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
Full disclosure: I have no idea if this recipe is truly Pakistani, nor do I know what “kima” is.
But I *do* know that it’s delicious, filling, healthy, and easy. That’s a dinner grand slam in my books.
My sister has been making this for her family for quite a while, and she made it for us while I was visiting my parents a couple years ago. I fell in love with the incredible aroma and flavors of the spice combination. It’s truly what makes this dish special.
But it has a lot more going for it. It’s chock-full of veggies, across the color spectrum (something that I’m usually desperately needing). It’s also super satiating, with a one-two-three punch of the fat in the butter (don’t skimp on this), the lean ground beef, and the fiber-full vegetables.
It clocks in at around 320 calories per serving (if you make 6 servings out of the batch), which is great if you’re trying to keep your calories down but not feel hungry all the time.
And best of all, this recipe is super easy to make, a one-pot standby. It only takes about a half-hour total, and only requires you to do some vegetable chopping and throw everything into a pot. I made two desserts while putting this together a couple weeks ago, because I didn’t have to spare any brainpower for it. So I’m kind of in love.READ THE POST
Once upon a time, I made homemade naan bread, and it turned out terrible.
This is not that naan bread. This is awesome.
I have no idea what went wrong with the first recipe I tried, probably a year or more ago. But it did put me off trying it again for quite a while. However, when I decided to try my hand for the first time at Indian cooking with this chicken tikka masala over winter break this year, I knew that naan had to be in the cards for me again.
This recipe comes together super easily and doesn’t require any special handling. It’s not finicky at all. Just proof your yeast, add the ingredients all at once and knead in the machine for a couple minutes, let it rise, and then roll out and fry up. Very hands-off.
I tend to use half white whole wheat and half regular flour. To me, when I use all whole wheat it tends to be a bit too dense and loses a bit of that chewiness that makes naan so satisfying. But you can use all of one, or mix it up however you want.
The other important thing is that you use ghee, not just regular butter. You can buy ghee fairly easily these days (Trader Joe’s, Amazon, or a well-stocked grocery store), but if you can’t get it for whatever reason I’d recommend making a batch of your own and storing it. The water in regular butter will keep it from frying up right.
READ THE POST
Most normal people would look at a recipe for double chocolate banana bread and think, “hey, that sounds pretty amazing!”
But as we all know, I’m not normal. So my first thought was, “You know what would make this so much better? Peanut butter chips!”
(weirdly, this is a fairly normal question/answer I have with myself…)
Healthy? Nah. But amazing? You betcha.
This is super moist, almost fudgy, and the peanut butter chips take this to a whole new level. It’s not unhealthy (in fact, most of it’s not bad for you at all), but the peanut butter chips take this over the edge into dessert territory and up the calories and sugar quite a bit. Totally worth it in my world, though. READ THE POST
I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong. And BOY, was I wrong about this.
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 a 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 crust up with slightly chunky apricot jam, and you have a simple and perfect match made in heaven.READ THE POST
This coffee cake is like the Sound of Music in real life. It’s all about my favorite things.
Jam? Check. Streusel? Check. Excuse to eat dessert for breakfast? Check.
Coffee cake is kind of a perfect food. It is easy to whip up and throw in the oven, leaving you to focus on other things. It can be made the night before if you’re on a tight schedule in the morning. It’s fancy enough for a brunch or shower. It CAN even be a dessert. And this recipe is particularly great, in that the cake itself is lovely and light and moist and fluffy—helped along by the buttermilk, greek yogurt, and extra egg yolks.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
Yeah, that’s a mouthful. But these cookies deserve all of that name and more. They probably are the best cookies I’ve had in my life.
So, this all goes back to December, when some sales rep sent us a box of cookies from Levain Bakery in New York. These cookies weighed like 5 pounds each and were the size of your fist. Now honestly I’m rarely that tempted by store-bought or bakery cookies. I’m a homemade girl all the way. But I was stressed and there were these chocolate ones with peanut butter chips that were calling my name.
So I broke off a piece of one and took it into a meeting with me…
Game over. I became instantly obsessed (and I ate the rest of that cookie, duh). We decided to order more and then found out it was $75 for four cookies, which…NO. So I decided that, hell or high water, I was going to perfectly replicate these cookies.
