Guys, I have been in a side dish rut. That’s a real thing.
Side dishes seem like So. Much. Work. I mean, I’ve already made a main dish and maybe a bread, and maybe a dessert. And now you want me to make something else entirely to go beside it?? Basically I always get overwhelmed and then make basic roasted veggies or shredded brussels sprouts and call it a day.
It has—rather embarrassingly—been over two years since I posted a true side dish on the site, excepting the kale and quinoa pilaf from a couple months ago. So I’m excited to bring this somewhat odd but delightful and super healthy side to you. I’d wanted to try it for a while but…well, I really haven’t been cooking much besides nachos. This was also my first time using turmeric, a spice used for millennia to combat inflammation and a variety of issues. And these veggies are crazy fast and easy, so as long as your oven is free it doesn’t add any stress or logistics to dinner at all.READ THE POST
With the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread coming up, I thought it would be fun to go back through and gather all of my favorite unleavened recipes into one place. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and I totally forgot about some of these that were favorites a mere three or four years ago!
I just found this recipe last year, thanks to my sis. I fell totally in love with it as a super easy, fast, all-purpose unleavened bread to keep on hand. It’s dense but not dry, satiating, has a hint of sweet from the brown sugar and honey, and is ready in a half hour from start to finish. It was also just as good leftover as fresh out of the oven (which is NOT always true of unleavened bread recipes). Plus, you can mix it up by hand and pat it out on the baking sheet, so very low-maintenance.
This has always been my family’s go-to recipe during the Days of Unleavened Bread. I never could understand why people would want to eat matzo, because it’s like eating cardboard. These, on the other hand, are moist and buttery and chewy and flavorful and FULL OF AWESOME. They are a little more time consuming though, but highly recommend for something like Night to Be.
I was OBSESSED with these as a kid, I would try to sneak as many as I could without my mom seeing. Problem was, they were gone so fast. Not only are these desserts perfect for any spring brunch, Mother’s Day, bridal shower, etc., they’re unleavened to boot. And basically the most delicious thing ever.READ THE POST
So somehow I tried out this recipe back in November and then it totally fell into a black hole in my memory and I moved on. Not because it wasn’t awesome, but…Thanksgiving maybe? Early senility? Wine?
Anyway, I had been weirdly fascinated by this recipe since finding it on Smitten Kitchen, despite the fact that caramel isn’t generally for me. But I do love pudding, and I do love sweet biscuit dough (which is essentially what this is), so really it should have been a home run.
Which, if you can’t tell from the glorious pictures, it was. It’s an odd little dessert, but quite easy and quite unique. I was a little obsessed. It’s strangely similar to a peach cobbler, but…caramel.
It was even surprisingly good re-heated the next day—a bit more dense and crystalized, less pudding-y, but still a delight. All-in-all, this is an interesting addition to the dessert arsenal.READ THE POST
Last month we had an epic girls’ night planned—the last Hunger Games movie, followed by stuffing ourselves to the gills with burgers and fries. As is our tradition, we snuck a bottle of wine into the theater, and I brought these beauties. I’m not really into the kinds of snacks that theaters sell, but a good homemade cookie will do the trick every time!
I was intrigued by Smitten Kitchen’s description of these, and in particular enjoyed her indictment of cookie recipes that insist you chill the dough overnight, because seriously, who plans their cookie cravings that far ahead?! Preach, sister.
I’ll be honest, these are a bit rich for my blood. I had one, and that was plenty (which, on second thought, is maybe a good thing…). But they are the perfect blend of sweet, rich, gooey, and a little crisp, and they got devoured by my compatriots. They are definitely going into the cookie rotation.READ THE POST
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’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
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
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
I feel like that should have been all-caps. Because, not only is it peach season, but my VERY. FIRST. PEACH. was perfectly ripe. That has never happened in the history of ever. Farmers market FTW!
When I snagged these beauties last weekend and they were perfectly ripe and criminally juicy, I knew I had to do something amazing with them immediately. And it was balls-hot (the hyphen is important for adhering to AP style…) so ice cream was the logical conclusion.
This is my no-fail coconut milk ice cream. I’ve made it in many different flavors, including my absolute favorite in the world, peanut butter and honey with sea salt, as well as a slight variation of peanut butter and strawberry jam. It’s easy, adaptable, healthy, only as sweet as you want it to be, and naturally dairy-free. And did I mention easy? As long as you have a little frozen yogurt maker you’re golden. Otherwise I’d try stirring it every so often in the freezer and you’ll probably still get good results.READ THE POST
I feel like I have to sneak one more winter-y recipe in here, even though it’s TOTALLY SPRING!
(Though you wouldn’t know it from our gray, rainy day today…)
Oh man, I’m so glad it’s spring. Bring on farmers market fruit and veggies, grilling out, and foods that make me feel skinny. But first—hearty, cheesy, decadent (but not TOO decadent) girls’ night food.
We had a girls’ night at my place a couple months ago, and wanted something super easy, that I didn’t have to put a ton of time and effort into while we were all drinking wine and chatting. This recipe came together very fast, and the only complicated piece was cutting up the butternut squash, but you could easily just buy it pre-cubed. I even had a pretty helper—that girl’s got her priorities, has both a glass and bottle nearby!READ THE POST
I’ve been super absent here lately.
It’s mostly because I’ve been working eleventy-billion hours, which means I’ve been exhausted and never home. And the tiny bit of free time that I’m able to grab has been devoted to trip planning for two big upcoming international trips. So suffice to say, I haven’t been cooking much lately, and haven’t had the energy to try new recipes. And the few new recipes I have tried have been kind of meh. And you deserve better than meh.
These are definitely not meh. They’re not the most amazingly glorious things you’ve ever put in your mouth, but they are delicious and sweet and pretty darn healthy when it comes down to it. As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m always on the lookout for good gluten-free recipes that use normal ingredients.
