Y’all, this is probably the best bread I have ever made. One of the best breads I’ve ever eaten.
I know, I know—that’s a bold statement. But I’m being completely serious. As I’ve said previously on this blog, I’m not a huge bread person. I can take it or leave most bread, and would rather have dessert or wine or even a good veggie side dish. But this bread changed my mind.
I first tested out this rosemary olive oil bread many years ago on Thanksgiving weekend, trying to come up with new ways to feed a bajillion people. It’s become a family favorite and staple at Thanksgiving and even normal weekend family events.
One thing I like about it is that it’s really flexible. The first time I made it, I was under the gun time-wise and so had to cheat and force the timings a bit for both the first and second rise. But it’s a very forgiving recipe and has always turned out well. What I’ve laid out here are ideal timings, but don’t be put off by them.
I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe, like adding sea salt on top (rather than the dried rosemary it called for). I do believe that fresh rosemary in the dough makes a huge difference, so strongly recommend you use it if at all possible.
The bread flour called for is nice and adds a great chewy texture, but if you don’t have bread flour then just substitute more regular flour. I quite like this using mostly white whole wheat flour, but that’s your call…all-purpose works fine as well.
The grilling extravaganza continues! And this time we go a little fancier—gorgonzola grilled potatoes. My love of grilling recipes is well-documented, partly because grilled food is delicious, but also because it’s often healthier, easier, and requires less cleanup.
I’ve been in love with my grilled cheddar rosemary sweet potatoes for like a year now, and this is a similar idea, just taking it up a notch.
Now, obviously strong blue cheese is a polarizing thing. I truly adore it, but realize not everyone does. If you hate it, then I’d say move on, this isn’t for you. But if you’re kind of on the fence, then I’d recommend giving this a try…melting the gorgonzola crumbles and the thin coating it makes over the crispy potatoes and herbs really mellows out the flavor and makes it less in-your-face.
This is a perfect weeknight side dish for one person (hello!), but also could be a great fancy-feeling (and low-effort) side for a dinner party.
Ever since I got a proper gas grill, I’ve been working on becoming a total grillmaster. That means all the usual things like learning how to make moist and flavorful chicken, steak, fish, and vegetables…but one of my favorite things to experiment with has been grilled pizza.
So I wanted to share what I’ve learned and provide my best tips for how to grill pizza dough (along with some of my favorite grilled pizza recipes).
The beauty of grilled pizza is how versatile it is…you can seriously top it with just about anything, as long as it’s already cooked or mostly cooked. From veggies to protein to fruit to cheese to chocolate, you can’t go wrong.
I’m sharing two different techniques for how to make grilled pizza, both of which I’ve used extensively, are easy, and work well. Part of it depends on what you prefer, and also what kind of end result you’re looking for…technique #1 has a little more of a flatbread feel and #2 is more traditional style with a puffy outer crust.
Even though I made this at least a month ago, I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. And forcibly restraining myself from making it again. Because this chocolate orange babka is what dreams are made of.
As a flavor combo, chocolate and orange will always be a winner—particularly this kind of dark chocolate. One thing I really love about this recipe is that it uses a challah dough as the base, which makes the final result lighter and softer. I often find babkas a bit denser and drier than I like, so I was drawn to this particular recipe.
This is my happy place…
I feel a little like a superhero on this one. Like I’ve tackled something a proper baker would do with ease.
Or maybe I’ve just been watching too many Great British Bake-Off episodes…which is probably true anyway, but my point is that they are ALWAYS using meringue of some sort and getting all fancy, but it’s always felt like something a bit too complicated and fiddly for regular ol’ folks. However, I’m here to tell you that it’s amazing and delicious, and we all need to go out and make pavlovas RIGHT THIS SECOND!
See, I’ve never been a huge fan of meringues…like those hard little cookies that are like styrofoam? So this was a baking technique that I wasn’t quite rarin’ to try. But what I discovered was that there is a key difference between a meringue and a pavlova.
What makes a pavlova magical is that, after you’ve whipped the egg whites and added all the sugar, you add a tiny bit of vinegar and cornstarch. This is chemistry sorcery, and results in an amazing marshmallow-y center with the meringue’s crispy outside. As a bonus, this is naturally gluten-free, so can be a fancy but still easy dessert to make when you need something GF.
These are so versatile and can be topped with all sorts of things. You definitely want something sharp or tart to offset the intense sweetness, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with some more “out there” flavor combinations. But for this one, I went with one of my favorite combos of all time—almond and berry. Because I thought, “What can make this even better?? Easy: almond pavlova!” This is kind of like a posh strawberry shortcake, and you’ll be wow-ed by the lush, pillowy textures, the chewiness of the meringue, and the way all the flavors explode in your mouth.
This is a story of me falling in love with something I’ve spent my whole adult life telling people I don’t like. That most cliche of fancy restaurant dessert menu features—the flourless chocolate cake.
I’ve always found flourless chocolate cakes FAR too rich and sweet…like eating fudge. No complexity, no real textural interest, just nauseating sweetness. But as I tried to figure out a dessert to make for our Night to Be Much Observed (Passover) meal this year that was also gluten-free, I decided it was my best option for a crowd, even if I didn’t love it myself.
But *this* recipe totally won me over. I used dark chocolate (around 72% cacao), went a little scant on the sugar, and added a dash of orange extract to deepen the flavors a bit.
The result is a more bittersweet chocolate flavor that’s interesting not cloying, and a nice kind of crackly exterior rather than just pure fudge.
You might also like: The Best Ever Single-Serve Molten Lava Cake (GF)
And I haven’t even told you the best part—it only takes 10-15 minutes to whip up, and then less than a half hour to bake. It’s such a low-maintenance dessert that feels so fancy, now I get why restaurants the world over insist on featuring it!
I haven’t been quite this obsessed with something in quite some time.