And I believe I’ve gotten like 99% of the way there. I tried a couple different copycat recipes and this was definitely the closest. I also read through a lot of the comments and suggestions and found a couple that make a big difference, so I’ve incorporated them into my recipe below. One other thing I’ve found is that I actually like them better the next day, vs. fresh. The texture sets and they become moist and amazing and dense, and a little less rich than fresh out of the oven.
Fair warning, each cookie is like 550-600 calories. But it’s definitely worth it on occasion. Trust me and make these NOW. READ THE POST
It’s kind of crazy that I’ve never made banana cake before, because it’s something that my extended family made quite a bit when I was growing up.
But it was always with cream cheese frosting, and then a few years ago my sister had a brainwave and threw this caramel frosting on instead. And a legend was born. (I may be being melodramatic)
Now don’t get me wrong, I really like banana cake with cream cheese frosting (pretty much anything with cream cheese frosting, for that matter). But there is something about this sugary, crackly caramel frosting that just adds the perfect depth and complement to the moist, dense cake. The fact that it’s crazy easy is just the icing on the cake…so to speak.
This is also a cake that is perfect to make the night before, because this frosting really seals in the moisture of the cake. And, of course, use up the billions of browning bananas sitting on your counter.
I haven’t eaten a banana in probably six months, but I still buy them like clockwork, with the best intentions. This is a thing everyone does, yes?
Humor me…READ THE POST
You know when you end up with an ingredient and then have to find recipes that will help you use that ingredient? Yeah, that’s what we’re looking at here.
See, I’m a “crisp” girl. Peach crisp, apple crisp, cherry crisp—if it’s got oats and streusel topping, I’m on board. So, while I like cobblers just fine, I never choose them over crisp.
But as I mentioned a couple weeks ago in this garlic cheddar beer bread, I had a brand-new bag of self-rising flour that I needed to use up before Passover. And after lots of Googling recipes for self-rising flour, I couldn’t resist this peach raspberry crisp even though there are NO good fresh peaches right now. So I re-worked it using canned peaches (I know, not ideal) and it turned out great!
My favorite part about this recipe—besides how delicious it was—is how it came together so incredibly fast. It seriously was crazy easy and simple to pull together, but felt special as well. And it would be totally awesome with fresh peaches.READ THE POST
I just realized that it’s been MONTHS since I brought you a main dish recipe, which is crazy! So making up for that now with an insanely easy and super delish entree that is great for dinner as well as to pack in your lunch for work all week.
(Confession: I made this recipe Sunday evening so I could have awesome, healthy lunches all week long. And then I ordered Chinese takeout for dinner that night, because I was going to be healthy all week. Does anyone else do that?)
Don’t be scared by the idea of a feta cheese sauce—it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly of feta specifically, but rather contributes a super creamy, slightly salty, weirdly comforting flavor without owning it. I’m not the biggest fan of feta, but I am a BIG fan of this sauce.READ THE POST
Oh my goodness, this has got to stop. It has been way too long. I literally made these for our Fitzco #fitzgiving back in November, but haven’t had a chance to post until now. And that’s not fair, because these are pretty darn good.
I offered to make a bread, so threw together my whole wheat olive oil rosemary bread, which is the bomb. But at the last minute I asked if we had any gluten-free folks and since they weren’t sure, I went searching for a good, easy GF biscuit or roll recipe.
As I’ve mentioned several times before, I don’t like using all sorts of weird ingredients that the average person wouldn’t recognize or be able to find. Don’t be alarmed by how many ingredients are listed in this particular recipe either, most of them are ones you already have on-hand. I did make my own gluten-free flour mix (I used an easy 1-1-1 mix of corn flour, brown rice flour, and cornstarch), but even if you want to leave that out you can just substitute more almond meal.
Because they’re made largely (or entirely) with almond meal, their texture definitely isn’t like a fluffy dinner roll. It’s a little grainier, denser. But I inhaled a few just the same (though be warned, because of the almond meal, they’re higher-calorie than you might think). The garlic is intense but awesome, and the cheddar great—I went light on the butter wash at the end. They were also still really moist and delicious several hours later when I actually reheated and served them.READ THE POST
Wow, I didn’t realize how long it had been since I posted a recipe! January was gone in the blink of an eye. I was traveling the first half…first, a quick little trip down to Cancun to try and get some sun and relaxation for a few days, then Dallas to visit my bestie, and then NYC for a quick work trip. All within two weeks. Add insanely long hours at work, and my blogging and cooking hours have been few and far between.
