Thursday, December 1, 2011

Good Stuff- Easy Chicken Noodle Soup & Pintrest!

Well, our little dude is officially THREE MONTHS OLD! How did that happen? Everyone tells you how fast it will all go- and once you get into it, it's more than true- time = ZOOM.
Of course it's also the armpit of cold & flu season which is EXTRA magical when you have a newborn. We're staying well and relentlessly washing hands over here, but the other night my husband was a little congested and using stuff I had on hand I made us chicken noodle soup for dinner - it was so freakin quick, easy and good that I had to post it!
You can use rotisserie chicken from the grocery store OR any leftover turkey you may have on hand after a holiday meal!

In a big stock pot melt 1-2 T butter.
Add 1/2 a white or yellow onion (chopped), 2-3 stalks of celery (chopped), 2 carrots (chopped).
Saute until the onions are opaque- like 5 minutes.
Add 32oz low-sodium chicken broth, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil (aprox measurements- just shake some in!) a pinch of chili flakes, salt & pepper.... and cook, stirring occasionaly on med-high heat for about 10 minutes- until it boils....meanwhile- boil water in a medium sauce pot and add 2 cups uncooked corkscrew pasta to boiling water to par-boil. Only let it boil for about 6 minutes- so you can finish cooking it in the soup and it can absorb the chicken broth goodness.
Drain the pasta and add it and 2 cooked grocery-store rotisserie chicken breasts (shredded)- to the boiling soup pot, let boil about 4 minutes- until pasta is tender.
Ladle into bowls to cool, serve with some yummy crusty bread and feel better SOON!!

As my updates are a little few and far between these days, you can also find me on PINTEREST now for daily ideas and inspiration! (It's easier to do that with one hand while nursing a bebe!) I'll add this little reminder to my updates through December so you can click the link below to find me and follow along! If you are not on Pinterest but would like to be feel free to email me your email and I will send you an invite!

Sweet Life Kitchen (Beth Griffin/ Our Sweet Life) on Pintrest

Thursday, November 24, 2011

HAPPY THANKSGIVING- Butternut Squash & Potato Goodness

We are thankful for SO much this year- especially THIS:

Our son Logan will be 3 months old in a few weeks and has been keeping me VERY busy. We've still been cooking though, thank goodness Nate is amazing in the kitchen and also a diaper changing wiz!
Here is a fabulous Fall/Thanksgiving side dish that is easy, inexpensive and incredibly delicious!!!

Combine 2lbs fingerling potatoes (we used the tri-color, but had eaten all the purple ones before I snapped a pic!), 1 peeled, seeded, diced butternut squash, 2  chopped bulbs of fennel, 4-6 chopped cloves of garlic, 1 small chopped shallot & a small bunch of green onion chopped on a baking sheet covered in foil. Drizzle with olive oil and add a 2 T of butter diced up into little bits.
Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes until potatoes & squash are cooked through.

Hope you had a FABULOUS Thanksgiving!!

We sure did....

Friday, September 30, 2011

October Giveaway! Happy Halloween MONTH!!!

We're hosting a giveaway this month for our Facebook FANS!!
Nate and I both LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Halloween, we go 110% full "in the spirit" tilt.
We'll be sharing our favorite party recipes here all month long to get you in the SPIRIT, so stay tuned and enjoy the creeeepy goodness!!
Be sure to visit our Facebook Fanpage and join up to participate in our Halloween-tastic October giveaway!!


Here's a hint to what we'll be giving away:

Martha, Martha, Martha!!
I don't know about you, but for me, if there is only ONE "Martha" thing you do, it's the annual Halloween Handbook, because it never  will never disappoint.
This is going to be the theme of this giveaway- so hop on over to our Facebook page and scope it out!

Oh! And while you are hip-hopping all over the interwebs- check out this AWESOME blog to get you in the mood for the Halloween Holiday!

Vintage Halloween Collector

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cold Cous Cous Salad

So clearly being in the final 4 weeks of my first pregnancy has made me a little obsessed with making cold side dishes...and eating Popsicles.
I'd wanted to try some sort of cous cous, veggie, feta combo for a while and this actually came out exactly as I was hoping!
Just like the White Bean Salad, this was very, very easy to make- and also like the white bean salad this made enough to make it a great "take-to-BBQ" or general entertaining recipe. It'd be really yummy alongside grilled salmon.

