spring pea, radish + feta salad

spring pea, radish + feta salad

It is officially spring and I am writing this post from our little porch off our apartment. I forget how fresh air and sunshine can really brighten your mood and workday. I’ve been sitting outside this past week getting work done and loving every second.

With sunshine comes flowers, warmer weather and SPRING VEGETABLES! This recipe is inspired by my newfound love for radishes (seen here) and what you’d be able to find at your local farmers market this time of year.

white bean shakshuka with goat cheese + 2019 intentions

white bean shakshuka with goat cheese | marina gunn

January is here and so are the January scaries. January serves as my least favorite and most favorite month. It’s cold, but cozy. It’s the beginning of a fresh new year and I love taking a step back and looking at the past year and setting goals and benchmarks for myself for the new year.

Some of my 2019 intentions are:

  1. Embracing joy and simplicity in the everyday moments. Celebrating small victories and letting go of what I cannot control.

  2. Focus and protect energy and time, redirecting it to things I enjoy and love (food, family, friends are a few of mine).

  3. Purchasing more intentionally (less is more). Buying vintage or gently used clothing when possible and putting thought into where I’m buying new items (focus on sustainable and local businesses.)

  4. Exercising more regularly. I always feel better and my mood shifts to a much more positive and productive version of myself when I do something active every day.

  5. Journal and read more. Daily reflection does wonders for my mental health.

  6. Listen to podcasts. Any suggestions? I’m so excited to jump in and learn different things.

  7. Make food more fun. Cook more, write more and hopefully learn more about cooking, baking, and sharing that with you!

I focus on less final goal “achievements” and more on how I can make small changes towards what I know makes me a happier and a better human being. It’s about more of the good and less of the not-so-good. More joy, less negativity. More water, less caffeine. More sleep, less sleepless nights. More focus, less distraction.

So, without further ado, my first recipe of 2019 is the perfect recipe for a lazy, cold, dark January Saturday morning. In less than 30 minutes you can have a brunch for you and three friends, allowing you to save money and sleep more. What more could you want? Happy January, friends. Here’s to more good food, friends, family and less of everything else that doesn’t spark joy. Here’s to more shakshuka for sure.


white bean shakshuka with goat cheese | marina gunn

white bean shakshuka with goat cheese

*recipe adapted from Molly Yeh’s Shakshuka O’s + inspired by our favorite dish from Heirloom Cafe

Instructions

In a large skillet with high sides, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, ½ tsp salt. Stir and cook for 10-12 minutes until onions are transparent. Add the garlic, cumin, harissa, paprika, a pinch of salt, and cook about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and white beans.

With a wooden spoon, create four wells and crack in your eggs. Cover and simmer until the whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny (5-6 minutes). Sprinkle salt and top with goat cheese and parsley and serve.

ingredients

3 tb olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

kosher salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tb ground cumin

2 tsp harissa

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tb tomato paste

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

1 can white beans (cannellini or great northern)

4 large eggs

crumbled goat cheese

chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and date caramel (gluten-free + vegan)

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and date caramel (gluten-free + vegan)

There are few people as dedicated and loving as my friend Avery Hudson. She is loyal, loving, and steadfast in her friendship and uplifting nature. AKA she makes everyone feel like a super star. So when she asked me last week to make her mom a carrot cake, I was so so excited!!! Because in a lot of ways, Avery is a carrot cake.

vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream + pink meringue kisses for a baby girl!

vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream + pink meringue kisses for a baby girl!

Just stopping by with a cutie pie fluffy pink, white, and gold cake for the sweetest new earthling, baby Georgia! My best friend Olivia’s sister Ava had the most beautiful little girl a few weeks ago and I was just so excited, so I made a cake to celebrate that matches the colors in her nursery. Imperfect frosting and meringue kisses but for my first themed cake I’ve learned a few things.

bagel + lox mini galettes and some christmas cheer

bagel + lox mini galettes and some christmas cheer

A recipe that mixes the best carbs and savory flavors that always remind me of Christmas morning when we would eat a combination of bagels and lox and egg + sausage breakfast casserole.

When I was 8 or so, I loved (and still love) Christmas so much that I wanted it to be perfect and last all day, so I would make Christmas itineraries that outlined the day hour per hour.

Example: 6am: wake up and put on Christmas pajamas, 6:15am: put the kettle on the stove for hot cocoa, 6:30am open stockings.

You can’t make this stuff up.

I was like the Christmas rule maker, opening 1 present every 10 minutes for maximum Christmas cheer, only to pause for breakfast and savoring every last bite of our bagels and lox in front of our hotter-than-hell farmhouse fireplace, grinning from ear-to-ear as we read Santa’s letter that he left on the counter.

