the week in photos.

lately I’ve been happily motivated by the change of seasons. 

although I’ve only crossed off one item from my fall bucket listdrink a pumpkin beer. I’m moving in the right direction. and lucky for [J] ..I have fun plans for us this weekend to tackle a few more items.

here are a couple of gems from my week.

week in photos, oct 4 //

sucker for sunsets.

week in photos, oct 4 //

the beginnings of my favorite fall meal: homemade vegetable soup.

week in photos, oct 4 //

don’t forget the kale.

week in photos, oct 4 //

leftovers for days. literally.

week in photos, oct 4 //

pumpkin ale + a heavenly ‘roasted pear’ candle.


don’t forget: I’m guest judging a chef competition tomorrow, in downtown des moines, IA.

battledish //

if you can’t make it, follow along with me on instagram.

[festivities begin at 1PM].

have the absolute best weekend.


chicken noodle + kale soup.

SONY DSCI love soups. they’re so easy & versatile.. great for entertaining or perfect when solo. unfortunately, [J] is away on business this week. so while I’d much rather be sharing a bowl of this soup with him ..I’ll settle for a couple days worth of meals for myself. plus I hear there is more snow in the forecast. [ideal soup weather].


dice all veggies.

1 1/2 cups: onion, carrots, celery.


roughly chop the kale.

2 cups kale.


get out your favorite soup pot.


[approximately 3-4 tbsp of olive oil. enough to saute veggies].

add onions, carrots, celery.


saute veggies over medium heat. for 10 minutes [or until softened]. season with a pinch of salt + pepper.


once veggies are softened .. add 4 cups of chicken broth.


add 6 cups of water.


and ..add 4 cups of [your choice] noodle. uncooked.


bring to a boil. and cook for 8 minutes. [stirring occasionally].

while you’re waiting on that .. grab 4 chicken breasts.

SONY DSC[dice into bite-sized pieces. season with “S&P” – salt & pepper].

cook chicken in a skillet. and set aside.


when the 8 minute soup timer goes off, season the soup to your liking.

I use ..

1/2 tsp: pepper, italian seasoning, lawry’s seasoned salt, garlic salt.

1/4 tsp: chili powder, cumin, celery seed.

SONY DSCadd cooked chicken.


add 2 cups [roughly chopped] kale.


put a lid on it. and simmer on low for 10 minutes. [stirring occasionally].


don’t forget to taste test!


if need be, adjust the seasonings according to your liking.

I did .. [I like spicy!!]



serves 6-8.

1 1/2 cups diced onion [about 1/2 a large onion]
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced celery
salt & pepper
2 cups roughly chopped kale
4 cups noodles [I used egg noodles]
4 chicken breasts, cooked & diced
4 cups chicken broth
6 cups water

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp lawry’s seasoned salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 cumin
1/4 celery seed
pinch of red pepper flakes [optional]


  1. heat olive oil in a soup pot. once heated, add diced veggies [onion, carrots, celery]. season with S&P. saute 10 minutes, or until softened.
  2. add 4 cups chicken broth, 6 cups water, and 4 cups uncooked noodles. bring to a boil, and cook 8 minutes. stirring occasionally. 
  3. dice 4 chicken breasts. season with S&P. cook chicken in a skillet, and set aside.
  4. following the 8 minute timer, season soup with spices. add cooked chicken and 2 cups kale. stir. place a lid over the soup. and simmer on low for 10 minutes. stirring occasionally.
  5. enjoy!

*the most important thing: adjust the seasonings to your taste. you can add more or less based on your preferences. I like spicy, so I usually add more chili powder & crushed red pepper flakes.


happy monday.


current obsession.

I believe I’m a little late to this party. but I’m here now.

current obsessionkale.

I’ve had it every single day, for the past seven days. [told you, obsessed]. I am almost certain you’ve heard the buzz about kale. it’s health benefits are through the roof, and reason enough to include it in your diet. but it’s also so versatile. I just started tossing it in all sorts of recipes. everything from scrambled eggs, to sandwiches, and a stir-fry.

my favorites.

kale saladthe easiest: simply mix fresh kale + your favorite salad ingredients [for me: onions, carrots, celery, & almonds] + oil & balsamic vinegar [or your preferred dressing]. toss & enjoy!

kale stir frykale is ahhh-mazing cooked.

cook in a skillet: kale + your choice of stir fry veggies [I used: onions, garlic, bell peppers, celery, & carrots] with olive & sesame oil. place over quinoa, rice, or enjoy solo. top with toasted sesame seeds!

chicken noodle soup with kalethere is nothing better than a great soup on a cold, winter night. or any night, for that matter. on monday I’ll be posting my recipe for: chicken noodle soup + kale. 

If you use kale, what are some of your favorite recipes? If you haven’t, are you going to give it a try? don’t answer that ..wait until I post my recipe on monday! :)

happy thursday.