Crockpot Pot Roast {Whole30 Approved}



  • 2-3 lb chuck roast
  • Olive oil
  • 21 seasoning salute (or steak seasoning )
  • Garlic powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1c beef broth (for whole30 make sure your broth contains only compliant ingredients (Ie no honey, etc.)
  • 5-6 Celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 large carrots, peeled & diced
  • Rice (optional: for whole30 use cauliflower rice)


  1. Rub roast with olive oil
  2. Sprinkle with seasonings on top and bottom
  3. Heat large skillet over medium high heat and sear all sides of roast
  4. Add roast to crockpot
  5. Dice veggies, toss with olive oil and season with seasonings
  6. Saute veggies in same skillet for 5-6 minutes
  7. Add veggies to roast and pour 1c beef broth over everything
  8. Cook on low for 8-9 hours
  9. Serve over rice

Chicken Carnitas

I’ve been craving carnitas since I was pregnant with Kyle. Right before I went into labor I told bry I wanted to get Mexican for dinner. Obviously that didn’t happen, and I never did get my fix. So finally I decided to try and make them myself. Carnitas are typically made with pork but I used chicken breasts, since that’s what we had on hand. The result did not disappoint and will definitely become a regular on our weekly meal plan.


Chicken Carnitas

  • 6 chicken breasts, thawed
  • The juice of 2 large oranges
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • 1 onion, chopped or sliced
  • 1c water (I bet beer would be incredible too (something like shiner))
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp crushed garlic
  • Handful of cilantro (for garnish)


  1. Mix seasonings in a small bowl.
  2. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil then rub with spice mix.
  3. Place chicken into crock pot
  4. Cover with lime juice, orange juice and water (or beer)
  5. Add onion
  6. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours
  7. Remove chicken from crockpot and shred with fork
  8. Place chicken onto a foil lined cookie sheet
  9. Toss with 1/4c liquid reserves from crockpot
  10. Broil on high 5 minutes
  11. Mix, toss with 1/4c additional liquid reserves and broil for 5 more minutes
  12. Remove from heat and toss with the rest of the liquid reserves or until you’ve reached desired moistness
  13. Top with slaw, salsa, avocado, sour cream, cilantro, lime juice or whatever your heart desires and enjoy!

Gouda Mashed Potatoes

If you’re still looking for delicious recipes to add to your Thanksgiving menu, here’s Bryan’s absolute favorite. Ever since I made it for our first Thanksgiving together, he asks for it constantly. Just last night when I was going over the menu for this years feast (as if he cared), his only question was “and your mashed potatoes right?!” So if you’re looking for some truly incredible potatoes to add to your table, look no further. These are hands down the best around…at least according to the judges in our house.

Gouda Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes


  • 7oz package of Gouda cheese, shredded (can add more. We’ve started using the smoked variety due to Bry’s love of all things smokey)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper + more to taste
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt + more to taste
  • 2 tbsp. horseradish sauce
  • 2lbs baby red potatoes, diced + blemished removed
  • 1/3c milk (any milk works, we use 1%)


  1. Dice and remove blemishes from potatoes (you could leave them but they sometimes add a funny taste/texture that might affect your final dish).
  2. Add potatoes to large pot and cover with water. Boil until tender.
  3. Drain water and return to pot. Add pepper, salt, horseradish sauce, milk and shredded gouda.
  4. Blend with a hand mixer until well mixed. Adjust salt + pepper to taste and enjoy!

Almond Pinecone Dip

Growing up, there are two things that always reminded me of holidays at my Grandma’s house. One was her amazing green beans. I’m fairly certain they were the canned variety that she’d dump into a pot to heat, but somehow she sprinkled them with enough love and comfort that they were my favorite item on the holiday table. The second was my Aunt’s incredible almond pinecone dip. She’s made it for every family gathering since I can remember, and has had to double, triple and finally, quadruple the recipe, we all love it so much!

Now that we have a family of our own, we’ve started to spend the holidays in the comfort of our own home, making our own traditions. But we’re sure to include our family traditions that bring so much love, comfort and warm memories to this time of the year. Including: my Aunt’s almond pinecone dip. If you’re looking for a yummy appetizer or side dish for any gathering, try it! It is sure to not disappoint…until you reach the bottom of the plate and are left in utter sadness that it’s somehow disappeared.

