mores things almost as much as mint chocolate things. So yes, I’ll totally be trying it out. Duh.

3. For years the mister has been trying to convince me that seasonal Reese’s peanut butter eggs/bunnies/hearts/Santas/whatevers taste way better than the regular peanut butter cups. I guess he was right, because apparently someone has proved that the Valentine’s ones won out with a whopping 60.34% peanut butter.

4. If you happen to live near these 10 best donut shops in the U.S., I’m jealous. I’m still searching for a favorite artisan/gourmet donut shop here in Minnesota.

5. Pasta that you won’t have to drain? Is it a genius idea, or is draining pasta really that big of an hassle?

6. This “Truth or Drink” video, Kids vs. Parents edition is both awkward yet cute at the same time. I would never ever ever in a million years play it with my parents. Noooo thank you. I envision a whole lot of awkward silences and blushing. And drinking. Definitely lots and lots of drinking.

7. Homemade cookie butter baking chips?! Say what??????!!!!! I think I’d be renaming them as “snacking chips”.

8. It’s been years since I’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy, but apparently they killed off Derek Shepherd last week and sparked an uproar on social media? And here I am, finding out about it a week later…

9. I stumbled upon this article on Yahoo! the other day that talks about the food blogging business. The food blogging world really is a wonderful little community with some amazing people in which I constantly find myself learning so much about all sorts of aspects of it every day.

Have a good week everyone!

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1. During a moment’s lapse of judgment, I decided to join Snapchat. I’m not sure what made me do it, but I thought I needed to jump on the bandwagon since it seems like a lot of people I know have been joining the Snapchat community lately. I don’t even know where to start – I’m still slightly confused at the point of the whole thing. If someone could enlighten me, that’d be swell.

2. Who’s ready for summer? Oh me!! Over here! Meeeee!!!! Can you see me frantically waving my hand over here? I can’t wait to make this Mexican street corn recipe this summer. It looks so crisp and fresh! Not to mention the fact that our family eats corn in the summer like it’s going out of style.

3. Speaking of summer, Minnesota’s been super blessed with some amazing sunny warm weather lately. Here’s a list of restaurants around the metro that have amazing patio seating. I intend to check a few off of my list this summer.

4. Scrambled eggs and cheese-stuff biscuit waffles?! OH. EM. GEE. I saw these a few weeks ago and made them for dinner one day, complete with homemade sausage gravy. It was delightful and ridiculous. Biscuits and waffles and eggs and cheese and sausage and gravy?!  Mmm mmm mmm.

5. Did anyone else see this? I really thought this was created by some guy who was sick of his cranky PMSing girlfriend/wife and designed this out of frustration. Nonetheless, it’s genius. “I need a scoop of “I Think I’m Dying” and a scoop of “Don’t Come Near Me” in a sugar cone please”. Bahaha!

6. If you were born without the fashion gene like I was and have trouble figuring out what to wear with what, I found this guide on to how to layer clothes. Every day I’m thankful that I have a job that I don’t have to think too much into what I’m going to wear to work. Usually the biggest decision I have is planning out whether or not my coworker and I want to be matchy-matchy or not. Throw on some scrubs, make sure they’re not inside-out, make sure your hair is presentable, there’s no drool crusted on your face, and out the door I go.

7. And if you’ve been called a hoarder and your loved ones have staged an intervention for you before (this has not happened to me… yet), here’s a link to ways on how to part ways with things that you may think you need, but you really don’t need.

8. When it comes to mac and cheese, I’m all about using spiral-y pastas… unless it’s the traditional 79-cent boxed mac & & cheese (with yellow cheese) – then only elbow macaronis will cut it. I’ll totally be making this recipe sometime in the near future.

 Have a good week everyone!


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1. I’m all about storage hacks that can effectively de-clutter the house, because organization is kind of my thang.

2. I grew up being a Disney child, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I still watch Disney cartoons to this day, especially the classics (Beauty and the Beast, anyone?). But have you ever thought about these questions when you watched Disney movies? I haven’t. What happened to watching cartoons for the pure love and enjoyment of it all? Do we really have to think that much into everything? (Although I’ve gotta admit that many of these questions are all very legit)

3. I can relate to almost every single one of these. Does that mean that I’m old? But for the record, hospital personnel (and many EMS people) still carry beepers around.

4. Last week, Nadia Cakes rolled out their annual April Fools cupcake line. Of course I had to get them. I felt like many of them tasted similar (vanilla cake, vanilla frosting), but kudos to them for the beautiful, meticulously decorated cupcakes. I couldn’t get myself to eat the Tootsie Roll kitty poop. I just couldn’t.


5. Speaking of April Fools, did you see this? Imagine ALL THE GLITTER with one simple spray.

6. Peeeeps. You either like them or hate them. Here are 6 things that you probably didn’t know about those yellow marshmallow chicks. Me? I don’t mind them, but I also don’t buy packs and packs of them at a time. But Peeps s’mores? That’s something I’m on board with.

7. In case you’re into listening to Podcasts and you just happen to love food as well, here’s a list of some food Podcasts that you might want to check out. I’ve tried getting into the Podcast thing but listening to people talk on air just has never been my thing.

8. Sweet, decadent dessert bars that ooze melty chocolate, salted caramel, creamy Nutella, and peanut butter? I think I need to have every single one of these in my life.

9. These homemade noodles. They remind me soooo much of home. Chewy, non-uniformly knife cut noodles that puts any other kind of noodles to shame.

Have a wonderful week, folks!


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