This recipe isn’t pretty to look at, so instead here are my food adventures from Mexico. Hit and miss, to be honest, because Cancun is (as my mom pointed out) the Branson of Mexico. But we tried really hard to find more authentic local places, and stayed far away from Senor Frog’s.
I drank ALL THE PINA COLADAS and tried Mayan-style chicken and vegetables. Honestly, it was inoffensive but wasn’t a fan.
We toured Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Then we chowed down on fish tacos.
I soaked up every ray of sunshine available on the only sunny day we had. Vitamin D, come to me! And of course, I had a pina colada and a Coke, which is my go-to beach beverage.
I took Argentinean food out for a trial run, with my first trip to Argentina coming up in just over a month! It was delicious and an OBSCENE amount of food (you can’t see the insanely huge chunk of beef staring me in the face…). Sarai and I are going to have our work cut out for us.
So, that’s all to say sorry for dropping off the face of the earth. Things have been crazy and tiring, and I haven’t been eating anything but nachos since I’ve been home, but I do have a major backlog of awesome recipes from late December that I owe you. But first, we get our kale on…
This recipe isn’t pretty to look at, but it IS fast, easy, healthy, and yummy. I’ll be honest and say that quinoa isn’t really my thing. It’s fine, but the texture is kind of weird and it’s a little bland. So for me, this recipe is good. If you love quinoa, it’s great. The flavors are fresh, tangy, and satisfying.
There is no such thing as having too many coffee cake recipes. That’s like having too much cheese, or too many raw sugar packets, or too many pairs of shoes.
Honestly, I have one coffee cake recipe (a cinnamon-streusel one) that is the best in the world, and my go-to under any and all circumstances. And I’m just now realizing that I’ve never posted it. So…that will need remedied. But in the meantime, this one—if you like the combo of espresso and chocolate—is definitely a keeper.
The sour cream gives this a lovely moistness and a dense but somehow light crumb. Everyone at work totally raved about the taste and the texture, so you could probably switch up the toppings if the chocolate/espresso flavor combo isn’t for you.
The original recipe (link at the bottom) calls for you to split the topping and batter, and have a layer of topping in the middle. Since I was using a big springform pan I definitely didn’t have enough batter or topping to make this work, but if you go the bundt or tube pan route, you may want to give this a try. Either way, the melted chocolate, deep espresso notes, and little spikes of cinnamon make this worth getting up in the morning.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
Sorry, friends. There’s no way to make this dish look pretty in pictures. But it IS super yummy!
I’m always on the lookout for new breakfast casserole recipes for our Friday morning work breakfasts, particularly ones that don’t take a million different ingredients and a lot of assembly time (because let’s face it, I get home late). This one is is simple, affordable, and comes together super quickly.
Funny story about this recipe though…the original recipe instructions just say “boil salted water, then add grits”. Because my background is pasta, where you heavily salt the water (then, obviously, pour a lot of it out), I boiled the water and tossed a handful of salt in, and of course salted my sausage and added (salty) cheese. The result? So salty, it was almost inedible. It WAS kind of inedible, in my opinion. Lesson learned—follow the instructions on the package!READ THE POST
I’ve long been on the record as “meh” on banana bread.
As my two-year-old niece would say, it’s not…offensive. It’s just not something that calls to me on any level.
But let me tell you…bourbon sure does take this up a level! And candied walnuts don’t hurt either. What I’m saying is, this banana bread is AWESOME.
This recipe is also super easy and fast. It’s taking one of the most basic recipes many of us remember from our childhood and just taking it up a few notches. Vanilla bean paste instead of just extract. A subtle deep, almost caramel flavor from the bourbon. Beautiful sugar-crusted nuts for texture. If that isn’t an impressive dessert (okay fine, breakfast), I don’t know what is!READ THE POST
This is one of those really random, accidental recipes that turned out SO. GOOD.
