Elvis was onto something.
Not that it was news to me, but peanut butter and banana will always be a magic combo. This bread just emphasizes the point. That’s right, friends, we’re talking about peanut butter banana bread today!
I’ve gotten to the point where I now just buy bananas every couple weeks, knowing full well I have no intention of actually eating them while they’re good. So expect some more tasty banana treats coming your way!
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.
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!
Now isn’t *that* a match made in heaven?!
I feel bad because it’s been challenging getting new posts up as regularly as I normally would. I could blame it on travel schedules, the new job, and the continual process of settling into the new house. And all of that is 100% true. But you know the real reason?? I’ve just had trouble finding recipes that taste as good as they should when I make them. It’s not that I haven’t been baking and cooking, but rather that the recipes I’ve tried in the last month have all been fairly underwhelming—and not something I want to share with you.
Until this, that is.
I don’t know why I’ve been slightly obsessed with the idea of biscotti lately. It’s off-season, to be honest…more of a fall and winter food in my mind. But for some strange reason every time I see a new biscotti flavor combo, I’m smitten. So I finally decided to try a new one out. There was an orange, apricot, and almond recipe I’d been wanting to try, but I swapped in pistachios (and toasted them for more flavor) since that’s what I had on hand.
I was pretty skeptical about the recipe not having any fats, or any liquid except the egg and orange juice. But the more I thought about it, it made sense…a fat would make it more moist and soft, and that’s the opposite of a good biscotti. The orange zest and juice bring a brightness here, while the apricots bring the sweet. I’m glad it’s only lightly sweet, since that lets the fruit flavors really linger on your tongue. This one’s a winner for sure.
I’ve mentioned a few times in the last couple years that I’ve been shying away from making too many pasta recipes, as I’ve had to keep a closer eye on my weight (for annoying and boring reasons like injuries and stress). But I have found a couple recipes that strike a good balance between feeling like delicious pasta goodness and not being just a calorie and carb bomb.
My baked ziti with chicken sausage and summer veggies was one such recipe, but I thought that it could be even healthier without feeling like I’m giving something up. I usually make it with Trader Joe’s chicken sausage, but that adds quite a lot of calories, so I swapped that for lean ground beef or venison. You can do it meatless as well, I’ve accidentally done that a few times and while you don’t get nearly the protein, it’s still very satisfying
I also used whole wheat penne or ziti instead of regular pasta, and packed in even more veggies so that my pasta to veggie ratio was about 1:1. The core vegetables here are zucchini, squash, and tomato, but you can add other veggies if you want (I’ve thrown an orange pepper in before, for instance).
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 🙂
Risotto is one of my favorite things to make, when I have actual time to cook. It’s perfect for a dinner party because—while it needs tended constantly—it’s an easy job to just constantly stir and drink wine, one you can hand off to a guest to help them feel useful. It’s soothing, and the end result is delicious.
But you can NOT rush risotto. It’s a bad idea. And sometimes you want something a little less hands-on, and less time-consuming. I’ll admit, I was skeptical about risotto made in the oven. But baby—I’m a believer!
This particular recipe ticks all my boxes anyway. Roasted cauliflower? Check. Cheesy risotto goodness? Check. Healthy spinach and indulgent fried sage? Check and check.
Honestly I wouldn’t go out of your way to make the fried sage if you don’t have it on hand. It’s nice, but isn’t critical to the recipe and adds cost. Also, while it’s plenty satisfying on its own, you could certainly add some meat if necessary (like chicken sausage or roasted chicken), though it certainly doesn’t need it.READ THE POST
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.
One of the things I love about traveling is when I run across a food or flavor that is totally new to me. And in this case, I was able to come home and start experimenting with it right away in my own cooking.
My dad and I took an awesome trip to Israel and Jordan last May, an epic week exploring tons of historical areas in the north and Negev Desert, Tel Aviv and Old Jaffa, Jerusalem, Masada, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, and Petra—and much more. One of the constants on every part of our journey was tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is omnipresent in the Israeli and Jordanian diets, taking both sweet and savory forms.
It was one of the first things we ate upon landing (on that delicious falafel pita below) and one of the last things before taking off (that delicious sweet halva that looks like cheese wheels below). We ate halva in a Bedouin camp in Jordan and tahini on our Yemeni malawach in Jerusalem. So tahini kind of got its hooks in me, and I’ve been experimenting with different recipes since returning (like this Chickpea Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl with a tahini dressing). But this is my first dessert recipe using tahini, and it’s super delicious.
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