{apricot balsamic pork chops}

Apricot jam + golden balsamic vinegar….drool!  Pork chops with a sweet + sour glaze.  It’s a combo you just can’t go wrong with.  Then you add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little added spice.

Perfection!

 

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Remember a couple of months ago I canned apricot jam with my Aunt Penny?  I wrote about it here: {weekend notes} Well, I’ve been meaning to incorporate the jam into a new recipe since.  It’s just so good, that I knew it would be a key player in any recipe.  And I was 100% correct.  Don’t worry though, store bought will definitely do the trick too!

I like sauce and I cannot lie, but I could have drank the leftover sauce from the recipe.  Not even joking.

Not to mention, this recipe is quick + easy.

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{gift guide bff + hostess + teacher}

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Today I’ve rounded up some of my tried + true favorite things.  Everything on this list would make for a great bff + hostess with the most + teacher gift.  I’m always on the hunt for the perfect little something for the chicks in my life.  You know, the ones that you want to put some extra thought into.  The ones that a Starbucks card or bottle of wine just wont cut it.  Don’t get me wrong, I like all those things!  Ha. 

There’s something for the lady who loves to entertain.

The friend that loves to cook.

Or the girl who just loves pretty things.

Oh yeah, and did I mention they are all under $25?  Yep.  Love my peeps, but I’m also on a budget.

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{the best quinoa salad}

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Just a friendly reminder: remember to eat a fucking salad!

Eating a salad is always a good idea!

And I’ve got The Best Quinoa Salad for you today!

I’ve tried so many quinoa salad recipes and they never do it for me.  To be honest, I’d rather go to the Nugget salad bar and pay $10 for a big ol scoop of their quinoa salad.

Then I dissected the Nugget salad one day and came up with a winner!!!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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{slow cooker carnitas}

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Happy Taco Tuesday friends!  I got another taco recipe for you today……

I call these Weda Carnitas.  Ha!  AKA the easiest carnitas you will ever make.  Healthier + wayyy easier than the traditional carnitas.  No oil or lard needed.  And they are still bomb.com!  Fall-apart tender goodness!  This will take your taco Tuesday up a notch!

This recipe creates enough to feed an army, so be prepared for tacos + quesadillas + burritos all week-long.  This pork is amazing even on top of your salad.  Try it!

Look at this taco all loaded up and ready to be inhaled!

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{butternut sauce + spicy sausage pasta}

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Would you believe me if I told you this creamy pasta sauce has zero cream in it?  Shit you not!

Pureed butternut squash.  Salt.  Pepper.  Reserved pasta water.  Swear!

It’s super smooth and creamy and decadent.  You will feel like you’re eating something so, so bad.

Then you add some spicy chicken sausage.  The combo works so well together.  It’s pure comfort food.

You guys, I’m really diggin this whole veggie of the week jam that we’re on.  In case you missed it, I challenged myself in our {Fall To-Do’s} to incorporate a different veggie each week into our meals.  Last week’s veggie of the week: butternut squash.

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Hands down my favorite so far.  Not that I haven’t cooked with it before, but it’s fun to try new healthy-ish recipes to use with it.

Did you see the Butternut Squash Pizzas on {Friday 5} – if you are still not sure you’re a butternut squash fan.  Or not sure your kiddos will dig it.  Try the pizza.  Everyone loves pizza, right?

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Oh, and did you know that today is #nationalpastaday

Hell yeah!

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{blueberry coffee cake}

Such a sad day for our country.  Waking up to the horrific news reports really stops you in your tracks.  My heart goes out to all the people + families suffering in Las Vegas.  There are really no words.  I just can’t shake it today.  And I feel as though there is nothing I can do, except be kind.  Do something nice for someone.  All this hate has to stop!

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Blueberry Coffee Cake //

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Sometimes, every once in a while, you have to just say fuck it and make cake for breakfast!!!

Coffee cake

with blueberries

and the secret ingredient…..

sour cream

Crumbly cinnamon + brown sugar topping sandwiched between rich layers of coffee cake.  You guys, this is a good one.

I will be pulling this recipe out again during the holidays, that’s for sure!!

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{lemon chicken}

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We all know Barefoot Contessa from the Food Network.  I used to watch her cooking shows with a pen + paper in hand, writing down the recipe/tips as she cooked on TV.  Without a DVR.  You miss an ingredient or step, you’re screwed!  There was no rewind.  No pause button if you needed to refill your wine glass.  I can hardly believe that’s how I had to get my recipes?  Clearly before internet + google.  Or at least, before I knew how to google that shit.  Definitely before Pinterest.

This recipe, if I remember correctly, was one of Jeffrey’s favorite.  Jeffrey is her husband for all you non Food Network peeps.  I recall her making this recipe and thinking…..

Damn, someday when I grow up, I’m going to make this for a dinner party.  And set my table pretty.  And drink wine.

The very day I got my new dinning room table, guess what I did?

I had a dinner party.  Well, kinda.  It was Grandparents Day, so I invited my parents + GG over for dinner with Bay + I to celebrate.  Let’s call it a dinner party!!!

I set my new table real pretty.  And we drank wine.  That’s a dinner party in my book!

Ps…Grandparents Day is a real thing.  Swear.  I even googled it to prove it to you 🙂

National Grandparents Day

 

I’m totally not a fan of raw meat/chicken images on social media.  It looks nasty and salmonella-y.

But, is it just me, or do those raw chicken breasts pictured below look pretty bomb?!?!

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This recipe is SO easy.  SO delicious.  I promise you’re guests or family will enjoy it!  We ate the leftovers all week-long, without a single complaint.

 

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