Friday Favorites


Well it looks like I didn’t need to dash out for those mango strips after all (actually, I’m kind of glad I did as I got the very last bag!) The snow didn’t start falling ’til late in the evening then kind of petered out after 2 inches. Talk about anticlimactic! The remaining 4 finally fell overnight though, so it should be a fun, snowman-filled day for the kiddos. ;)

I’m not sure what’s on tap for this weekend – maybe a snow walk. I’ve decided to adopt a Minnesotan mentality and not let the cold weather stop me from getting outdoors. I was always amazed when I lived in Minneapolis after college that no matter how cold it got (and OMG IT GETS SO COLD) nor how many inches of snow were on the ground, Minnesotans were always out and about walking, running, and being active. Blew my mind. Anyways, I figure my down jacket, warm boots and gloves exist for a reason – time for me to stop being the reason I’m stuck indoors!

Wherever you are, and whatever you do, I hope you have a GREAT weekend, and please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web in this week’s Friday Favorites!

Click on the light blue links to be taken to the original source. 

Favorite healthy: Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies. No butter nor white sugar, yet dense and gooey as all get out? I’ll take 6 dozen, stat. Eek!


Favorite furball. Hey dog, pour me a cup, too! ;)


Favorite sip: Blood Orange Margarita. This babies look so, so refreshing. They’d be fun for a bridal shower or something, on account of them being so gosh darn PINK!


Favorite find: Circulation Chest. I am 1000% obsessed with this chest, with it’s varying sizes of drawers and antique-y look. Plus there’s a look-alike dresser in the guys’ apartment on the Big Bang Theory, which makes me love it even more. Cough, #NERD


Favorite fake-out: Chinese Orange Chicken. WOW!! This takeout fake-out meal looks so much better than the restaurant version. Super light and fresh.


Favorite view: Seeing the World Out an Airplane Window. You guys have to see these views from the window seat of an airplane on flights from around the world. They’re good photos, too, not like my crappy iPhone shots…


Favorite bite: Lemon Yogurt Sugar Muffins. Mmm, bright, light, and zippy! Love anything rolled/dunked/dipped in sugar, too.


Favorite makeover: Ceiling Space –> Play Space. While I love a stunning, open, and airy entryway as much as the next gal, this is SUCH a better use of otherwise space.


Favorite twirl: Lemony Pasta with Goat Cheese and Spinach. I could eat this ENTIRE recipe myself. Pasta, pasta, pasta!


Favorite outfit. RIGHT?! The top’s from J Crew, I believe. Cute and classy.


Favorite treat: Key Lime Pound Cake. In case you can’t tell I’m all about the citrus right now, especially a dense and buttery cake spiked with puckery key limes. :)


Favorite photo. I think as part of my garden overhaul this summer I’m going to plant some dahlias – except, does anyone know if these grow from bulbs/I would have needed to plant them last Fall?


Favorite quick: Chicken with Honey-Beer Sauce. I think Ben and I would love this dish equally. He’d go for the beer-laced sauce, while I’m excited about the squeeze of sweet honey and shallots.


Favorite DIY: Cheerful Flower Topiary. Oooo, a few of these would look nice and cheery on my mantel.


Favorite sweet: Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes. Yes!! These! So cute and yummy!


View past Friday Favorites >

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Have a great weekend, all!

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  1. Kari Knudson 02.22.2013

    Thanks for the Minnesota shout out! I live in Northern MN (so north we get Canandian tv channels – they rock the Olympics!). There is a meme going around – Hell is frozen over. Minnesota schools are two hours late.

    Dahlias grow from bulbs and they are beautiful. Just make sure you pluck them out of the ground in the fall and store them in your basement.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Tami 02.22.2013

    Dahlias are planted in the spring. The bulbs typically aren’t winter hardy in Iowa so you will need to dig them up, store them, and replant them the following spring.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.22.2013

      Ahh ok, gotcha. Thanks for the tip – clearly I have no clue about these things!

  3. Amy M 02.22.2013

    I hear ya about weather being an easy excuse to be a hermit. I conquered that mindset and ran outside yesterday morning. Only my cheeks got really chilly — of course that made me think I should run in a ski mask….but no, that would be creepy and claustrophobic.

