Amaranth Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is one of the most flavorful dinners I have had in a while.

…and because Jason has this thing with squash – as in he won’t even try it – I had the other half for breakfast the next day. Yep. I cannot be the only one who does that? Savory breakfast for the win.

It kept me full and happy until 2 in the afternoon. Goodness.

I will definitely be making this again, and stuffing Jason’s half in a portobello or over a salad. He has to try this filling, and so do you.

Super Seeds

Super excited to share this recipe with you, from my friend Kim’s new book, Super Seeds – The Complete Guide To Cooking with Power-Packed Chia, Quinoa, Flax, Hemp, & Amaranth.

In addition to this recipe, I have already tried the Cocoa Cookie Batter Power Bites, and the Crunchy Topped Pear Muffins, which were both amazing. The recipes I have dog-eared to try include Pineapple Fried Quinoa, Lemon Basil Quinoa Salad, and the Pesto Veggie Burgers. Yum, right? Just a [click to continue…]


Savory Chili Cheesecake Spread

I was invited to develop recipes for the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes Launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time, and all opinions are my own.

I know it is early, but I for one am already thinking about the holidays. Planning menus – yes, I really am – and thinking of new recipes that can do double duty as a game day appetizer and as Thanksgiving day snacks.

For me, game day is as much about the food as it is the game, really. Holidays? Those are all about getting together with family and friends, and many of those gatherings include food.

I cannot wait to sit around with the family on Thanksgiving. We usually are at my moms, I always arrive early, we sometimes play cards, and there are always many delicious edibles to be had. We always watch National [click to continue…]


Fried Green Tomatoes

Part One of finding incredible vegan foods on a cross country road trip.

Since my birthday was spent in a corn field with Willie Nelson and Neil Young, we celebrated my birthday the night before, with some “Swanky Vegan Comfort Food” at Modern Love Omaha.

So excited to finally be visiting Isa’s much anticipated restaurant, I wanted to order one of everything on the menu. Now that I have been there, I want to go back and order one of everything on the menu.

I know that being one week in on our road trip at the time – with minimal fresh veggies and lots of peanut butter oatmeal breakfasts – may have enhanced this experience, but I will always appreciate fresh ingredients prepared in a creative and thoughtful way. This is what Isa and her staff does, and does very well.

Modern Love Omaha

To drink, we ordered Cardamom Ginger Soda.

House made. Impressive. Refreshing and [click to continue…]


Chili Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños

I was invited to develop recipes for the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes Launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received product, was compensated for my time, and all opinions are my own.

You know I am all about game day food, appetizers, shared plates and Happy Hour at Home. I have said more than once that I love appetizers for dinner (and often order a couple small plates rather than the huge entrees most restaurants want to give you).

So, did we actually eat jalapeño poppers for dinner?

Why, yes. Yes we did.

McCormick Gluten Free Chili Spice

These are perfectly acceptable for dinner, though – a protein and veggie packed update on the cheese filled original. Fantastically spicy and filling, we ate these with a simple salad on the side.

Plus, you can eat a whole bunch of them.

These peppers are not only [click to continue…]


Bumbleberry Cobbler

Among my vast and treasured collection of cookbooks, I have every single cookbook that Julie Hasson has created. I love them all. As of a few years ago, I am lucky to call her a friend as well. Julie is local to Portland, and I am lucky to see her from time to time (we still need to have our lunch, Julie!).

In addition to the successes of her fabulous baking mixes, Julie’s most recent project has been all about casseroles. You know I love comfort food, and this book has it – to the max.

Yep, to the max. I am so excited about this book that I reverted back to the 80’s for that one. I was incredibly honored when asked to share her new book, a recipe, and a great giveaway for a Breville Smart Oven (giveaway at end of post).

Vegan Casseroles – Pasta Bakes, Gratins, Pot Pies, and More:

Vegan Casseroles

From Caramelized Onion Dip and Loaded Nacho Fries to a Truffled Cauliflower Mac and a Creamy Spinach Florentine, Julie has you covered on [click to continue…]


Pomegranate Slam It Smoothie

On the heels of her wildly successful book The Blender Girl, my friend Tess has just released The Blender Girl Smoothies – an easy, healthy smoothie recipes app! There are 70 bright and beautiful smoothie recipes with a new recipe released each week – for 100 total recipes when complete. This app is extremely comprehensive, with boosters for each recipe (my favorite part!), blender tips, and full color photos to go with each recipe.

Features of the smoothie app:

An interactive function that allows you to consider what you “Feel, Need, and Crave” to find your perfect blend: 

Find Your Perfect Blend

Visual cues that indicate specific benefits and attributes of each recipes (e.g. detox, weight management, alkaline, anti-inflammatory, protein rich, immunity boost, energizing, unsweetened, contains nuts).

A stunning glossary:

Smoothie Glossary

Dietary restriction filters and metric/imperial conversions.

