Making 2020 Your Year

For years I’ve been just like everyone else- making New Years resolutions only to get lazy and slack off 2 weeks later or forget what I even promised in the first place. Eat healthier, stop cursing so much, do more exercise….blah blah blah. I can bet a million dollars you’re guilty of making these empty resolutions too.

This year, however, I’m determined to do things differently. How? I’m simply not making resolutions.


Instead, I’ve been thinking about my life goals & decisions. The key word being -decision-. Instead of a resolution, promise, or any other adjective you’d like to insert in there, I’ve been trying to look at it all from a different perspective.

While reflecting one day….aka while drinking wine in the shower as my kids yelled from the other side of the locked door….I began to think, what do I really want out of life? What will make me happy in this new decade? What do I want to accomplish that will make me proud in the subsequent decade? Sure I’d love a boatload of money and to eat pizza every day while wearing Louboutins and galavanting the world……but once the buzz from my wine wore off and I actually got to thinking seriously about what I wanted, the ideas came flooding in. “How am I going to keep track of everything?” I thought to myself. My first instinct was to look at Pinterest. Let’s just say I was inundated with inspirational quotes and articles about how to integrate celery juice into your everyday life. No thanks. After a bit of searching, I stumbled upon what appeared to be another mundane article about vision boards. Something in me made me click the article and as I began to read, I could feel my perspective shifting. This particular author talked about how a vision board is simply a place to physically put your ideas. But it’s up to you to manifest them. Sounds easy, right? Cut out a bunch of cool looking pictures, paste them to a poster board, write “Vision Board” with your tween’s glitter gel pens, then voila!! Nope. Nope. Nope….

I once read a quote that said a dream is just a dream until you write it down, then it becomes a goal. But that goal doesn’t become anything more until you put forth actions. That’s when it becomes real. (or something along those lines). My point being, it became clear to me that I could still utilize the ever popular Vision Board, as long as I mapped out a way for me to manifest these goals into reality.

My particular board is still a work in progress….but don’t worry I promise to share it soon….

In the meantime, I’d love to hear feedback from readers. Do you have a vision board or something similar? Does it help you to accomplish your goals?


Here are some steps that I’ve found truly helped me thus far:

  1. Ask Yourself What You Really Want

It’s that simple. If you don’t know where to start, try grabbing a blank piece of paper and jotting down everything that comes to mind when you envision your ideal life. Nothing is off limits here (except maybe a rainbow unicorn lol).


2. Compartmentalize your Ideas

Placing your ideas into categories (ie: friends, family, personal development, health, money, travel) will help you map out the areas upon which you should focus on. After all, the law of attraction can’t work if you don’t know what you’re asking for.

close up photo of yearly planner beside a pen

3. Create Action Steps

Similar to a wealth management advisor mapping out a financial plan, you can do the same with you life. Start small and think about how each day (or month, or year) you are going to attain that. I know in my goals, a big one was travel, so I started with one long weekend trip, then one extended family trip, working my way up to an international trip that involves intense planning & saving.

balance blur boulder close up

Some Important Things to Remember:

  1. NO ONE IS JUDGING YOU.  I know it’s hard to believe because in today’s society there are no secrets and there is no discretion. People can be down right crude to one another. But guess what? This vision board & these goals- they’re YOURS. No one is going to see them unless you share them, and even if you do decide to share and the particular person(s) don’t agree….well fuck them…seriously. No one on this earth can tell you that what you want out of YOUR life is wrong. Always remember that.


2. IT’S A WORK IN PROGRESS. Your visions & goals do not have to be static. Just as you grow and change, so will they. Don’t feel pressured to have to complete something the original way you wrote it down or envisioned it just because. Trust in yourself and your journey this life has given you. It’s ok to always be a work in progress. I feel like I am. b2cf4e799298e54e6dae4a22f8d7fd56

3. BE AUTHENTIC. This personal road map, or vision board, or mission, or goals, whatever you prefer to call it, is for only YOU. Try to let go of society’s norms and be authentic to what you want and what your heart tells you. Sounds a bit corny, but it’s true. As mentioned earlier, the Law of Attraction can only work if you put something out into the universe- so put out what YOU WANT….not what society tells you that you should want.