2 boxes cous cous, prep according to package directions (they have it next to the Rice-A-Roni & such...or if you have a large dry goods container of it make enough for 8 servings- very easy...)
Let cooked cous cous cool.

In a large bowl combine;
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 a red onion, chopped
1 small-med red bell pepper, chopped
1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
12-15 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
add a few handfuls (probably about 3/4 of a cup) crumbled fat-free feta cheese
Drizzle with olive oil
Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon
Toss in the cous cous, add salt & pepper to taste

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight, serve cold.

Any guesses as to when the little guy is coming? Yours is as good as mine.....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer-y White Bean Salad

It's HOT!!! ....and our baby is due in 4 days....I didn't realize how antsy I'd be in this "home stretch". My pregnancy has been AWESOME, time flew, I didn't even notice the weeks screamin' by! Now, I'm so excited to meet our son, it's hard not to count the minutes. Also, I'm startin' to FEEL it, can't tie a shoe, sleep is laughable, and it takes me a million years to do stuff!
However, the best thing for me has been to keep busy, so I gotta keep that up right up till go-time (which is SOON, I hope...)
We made some fun plans to eat with friends last Friday night. They've been amazing and keep inviting us over for dinner, which has been such a blessing for us- I still always want to bring something, but with the temps sizzlin and the extra lbs I'm hauling around these days, baking is out of the question for a bit.

I decided to make my version of this white bean salad to keep it cool, budget-friendly and SUPER EASY to make (standing in the kitchen with my puffy feet is no bueno, so I have to make stuff that has sitting breaks, or make stuff that I can bust out FAST, I prefer the latter)

In a large bowl combine
2 15oz cans white beans (drained, rinsed and patted dry)
1 15oz can sweet corn (drained & rinsed)
1/2 a red onion, chopped
1/2-3/4 of a cucumber chopped (you can peel it or not- totally up to you, I did not...)
a couple handfuls of arugula
Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze the juice o12/ to 3/4 of a lemon
Sprinkle w/ salt, add some cracked black pepper and stir up with a big spoon.

Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours, serve cold.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Since I'm not baking- go to (fonuts)!!

With the baby due in just a week and the temps topping 90 degrees outside, I have no desire to turn on my oven these days.
Lucky for me a new sweet-stop opened just in the nick of time!
(fonuts) are steam-baked donuts, the delicious creation Waylynn Lucas, genius pastry chef. She and business partner Nancy Truman opened the shop last week on 3rd street in West Hollywood...right near Bar Method, so I knew I'd have to get over and try it before the baby came!
Following along on twitter I'd been reading the buzz and it sounded like it was going to be awesome, then the first day they sold out- FAST. So I made sure to get there on the second day as early as I could, which due to a doctor's appointment was about an hour and a half after they opened.

The space is inviting and beautiful- a little vintage stove sits to the side for a coffee fixin's station and there's plenty of room for the long lines they are sure to have going forward.
The ONLY downside to my visit was that they were already out of Hawaiian, P.B. & J, chorizo, Maple Bacon and Glazed- all flavors I'm very excited to try on my next trip there.
I got a strawberry, a lemon, a rosemary, a gluten free chocolate-hazelnut, a banana chocolate and a cinnamon-sugar. I'm on maternity leave but still taking class, so I took the box down to Bar Method to share with my fellow teachers so we could all have a fun taste-test and compare favorites. Also, so I wouldn't eat the whole box on my own after I took class.

I also got an iced decaf latte- they've got great note- I'm so used to going to Coffee Bean or making it myself, I ordered just like that "iced, decaf, late." didn't make any milk indication and it was WHOLE milk- so I couldn't really drink it because that is INTENSE. Totally my bad though, I'll be sure to be specific next time.
The overall favorite was the lemon- it's super zingy, REAL lemon flavor and the glaze is delicious. I also loved the chocolate hazelnut- it was super moist and had a deep, rich chocolate yumminess.
The strawberry was the sleeper/surprise. I wasn't sure I'd like that one and wish I'd ordered three of them- again REAL strawberries, freshness, oh, so delicious.
We didn't meet a (fonut) we didn't like, so I am very excited to go back and try their other flavors.
I got a little flyer/menu to add to our "take-to-the-hospital" folder so I can send someone for coffee & (fonuts) next week (or the week after) when I'm snuggled up with my newborn son.

