Stove-Top Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

I feel like I have to sneak one more winter-y recipe in here, even though it’s TOTALLY SPRING!

(Though you wouldn’t know it from our gray, rainy day today…)

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Oh man, I’m so glad it’s spring. Bring on farmers market fruit and veggies, grilling out, and foods that make me feel skinny. But first—hearty, cheesy, decadent (but not TOO decadent) girls’ night food.

stove-top butternut squash mac & cheese casey

We had a girls’ night at my place a couple months ago, and wanted something super easy, that I didn’t have to put a ton of time and effort into while we were all drinking wine and chatting.  This recipe came together very fast, and the only complicated piece was cutting up the butternut squash, but you could easily just buy it pre-cubed.  I even had a pretty helper—that girl’s got her priorities, has both a glass and bottle nearby! [Read more…]

Brussels Sprout & Kale Slaw with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

My thirst for brussels sprouts shall never be quenched!

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

This salad is surprisingly hearty, with the crunchy and chewy sprouts and given a boost from the walnuts. I will say that I was a little nervous about this salad, since to me brussels sprouts are one of those things that always need cooked in order to be eaten. But overall it was delicious, filling, and super healthy! [Read more…]

Single-Serving Cherry Crisp

Sometimes I get obsessed with things.

Single-Serving Cherry Crisp

Sometimes that’s just obsessed with eating something. Sometimes it’s creating something that I can’t find. Other times it’s finding the perfect version—which may mean making it a TON of times. Homemade pad thai. Black bean brownies. Dreamy scones.

This is one of those things. I love fruit crisp, but sometimes it’s not worth the effort to make a whole pan (plus, then I eat the whole pan, which…).

Single-Serving Cherry Crisp done

I first got the idea when I made a sweet dark cherry pie for Thanksgiving last year. I’d never really worked with cherries before, always sticking instead to apples, pears, and peaches. I kind of winged it (wung it?) and made up the recipe after reading a few different ones, and it turned out great. And then one night recently I was jonesin’ for something sweet, and the idea of fruit crisp hit me (I wasn’t in the mood for chocolate for some reason). All I really had, though, was a bag of frozen cherries for smoothies. I decided to give it a go, and made two—one in the oven and one in the microwave. Shockingly, I liked the microwave version and it took WAY less time.

Single-Serving Cherry Crisp finished

Since then I’ve made it several more times because I couldn’t quite get the flavors exactly like I wanted. This is a pretty fluid and forgiving recipe. You can add a little honey or sugar to the filling if you feel it needs it (or are using tart cherries), but mine is plenty sweet. Also, you could make it gluten-free by using a flour alternative like oat flour, coconut flour, almond meal, etc.  I tried a few different spice combinations in the filling and topping (cardamom, ginger, etc.), but ultimately found that simpler was better—cinnamon and some almond extract. [Read more…]

Maple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free)

I’ve been super absent here lately.

It’s mostly because I’ve been working eleventy-billion hours, which means I’ve been exhausted and never home. And the tiny bit of free time that I’m able to grab has been devoted to trip planning for two big upcoming international trips. So suffice to say, I haven’t been cooking much lately, and haven’t had the energy to try new recipes. And the few new recipes I have tried have been kind of meh. And you deserve better than meh.

maple peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie baked

These are definitely not meh. They’re not the most amazingly glorious things you’ve ever put in your mouth, but they are delicious and sweet and pretty darn healthy when it comes down to it. As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m always on the lookout for good gluten-free recipes that use normal ingredients.

Maple Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

They have an interesting texture—the dough acts a lot like no-bake cookie dough, quite sticky. And the baked cookies are crumbly (not dry, just break apart easily), and super chocolate-y, and really quite sweet.

Maple Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk

These are made with oat flour, peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup. You can use whatever kind of chocolate chips you want, but I tried these huge Ghiradelli dark chocolate discs. SO. MUCH. CHOCOLATE.

maple peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough

Overall these were a great gluten-free addition to my repertoire. They were super easy to throw together, and healthy enough that I didn’t feel guilty sneaking one or two with my coffee the next morning! [Read more…]

Giant Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Skillet Cookie

Cookie cakes are a big meh for me usually. One time my co-worker had this incredibly detailed dream, and part of it was that I got married at work (like seriously, back in the open-office plan desks) and there was a cookie cake.

And I was like, “Well, that’s how you should have known it wasn’t real! I hate cookie cakes!”

Giant Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Skillet Cookie

I don’t know what possessed me to try this deep-dish cookie pie originally. I was home for Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is a whirlwind of giant family meals, needing to feed 15 people, 25 people, 35 people. Lots of dishes. Loading and unloading things from the car. Figuring out what gaps there are in the list of food everyone’s bringing. So I vaguely remember needing to throw together a dessert last-minute, so it needed to be simple, a crowd-pleaser, and ready to walk out the door in under an hour.

Giant Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Skillet Cookie done

The result was WAAAAAYYYYY too sweet for me, but I could see the seeds of something good and easy in there, so I shelved it until I could play around with ingredients a little. Now, three or four batches later, I love the result.

