Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

You guys, I cannot even tell you how excited I am to share these Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones! For one thing, they are delicious and for another, they are made with so much love in honor of Zainab who is expecting her first child--a little boy!

Zainab is the powerhouse behind one of my favorite blogs, Blahnik Baker. You might remember our shoe and sweets collaboration and the Oreo Cinnamon Rolls I shared awhile ago. We have bonded over our shared adoration of all things shoes, sweets, blogging, and (of course) baby boys. 

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

Z was one of my very first blogging friends and I have loved seeing her grow and evolve. I don't know exactly how she juggles her academic/blog/personal life but she does and it amazes me continuously. On top of it all, she has a heart of gold and is always, always looking out for those around her.

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

When I think about her little boy, I love to imagine the two of them baking together as he grows, creating sweet memories that he will savor for his whole life. 

I know Z is going to be a marvelous mother. From her example, she will inspire her boy to be a loving, stalwart man full of integrity and zest for life--I know this because these attributes are deeply ingrained in Zainab herself. 

I can't wait to "meet" the little bambino in a few short weeks and I wish Zainab and her family so much love and goodness as they welcome their little mister into the world!

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

Because Zainab is a lady after my own heart and loves tropical flavors, these scones are stuffed with lime zest, blueberries, and coconut. These are the flavors I crave when summer comes (well, pretty much any berry and citrus combination). 

While they would taste great in smoothie form, I wanted to make them into a sweet, carbolicious breakfast for Z to enjoy. And sure, these scones will never be considered health food, but I made a few alterations to cut the calories a bit--which means you can indulge in two scones instead of one!

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

Congratulations, Zainab and Mr. J! Can't wait to meet your little dude!

I joined forces with some of Zainab's awesome fan club for a surprise baby shower! Thanks to the fabulous Alice, Allie, and Jocelyn for throwing such a fun party! Check out the other delicious, tropical recipes below:

Blackberry Coconut Cupcakes, by Baking a Moment 
Blueberry Coconut Meusli Bars, by The Spiffy Cookie 
Caramel Coconut Cluster Bars, by Eats Well with Others 
Chocolate Coconut Cake, by Brunch with Joy 
Coconut Cake, by I am Baker 
Coconut Cream Pie Ice Cream, by The Recipe Rebel 
Coconut Energy Bites, by The Kitchenarium 
Coconut Key Lime Angel Food Cake Roll, by Flavor the Moments 
Coconut Key Lime Pie Cookie Bars, by Two in the Kitchen
Coconut Key Lime Macarons, by Life Made Sweeter 
Coconut Pineapple Banana Smoothie, by The Bitter Side of Sweet 
Coconut Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp, by Healthy Nibbles and Bits 
Coconut Sweet Potato Muffins, by Luci's Morsels 
Key Lime Coconut Button Sandwich Cookies, by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody 
Key Lime Coconut Pound Cake, by Grandbaby Cakes 
Lavender Coconut Macarons, by Broma Bakery 
Mango Coconut Donuts, by Chez Catey Lou 
Mango Coconut Smoothie, by Jessica in the Kitchen 
Mango Summer Cake, by Keep it Sweet Desserts 
Mini Coconut Cream Pies, by Hip Foodie Mom 
Pina Colada Pie, by Life, Love, and Sugar 
Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones, by Club Narwhal 
Toasted Coconut Banana Meringue Pie, by The Sweet {Tooth} Life 
Tropical Pineapple Coconut Sangria, by Shared Appetite 

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

 Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones

Adapted from Cooking Light

1/4 cup white sugar
zest from one lime
1/2 cup fat free milk (or almond milk)
juice from half a lime
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup frozen (or fresh) blueberries)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 large egg white, slightly beaten (for egg wash)
sugar to sprinkle on egg wash

For the Lime Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
juice from half a lime
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put sugar and lime zest in a large liquid measuring cup and smoosh together with your fingers so the sugar becomes infused with lime. Add milk, lime juice, vanilla extract, and egg; whisk to combine. 

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; whisk to combine. Use a pastry blender or fork to cut in the butter until mixture takes on a sandy texture. Fold in blueberries and coconut. Add milk mixture and stir until just moist. The dough will be pretty sticky at this point.

Turn dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and pat into an 8-inch circle. Cut dough into 10 triangles. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 18 minutes, until golden. Serve warm and drizzled with lime glaze.

To make the lime glaze, whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together. Add milk a little bit at a time until you reach the consistency you like. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Easy Thai Red Curry | Club Narwhal

You know, I heard about pregnancy cravings but never really understood how they can hit you so suddenly and with such fervor you literally cannot think another reasonable thought until you satisfy the craving. The craving, for me, manifests itself as a compulsive voice in my head: "MUST EAT ___" on repeat.

Lately, that obsessive voice has been chanting: SHRIMP, SHRIMP, SHRIMP! And sure, I love shrimp as much as the next gal (Shrimp Sliders, anyone?) but this craving is, like, all encompassing.

Which brings me to this lovely Thai Red Curry. 

Easy Thai Red Curry | Club Narwhal

While these gorgeous veggies (I mean, how photogenic can asparagus get, am I right?) are all well and good, I'm just here for the shrimp. Lots of it. I love how they plump up in the delicious coconut curry broth and am literally salivating just thinking about this meal. 

Asparagus | Club Narwhal

And yes, this is basically a knock off of my favorite Thai Green Curry recipe but just go with me.

Because: shrimp.


Easy Thai Red Curry Ingredients | Club Narwhal

Also, Warren claims he likes this red curry even more than the green curry, which is saying a lot. I've made this a few times in the past month and I'll always put in some pan fried extra-firm tofu for him (since he, as you well know, is a lifelong shrimp hater).

