Pumpkin Glazed Chicken


70 degrees in October? No complaints here! I took full advantage of that with a little grill + pumpkin action. Traci picked up some pumpkin butter from Trader Joe’s this week and one of the suggested uses on the jar was to use as a poultry glaze. I decided to give it a shot and the pumpkin butter (which is more of a jam consistency than butter) really made my chicken go from ordinary dinner to something that tasted so much fancier!

I also decided to try out this pumpkin cornbread that I mentioned before. It was the perfect fall flavored complement to this meal and was sweet enough to satisfy my dessert craving too! And did you know that pumpkin is really good for you? It’s classified as a superfood!


After the cornbread went into the oven, I got started with the rest of dinner by chopping up some brussel sprouts to roast and followed this recipe from back in May. I honestly only prepare my brussel sprouts (and broccoli) this way because it’s so easy and so good.

Next, I prepared the chicken by sprinkling each breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. I finished them off with some fresh thyme and then put them on the grill, taking VERY careful care to NOT lock myself out this time… Yes, I have been locked out on the back porch not once, but twice while grilling since I moved into my new apartment. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…wait. Well anyway, I will not be fooled a third time. And I will not be forced to ask a stranger to use their cell phone while standing on the sidewalk in front of my apartment in the ugliest slippers you’ve ever seen. {it’s really time for an upgrade from my 9 dollar, 3-year-old Kohl’s slippers…} I double and triple checked that the door knob was not locked before letting the door close behind me this time.


When the chicken came off the grill, I brushed it with the pumpkin butter and sprinkled a bit more fresh thyme on each one.

Then, my friend Tiff and I curled up on the couch with dinner, a glass of wine, and The Wedding Singer. Pretty darn good Wednesday night if you ask me.


We may or may not have went back for seconds (and thirds) of cornbread. Gotta load up on those superfoods😉

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Weekend Catch up

Saturday is so much better than any other day of the week. Even if I take a day off work, it’s not as good as when everyone is off of work. It’s so nice to see people out and about walking dogs, sipping on Starbucks, carrying home groceries, riding bikes and just enjoying the weekend. I like to enjoy the weekend by spending more time than any other day on making my favorite meal of the day– breakfast.


This morning we woke up early to make breakfast for the whole family. We tried these customizable egg muffins from my favorite blogger and they were a success! We used mushroom, onion, spinach, bacon and pepper jack cheese. These really would be a great thing to make on Sunday and enjoy all week long as a quick grab and go breakfast.


Aaaaaand what kind of breakfast would it be without pancakes?? I tried a new recipe for fluffy banana pancakes, and they were honestly the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever made. 

Proof of fluffiness:


Of course we had to add chocolate chips to the pancakes too. These were SO good and will definitely be added to my recipe box to make again soon.


And I had to take a picture of Joseph’s breakfast plate because it was so funny.


I only date guys with impressive appetites😉

Aside from big breakfasts, I’m trying to soak up fall as much as possible.  I  feel like it’s going by so fast! Some things I still want to check off my list this season are:

  • Carve a pumpkin (and roast the seeds of course)
  • Watch Hocus Pocus
  • Make apple crisp
  • Eat a caramel apple
  • Go for a walk in Lincoln Park when the trees have all turned
  • Go to a haunted house
  • Visit a pumpkin farm 

I’m pretty sure I can check these all off in the remaining 13 days of October. What are you doing to make the most of fall?

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Chicken



It has been FAR too long since my last post.  I’ve heard from several “fans” out there that they have been missing it dearly😉 Well, I’m about to make up for lost time and overload this post with my fall favorites today because I’m so happy that it finally feels like fall outside! October is my favorite month of the year and some of the reason for that is that I LOVE fall flavors. (Other reasons include big sweaters, puffy vests, Frye boots, the “Gobbler” burger from DMK available only at Thanksgiving, and cool temps to run in.) To celebrate fall baking season, last week I baked apple pie oatmeal cookies (too healthy, not too delicious,) pumpkin bars (again, good but probably won’t make again,) pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (YUM- recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction) AND last but not least, buttermilk pumpkin muffins with an oat streusel topping (a crowd pleaser- click here for the recipe). The recipe doesn’t call for a topping but I couldn’t imagine eating a muffin without a streusel topping, so I added my own.