Almond Pinecone Dip
Yields 1 1/2 cups



  • 1 ¼ cups whole almonds
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened (both original and light work)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 5 crisply cooked bacon slices, crumbled (I use turkey bacon, my Aunt uses regular)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallions (green onions)
  • ½ teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until almonds just begin to turn color, stirring often.
  2. Combine softened cream cheese and mayonnaise until well combined.
  3. Add bacon, green onions, dill weed and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Cover and chill overnight (or for at least an hour or two).
  5. Remove from fridge and shape dip into pinecones on a serving platter (or any shape you want like a heart, football, etc.).
  6. Beginning from narrow end of the pinecone, press almonds into dip at a slight angle, in rows. Continue overlapping until dip is completely covered by almonds.
  7. Garnish with tops of green onions or artificial pine sprigs.
  8. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

{Gluten Free} White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

‘Tis the season for baking all the things.  Cookies are my favorite homemade sweets and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are my husband’s favorite kind. I whipped up a batch using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour for a gluten free variety (so we could share with some of our gluten sensitive friends) that was delicious and flavorful. Enjoy!



  • 2 1/4 cups gluten free flour (or all purpose flour if you don’t care about the gluten)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 cup Earth Balance, softened but not melted 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips 


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In medium bowl combine flour, soda and salt. Mix well, set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl combine sugars. Add butter and mix until a grainy paste is formed. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until blended.
  4. Add the flour mixture, macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips being careful not to over mix.
  5. Refrigerate dough for 10-15 minutes. This will prevent cookies from spreading too much during baking
  6. Drop dough in rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Move to cooling rack, pour a glass of milk and try not to devour the entire batch in a single sitting.

{Dairy-free} Banana Bread

This morning I started making a pot of Mom Elixir (aka coffee) and noticed 3 sad bananas fallen by the wayside of our fruit bowl. At first I thought about tossing them into the trash. Then I thought: banana bread!

The boys are currently in love with muffins for breakfast so the thought of banana bread seemed like a great idea for something they’d actually consume. I usually prefer nuts in my baked goods. I’m a huge fan of a walnut filled banana bread but our pantry is in a sad state of emptiness right now. Also, one of our good friends is an incredible cook and always bringing us yummy meals she somehow finds time to whip up between owning and running her own business and being super mom. I wanted to bring some banana bread to them on this cloudy day and since her son has a severe dairy allergy (that nuts occasionally mimic), I set out to make a dairy free banana bread that omitted the nuts. I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out as I tossed random things into the mixing bowl but the result was quickly inhaled by both picky toddlers and I was barely able to wrap up half the loaf to deliver to our friends before grabby hands found their way to it.

This recipe can easily be made vegan too by substituting the egg for a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water, let sit for a couple of minutes)!

{Dairy-free} Banana Bread



  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 3 brown bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3c earth balance, melted (or other vegan butter)
  • 2-3tbsp applesauce (or use 1/2c melted butter. I ran out so I added the applesauce but the taste and added moisture were fantastic!)
  • 1c all purpose flour
  • 1/2c whole wheat flour
  • 1/4c sugar
  • 1/4c brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until blended (I leave the bananas a little clumpy still)
  3. Coat a bread loaf pan with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
  4. Pour in batter and spread until even
  5. Bake 45 minutes or until cooked through
  6. Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes to cool
  7. Top with butter and devour!

Avgolemono (Greek-style Egg & Lemon Soup)

While falling asleep Friday night, I was hit with an intense craving for avgolemono. Avgolemono is a traditional Greek soup made with eggs and lemons. Our favorite family-owned Greek restaurant adds vegetables and chicken to theirs, though you can always make it without. I’ve wanted to tackle a homemade variety for ages, but never did. Until now.

With rain on the forecast for days on end and temperatures in the low 50s, there was no better time to create this delicious soup at home. We paired ours with a Greek style salad and pita bread for a warm and cozy, mouth watering dinner. I hope you enjoy!




  • 2 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder, cooked then shredded
  • 6c chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground black pepper + more to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp. dried dill weed + more to taste
  • 2 lemons, juice of
  • 1.5c orzo pasta
  • 3 celery stalked, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 eggs


  1. Season and cook chicken breasts at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  2. While chicken is cooking, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add celery and carrots and cook 3 minutes. Add onion and cook another 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat 6c chicken broth over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and add orzo and vegetables. Simmer until orzo is tender.
  4. Shred chicken. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and lemon juice.
  5. Once orzo is cooked, remove pot from heat to cool. Set aside 1c chicken broth in a medium bowl. Once cooled, slowly add egg mixture and whisk together. Make sure to do this very slowly to avoid egg from curdling. Then add egg mixture to the rest of the chicken broth, again very slowly, whisking continuously.
  6. Add shredded chicken and seasonings, adjusting seasoning to taste. Enjoy!