One weekend this summer I was at the farmer’s market and found the most adorable tiny, lavender-colored eggplant I’d ever seen—fairytale eggplant.
I had to buy a pound of them, but then try and figure out what to do. After looking up some recipes, I decided that grilling them would be the yummiest. And it was…I’m not a huge eggplant fan, but these were soft and smoky and salty, and just awesome.
Of course, if I’m heating up the grill then why not grill some herbed chicken as well? I also picked up some of the last juicy tomatoes of summer, and a bunch of massively fragrant herbs. Because those two things make everything better.
And of course, every pasta needs a sauce. Some goat cheese and some pasta water, and boom—instant tangy deliciousness. It was a bunch of random ingredients, but they somehow all came together into an easy, perfect late summer dish. READ THE POST
I’ve been sitting on this one for a while.
Why, you ask? It’s cinnamon swirl bread, which is a total no-brainer. Gooey, cinnamony goodness spiraling through a tender, crumby loaf. And it is. But for some reason when I made it a few months ago, I wasn’t totally in love with it. The filling was awesome, but the bread was just…fine. The texture was good, but the outside was crustier than I wanted and the bread’s flavor (it tasted like…bread) was a disconnect from the sweet filling.
But I’ve come to see the error of my ways, because you deserve cinnamon swirl bread in YOUR life too. I’ve made a few adjustments to the recipe to make the bread and filling feel like they’re part of the same recipe, including adding a teaspoon of cinnamon and a little extra sugar to the dough. The filling was perfect just as it was. READ THE POST
So, I had this post all written and ready to publish, then it mysteriously disappeared. Like, hit save and *poof*—everything was gone. So you’ll have to take my word that it was probably the most interesting, witty piece of food writing known to man.
Or probably not. Guys, my brain is totally fried. Looooong hours, too much on my plate, getting ready for travel, not sleeping well. I know from experience that the way I’m living right now is a no-fail recipe for gaining weight (I have last fall to prove it). I’ve had absolutely no time or energy to cook, but I knew that if I didn’t make something I’d end up having a Farm Burger #4 chicken burger every day for lunch. Which…hello, 15 pounds.
So this caught my eye a few weeks ago. I’m a sucker for chicken salad. All of it. All the kinds. But I tend to be lazy about making it, because it takes a number of ingredients and then I eat it so fast. Plus, it’s not always the healthiest.
The ingredients for this chicken salad were super simple. And more importantly, healthy. I didn’t even cook my own chicken breasts. Just saute up cooked chicken with some spices, zest the lemon, slice the scallions, and you’re rockin’ and rollin’. It’s light and fresh and perfect for August in Georgia (and a healthy work lunch).READ THE POST
These pancakes look like Cookie Monster.
Once you see it, you can’t un-see it….
Last weekend after my insane 4th of July (which involved accidentally hiking over 15 miles and burning a billion calories), I woke up the next morning feeling like an 80-year-old, kind of fell/rolled out of bed, and got my coffee made like usual. But as I sat on the couch my stomach demanded something more. After poking through Pinterest for a hot second, I had talked myself into this glorious breakfast.
By all rights, I shouldn’t like these pancakes, because I have this weird hangup about hot and fruit. Fruit shouldn’t be hot. I take fruit crisp out of the oven and put it right in the freezer. Hot fruit is weird. But these were amazing. Fresh, summery strawberries in a golden crispy pancake, drenched in maple syrup. Practically perfect in every way.
I’ve also made a small-batch mixed-berry adaptation of these that is to die for.
You just can’t go wrong with a well-grilled marinated chicken breast. It is endlessly versatile—eat it fresh off the grill, re-heat with some veggies, throw it in a stir fry, make chicken salad.
This marinade is one of perfect simplicity…the balsamic vinegar helps slightly break down the meat, allowing the spices and garlic to really soak in, and the honey to make it super moist. But none of it overwhelms.
These suckers are so juicy and flavorful, but can go with just about anything!READ THE POST
Yeah, I went on something of a muffin-baking bender a couple months back. In a couple of weeks I made these double chocolate banana muffins and these healthy apple muffins with cinnamon-sugar topping, and somehow these guys fell off the radar.
Yeah, you’ll notice that there are two whole wheat, apple-y, cinnamon-y muffin recipes.