IMG_0136Anyway, the other things I love making in the fall include chili and cornbread, anything with squash, and apple desserts. Here are some of my go-to’s.

Chili & Cornbread

Chicken Quinoa Chili by The Girl Who Ate Everything

Corn Bread by Cooking Classy

She also just posted this pumpkin version that I can’t WAIT to try. I’ll definitely be doing that in the next two weeks and I’ll let you know what the verdict is.


Peanut Butter Apple Cookies by Two Peas and their Pod

My Favorite Pumpkin Cookies

Those pumpkin cookies are AMAZING. We make them every year around here. We actually only use half the butter the recipe calls for and replace it with extra pumpkin to make them healthier. (So we use 1/2 cup of butter and 1.5 cups of pumpkin total.) Let me know if you make any of these recipes and enjoy them as much as I do!

You’re probably wondering why I posted a picture of chicken and then started rambling about cookies and corn bread. I get easily distracted by sweets. BUT, I’m also so happy it’s spaghetti squash season again. It’s so easy to make and you can eat a giant bowl of it and feel good about it since, hey, it’s just a vegetable. This week for dinner I made spaghetti squash with garlic roasted chicken, marinara and fresh mozzarella balls. It was easy, healthy, and a good comfort food to snuggle up with on the couch. 

A lot of people are intimidated by cooking spaghetti squash, but I promise it’s actually really easy. The trick is to put the whole squash in the microwave for about 3-5 minutes, depending on how big it is. That way, it’s much easier to cut in half. After it’s microwaved and cut in half, scrape out the seeds, brush olive oil on both sides, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then place cut side down in a pan of about half an inch of water, like below. Roast for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees.


You’ll be able to tell that it’s done if you can easily stick a fork through the skin. See my fork mark on the right side above?

While the squash was roasting, I sliced up three garlic cloves and baked the chicken at 350 for 20 minutes.


Did I mention I love garlic? These slices roasted up into crunchy garlic chips that were a great addition to the dish. Next, I scooped out the “spaghetti” from the squash and layered it with the pasta sauce. I chose a pretty fancy porcini mushroom marinara from Mariano’s that was about 6 bucks (high rollerrrrr,) but the better quality of the marinara was a nice touch.


Then I put some mozzarella balls in there and topped it off with the chicken. I put the dish back in the oven on broil for about 5 minutes so the cheese would melt.

I had leftovers to eat for lunch and it warmed up really well the next day too. Enjoy!

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Walnut-Oatmeal-Coconut-Chocolate Chip Cookies

A mouthful to say and an even bigger mouthful to eat. These cookies are the bomb…If you like chewy, gooey, chocolatey cookies, that is. 

IMG_0122Did I mention that I replaced the butter in these cookies with coconut oil? No butter, plus coconut-y flavor = win win.

While in California recently, my friends and I picked up some pre-hike fuel before we head off into Muir Woods.  One of our snacks were these delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that had coconut and walnuts in them.image1 (3)I knew I needed to try to re-create them, and I also wanted to try to make them slightly less bad for me, hence the omission of butter. The result was pretty good! So good in fact that they may have caused a rift in the apartment of two of the girls pictured above, over who ate the last cookie :) 

IMG_0123Don’t worry ladies, more cookies coming your way soon! Does anyone else feel like they eat more cookie dough than actual cookies? There’s something so irresistible about the dough, no matter how many raw eggs I put in the batter. My mouth is just like, don’t care about salmonella feed me more delicious raw dough…mmmm




P.S. this post is dedicated to my friend Kelly, who recently complained about the lack of cookie recipes on Slammyeats. Kelly, I hear ya and I agree! I’m making it my goal to up my cookie game in the next couple months😉

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Cinnamon Coconut Toasted Almonds