At this point I believe I’ve covered how you and I can both work together to make 2020 OUR YEAR. Even if the only thing we do is create a vision board. 


xoxo Robin










Oatmeal Schmotmeal

I’m the only one in my house who will even look at oatmeal. The other 4 members of my family are either disgusted by it’s texture or just not big into carbs for breakfast. I, However, was sick of my usual smoothies or granola bar on the run, so I made a recipe not even my egg-eaters could resist. It’s a perfect make-ahead dish for a busy morning as well.

Raspberry, Coconut, Almond Oatmeal Bake


  • 2 1/2 cup steel cut oats (I always use Bob’s Red Mills)
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Also, make sure that your top rack is about 6″ from the broiler
  2. In a medium bowl combine almond milk, water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, egg, melted butter, and salt. Whisk until smooth.
  3. In a greased 5″ x 8″ baking dish, begin by layering raspberries, followed by oats, shredded coconut, and almonds. Next, pour above mixture over the layers, being careful to evenly distribute everything.
  4. Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges.
  5. While oatmeal is cooking, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a small bowl. Make sure the banana is sliced as well.
  6. Remove the bake from the oven and heat the broiler onto high. Arrange the banana slices on top of the oatmeal and then sprinkle evenly with the sugar-spice mixture. Put the dish back in the oven and broil until lightly brown and bubbling. Once cooking is complete, let it cool for about 15 minutes before serving.



*Note:  If you’re going to eat it the next morning, simply cook as instructed and let the bake fully cool before covering tightly and refrigerating until the next day. You can reheat it in either the oven or microwave (just watch for burning the sugar if heating in the oven.) Another option is to use a 1/2 cup less water and let the bake sit overnight. The next morning, simply uncover, bring to room temperature, and cook as directed.

**Another Note: You [obviously] don’t have to use the fruits within this recipe, you can use whatever you prefer. I sometimes like to make a blueberry version with walnuts. You can omit the egg if you are dairy-free too.


xo Robin

Snow Day Soup

Anyone else been stuck inside with their kid(s) all week? I have and to be honest, it’s driving me a little crazy. We have done everything from arts & crafts and  baking to sleigh riding and  playing LOL Surprise Dolls (which BTW- I loathe whoever created these tiny toys). So, today I decided to make soup. I didn’t have much on hand since the snow halted my usual Tuesday shopping trip, so I made my favorite tried and true, Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. Below is the recipe. It was the perfect comfort food, pairing nicely with a piece of bread & a glass of crisp white wine (go for my favs: an Australian Sauvignon Blanc or a nice Italian Pinot Grigio).

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup


  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 cups low sodium, organic chicken broth
  • Zest and juice from 3 organic lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta (uncooked)
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 5 oz raw spinach (aka: one store bought container)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place the chicken breasts in a medium saucepan and cover with a couple inches of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and let the chicken simmer for 20 minutes, periodically skimming the fat from the top of the bubbling pot as needed. When cooked through, drain water, place chicken on a cutting board, & once cooled, shred and set aside.
  2. Next, pour the 8 cups of chicken broth into a large pot. Cover and heat on high until boiling.
  3. Pour in the orzo and let cook, stirring regularly for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Then, while stirring with a wooden spoon, slowly pour in the beaten eggs. Continue to stir until eggs are fully incorporated and you see them cooked & formed into white “threads”.
  5. Remove pot from heat, add in shredded chicken, spinach, lemon juice & zest, and some salt and pepper to your liking.
  6. Put pot back on the burner and heat until boiling. Then remove and serve with a bit of feta cheese on top and a piece of garlic bread on the side. Enjoy!!

*Note: the lemony taste is strong in this soup, but one which pairs so nicely with the chicken & spinach. You can even add a little fresh oregano to make it a bit more “Mediterranean”.  