I made the first recipe for work, the one with the crunchy topping. It got rave reviews, but the pictures I took were terrible so I knew I’d need to make it again to get better shots.
So I pulled the ingredients together, started stirring everything together, and was like, “Wow, I must have been really out it when I made this the first time, because I don’t remember some of these steps!”. Then I got the batter together and started to spoon it into the muffin tins, and was worried about how much more liquidy it was than the last time I made it.
Some of you can see where this is going…
Yeah, not the same recipe.
So this is the second recipe, the one I made on accident. I loved the streusel topping, and the muffins were SO moist. Definitely recommend this one!READ THE POST
My co-workers are probably sick of hearing the word “nachos”. Don’t ask me why, but I’ve been weirdly obsessed with eating them non-stop for going on two months now.
I always make my family’s meat and beans recipe. I could eat it morning, noon, and night. And have done so. Don’t judge.
But I’ve never made chicken nachos before. I’ve only ever had them once or twice at a restaurant, but I was still craving nachos one Sunday and decided I needed to try something new.
I looked up a bunch of nacho chicken recipes, but kept coming back to the Pioneer Woman’s, so that’s what I decided to try. It also was fairly simple compared to the others, fewer steps and less time overall.
One of the great things about nachos is that the toppings options are basically unlimited. Generally I go pretty plain—meat, beans, and cheese—but these called for some extra awesomeness.READ THE POST
Crunchy cinnamon-sugar topping.
Crunchy. Cinnamon. Sugar. Topping.
Basically, that’s all you need to know about this recipe. But I guess I could mention the fact that they’re mostly whole wheat, low in sugar, and full of wholesome fruit. I mean, if that kind of thing’s important to you.
When you make this, the batter will worry you because it is crazy thick. Like, bread dough thick. You won’t pour or spoon it into the muffin tins, you’ll kind of awkwardly drop it in there and kind of smoosh it. Don’t try to smash it into the muffin cups, just kind of drop it and it will expand as it bakes to fill in the gaps. And despite the thickness of the batter and the density of the baked muffins, they’re super moist!READ THE POST
I’m a sucker for chicken salad. Regular chicken salad, Sonoma wine country chicken salad, curried chicken salad, chicken salad with bits of pineapple, with mayo, without mayo—literally, I have yet to find one I don’t like.
I’ve posted my absolute favorite chicken salad recipe, the best I’ve ever had. But it also isn’t necessarily the *healthiest* one. This one, however, might be.
I haven’t done Whole 30 myself, though I’ve thought about it. Honestly I can’t commit myself to a month of anything that requires drastic change, not with my insane work schedule. I like the idea, though, for the most part…except giving up wine, that’s just CRAY.
This chicken salad has no mayo and is chock full of whole, raw ingredients. It brings fiber, healthy fats, and a one-two protein punch from the chicken and pecans to the party. I devoured it on my little Trader Joe’s 12-grain crackers for lunch a few days in a row, and found it satiating and tasteeeee!
READ THE POST
That looks totally decadent, right???
They kind of are—and they’re also super healthy. They get their moistness from banana, coconut oil, and honey, and a deeeeeep chocolate flavor from both Dutch-process cocoa powder as well as dark chocolate chips.
They came together super fast and baked up like a dream. And, they can be made gluten-free so easily without any weird fake mixes or flours.
And just look how prettttttty they are! The almond meal makes them a little heartier than your average muffin, and since they don’t have refined sugar they’re less likely to make your blood sugar spike then dip. I call that a breakfast win!READ THE POST
My thirst for brussels sprouts shall never be quenched!
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 THE POST
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
This is a very simple cookie.
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.
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 THE POST
Last weekend I had a plan. I knew that I only had two days of work to get through before break, including two work lunches and a dinner with friends, so I didn’t need to cook enough on Sunday for leftovers. I also wanted to be healthy, so I had some brussels sprouts sitting around and I planned to pick up a salmon filet for dinner, call it a day.
Then this pot pie totally derailed my Sunday dinner plans.
See, last Sunday (and several days thereafter) was just relentlessly gray. Gray, misty, chilly. One of those days where the only then you want to do is curl up in your jammie jams on the couch and read a book, then watch TCM for hours. The kind of day where you get the idea of chicken pot pie stuck in your head and you’re unable to dislodge it despite your best efforts and lazier tendences.