IMG_0109I got home from Northern Wisconsin today after a weekend filled with spotted cow beers, s’mores, bonfires, brats, and loads of chips and candy and was hungry for something nutritious to tide me over until dinnertime.  After a quick survey of the pantry, I found that since we just moved to a new apartment (new Old Town residents!–pictures coming as soon as I’m settled!) we didn’t really have much in the pantry to snack on aside from my ridiculously large supply of almond butter, some crackers, dry cereal and an assortment of nuts.  When I saw the big bag of raw almonds Traci and I picked up at Costco a while ago, I figured today was a great day to try roasting my own nuts! IMG_0103I found some coconut oil, cinnamon, and sugar in the pantry and decided to keep it easy and simple and use these ingredients.  I’ve been on a huge coconut kick lately- I seriously think I’ve missed out on the past 26 years I could have been eating coconut, but didn’t because I thought I didn’t like it.  While I was on vacation in California a couple of weeks ago, I ate some cookies from Whole Foods that had chocolate chunks, walnuts, coconut, and oats in them and they were TO DIE FOR. I will be trying to recreate those babies asap, and when I get it right, I’ll post it here! But that’s for another day. To make these almonds, I just melted 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and then added 1 tsp of cinnamon and 2 tsps of sugar to the oil. Then, I stirred a cup and a half of almonds into the mixture.IMG_0104Then, I spread the nuts out on a cookie sheet and roasted them in the oven at 325 for about 15 minutes.IMG_0105I sprinkled a little more sugar on them right when they came out of the oven, and also sprinkled some shredded coconut flakes on top just to get an extra coconut-y flavor.IMG_0107And that’s it! So easy and so delicious! Plus you get to enjoy your kitchen smelling all cinnamony  and nutty and cozy.🙂

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Turkey Taco Bowls

FullSizeRender (36)Something you never hear people say: “Ehh nah I don’t like Mexican. Guacamole and cheese, no thanks.”  If I ever heard someone say this I’d know right away we wouldn’t be friends.  Conversely, I’m going to California with three girls this week (SO EXCITED) and I had not met one of the girls (Stacy) when I decided to go on the trip with them. We all went to brunch together a couple weeks ago so that I could meet her, and after sitting down at Le Pain Quotidien, Stacy pushes her menu to the side and says that she already read the menu several times that week in anticipation of our brunch and knew what she was going to order.  THANK YOU. I knew right away we’d get along great. 

Anyway, I invited my friend Kelly over for dinner and decided to make this healthy turkey taco bowl because it’s a definite crowd pleaser. Kelly came over just as I was getting home from work, so I put her to work chopping up the veggies and herbs. 


How cute are Kelly’s nails??

Traci got home in time to help too. I think I may have over-delegated because I ended up standing in the kitchen watching the two of them chopping and herb-picking. Oopsie :) 

Once everything was chopped, we sautéed some onions and peppers with this Mexican seasoning. You can use anything similar. 

image2 (1)While the veggies were sautéing, I also browned some ground turkey with a packet of taco seasoning and some water and cooked some quinoa with chicken broth for the base. When the meat was about two minutes away from being done, we added some canned black beans.image3 (1)image1 (1)image3 (2)We layered the quinoa, turkey-bean combo, and veggies, then topped it with guacamole, which I actually purchased pre-made (a weekday shortcut, I admit,) shredded cheese, pico de gallo, and sliced avocados. We had a little “who can make the prettiest bowl” contest during the assembly and Traci won. I chose her bowl for the first picture in this post. Then we curled up on the couch and dug in. It was delicious and extremely filling. Although, not too filling for us to fight over these Molly’s cupcakes immediately after the last bite of taco bowl was consumed.image1 (2)

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Grilled Naan Pizzas

It’s no secret that my favorite food is pizza. And when it comes to pizza, I don’t discriminate. I’ve never had a bite of pizza that I didn’t think tasted delicious. I love thin crust, deep dish, homemade with wheat crust, freezer pizza (even, though I should be embarrassed to admit, the one baked hours ago and sitting on Al and Andie’s counter top,) calzones, pizza bread, you name it. Basically any carb form plus cheese, sauce and toppings and I’m game. Al and I even made a pretty bomb cauliflower crust pizza not too long ago and we loved that too! 