XO Robin


Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. 2018 was both challenging and extremely fulfilling. As a family we experienced many new firsts- most notably buying a new home which we have partially remodeled- and have big plans for the future with. Healthwise, I personally, along with those in my family, had quite a tough year. However, the last few weeks have brought wonderful news and positive health for the times ahead. Professionally….well…..I certainly did not focus on this blog and make time for it as I thought I would. I apologize to those reading this. I know it’s been quite a while since my last post. BUT…. ISN’T THAT WHAT THE NEW YEAR IS ALL ABOUT? New chapters, new beginnings. A blank slate to start anew. And that’s what I plan to do here. Instead of running from myself (and this blog), I’m vowing right now to share my struggles, my good days and bad, the times when being a mom is the best feeling in the world, and those days where my 3 girls make me want to catch the next train to anywhere lol. I promise it’ll be worth the read….I have so many new and exciting recipes, ideas, stories, and anecdotes to share. So come along for the ride. Let’s start with what no one would dare put as a New Years Day recipe. Nope it’s not a detox soup or skinny smoothie. It’s carbs, and fat, and comfort food. It won’t help you lose that extra 10 lbs you say you want to (or in my case the 5 that I gained this holiday lol) but it’s a comforting meal to share with those we love on a cold day at home, relishing in this new year before us (or nursing you hang over at 4pm in the afternoon lol).

Wishing you and yours a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful, and Prosperous 2019!!

xo Robin

Note: Many people don’t heat heartily on New Years Day, for various reasons….some of my past reasons have been too full from the night before, too hung over, or the infamous “I’m starting my new diet TODAY”. Newsflash: Since having kids, I noticed that none of these reasons were good ones, so I eat what I want. That doesn’t mean I pig out, it just means that I view this day as another holiday, one to be thankful for and enjoy a beautiful homemade meal with those around me. Shown below are 3 recipes for a starter, main dish, and desert I love. They may not exactly all fit together….fin fact….it’s a bit of a global tour….but when the main dish is one which includes carbs, a cream like sauce, and veggies, it’s hard to pick a light starter that isn’t a duplicate. As for dessert, well, I don’t typically indulge in dessert so when I make it, I make what I like lol.

Note 2: If you are a wine drinker like me, I like to pair the chicken pot pie with the same wine I cook with- typically a dry white such as a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. Stay away from sweets such as reisling or chardonnay if you can- I find they don’t make the Pot Pie dough as enjoyable. If you are like my husband and loathe whites, try aerating your red. I’m a picky red drinker and like mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, which I feel goes with everything.

Starter: Mediterranean Platter

Want to know the best part about this recipe? It’s almost all (gasp!!) store-bought! The only thing I personally prefer to store made items, is my hummus, upon which I faithfully use Ina Garten’s hummus recipe (with an extra dash or two of hot sauce). For this particular starter, I’ll stick with plain hummus, although I usually mix it up by adding roasted red peppers or artichokes (separately NOT together lol)


Homemade hummus (store-bought is totally fine too)

Stuffed grape leaves

Fresh, warm, pita bread cut into triangles

Feta cheese ( whole or crumbled. I’ll leave that up to you- based on how you want to serve it)

Sliced cucumbers

Baby Carrots

Cherry tomatoes (these are optional- if they’re out of season or too acidic, don’t worry about it)

Mixed salted nuts ( I typically use a mixture of almonds & cashews)

Pitted Kalamata Olives

Tabbouleh Salad ( although this is a simple one to make, I usually opt for the quicker store-bought one…shhhhhh don’t tell my husband lol)

Freshly sliced lemon, whole oregano & rosemary (for garnish)


Using whatever piece of serveware you like best, [I love either a large rustic wooden cheese board or white porcelain square one] gently arrange the ingredients and simply place out for eating.


