Love is in the Air

02/06/2015

Love is in the Air

Love is in the Air

Love is in the Air

Love is in the Air

Love is in the Air

Whether you prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day, these sweet little gifts are sure to inspire for either occasion.

Also, if I haven’t told you lately, I truly appreciate you for taking the time reading along my blog. Valentine hugs from me to you!

 

Gold Leaf White Chocolates – Terrain| Love Birds Tea Towel - Terrain | Scented Soap Petals – World Market | Cat Mug – Urban Outfitters | Candle – Urban Outfitters


Quick & Easy Veggie Bake

02/03/2015

Quick and Easy Veggie Bake

Quick and Easy Veggie Bake

Quick and Easy Veggie Bake

For most, a new year means new resolutions that you attempt to stick with until you eventually lose interest. Am I right? I’ve learned to stop making resolutions altogether and just focus on making gradual changes. I find that in doing so, I tend to stick with them a whole lot better. Eating healthy isn’t something that I struggle with – I simply find myself crunched for time or I have a recipe idea and when I head to the grocery store, I find that the produce is astronomically priced. Grr. I highly doubt I’m the only one who finds themselves in these kind of predicaments. After many incidences like that, I’ve learned how to better adapt my recipes to suit what I have on hand. This recipe is a quick fix for those nights when you simply need something healthy, easy, and convenient. It’s a very versatile dish and can be switched up with a variety of different vegetables depending on your preference and/or what you have in stock at home. I also love that it can be used year round depending on the seasonal produce. It’s light, healthy, and with a little sea salt and melted cheese, it’s a win all around in my book!

1 large eggplant, sliced
2 zucchinis, sliced
1 large tomato, sliced
sea salt + pepper
1/2 c. tri-blend cheese, shredded

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Slice all of your vegetables and layer them, alternating between each, until you’ve used them all.
Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Cover dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Return back to the oven uncovered and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until cheese is nice and melty.
Enjoy!

 

Quick and Easy Veggie Bake

Quick and Easy Veggie Bake

Quick and Easy Veggie Bake

Salt Cellar – gifted (similar here & here) | Pot Holder – West Elm (similar here) | Small Bowl – Food Network | Baking Dish – gifted | Cutting Board – IKEA
Shirt – LC Lauren Conrad (similar here)| Bracelet – Ronaldo


Superbowl Recipe Roundup

01/28/2015

superbowl2015 2I am in no way interested in the Super Bowl, y’all. I’ve had to ask my husband when it actually was more times than I can count. With that being said, I do enjoy cooking for a get-together such as this so I’m currently planning a menu for our Superbowl party. Are you looking to score big on your super bowl menu? I’ve rounded up some amazing recipe ideas that your football-loving guests are sure to devour!

 

– Are you the party host? Here’s a link to some great advice on how to prevent from becoming an overwhelmed and over-spent crazy person while planning for your party because who doesn’t need to hear this kind of stuff?!

– Football parties always call for dips and this bean dip needs to be on my menu for sure. Not to mention it’s chocked full of healthy ingredients. Sounds like a winner to me.

– If bean dip isn’t your style, there’s always hummus, guacamole, salsa, or vegan queso dip. I’ll take them all please.

– Instead of having traditional wings, why not make buffalo chicken meatballs or this vegan alternative?

– These sweet potato guacamole bites look absolutely perfect. I mean sweet potato AND guacamole together?? Swoon.

Chili is always a hit with a hungry crowd.

– These pom pom cupcakes are seriously adorable and perfect for a football themed evening.

– Obviously no Superbowl party would be complete with out chocolate covered strawberries decorated as footballs. Am I right?

 

What are your Superbowl party food staples?

 

 

 

 

 


Thanksgiving Meal Inspiration

11/24/2014

thanksgiving inspiration

Thanksgiving is quite possibly one of the most exciting time of the year to cook. If I had the time and a large, hungry crowd I would abandon all work and just cook TONS and TONS. One of the most thrilling things to me is meal planning. Nerdy? Maybe, but I’m okay with that. I really love having a plan ahead of time because I feel like I actually have things together for once and it gives me more confidence in knowing I can execute the meal to the best of my abilities. This year, I’ve failed miserably at that. I’m FINALLY getting together my meal plan (darn you, procrastination).

