40 minute meals….

Because 30 minute meals or less is just plain impossible for me….all that pressure, I’m sorry Rachel Ray!

Two days out of the week, I have night classes after work. Two days out of the week, I cook for the mister and I. I have been making meals that are light, fresh, easy, no fuss, and under 40 minutes.

Here’s what I’ve been making:

Pita bread pizzas – My favorite quickie! Very easy and there are just so many variations.

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Quesadillas – Who doesn’t love a good quesadilla? This was a chicken quesadilla with a mango salsa.

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Spaghetti and homemade meatballs in under 40 minutes?! Totally possible!

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Pesto pasta with chicken – I love stocking up on pesto whenever we go to Trader Joe’s! The pesto sauce can also be used on pita bread to make pita pizzas.

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Spicy sesame noodles – One of my favorites from Pioneer Woman! I love pairing this with oven roasted veggies.

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Salads with a simple vinaigrette and homemade croutons – A great way to revive day old bread is to turn them into croutons! My favorite vinaigrettes at the moment are balsamic and lemon Dijon.

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I even like to throw in some chicken in my salads!

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And lots more pita bread pizzas

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What are some of your favorite 40 minute or less recipes?

xoxo, kat

Weekend || Kentucky Derby, Pineapple Pie, Potato Balls

Hmmm where do I even begin?!

This was such a wonderful weekend filled with so much love, excitement, and happiness.

On Saturday, we went to the Santa Anita Race Tracks to watch the Kentucky Derby and enjoy food trucks and live music. The last time we went there was for the Santa Anita Derby. I picked the winning horse, California Chrome, and the Santa Anita Derby. When I found out that he would be racing at the Kentucky Derby, I knew I had to place bet. I just have a feeling about that horse!

Well guess what guys?! He won the Kentucky Derby!!!! I had no doubts! I put my money on him for the win. It was so exciting watching him race. I would love to go to the Kentucky Derby one day! I’m sending all my positive vibes to California Chrome! I hope he wins the Triple Crown. PS, I am naming our first dog California Chrome after my beloved colt.

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We also enjoyed some lobster rolls from Cousins Maine Lobster (of Shark Tank fame). This was the Maine Lobster Roll. It is served cold with mayo. Not exactly my favorite but was good nonetheless. Next time, I will get the Connecticut Lobster Roll. That’s serve warm with lemon butter. Mmmmmm.

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We also had nachos from the nacho truck! Very good!!

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We had such a blast! That night I premade a pie because we ended up going out to dinner. I love that! Unplanned. No worries. Just living and enjoying life how we want to :)

We ended up having dinner at my favorite BBQ place, Wood Ranch. It’s a little ironical, but I don’t really order meat or BBQ there. I always order the chopped BBQ salad with tri-tip. It is just so yummy!!

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And Sunday was a baking and family day!

I spent the morning baking a pineapple pie for his dad – it’s his favorite kind of pie and the last time he ate it was years ago! I found a recipe from the 1950s on Pinterest. It was very easy and quick to make, and surprisingly very good! His dad loved, his mom loved it, and he loved it. It was a major success :)

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We had a very yummy late breakfast made by his mom. Yes, that’s bacon! I haven’t had bacon in months!!!

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We are on a fitness kick! This week I worked out 5 days (with 3 straight days in a row!) and he works out almost everyday of the week. With that said, we have also been eating healthy (lots if soups this week) and only “treat ourselves” on the weekends.

This weekend’s indulgence, my chocolate chip cookies! I use to bake these cookies for us all the time! I forgot how good they were!

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I have a bag full of cookies to bring to work :)

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Before heading home, we made one last stop to Porto’s for potato balls! Every time we visit his parents, we always try to stop by Porto’s for some potato balls and treats.

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This time, I picked up a few extra potato balls for my dad. He loved them!

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Their guava smoothie is my favorite drink!

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We ended the night with a gym date :)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

xoxo, kat

Where do I even begin…

It has been months since I last written anything…my last recipe post was way back in February (Srirachi + honey glazed chicken thighs).

What have I been up to? A lot. I am back in school!! I never thought I would ever go back, never. Once I graduated from my masters program, I always told myself that was it. But when the opportunity presented itself, I thought about it long and hard and I am glad I decided to go back. I started school near the end of February and go to classes twice a week at night after work. I’m working towards an accounting degree…something my dad has always wanted me to pursue. Let’s just say, that he’s happy :)

With school and work, the days just fly by (some fly slower than others lol) and before I realized it, we are entering May. Where has the time gone?! I have about less than 6 weeks of school left before my first semester comes to an end, then a few days after it will be my birthday and our big special 5 year anniversary.

I’m looking forward to summer days at the beach, museum trips, hopefully some Dodger games, and our end of summer concert (we’re going to the Eminem and Rihanna concert!!) at the Rose Bowl in August.

Until then, here are some pics of our fun food adventures and unplanned misadventures I want to share with you…

I went on my first trip to Big Bear! It was so much fun! And a few weeks after my first, I actually ended back at Big Bear for work. This time, I was able to pick up fudge at the the North Pole Shoppe for my family and co-workers.

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I also went to Lake Arrowhead! It is so beautiful and breathtaking.

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I’m in love with the mountains! I would love to go back there in the summer time.

