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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{Wedding Update - Engagement Photos}

This past weekend was packed full but the majority of the weekend was spent focusing on Wedding Planning!  My mom and dad were nice enough to head up to Minneapolis for the weekend, specifically so my mom could help me with wedding details!  We shopped, met with florist, tried a new brunch place, enjoyed the weather on a beautiful patio with a glass of wine and talked what felt like non stop about the wedding!  

Friday, July 18, 2014

{Chicago Weekend Recap}

Friends I am here to say that I survived the week!  I feel like it is always hard to get back into the groove of things after a long weekend (I had a 4.5 day weekend this past weekend).  In fact this week to me is a complete blur, but thats ok because I live for long weekends that are spent with dear friends and celebrations!

This past weekend (yes, almost a week ago) Derek and I traveled to Chicago for our lovely friends wedding!  We made a pit stop in Wisconsin Dells to visit Derek's aunt and uncle and made a little vacay our of our 6 hour road trip down to Chicago!

The weekend was filled with wedding festivities and catching up with some of my closest girlfriends from school!  But the best part of the entire weekend was being able to stand by my Sam's side as she married the love of her life, Ryan!  Their wedding was simply beautiful and absolutely perfect!

It was a wonderful weekend!  Congrats again, Sam and Ryan!  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

{Quinoa Risotto with Peas and Chickpeas}

Hi, Friends! 

I am finally getting back into cooking... I know it has been a while and I am not even sure I can use moving as an excuse anymore!  While I still feel like I am settling into the new place, the kitchen is more then functional, really I have just been lazy with cooking!  Sorry!!   But none the less I am excited to be back with you today, and more excited to share this delicious risotto recipe with you!  

Risotto is my go to recipe when I need a wow recipe that is sure to please a crowd, or when I want to make an extra special dinner for Derek and I (check out my go to shrimp risotto recipe, here)!  Risotto is simple, yet delicious and to me is a dressed up version of good old comfort food.  Think carbs, cheese and delectable add ins!   My quinoa risotto is a nod to the classic rice version, and packed full of good for you veggies and cheesy goodness!  This risotto is perfect for a meatless Monday meal, and reheats great for lunches!  Serve it with a simple salad for a complete dinner or eat it as a side dish.  I am just sure you will love this risotto, no matter how you choose to serve it! 

Quinoa Risotto with Peas and Chickpeas 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4-6 

1 Cup Quinoa Rinsed (I used Tri Color Trader Joe's Quinoa) 
3 Cups Vegetable Broth 
2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic 
1/2 Medium Onion Chopped 
1 Cup Canned Chickpeas (Drained and Rinsed) 
1 Cup Frozen Peas 
1-2 Large Handfuls Fresh Chopped Basil 
1/3 Cup Good Quality Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Cup Feta Cheese 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 

1- In large skillet heat olive oil.  Sautee onions until translucent add in garlic and cook until fragrant.  Slowly add quinoa in with onion and garlic.  Stir until quinoa is evenly coated with olive oil.  Cook for 1 minute. 
2- Add in 1 1/2 Cup of the chicken broth.  Allow mixture to come to boil, reduce heat and continue cooking until broth is absorbed.  Add in remaining broth and all mixture to simmer until liquid is almost all absorbed and quinoa is tender.  
3- Stir in peas and allow peas to cook for 5 minutes until heated through.  Stir in parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and basil.  Transfer risotto to a serving dish and top with feta.  Serve immediately. 


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

{Life Lately}

Hello, Friends!

(Aren't they just the cutest?)

Life has been pretty busy for the last few weeks, and I feel as though life won’t be slowing down any time soon!  But you know what, even though life has been pretty crazy and full of changes, I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying myself! Life has been filled with friends, family, a move, a new category at work which was then followed by a promotion, I truly have nothing to complain about nor should I be complaining!  My world has been turned upside down with changes but hey that is life!  Isn’t life all about growing and changing and taking on new adventures/challenges?  I think so!

Friday, July 4, 2014

{Happy 4th of July}

Wishing you all a wonderful 4th of July! Hope your day is filled with celebrating our great Nation, family, friends and good food! 
Happy 4th of July! 

PS if you missed the recipe round up on the blog yesterday... here it is!  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

{4th of July Recipe Round Up}

I love the 4th of July!  I  find it exciting and an honor that we get to spend an entire day celebrating our Nation!  I love gathering with friends and family, grilling out, watching fireworks and getting decked out in Red, White and Blue!  I still remember when I was younger my mom dressing both my sister and I in matching flag shirts, you know what ones I am talking about!  We were really cute kids, I promise! 

Anyway, with the 4th of July being tomorrow I figured I would give you a nice little run down of a few recipes that I think would be perfect for your 4th of July get together!  Whether you are throwing a huge 4th of July bash or a small intimate get together with close friends and family, these recipes are sure to please and impress!  So here is is, your 2014 4th of July Recipe Round Up!

Marinaded 3 Bean Salad - Brunch N'Cupcakes 

Summer Pasta Salad – Brunch N’Cupcakes  

Patriotic Fruit and Cheese Skewers - Whats Cooking with Ruthie 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

{Salmon with Tomato, Avocado and Corn Burschetta}

Cooking in my apartment right now has been pretty interesting!  My sister and I are living among boxes, furniture, and suitcases and we prepare for the move on Thursday (YAY)!  My sister and I are making the best of it however, and I have to say that cooking is way more exciting when you have no idea where your cooking utensils, spices or pots and pans are! 

Anyways, yesterday I whipped up this delicious pan seared salmon for my sister and I, Mainly because the only thing I could find to cook on was a large skillet!  Anyways, we topped this simple pan seared salmon with the most delicious tomato avocado and corn burschetta.  Now let me just pause for a moment and talk about how obsessed I am with tomato and avocado as a pairing!  Oh, my, goodness is it one of the best (still might not take the place of PB and chocolate in my book, but pretty close)!  Tomato and avocado were made to go together.  The creaminess of the avocado paired with the bright pop of flavor from the grape tomatoes, yum!  Ok, side note over…

I think you really need to make this Salmon!  It is a simple meal, filled with tons of flavor!  The salmon is lightly pan seared with a little seasoning and the burchetta topping adds extra flavor and texture!  Pair the salmon with a simple green salad or steamed veggies and you have a delicious meal! 

Salmon with Tomato, Avocado and Corn Burschetta
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 2-4

3/4 -1 Pound Fresh Salmon 
Teaspoon Pepper and Basil 
1/4 Teaspoon Salt 
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil 

For the Burschetta: 
1/2 Cup Fresh Sweet Corn 
1 Cup Grape Tomatoes Roughly Chopped 
1/2 Avocado Chopped 
1 Teaspoon Dry Basil 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 
1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar 
1/2 Teaspoon Olive Oil 

1- Combine Burschetta ingredients into a small bowl, lightly mix and set aside. 
2- Coat both sides of the fish with olive oil and seasonings.  Heat a small skillet on medium heat and cook salmon for 4 minutes on each side or until salmon has reached the desired degree of doneness.  
3- Plate salmon and top with the fresh burschetta, serve immediately! 

Check out these other delicious salmon recipes from around the web!