a pretty little salad

has this chilly weather made anyone else feel sluggish and lazy lately? i know that i’m definitely guilty of being less productive in cold weather and i tend to cook less too. i’ve been eating pasta and butter for the past few nights which i usually never do. i decided to make this salad on a whim today and it turned out so amazing i thought i would share it with you all! nothing like a good salad to get you back on track!

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  • arugula
  • strawberries
  • half of an orange
  • quarter of a pomegranate
  • mini cucumber
  • pepitas (mine were roasted)

just combine all into one big bowl and enjoy! i didn’t toss mine with anything because i like when the citrus fruit makes its own sort of dressing but i assume that some balsamic vinegar or lime juice would pair wonderfully with this.

also a tip on how to actually get the seeds out of a pomegranate!! cut off the top and the bottom pieces and set aside. cut into quarters where the natural white part of the pomegranate divides the little sections of seeds. working with one quarter at a time, place into a bowl with water and pull back on the skin like you’re cracking it. this frees the seeds and also avoids the juice from squirting everywhere!! the seeds will sink to the bottom and the white part will float along the top. skim out the white part and toss, then drain the seeds into a strainer. easy!

xo, Samantha

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cheesy broccoli chicken rice bowls

hello bloggers!

after a whirlwind weekend that was certainly one of the best in awhile (boyfriend, football, movies, cookies), i was left yesterday feeling exhausted. but today i’m back with a recipe (!) of something incredibly delicious that i’ve had for the past two days. yes, in a row. it is so good and so easy and can be adapted so many different ways. i made mine with chicken but i’m sure shrimp would be just as yummy, or you can go completely meat free and not sacrifice any taste at all!

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cheesy broccoli rice bowls
serves 1

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 chicken breast (or anything or no meat!)
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (i used colby jack on sunday and cheddar yesterday, both awesome)

1. boil water for your rice and broccoli. heat oil in a small skillet for the chicken and cut into bite sized pieces.

2. prepare the rice and steam broccoli for about five minutes or until bright green and tender. cook the chicken all the way through.

3. drain broccoli and then return to pan, add in chicken and your cheese, stir and then place the cover on the pan for about a minute. add in the rice and stir again, covering the pan for another minute.

4. serve into bowls and top with a little cheese, enjoy!

the quality of the photo is bad and i am totally to blame for that. once 7:00 rolls around i’m no hope for having patience to take a picture and not eat! i loved this meal and it is definitely going to be a weekly one because it is so filling and warm on the cold nights we’ve been having! i hope you enjoy!!

xo, Samantha

friday things

okay guys i’ve been a bad blogger and i am very truly sorry! but i do appreciate you all stopping by this week even with my lack of posting, i love my followers and a great big thank you! it has been a crazy week and i’ve finally accepted the fact that a “midterm week” is a straight up myth in college. how about a “midterm EVERY week?” 

but on to the fun stuff because it is FRIDAY! 

one . vsx

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[have you ever been to victoria’s secret sport? because if not, i encourage you to hop in your car and spend this friday night shopping! i went to an event for CHAARG last night at our vsx and i probably would have bought the entire store if i got my paycheck today instead of next week. need good workout pants? look no further than the knockout.]

two . pumpkin whoopie pies

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[julia of lemon stripes posted these on her blog this past week and they are definitely on my list of things to make! my boyfriend is coming in for next weekend so i’m excited that he gets to be my guinea pig for what’s sure to be pumpkin-y, cream cheese-y goodness.]

three . playlist

[do y’all like country music? if yes, keep reading; if no, keep reading. i have discovered the king of fall country playlists. actually, my boyfriend did (credit where credit is due), but seriously this is amazing. check it out here. also, i’m obsessing over kip moore lately. crazy one more time? such a pretty song.]

four . hunters

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[madly in love with these. via nordstrom.]

five . words

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[saw this on pinterest earlier and i thought it was so perfect. find your fit, do what makes you happy, live the life you want to live, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.]

have a great weekend! i’ll be back next week with hopefully some yummy recipes! and finally unveiling the craft project that i’m obsessing over! what are you up to this weekend? i’ll be cheering on my buckeyes and my red sox tomorrow all day long!

xo, Samantha

chicken taco soup

i have a confession to make. i love my crockpot. the fact that you can throw in a bunch of stuff and then five hours later have a delicious smelling concoction of food is just magical. i have a baby sized one and must use it at least twice a week.

today i made chicken taco soup and let me tell you it was absolutely delicious and incredibly easy. i searched pinterest for a few recipes but eventually settled on something that was a mish-mash of everything and it was so good!