Wishing (fonuts) all the best and sold-out success for a long time to come! Welcome to the fabulous 3rd Street area, I'm thrilled you're there and glad I can always go burn it off with a Bar Method class.

(fonuts) is located at 8104 West 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90048
I believe their hours next week will be 7am-7pm
Follow along @fonuts on twitter for all the latest info!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bad Blog Mommy!!

Oh, my sweet dear little blog, how I've forsaken you!!!
Apparently being pregnant and baking up sweets and teaching and enjoying every second of this gorgeous summer have left me little time to blog it up. Shame on me!!

The pregnancy has been going great, but with 6 1/2 weeks left until baby is due, I'm definitely feeling a little more tired & achy than usual. BUT, we're still in full-on fun-food mode and I should try to get here more often to share that with you guys!!

Lately, it's allllll about quick & easy. I pretty much get stuck on a simple snack that I make myself every day for a week or two, then move on to my new favorite.
These aren't "recipes" but more little inspiration posts that I'll try to get done more than every 3 months, lol, let's hope.
I know I'm gonna need some quick, easy, healthy ideas for when I've not slept at all but need to eat, right?

This is so easy it's crazy, it's delicious and really good for you!!

Piece of whole wheat toast, topped with low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese & a sliced avocado (1/2).
Add cracked black pepper or balsamic vinegar if you want to.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chili Delayed

I wrote this post over a month ago when the weather was crazy, now summer has settled into LA and the sun is shining bright!! Still, slow-cooked, full-of-flavor chili is a fabulous dish if you're headin' to a bbq or cook-off anytime soon (or want a SUPER easy crock-pot dinner to save some time so you can make more out of a longer day).....ENJOY! (and enjoy reading my old post to take you back to a colder time or bookmark it for later in the year! LOL!)

Oh Boy, there was some RAIN on Sunday, big, torrential rain. We had to cancel dinner in OC because the 405 had zero visibility, insane wind and every crazy nut driver you've ever seen- after 5 minutes on the freeway and almost getting sideswiped twice- we pulled right off the exit, turned around and went HOME.
Sooooo, what do you do when the weather gets crazy and cold and not fit for hangin' about outdoors? Bust out the crock pot and make some spicy chili OF COURSE!

I love this recipe for trips to Mammoth too- it's super quick and easy to prep- like get the coffee pot percolatin' mix up the chili, throw it in the crock pot and head for the lift lines while dinner gets itself ready for ya! Then, after an exhaustingly fabulous day of braving the cold out on the slopes, you come back to a hot delicious dinner- perfect to serve in individual bread bowls if you can find em- or over a baked potato, or alongside some corn bread and a giant salad!

Here's how to make it happen....lots of notes below because we like it with some HEAT, so if you prefer a more mild chili- read on, it's all there.

1 lb ground beef, browned & drained (if you are in a mad rush you can skip the browning- ONLY if you use EXTRA LEAN beef or turkey- not to exceed 5% fat), the browning & draining is mostly to cook the fat off the meat so your chili's not swimmin in it.
1 pkg/ about 1lb Beef for Stew, steak already cut into 1-2 inch cubes
1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 of a finely chopped red onion
1/2 tsp cyanne pepper (you can do 1/4 for a little less spice)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
1 finely chopped jalapeño pepper 
(I don't know about your market, but ours has GIANT jalapeños these days- so weird!- so I use   about 3/4 of one of the gigant-O jalapeno peppers- and leave some of the membrane in there for heat- be sure to get all the membrane and seeds OUTTA there if you don't want that kick....I chop the other 1/4 to garnish the chili later!)
1 15oz tomato sauce 
1 1lb 12oz can diced tomatoes, not drained
salt & pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl & stir with wooden spoon until well combined. 
Pour into crock pot. 
Cook on low for 7 1/2 to 8 hours.

See above for a few various serving suggestions & try to stay warm as we welcome the first week of SPRING!!!!! 

Sunday, April 24, 2011


As you may have seen earlier last week on Facebook, I have been counting down the minutes to making Kitchen Runway's easy and amazing Peanut Butter Egg Brownies.
Nate and I had fun making these together last night and we anticipate even more fun eating them after our ravioli feast this evening!!
Hope you all have a Happy Easter an a beautiful Sunday!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sweet Giveaway!!!!