Main: Chicken Pot Pie


For the pie dough:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting the work surface)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup (aka 2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

6 tablespoons ice water (you may need more to reach the proper consistency)

2 tablespoons shredded [mild] cheddar cheese

For the filling:

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups low sodium organic chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (can be subsituted with another oil such as avocado)

1  white onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

3 celery ribs, diced

3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

3 tablespoons dry white wine

A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce

3 tablespoons dry sherry

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced


  1. Make the pie dough: Using a food processor, mix the flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add the butter and pulse, until just combined (do not over mix). Pulse in the cheddar and then the ice water. Go slowly when adding the water, as to not make the dough too dry or watery. Ideally, you want the dough to be wet to the touch, but clear the sides of the bowl. Form dough into a ball, split in 2, and flatten into 2 disks. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
  2. Cook the bottom part of your pie: Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and adjust the oven rack to a lower-middle position. Next, take out 1 disk of the pie dough, flour your work surface, and roll out the dough with a rolling pin until you have enough to cover a 9″ pie plate. Place fitted dough in pan, and trim excess if necessary. (You can also crimp the edges to make a neat presentation) Next, lightly prick the dough using a fork, and blind bake* the crust until just beginning to brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Place the boneless, skinless chicken breasts and all of the broth in a medium size dutch oven (a stockpot would work just fine too), cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a bowl, and when cooled, shred. Reserve the chicken broth in a measuring cup.
  4. Increase the heat to high and heat the vegetable oil in the now empty pot. Once warmed and shimmering, add the onion, carrots, & celery, season with salt & pepper, and saute for until tender, about 5 minutes. Next, add the white wine and cook another minute or two until alcohol cooks off. Then transfer the vegetables to the same bowl as the chicken.
  5.  Using the same pan, heat the butter on medium-high heat. Once melted and foam subsides, add the flour, whisking constantly until incorporated for about 1 minute. Be careful and do not burn the roux.
  6. Whisk in the reserved chicken broth, followed by the milk, and minced thyme. Steadily whisk until fully incorporated and not lumpy. Bring this mixture to a simmer, and continue to simmer until thickening, about 1 minute. Once completed, season with salt, pepper, and stir in the sherry.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken & vegetables, add in the peas and parsley, and stir to mix. Season again if necessary with salt and pepper. Add a few dashes of hot sauce until the taste is to your liking (for me it’s usually about 4-6 dashes).
  8. Pour mixture into the pie crust and top with remaining dough. Don’t forget to cut slits in the top to allow air to escape. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Serve hot.

*If you aren’t familiar with the term “blind bake” this refers to cooking a pie crust before filling it. Typically the crust is covered with foil or parchment paper and filled about 2/3 of the way with pie weights ( I don’t own pie weights, so I use either dried beans or rice). For more info about this cooking technique, check out this brief article from King Arthur Flour:  


Dessert: Mini Tiramisu Trifles

Delicious dessert: check! Cute individual trifle glasses: check!

Not gonna lie though: this recipe is not mine. I have tried my hand multiple times at tiramisu, and have gotten pretty decent at it, but right now I just wanted an easy recipe to follow myself. Here’s one  I LOVE  from a fellow blogger:


Provencal Mustard Braised Chicken “Stew”

It’s been a rough start to March here in the Northeast. Last week we were pounded with snow/freezing rain and another storm is due this Wednesday.

Thus, upon looking out my window yesterday afternoon I could only think of two things: 1. The snow looks pretty but….. 2. I miss warm weather & need some comfort food. So I broke out my trusty dutch oven (see pic below) and decided to make something hearty and filling. But, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: NOT ALL COMFORT FOOD HAS TO BE FATTENING.

GASP!!! Are you wondering if you read that right? Well you did. It’s true. Every once in a while i indulge, but for the most part, I try to “health-ify” all my meals.

This specific dish is something I whipped up with items I had on hand: a yellow onion, a few cloves of garlic, carrots, celery, baby red potatoes, organic boneless skinless chicken breasts, low sodium organic chicken broth, a bunch of spices, and half a bottle of white wine (remnants from the night before…Don’t judge me- it was a looong Saturday lol).

