Food & Drinks

Fabulous food and drink from NW Favorites! Who's hungry for great recipes, party tips, cocktails, and more?

  • Food & Drinks

    Smashed Potatoes

    A great alternative to mashed potatoes and your family’s new favorite side! Enjoy these as an awesome appetizer or a killer side. I used truffle oil to make them extra special. They might also be delish for breakfast too! 

    • 15 small dutch baby potatoes (2 bags) 
    • Olive oil- drizzle
    • Truffle oil- generous drizzle
    • Rosemary Kosher Salt
    • Fresh cracked pepper
    • 3 tablespoons Pamesan cheese

    Preheat oven to 450. Boil potatoes 15-20 minutes. Once boiled lay on cookie sheet and smash! Drizzle the olive oil and truffle olive oil over the potatoes, sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper, finish by sprinkling with parmesan cheese. 

    Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown, let cool. 

    Enjoy and remember, the chef gets to “sample 1 or 2” 😉 



  • Food & Drinks

    Monster Cookies

    Monster cookies are truly the perfect cookie. Once you make the ‘base’ dough, you can really add anything you’d like. Have fun and make these cookies your own! They’re the perfect companion for your afternoon cup of coffee or tea!

    Makes 30 scrumptious cookies

    • 1 1/2 cups creamy or chunky organic peanut butter
    • 3/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
    • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
    • 3  eggs
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats 
    • 2 tsp baking soda 
    • 1/2 cup walnut baking pieces 
    • 1/2 cup golden raisins 
    • 1/4 cup chia or flax seeds
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter M&M’s 
    • 1/2 cup peanut M&M’s 

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats

    In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the peanut butter, agave nectar, and butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla unti combined.

    Add the oats through flax seeds stirring with a spatula until all ingredients have been fully incorporated. With a medium ice cream scoop, drop batter onto the prepared cookie sheets. Place 3 M&M’s each cookie and flatten slightly before baking. I chose peanut butter and peanut M&M’s but you can choose your favorites. They taste amazing with caramel as well!

    Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes before placing them on metal racks to cool completely.

    Bet you can’t just eat one!

    Happy tea time!



  • Food & Drinks

    Antipasto On A Stick!

    Antipasto is top on my list of “go-to” appetizers! The only problem is that most require plates, and cutlery, leaving you with even more dishes to do at the end of your soiree! Enter Antipasto Skewers! They offer the perfect mixture of everything and are a tasty “2 biter”. Be sure you have some cute cocktail napkins, and cocktails of course, and you’re good to go! 

    Antipasto Skewers: Purchase your favorite Antipasto fixings. I always opt for a combination of the following:

    • Olives
    • Salami
    • Artichoke hearts
    • Sun-dried tomatoes
    • Mozarella cheese
    • Fireroasted peppers 

    Gather some cute skewers and start building! It doesn’t get much more simple than that!

    My formula usually starts with mozzarella and ends with an olive!

    Happy Hosting!



  • Food & Drinks,  Wellness

    Turkey Chili

    This chili is a staple in our house. It’s quick to make and bonus, tastes even better the second or third day! We always take it with us when we go skiing and have it ready after a long day on the slopes! This is a make ahead dinner that is sure to please!

    Serves 8 people


    • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
    • 3 cups ( 1 large) Onion chopped
    • 2 cups (5 large) Carrots chopped
    • 2 cups (1 large) Red Bell Pepper chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 cup chicken broth 
    • 1 can diced tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1/3 cup red wine
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder 
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 2 teaspoons cumin
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 pinches cinnamon
    • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 2 cups frozen corn 


    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 cup lite Mexican cheese

    Begin by cooking the ground turkey in 1 teaspoon olive oil. this should take about 5-7 minutes. The turkey will be pale in color and no longer pink. Remove from pot and set aside.

    In the same pot, add a nice drizzle of olive oil and sauté onions, carrots and bell pepper until onions are translucent and carrots are soft. Next add in the garlic and stir. Next add in the chicken broth, diced tomoatos, tomato paste and red wine, mix togethe runtil the tomato paste is fully incorporated. Next, add the spices, Chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and cinnamon. Add the turkey back in and let it simmer for about 10 minutes to help the flavors meld! Add the canned black beans and frozen corn and cook 5 minutes longer just to warm the beans and corn.

    Serve with sour cream and lite Mexican cheese!




  • Food & Drinks,  Wellness

    Baked Brocolli

    This is one of our most favorite sides. Baking the broccoli brings out a somewhat “nutty” flavor and it can be the perfect addition to a salad, pasta dish or just have it as a side dish. This recipe is simple, fool proof and well, downright delish.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees

    • 3 cups broccoli, trimmed into bite sized pieces (I usually make them smaller if they’re going into a salad)
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt,
    • 1/2 tsp pepper

    Place broccoli in a mixing bowl, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

    Bake 20-25 minutes

    Warning: Once this comes out of the oven a few pieces will inevitably be consumed by passers-by, for this reason I always add a few more pieces than I think I need just to account for the missing florets.

    Happy cooking!



  • Food & Drinks

    Beet, Avocado & Goat Cheese Salad

    This salad is such a nice combination of flavors, the arugula adds a little peppery taste, the beets are sweet and the pepitas add great texture. Here’s the challenge with this salad, try to get all components into every single bite! It will be the best bit of salad you have ever tasted!


