velvety beet risotto

beet risotto

what does one make with a big beet costco buy? beet risotto, of course! i seriously adore risotto, but it can be a bit of an undertaking time wise. a fan of quick meals at the end of my day, risotto means sitting with your wooden spoon in use the entire cooking process, but when it’s done, (usually takes 45 minutes), it’s so, so worth it. i can’t think of a better meal to ring in fall with.

i used this martha stewart recipe, and the great thing about any good risotto recipe is that it gives you an excuse to open a bottle of white wine. i finished this with asiago instead of parm, because it’s what i had in my fridge. i’m also partial to a mushroom lemon version, but you can’t go wrong. i could honestly eat it every night. enjoy!

super simple dinner salad

easy salad idea

long, busy days can only mean one thing: cooking isn’t going to happen at the end of one! easy meals are my fave. and when i say easy, i mean those that take less than 5 minutes to make, and do not include an oven, or result in any dirty dishes.

this quick little salad is my absolute go to all year long. it’s such a cinch to throw together, and it’s filling, meat-free and satisfying. whenever possible, i like to go organic. gmo’s scare me, and yes, the organic route costs a bit more, but for my husband and i, it makes sense.

actually, this little salad is a perfect first course for a dinner party because it’s pretty, clever and simple, no? it’s almost silly to describe the ingredients and steps, but here goes:

halve an avocado, sprinkle with a little salt, add halved bocconcini cheese, and cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper (i prefer maldon salt for finishing as it’s more of a delicate flavour), drizzle some of your best olive oil, and balsamic crema (find this at your specialty grocer – it’s sweet and tangy, almost syrupy). done!

it’s the perfect snack or light dinner – enjoy!

overnight oats: easiest breakfast ever

overnight oats

i’ve been on such a bad girl kick lately. after the wedding, i enjoyed some serious foodie indulgences. i’ll blame it on the fact that prior to the wedding, everything i put into my mouth was accompanied by serious guilt and worry about fitting into my dress, so after our nuptials, all gloves were off.

well, here’s a shocker: eating like crap makes you feel like crap. mornings are hectic for me and i oftentimes don’t get around to eating breakfast until 11am (yes, horrible, i know!). frantic emails, task lists etc. leave me at the end of my to-do list, and at that point i reach for toast and peanut butter, or worse, go straight into lunch. smoothies feel too fussy sometimes (that said, if you’re looking for one, this is my fave), and it makes sense to get a healthy breakfast prepped before bed for the next day.

overnight oats are super easy, healthy and perfect for on the go (like those mornings i’m rushing to an early meeting!). thanks to my husband (eee, still weird) for turning me on to this one.

THE SPARKLE OVERNIGHT OATS

1/2 cup slow cook or steel cut oats (sub for gluten free if you want, but try to go organic)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup chia seed
1tbsp coconut oil
sprinkle cinnamon
drizzle honey

seal in a mason jar, shake, and leave in the fridge overnight. i like to heat mine a bit in the morning (zap in the micro for 45 seconds). top with whatever you want… banana, nuts, dried fruit. coconut shavings are a fave around these parts. voila! grab and go, no dirty dishes, you’re full for hours.

 

super easy watermelon frosties

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summer days in the office can quite quickly become mundane and ordinary, amiright? i find changing things up can be overlooked, but really helpful in getting energized again. my sparkle media account coordinator sarah and i were spending the day tap, tapping away on our laptops, and i broke out this super simple watermelon frosty to give a little oomph to a hot day in the office.

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cube some watermelon, and blend it in your magic bullet (or if you’re one of those fancy people, a vitamix) with some ice, a squeeze of lime, and a splash of water… and if it’s friday (or monday, or tuesday…), replace that water with a splash of vodka! adding a paper straw can take any drink to the next level, no?

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happy sipping!

picnic perfect potato salad

potato salad 1

usually when i cook, i don’t even think about the fact that i could totally blog about it and share the recipe. horrible, i know. thus, the quality of these photos and sketchy measurements in the recipe isn’t up to par, but i wanted to share this one! when i cook, i always improvise, and unless i’m baking, fiddle with ingredients and make up recipes myself… such was the case with this take on a potato salad.

i was looking for something summery and reminiscent of the classic picnic, and came up with this one as i yearned for a little slice of outdoor living space.

potato salad

THE PICNIC PERFECT POTATO SALAD

5-6 large yukon gold potatos, peeled and boiled
20-30 sugar snap peas, blanched and chopped in half
5 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1-2 cobs of corn, boiled, adding just kernels cut right from cob
cheddar cheese, optional
salt and pepper to taste

dressing

TANGY DRESSING

3/4 cups sour cream
chopped chives
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp each grainy and dijon mustard
dashes hot sauce
drizzle of honey (for balance!)
salt and pepper to taste

mix the ingredients together. the textures and flavours are a real treat. add dressing right before serving to avoid dryness (the potatoes quickly soak up the sauce). tweak as you please, i won’t be offended!