Sounds pretty meager, and I suppose it was at first, but upon adding a tablespoon of flour as a thickening agent to the cooked veggies, followed by a delicious grainy dijon mustard for flavor- yum. Finish it off by pairing with some crusty bread or {to be healthier}  serve over a bed of quinoa.  If this seems like something you’d be interested in making, read the recipe below. Bonus fact: It basically cooks itself. And quick. This meal is GREAT for prepping ahead of time too, since all “stews” taste better the next day.


Provencal Mustard Braised Chicken “Stew”


  • 4 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts chopped into cubes
  • 3 full sized carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/2 a small bag of baby red potatoes rinsed and quartered
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons grainy dijon mustard (I prefer Grey Poupon)
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flower
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio, but you can also use Savingon Blanc. Other wines will work too, just be mindful that the sweeter the wine, the sweeter the stew will be)
  • 2 cups reduced sodium organic chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (I was out of it so I used cold pressed organic sunflower oil purchased at a local farmers market)


  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Using a very sharp knife, cube the chicken breasts, then sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the dutch oven over high heat. Once shimmering, place the chicken in, cooking for about 8 minutes, or until no longer pink. (Be sure not to overcook. It’s ok if a few larger pieces don’t look fully cooked, as they will be placed back in the pot later.)
  3. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. In the meantime, add remaining one tablespoon olive oil and heat until warm. Place the diced onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes in the dutch oven. Cook about 6-8 minutes, or until brown and fragrant. Then put in the 2 garlic cloves and cook 1 additional minute.
  4. Next, stir in the tablespoon of all purpose flour. Stirring constantly, cook 1-2 minutes, or until fully incorporated and light brown.  (This will help to thicken your stew.)
  5. Add the 2 cups white wine. Simultaneously, using a wooden spoon, stir the veggies and make sure to get all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Cook the wine until you can no longer smell the alcohol, and reduced by about half.
  6. Add the 2 cups chicken stock, thyme, and oregano, and cook until the mixture comes to a boil.
  7. Add back in the chicken cubes, along with the 3 tablespoons grainy dijon mustard. Taste and add more salt & pepper if necessary.
  8. Bring the stew to a boil, then simmer on low for 30 minutes. Add fresh parsley before serving.

**Note: If cooking for meal prep, let cool, then refrigerate or freeze. When ready, defrost completely and cook on stove top till warm.**

I couldn’t believe it but even my 7 year old loved this meal. It’s hearty, healthy, and warms the soul on a cold day. Hope you & your family enjoy!

xo Robin

Snow Day Comfort Food: Creamy Buffalo Chicken Soup


Yesterday into today the Hudson Valley got hit with yet another snow storm. As anticipated, schools were closed and my children rejoiced.  However, after all the shoveling, sleigh riding, and snowman-making that accompanies a snow day, there’s nothing better than warming up with a hot, delicious meal. Today’s comfort food meal is a simple creamy Buffalo Chicken Soup, a spin on my buffalo chicken dip, (as I don’t think it would be acceptable to feed dip to my kids for dinner).

It’s really simple to make- prep took about 10 minutes, and at the end of a cold day, who else wants to have a piece of crusty bread and some spicy chicken soup?

I’ve included my original recipe below, however, next time I’d add a bit more celery (more like 5 ribs) and perhaps another veggie such as carrots. But that’s just me. You might like it just the way it is. Otherwise, it came out creamy and tasting like a delicious buffalo chicken wing.