And of all things it’s a *bark* recipe, which I am historically just “meh” on. But this delicious blend of rich, bittersweet chocolate and punchy peanut butter chips, lifted up slightly by nutty tahini and a crunch of sea salt, is like amazing not-actually-that-bad-for-you crack.
The most critical thing in making this amazing is to use a high-quality dark chocolate. Since the chocolate is the base and the entire carrier of this recipe, using a cheaper and lower quality kind will definitely result in a mediocre product. That doesn’t mean you need something insanely expensive, just more along the lines of Ghiradelli vs. Hershey’s. Trust me, it’s worth it!
I love this so much that I’d love to find a way to make it just as yummy, but using a healthier alternative to peanut butter chips. The actual chemistry of how bark sets isn’t really my area of expertise, so I’m going to do some fiddling and researching to see if this is feasible…as much as I love peanut butter chips, they’re not super great for me and this would be quite a really nice healthy indulgence.
A couple years ago, my sister sent me an email out of nowhere with this recipe and a note that said “This has to be on your blog!” And I’ll be honest…it kind of took me a while to get to it.
But I played around with the recipe, making for a co-worker on maternity leave, for my own personal consumption, and then to take to work. And somehow never got around to posting the final version that I love dearly.
And guys, these cookies are weird. They have no leavening agent and no eggs…which shouldn’t work, but it totally does. In fact, they could be vegan if you substituted coconut oil for butter (though I haven’t tried that from a texture standpoint).
Side note, this cookie dough is AMAZING. Like, try not to eat it all raw before baking it, I DARE YOU. And because there are no eggs, you don’t have to worry about raw egg in it (which…I don’t, but I know some people do).
One of the great things about this kind of recipe, where you make the dough into a log and then slice pieces off, is that you can make parts of it at a time super easily. So the last time I made this, I baked up about half the dough right after dinner, and then two days later sliced up the rest and baked it when I had my whole family over for dinner again. Bonus points because they’re really quite healthy.
I’ve been accidentally keeping this recipe a secret the last couple months. I know, I’m sorry…that’s not what friends do.
It wasn’t not on purpose. It’s just that life’s been so crazy, and this chicken has been one of the things getting me through. As the weather has gotten too cold for my normal nightly grilling, I had to try and find something else super easy but still healthy to have regularly. And once I tried this once, I was totally hooked.
This apricot balsamic chicken recipe comes courtesy of Joy the Baker (link at the end of this post), and it’s so simple but feels kind of fancy. The original recipe calls for chicken thighs, and it probably is best because thighs stay more moist and bring more flavor.
But I use chicken breasts sometimes, just because I struggle with the texture of thigh meat and don’t typically have it on hand. Chicken breasts work just fine, and my biggest tip is to make sure they’re sliced or pounded thin and even, so they cook quickly without drying out (also, try brining them first). I also swapped out the thyme the original recipe calls for and added rosemary instead, which I think gives it a punchier flavor.
This is the kind of recipe you can actually whip up on a weeknight after a frantic day of work in less than 30 minutes, then sit down with a glass of wine and take a deep breath.
You know you know what I’m talking about.
I am a well-known lover of cauliflower, but even I was surprised by how fervently I fell in love with this recipe. I tried it kind of on a whim, just to mix things up from my normal grill foil packet cauliflower (which is bomb, and I’ve made literally every night for like four months).
But I took one bite and said out loud (in a room by myself), “OH MY WORD THIS IS AMAZING!” My cats looked at me weird. Whatever, they’re totally missing out.
The flavor combo of this roasted cauliflower is crazy and intense. It’s such a perfect blend of sweet, savory, crunchy, and earthy. I would never have thought to pair really ANY of these together, but the result is absolutely sublime.
And you know what’s bonus?? It’s super easy too. There’s very little hands-on time, and it can all come together in under half an hour—basically the time it takes for the cauliflower to roast. It makes a perfect side dish alongside simple things like grilled or baked chicken, and I’ve even had it as a lighter vegetarian dinner as well.
This recipe is…there are no words for how good these scones are.
I’m a noted lover of scones (as seen here, here, and here), and there are very few flavor combinations I love more than cherry and almond. So as I was poring over various cherry recipes to use my plethora of fresh cherries (and awesome new cherry pitter), I came across this one and it immediately jumped to the top of the “must make” list.
I made a few small tweaks to the original recipe, most notably cutting way back on the glaze. I don’t think they need a ton, just enough to get a bit of extra sweet and a punch of almond flavor. I’m well known for adding almond extract to EVERYTHING.
Marinated feta where have you been all my life?!
That was basically what my brain was yelling the first time I made this. It was meant to be just an ingredient in garlicky farfalle with marinated feta and arugula (now a fave of mine), but I pinched a little bite while I was cooking the pasta, and my mind was blown.
Since then I’ve made it on its own, either for tossing in a salad, for eating on crackers, or for just obsessively snacking on by itself. The key to making it especially amazing is to use a really good block feta (not the pre-crumbled stuff). Any block will do—and don’t go fat-free, bring on that fat—but I recently fell in love with the Pastures of Eden feta at Trader Joe’s (and wherever else you can find it). Amazeballs.
Every time I go to Chicago for work lately, I’ve stayed at The Godfrey for convenience, and had a lovely run along the River Walk in the early morning. Then, as a reward, I’ve stopped at Beatrix and gotten the biggest latte they have a morning bun.
Their morning buns are an inspiration, like a cinnamon roll’s way cooler cousin…dough that’s slightly sweet with some lamination and a hint of orange zest, a cinnamon-sugar filling that’s positively gooey inside, and some sugar on the outside. No frosting, nothing overly sickly. Perfection.
So I’ve been lingering on this particular recipe on Pinterest lately, since it ticks the same flavor boxes as my beloved morning buns. I finally decided to tackle it a couple weeks ago and was SO happy I did!
If you love this flavor combo, try these orange cinnamon pistachio morning buns!
