UPDATED: Cookbooks I Love

cookbook recommendation

Tis’ the season when brands and bloggers work ferociously to bring you their holiday gift guide lists, and this food blogger is no exception. I am nearing completion on Creative Life Explored’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide, and believe me, you will NOT be disappointed. I’ve got some really fun stuff coming your way that’s affordable and fits any hostess or cook in your life.

But before we get to that list I have updated my ‘Cookbooks I Love‘ page! I have refreshed and revamped my list of cookbooks to include some classics that I’ve stumbled upon along the way as well as some great new cookbooks that have graced us in 2016. You can always find this list up in the main menu of my page, and if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them!

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Arugula, Blue Cheese & Orzo Bowls

Healthy bowls with sweet potatoes, orzo, mushrooms, arugula, blue cheese and balsamic

Happy Monday, friends! Or should I say, happy meatless Monday? That’s right, I unintentionally made this dish last Monday and it just happened to be meatless Monday. I mean, I had this recipe written out to make, but selfishly, I was craving sweet potatoes. In fact, I’ve moved on from my ridiculous broccoli craving I told you guys about and now I’m going down a deep, dark, sweet potato hole.

I was quite surprised how popular this dish was at home. And I guess when I say ‘popular’ I mean Dylan liked it. We don’t exactly let the pup partake in our dinners, though I’m quite sure she wishes she could, but he was really digging the flavors of this bowl. I know this because he’s usually open-minded and nice about eating what I make, but when he goes out of his way to tell me he liked it, I know it was good.

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Garlic Zucchini Salmon Cake Bowls with Cilantro Cream Sauce

Garlic zucchini salmon cake bowl meals with asparagus, potatoes and cilantro cream sauce

Happy Sunday, friends! Can you believe we’re only a few weeks from Thanksgiving?! I’ve been exercising my willpower for the  better part of the week over here because I found roundtrip flights out of Chicago to Italy for $300-$400 dollars. That is a STEAL! And I love Italy. And travel. And Italian food. And the people. I fell in love the country the first time I was there and have been itching to go back.

But, we have been vacationing like crazy and have to build our vacation time back up, plus we’re going to Ireland in May (I’m going to my first food and wine conference!) and we’ve been toying with the idea of making a life change that may require some travel in the winter months, so, unless Santa wants to buy me an all-expenses paid trip to Italy (are you listening Santa?!?) I think we have to table this crazy good deal.

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Sour Cream and Chive Turkey Sausage & Red Potato Bowls

Bowls with red potatoes, broccoli, turkey sausage and sour cream & chive sauce.

It’s Fri-YAY! I don’t know about you guys but I am sure ready for the weekend. We don’t have anything particularly exciting going on, but I’m in that ‘let’s watch lots of movies and be super duper cozy and eat healthy and drink lots of coffee while we snuggle in with the doggy’ mood.

We’ve been watching a lot of baseball the last 3 weeks and while we’re both b-i-g Cubs fans and it was exciting, I’m ready to go down a deep Netflix hole in my sweatpants.

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Salmon BLT Bowls

Bacon, lettuce and tomato are stirred with a light mayo and topped with salmon

It’s officially November and we’re heading into my favorite holiday season! I should just admit that yes, I am one of those people that loves the Christmas season. And ugh I hate saying ‘Christmas’ because everyone celebrates the holidays differently which I think it awesome, but I didn’t want to confuse it with the Thanksgiving holiday, so forgive me.

But here’s my deal. I completely and utterly (and proudly!) nerd out on Thanksgiving day. First of all it’s the superbowl of eating. Hello foodie paradise! Then, there’s football on all afternoon, and fun fact about me – I love sports! I’m actually in a fantasy football league for the third year in a row, and doing quite well I might add.

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Bacon, Kale & Goat Cheese Pasta Bowls

Bacon, kale, and goat cheese pasta bowls with burst cherry tomatoes

Happy Halloween! If you’re doing the trick-or-treating thang with your kiddos or dressing up for an awesome costume party tonight, I hope you stay safe and have a great time!

I will be doing neither. Halloween isn’t really my thing; I’m not big on dressing up in costume myself, and it’s a Monday which means I have a full day of non-food bloggin’ work ahead of me tomorrow. Bills man, they demand to paid.

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Hash Brown Pizza Bowls

Use hash browns as the base and add marinara, mozzarella, pepperoni and your favorite vegetables.

It’s no secret that pizza makes me weak in the knees. Through the years no matter what diet I tried (and for the record I don’t really believe in diet’s anymore, rather making healthy lifestyle changes), but no matter what I tried, pizza would always break me.

I know I’m not alone in this. It’s pizza. It’s delicious! But it comes in so many different ways, so while I sadly admit that having a Detroit-style pizza from my favorite local pizza place is probably not good for my waistline (or wallet!), that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun creating other kinds of pizza.

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