  4. Those strawberry cupcakes look so good. I can’t wait or strawberries to be back in season!

  5. Elizabeth 02.22.2013

    I live in Boston, which is certainly cold, although not nearly as bad as the midwest. The past lots of winters I’ve definitely used the weather as a reason to park my booty on the couch and watch West Wing reruns until I can recite the entire series. But this year, I’m forcing myself to just suck it up and go outside. It’s brutal at first, but I always warm up after a few min, and my dog is so happy that we can go on real walks; the past few years it’s been me yelling from the porch “come ON Milton, it’s freezing, let’s go in”. And I’ve really discovered the beatuy of winter, now that I’m actually seeing it in person. Have fun!

  6. Amanda 02.22.2013

    I’m an Iowa gal turned Minnesotan…I live in Minneapolis now and definitely have grabbed my longest coat, scarf, mittens, hat and layered up to simply just get outside for that breath of fresh air! I love your blog…it reminds me of my Iowa roots!

  7. Erin 02.22.2013

    I live in Alaska and our growing season is pretty short. I start my dahlia tubers in pots in my garage and replant them outside when it is warm enough. Gives them a nice head start so I get pretty flowers much quicker!

  8. Jodie 02.22.2013

    That pup looks just like my Addison Lucille! Red-healer/Cattle Dog. Best pups around and ADOPTED!

  9. Anna 02.22.2013

    You are lucky you didn’t get much snow…I live in Kansas and we got dumped on! I’m still debating on whether or not I’m going to work today!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and love your Friday Favorites. This week’s is especially fun! Those blood orange margaritas look to-die for!

  10. nic 02.22.2013

    i like your list, but i think it’s sad that so many photos on the web are used on many pages like via… via… via… without giving any proper credit. :(

    the yawning dog is “maddie” and she belongs to theron…

    happy weekend & link with love!


    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.22.2013

      Hey Nic! I totally understand your concerns, this is an issue that I find really frustrating, too. I actually spend a lot of time each week finding original sources to my favorites – usually not including them if I can’t find them. The only via link here was the dog and outfit, and I have replaced the source with the link you provided. Thank you for that!

      • nic 02.23.2013

        thank you for responding to my concerns and replacing the link, kristin. i’m sure you spend a lot of time researching the net for sources, but…

        it’s a thing that i watch everywehere on the blogs and it makes me sad ( it actually make me marking my own pictures with an ugly signature ;)

        what i don’t understand ist this point: why taking photos that we can’t credit properly because we can’t find out to whom they really belong? why not taking ones we can credit instead and just leave them, even if they are damn cute… ;)

        just my two cents to think about. no offense.

        have a great weekend!

  11. I love these posts! Your last FF convinced me that I need a labordoodle and this weeks is making me drool over dense cakes! And I gave up sweets for Lent – oy!

  12. i’m a st. paulite gal. thanks for the shout out, we just bundle up really well, that’s how we do it. puffy coats for the win!

    that outfit up there screams spring, i want! i posted about some gorgeous gold shorts from j.crew (that are of course sold out) and an imitation pair from kohls. i’m craving spring clothing lately. wonder why…

  13. Emiles 02.22.2013

    You’re good on the dahlias, plant ’em this spring! :)

  14. I don’t know which recipe I want to try first! Oh and I’m pretty sure you can plant dalias in the spring. They are a bulb plant. But you might not want to take my gardening advice because I have proven to be the crappiest gardener ever.

  15. Sally 02.22.2013

    You are so much braver than me! I live in Virginia, and it has gotten SO cold this winter (well, cold for VA standards …) I haven’t done an outdoor workout in I don’t know how long – good luck!

    Love the Friday favorites, especially that outfit! Also, would love to see a post on a variation of that goat cheese and spinach pasta – yum!

    Have a great weekend :)

  16. Heather 02.22.2013

    I grew up in Wisconsin and went to college near and lived in Minneapolis for a couple years before moving to Denver. When I moved here, I couldn’t believe how nobody wore hats or scarves. In MN, you had to wear a hat and/or scarf to survive!