  • 2-3 organic boneless skinless chicken breasts rinsed & patted dry
  • 3 ribs chopped celery
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 cups organic low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese salad dressing
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 oz crumbled blue cheese
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place chicken breasts and chopped celery in your crockpot
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a medium sized saucepan on low, or until melted and frothy. Slowly whisk in flour. Continue to whisk for about 2 minutes or until fully incorporated. Be sure to keep flame low, as to not burn the roux.
  3. While whisking, slowly pour in the 4 cups of chicken stock. Once incorporated, allow mixture to come to a slight boil and thicken, about 6-8 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and add Frank’s Red Hot Sauce & blue cheese dressing. Add a pinch of salt and a couple grinds of black pepper, then set aside to cool slightly.
  5.  About 5 minutes later, add liquid mixture to crockpot. Be sure to fully cover the chicken & celery.
  6. Put the crockpot on low 6-8 hours
  7. Once crockpot cooking has completed, remove chicken breasts and shred using 2 forks.
  8. Add shredded chicken along with shredded sharp cheddar cheese to crockpot and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  9. When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with crumbled blue cheese & a few dashes of hot sauce 


    xo Robin


Not Your Ordinary Meatloaf

I was raised attending big Sunday family dinners at my grandmother’s house. My mom’s mother was a tiny blonde Irish woman, yet she was married to a full-blooded Italian and cooked THE BEST ITALIAN FOOD I’ve ever tasted in my life. I have so many fond memories of walking into her house with the smell of simmering garlic or freshly made sauce wafting through the air.

Since I’m mainly inspired by my grandmother’s cooking (which included EVERYTHING from scratch), I will assume that’s why I tend to put an Italian spin on many of my dishes.

Last night for dinner we were a little lacking in the meat department – all I could find in the freezer was a pound of organic ground turkey – so I immediately figured: meatloaf. But, upon looking in the refrigerator to find fresh spinach, garlic, and mozzarella, I knew this meatloaf would be anything but my ordinary recipe. So here’s what I made:



  • 1 lb organic ground turkey
  • Handful of fresh organic spinach
  • 1/2 lb organic uncured bacon (can be substituted with prosciutto)
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 ribs celery
  • A few dashes Worcester sauce
  • A few squirts Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray
  2. Prep the veggies & herbs: dice the onion, carrot, & celery, mince the garlic cloves, and chop [or measure out] the herbs.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT for the fresh spinach, mozzarella, and bacon.
  4. Take half of the turkey mixture and form into a long flat shape (see pics below) on the baking sheet. Next, take half of the spinach and place it on top of the meat. Cover the spinach with all the sliced mozzarella, then top with the remaining spinach. Finally, take the rest of the turkey mixture and carefully cover the top, being sure to seal the sides together with your fingers so the cheese doesn’t leak out while cooking.
  5. Using one slice at a time, cover the meatloaf with the bacon. (Note: you do not need to cover the bottom). Top the bacon with a few grinds of black pepper.
  6. Cook meatloaf uncovered for 1 hour. Let rest for about 10 minutes until cutting into it. Enjoy!

RESULT: My hubby loved it! I served the meatloaf with mashed potatoes, and the combination actually played out well. In my mind it tasted like an Italian bacon turkey burger and the mashed potatoes acted as the fries. 😉

Hope you enjoy this recipe. I’d love to hear about your unique meatloaf recipes too!

xo Robin

Rustic Herb Chicken Thighs Recipe

Happy Sunday Funday! Hope everyone had a good first week back to school or work after the holidays. I know in our home it was a little rough for us to get back to our crazy routine. With that said, all of the holiday leftovers are gone and we are back to looking for simple, yet tasty, family dinner recipes. Here’s one gem I came across as I was cleaning out my desk this morning. It’s a simple recipe that can even be made ahead and popped into the oven right before dinner. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Rustic Herb Chicken Thighs

Serves 4 (as main dish with sides)