The thing is, I’d never made pot pie before. And honestly, I like pot pie just fine (anything with “pie” in the name, really), my mom’s is good, but pot pie isn’t a thing I’ve ever really craved. Pasta-as-comfort-food is more my style. So I didn’t have a triend-and-true recipe that I was willing to undertake, since I definitely didn’t want to deal with pie crust. In my mind, I was picturing making the filling in a slow cooker, and then topping with a drop biscuit crust—seemed easy enough. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a crockpot chicken pot pie filling recipe I liked (that didn’t include cream of chicken soup) or even a biscuit-topped pot pie for cooking times and so forth, so I decided to make it up as I went, pulling bits and pieces from some recipes and just using my brain for the other parts.
This chicken pot pie is probably the best I’ve ever had. Okay, not probably, DEFINITELY. It’s warm and hearty and comforting and feels decadent, but is secretly really healthy and easy and basically perfect. It’s great as leftovers. The biscuit crust is amazing. I could just eat the filling as a stew (which is saying something because I’m not keen on stew). What I’m saying is that you need to make this pot pie now.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
When I first saw this recipe, I was suuuuper excited, because I love french onion soup. I mean really lurve it.
I will say that this pasta doesn’t quite live up to that level of insane richness, but the idea is still there.
You start by caramelizing onions down to the point of sweet jamminess, then add broth (and a little wine in my case). Let those flavors hang out for a while, let the pasta soak up all that delicious liquid, and top with arugula and parmesan. Done.
My one complaint with this dish is that I feel like the onions end up getting lost in all the broth…I was hoping for more onion. I think if I made this again I’d use at least one more onion, and I’d look at using something more like the melty Gruyere that true French onion soup uses, vs. parmesan (which never melts quite as luxuriously for me). But all-in-all, this was warm and comforting.READ THE POST
I went on a roll this fall of trying new fruits and veggies that I’d never had before. I tried acorn squash for the first time (definitely delish!), and then that same week saw these weird little orange tomato-like things in my grocery store and just had to grab one. Turns out it was a persimmon, specifically of the fuyu variety.
So the next logical question was what to make. I browsed a ton of recipes, but most were salads, and I definitely didn’t want to go that route (boring). Then I found this somewhat odd-sounding muffin recipe and had to give it a try.
I “healthied it up” by using half whole wheat flour and cutting down on the sugar just a little. The persimmons gave it a lovely sweetness, with the lemon giving it a tart complement. The overall texture of the muffins was pretty light but still hearty, due to the whole wheat flour. And, like most muffin recipes, they came together in a flash.
I ate one fresh out of the oven with blackberry honey from Croatia, and then took them to work for my breakfast for the next few days (with honey from New Zealand…I definitely have a honey souvenir addiction!). This is such an easy and versatile recipe that you could swap out the persimmons for many other fruits, and even swap in a different citrus zest to mix things up (orange would have been lovely here as well).READ THE POST
German pancakes, where have you been all my life?!?!
A few weeks ago, I realized on a Thursday that the next morning was my breakfast day. But, in addition to working long hours, my co-workers and I were going out for a department event, so it was going to be a late night. I racked my brain for something I could easily throw together the next morning, but that would be hearty and unhealthy enough for my (probably slightly hungover) co-workers. This recipe was perfect because it was pretty easy, and had a baking break in the middle where I could also throw the frittata into the oven.
While I’d heard of Dutch babies (another name for German pancakes), I’d never made them and I’m not sure I’d even had them. But they are awesome! There’s no sugar in the actual batter (some recipes I’ve seen have a tiny bit), but you load them up with whatever awesome fillings you want. Because they have a lot of eggs in them and a lot less flour, they also stick with you longer.
These have a delightful homemade apple pie filling and then some streusel on top, and are entirely decadent (yet surprisingly not that bad for you). This has opened a whole world of German pancakes and Dutch babies to explore now that I can’t get them out of my mind.READ THE POST
A month ago I was crowing about the glorious chocolate stout cake with chocolate ganache I made for my birthday. It was fudgy and rich but not too sweet, with a depth from the stout. Basically perfect. Then, a couple days later, my friends asked if I could bring a dessert to their dinner party. They’re both gluten-free, and I have a number of go-to recipes. But I couldn’t get that chocolate cake out of my mind.