Hi Sweet Life readers!! I know, I owe you some recipes- and I'll get to that, I promise...growing this little baby and keeping the virtual bakery boomin has been keepin this mama-to-be pretty busy! 

Today, I'm comin atcha with a GIVEAWAY!!!! Yup- FREE SWEETS!!!!!

It's just requires a few simple clicks and you'll have a chance to WIN 24 of our signature Brownie Bites that are ooey-gooey-irresistible!

Our friends the Villa Family are in a tough spot! Dad just lost his job and they need to move in just a few weeks to a whole new state!!! I don't know about you, but I've been driving as little as possible these days with gas prices climbing every second. They have a chance to win a $500 gas card that would REALLY help them get through this big road trip!

Help the Villa's with their big move by going HERE: 

Click that link above and LIKE Angela's adorable photo!! Then add the comment "Sweet Life Kitchen" under the photo.

That's all you've got to do!! Once you've "liked" the photo & posted the comment you are entered to win the Brownie Bites!!!

Please share this with anyone and everyone, the contest runs through April 20th at 11am so GET CLICKIN!!!! We'll announce the winner on Friday the 22nd but you have to LIKE and COMMENT before 11am on the 20th to qualify.

For the Villa's to win you must LIKE the photo in the link above, on the Brads Deal's FB page, not anywhere else!! Post comments here with any questions!!!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Light n' Yummy Summer Potato Salad

Recently my fabulous friend Candy (of pepperoncini crock pot beef fame) recently sent me a link to a really cool website that I want to share with you guys!
It's called Tight Bod With A Pod . Which made me giggle followed by LOTS of smiles when I clicked the link.
As many of you know I am an instructor at The Bar Method, and fitness/taking great care of myself is really important to me. As you may not know, we're expecting our first little one this year!! So I been extra diligent with exercise and eating well.

After perusing the work outs, which I will definitely be using, you know I went straight to the FOOD section!
When we first found out about the baby, I had no idea all the stuff we preggos are supposed to avoid, it's quite a list!!
Of course, it's all per your personal discretion, but this is my first baby, so as my husband puts it, I'm "over-informed and dangerous". (I think if he hears me ask one more restaurant if the cheese on something is pasteurized he's gonna implode)
All joking aside, he's been an amazing support and is taking AMAZING care of me and our growing baby.

This potato salad recipe was REALLY attractive to me for lots of reasons.
#1 being NO MAYO (the sub-reasons for that being great are- LIGHTER, preggo-friendly, and PERFECT FOR SUMMER PICNICS!!!)
I always want to take potato salad to BBQs or pool parties in the summer, but when it's 80 + degrees out the idea of something drowning in mayo sitting outside makes me queasy just typing it. ( and that ain't morning sickness!)

Here is the link to the orignal recipe on TBWAP it's called Game-Day Potato Salad.

I did what I so often do with recipes I find online- read it once then improvised from memory, then re-read it AFTER I finished and went- oh, missed that step! OOPS!

So here's what I did, and I gotta say, I loved it and will be making this all through my huge, giant, rapidly expanding SUMMER!!

6 red potatoes
1 med-large jalapeño
1 large red bell pepper (go to Trader Joe's for this- it was freakin $2.79 for ONE at Ralph's which is insane)
1/3 of a red onion
1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed *
1 15 oz can of sweet corn, drained and rinsed --(* do rinse the canned items, you'll be glad for it, the whole salad will taste better!!)
1/3 -1/2 of a LARGE BUNCH of cilantro
2 limes
Salt, pepper, olive oil