One of the biggest changes I made was adding orange zest into the dough itself, versus just in the glaze. That slight hint of orange in the dough with a subtle cinnamon-sugar filling is just sublime. Additionally, I adapted the glaze by eliminating the butter and decreasing the amount quite a bit. I think the changes work SUPER well and make it a little less sweet, which is more my style.
I’d also recommend not being daunted by the number of steps in the recipe. It’s not a difficult recipe, and other than braiding the split layered dough ropes (it’s a bit messy!), it’s totally doable as long as you have the time. Don’t rush it and it’ll be a breeze!
This is one of the better ideas I’ve had in a while…
I’ve been totally obsessed with cherries lately, partly because they’re absolutely delicious and have been everywhere at the grocery store, and partly because I recently got a cherry pitter and can now have this fruit candy easily anytime I want (without hand-pitting and looking like I’ve murdered someone…).
Bourbon has also been everywhere in my life lately, since starting my new job at Brown-Forman in Louisville. Pretty much any bourbon will work for this, I used the bottle that happened to be open, which was a lovely Old Forester 100 proof. Combined with the brown butter, cinnamon, and cherries, this was BOMB.
I moved away from home when I left for college, and only get back to Kansas once or twice a year. Usually that’s around Thanksgiving, but on the rare occasions it happens to be during the summer, my mom invariably asks if there’s anything in particular I want to eat, and I invariably answer “grilled chicken and steak with fried baby potatoes”.
It’s our thing.
It’s nice that some things in life are consistent 🙂 This is barely a “recipe”, but I’ve never really had these quite the same anywhere else so I wanted to share how we do this. The reason that summer is key is because we want to get fresh new potatoes if possible (red is best), and the key is SMALL. Yes, you can make regular potatoes this way, but it’s only with smaller potatoes that you get the right ratio of buttery crispy goodness and soft fluffy innards.
Guuuuuyyyyys. I know I haven’t posted a non-dessert recipe on here in a while. That’s mostly because I haven’t been cooking—I’ve been GRILLING. Ever since I moved in and have been getting settled, I’ve started using my awesome new grill non-stop. A lot of that has been slapdash marinating or brining and then throwing things on the grill as fast as I can. Not really “recipes”, per se. But *this* is the real deal, and I couldn’t wait to share it.
Behold, cheesy rosemary sweet potatoes on the grill.
I mean, that’s just ridiculous. I’ve been experimenting a lot with foil packet veggies (it’s my fave way to do cauliflower on the grill), and this is my favorite find yet. You can still make these if you don’t have rosemary (or could substitute fresh sage), but the rosemary really elevates it.
I *am* working on a bigger post on grilling for first-timers. I definitely can’t claim to be an expert yet, but I’ve done a lot of experimenting and reading up, with a lot of success, so hope to make the subject feel a little less daunting for other first-timers. I’ll share my favorite marinades and rubs, different ways to prepare veggies, tips for moist and not overcooked meat, and how to make sure you cook things to a safe temperature. So stay tuned!
Oh hello there!
Yes, I know it’s been a hot minute since last we met here. But things have been a little insane around here, due to relocating (in my tiny Corolla), living in a temporary furnished apartment for a couple months (with the WORST kitchen supplies! Also, the cats were not fans…), house hunting, finalizing my move from Atlanta, and closing on a house here in Louisville. Oh yeah, and starting a major new job. So yeah, a lot’s been happening.
But I have a mountain of deliciousness to make it up to you today.
The great news is that I’m back in a fully-functioning kitchen and raring to go. I had to have them pipe in a propane line and install a new gas range because I was not dealing with that electric stove nonsense. Isn’t she pretty????
So that’s where I’ve been hiding for the last couple months. And without further ado, I bring you the yummiest stuffed challah bread you’ve ever had. Butter and walnuts and cinnamon and brown sugar meld into a magical mess inside a soft enriched dough (yes, I’ve been watching GBBO). But it’s surprisingly easy to pull together and got rave reviews from my co-workers. Totally worth the little bit of extra effort.
Pasta recipes used to be a staple on this blog, but in the last couple years I’ve had to waaaayyy scale back on the pasta for health reasons. But I LURVE pasta and was super excited to try out a new recipe that was 1) super easy and 2) super delicious.
I’d never marinated feta before, and boy, is *that* dangerous knowledge to have now! You have no idea how hard it was not to just eat that marinated feta straight out of the bowl. YUMMM.
I’ve done a separate post just on how to make marinated feta as well, so save that bad boy.
One thing that’s great about this recipe is its simplicity. Other than making sure you have high-quality feta, the rest of the ingredients were ones I generally have on hand or can easily grab at the grocery store (like the arugula). But if you’re having it for a date, make sure you both eat a ton because it is super garlicky, so you want to have an even playing field 🙂
This recipe did something I didn’t think possible—I think I might have a new favorite cookie.
For years, my family’s molasses cookies have occupied the main cookie-shaped place in my heart, with their combination of warm spices and biting dark molasses. And these brown butter cinnamon chip oatmeal cookies definitely share some of the same DNA. Subtly sweet but not overpowering, spiced, textured, and soft, these will make your house smell amazing and bring all the co-workers to the yard.
In fact, the first time I made this recipe, my only note was something I never thought I’d say, which was, “Waaayyyy too much cinnamon chip. Pull that crap back.”
So I cut the cinnamon chips by more than half, and am completely in love with the result—the more subtle cinnamon chip presence allows the brown butter flavor to really shine through in all its rich, nutty glory. Add the oatmeal texture and you have a cookie made in heaven.
I’ve been completely obsessed with this this recipe for a couple months now. I’ve seriously made it three or four times in six weeks. And I cook like…maybe once a week?
This dish is super healthy done right—it’s so delicious that you don’t feel like you’re giving something up, and so easy that you don’t have to work hard to convince yourself to make it. Another bonus is that the main ingredients are really affordable, which isn’t always the case when using fresh, healthy ingredients.