I always start out with the intention of cooking beautiful, healthy meals that I hope I can trick everyone into eating and then my southern soul completely takes over and all I want is a big, southern Thanksgiving spread. Once this happens, there’s no turning back. I don’t want to settle for anything less on this holiday. Plus, it’s one day a year so that justifies the madness in my mind. Anyway, below I’ve listed some fantastic Thanksgiving recipes and what not that will hopefully inspire you/give you ideas if you’re lagging in the meal planning department like meeee!

 

– Last year I made candied sweet potato rounds (pictured above) and they were a total hit.

- Here are some amazing baking tips for those wanting a few pointers (emoji of girl raising hand = me).

– It’s always helpful to have a good reference to making the perfect pie crust. Why buy them when you can make them?

Sweet Potato Pie is a fall time favorite, especially for my father-in-law who literally requests it year round. It takes the traditional pumpkin pie to a whole new level of deliciousness. Plus, it’s super southern so you need it in your life asap.

– Here’s a recipe that takes sweet potato casserole to a whole new dimension and gloryyyyy it looks fantastic!

- Stuffing is always a must so why not make not only scrumptious but also stunning! I mean come on, how beautiful is this?! (not to mention its also vegan!)

– Think out of the box for serving dishes. Mix it up by using pumpkins in place of bowls for your favorite fall soup or squash for grain dishes.

– Everything is better if it’s miniature. How perfect are these chicken pot pies?

– Here is a list of a few Thanksgiving recipes with a whole new twist. I’ll take some of each, please.

– The perfect Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete without a gorgeous table setting. And don’t forget to decorate a special table for the littles!

 

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? I’d love to know!


Harvest Soup

10/15/2014

harvest soup

harvest soup

harvest soup

harvest soup

harvest soup

Soup season is finally upon us! Hooray! This year, this season has been much more bearable. The weather has surprisingly been warmer (YESSSSS!) and personally I just wish it would stay this way all year long. In my opinion, warm fall is the best kind of fall.

Fall always calls for warm, cozy soups and I’ve got one that fits the bill. This particular soup is one that just makes my heart happy. In making this soup, I did two things I hardly EVER do: 1) actually make soup and 2) use my crock pot.  I know, it’s borderline ridiculous to admit that (especially the lack of crock pot usage) but if I’m being totally honest, I forget I even have a crock pot…and that it isn’t difficult to make soup, especially one like this.  I think I have finally come aboard the crock pot train, though, and there ain’t no lookin’ back!

One reason I’m a huge fan of this soup is that it has a wide variety of  veggies that can be easily interchanged to suit personal preferences. Is there such a thing as too many vegetables in a soup? I think not. It’s surprisingly sweet, hearty, and just so satisfying. It’s a recipe I’ll definitely be making many times during fall/winter.

What’s YOUR favorite fall soup? I would love to know! :)

 

roughly 1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken (or substitute for equal amount of veggies)
1 and 1/2 c. quinoa
1 can white sweet corn
1 can diced tomatoes (I bought diced tomatoes seasoned with garlic)
3 large organic carrots, chopped
1 large organic sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 c. diced onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
6 c. broth of choice (I used vegetable)
1 white chicken chili mix (or your preferred chili mix)
salt + pepper, if needed

Chop onion, carrots, sweet potato and add to crock pot.
Add minced garlic.
Drain corn and add in along with chicken, diced tomatoes, chili seasoning, quinoa, and broth.
Stir everything together and cook on high for 3-5 hours (mine took around 3.5 hours.)
Once everything has cooked thoroughly, shred chicken and add back into soup.
Enjoy! :)

 

Recipe adapted from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

harvest soup

harvest soup

harvest soup

harvest soup

Cutting board – West Elm | Crock Pot – Target (on sale!) | Plaid Flannel – H&M | Wool Hat – Express