They have an interesting texture—the dough acts a lot like no-bake cookie dough, quite sticky. And the baked cookies are crumbly (not dry, just break apart easily), and super chocolate-y, and really quite sweet.
These are made with oat flour, peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup. You can use whatever kind of chocolate chips you want, but I tried these huge Ghiradelli dark chocolate discs. SO. MUCH. CHOCOLATE.
Overall these were a great gluten-free addition to my repertoire. They were super easy to throw together, and healthy enough that I didn’t feel guilty sneaking one or two with my coffee the next morning!READ THE POST
Cookie cakes are a big meh for me usually. One time my co-worker had this incredibly detailed dream, and part of it was that I got married at work (like seriously, back in the open-office plan desks) and there was a cookie cake.
And I was like, “Well, that’s how you should have known it wasn’t real! I hate cookie cakes!”
I don’t know what possessed me to try this deep-dish cookie pie originally. I was home for Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is a whirlwind of giant family meals, needing to feed 15 people, 25 people, 35 people. Lots of dishes. Loading and unloading things from the car. Figuring out what gaps there are in the list of food everyone’s bringing. So I vaguely remember needing to throw together a dessert last-minute, so it needed to be simple, a crowd-pleaser, and ready to walk out the door in under an hour.
The result was WAAAAAYYYYY too sweet for me, but I could see the seeds of something good and easy in there, so I shelved it until I could play around with ingredients a little. Now, three or four batches later, I love the result.
By decreasing the sugar significantly, substituting some whole wheat flour, adding peanut butter and dark chocolate chips instead of just semi-sweet, and throwing a sprinkle of sea salt, the resulting skillet cookie is sweet but not cloying, a little denser, and offers infinitely more complex flavors (also healthier, but that wasn’t the main point). If an achingly sweet version sounds good to you, don’t fear—the original is linked at the bottom of this post. But this version is much more up my alley, and has been pronounced AMAZING by some of the dudes in my life, so it’s still a major crowd-pleaser.
READ THE POST
That’s right, we’re still on a healthy kick! And it’s delicious!
This recipe had been calling my name for a while, but getting decent brussels sprouts is kind of hard right now, and I also kind of avoid chicken when I can. Chicken’s kind of boring.
This chicken isn’t boring at all—it’s got a richness from the balsamic, a crunch from the walnuts, and serious fiber from brussels sprouts. It came together super fast and made for great work lunches for a few days.
Throw in a side of spaghetti squash and butternut squash and you’re on healthy overload! Seriously, the whole thing is a 20-minute meal, was super easy, and totally delicious!READ THE POST
So, we basically got like two weeks of fall in Georgia before it got COOOOLLLLD! But those two weeks were really beautiful.
This tree outside my window is absolutely glorious, like flame.
And these leaves form an awesome natural stoplight.
The changing of the seasons has also meant that the grocery stores and my CSA box have been all-gourds-all-the-time. I got a couple beautiful butternut squashes and, since I finally learned how to peel and disassemble them last winter, I was actually excited to try out this recipe.
Also, sage. Because sage is always the answer.
This sauce is deceptively creamy and rich, but doesn’t have any cream or milk, or even cheese until the very end. The leeks form a super flavorful base, and the pureed butternut squash is like butter and cream and squash all in one. This was a super easy and healthy dinner.
READ THE POST
I don’t know if this is weird, but I’d never had acorn squash before I made this. In fact, I’m not even sure what prompted me to pick one up at Trader Joe’s last week. But it was just sitting there all cute and bumpy and green and orange, and I just had to have it.
My first thought was roasting it, and after perusing some recipes, I definitely knew that was the right choice. But rather than just roasting the halves, I found this delightful recipe that called for slicing it up (cuts down on baking time), tossing with some oil, salt, & pepper (as you do), and sprinkling with some fresh thyme and parmesan.
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 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.READ THE POST
I’m on an ice cream kick. I’ve tried like four different recipes in the past few weeks, all with this super easy coconut milk base. Because it’s been HAWT!
I had seen several recipes for roasted plum ice cream, which I found super intriguing, but when I went to the store they were out of plums. And then these beautiful, firm apricots just jumped out at me.
Apricot is such a strong flavor that I couldn’t think of a good spice complement (I’d planned to do cardamom with the plums), so I just kept it super simple—honey, vanilla, and a little bit of sea salt.
While it was a bit tart for my taste (I was trying to go easy on the honey but probably went a little TOO light), it was refreshing and delicious!READ THE POST
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 peanut butter + honey + sea salt 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!READ THE POST
Guys, this is so good. I didn’t believe that somehow simple frozen bananas could be broken down and then coalesce into a creamy, magical ice cream.
If I served this to you and told you it was ice cream, you’d never guess otherwise. Unless you hate bananas, and then you’d just wonder why I was trying to poison you with banana ice cream.READ THE POST
See, I would have called this a frittata. And apparently I would have been wrong.
One of my co-workers is half Spanish, and one time he brought in a traditional Spanish tortilla for breakfast. While it looked exactly like the frittatas I’m so fond of, it just had a slightly different flair. The gold potatoes are delightfully tender and add a delicate base to the dish. Many also include onion, asparagus, chorizo, and other fillings. The recipe below called for tarragon, though I used fresh rosemary and oregano instead.
Spanish tortillas and frittatas are very similar, though there are a few differences. Tortillas are always egg- and potato-based, while frittatas only have to have eggs. Also, apparently the main difference is that you’re supposed to flip a Spanish tortilla on the stovetop at the end, versus finishing in the oven like a frittata. I’ll definitely be trying this method next time—I’m trying to wheedle my co-worker’s recipe out of him!READ THE POST