  17. Jess 02.22.2013

    OH my the food in this post looks amazing!! Wow! I pinned them all! LOL

    I’d love for you to join me at my Blog Hop! :)

  18. OHH! The orange chicken looks GREAT! I wish I had enough chicken at home to make this tonight!

  19. Those soft batch cookies look to die for!! Stay warm this weekend, even if you do decide to venture out!

  20. terri 02.22.2013

    My husband and I are avid fitness walkers, but dislike walking on potentially slick pavement. We got snowshoes for Christmas in 2011 and love them. Snowshoeing burns a ton of calories…800 an hour, I believe…so it’s a great outdoors snowy weather workout. Try it!

  21. Amy 02.22.2013

    I love your blog—especially Friday Fav’s… how you speak of Minnesotans! We are hearty………no choice. This is one of the more recent Winters I am appreciating the snow…the cold is tough but….today I walked to work from my bus drop off to office is a 1/2 mile and the light snow, listening to music, it was enjoyable….! I also went to the North Shore in January and it was gorgeous to see Lake Superior and see others not freaking out…..ha.
    I like looking at the snow from home usually.
    Have a good wknd IGE!

  22. Marianne 02.22.2013

    Dahlias are planted in the spring,and they are a tuber,not a bulb…..they loo alot like small potatoes and can rot easily……the most wonderful Dahlia farm is not too far from me….Swan Island Dahlias they guarantee their tubers
    Some are more spendy than others….but one tuber can multiply quite quickly….you can cut them apart and plant them………and remember to put some bone meal in the hole when planting,,,,,,,,really Swan Island Dahlias has a wealth of info and a stunning catalog

    • Jamie 02.22.2013

      Swan Island Dahlias are great! They totally came through for me at the last minute for my wedding several years ago when my flower people disappeared. They were so nice, too. You’re lucky to live close. = )

      • Marianne 02.22.2013

        We have ended up with so many dahlias that I sell some when our blueberry patch is open during the summer…perfect timing

  23. Marianne 02.22.2013

  24. Marianne 02.22.2013

    and here are some pics of roses,helebores and finally my first year of dahlias!

  25. Brita 02.22.2013

    I gotta try all of these recipes!!

  26. Shelley 02.22.2013

    1. I love that too about my fellow Minnesotans.
    2. LOVE Maddy (on Things). Did you know she and her owner have a book coming out and they’re doing a tour of the 50 states?
    3. I’m pretty sure you can plant dahlias in the spring. My parents usually dug up their flower bulbs and stored them indoors for the winter.

  27. Trisha 02.22.2013

    I am positively obsessed with coconut oil right now. And as luck would have it, I have all of the ingredients on hand to make those superb-looking soft batch cookies. Wisconsinite here who makes no apologies for staying warm indoors during nasty winter weather. Looks like I’ll be cozy in here for a few more hours, thanks for the awesome share! :)

  28. Alisha 02.22.2013

    The ceiling space into the play space is totally 100% genius! Love it! And that pink margarita looks like the perfect sip to celebrate national margarita day today! I, too, was in awe with the amount of people were still willing to be active outdoors when I lived in Minnesota for a couple of years, too. They were outside year-round, rain, shine or blizzard! ha!

  29. Maggie 02.22.2013

    Hi! I love the idea of the card catalogue too. My mom works at a library, and when they switched to an electronic system a few years ago, they got rid of all of their former card catalogues. I think they still have some in their basement somewhere (in Illinois. . .), but you might want to check with your local library, and save on the $800 primo price tag :-) Mom now has one in her living room, and she loves it!

  30. Afton 02.22.2013

    Blood Orange Margaritas are on Smitten Kitchen today too- I think it’s a sign I need to make them! I’ve added it to my list for drinks after I’ve had this baby!

  31. Kat 02.22.2013

    Hi, I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award…

  32. Thanks for linking up my Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies! I appreciate it, Kristin! And they are one of my newest favorite cookies. Soooo soft and and thanks for mentioning them in your post :)

    I grew up in Mpls! Left over a decade ago and the weather in San Diego is much better! But even here it does get cold and the natives freak out. And I adopt my “it’s never too cold to go outside” upbringing. I used to walk to college classes that were spread out so far apart in the dead of winter -40F or whatever it was…and everyone just dealt. Or as a kid, just going outside in it. If you stayed inside just b/c it was cold, in MN that would mean 6+ mos a year!