Given how hectic things have been lately, I’ve tried out a couple of meal prep delivery services to see if they would help me be better about cooking and eating healthier—rather than relying on UberEats. I recently tried Terra’s Kitchen and focused on largely paleo and vegan recipes for my first box, to try and counteract the rest of my life.
This is a slightly adapted recipe of the first meal I made from them, and it was a WINNER! If you are wanting to try out a meal delivery service that has a lot of really healthy, fresh options, you might give them a try. This code will get you $40 off your first box (just a referral link, not a partnership of any sort).
The star of this dish is the sweet, tangy, spicy sauce that coats everything. But don’t underestimate how awesome the different textures are in combination—solid yet tender cauliflower, chewy chickpeas, crunchy peanut pieces. Nom nom nommity nom!READ THE POST
“This is the best dessert I’ve ever had”. Actual quote from my dad.
I don’t know that I can disagree. As I was trying to figure out what to make for Thanksgiving this year, I knew I wanted to make something fruit-based (because no one else was, and that’s my jam), and since my mom had about 17 pounds of fresh pears sitting around—and I loooove pears—figured it would be pear-based.
This wasn’t my first pear rodeo—I made a super delish caramel pear pie with oat crumble one year (a bit sweet for me but still soooo good) and one of my go-to recipes is a healthy pear-apple pie with streusel topping.
But I wanted to try a new recipe out, so with that in mind, I pored over my Pinterest dessert board and hit upon this recipe. I knew I had a winner…bourbon pear pie was already going to be amazing, but add that crumble topping and there’s no way it won’t be amazing.
I ended up accidentally making quite a bit more filling and topping than could fit in my pie crust (I should have used the deep-dish pan), so I just poured the extra filling into a small pyrex dish, threw the extra topping on, and baked it as its own little bourbon pear crisp. It was amazing, so if you have extra I highly recommend going that route.
And when you tell people that you’re bringing a bourbon pear pie, they end to get pretty excited…READ THE POST
I am obsessed with this side dish. It is one of the few things I went back for seconds on at Thanksgiving, and has become one of my go-to side dish recipes—particularly when I need to feed a big group.
The hands-on time is minimal, just prepping and chopping the veggies. After that, you briefly toss in olive oil, season, and pop it in the oven. The vinaigrette takes all of two minutes to put together, so this is a perfect dish to make when you need to focus on other things in the kitchen.
One of the best things about this dish is that you can easily make it ahead, and it warms up and travels well. The flavors feel indulgent, but it’s still really healthy…which was one of the things we needed this Thanksgiving. I looked at our family’s Thanksgiving dish list and realized there were no green vegetables (no, green bean casserole doesn’t count!). So I whipped this bad boy up, and it got rave reviews.
You can also easily increase or decrease the amounts to feed only a few people or a horde. Basically, this is the perfect side dish and you need it in your life right this minute.READ THE POST
I have a well-documented love for a moist chocolate almond cake (I’ve written rhapsodies about this fancy loaf cake thing). One of the downsides of that recipe is that it it has to bake for almost an hour, so it’s difficult to just whip up or fit into the line-up when you’re needing the oven for other things.
Enter *this* cake.
It’s a similar idea as the fancy loaf cake, with a few key differences. One is that you don’t have to whip the egg whites (great for a lazy person like me) and the flavor profile is a bit different (this doesn’t have the cinnamon and coffee). But the best part is it bakes in about half an hour, so if you’re asked to bring a gluten-free dessert to a party in a few hours (ahem, not that that’s happened to me…) you can whip this bad boy up.
This got rave reviews from adults and kids alike, my friend even mentioned to me that her kids were asking about it a week or two later.
This cake is especially perfect for people who can’t decorate cakes (*raises hand*). One thing I will say, if you’re taking it somewhere else, I would wait to assemble the cakes and put the whipped cream on til you’re ready to serve. That’s simple enough, just wrap up each layer in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge, and bring the whipped cream in a container.READ THE POST
My tradition of ugly but delicious birthday cakes continues…
A cake decorator I will never be.
This cake, however, is suuuuuper delish. I really wasn’t feelin’ it this year. I was so tired and stressed that I didn’t even know if I wanted to bother making something. My birthday was on a Tuesday (blah) in a super crazy week (among other things we were moving offices, had big deadlines, and I was getting ready to leave the country), and I knew it would be a super long day.
So looked for something simple but that really tugged at me. And, man, peanut butter and a dark chocolate stout cake can get me every time.READ THE POST
I want to eat this cake all day, every day. Lemon + raspberry is a match made in heaven. Add those to a light, buttery cake and you’ve reached something truly sublime.
When I first made this recipe, it was actually as lemon cupcakes with a raspberry frosting, for my friend Casey’s birthday. But even as I was making it, I was mentally adapting it into a cake. Because let’s face it, cupcakes are a pain in the rear.
And then as I was making the cake, I had the idea of adding some jam swirled throughout. 1) Because I’m a huge fan of jam, and 2) because it does add a lovely moistness and complement to the lemon.
Jam is my jam.
This dessert is perfect for the winter months, because it tastes of springtime and warm days and lemons are usually plentiful. But it would be just as appropriate in summer for a light group dessert. Basically this is a year-round winner. YOU’RE WELCOME.READ THE POST
I want to eat this all day, every day.
It’s no secret that there are a few select foods that I could literally could eat every single day and not get tired of them. Nachos (and I do), a good burger, and my homemade strawberry shortcake. My homemade strawberry shortcake is sublime.
I stumbled upon this recipe years ago when I needed to come up with a dessert for like 15 people. Individual shortcakes would have been way too time-consuming (and quite frankly they’re kind of dry), but I had it stuck in my head that I wanted to use the pounds of strawberries that my mom had. And then I found the original recipe I’ve adapted here…as my original post mentioned, I’m obsessed. It’s literally the best.