No Bake Coconut Chocolate Bars

08/05/2014

no bake coconut chooclate bars

no bake coconut chocolate bars

no bake coconut chocolate bars

no bake coconut chocolate bars

Is it possible to get off of a sweet kick? If so, I’d like to know how. Seriously. Why can’t the food pyramid consist of cookies, popcorn, cereal, granola bars, and chai lattes? I feel like the crime rate would go down drastically because people would be happy. At least, if I were into crimes, that would totally solve things for me…

This recipe is one I almost feel silly telling you about. When my husband was taking the pictures, he kept saying,”…so are you planning on doing, like, anything else because you haven’t really done much for me to shoot…?” Exactly. That easy.  I am a grab-and-go kind of gal when it comes to snacks so these are absolutely perfect. And in bar form? I mean come on. Could things be any more desirable? Oh and there’s chocolate. And coconut. That alone should seal the deal. These bars are simple enough that you could enlist the help of the “mini chefs” at your house. Add, combine, press, cut, voila.

These really are SO easy that it makes me ashamed for buying bars all these years when I could whip them up in literally NO TIME at home (5 minutes, tops?). Not to mention they’re free of all that crap that’s added to a lot of bars these days. Ain’t no shame in eating these.

15-ish pitted dates (I used a couple of handfuls)
1/3 c. almonds
1/2 c. chocolate chunks
1/4 c. shredded coconut
sea salt

Add ingredients to food processor and blend until mixture is well combined.
In a loaf pan lined with parchment paper, pour mixture in and press it down so that it all sticks together.
Place in refrigerator to harden up (this step just helps keep the bars from being crumbly.)
Cut into bars and serve.
Enjoy!

no bake coconut chocolate bars

no bake coconut chocolate bars

no bake coconut chocolate bars

no bake coconut chocolate bars

 

Kitchen Towel – Target | Loaf Pan – Kohls | Food Processor – Cuisinart | Knife – Wusthof
Shirt – similar here & here | Dress – similar here & here


Avocado and Beet Salad + Core Bamboo

07/08/2014

beets-avocado-salad

onion-avocado-beet-salad

avocado-beet-salad

avocado-beet-salad

Hi friends! Long time no see! This has been such a hectic time in my life, let me tell ya. If you follow along on Instagram (@saltedcrown) I made a brief mention that we have been in the process of building a house and moving!! It’s been an incredibly exciting/crazy/busy/stressful/fun time for us. On top of that, I recently had my very best friend visiting for a couple of weeks and then my family came to visit for a few weeks after that. I decided to take some time off from the blog so that I could spend some quality time with them since I only see them 1-2 times a year. Hope y’all understand. ;) Anway, I’m BACK and ready to roll!

First of all this salad…oh mercy. It’s fantastic. Are you a beet lover? I feel like you either love them or hate them. I used to be on the side of the fence that thought they were slimy, weird, and something only old people ate (not sure where I got that notion but just go with it). I’ve since experimented with them and found out they’re pretty darn tasty! I’m telling you, it’s amazing how many things you can end up liking if it’s prepared the right way. When in a salad and paired with the right ingredients, they add such wonderful flavor and texture, not to mention all the nutritional benefits that beets have to offer. They’re rich in antioxidants and fiber and also have anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits as well.  This salad is seriously one of the easiest ones I’ve ever made and it’s so delicious. It’s definitely one you’ll want to keep handy for quick meals or simply to impress dinner guests with your culinary skills. We’ll just keep it our little secret how simple it really is to make. ;)

I also recently had the privilege to team up with Core Bamboo. They have such amazing products to offer and it’s all so well made. After using their products, it’s clear that I’ll be a big supporter of them for a loooonog time. Not only do the products photograph beautifully, they are so well made! They’re simplistic yet chic and I simply cannot get enough of them. Click on the links below to check out all the products they offer!

