Recipe Recap: October

Holy crap on a log, how the heck is it almost November?! This year is killing me.

October was a pretty low key month, besides our weekend in Tassie, we have hung around home quite a bit.  Which means getting to cook and try new recipes again- woohoo! Here are my favorite 5 new recipes from the month. Hope you like vegetarian meals. šŸ™‚


Quinoa Veggie “Fried Rice” via Damn Delicious 


For when you are craving takeout, it is just as good and way healthier!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan via Gimme Some Oven 


Another yummy veggie recipe. I made this one week when Travis was out of town since he isn’t an eggplant fan. This is so good though I am pretty sure he wouldn’t even notice the eggplant.

5 Minute Avocado Cilantro Dressing via Pinch of Yum 


Sundays have turned into our “big salad” night so when I was looking for a dressing, I found this  recipe on one of my favorite food blogs. It’s easy, delicious and it lasted in the fridge for a week.

Vegan Mac n’ Cheese via Buzzfeed


My friend EmilyAnne made this when I was at her house the other night and it was amazing. It actually tastes like real mac n’ cheese with NO cheese! Travis was skeptical at first, but he gave it two thumbs up too. No cheese, no problem. Also, you just follow along with the video no reading involved. Warning: the music is a little annoying.

Creamy Caprese Quinoa Bake via Half Baked Harvest 


I cut out the heavy cream and it was still amazing. Can you tell we’ve been on a vegetarian kick lately? It tends to happen post-vacation.

Recipe Recap {August}

Hi friends! If we are still on schedule today we are lounging on the beaches of Koh Samui (follow along on Instagram or snapchat @courtneyalkek for both). Due to the magic of the inter webs I am bringing you this month’s top recipes we tried without actually setting a finger on a keyboard today. Gotta love scheduling posts- I should really be better at this when I am not on vacation.


Without further ado…

1. Quick and Easy Lentil Quesadillas via A Pinch of Yum

lentil-quesadillas-8I told you last month we were obsessed with lentils. I didn’t realize until after I bought all the ingredients that this is meant to be a slow cooker recipe (which we do not have here). IĀ just cooked the rice and lentils on their own then let them sit in a saucepan with the sauce and marinate for a while before assembling the quesadillas and they tasted amazing! It makes quite a big batch too so we were able to keep the filling in the fridge and whip up some more quesadillas for lunch over the weekend.

2. Ranch Cauliflower Bites via The Gunny Sack


One of the few items I have people send over from the States are Hidden Valley Ranch packets in all sorts of flavors. I usually just use them to mix with greek yogurt but when I saw this recipe on pinterest I knew I had to take advantage of having ranch on hand. Plus cauliflower is my favorite. My only complaint is I didn’t buy enough cauliflower because I just wanted mooooore.

3. Chimichurri Shrimp via Gimme Some OvenĀ 

Chimichurri-Shrimp-31I love chimichurri sauce and I had no idea how simple it is to make! Looks like we will be having it a lot more often from now on. We made these yummy shrimp (or prawns as they say here)Ā and put them in corn tortillas to make a tacos. So good!

This month’s recap is short and sweet since we were only home half of the month, have a great weekend!

Recipe Recap: May

I am a little off my self imposed schedule today and sharing my recipe recap a week late, but hey- that’s life. We are over in New Zealand on our weeklong adventure right now but due to the magic of the inter webs I am sharing last monthsĀ top recipe picks with you anyway…

recipe1. Easy Macaroni Casserole by SkinnytasteĀ 


Because how you can you go wrong with any ofĀ Gina’sĀ recipes?

2. Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread by Averie Cooks


I made them in muffin form (cooked them for about 30 minutes) and could not stop eating them.

3. Fish Taco Bowls by The Live-In Kitchen


One of our other go to recipes, especially on Sunday nights when we want something easy to throw together. We switch up different types of fish and evenĀ use the pre-made seafood mix from the seafood counter at the grocery store as well.

4. Quinoa Fiesta Enchilada Bake by Skinnytaste


I have mentioned this recipe on the blog before but it has been a while and it’s good enough to be mentioned again. We make this at least once a month, it’s even better leftover.

5. Ā Pizza Quinoa Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms by Oh My Veggies


Pizza, quinoa and mushrooms are three of my favorite things. We ateĀ it with a side salad and called it a meal.

Hope you found a new recipe to add to your own rotation. šŸ™‚

Recipe Recap: April

One of theĀ greatestĀ joys in my life is trying out new recipes. In fact, there are very few repeats in our house. No matter how much I love certain recipes, I am always on the lookout for something new to try.

So instead of the regular Friday Favorites, I decided to mix it up a little and share a recap of this month’s favorite recipes.

Easy Healthy RecipesOur guidelines for recipes are pretty much anything that is quick and healthy. So all of these recipes should fall into those categories. Hopefully these will help you in your meal planning for next week, bon appetit!

One Sheet Pan Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Roasted BroccoliĀ from Cooking Classy


Click for Source

I am a sucker for any “one pan” or “one dish” meal. I loved the parmesan crust on the salmon and baked broccoli is always a favorite over here.

Southwest Chicken Chop SaladĀ Ā from Lauren’s Latest

Southwest Chicken Salad

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I love anything southwestern. I lightened this one up with greek yogurt instead of mayo/sour cream and left out the tortilla chips.

I confessed about my obsession with mason jar salads here. So I decided to do a little experiment and see if this recipe would work with that technique- and it did! Something about all the flavors marinating together in the jar made it even more scrumptious the next day. I just layered the contents in the jar in this order: dressing, corn, black beans, veggies with lettuce last. My only regret is that I only made two for the week.