I knew I’d pinned a gluten-free quinoa cake months ago, but didn’t quite love the exact ingredient proportions. I found another, tweaked it a little, and used the same chocolate ganache as the other cake. I took the remaining three-fourths of my birthday cake and the quinoa cake to the party.
I had to label them because they were identical, and honestly, I think people liked them equally. The only real difference you could tell was that the quinoa cake didn’t have the stout (on account of the gluten), but I plan to adapt it for a bourbon or similar at some point—just have to do my research on gluten and alcohol. And there was still some of the whole quinoa in it since my blender isn’t great, but if you use a food processor it will puree it and you’d never even know.READ THE POST
Sometimes it’s the simple answers that are the best.
I can be guilty of getting too fancy with pasta sometimes, trying crazy combinations of ingredients or always trying to think of something new. Pasta is the blank canvas, the starting place for a thousand meals. And sometimes I think I’ve tried them all. But when I saw this recipe, I was struck by its simplicity and also how all the flavors complemented each other so well.
It starts, as many things do, with a base of sauteed shallots and garlic. From there all you do is add balsamic vinegar for depth and bite, toasted nuts for protein and crunch, and some parmesan cheese to top it all off. It all comes together in about 15 minutes, and is a warm and comforting dish any time of the day or night.READ THE POST
I have to squeeze in one last burst of summer!
I got these beautiful heirloom tomatoes at the farmer’s market and I wanted to do them justice. After thinking about different ways to use them, I decided that the best way to taste them would be a simple tomato and mozzarella salad.
A burrata would have been the best cheese choice, but it’s basically impossible to find. So good ol’ buffala mozzarella did the job. I would have liked basil in there but couldn’t find any at the store so I chopped up some spinach instead—for color as well as a little healthiness.READ THE POST
I did it all for gra-nookie!
Yeah, I couldn’t resist.
Basically, this is just a giant, semi-healthy cookie. One cookie. Or, if you’re super nice, one you can share with your friends. (Spoiler alert: I’m not nice)
The cookie base is coconut oil and a little butter, then the main ingredients are granola and whole wheat flour. So while it’s a dessert, it’s full of whole grain, fiber-y goodness and can be a nice breakfast treat to get you through the week. You can also customize it however you want—I used vanilla granola and dark chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. But the sky’s the limit. You could use banana nut granola and peanut butter chips, mocha granola and milk chocolate chips. If you can dream it, do it.READ THE POST
Salmon is one of my favorite simple, healthy dinners. It cooks quickly, is super versatile, and is such a nice break from boring chicken.
This recipe can be made either entirely on the stove or finished off with a nice broil in the oven. Besides the salmon, everything else in this recipe is a pantry staple, and you can throw it together in like 10 minutes total.READ THE POST
Heirloom tomatoes in season are seriously one of my favorite foods. In fact, I got to have a fancy dinner last night and there was an heirloom tomato and burrata salad that I could have eaten gallons of. I was in paradise.
So last week at the farmer’s market when I saw these gorgeous big lumpy heirloom tomatoes, I had to get my paws on them immediately. Thoughts of juicy chunks of tomato swimming in creamy, salty ricotta and tossed with al dente pasta danced through my head. I had plans.
Then plans changed, and I had friends coming over that night, last-minute. Since they’re gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free, I had to make some adjustments to my master plan.
I racked my brain to find something that they’d be able to eat and would still do these beautiful tomatoes justice. I landed upon a simple risotto, with a few adjustments to accommodate their health challenges (namely, I left out the butter and parmesan—sad, but necessary). I was worried it wouldn’t be nearly creamy enough, but it was still totally delicious.
My love of risotto is legendary, and I’ve never understood why people are so scared to make it. Yes, it’s time consuming and takes a little TLC, but it’s also very straightforward, not difficult at all. It’s the perfect dish to put on the stove when you already have people over and want to just stand there and drink wine and chat and stir constantly. Or heck, make your guests stir and drink wine and chat while you put the rest of the meal together. This version lets the tomatoes be the star, with a supporting cast of fresh basil and balsamic vinegar to add just a little extra.READ THE POST
You know those times when you realize that you’re having a bunch of people over and that you forgot to figure out a bread? But you’re like an hour from dinner and pretty much everything would take way too long?