Today’s version of pizza is a perfect summertime rendition. Al and I grilled up these Naan Pizzas on our grill at the lake house to feed all our friends. We had fun making them and choosing different toppings for each one, and I think everyone else had fun eating them too! They also felt light and not greasy..something you can eat in your bathing suit :)

The prep for these was really easy and they’re customizable. Use whatever toppings you like. Since I was the head chef here, we had veggie pizzas, which is always my choice. (Sorry boutcha meat lovers!) Al and I chopped up some yellow and orange bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, arugula, and red onion. We used a blend of shredded asiago cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan. We also added red chili flakes to some of the pizzas to add some heat. For the sauce, we mixed it up and made some of the pizzas using standard pizza sauce, and on others we painted on an olive oil and garlic mixture. Here’s our prep set up outside by the grill:

image2Then we threw the pizzas on the grill over low-medium heat, so we didn’t burn the naan.

image3Then, the troops came running and the slices of pizza were disappearing off the cutting board almost as fast as we could cut it! I’m surprised I got them to pause long enough for me to snap this quick photo. We’ll definitely be adding these quick and easy pizzas into our lake house food rotation. Try em out, you won’t be disappointed! 


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Ombre Birthday Cake!



I LOVE BIRTHDAYS.  Really I love any excuse to eat good food, drink good beer, and bake delicious treats. But birthdays are so fun. I love making people feel special with cake, cupcakes, presents, food, drinks, wishes, candles, sprinkles….I could go on.

A couple years ago, I made Andie a birthday cake and I overfilled the cake tins so chocolate cake overflowed all over the oven during the baking process. Then I had to basically saw each layer into a flat round shape since they puffed up like giant cupcakes while baking. THEN, I was so anxious to frost the cake after I made the homemade butter cream frosting (main ingredient, butter…aka highly susceptible to melting) that I frosted it while the cakes were still kind of warm.  Melty, buttery, slippery frosting between each layer resulted in me juggling the frosting knife and three layers of chocolate cake for about 20 min until I could finally get them to stay put.  It wasn’t the prettiest cake ever.  I decided to make it my goal to be able to bake a better cake. Life skills right there.  I have a long way to go, but this one turned out a lot better than the epic slip n’ slide cake of ’13.  

My friend Kelly and I spent Friday night baking this ombre cake, and also a funfetti cookie cake!

Gimme all the rainbow sprinkles!

Gimme all the rainbow sprinkles!

 I found both recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction. The cake honestly turned out to be probably the best cake I’ve ever made. Our friend Michael took a bite of it on Saturday and asked when he could wife me up. That’s a pretty good reaction right there :)  I decided to put my own spin on Sally’s funfetti layer cake and color the batter to be a pink ombre. To do this, I just put a bit of the batter in three different bowls and used varying drops of pink dye. 


How cute are these tiny little 4″ cake pans I got from amazon?? Obsessed. No one ever eats all that giant birthday cake and this turned out to be a perfect sized cake for us.


Happy Birthday Andie!

Happy Birthday Andie!

After cake time, it was trolley time.  The weather was perrrrrfect. Which was lucky because apparently this is the rainiest June on record. Boo. BUT, on the plus side, three of my high school friends made it on the trolley, one all the way from St. Louis! We basically danced and yelled the words to Fight Song (by Rachel Platten) and Watch me (Whip/Nae Nae) all day.

Kelly, Me, Carolyn, Liz – yep, “ain’t no party like a pizza party”

IMG_6724 (1)


Perhaps we could make this an ombre red, white and blue cake for 4th of July?! I think it would be pretty darn cute if you did!

Weekly Meal Plan Ideas

It’s almost the weekend!! And we’re also on the brink of short week and long weekend for the 4th of July next week! Yay! Summer is flyinggg by so fast! I literally can’t believe I’m already talking about the 4th of July….I guess it’s good and bad. Bad because winter here in Chicago lasts approximately 9 months, but good because it means we’re doing lots of fun stuff. This weekend is my sister’s birthday weekend and we’re going on a trolley during the day on Saturday and grilling out on the roof top of their condo beforehand. I can’t wait for some outside eating and drinking time. It’s what we do best in Chicago😉

With all that’s going on every week, I find it easiest to go into the week with a food plan and get all my grocery shopping and prep done ahead of time. I made a plan and a grocery list for my other half, aka my roommate Traci😉, to take to the store with her this week since I had to work later. I also shared it with my sisters after Al mentioned that she needed to go grocery shopping after work.  I enjoyed getting snap chat pictures from them of all the stuff on the list from this week, so I thought I would share it here too! [I especially liked the snap from her saying the Kung Pao chicken tasted exactly like Chinese food from a restaurant and that she ate a full serving of it hovering over the stove.]  Keep in mind that I left some wiggle room for eating out at night since we have plans during the weeknights and don’t always eat at home. We’ve also got a stockpile of frozen burritos in our freezer from our recent Costco trip because, really, you never can have too many frozen burritos, am I right?




