Thankful Thursday: #KitchenLoveAffair Edition

Sometimes I take things for granted. Like growing up with a mom who taught me how to cook! Thanks Mom! My dad cooks too, and I can remember the whole family in the kitchen for Thanksgiving hand mixing the stuffing (all three of us)…


The padres spent Christmas with me in DC!

So this Thursday I’m thankful that I learned how to cook!

I was reading a few articles recently about the childhood obesity epidemic and one thing from a US News article by Yoni Freedhoff caught my attention…

“I’d argue that the simple act of cooking—a health-preserving life skill—is a skill that risks extinction. In some families, regular home cooking is a phenomenon not seen for three generations.”

When I was in 8th grade we took home-economics, which included a cooking section and a sewing section. I was surprised to learn that most schools (I think mainly due to budget cuts) just don’t have those types of programs anymore because I’m not that old! (or maybe I am but I won’t admit it 😉

And that’s what I hear from people a lot… “I don’t know how to cook!” Now, there are lots of healthy options that need minimal cooking, but how do you learn how to make this…

Black bean, tomato, & quinoa salad on top of a bed of spinach, with a taco seasoned tilapia filet on top (literally took 20 min to make!)

if you grew up eating this one or twice a week…


I really hope this was shared between a few people!

Both are tasty… I’ll admit, but if your tastebuds are hooked on the fats in fast foods, the sugars in soft drinks (it’s really called pop, but that’s for another post), and feeling of being overly-full because of the bloating that usually comes along with processed foods…where do you start on the road to health?

Personally, I think it comes down to prioritizing health over convenience and dedicating time and effort to really learn the basics of cooking (including how to season things so that health food doesn’t equal bland food). Sign up for a cooking class, ask a friend for some lessons (I’ll help you if you want!), or talk to your grandma (believe me… she probably did more cooking than a normal family does nowadays)!

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m no Julia Child! But neither is he…

And, there are still things that I’m scared to cook/bake (pie crusts are the bane of my existence!) But knowing how to cook has allowed me to be able to experiment with new flavors, create Cannellini Bean Ranch Dressing, and be confident in the kitchen with delicious results!

Did you take home-ec when you were in school? What’s the one thing that scares you in the kitchen? 

p.s. I started my cross fit classes this past Tuesday and all I can say so far is… I.can’!


#KitchenLoveAffair (AKA creating Cannellini Ranch Dressing) & #plankadayinMay Challenge

First off…watch tomorrow for some info about #plankadayinMay a challenge to do a plank, any kind each day in May! Sign up through Challenge Loop HERE! I’m working on getting some super sweet prizes for the winners 😉

Second… Happy Monday! Here’s some late afternoon #motivationmonday love…


This quote really holds a dear place in my heart because even though I know I have special skills, I’ve never thought about myself as inherently talented in the sense that I’m not a great athlete or musician…I have no outstanding external talents that make people go ohhhhh ahhhhhh (that’s not a cry for pity… keep reading)

It’s taken me a long time to appreciate all the internal and amazing talents that I DO possess, that everyone possesses! The question is do we use them to benefit the world? Aristotle posits that that’s where we find our vocation (our purpose) and I would argue where we find true, passionate joy. Part of my joy comes from my #kitchenloveaffair

minnie cooking

This past Saturday I spent about 2 hours in my beloved Minnie Mouse apron prepping for the week to come with pretty awesome results! I’ll share the most absurd and highly creative of the recipes now, but I roasted some veggies, made quinoa burgers, pecan sandies cookies, oat bars, kiwi dressing, and…

brocc soupSuper Easy Broccoli Soup


  • 1 head broccoli (cut into florets)
  • Cheyenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Water to boil broccoli
  • Chicken/veggie broth

Place the broc in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Allow to boil until you can stick a fork through the stems. Remove brocc placing it in a blender with the spices, a few cups of the water you used boil it, and a squeeze of lemon juice. NOTE: you could use broth to blend the soup for added flavor but either way, it tastes super fresh!

In the pic above I stirred some pre-cooked quinoa into the soup to make it a #powerbowl combo of veggies and protein.

I also made the most absurd sounding and amazing recipe I’ve ever created entirely on my own!

                                                                              Cannellini Ranch Dressing


  • 1 can (15oz) cannellini beans, drained and throughly rinsed
  • 1tsp dried parsley
  • 1tsp black pepper (more if you want a peppercorn ranch flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4C almond milk (or use regular milk if you’re not #dairyfree)
  • drizzle of EVOO

Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse a few times. Then start to drizzle EVOO into the top of food processor until you have the consistency you desire. It’s not exactly like ranch, but it is a darn good substitute for dressing that actually adds protein and healthy carbohydrates to your meal! You’re welcome!

What the craziest thing you’ve ever created in the kitchen? 

And p.s…I also may have spent the vast majority of my Sunday trying to complete this…