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A mostly healthy and budget-friendly cooking blog

July 11, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Rainbow Fruit Pizza

Rainbow Fruit Pizza reminds me of when I was a little girl and begged my dad to chase the rainbows we spotted out of the car window. I wasn’t after the pot of gold so much as the leprechaun and the three wishes he’d grant me if I caught him—at least according to Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People, a completely reasonable source of legitimate information.

Rainbow Fruit Pizza with Crescent Roll Crust

I’m not sure exactly what I would have wished for—the complete set of Ty Beanie Babies? An unlimited supply of Easy Bake Oven brownie mix? World peace?
{Continue reading and snag the recipe…}

July 9, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Plum Crunch Steel Cut Oats {+Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway}

Plum Crunch Steel Cut Oats are easing my transition back to reality. We just returned from a month abroad in France, so at the moment, reality looks a lot like laundry piles, an intimidating collection of unread emails, and the stinky carton of buttermilk I forgot to toss before we left.Plum Crunch Steel Cut OatsIf I said I’m loving being back in my routine at home, I would be lying. I knew that eating chocolate chip brioche, raspberry macarons, and just the tiniest of butter caramels for breakfast every morning couldn’t last forever (at least not if my pants have anything to say about it) but part of me can’t help wishing that it could.

In France, I spent four glorious weeks devouring some of the best sweets, meats, breads, and cheeses the world has to offer, whenever and wherever I craved them. Chocolate truffles at 10 a.m.? Why not. Afternoon pastry run? Of course. A giant plate of prosciutto, salami, and buffalo mozzarella? Let’s call it dinner, extra mozzarella, please.

My body and bank account need a return to a healthier routine, but I am by no means willing to give up the sense of indulgence that I adored in France. (Plus, I have two boxes of caramels and chocolates I carried home on the plane to enjoy.) Enter Plum Crunch Steel Cut Oats, a wholesome breakfast that tastes like a treat. Hearty steel cut oats topped with roasted plums and crunchy granola, this dish is sassy, earthy, and fabulously fruity.

{Continue reading and snag the recipe…}

July 8, 2014
by Erin Clarke

France Travel Update: Brittany

France and my relationship just became complicated. After visiting the Riviera and Provence in the south, then playing in Paris, I didn’t expect another region to win my affection with the same fervor—until we traveled to Brittany along the country’s northern coast.

Kiss on the St. Malo Ramparts

St. Malo Swimming PoolI’ve long wondered if I harbor an inner-French girl, and after our trip to Brittany, a coastal region in the far northwest of France, I’m positive both that I do and that she’s from Bretagne.
{Continue reading…}

July 7, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Rhubarb Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream

Rhubarb Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream. Amazing buttermilk ice cream with homemade rhubarb compote.

Well, friends—we’re back. Our apartment is still tiny, Madison is still hip, and despite being directionally challenged, I’m confident the sun rose in the east this morning. Ben and I, however, are different.

I’m not sure yet how our four-week experience in France has and will continue to shape us. I’m back in the office today, and it’s frustratingly hilarious how little has changed. Despite best hopes, the general consensus is lunch is most effective when eaten at one’s desk, and McDonald’s still isn’t serving wine.

As my refrigerator is empty and my suitcases are full, I have one last very special guest post to share while I try to reconfigure my life. Today’s post is from the inspiring Kelli of The Corner Kitchen. Kelli’s style of cooking—healthy, flavor-packed recipes a la Soy Ginger Marinated Flank Steak and Eggplant Bolognese, with spirit boosting Espresso Banana Pancakes and Nutella-Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies tossed in for happiness—speaks right to my kitchen (and appetite.)

In addition to maintaining a beautiful blog and working full time, Kelli trains for triatholons and is publishing an e-cookbook. Kelli, are you for real? Teach me your superpower ways!

Then, serve me up a giant scoop of Rhubarb Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream.