Warsh the potatoes and place them in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let the potatoes simmer & cook about 15 minutes.
While the potatoes are cookin', get out a large bowl. Put the corn and black beans in the bowl, wash and finely dice the jalapeño and red bell pepper. (if you like a little more heat leave the membrane in the jalapeño, if you prefer it mild, remove all seeds and the membrane)
Add the jalapeño and bell pepper to the corn n beans.
Dice up 1/3 of the red onion and add that into the mix as well.
Rinse the cilantro and remove the leaves from the stems- chop up and add to the mix.
When the potatoes are finished cookin- take one (the biggest one) and cut it in half, make sure it's firm, but cooked through and not raw in the middle). If it's all good, pour the hot water out and place the pot in the sink, run cold water over the potatoes for a few minutes.
When they are cool enough to handle, chop each potato into pieces- if they're bigger (like the size of the palm of your hand) about 12 piece per potato (cut em in half, then make 2 cuts on each half so each halfa potato makes 12 pieces. (if they're smaller just make 4-6 pieces from each potato- you want each piece to be bite size)
The potatoes will be hot inside so put em on a plate and let them cool all the way, like 10-15 minutes.
When the taters are cool, add them in with everything else. Slice the two limes in half and add the juice of both limes to the bowl. Drizzle about 1-2 table spoons of olive oil over it all, then add a few big pinches of salt (1-2 tsp) and some fresh cracked black pepper. Use a big wooden spoon or big spatula to gently toss it all together. Cover and refrigerate at LEAST 1 hour, the longer it chills out the better- it's awesome after a 24 hour chill!!.

Happy picnicking!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bakery Closed 2/17-2/21

Hi guys!

We are in need of a little rest, so the bakery will be closed while we re-energize for SPRING for a long weekend this weekend!
We will be

CLOSED Thursday Feb 17- Monday 2-21, back in the kitchen Tuesday 2-22-10

I will still be checking my email periodically during this time, so if you have any orders or other inquires please feel free to shoot me an email at info(at), but be patient as I will not be on the computer all day, so it may take 24 hours for me to return your email.

Have a great weekend!!!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spring 2011 Cake Pop Flavors

So sorry for the delay in posting a list of our featured flavors for Spring 2011!!
Of course, as you know, with cake pops- creativity is the name of the game- so know that we are open to working with you on a custom confection to make the pop of your dreams!

* For Valentine's Day orders the available flavors are Chocolate Heaven and Velvet Bliss only.

Chocolate Heaven (Chocolate cake with a caramel pecan coconut filling- dipped in chocolate)

Velvet Bliss (Red Velvet cake, cream cheese frosting, dipped in vanilla coating)

Marvelous Marble (yellow cake, chocolate fudge ganache frosting, dipped in chocolate)

Party Confetti (white cake, sprinkles in the cake, vanilla frosting- dipped in chocolate or vanilla)

Cookies N Cream (chocolate or white cake, crushed cookies & vanilla frosting dipped in chocolate)

Coconut Paradise (coconut cake, dipped in chocolate)

Caribbean Carrot (Carrot cake, cream cheese frosting, dipped in vanilla coating)

Chocolate Citrus Vegan (vegan citrus (orange, lemon or lime) cake- vegan vanilla frosting, dipped in vegan chocolate)

Candy Bar Madness (chocolate cake, crushed candy bar, chocolate frosting, dipped in chocolate)

Saturday, January 29, 2011



Here's a bit of info regarding the Sweet Life Kitchen Sweet shop that may be helpful!

Q: How do I place an order?

A: The easiest way is to email us! info(at)
Please include the date you need your order, weather you will be picking up or prefer info on delivery/shipping options, the type of sweet you are interested in and the approximate quantity. We do our best to return all inquiries with in 1 business day of receipt, but almost always get back to you the same day whenever possible! You can also call and leave a message for Beth at 310-989-1521, with all the same info as above, be sure to include your first and last name and repeat your phone number TWICE, also feel free to leave an email address in your message.

Q: Where is the shop and what are your hours?

A: Our kitchen is located in Culver City, CA. At the moment we do not have an actual store-front, but don't let that stop you!! We offer delivery options through out Los Angeles, the valley and Orange County as well as pick up in Culver City.

Our HOURS are Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:00pm Saturday 10am-2pm, we are closed on Sundays (unless you have consulted with us and coordinated a special event order) and do not check or return emails on Sunday, just a heads up!
We are closed select Holidays as well, and various times throughout the year when we take vacation, so we can refresh and be even better and bringing you the sweetest sweets- become a fan on our Facebook page, we will always announce upcoming closures via Facebook, and a post here on the blog as well.

Q: Do you ship?

A: Yup. We do.
We ship the cake pops and the brownie bites, for now the pie pops are a locals-only SoCal treasure.
Since we are a just-getting-going biz, our shipping rates are still not what we'd like them to be. Because our product is perishable we must send it via overnight service. The most economical so far has been through the USPS which ranges from $16-$28. We're hoping to get a negotiated rate with UPS or FedEx so we can pass the better pricing on to you! Stay tuned!!