    • 6 cups arugula
    • 1 small, 3 oz log goat cheese
    • 4 small beets peeled and steamed (you can find these pre-steamed and

    peeled at your local Trader joes or supermarket)

    • 1 small avocado, sliced horizontally
    • 2 tablespoons pepitas (Raw pumpkin seeds)

    First and most importantly, use a teaspoon to scoop small pieces of goat cheese and roll into balls with your hands until you have about 10 cheese balls. Keep rolling until cheese balls look smooth. Set aside.

    Slice beets and avocado into thin slices. Place arugula in a large bowl, dress with your favorite vinaigrette or simply olive oil and balsamic, toss to coat all leaves.

    Assemble arugula leaves on a serving platter, shingle beets and avocado in altering layers on top of leaves. Sprinkle with goat cheese balls and pepitas.

    Voila! Easy, healthy and delicious too!

  • Food & Drinks

    DIY Pumpkin Spiced Lattes!



    It’s that time of year! Fall is here and so are PSL’s! We say “yummy in my tummy” but at over $4 a piece that’s a little scary for your bank account! So in the Grace Girl kitchen we opted to create our own!

    Here’s the recipe, and if you want to follow along with me while you make it, check out the video below!


    1 1/4 cups milk warmed in microwave or on stovetop

    2 shots of espresso

    2 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar

    4 tablespoons pumpkin

    Place all ingredients into a measuring up and use an immersion blender (or regular blender, but immersion is easier to clean!) and blend together until smooth.

    Pour into 2 cups, top with pumpkin pie spice and serve!





  • Food & Drinks,  Wellness

    Pumpkin (Kurbis) Soup for Fall

    I love the way the changing of the seasons opens up a whole new arena of styles, activities, and of course, tastes! I love fall with its leaves changing color as the air gets crisp and cool. But the way this particular season informs my table gets me particularly excited!

    With the onset of the slightly colder weather I have been longing for cozy soups, flavorful stews and scrumptious baked treats! That’s why I’m bringing you this delicious and slightly addicting recipe for pumpkin soup. This soup is incredibly delicious and well, also happens to be featured in my new cookbook “Culinary Adventures in Germany” on iBooks, but that’s a story for a different day! Cooking should always involve enjoying the process, so grab the wine key, uncork your favorite Cabernet and get cooking, and remember—-the wine you drink while cooking doesn’t count! Ha!

    Recipe for Kurbis Suppe (German Pumpkin Soup)


    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 onion, peeled and chopped
    1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
    pinch of cinnamon
    3 cloves garlic
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
    1 cup apple cider
    1/3 cup dark rum
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    29 oz. can pumpkin
    1 1/2 cups chicken broth


    Sauté onions in olive oil until golden brown. Add ginger, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic, salt and thyme. Saute 5 minutes, stir in cider, rum, maple syrup, pumpkin and broth.
    Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, keeping an eye on it so it does not burn on the bottom.

    Turn off heat and puree with an immersion blender. If you feel the soup is too thick, add more broth to make it the desired consistency. Whisk milk and flour until smooth, then whisk into soup to give it that velvety, smooth texture. Add more salt if desired.

    Serve soup with some roasted pumpkin seeds and thyme leaves, if desired.

    Note: This soup tends to “bubble up” a lot, make sure you wear an apron, control the heat and keep an eye on it…we don’t want pumpkin soup all over your kitchen!! Makes 4 servings

    Bon Appetit!



  • Food & Drinks

    Why we love appetizer parties

    We love having friends over, and have been known to go a little over the top. But, you know, you can end up overwhelmed and recovery takes a while before you’re ready to do it again. Recently we’ve discovered you can have just as much (if not more) fun if you have friends over for a casual appetizer party. Here’s how it works;  call up some girlfriends, pick three or four different and easy appies, pop some bubbly and let the fun begin!
    When choosing our appies we typically choose 1 thing that ‘s healthy, such as a fruit or veggie platter with hummus or honey yogurt dip. But don’t do all the peeling and chopping, pick up bags of peeled carrots, grape tomatoes, and cut broccoli. That way you account for various dietary needs and won’t stress that the vegans aren’t getting fed!
    Then we ALWAYS have some sort of cheese, cheese is great because most people like it. Lately we’ve been getting cheese curds from Beechers, so tasty and they require no cutting, only toothpicks which means easy clean up, plop them in a nice bowl and serve! Simple right?
    Next we opt for something hearty! Typically our “hearty” fare comes from the frozen section at Trader Joes. We love thinking outside the box (well, I guess in this case, it’s inside the box!) by choosing some sort of “international” flavor such as chicken shu mai, potstickers, perogies or chicken tika masala! Warming these tasty morsels usually takes all of 3 minutes (and they come with dipping sauce!)
    Lastly, how about a nice dish of almonds or cashews to nibble on. Your party can be set up in less than 20 minutes, no dishes, only toothpicks and a stack of napkins. Then your job is to just chill out, have some awesome drinks and chat away! Low stress, High Fun Factor! Hopefully some good laughs too!
    Let us know what your fave appies are!
    Thanks to @brookelark for the awesome photo
    Happy Eating!