Giant Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Skillet Cookie finished

By decreasing the sugar significantly, substituting some whole wheat flour, adding peanut butter and dark chocolate chips instead of just semi-sweet, and throwing a sprinkle of sea salt, the resulting skillet cookie is sweet but not cloying, a little denser, and offers infinitely more complex flavors (also healthier, but that wasn’t the main point). If an achingly sweet version sounds good to you, don’t fear—the original is linked at the bottom of this post. But this version is much more up my alley, and has been pronounced AMAZING by some of the dudes in my life, so it’s still a major crowd-pleaser.
[Read more…]

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

“Life is too short for self-hatred and celery sticks.” ~ Marilyn Wann

That quote basically encapsulates my struggle right now. I love food. I don’t believe in diets, because I think that permanently denying yourself foods will just make you want them more. Plus, why take all the fun out of life?? But I am trying to be good most of the time right now. And looking at these pictures is pure torture, because I remember how GOOOOOOD these cinnamon rolls were.

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

But I have a secret. I’m not really into cinnamon rolls. Except these cinnamon rolls. These cinnamon rolls are like if you just took the gooey center of the roll (the only good part) and made it ALL of the roll.

THESE CINNAMON ROLLS ARE EVERYTHING.

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting done

People had raved about The Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll recipe, so when I decided to try my hand at cinnamon rolls I knew I had to try these ones. I was scared, honestly. Cinnamon rolls look like so much work, and I’ve never thought they were worth the effort. Boy, was I wrong.

cinnamon rolls with maple frosting cut2

These are 5-star levels of gooey, they’re sweet, they’re maple-y, the bread is moist and soft. Perfect. They’re perfect. And they were actually not that hard to make. Yes, there were a few steps, but they weren’t hard or even super time consuming. I just had to plan ahead in terms of starting them the night before, but otherwise they came together pretty easily.

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting 2

How decadent are these cinnamon rolls?? Well, I polished off the last four (DON’T JUDGE.) the morning that I gave blood (so I could start eating healthy the next day, natch), and when my cholesterol results came back they were like 50 points higher than normal. It was insane. Granted, I’d also had like seven of them the day before. Still. Crazy. [Read more…]

Frittata with Turkey Sausage, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

Guys, why have I never thought to put meat in a frittata?? What is wrong with me???

Frittata with Caramelized Onions, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

I went to visit my bestie in Dallas, since it had been way too long and I hadn’t met her bebe girl yet. I actually got to see my friend Hannah as well and her new little boy. Girls’ brunches are the best—look at those nuggets! They were quickly losing patience with us…

girls brunch babies

The day before, Kristine and I had a girls’ brunch with some other friends at her house. We didn’t want to go to a ton of trouble, but knew we’d all be starving so we needed to make hearty food. We also needed to make sure it was dairy-free since dairy seemed to upset the baby…and that does limit things a bit.

Frittata with Turkey Sausage, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

Finally we settled on French toast (with almond milk) and a frittata with goat cheese, which was deeeeelish! We basically made a “kitchen sink” frittata, meaning I cleaned out her fridge of veggies and just threw them all in there.

frittata with turkey sausage parsnips & goat cheese french toast

The surprise in this, besides the turkey sausage, is the parsnips. I feel like parsnips don’t get enough love. They’re sweeter than a potato, milder than a carrot, and easier to prepare than a turnip (ugh, peeling turnips is the worst). When sauteed or roasted, they caramelize into this delightfully nutty sweet crunchy awesomeness. We had some extras in the fridge because we made my shepherds pie with goat cheese carrot parsnip mash (amazeballs) the night before. I used the parsnips and onions as the base or “crust” of the frittata, then we also piled in more onions, spinach, and tomatoes, as well as the goat cheese and turkey sausage.

‘Nuff said. [Read more…]

Balsamic Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

That’s right, we’re still on a healthy kick! And it’s delicious!

Balsamic Chicken & Brussels Sprouts

This recipe had been calling my name for a while, but getting decent brussels sprouts is kind of hard right now, and I also kind of avoid chicken when I can. Chicken’s kind of boring.

Balsamic Chicken & Brussels Sprouts done

This chicken isn’t boring at all—it’s got a richness from the balsamic, a crunch from the walnuts, and serious fiber from brussels sprouts. It came together super fast and made for great work lunches for a few days.

Balsamic Chicken & Brussels Sprouts with sides

Throw in a side of spaghetti squash and butternut squash and you’re on healthy overload! Seriously, the whole thing is a 20-minute meal, was super easy, and totally delicious! [Read more…]

Churro Popovers

Oh my word, THESE POPOVERS.

Churro Popovers

These are heaven. They are light, puffy, buttery, cinnamony-sweet heaven. And they’re so fast and easy!

Churro Popovers done

I halved the recipe, since I was only cooking for me (yes, it still made 7 popovers, DON’T JUDGE ME). It’s so insanely fast, you just blend up the ingredients in your blender (or with a whisk) while the oven heats up, and like 20 minutes later you have piping hot popovers. It’s impressive, really. [Read more…]

Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies

This is a very simple cookie.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies

It came about because I was visiting my best friend in Dallas last month. We were craving sweets but she’s given up dairy for a while because it seems to upset her baby’s tummy. We wanted to make chocolate chip cookies but that was out because of the dairy in the chocolate chips. So after some recipe searching, we found these lovely, comforting cookies.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies baked

These are basically like oatmeal raisin cookies, without the raisins (because, ick). We gorged on them and sat on the couch and watched “10 Things I Hate About You” and it was wonderful. These ended up being dinner that night at the airport, as well as breakfast with my coffee the next morning at work.  [Read more…]

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