But, as with many recipes, I wanted to see if there was a way to make it just a tad more healthy—cut down on the calories just a bit, but also bringing in some healthier elements. And the fact is, I might like this version even just a bit more.
I cut the sugar a bit, and it definitely doesn’t lose anything. And then I’ve substituted half of the flour for whole wheat (or white whole wheat, which is a bit softer), which gives it a great heartiness and also a slightly nutty, warm flavor that I really love. You can make this ahead of time when feeding a big group and it’s the most moist, fragrant, yummy summer dessert I can think of. Pair it with fresh strawberries and a bit of homemade cinnamon whipped cream, and you’ve got yourself a winner!READ THE POST
My dessert tastes don’t always quite jive with other people’s. I don’t like things super sweet, I tend more toward fruity desserts rather than super chocolate, I will always choose dark chocolate over milk (and don’t even talk to me about white chocolate and its lies…).
I was blown away by the complexity of the flavors in this cake, yet how subtle they were. I cut back on the sugar quite a bit from what the recipe called for, and for me that made it perfect—letting the chocolate have more of a bittersweet quality and the cinnamon shine through. Also, whoever thought to put cinnamon in whipped cream is a genius and I can’t believe I haven’t done that before. But I assure you I will forever moving forward…
READ THE POST
It’s been a long time since I’ve been so obsessed with a recipe. I pinned it years ago, and somehow forgot about it, though the idea was fascinating. Then over winter break this year I stumbled back across it and knew I had to give it a try. So behold, almond magic cake.
Because I did make one major change to the recipe. The original is for a vanilla cake, but my M.O. in life is, why make something vanilla when it can be almond-flavored instead??
This cake is really easy to throw together, and yields the most amazing, creamy, custardy, flan-y cake. I ended up making it again a few days later, in a gluten-free version (to be posted here later once I’ve perfected it). Give this a try, you won’t be disappointed!READ THE POST
This bread is the BOMB!
Cinnamon-sugar is my kryptonite in general, so it’s no surprise that I was drawn to this recipe. It’s all the best things about my snickerdoodle bread (which is amazing, but also will make a major dent in your calories for the day), combined with a bit of whole wheat flour and fiber from zucchini.
Make no mistake, this is definitely a breakfast dessert, but it’s now only a bit of splurge rather than a complete diet derail.
The hardest thing is finding the cinnamon chips—if you see them, buy like 6 bags! (Though this may be part of the scarcity problem…). I think Hershey’s discontinued theirs, so I’ve been buying them on the Amazon black market, and will need to look elsewhere soon.
Cinnamon chips are seriously the best, and appropriate in all manner of delicious breakfast and dessert recipes.
This was a hit at work. And I had trouble keeping my hands off it. I had a piece with my morning espresso, but went back several times throughout the day for another bite. I probably had three pieces total, one bite at a time!READ THE POST
This is my new breakfast obsession.
I don’t know the last time I found a scone recipe I was so into. Don’t get me wrong, I love scones, but they’re generally more of just a vehicle for condiments, an excuse to slather on jam or honey. The scone itself is not so much the point. But these scones are completely the point.
These are absolutely divine with a tiny bit of honey, but they’re honestly even amazing without anything at all. There’s butter and maple syrup baked right in, so they really don’t need anything. And they only took a few minutes to whip up and get in the oven. Perfect for company, or just for you to devour by yourself with coffee and a blanket on a cold winter morning…READ THE POST
Every year (minus last year), I make myself a special birthday cake. I try to pick something that’s really captured my imagination, that seems a bit fancy and more complex than I’d usually convince myself to tackle. Something special.
This year, for reasons I can’t even quite explain to myself, I made a vanilla spice Coke cake with salted peanut frosting.
Yes, you read that right.
It’s kind of conceptual…while I’m not a fan myself, boiled peanuts in Coke is considered a Southern delicacy. Consider this the deconstructed cake version. But without the weird texture issues.
It was really a gameday decision. I’d pored over my whole Pinterest dessert board and nothing was really jumping out at me. But then I finally got it into my head that this vanilla spice Coke cake was going to be my base. I’ve never had a traditional Coca-Cola cake, but my understanding is that it’s almost always chocolate. When I ran across this recipe from Local Milk, I was intrigued…the way the flavor profile was described so beautifully, and as an interesting transition into fall,I decided it had to happen.
But the frosting that went along with it was just way too finicky for my exhausted and busy self to deal with. I looked at tons of different recipes but nothing really felt right, until I saw this salted peanut frosting. Since I love all things peanut butter, I was on board right away, and I thought that it would be a fun complement to the cake. While this was a bit overly sweet for my tastes (or maybe that was because I also ate a gallon of queso, so I felt a bit ill), the flavor was bomb and the cake was insanely moist.
I’ll definitely be revisiting this recipe down the road, and not just for a special occasion—the cake base itself (minus frosting the layers) was super easy and fast. As you can tell, frosting cakes is not my particular skill set.
So happy birthday to me, and cut yourself a huge slice of cake and pour a Coke!READ THE POST
I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong. And BOY, was I wrong about this apricot linzer torte.
See, for the past two or three years, basically every time I’ve gotten with my friend Shalya for dinner, the conversation has eventually turned to food (okay, fine, it’s on food 92.5% of the time), and every single time she’s begged me to make an apricot linzer torte.
Every single time. And I always told her she was a weirdo, because who is obsessed with linzer torte, but fine, yes, I’ll make a linzer torte if she comes to my house. But that day finally came.
AND IT WAS GLORIOUS.
See, in my (limited) experience, linzer torte is basically just a simple buttery pastry crust with some jam in it, and a lattice topping. Something that’s fine adorning a bakery case somewhere, but not something that anyone ever really chooses.
Fine, and sturdy, but not setting the world on fire. Which just goes to show, I have been eating the WRONG LINZER TORTE all my life.
