red pepper

Cajun Chicken Pasta

A few weeks ago on a rainy evening, I randomly bumped into an old roommate at Target. And, yes, pretty sure we were those people who stood there right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of carts catching up on our life stories for an hour. It was so great to see her! But sure enough, when there was still more to share and the store was nearing closing time, the conversation came to — “We should do dinner!”

So this week we did! I invited some of the old crew to also come along, and we all spent an evening together at my place sharing a wonderful meal together, some of our favorite nostalgic wines from back in the day, and hours upon hours of conversation about the joys and answered prayers from the past year, some tearful honest moments about the lows, hilarious dating stories for better and worse, cheers over a new engagement, and endless hilarity and laughs. I love these friends!

Read more

Peach & Chicken Kabobs

I cannot believe that summer is nearly over! I’m seriously pinching myself that we’re already into September and that sweater-football-and-nights-by-the-fireplace season is just around the corner.

However, as always seems to be the case with our crazy midwest weather, today was nearly 100 degrees again. So to celebrate some of the few crazy-hot days remaining, I decided to grill up these peach and chicken kabobs tonight for a dinner with friends. They were super simple and easy to make on the grill pan (in my little loft), although I’m sure they would be even better cooked up outside on a grill. I loaded mine up with some farmers market veggies and some ripe local peaches, and then chose to go with a very light marinade to let the flavors shine through.

Read more

Pineapple Fried Rice

I kind of have a small obsession with fried rice. It’s my favorite. Chinese, Thai, Japanese, you name it….I’ve tried it…and I love it. :)

But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned how uber-easy fried rice is to make at home! All it takes is some leftover rice, sauteed with whatever fresh veggies, meats/seafood (optional), sauces and other favorite toppings you have on hand. And voila – within 15 minutes, you can have a fabulously delicious meal on the table ready to enjoy. Can’t beat that!

Read more

Corn & Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Whew! After a Super Bowl Sunday full of great friends, great laughs, and um…all of my favorite not-so-healthy processed dips and chips…thought it would be good to begin the week on a healthier note!

So gathered all of these yummy, colorful veggies to create this delicious quinoa salad. I saw a photo of the recipe on a blog months ago and could not get over how gorgeous it was! Love the colors, love the fresh, light ingredients, and love how simple it is to make!! The chipotle-lime dressing was an especially delightful finish.

Read more