We’ve also been making lots of beach trips! Our beach of choice, Manhattan Beach. It is perfect there!

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The sunsets there always take my breath away….

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I love walking along the Strand and trying out all the restaurants out there! Next up on my list is Mama D’s!! It is a strong contender for my birthday dinner :)

My favorite ice creamery is Manhattan Beach Creamery. It is the only place I know that sells cupcakes, macaroons, candy, and macaroon ice cream!

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I got the chance to go to my first USC football event at the LA Coliseum. It was such an awesome opportunity! We got to walk on the infield, take photos, had a behind the scenes tour and got to see the locker rooms, and watched a practice game.

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Bacon wrapped hot dogs!!!

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I’ve never been the hugest fan of sports but watching them in person is a whole different experience! I love them!! Hockey is one of those sports!

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We even got to spend a day at the Santa Anita Race Track for a Derby Day! There was a 5K event that happened earlier in the day and there were food trucks.

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My friend from work, he recommended the Fluff Ice Truck. He knows all the good food trucks!

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And at the Derby, I picked the winning horse!! I hope he wins the Kentucky Derby :)

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On the weekends, we have been going out, taking walks, trying new places, and just enjoying our time together. One of my favorite museums near us is the Norton Simon Museum. This is one is my favorite ballerina sculpture from Edgar Degas.

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I have been kicking school butt and treated myself too a brand new baby during one of the many Friends & Family Sales that were happening. My favorite was the Shopbop Friends & Family Sale…meet Becky, she is my new Rebecca Minkoff bag. I’m love with the color and soft leather. For work I use Longchamps, but for the weekends I have been trying to downsize. This bag provides more organization and space than my Cambridge Satchels.

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Somewhere in between all the fun and weekend outings, I got hit hard with a terrible stomach virus. I’m still recovering from the tummy flu and taking it easy. So I was very pleased we had a nice relaxing Easter :)

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We brought Porto’s over for his family to enjoy. My favorite are their potato balls and guava strudel. For Lent, I gave up cupcakes and cookies. Did I make it! Well, the cookies is debatable and the cupcakes, yes!! My belly was deprived of cupcakes for 40 days and 39 nights!

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And this weekend, we squeezed in some beach time and a very yummy sushi date!

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Oh, and bottomless guava mimosas and watermelon mimosas!

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I’m looking forward to continue blogging and sharing bits and pieces of my life with you.

Wishing you all the best!

xoxo, kat

Surprise!!! What We Did for Valentine’s

Surprise!! The mister and I celebrated Valentine’s Day early! A whole week earlier! Actually, I think he had it all planned out, and I just kept shouting “Surprise! Happy early Valentine’s Day!” at every perfect moment :)

We started off the day doing our usual: morning snuggles, me glued to my iPad pinning every cute picture of a dachshund puppy I can find, and him skimming his morning paper/reading his computer programming books (I love my hunky nerd!).

We were doing errands and he surprised me by taking me to our local Sunday farmer’s market in Claremont so I can pick out my favorite tulips :)

I must be growing up because instead of picking out tulips, I asked for an herb plant. We settled on a beautiful rosemary plant. I love it! It’s so fragrant and just perfect!! It was the most present ever!

Our rosemary plant is that big tall one on the left :)

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We stumbled upon a nearby cheese store and went to Trader Joe’s to pick out an assortment of cheeses, meats, bread, and of course, wine!

All that cheese!!

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Our yummy cheese/meat plate! My favorites were the gruyere and Brie…

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And we spent the night cooking dinner together. Meats are his thing, so handled that. And I tried a new pasta recipe and roasted some asparagus in the oven.

We’re already using the rosemary!

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Rosemary pork chops….

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My garlic infused pasta…

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and the oven roasted asparagus!

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The final plate :)

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Aside from staying in and cooking, we also got the chance to take a stroll outside, shop, and eat at Toby Keith’s!!

One of my favorite finds at Urban Outfitters! I want this teapot!!

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For a late lunch, we went to Toby Keith’s! There is just something about this place that keeps me wanting to come back…

Maybe it’s the deep fried pickles! I love me my pickles!!

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But this last trip…I lost faith in Toby Keith…

Our mahi mahi was served with a side of rice…in a bag…. Sigh, another place that serves microwaved food. I was crushed :(

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But the ribs were good! Good not best though….

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And lots of mustard for my fries :)

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And lastly, I expanded my soup repertoire! I made a corn and potato chowder!

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Soup in bed was the perfect way to end our Valentine’s weekend!

Wishing you a wonderful three day weekend!

xoxo, kat

Dear Valentine…

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I like you…but I love you so much more!!

My dreamboat hunk, the man of my dreams, the love of my life, my soulmate, you are my present and my future…

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

PS, who needs the Penny Saver or Facebook when you (half) own a blog! :)

I hope you get to spend today and everyday with the one you love and cherish. Happy Lovers Day everyone!

xoxo, kat

Cooking Adventures :: Flames

Hi guys!!

I just wanted to pop in quickly and say hi. We had a wonderful weekend eating yummy food, exploring our local Sunday farmer’s market, and spent the night cooking dinner together. He did a flambé!! It was amazing watching that huge burst of flames! He was very proud of himself and I’m very proud of him hehe.

He wanted me to share and would be sad if you don’t watch. Please leave a comment. I know it would make him very happy :)

xoxo, kat