Q: What if I have a BIG order, like more than 5 dozen cake pops, do you do that?

A. Most definitely! We'll consult with you and go over all the details of your event and customize a confection perfect for your special occasion! Please email us for more info on special events.

MORE QUESTIONS???? Email us!! info(at)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Be Mine....True Love....XOXO...UR HOT

I love those little conversation hearts that come around every year at Valentine's day- they crack me up!!

Here in the Sweet Life Kitchen, we're getting ready to fill LOTS of super sweet Valentine's Day orders.
Our featured flavors are Chocolate Heaven (Devil's Food cake with caramel, coconut, pecan filling- dipped in chocolate) and Velvet Bliss (red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting- dipped in vanilla coating)

Here are a few shots from our Valentine's Day Cake Pop Photo Shoot:

Order space is filling up FAST, so if you are interested in placing an order for you or your sweetheart, email us ASAP info (at)


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pepperoncini Crock Pot Beef

Ok, let's be REALLY honest here.......I scarfed this one down too fast to snap a pic. It's THAT good.
So, I force you to drool over jewelry instead of beef, while I tell you a little about this, one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE crock pot recipes.....

Unless this is your first visit to my blog you already know I LOVE MY CROCK POT!!!

I posted this recipe back in 2008 when it was first given to me by my dear friend Candy, who designs stunning necklaces~ scope out her site: J.Sky Designs.

We'll be doing a trunk show together this spring in Los Angeles, sweet treats and spectacular jewelry make for some super fun shopping! Stay tuned for that.

Anyhow, since it'd been quite some time, and I now have a new, full-size crock pot and have developed a recent OBSESSION with pepperoncinis, I though it appropriate to re-post about this yummy dish, anew. Minus the photo, sorry folks, it was SOooooooooo good!!!!

As with most crock pot recipes (hence my love for the contraption) this is VERY easy, full of flavor and makes a fantastic Sunday dinner.

1 Tri Tip Roast
1 can of beef consume
1 12oz bottle of beer
2 jars of pepperoncini peppers with the liquid
1 packet of All Seasons Italian dressing mix

Add all of the above to the crock pot, cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

BAM. That's it.

This is a REALLY FLAVORFUL dish, it's definitely got a bit of kick, so I served it with a mixed greens salad  and baked sweet potato on the side- for a cool/sweet compliment to the lil'bit-o-heat.

I hope you love it as much as we did :o) If you make it, do me a favor and take a photo for me, share it on our Sweet Life Kitchen Facebook page!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Turkey Meatball New Year Soup

Maybe this will make up for the temptation-tastic Prime Rib post! I know that January is a time to start fresh and be the best we can be in hopes of a fabulous year ahead.

I made some BIG decisions last year and managed to accomplish every single one of my 2010 goals! One of those was becoming an instructor at The Bar Method in Los Angeles.

I've been obsessed with Bar classes since 2008 and not only have they completely changed my body (being a baker and still able to fit in the jeans I wore on the flight to Tahiti for our honeymoon is no easy fete) but it's a really amazing head-clearer.
It's one of those exercises that you feel AMAZING after every class, and I wanted part of my life to be sharing that expereince with others. After lots of studying, co-teaching and practice classes, I taught my first class of my own in August of 2010. I love teaching just as much as I love taking classes at Bar Method!

Part of my stay-healthy plans for 2011 include making sure I continue to take at least 3 or 4 Bar classes every week, and to eat TONS of veggies! You know I LOVE meat, but nothing keeps the booty in check like making sure to get 5 servings of fruits/veggies every day.

For our first dinner of 2011, I wanted to make a yummy, healthy soup. I picked up some Jenni-O ground turkey, a can of white beans, an onion and a big bunch of kale. My cupboard ALWAYS has Swanson chicken broth in it- so I was pretty much set.

I highly reccomend this, even if you're not so sure you like kale, or know even know what it is.