A self-populating shopping list to assist you in shopping for the smoothie recipes you select:

Smoothie Shopping List

When I chose the Pomegranate Slam It smoothie to share with you, Tess told me this was her favorite after the Pineapple Salsa Smoothie. Yep. That sounds simply amazing, and it will be the next one I try…

When I made this one, I added the cayenne pepper and chard leaves boosters. If you like a kick of spice, the cayenne is definitely a recommendation – we loved it!

Pomegranate Avocado Smoothie

pomegranate slam it

With a complex, mind-blowing flavor that explodes like a firecracker (don’t omit the cayenne), this is a heart-healthy delight. Pomegranate lowers blood pressure, keeps arteries supple, decreases inflammation in blood vessels, and helps manage cholesterol. Its phenolic antioxidants (also in strawberries) combat oxidative stress, making this an anti-aging tonic.

YIELD: two servings 

dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan


1 1/2 cups (360ml) unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 orange, peeled, seeded, and quartered
1/4 cup (35g) chopped red bell pepper
1/8 cup (3g) loosely packed arugula
1/2 small avocado, pitted and peeled
1 cup (160g) frozen strawberries
1 cup (125g) ice cubes


Throw all of the ingredients into your blender and blast on high for about 1 minute, until smooth and creamy.


1 tablespoon pomegranate powder
1/2 cup (15g) loosely packed chard leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pomegranate Cayenne Smoothie



check out both Tess Master’s book The Blender Girl, and her app The Blender Girl Smoothies for vibrant plant based recipes!

Recipe from The Blender Girl Smoothies app © Tess Masters, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.


App photos by Erin Kunkel from The Blender Girl Smoothies app © Tess Masters, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.







Avocado Stuffed Chick-Quin Bites with Candied Jalapeno Ranch

Honey, these boys ain’t much to talk to, but, if you want a night away from your cat… they’re more than fine.

While I was wrapping cubes of avocado with chick-quin mixture, I could not help thinking of my favorite line from Vegas Vacation. Because, while these avocado stuffed chick-quins are damn tasty, they sure ain’t much to look at.

But did I say they were good? Jason isn’t the biggest avocado fan, and he loves these. They are good.

Tales from the honeymoon road:

We landed in Columbia, Missouri last night, about 15 minutes before the tornado [click to continue…]


Garlic-Kale Stuffed Portobello Burgers

Compensation was provided by Electrolux via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of spabettie and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Electrolux.


Several of you have asked how my kitchen remodel went, and have I shared photos yet? The kitchen reno is still happening. I took over the project, and there have been some back-steps as I hire professionals to not only complete the job, but check the work already completed. In some cases, work was redone.

My new dishwasher was one of those unfortunate redo jobs. The original contractor had installed the new dishwasher incorrectly – completely and in every way – and I am once again dishwasher shopping!

I loved the dishwasher I am replacing, and since it was an Electrolux, I started my search with them. Their newest model is the Electrolux Stainless Steel Dishwasher with IQ-Touch™ Controls (EI24ID50QS). In thinking about how much we entertain, one thing I loved about this one right away was the 30 minute fast wash cycle. I often plan my parties so I can enjoy as much as I can without working, but if I had a super fast wash cycle I’d be using it for sure!

This model is also extremely quiet, and the stainless steel matches some of our other new appliances. I love the third level at the top, for small items and the thirty seven spatulas I use every day.





Since the kitchen will be finished soon, we are once again able to host parties at our place! Holiday parties and holidays meals with our family, Happy Hour at Home with friends, and game day festivities… the only football we are watching is college. 

In addition to the American flag that waves on our front porch, we have a Mizzou flag and a Ducks flag… we love our college football, and I love making a big table full of food for game day. Of course.

My tips to a fun party that you can enjoy:

- make a signature cocktail that can be made ahead, and guests can serve themselves.

- keep decor to a minimum, and have it be functional – bottles in ice and edible serving bowls are always fun details. using fancy plates and glassware, even for a casual get together, because why not? 

- plan for foods that mostly can be made ahead – many of the following recipes in this game day collection can be made ahead, at least partially, with minimal assembly before the party begins.

- unless every guest has a place to sit, plan for small bite appetizers that can be handheld or dipped. no awkward balancing of plates and glasses while they attempt utensil use:


Garlic Kale Portobello Burgers

garlic-kale stuffed portobello burgers


ramen burger

ramen burger – sushi style


Hatch chile queso

Hatch chile queso


Black Bean Totchos with Lemon Garlic Sauce

black bean totchos with garlic lemon sauce


nacho cheese mushroom melts

cheesy nacho mushroom melts


spicy buffalo chick-quin wings

buffalo chick-quin wings


spicy Thai nachos

spicy Thai totchos


Pulled Porcini Sliders

pulled porcini sliders


Reuben rolls with homemade thousand island


croque monsieur stuffed waffles

Croque Monsieur stuffed waffles


raw tacos with chipotle cream


s’mores shots in chocolate glasses


hot chocolate peppermint shots






The new Electrolux dishwasher provides a professional level clean with its 30-minute wash and dry cycle. As the highest rated dishwasher on , it also features SatelliteSpray Arm technology which provides 400% more water coverage than a traditional dishwasher. Visit Electrolux Appliances for more information on this and other stylish and functional options available from Electrolux.