This linzer torte recipe is anything but “fine”. The dough basically punches you in the face with a combination of spices so aromatic my house smelled like heaven.
Pair that moist, tender spiced pastry with slightly chunky, tart apricot jam, and you have a simple and perfect match made in heaven.
It’s sweet corn season!!!
I was so stoked when my CSA box this week included four ears of sweet corn. Fresh corn is the best. It can be a side dish, elevate even the most mundane pasta, and even become a dessert (and yes, you better believe this is happening in the near future).
In fact, I was so excited about the first corn of the season that I actually cooked on a Saturday night. That may not sound earth-shattering, but anyone who knows me knows that Saturday night is reserved for Chinese food. Specifically, one of three dishes from House of Chan five minutes from my house. I call at around 5:02, pick it up 15 minutes later, and am comfortably ensconced on my couch shortly thereafter. So for me to choose cooking on a Saturday night is pretty major.
And this pasta is totally worth it. The sweet corn, summer squash, and onions meld with the mascarpone, Parmesan, and starchy water to make a comforting yet not heavy-feeling chunky sauce that covers the noodles and sausage for the perfect pasta marriage. Add a little fresh basil and I’m in heaven. The fact that it all came together in less than half an hour? Even better.READ THE POST
I think I’ve found my new favorite cupcake recipe. These are as close to a perfect texture and taste as any cake or cupcake I’ve ever made.
Someone described them as “bomb-ass”, and I’m not going to argue with them. I mean, it would be rude.
We wanted to do a special girls’ night for Casey’s birthday a few weeks ago, and I heard through the grapevine that she was obsessed with some Publix lemon raspberry cake, so the flavor palette for her cake was easy enough. I was super excited, because usually people want chocolate or something super sweet, so the chance to make a fruity dessert was one I wouldn’t pass up.
And it’s a good thing these were basically perfect, because they were pretty much the only thing that went right that evening. The restaurant ended up being a nightmare (45 minutes to order, hour and a half for food to come, took two hours to get a second drink order in), so by the time we left our numbers had dwindled by half and it was already quite late. Thankfully, three of us persevered and went to our friend’s Midtown high rise for wine and cupcakes and a great rooftop view.
Right call. The cupcakes are the most insanely moist, dense crumb you can imagine, packed with super tart lemony flavor that never tips over the line into that weird cloying fake lemon flavor that I hate. Even without the icing they’re perfection. But the icing is a work of art itself. Fluffy buttercream taken to the next level with raspberry jam adding some fruity goodness and tanginess to the frosting’s sugar overload.
In other words, you should make these TODAY.READ THE POST
It’s no secret that travel is my crack. Few experiences can compete with setting foot in a new country, seeing how the people live, soaking up the culture, and—of course—eating and drinking everything in sight. So imagine my excitement when my friend Sarai and I decided on Argentina for our girls’ trip this year.
This was basically my face the whole time.
So, without further ado, here are some highlights (a little heavily food/wine focused, because…well, duh) from Argentina. I hope it gets you as excited to try and visit this amazing country as it did for me.
Our first taste of Argentina actually was a medialuna and kind of sad coffee hastily bought at the airport before jumping on a bus that took two hours to take us across the city to the domestic airport. It actually was pretty darn good, but then once we got to the airport we were STARVING. On the great advice of someone from the TripAdvisor forum, we eschewed the airport food and walked across the street to one of the food carts.
One hamburgesa and a grapefruit soda later, we were content to bask in the sunlight and watch old men fish while waiting to check in for our flight. Our first stop was in Puerto Iguazu, where we spent the next day exploring the absolutely amazing Iguazu Falls (from the Argentinian side).
THIS IS REAL LIFE.READ THE POST
Massaman curry has somehow become one of my go-to comfort foods. When I’m cold, stressed, tired, or just annoyed, this particular curry—with its combination of soft and crunchy textures, its creamy sauce and slightly spicy bite—are like a warm, yummy hug.
[Some recipe photos updated January 2023]
For years I went to the same Thai restaurant and ordered the same thing (Bangkok chicken, “baby mild”, no baby corn…it’s the BOMB), but then one day I decided that I needed to branch out, and this was the least spicy of the curries.
Plus, it didn’t have green peppers, which are truly disgusting, so that was a deciding factor. One taste of this, with the silky avocado and the crunch of the onion, and I was in love.
I’m not sure what took me so long to try making this myself. Maybe it’s because I tend to find that ethnic dishes are just better at restaurants, so it’s worth shelling out for them on occasion.
Plus I’m lazy, and I tend to take one look at the long list of ingredients and get overwhelmed (not to mention my grocery store doesn’t just have this particular curry paste sitting around).
But you shouldn’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients. Most of them are ones you already have around, and the others are easy enough to pick up (and are great in other recipes).
I will say that I’m very particular about the coconut milk (this is the brand I love)…you want it good and creamy, without weird gums and fillers!
Prepping the ingredients will take 15-20 minutes with one set of hands, but is quite easy, and then the dish comes together very smoothly. It makes amazing leftovers, and can feed a serious crowd.
In general, puppy chow is at the top of the list of “foods I’m never, ever allowed to have in my house”. Because I will eat it ALL—I love it. But I think this specific recipe may literally be my favorite food in the world. It is that good. Life-changing, even.
When I first saw this recipe on Food 52, I was obsessed, and couldn’t wait to try it out. The dark chocolate twist was right up my alley (I’m definitely dark vs. milk), and I knew the sea salt would add a perfect balance to what can sometimes be an overly sweet snack. I also made a few changes based on my own preferences…I decreased the amount of powdered sugar and increased the peanut butter (and the chocolate chips, a little) to tailor it to my exact tastes.
And I done good. Now *this* is what I call a Sunday night…
I took this into work (okay fine, what I hadn’t already eaten the night before) and we devoured it in no time flat. READ THE POST
I had other things I planned on posting this weekend, but I just couldn’t keep this recipe from you for a minute longer. This recipe needs shared IMMEDIATELY.