Turkey Meatball Kale Soup

1 lb ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs
1 large egg
basil, oregano, chili flakes, salt, pepper
crushed garlic
32 oz Swanson chicken broth
1 large bunch of kale, washed, patted dry with a paper towel and chopped up
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 can of white beans

In a large bowl mix the turkey, bread crumbs, and egg. Add the basil & oregano (just shake a bunch on top of the turkey) add a pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper. Add 2 tablespoons crushed garlic. I like it a little spicy so I added a few dashes of dried chili flakes.
Mix the turkey etc all up with your hands and roll into walnut-sized meatballs. Put the meatballs on a plate and
heat a large skillet, medium-low heat. Spray the skillet with non-stick spray and add the meatballs- brown the meatballs on each side- don't worry about cooking them through just get a good sear on all sides of each ball- put the browned turkey meatballs on a clean plate.
In a large stock pot heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat and add 3 tablespoons of crushed garlic and the chopped onion. Simmer& stir 3-5 minutes. Add the meat balls and pour in the chicken broth, raise the heat to medium and sprinkle in oregano, basil, pepper and a few dashes of th chili flakes (if you want a little kick). Drain, rinse and add the white beans, stir in the kale and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer 45 minutes.
This makes about 6-8 servings- so it's a good one to make if you need dinner for two nights in a row!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Prime Rib Christmas Dinner

In contrast to my vegan baking post, here's one that's all about the MEAT. Prime rib, a favorite guilty pleasure. I am not sure if I love prime rib because I love prime rib or because I LOVE horseradish...either way, love it.
A few years ago we had a New Year's Eve dinner party and made prime rib for friends, and thought that would perfect for our Christmas dinner this year. As luck would have it, Christmas week was super-sale-on-prime-rib's not a cheap dinner to make, most of the time, and it's definitely not health food- so it's worth the once-in-a-while splurge. Lucky for us it was seriously like HALF off at the market. You want about 1.5 lbs per person, you'll have plenty for all and some leftover for next day steak & eggs.

You are going to want to line a baking pan with LOTS of foil, then rub the meat down with the herb rub and cover with plastic wrap to refrigerate for 3 hours to overnight.

Here's what you need to make the rosemary rubbed prime rib, mushroom & onion gravy w/ mashed baked potatoes & side of green beans~

Prime Rib
Fresh Rosemary
Kosher Salt
Olive Oil
15oz beef broth
1 sweet onion
big handful of mushrooms chopped
4 large potatoes
Sour cream
Green onion
Green beans
1 lemon

Herb Rub
Mix about 1/4 cup of kosher salt with 1/8 (or a bit more) cup black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (If you buy one of those plastic containers of fresh rosemary at the market 1 container chopped is perfect (set aside 1/2 a sprig or a few T of the choppings for your gravy)- and 2 tablespoons olive may not use all of it, but mix it all up in a medium bowl and then use your hands to cover the meat in the rub.

As stated above, I say it twice because I have a tendency to miss details like this and then have a gnarly time crunch to be clear- rub the meat down, cover it in plastic wrap AND REFRIGERATE FOR A MINIMUM OF 3 HOURS (or overnight).

After the meat is done chillin- Pre-heat the oven to 325 and cook for about 20-25 minutes per pound depending on how well done you like it. Nate and I like our prime rib (and steaks and everything along those lines) medium rare, so that's how I rocked it.
Check out this link for a table of meat temperatures ~ MEAT TEMP CHART

When ours was around 125 degrees, I took it out of the oven, let it sit in the pan for about 7 minutes, then removed it to a carving platter for a 15 minute rest.

Don't forget the horseradish!!!

While the meat was cookin' away I took a skillet and chopped up a whole sweet onion and let it caramelize on low heat for about 45 minutes, at about 30 minutes I added some sliced mushrooms and then set them on a plate to the side....when the prime rib was done I added 2 T flour and 2 T butter to the skillet- stir over low heat until butter is fully melted and combined with the flour- the mixture should be smooth and thick. Add about 15 oz of beef broth and about 1/4 cup of the drippings from the roast.
Add the onions and mushrooms and keep stirring on  low heat, add a bit of water if the gravy gets too thick.

Mashed Baked Potatoes-
This makes for easy, peasy mashed potatoes; Clean- puncture and foil-wrap 1 baked potato per person (this will make PLENTY)
While the prime rib is baking (for the last hour) put the foil wrapped potatoes on the bottom shelf of the oven.
Remove when you remove the roast- toss them in a large bowl and using a potato masher- add a few tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup sour cream and chopped green onions, mash and mix- skins and all.
Add a little milk or cream if they seem dry.

For the green beans-
Wash them, remove the tips and steam lightly so they are just cooked but still have a snap- add a bit of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.