  • 6 organic boneless chicken thighs (rinsed with cold water and patted dry)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Approximately 20 whole peeled garlic cloves (you can use less if you don’t have 20)
  • Herbed butter (recipe to follow)
  • Herbs de provence
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees & foil line a medium sized baking sheet
  2. Using the tablespoon of olive oil (or other oil of your choice) grease the baking sheet (yes, with foil on it lol)
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  4. Apply the herbs de provence liberally to the chicken thighs. Be sure to do a little “massaging” to get the dried herbs to stick. If you’d like to make your own herb mixture, I suggest using equal parts of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, oregano, savory, and if you like it, a pinch of dried lavender.
  5. Once chicken is seasoned, arrange on baking sheet and place the whole peeled garlic cloves around each thigh.
  6. Top each chicken thigh with a tablespoon of herbed butter
  7. Cover tightly with foil and cook chicken at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then uncover and lower oven temp to 350 degrees, cooking another 10-15 minutes. *Note: cooking times may vary slightly depending on your oven and the thickness of your meat. Always be sure to check doneness before consuming.*

Herbed Butter


  • 1/2 cup (2 sticks) butter softened
  • 1-4 teaspoons of finely minced fresh herbs (these can be anything you choose- personally I prefer parsley and lemon zest with the above chicken thighs)


  1. Leave the sticks of butter out until softened
  2. While butter is softening, mince the herbs and zest 1 lemon
  3.  Put all ingredients in a bowl and mash together until thoroughly combined.
  4. Using parchment paper, roll butter into a log shape and wrap tightly.
  5. Refrigerate overnight (or ideally 24 hours) before using. You can also freeze this in an air tight ziplock bag for up to 6 months.


xo Robin



Adventures in Pea Soup

Pea Soup…..sounds exciting right? WRONG. It isn’t exciting at all. It’s just way too cold up here in the Northeast to do anything except cook or curl up with a good book or watch Netflix with a glass of wine. Since my three girls are running around screaming [which is synonomous with playing in this house] and monopolizing the family room- cooking it is for me.

But what to make??? OH! That’s right- yesterday my mom stoped by and dropped off her leftover Christmas Eve ham. My go-to with leftovers is typically an omelet, casserole, or soup, but I’ve settled with split pea & ham soup as well as ham & cheddar biscuits. After all, there really is a lot of ham left.

Ok back to the soup. I’ve never made pea soup. My mother-in-law is the one who makes an amazing, thick, delicious soup. But it’s ok, “I got this”, I told myself. I looked at a quick recipe from one of my old reliable cookbooks and was off. I began by simmering the ham bone and 4 bay leaves for about 3 hours . The smell was actually quite good, despite it’s fatty salty appearance. At about 2 1/2 hours I cut up 2 onions, 2 large carrots, 3 ribs of celery, and sauteed them in olive oil till softened. Next, I added 2 cloves chopped garlic & 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. I cooked everything until it was a nice golden brown and smelled delicious. At the 3 hour mark I added a 32 oz bag of frozen peas to the broth, along with a couple teaspoons of dried thyme & freshly cracked black pepper. Once the peas had boiled for about 45 min I added the veggie mixture & 3 cubed yellow potatoes. The soup simmered for another hour before I pulled out my trusty immersion blender to try and thicken it up. I blended pretty well, yet the soup still was very thin. Chris, my hubby, suggested letting it sit overnight, as “everything tastes better the next day” anyway.

So, I waited. The next morning I came downstairs, took off the lid of the soup pot….and nope, still too thin. “Shit” I thought to myself. Now any other person would probably think I’m crazy for being disappointed just because the soup was a little on the thin side. It tasted great, smelled great, but to me it was a recipe gone wrong. Fast forward to that afternoon. I bought another bag of peas, simmered them (separately) then added them to the soup and pulled out the ol’ immersion blender again. Better but not perfect. The taste had changed a little. Not necessarily in a bad way, but just more “pea-ish” lol (See I can’t make soup yet I can create new words LIKE A BOSS).

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably bored and wondering why I wasted multiple paragraphs discussing my pea soup. However, I’ve shared this experience because sometimes in life we need to be ok with not being perfect. For me personally, it’s something I’m working on. I KNOW inside that no one can be the “perfect wife” or “perfect mother”, and yet I create crazy high expectations for myself in all areas of life. I guess sometimes we just have to be ok with making crappy, thin pea soup.

Boiling the stock:


Final Product:IMG_5144.jpg


xo Robin