(yeah, me neither)
Lucky for me, I’ve found a couple of pretty quick bread recipes that are pretty quick (and aren’t just biscuits). I have this 1-hour focaccia bread and a 1-hour french bread, but this goes even further. You can have this thing done start to finish in about a half hour (give or take a few minutes depending on how long it takes to bake). And the flavor is AMAZING!
This is a key part of bread making…
Bread is a non-negotiable part of meals for my mom, so super happy to have another great recipe in the arsenal.READ THE POST
I’ve really slipped on my healthy breakfast train the last month or two. I had family in town, then was out of the country for a couple weeks, and have been buried under work and lack of sleep. So I just haven’t had the time or energy to do much baking or cooking to prepare for each coming week. Thankfully, over 4th of July weekend I finally got back on track with these beauties.
I really haven’t done a lot of baking lately, partly because when I use my stove and oven it makes my kitchen feel like Death Valley during the summer. My A/C can’t come close to keeping up. But I decided it was worth it to give these guys a try. I mean, coffee and chocolate in a muffin together?? Sign me up!
As much as I love whole wheat flour, I was a little nervous about using it exclusively, since sometimes that can make things a little too dry and dense. I shouldn’t have worried, though—these were moist and light even as reheated leftovers at work the next day. And the dark chocolate chips are these gooey little nuggets of awesome. For something that literally takes like 5 minutes to stir together, the return on this is totally worth it!READ THE POST
This is a winter kind of recipe. In fact, I made it this past winter, but I haven’t posted it yet because I was ashamed about how terrible the pictures are. I mean, seriously terrible.
But this pound cake is good. It transcends the awfulness of the pictures, and you deserve to know it.
Not only is it cake (duh), but it’s got coffee, chocolate, AND hazelnuts. That’s like the Three Amigos of deliciousness. The Three Musketeers (and d’Artagnan) of deliciousness. The Buffy, Willow, and Xander of deliciousness.
This could go on…
With the sifting, making the chocolate hazelnut paste, and then making the batter, it’s slightly more work than a regular pound cake, but not too much. And the rich combination of flavors is totally worth it.READ THE POST
English peas in the spring are one of those magical things.
There’s this super narrow window when they’re in season (usually a few weeks in April), and if you can catch them fresh-off-the-vine they’re this crunchy, sweet treat bursting with flavor.
My CSA box back in April came with three whole bags of English peas, still in their pods. Shelling them can take quite a bit of work—though if I’d been smart, I would have soaked them in a water or blanched them for a minute to make them softer. I just sat in front of the TV and shelled the peas while vegging out. As soon as I got the peas, I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to make.
I pinned this tart recipe probably a few years ago, but haven’t had the chance to make it. It just sounded awesome across the board. My family teases me about how much I love goat cheese, but it’s seriously awesome! The combination of tangy goat cheese, creamy greek yogurt, fresh herbs, a little salt, and then those sweet peas is truly unique. I wasn’t able to find micro greens, but I do think they’d make this recipe even better.
It’s also important to note that this is NOT great as leftovers…the tart solidifies in the fridge and becomes quite hard and a little flavorless, losing the awesome texture and tang it had when it was fresh. This recipe is perfect for something like a Mother’s Day brunch or Sunday morning bridal shower—something a little fancy, but where it will get consumed right away.READ THE POST
As you may or may not remember, when I was in Italy last fall I became slightly obsessed with this pasta with walnut sauce the hotel in Grosseto. I ate like three helpings—the waiters kept coming around with their giant platters and giving me this knowing look, then heaping more onto my plate. I did some research on the dish and found out that it was a traditional Tuscan pasta with walnut sauce and rocket (arugula, in our world). I tried recreating it once a few months ago…it was good, but not as creamy and awesome as what I had in Italy.
So this is the second try, a slightly different recipe. It’s been a few months in-between, so I’ll have to try really hard to directly compare the two. But know this—this pasta is VERY hearty, since the walnuts are full of protein.
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