This turns out to be the perfect arrangement because it means I get all the shrimp to myself, plus pan fried tofu. #winning

More importantly, we all know that pan fried anything is never a bad idea.

Easy Thai Red Curry | Club Narwhal

But perhaps the best thing about this meal is that it is on the table in 20 minutes. Just start the rice when you start the curry and your shrimp craving can be settled in less time than it takes to wait for your Five Guys order (which is another thing I've been craving, like, whoa).

In other news, I haven't killed any of the basil yet! I even grew some cuttings to get even more basil--like I'm a real gardener or something. But never fear, I'm sure my black thumb will kick in at some point, like when I attempt to transfer said cuttings into a pot to see if they'll actually, well, grow. Suffice it to say, everything we make gets some basil tossed in. This curry was no exception.

Finally, I'm trying to build an arsenal of super quick meals for when the bambino arrives--any suggestions from your tried and true recipe trove? I would love to hear!

Easy Thai Red Curry | Club Narwhal

Easy Thai Red Curry

Adapted from my favorite Green Curry Recipe

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (look in the Asian section of your grocery store)
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced
8 oz. large shelless shrimp, thawed
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
fresh basil for garnish
lime slices for garnish

In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add curry paste and fry for about 30 seconds, until curry smells fragrant. Add coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and add asparagus and red pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, until veggies are tender.

Add shrimp and cook for a minute more. Add frozen peas then stir in fresh cilantro and basil. Cook for one more minute, until peas are heated through. Serve with steamed white rice and lime slices.

***Note: If you, like Warren, live in a sad, anti-shrimp world, just add your favorite protein. I highly recommend pan fried extra-firm tofu but you can't go wrong with a chicken breast sliced into 1-inch chunks. Or, if you're vegetarian, you can just add in more veggies--zucchini and eggplant would be prime in this.

Love Thai Food? Me too! Check out my Asian Flair Pinterest Board for more ideas!

P.S. Here are some of our favorite Thai recipes:

Easy Thai Green Curry | Club Narwhal

Vegetarian Pad See Ew | Club Narwhal

Thai Chicken Satay Salad | Club Narwhal

Wednesday, June 03, 2015


Orzo Salad with Asparagus, Feta, and Pistachios | Club Narwhal

Friends, rejoice! Summer--or at least summer-ish--weather has finally descended upon Michigan and it is good. In usual summer mode, I've been eating my weight in watermelon, strawberries, and fresh corn. Warren planted me a little garden for our anniversary this year and we have anxiously been watching it grow. Our watermelon has sprouted, as has the broccoli, and the potatoes are growing like gangbusters!

Whenever it finally starts to warm up, I start cycling this lovely Orzo Salad into the weekly menu plan. This tradition started when I was a grad student in Iowa because a big batch of this could keep me in lunches all week long. And there is nothing like fresh Iowa sweet corn.

When our sweet friends were in town they brought us this gorgeous asparagus straight from the Madison farmer's market. We immediately sauteed half of it in copious amounts of butter and topped it with lemon and Parmesan. Which left us with yet another magnificent bunch to use in this salad. And of course, we were happy to oblige.

Asparagus | Club Narwhal

In other news, this weekend gifted me an absolute abundance of riches--my friends threw the loveliest baby shower and the little babe is now fully outfitted for the first year of his life. I had no idea just how thoroughly baby clothes/things/products could just spawn. Seriously, we basically have Buy Buy Baby set up in our living room. It's not a terrible thing. 

I am so lucky to know my talented bunch of ladies out here. They brought so much food, I didn't even know what to do myself. Besides eat everything in sight, which I did and then some. And since they know how much we love to travel, they had the cutest travel decor, including paper airplanes, vintages suitcases, and of course that lovely air balloon cake (created by my pal, Steph). 

They also majorly delivered on adorable whale items because what is life without cute whales? Good work, friends. 

We were really excited to pull out our fabulous picnic table (that Warren built for my 30th birthday last year). Since it was muggy and hot, Warren even fashioned a little bohemian canopy out of some old sheets. He's a good one. 

Oh, and also: TAYLOR SWIFT! I saw her when she did her Red Tour two years ago and the second I knew 1989 was dropping, I put myself on her email list and bought--in true teenybopper fashion--pre-presale tickets. It was mega worth it. There were so many glittery outfits and catsuits! And I still stand by the article I wrote back in the day: 3 Things Taylor Swift Knows that Every Writer Should

She's genius. 

And so let's rejoice in summer, good friends, and glitter. And orzo salad, because why not? 

Orzo Salad with Asparagus, Feta, and Pistachios | Club Narwhal

Orzo Salad with Asparagus, Feta, and Pistachios

Adapted from Simply Recipes

8 oz. orzo pasta
1 cup asparagus, chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 ears fresh corn (or 1 cup frozen)
4 cups baby spinach
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoons grainy dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 carton cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
6 oz. feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Bring large pot of water to boil. Add orzo and cook for 8 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, make the spinach dressing by combining the spinach, olive oil, vinegars, mustard, and dried herbs in a food processor (or blender) and blending together until smooth. Set aside. 

Add asparagus to the boiling pasta and cook 1 more minute. Add fresh corn and cook for 1 more minute. Drain orzo and veggies in a colander and run some cold water over it to stop the cooking.  Slice corn off the cob and transfer orzo and veggies to a large bowl. 

Toss with spinach dressing, red onion, tomatoes, pistachios, and feta. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Looking for more summer dishes? Check out my Veggie Tales Pinterest Board for more ideas!

Caprese Tortellini | Club Narwhal

Pan Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Strawberries | Club Narwhal

Skinny Chopped Cobb Salad | Club Narwhal

Spring Kale Salad with Baked Goat Cheese | Club Narwhal