So as a nod to Christmas mornings + warm pastries, I made the tiniest, miniest galettes filled with dill cream cheese + topped with lox, red onions, and capers.

the perfect weekend

Marina Gunn

This weekend was full of food, drinks, family, friends, laughter, whole lot of tears, and the most beautiful ring, because Frank and I are engaged! He planned the most perfect weekend full of love and thoughtful surprises. I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Not only did he plan the most perfect day and weekend, but he was able to fly my parents down from Idaho and my best friend Moira down from NYC to surprise me! After he proposed, we went to Walker’s where we had our first date and had everyone there waiting: grandparents, cousins, parents, aunts, uncles, and my sweet friends! I’ve never felt so celebrated and I just am so lucky to have him forever. He spent the past year designing the ring and secretly planning the most perfect surprise ever. Someone please pull me down from cloud 9.

Now we get to grow old and wrinkly together and he gets to try all my failed recipe concoctions and I couldn’t be more happy.

xxx,

Marina

PS - here’s my cutie pie family + soon to be new family!!!

Marina Gunn

butternut chicken pot pie with sage biscuits

butternut chicken pot pie with sage biscuits

Soups and carbs are my love language, so this butternut chicken pot pie with buttered sage biscuits is the love of my life. Armed with a chicken pot pie-esque inside mixed with the best parts of a butternut squash soup and topped with crispy flaky biscuits, there is a warm and coziness that brings back memories of those freezing cold, yet soupy-warm Idaho tundra-like winters. Snow as high as the roof line, igloo forts in the front yard, checking to make sure the pigs were still toasty warm in the barn after a -20 degree night.

autumn — seasonal meal plan

autumn — seasonal meal plan

I put together this meal plan to help bring new flavors and seasonal produce back onto grocery lists for those who are short on time but value their nutrition, time, budget and flavor. There is more to food and cooking than meal prepping basic produce and consolidating it into a bowl, which I did countless times during my years in college. I’ve had a good amount of friends ask me specific questions about cooking, like what to buy, how to change up their routine and what to do to bring flavor without sacrificing clean eating and quick meals. Cooking doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult, so I wrote this seasonal meal plan to help!

harvest meat + cheese board

harvest meat + cheese board

In the Gunn household, my mom has been known to be the queen of snack trays and party platters. Since we were kids, she would make us these elaborate snack trays for our weekly tv show marathons with combinations of gold fish, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and basically a everything in child’s wildest dreams. Now that we’re older and all three of us are allergic to wheat and traditional dairy (tragic, I know), we are more keen to snack trays like this one, full of goat cheese gouda and sliced truffle salami.

very sparkling aperol spritz

very sparkling aperol spritz

As crazy as it may sound, last Christmas the entire state of Idaho ran OUT of aperol. My mom, rightfully so, was in distress since she had been wanting to make them for our holiday parties. I’m guessing the Idahoans reallllly like their aperol spritzes, especially when it gets cold, which is why this is the perfect after-work/pre-party/party/post-party drink. Or just because, you do you.

make your own adventure: pb + j cracker sandwiches

Hi friends! This past month I partnered with Wellington Crackers to create a perfect back to school snack tray that is easy and fun to put together too! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ruled my childhood after school snack realm, so I loved adding different nut butters, jellies, fruits, and nuts to create a fun (and pretty!) platter. Hope you enjoy!

xx,

Marina

make your own adventure pb + j cracker sandwiches

make your own adventure: pb + j cracker sandwiches

makes large serving platter, serves 8-10 people as an appetizer or snack platter

instructions

assemble platter by first adding nut butters in small dipping bowls onto large serving platters.

once nut butters are placed, add jams and jellies onto the platter in small dipping bowls as well.

add assorted Wellington Crackers in small sections, then add sliced fruit, berries, and assorted nuts.

serve your platter for the perfect back to school recipe for make your own adventure PB+J crackers! enjoy.

ingredients

1 Box of Wellington Assorted Crackers

2 nut butters of your choice (Almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, etc)

2 types of nuts of your choice (Almonds, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios)

2 jellies or jams of your choice (Strawberry jam, grape jelly, raspberry jelly, apricot jam)

2-3 seasonal fruits (Grapes, plums, raspberries, apples)

sunday morning, no. 8

sunday morning, no. 8

Happy Sunday friends! Thank you for stopping by for the eighth post in my weekly Sunday Morning series where I share links, recipes, and thoughts from the past week. 

Since last Sunday I was in Colorado Springs with my family, this weekly post covers two weeks of recipes and updates! We had a wonderful time in Colorado Springs with my parents and my little brother, we got to see him play football for the Air Force Academy and had the most incredible dinner at the famous Broadmoor.

sunday morning, no. 7

sunday morning, no. 7

Happy Sunday friends! Thank you for stopping by for the seventh post in my weekly Sunday Morning series where I share links, recipes, and thoughts from the past week. 

This past week I spent in Athens working, cooking, and preparing to plant our garden! We got everything planted this weekend and we are so excited to see all the sprouts come up in the next 10 - 14 days or so. I'll be sure to keep you in the loop on my weekly emails as well as on my Instagram