Grocery list


  • 8 bananas
  • Basil
  • 2 avocados
  • Fruit of choice- we bought cantaloupe
  • 2 bags of spinach
  • Romaine
  • Zucchini
  • 1 lemon
  • Parsley
  • Green Onions
  • Green Beans
  • Baby Tomatoes
  • Garlic


  • Italian Chicken Sausage
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast


  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt-flavored for snacking and plain for the chicken salad
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Almond Milk


  • Rolled Oats
  • Granola
  • Almonds
  • Quinoa (Even though I don’t think this is technically a grain)

Pantry Staples

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sesame Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame seeds
  • honey
  • peanuts/cashews (for Kung Pao Chicken)
  • Siracha

About the smoothies… When we make smoothies, we don’t follow a recipe. Typically we just throw what we have in the vitamix and it turns out pretty good. My favorite go-to lately has been a handful of spinach (I swear you can’t even taste them,) half a frozen banana, 1/4 of an avocado (makes the smoothie sooo creamy,) about 1/4 cup of one more frozen fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, or pineapple, 1 cup of almond milk, and a scoop of protein powder. You could leave out the protein powder, but it won’t be as filling.  Even with the protein powder, I typically make overnight oats too and bring them to work to eat as a midmorning snack to get me through until lunch.FullSizeRender (33)This shopping list looks long, but I actually had a lot of this stuff already , so maybe you do too. We didn’t have to buy any of the “pantry staples.” I should also note this plan was for 2 people.  Traci and I each spent about 40 bucks on everything for this week. What. A. Deal. 

Feel free to mix and match if you don’t like something. This is just a guide and a place to start if you’re drawing a blank when it’s time to go to the grocery store for the week. Hopefully this inspires you to plan ahead, prep, and have a healthy week before a 4th of July binge weekend! 

Mediterranean Wrap

IMG_6525If you’re anything like me, counting down the minutes until lunchtime at work is pretty much a daily occurrence.  Let’s be honest, sometimes lunch is my favorite part of the day. If it’s gonna be my favorite part of the work day, I might as well make it something worth looking forward to! There’s nothing fun about pulling out the same boring, unappetizing salad you’ve been eating all week when lunch time rolls around.  I’ve been in a packed-lunch rut lately and I decided I needed to mix things up and turn that around. It’s time to be excited for lunch again! 

Before I dive into what’s inside these lovely wraps, look what my roommate got for our living room!IMG_6526How cute is this?! She got the mirror, end table, and decorations all from HomeGoods. I could get lost in HomeGoods for hours…It’s like my Target. I go in looking for a sheet set to buy and I come out with a cutting board, a ceramic painted muffin plate, an olive oil dispenser, 2 candles, and a glass bowl with a lid to seal it shut. True story..

Anyway… these wraps are so quick and easy to make. Plus, they’re packed with veggies and they’re delicious! I bought spinach wraps from Trader Joes and spread them with kalamata olive hummus, match stick carrots, which typically aren’t in greek salads but I figured they’re convenient and a good way to sneak in some more vitamin A, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, arugula, and kalamata olives my favorite part.) Then I topped it all off with feta cheese and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

The wraps are on the smaller side and I definitely overstuffed mine and couldn’t roll it up like a burrito.. A trick I use in this case is folding the wrap in half, then using aluminum foil, wrap the wrap like a burrito. That way, when you go to eat it, you can just peel back the aluminum foil as you go and it holds everything together.

I also packed a fruit and yogurt parfait and some wheat thins on the side for snacking later. I think the wraps were pretty filling though! I’m just a fan of that 2:30 snack to get me through the afternoon. That, and dove dark chocolate. <3 

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