Category Archives: recipe

Homemade Soft Pretzels

So am I the world’s worst blogger, or what?!

Sorry for the huge delay. Life has handed me a lot of things lately and TBA has unfortunately been neglected. But starting now I will do my best to post once a week! I am also always on Instagram, so you can keep up with me daily over there!

Since I was here last, I have settled into my new job, gone on an amazing trip to Portland, Oregon (recap to come), visited a few places on our Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives bucket list, experienced some food fests in our town, and got to finally see New Hampshire in the fall (GORGEOUS) while attending an unforgettable wedding. Lobster was also cheaper than deli turkey…or cheese…by the pound. Yes, please!

Byway's Cafe

Pacific Ocean

Cannon Beach, OR

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut Portland

Pacific Oysters

Last night dinner in Portland

Red Arrow Diner

New England lobster

Tony & Danielle's wedding at Camp ConistonWest Chester Restaurant FestivalI also just made homemade soft pretzels this past weekend. With horseradish cheddar beer dip.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Mm hmm. That’s right.

I based the pretzels off of this recipe, using whole wheat flour and Earth Balance in place of butter, since we didn’t have any. Makes a ton, so I froze half. Easy warm up in the oven! These will make your Sunday even happier. Or Monday, or Tuesday…..

Homemade Soft PretzelsIMG_4655Homemade Soft PretzelsIMG_4659Homemade Soft Pretzels

Do it!



Seared Scallop, Mushroom, & Bacon Risotto

I am all moved in for the most part, and we have been having so much fun cooking a gazillion different dishes. I swear, it’s the only part of my day that I can just relax and forget we have a million things going on! Here’s a peek at the first week of move-in…
I have a few recipes I promised to share with you all….here is one of our favorite meals to date. This one was inspired by a Friday night marathon-watching of Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives (party animals!!) where I jotted down some ingredients for a seafood risotto, and this is what I came up with. A little time consuming, but still very easy and so, so worth it! You can even omit the bacon and/or scallops if you want this to be a (still super yummy) vegetarian dish (and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock!), but oh my gosh. The bacon. It makes it.
Seared Scallop Risotto
Seared Scallop, Mushroom & Bacon Risotto
Directions loosely Adapted from Tyler Florence’s Risotto with Wild Mushrooms
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 ears of corn, cut off cob
1.5 cups of exotic sliced mushrooms
3 Tablespoons diced green onions
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance or butter
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
8 small-medium sea scallops
2 slices bacon
Salt and pepper to taste
  • Drizzle a pan with EVOO. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes. Add corn, stir. Add mushrooms and green onions and cook until mushrooms become soft, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add rice and stir to coat, about two minutes. Season again with salt and pepper. Stir in the wine and cook 1 minute to evaporate alcohol.
  • Pour in one cup of chicken stock at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until rice absorbs all of the liquid. You may need more or less of the stock, but keep adding one cup at a time, stirring until absorbed. Risotto is done when it becomes creamy; this process typically takes me about 25-35 minutes.
  • Fold in butter and cheese, and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Garnish with parsley. Set aside.
  • Cook bacon in microwave, and tear cooked bacon into pieces. Stir into risotto.
  • Drizzle a skillet (my cast iron one worked great) with olive oil, and when hot, add scallops. Season with salt and pepper, and cook about 2-4 minutes per side. They will get a slight golden crust, searing in the softer middle.
  • Plate risotto, and add four scallops to the top of each dish.
There will be plenty of leftover risotto, it yields quite a bit of rice! It is great as a side dish for dinners later in the week. Since there is only two of us, you could easily cook more scallops/seafood of your choice to top more servings.
Enjoy! 🙂
Onions & CornBacon & ParsleyIMG_3901

Creamy Wild Mushroom Farfalle

I was in the mood for some comfort food before our trek to New Hampshire for the holidays, and creamy pasta fit the bill Sunday night before we left. So decadent and still on the light side. I punched up the veggie factor with peas and spinach.