Zoodle Pasta with Veggie Maranara and Bacon from Fit Foodie Finds

zoodle pasta bacon marinara

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Hands down the best zoodle (zucchini + noodle) recipe I have tried. We don’t have a spiralizer so I just use a julienne peeler and it works the same.

Greek Lamb Tray Bake by BBC Good Food

Lamb potato zuchinni feta bake

Click for Source

This one is actually a regular in ourĀ rotation. Mostly because we love lamb but also because it is another beloved “one dish”Ā meal. If you aren’t a lamb fan I am sure it would be just as good with ground turkey or chicken.

The last two recipes I shared last week– but obviously they are winners so I wanted to add the links again…

Warm Quinoa Salad with HalloumiĀ 

Panko Crusted Honey Mustard SalmonĀ 

What were your favorite recipes this month? Share them with me!

Friday Favorites: Sister Slumber Party Edition

This past week has been full of favorites! Travis was out of town for work all week so it was pretty much a girly slumber party at our house all week- which is pretty much my favorite always. We cooked dinner together over wine and watched my new favorite TV show every night. Let’s recap the highlights.. 

Favorite Day  On Tuesday, Caroline and I took a day trip to Byron Bay. I had never been so I was excited that I had an excuse to finally visit. We had so much fun in that hippie beach town, I can’t wait to share more about our trip on the blog later. What’s better than good food, great weather, shopping and hanging out on the beach all day? Not too shabby for a Tuesday.

Favorite New TV Show 

source: Netflix

 Caroline also introduced me to the funniest show EVER. It’s a Netflix original called “Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt” by Tina Fey. The premise is that the main character, Kimmie, was abducted by a crazy cult leader when she was in eighth grade and hidden in a bunker with three other women for 19(?) years. The first episode they are found and released (in the first five minutes so I’m not spoiling anything) and she moves to New York on her own. It sounds king of serious when I explain it like that but the whole show is extremely ridiculous and silly. Just watch it. 

Favorite New Singer

source: MTV

 I’m probably really late to this party (especially for Aussies) but I am obsessed with Vance Joy. We have had his album on repeat all week.

Favorite New Recipes 

source:Garnish with Lemon and Two Peas and their Pod

Nothing makes me more giddy than a new recipe especially if it involves pesto and goat cheese. We made these two pizza recipes this week only using individual pitas as the crust. So delicious and so easy to put together after a busy day at the beach or exploring. They definitely got moved to my Made It & Loved It Pinterest board for future reference. Check them out: Spinach Artichoke Pizza and Goat Cheese Pizza

Favorite Mail Week 

 Since mailing things across the world can take some time, I received several birthday cards and one especially exciting package from Anthropologie this week. I feel so lucky that I have such thoughtful friends and family that are still thinking of me even when I’m thousands of miles away. 

Favorite Monthly Tradition 

 Monday was one of my favorites because we had our monthly girl’s night. This time my sister got to join us as we tried out Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant in the city. It’s always fun getting everyone together to catch up and we joke that we probably need a sound proof room (eight girls together + wine is never a quiet occasion). 

What a fabulous week it has been! I can’t wait to share more of what my sister and I did plus her own thoughts on Australia (yes, she’s going to guest post!!) over the next couple of weeks. Right now I am on a plane heading to meet my other half in Melbourne to go check out The Great Ocean Road this weekend. Never a dull moment around here, have a great weekend! 

Linking up with Momfessionals and Life in Leggings

Avocado Chicken Salad

Last week on my Friday Favorites I talked about one of my favorite recipes- Avocado Chicken Salad. So I figured today I would share the recipe so you can enjoy it as well!

avoThis has been one of my favorite recipes for a while now. In fact when I lived with my friend Sarah I’m pretty sure we made it on a weekly basis. I have seen several different variations of the recipe online but I always ended up tweeking it to my liking. I think I have finally found the perfect formula though.


  • Shredded Chicken (half of a rotisserie chicken or about 3 chicken breasts)
  • 1 large avocado or 2 small avocados
  • 1 T light mayonnaise (optional)
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 T minced garlic
  • salt & pepper to season


1. Start with shredded chicken. I used half of a rotisserie chicken this time but you can make your own too (fun fact: rotisserie chickens here have stuffing in them! It freaked me out at first I didn’t know what it is). If you are making this in the evening you can always put frozen chicken breasts and a half cup of water in the crock pot on low for the day. When you get home the chicken is tender and shreds super easily. ANYWHO- take the shredded chicken and put it in a bowl. Cut into smaller pieces if necessary.

2. Now take a large avocado and add it to the chicken, mixing and mashing it all together. If you want more creaminess you can add a 1 tablespoon of light mayo. This is up to you.

3. Dice a quarter of a small red onion (or about 3 Tbs.) and add it to the bowl. Dice a jalapeno and remove the seeds (unless you want that extra kick) and add it as well.

4. Chop up 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro (or use the tube kind like I do- in that case add about 1 T) and mix it into the bowl. Add a 1/2 T of minced garlic and mix together. Sprinkle juice from 1/2 of a lime on top.

5. Season with salt and pepper and you are done! Serve with pita chips, on a roll or just eat it on it’s own!

IMG_0884_2If you are like me and have trouble finding pita chips or you just want to make your own- it’s really easy!

IMG_0888_2Just take pita bread and split it in half where the pocket is so that is thinner. Then cut the bread into whatever shape you want (or be like me and just rip it into ugly pieces because you are lazy). Glaze the pieces with a mixture of olive oil, garlic salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for a few minutes (between 5-8) at 400 degrees and enjoy. šŸ™‚

Linking up with the Recipe Club at Momfessionals.