Hey guys!! I know I don’t have a huge following yet on here buuut I have enough people visiting to the page that I should provide an explanation for my absence here.

So much is going on here at the Birkin house hold as of late. We have been making some life altering decisions and working towards our life goals. Our lovely home for the past four years has been great for us! It has put us close to the goings on of family and friends, which as an expat to this country has been good for my social life. All the shopping and eating places are not too far from us and that has been amazing too! But it is with some sadness, but mostly excitement, that we are announcing that we are putting the house up for sale!!

Also in the works, because of selling the house, we are getting ready to transition to a new place. Although we have a good idea where we are headed from here until we are there, things are sorta up in the air. For those of you who are list people like me, which I hope I am not the only organized weirdo out there, having more than one thing up in the air at once can make you go a litttle crazy.

Because of all the changes we have decided to make, this side hobby blog of mine has been on the back burner. I am terribly sorry for that!!! Once things settle down a bit I will get back up on this horse!!!

In the meantime, I hope you will excuse my absence but will continue to use the recipes and tips that are already on here. When I do get back into the swing of this I hopefully will be able to add more content of different kinds. In the end I would love to turn this into a life style blog for both my family and friends to stay in contact with, but also I would like to turn it into a side business I have no idea what that business would be at this point but I would love to hear your ideas and opinions on what I could do!!! Also, if anyone of you are in or around st. Albert, Alberta, any information on jobs in the area would be greatly appreciated, especially trucking industries.

May Quinoa Bowl

2 1\2 c, Quinoa

2 c. chicken broth

2 tsp. Chipotle Chili Pepper powder (divided into two)

2 tsp. Coriander (ground) (divided into two)

1 tsp. Cardamon (divided in two)

1 tsp. salt (Pink Himalayan) (divided in two)

2 tb. chili powder (I used an imported one) (divided in two)

1 tb. garlic powder (divided)

4 chicken breasts

2 med. bell peppers (cut up sliced or cubed)

1-2 jalepenos (chopped finely)

2 large cloves of garlic, minced (or more if you like garlic)

olive oil (for coating)

*optional: 1 half of white onion (sliced or chopped)

  1. Cut chicken breasts into 1 in. cubes and put in bowl.
  2. Coat chicken in olive oil and 1 of the divided parts of each of the spices listed above.
  3. heat a large skillet (it will need to be a large pan or skillet as it will be holding a lot) on med-low heat, then add chicken and cook until done. (see step four)
  4. While chicken is cooking coat and toss the bell peppers (and onion if you wanted that optional) in the remaining spices.
  5. Once the chicken is done, leave it in the skillet and add the bell peppers, jalepenos, and garlic to the chicken skillet.
  6. Saute the veggies and chicken for 2 minutes.
  7. After the two minutes, add the chicken broth and the quinoa to the skillet.
  8. Bring the whole pan to a boil then turn low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes till the quinoa is cooked through.
  9. The quinoa should absorb most (if not all of the liquid). You will know the dish is finished when you can see the white line on the quinoa and it is soft to chew.
  10. When it is finished, serve warm and enjoy!!!

Tip: top with fresh cilantro for a refreshing bite and a beautiful eye catching dish!

Hello Again!

Hey everyone! So I am not making excuses or anything buuuut I have been on vacation for the past couple weeks and haven’t hardly had a moment to spare! Also, as being on vacation goes, I haven’t exactly been doing a lot of cooking so recipes are not forth flowing. But I am headed home today so I should resume my normal recipe posting this week! If you get a chance, go on Instagram and give me a follow @north_by_southwest and you could sneak a peak at what my southern vacation looked like!

Summer Chicken Bake

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 (14 oz) canned artichoke hearts, chopped roughly

1 large beefsteak tomato, cubed

1 c. chopped spinach

4 large basil leaves, finely chopped

1\2 c. Parmesan shredded cheese

8 thickly cut, sliced mozzarella pieces, enough to cover the chicken

salt and pepper to taste

Italian herb mix to taste

olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 f.
  2. Use olive oil to lightly coat chicken breasts
  3. Use salt and pepper on the chicken, just a pinch on each.
  4. Put chicken breasts in an oven safe baking dish (preferably one where they are barely touching each other but there isn’t much room otherwise, it will help keep things together later on)
  5. Cook chicken in the oven about half way (about 15 minutes)
  6. Remove chicken from oven
  7. Put tomato’s, artichoke, and spinach on chicken breasts, spread evenly.
  8. Next add both cheeses and basil leaves on top of chicken and veggies.
  9. Sprinkle a little more salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning over dish
  10. Put dish back into the oven for 20 minutes to finish cooking.
  11. Pull out dish from the oven and enjoy!!


*Eat with cooked rice

*Add cooked bacon bits at step 7.

Southwestern Spice Mix

For most of my meat seasoning I use a very similar mix of spices. I am not a person who really follows a recipe so most of the spice mixing happens just by eyeing out the portions; however, this is portioned out so you can see which of the spices take center stage and which ones take more of the back ground flavors.

3 Tb. Paprika powder

3 Tb New Mexico Chile Powder ( you can use any chile powder you like in place)

2 Tb Chipotle Pepper Powder

1 Tb cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp coriander, ground

salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together and use freely on meats and\or vegetables for southwestern dishes!!

Summer Pink Drink

Water Infusion

1 quart of water

2 large slices of pink grapefruit

1 med. orange sliced

  1. Put all ingredients into a container and allow to infuse over night.

Summer drink

1\2 c. frozen strawberries

1\4 tsp. cinnamon

1 lime juiced

1 quart of the infused water (above)


  1. Put all ingredients into blender and blend until everything is completely blended.
  2. Pour desired amount into your glass and enjoy it cold!


  1. Take a cup of the Summer drink, juice of one lemon, and put in blender with about 2 c. of ice and blend till smooth. Enjoy it as a slush!!!
  2. Pour the summer drink into pop-sicle molds and allow to freeze and enjoy a cold treat!!

Zesty Vinaigrette

1/2 c. olive oil

1/2 c. balsamic vinegar

1 lemon, juiced

1 tb. grated ginger

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. black pepper

salt to taste

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. dried basil (or fresh if you chop it up finely)


Super easy, only one step.

  1. Mix all ingredients together and use after thoroughly mixed.

Make sure you mix completely before each pour out onto a salad or bread.

Makes great bread dipping too!!