Creamy Wild Mushroom Farfalle
Based on Cooking Light’s Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce

Creamy Wild Mushroom Farfalle


  • 1 pound uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
  • 1 TB Smart Balance
  • 12 oz pre-sliced exotic mushroom blend
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
  • 1 can peas, drained
  • 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 C dry white wine
  • 2/3 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) grated fresh parmesan and asiago cheese
  • 2 TB chopped parsley
  • Minced fresh parsley (to taste)
  • Crushed red pepper (to taste)

Onions, spinach, mushrooms


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
  2. Melt the Smart Balance in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, shallots, peas, spinach, garlic, and salt and pepper to your liking; cook 12 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the cooked pasta, whipping cream, cheese, and 2 tablespoons parsley, tossing gently to coat. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with minced fresh parsley and crushed red pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.
This is a good one! And it makes for good leftovers…and I hate leftovers!
xo, S

Turning Orange

I know, I know. Pumpkin is everywhere these days; all over magazines, on every blog and social media network, in your spiced lattes, on everyone’s front porches, in every recipe…

Happens every fall. People go bonkers for pumpkin.

Including me.

(Pumpkin loveliness at Terrain this past weekend!)

…but if you aren’t sick of it yet, and love pumpkin-everything like I do, here’s one more thing to add to the list:

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Because pumpkin overload is not possible in the fall. Added benefits? Complex carbs to help curb fluctuating blood sugar levels, lots of fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and iron from the pumpkin and spinach, and some protein to hold you over.


3 (heaping!) TB of pureed pumpkin
1.5 frozen bananas
¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 TB instant oats
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup
2 handfuls of spinach (you won’t even taste it!)
Pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon to taste


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend. Top with extra pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon (and I topped mine with half of a crumbled protein ball…reminded me of a tasty pie crust addition!). Some vanilla Greek yogurt would be a nice addition to this, too, but I didn’t have any on hand. As long as your bananas are frozen, you will get some serious creaminess out of this bad boy.

Maybe my lack of sun exposure won’t matter anymore…perhaps all of this pumpkin I am ingesting can take the place of regular self-tanner applications. Can’t believe I have not turned orange already. Sorry (I’m not sorry) for the pumpkin overload if you follow me on Instagram! 😉


Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Spinach Risotto

Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Spinach Risotto

This is one of the yummiest experiments I have had in a while! With a little bit of prep ahead of time, this is a cinch to create. I boiled my potatoes the night before (diced 2 extra-large ones and boiled for the week to use in this risotto, as well as in wraps and salads) and used the crock pot to cook the chicken the day of. Keep in mind you will have to be constantly stirring the mixture while adding chicken broth one cup at a time for about 25 minutes, but the process goes by much quicker than I thought it would. This yields a large amount of servings! My parents and I each had two pretty large helpings, and there is still some leftover. The additions of chicken and potatoes to this batch really beefs it up.

Cook time: Approximately 35 minutes

Yields: 8-10 servings


  • 2 small-medium sweet potatoes (cubed and boiled)
  • 3 chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
  • 1 cup Italian dressing (for cooking chicken in crock pot)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 4-6 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons Smart Balance (or butter)
  • 1 cup Italian 6-cheese blend (or parmesan)
  • Torn basil leaves


Place three chicken breasts in a crock pot, cover with chicken broth or Italian dressing. Once cooked through, shred and set aside.

Cube sweet potatoes and boil in water in a saucepan for 15 minutes on medium heat. Set aside. (I boiled a large batch the night before to make this process easier.)

Put 3 TB of extra-virgin olive oil in a heavy pot and add diced onion and garlic. Sauté until onions start to turn translucent, and then add uncooked rice. Stir to coat. Add salt and pepper.

Pour ½ cup wine over rice, constantly stirring. As it starts to reduce, add chicken broth one cup at a time while stirring. Continue process of stirring and adding one cup broth at a time for about 25 minutes total. About ten minutes in, also add other half of wine to the mixture. Make sure to constantly stir, as risotto can burn easily if left unattended. The texture you are going for is chewy but not glue-y, and a little al dente.

After 20 minutes, add spinach a few handfuls at a time while continuing to stir. It will wilt and cook down very quickly.

After 25 total minutes of stirring, immediately take pot off heat and stir in Smart Balance and cheese. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

Garnish with torn basil leaves and add more salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately. Enjoy!

I also added crushed red pepper to mine because I am a spice-freak. 😉 So tasty.