I spent almost a week home with the family for Thanksgiving, and it involved a fair amount of cooking and baking. Sabbath morning my mom asked what I’d like to make to go along with our awesome chili-cheese omelettes. I needed something simple and fairly quick, since we were all starving, and scones felt like the simplest option.
I was really tempted by a cinnamon scone recipe I’ve been eyeing for months, but then this jumped at me. I took a chance, and BOY, did I make the right choice?!
The strangest thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t include any milk or buttermilk. That made me nervous, and I was worried these would be dry or wouldn’t rise well, but I was totally wrong. The shredded apples and the applesauce gave them all the moistness they needed, and the texture was perfect. They’re pretty healthy as scones go, and have such a great flavor.READ THE POST
I’ve amassed a fairly impressive arsenal of gluten-free dessert recipes over the past few years, since my friends John & Bridgette went GF. And one of the biggest things I usually look for in these recipes is that they’re naturally free of gluten, rather than using weird ingredients to try and approximate the texture and taste of wheat recipes.
That’s why I’ve developed quite an affinity for almond meal. It’s super yummy, plus it has an awesome grainy texture—not perfect for every type of recipe, but helps provide a “crumb” to certain cakes and pastries. It’s also pretty easy to work with and really forgiving. I’ve kind of been on an almond cake kick lately for myself, because the flavor is perfect for this summer-to-fall transition time we’ve been in.
Which brings us to the uber-moist flavor bomb we’re talking about today…
This recipe is from Cookie + Kate, and as soon as she posted it, I was dying to give it a try. The almond cake is the star, and is taken up a level by the combination of orange zest and cinnamon in the batter, and the maple syrup makes it super moist. It’s also literally the easiest batter to throw together. Then the slightly-sticky cake is stopped with a roasted fruit compote, which provides additional juice dripping down into the cake. I went with pears and raspberries, which in hindsight was way too much juice to deal with. But you can use whatever strikes your fancy. This is awesome as leftovers, particularly for breakfast.
Don’t judge.READ THE POST
Not gonna lie, I’m pretty proud of this one.
These little babies feel so fancy and seemed like they would be a ton of work. Surprisingly, though, they were really simple to throw together and were WELL worth the effort.
Fried squash blossoms and stuffed squash blossoms are one of my favorite Italian dishes—any time I see them on a restaurant menu, I have to order them. And unless you have a garden overflowing with squash and zucchini (I don’t), they’re nearly impossible to get your hands on fresh.
So when I saw them at the farmer’s market last weekend, I pounced. I didn’t know how to prepare them or what I was doing, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to have my very own fancy blossoms. When I got home I looked a few recipes up on Pinterest to get a feel for ingredients, proportions, and how to prep them. The prepping part is easy, just a little exacting—you have to gently separate the flower petals and reach in to pull off the stamen. It’s not hard, but my chunky fingers kept tearing the delicate buds.
I went back and forth on whether to stuff them or not, and decided to split the difference. I had some leftover honey goat cheese, so I softened that, chiffonaded some fresh basil, and stirred that together with a splash of lemon juice and some sea salt. The stuffed ones were out of this world…a solid 10 on the flavor-meter. My only complaint on this recipe is that there was a lot of waste for one person (I stuffed myself, but could only eat so many and they’re not good leftover), so next time I make these will definitely be for a group!READ THE POST
ISN’T IT PRETTY?!?!
When I saw a recipe that claimed to be easy challah, my reaction was…”sure, easy for some people, but for a bread novice like me not so much”. This was before I had ever really gotten into baking bread (several years ago), and this was really one of my earliest bread experiments. It went so well, it boosted my confidence for future yeast-based baking.
Seriously, this bread is just beautiful. And it’s not just beautiful, it’s amazingly soft and flavorful and perfect. And easy.
I’d never had challah bread before this, but basically it’s a yeast-leavened, lightly-sweet braided dough made with eggs, then brushed with an egg wash before baking. It can be soft or dense, made with many different grains, created into other shapes (spirals, circles, birds, etc.), but at its heart it’s just a slightly-sweet, eggy bread.
And I can’t imagine that it gets much better than this recipe! First-try bread recipes can be tricky sometimes, and rarely are they absolutely perfect the first time. But this easy challah recipe lived up to its name…it was super forgiving, the braiding was super easy, and the final product made me want to eat ALL THE BREAD.
And I’m not even a bread person…
Let’s just look at it again, shall we???
(As a side note, challah makes the most AMAZING french toast…here’s my favorite small batch recipe!)
Save for later: A Tool to Decide What Bread to Make Based On How Long You Have…
Okay, moving on…
[Note: I’ve updated the instructions and photos, September 2019]
READ THE POST
Sometimes I get obsessed with things.
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…).
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.
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 THE POST
“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 Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls were.
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.
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.
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.
Here are a few kitchen tools I find really helpful for this recipe:
- My multi-purpose scraper tool (keep dough from sticking, divide, cut the rolls…does a little of everything)
- Silicone pastry brush
- Handle-less rolling pin
- Silicone pastry mat for rolling (depending on what your counters are made of)
How decadent are these cinnamon rolls with maple frosting??
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, naturally), 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.
You might like: The Kitchen Tools Every Cook or Baker Needs
Oh my word, THESE POPOVERS.
These are heaven. They are light, puffy, buttery, cinnamony-sweet heaven. And they’re so fast and easy!
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 THE POST
Isn’t it great that breakfast means you can have all kinds of dessert-y things but it’s totally fine because it’s breakfast? Like, people would find you weird if you ate chocolate cake for breakfast, but coffee cake? Totally cool.
This is one of those super-good-desserts-but-also-totally-appropriate-for-breakfast recipes. It’s adapted from an apple cake I made a while ago—I remember thinking at the time that I just HAD to try it with pears (one of my favorite fruits), but never got around to it.