Here is Kelli to share this wonderful recipe for Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream. {Continue reading and snag the recipe…}

July 6, 2014
by Erin Clarke

France Travel Update: Normandy {D-Day Beaches}

Ben gave me full freedom to set 96% of our French itinerary. Of the 27 days we were abroad, he made one single request: to visit the D-Day beaches in Normandy.

Omaha BeachMy sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law James came to visit us in France for a few days (yay!), and we decided to take the trip to Normandy together. The day was both extremely educational and extremely moving.

Normandy-GroupI had been to the D-Day beaches previously, and I remember feeling moved, but visiting them a second time with Ben, Elizabeth, and James made the day more tender. Had the four of us been alive 70 years ago when D-Day occurred, who is to say Ben or James wouldn’t have been one of the boys storming the beaches? Even Ben wondered if he would have had the courage to disembark that morning and face a beach covered by mines as German fire rained down from the bluffs above.

{Continue reading…}

July 3, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Cheesy French Onion Chicken Sandwiches

I may be deported from France for this recipe. I turned an iconic French dish—French onion soup—into all-American, backyard barbecue Cheesy French Onion Chicken Sandwiches. These gloriously grilled and Gruyere-smothered sammies are so magnifique, however, I’m willing to risk it.

French Onion Chicken Sandwiches

It’s a bit odd being in a foreign country over the Fourth of July (if you are just tuning in, Ben and are I spending four weeks in France). Don’t get me wrong—chocolate croissants and strolls along the Seine are no poor consolation for missing an afternoon of grilling, baked beans, and fire crackers—but  I can’t help but long for my Grammy’s annual baby back ribs and strawberry shortcake.

Here on the streets of Paris, I plan to celebrate Independence Day by wearing  the closest shades to red, white, and blue that I can rummage out of my suitcase and binge on what might be the ultimate cultural bridge between France and the U.S.—les frites.

If you are anywhere in the proximity of a grill, a hot skillet, or even a campfire this holiday weekend, I strongly encourage you to add these Cheesy French Onion Sandwiches to your menu. A tasty combo of juicy grilled chicken, tangy Dijon, sweet caramelized onions, and ooey-gooey Gruyere cheese, one bite of these babies will have you seeing fireworks.

Find the recipe for Cheesy French Onion Sandwiches on Tablespoon, where I’m a recipe contributor!


with love, an American girl in Paris

July 2, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Asian Ginger Sesame Roasted Vegetable Pasta

Asian Roasted Sesame Ginger Pasta Recipe

Bonjour tout le monde! My French has noticeably improved since we first landed (or so I tell myself after a glass of wine), but I can’t believe that this is our last week in France. We decided to book an impromptu two-day trip to Brittany, a region celebrated for its butter, seafood, and crepes (um, how could we not go?), then will be in Paris for the rest of our trip. The next few days are sure to be tearful ones as I bid adieu to little cafes that didn’t realize they were mine and attempt to squeeze in as many macarons and croissants as my tummy will allow.

If you are visiting TLSW for the first time in a while, Ben and I are currently on a four-week travel-spree in France. While we are away, an incredibly talented group of bloggers whom I am also blessed to call friends are guest-posting to keep fresh recipes coming your way. Today’s guest poster is one of my first blogging friends and a former (weekend) roomie, Cassie of Bake Your Day.

From the moment I saw Cassie’s blog, I knew we were going to be friends. For one, she has an incredibly impressive collection of creative grilled cheese recipes: Fajita Grilled Cheese; Truffle Fry Grilled Cheese; Spicy Hawaiian Pizza Grilled Cheese, just to name a few. For two, THIS. Aren’t you just in love with her already?

In addition to making unfussy, yet undeniably tasty and creative recipes, Cassie is an absolute sweetheart and one of the most generous people I know. We met in real life for the first time this May when we were roomies at the BlogHer Food conference. Yep, we’d never met in person and decided to split a hotel room, shuttle, and be brand party buddies. Best decision ever.

Here is to share her recipe for Asian Ginger and Sesame Roasted Vegetable Pasta is Cassie. I cannot wait to try this one when we get back! {Continue reading and snag the recipe…}