All Posts by Lauren Collins

Hearty Beef & Chorizo Chili

This is certainly a spicy chili.  Seeds are left in the jalepenos, chili powder and chorizo are thrown in, and don't forget the green bell peppers, cumin and onion to let the flavors come together.  I would also recommend cooking it a day ahead, then letting it sit in the fridge for a night so you can trim the fat off the top for a slightly healthier chili (lovely isn't it!).  There are no beans in this recipe but go for it if you so desire!

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Tuscan Tuna Salad

I have to admit I'm getting pretty bored of plain salads and plain tuna and plain everything for lunch.  I'm excited about this one because I can eat it so many different ways - in a wrap, sandwich, salad, on crackers, etc etc.  You could also use a light italian vinaigrette or red wine vinegar.  It was so flavorful and kept me full all day long, which is important for me since I have a fairly active job.  Enjoy!


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Roasted Maple Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have been close to my heart for a long time now.  When I was a baby, my Mom told me I refused to eat anything else, just sweet potatoes, and things certainly haven't changed!  This recipe came from a Whole Foods Market chef.  She was giving out samples of this along with roasted brussel sprouts and I was addicted, and since I was just in VT last weekend and picked up some REAL Grade A Dark Amber VT Maple Syrup, I figured this would be the best time to make these babies.

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I Lovermont !

Our View to Killington from the Condo

Well I'm back from my birthday weekend up in Killington, VT where I spent the weekend snuggled up next to a crackling fire, with cider whiskey, amazing food (real pancakes and REAL VT maple syrup) and beautiful hiking trails - best weekend ever!


Of course there are countless reasons why I love visiting the north during the colder months - endless mountains, crisp cold air, the sound of absoluetly nothing (city people would understand this one), but one of my favorite things was to experience and enjoy made-from-scratch food that all came directly from the state.  The eggs, cheese, maple syrup, veggies, cookies, sandwiches and anything else I enjoyed this weekend was all from the beautiful state of Vermont, and you can tell how much care went in to each item.  I bought jars of real Vermont Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup made in the same town we were staying in, from family run farms, and slow churned butter from right down the street.  Everything was so charming about this place and I went home kicking and screaming.


Pico Peak, VT

The people we met were extremely nice (and very excited for the first snow of the season to arrive), and we kept thinking, "We could live here!"

Now that I'm back, I'm excited to come up with some yummy recipes inspired by our trip and of course using the syrup I bought.  Check back soon for some delicious ideas!

The Perfect Sunday

After a crazy hurricane and 5 inches of snow from a nor'easter within a span of 1 week, it was time to get back outside and enjoy life.  Only in New England can it be freezing temps one second, then sunny and 60 the next!  You gotta love it!


Sunday morning, I hopped in my car, treated myself to a Starbucks Chai Latte and headed to the Cape for a relaxing day with Ryan.  We started out at my FAVORITE place ever - Cafe Chew, with a delicious artisian style breakfast and Vanilla tea on the outside deck under the warm November sun.  After breakfast we headed to the Sandy Neck Beach in Sandwich/Barnstable, MA for a 5 mile hike through the sand dunes, beach forests and marshes.  We came face to face with a deer, ate cranberries from a wild cranberry bog and saw the most beautiful scenery you can imagine.  Tried and true - a few hours spent in the fresh air can make any day better 🙂

Healthy Eating BBQ Style

My love for all things BBQ started long ago with my Dad's famous Ribs.  Everyone asks for them, and I always request them - they are simply the best!  Marinated for hours then perfectly cooked on the grill, usually served with fried okra or a caprese salad.  Since my my parents live 14 hours away (South Carolina), I've had to resort to finding other BBQ places to go.  Just a few blocks up the street lies a place worthy of a Pulitzer Prize in BBQ, Smoken Joes.  Joe, from Tennesee, makes his own everything there - from the collard greens to the variety of BBQ sauces, he does it all.  Of course you can understand my conundrum for trying to keep a healthy lifestyle when walking in to this establishment, and I had to choose wisely.  Can you guess which meal below was mine?

Now mind you neither one would be ordered by Gisele, but the one on the bottom would be the correct guess.  Here is my crazy thought process in this "healthy" decision:  It's Sunday, so really I should just get over it and treat myself!  Besides, behind that massive peice of cornbread is a large half of a chicken that had been smoked and slowly roasted for hours.  With the skin removed, it still has all the great flavors minus the fat.  And those beans - well I'll chalk that up to a great source of fiber for today!  And onions, well at least they aren't frozen - nothing is frozen at Joes.  Paired with a spicy BBQ sauce, you can't go wrong.  Bottom line is - when in an establishment of this kind, your best option is just to order as little fried food as possible, and enjoy it once in a while!

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