    Stay warm and I love all these ideas. The poundcake, the apartment therapy space makeover, all wonderful!

  33. Misty Lambert 02.22.2013

    Everything you need to know about growing Dahlias in Iowa is available in an Extension publication available here:

    They are a lot of work, but rewarding!

  34. Theresa 02.22.2013

    I LOVE that card catalog too! Every time we watch Big Bang Theory, I tell my boyfriend I want one! haha I love your Friday Favorites! Every week, it’s like, “She did it again!” I’ve been re-pinning like crazy :) It sounds like a cold one for you this weekend, stay warm! It’s supposed to be beautiful in SF, so I hope to get out and enjoy it as much as possible!

  35. I have to say, a chicken and beer combo holds a special place in my heart. And Im usually more of wine girl. I will have to check this out!

  36. Jenn 02.22.2013

    I definitely went all out buying groceries because this storm was supposed to be SO big. Then when I had to go to work this morning.. ugh.. so not fun! ha

  37. Did you know that today just happens to be National Margarita Day?! How fitting! Those Blood Orange Margaritas would be the perfect way to celebrate! :)

  38. Jamie 02.22.2013

    I LUST after that card catalog cabinet on Big Bang! So totally lust after it. = )

  39. Kristen 02.22.2013

    I’m so making the pasta dish!

  40. Megan 02.22.2013

    The chicken and beer recipe looks great! And the aerial photos made me remember a site a friend showed me a long time ago:
    This guy is fantastic. You can search all his aerial shots by country.

  41. Brigid 02.23.2013

    As others have stated, dahlias are tubers and are not winter hardy in Des Moines (which is zone 4/5) meaning if you leave the tubers in the ground during the winter they will freeze and turn to mush because of the freezing temps. In your area, the tubers are planted in the spring when the soil is warmer (maybe around early May?) and then you have to dig up in the fall and save to re-plant in the spring. (there are many ways to save them for the re-planting) Somewhat labor intensive if you are not really ready to do all of this. How about some alternatives? Zinnias, which are heat loving annuals, are a great cutting flower and can somewhat get the same look as a dahlia or for a more petit flower but VERY heat tolerant—try lantana. Both are annuals in your area, but need little water and love hot summers.

  42. Mindy 02.23.2013

    Kristin – don’t know if this would help you out or not, but I’ve ordered my flowers/herbs/veggie plants for the last couple of years from the Homestead . It’s right across from Southeast Polk High School, so not terribly far from you. My plants from them have been outstanding. Think it helps that they are grown right here in the DM area. Outstanding cause too (autism). We also get our CSA boxes from there – can’t wait until it’s time for the boxes again. Anyway, I don’t know if they have dahlias but I’ve gotten zinnias from them for the last couple of years and they are now my favorite flower to plant. Gorgeous colors! When you cut them, they stay pretty for around a week, which makes me love them even more!

  43. Hannah McBride 02.23.2013

    My (now) husband grew Dahlias for our wedding this past fall. They were absolutely gorgeous–all different vibrant colors. He started them in a green house (we live in Southern Maine) and then planted them in a pretty big space in the back. He said they were easy to grow and they grew in excess. Perfect.

  44. Lori Edgington 02.23.2013

    Another Fantastic Friday Favorites! I look forward to your posts every day!

  45. Debtgirl 02.23.2013

    Love the pics! We are so lucky to be in southern cali! Come here!!!

  46. Those flowers make me wish spring was here! But, in the meantime, being a Minnesotan, I’ll continue to bundle up and go outside. I wish I was as winter hearty as my dad who walks 1-hour every morning before work and hasn’t missed a day all winter! I prefer afternoon walks with the sunshine :)

  47. Debtgirl 02.23.2013

    Its summa in So Cal! Not gloating though! You folks in the midwest and east coast are hardy folks! I wouldn’t make one winter! Love the flowers every where on the web today .

  48. steph 02.24.2013

    Love the playroom idea! I went to an art studio/gallery once that had a play area built underneath the stairs. What a great way to use extra space.

  49. Thanks so much for including my Chicken with Honey-Beer Sauce!

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