1/2 c. cooked quinoa
1/2 avocado, cubed
3 small beets, roasted until fork tender
spring mix
1/4 red onion, sliced
cilantro, for topping (optional)

For Dressing:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
juice of 1/2 small lemon

Peel and slice beets.
Slice onion according to size preference.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and lemon juice.
In a large bowl, add the spring mix (thoroughly washed) and cooked quinoa.
Top with avocado cubes, sliced onion, and sliced beets.
Toss salad in dressing.
Top with cilantro.
Enjoy!

avocado-beet-salad

avocado-beet-salad

avocado-beet-salad

photo

 

 

bamboo plate – gift from my dear brother – similar here | c/o Core Bamboo – salad servers | bowl | salt + pepper shakers | mortar + pestle |
shirt – JCrew – similar here


Chocolate Chia Cookies

05/12/2014

chocolate-chia-cookies

chocolate-chia-cookies

chocolate-chia-cookies

Would it be wrong to say that I could eat cookies for every meal of every day for the rest of forever? Cookies are the way to my heart (aka my stomach). If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. I would love to wake up every single morning to a plate of freshly baked cookies without the guilt of all the sugar and calories that eating 342087495 cookies would do. A couple of cookies for breakfast, about 4 for lunch, and 3 or 4 for supper would do me just fine. Let’s be real though. Cookies unfortunately are not known for having fantastic nutritional value. I would love to say I have a cookie here that would fill all your nutritional needs throughout the day (who WOULDN’T want that?!), but I have something that would make you feel quite a bit less guilty about eating more than one at a time. Not only does the recipe contain ingredients that are super good for you, they taste amazinggggggg.

I had a handwritten recipe laying around for forever it seems and I put my own twist on it. Instead of adding an egg, I used a chia “egg”. If you aren’t familiar with that, it’s a dairy free substitution that works just like an egg would (directions for making them in the ingredient list below)! Also, the batter for the cookies is so good that you might want to use it for a fruit dip or you just grab a spoon and go to town, which is my preferred option. These cookies are so good and so satisfying, you’re guaranteed to run out of them REALLY quick. ;)

1 chia “egg” (1 tbsp. chia seeds + 2.5 tbsp. water; mix & let set for 5 minutes to activate)
1 c. blonde coconut sugar
1 c. White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips (for vegan cookies, use cacao nibs or vegan chocolate chips)
1 tsp. ground flaxseeds
splash of vanilla coconut milk (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, make your chia “egg” and let it set.
In a mixer, add the coconut sugar, peanut butter, flaxseeds, baking soda, and chia “egg”.
Mix well.
If mixture is too dry, add a splash of coconut milk or your preferred milk and mix well.
Add in the chocolate chips and mix until combined well.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place scoopfuls of batter onto it.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Enjoy! :)

chocolate-chia-cookies

chocolate-chia-cookies

IMG_4652web

Stand Mixer – Kitchenaid | Measuring Cups – West Elm | Measuring Spoons – World Market | Ball Jars – Amazon | Shirt – J Crew


Kitchen Wishlist

04/23/2014

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Happy Wednesday! I hope y’all had a blessed Easter weekend. Our weekend was incredibly busy! It came and went so fast. I wish it could have lasted a while longer, though. Our church had a massive Easter egg hunt  that had close to 100,000 eggs and sky-diving Easter bunnies! The rest of the weekend was full of amazing church services and quality time spent with family.  It was incredible!

I keep gravitating back to kitchen things that I feel like I NEED in the kitchen. We’re in the process of building a new house and when you get a new house, in my opinion, you need new things for the kitchen. Obviously. Here are a  few more things I’ve had my eye on lately that would be a perfect addition to my kitchen collection.

Walnut & Maple Serving Boards – Sunny Afternoon | Oil & Vinegar Pitcher – Still House | Spotted Bowl – More & Co. | Tea Towel – Sunny Afternoon


Currently Loving

04/09/2014

bottles

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I’ve spent my time lately browsing on the internet for new things for our kitchen. How amazing are these items I’ve found?! I mean the spice grinders are to die for. They could look amazing in almost any kitchen! The mug is perfect for morning coffee and you can’t have coffee without an adorable wooden coffee  scoop.  It just wouldn’t taste as good I wouldn’t imagine. It’s a match made in Salted Crown heaven. Also, I’ll take one of each cutting board please. That is all…..for now!

Spice Grinders – House and Hold | Enamelware Mugs – West Elm | Coffee Scoop – Herriott Grace | Cutting Boards – Herriott Grace