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chicken taco soup
serves 3

  • two chicken breasts, mine were frozen and worked perfectly 
  • 1 can of sweet corn (or 1.5 cups frozen)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained
  • 1/2 can of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning, i used half because i’m not a spicy fan
  • favorite toppings, i used avocado, colby jack cheese, and yellow corn tortilla chips

1. combine everything in your crockpot and cook on low for four hours.

2. shred your chicken breasts with two forks and let cook for another hour.

3. serve into bowls and top with your favorite garnishes! enjoy!

see? three steps, beyond easy, beyond yummy! here’s to a great week!

xo, Samantha

zucchini chips

i love snacking. i could do it all day and i definitely do so it’s also a good thing that i love healthy food more than anything else. but sometimes you just need those crunchy, salty chips and there’s where fruit and veggies don’t cut it.

i made these zucchini chips the other day and they were absolutely perfect. they were crunchy and cheesy and salty and i didn’t feel guilty about maybe eating the entire cookie sheet full of them. and the best part? you know exactly what goes into them, so no more ingredients you can’t pronounce!!

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zucchini chips

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup milk, i used skim
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

1. preheat oven to 425 degrees and either spray your cookie sheet with pam or cover with parchment paper.

2. cut your zucchini into thin slices, i used my chopper so they were perfect, a little larger than the thickness of a quarter.

3. measure your cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper into a small bowl, pour the milk into a separate bowl.

4. dunk each slice of zucchini into the milk and then lightly coat with the bread crumb mixture. be sure that your cookie sheet is properly prepared – these babies stick!

5. pop in the oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. keep a close eye because they burn quickly!

enjoy your mindless snacking!

xo, Samantha

orzo stuffed peppers

happy monday!

i hope you all had a great weekend filled with college & NFL (go pats!) football and good friends. some crazy things happened over the weekend but finally being with all my friends in one place made it all worthwhile. i have been cooking up a storm so there will be a few awesome recipes coming your way this week!

on another note – hello NYFW! i don’t know about you guys but i love seeing some of my favorite new york based bloggers post gorgeous fashion week pictures. here is some of what i’m loving, all photos via glitter guide:

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so it is obviously no secret that i heart kate spade ny. the bright colors and soft girly-ness and the stripes (!!) have totally sucked me in. here’s to spring 2014!

but back to the post, i promised stuffed peppers and clean eats and all that jazz and here you have it! as a side note: everyone run to your nearest tj maxx/homegoods/marshalls and buy yourself a chopper, they’re a real game-changer.

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orzo stuffed peppers
serves 4

  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup black olives, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, cored & halved
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

1. preheat oven to 425 degrees and chop all veggies.

2. cook orzo until al dente, according to package directions.

3. heat olive oil in a skillet (i used a wok) over medium heat. add the onion, zucchini, tomato, and black olives, stirring occasionally until tender, about three minutes. season with salt and pepper, stir, and remove from heat.

4. stir in the orzo and divide mixture among the four peppers. arrange on a cookie sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until the peppers are tender.

5. enjoy!! both hot out of the oven and refrigerated are delicious.

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[convinced yet?]

this recipe was inspired by the cutest cookbook, cook yourself thin, and then slightly altered by me!

xo, Samantha

parmesan basil quinoa

happy tuesday!!

i hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend! between football games and olympics and a greek festival, i had an amazing weekend back here in ohio. it would be absolutely perfect if the weather would stay at this lovely 75 degrees for more than a day.

i spent my labor day playing catch up with homework and lying on the couch watching greek (a 2007 favorite). however, i did motivate myself enough to grab a bunch of ingredients and make a deliciously cheesy, basil-y, quinoa for dinner. if you’re a mac and cheese addict like me, you’ll LOVE this. i promise.

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parmesan basil quinoa
serves 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • basil, i used two leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated + some for garnish

1. use a large saucepan and heat your olive oil over medium-high heat, then add in your onions and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they are translucent. add in your garlic and cook for another minute.

2. rinse your quinoa and add to the saucepan along with the water. let the quinoa cook all the way through, about 15 minutes.

3. add in your salt, peppers, basil, and cheese. mix throughly and i suggest covering the pan and letting it sit for just a minute so the cheese gets a chance to melt.

4. serve hot and garnish with the parmesan! enjoy!

this was absolutely delicious and i didn’t even miss the macaroni! it was creamy and cheese-y and healthy. i could eat this everyday for the rest of the week, that good.

let me know what you think!!

xo, Samantha