This winter break I found myself with several insanely juicy and fragrant Harry & David pears and knew right away what I must do with them. I’ve even made a version of this with pears, hazelnuts, and a delicious rosemary honey glaze.
This cake really is the best of both worlds. It’s my kind of dessert—lightly sweet, hearty, a mix of warm and comforting flavors. But it’s also really quite healthy.
I use white whole wheat flour entirely, which not only gives it lots of fiber but also a wonderful nutty flavor and great texture. It’s made with oil, I cut back on the sugar the original recipe calls for, and it’s full of fruit and nuts as well.
As breakfast goes—from time to time—you could do worse.
Look at these guys…aren’t they gorgeous?!READ THE POST
These biscuits are SO easy and SO good!
It’s no secret that I adore biscuits. They’re buttery and flaky and warm, you can put jam and honey on them, and they feel so good in my belly! But there are two things about biscuits that I don’t love. I really hate having to cut cold butter into flour—it may be irrational, but I really hate it. And while biscuits are amazing straight out of the oven, they’re usually dense, dry balls of bread that get stuck in your windpipe and try to choke them to death when you eat them as leftovers.
But no more! For Thanksgiving this year I needed to make another kind of bread for our hungry horde. We already had rolls, so I thought some kind of biscuit. The problem is that making regular biscuits for a big group is time consuming, and if they have to sit around for a while they’ll start to get dry and stale. Enter these amazing, easy drop biscuits…
These use melted butter, and stirring everything together takes a couple minutes tops. You get this shaggy dough that you can use a spoon or ice cream scoop to plop directly into the pan, so no cleanup from having to roll out and cut the biscuits.
And the taste and texture! Not only are they amazing right out of the oven, but we re-heated them for dinner that night and scarfed the last couple the next morning, and they still were light and fluffy as leftovers. So basically perfect. They’re definitely on my list of best Thanksgiving recipes! READ THE POST
Let me start by saying that this cake is way easier than it sounds. There’s something about “ganache” that sounds so fancy and unattainable.
This was the birthday cake I picked out this year, something kind of fancy but also quite simple—just good chocolate and good beer. (Although I’m sensing a theme of chocolate + alcohol birthday cakes…).
This is a Smitten Kitchen recipe and it’s basically perfect. The cake itself has a dense richness, a little bittersweet from the combination of the stout and the darker Dutch-process cocoa.
I also went a little scant on the sugar so the sweetness wasn’t overwhelming. I went ahead and frosted mine right away, which made the inside moist and fudgy, which is how I prefer my cake.
I’d never made a ganache before and thought it was going to be complicated and temperamental, but it was really quite simple and very fast. You want to use good quality chocolate to get the smoothest, creamiest texture and rich flavor. (I now have a more detailed post on how to make ganache, including two different easy methods.)
Overall, I would make this cake again in a heartbeat!
And then there was this gloriousness. That’s right, my co-worker wrapped my birthday wine bottles with the one and only James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. They get me. They really get me.
Okay, back to this chocolate stout cake…READ THE POST
I found a way to make something awesome EVEN BETTER. I raved about the peanut butter, honey, & sea salt ice cream I made a few weeks ago. It is seriously the best. So naturally, peanut butter & jelly ice cream was the logical next step.
Take sweet, peanut butter-y creamy goodness and cut strips of tangy strawberry jam through it, and you have the world’s best lunch update.
The fact that it’s naturally dairy-free and gluten-free is just icing on the cake! You’ll need some kind of ice cream or frozen yogurt maker for this recipe. I have a really affordable Cuisinart one that I got at a garage sale years ago…you definitely don’t need anything fancy!
READ THE POST
I never expected pad thai to become my Everest…
Pad thai is such a great, uncomplicated dish. Simple flavors, not too many extras mixed in—it’s basically thai comfort food.
Recipes vary, many more on the authentic route using tamarind paste, fish sauce, and other Asian staples. Others, like this one, stick to the basics.
I’ll be trying the more complicated ones later [update: tried, hated, sticking with this one], but this one is a great place to start.
The sauce calls for only three ingredients—brown sugar, soy sauce, and lime juice. And maybe a squirt of sriracha if that’s how you roll.
The first time I made this recipe, it came out pretty great. “This is so easy!” I thought. “But honestly I’d like it to have a little more sauce, it’s a little dry. I’ll try it again.”
Cue descent into madness…
I don’t know what was wrong with me but the next few times I made it, something went terribly wrong. First of all, I am the WORST at reading directions, so I had to throw like three different batches of sauce away because I accidentally added the oil to it instead of to the pan. (Don’t be like me, boys and girls.)
And then one time I soaked my noodles exactly like I had before and when I added them to the pan they were still super tough and gross. Had to throw the entire pan of food away.
However, I finally got my act together and here you go. It really is a simple recipe, I have no idea why I had to make things so hard. So without further ado, I submit your next favorite 30-minute meal…
Summer in Georgia. Crazy humidity. The smell of rain on concrete. Fireflies. And bare legs sticking to your leather couch. In other words, folks, it’s been hot & humid up until the cool spell we had this week.
The last thing I’ve wanted to do lately is turn on my oven, so to get my sweet fix I’ve had to turn to cool treats. I’ve never made anything but frozen yogurt in my frozen yogurt maker, but didn’t see any reason this wouldn’t work. And the sea salt, peanut butter, & honey ice cream flavor combo is one I seriously can’t resist.
This ice cream is amazing! The texture is super creamy, with the mild sweet honey and peanut butter blending perfectly, with just the hint of sea salt to cut it.
I sat on my hot couch on a Saturday night in my pajamas and ate a giant bowl, then contemplated eating the rest…then reminded myself that then I would have eaten an entire can of coconut milk in one sitting. So I resisted, but it was touch-and-go there for a while!