Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad Bowls with Apples and Blue Cheese

Winter salad bowls never looked or tasted so good when you season and roast sweet potatoes and add them to bowls of chopped kale, red apples, blue cheese, and shredded carrots, then drizzle with balsamic and fresh cracked black pepper.

Show of hands for those of you that thinking about salads make you think about summer?! My hand definitely would have went straight up in the air – until recently that is. I always thought of a fresh salad with a glass of crisp white wine enjoyed on a patio with the sun shining. In this 20 degree winter weather I think about mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and other various calorie-heavy comfort foods.

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Chicken and Butternut Squash Bowls with Garlic Mushroom Sauce

Roasted butternut squash and chicken bowl meals with garlic mushrooms in a white wine sauce

Happy 2017! I’m FINALLY back with a new recipe and I shared my 2017 goals with you last Friday, but I didn’t really explain my mysterious disappearance over the last few weeks of the year (unless you followed my IG!). Okay okay, so “mysterious” is probably a bit of an embellishment. It’s making me sound way cooler than I am; as if I went on some exotic vacation or adventure, when I didn’t.

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Sweet & Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potatoes

Fun fact about me – I am a huge bookworm. I believe I read somewhere in the ballpark of 52 books in 2015, and while I certainly won’t reach that number this year (I’m spending much more time working on thee ol’ bloggity blog here), I am making time to read more books related to food blogging. Specifically, I’ve been focusing on food photography books.

I took a class last fall and learned all about using my camera at a basic level, and while I certainly have improved, I have a lot more I can do to kick up my food photography game. With that in mind, I went out and hit up some Labor Day sales last week and began to climb down the rabbit-hole of collecting food styling props.

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Roasted Lemon Garlic & Gruyere Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli – the one vegetable I’m having major regrets that I didn’t plant it in my garden. It’s always exciting planning the garden each winter for the spring; the idea of having fresh vegetables right at my fingertips, or rather out my back door, is amazing. All winter long I stare at the barren garden beds, dreaming about what I’m going to plant.

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Roasted Pork Loin & Blue Cheese Balsamic Glazed Vegetables

Cozy meals are the best, like this roasted pork loin, for example. They make you want to snuggle in on a cold night and read a book or do some good Netflix binging.

The thing about cozy meals though, is that it’s really easy to load up the calories, and quick. Sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes you just need a pan of homemade lasagna and you don’t care about the calories, the carbs, the fat or the sugar’s. I think life is too short to not indulge once and a while, but for me, I have to watch the indulging. It goes straight to my waistline.

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Garlic Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans & Onions with a Maple Glaze

I’m on day 2 of playing the ‘get rid of what’s in the fridge before you leave on vacation’ game. I probably should be ordering pizza and indulging on a variety of chocolate desserts; there was no point for us to start our new year’s healthy eating commitments when we knew that we would be going on vacation so soon. And despite that ‘eat what you want before you can’t’ mentality that everyone gets, we simply just don’t stock frozen pizzas and sugary cereal’s in our house on a regular basis, so the ingredients we needed to get rid of and I had to work with, well, they’re quite healthy.

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