Pumpkin pastry puffs

 
Pumpkin pastry puffs
 

Pumpkin pastry puffs (for 16 pastries)

Have you ever tried fresh pumpkin? It's not naturally sweet or spiced, but it's darn delicious. Roasted pumpkin kind of tastes like butternut squash, very earthy and undeniably fibrous. With the help of maple syrup and puff pastry, pumpkin definitely shines. These "pumpkin wedges in a blanket", if you will, are a fun way to make the most of pumpkin season so try them out for your holiday gatherings this year.

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of clove
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 14-oz. sheet of puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 egg
  • Pepitas, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare the pumpkin by washing the outer skin, removing the seeds, and slicing the pumpkin into wedges. You’ll want at least 16 wedges to make 16 puffs. Toss the pumpkin wedges in a drizzle of olive oil. Arrange the wedges on a paper-lined baking sheet, and brush the wedges with maple syrup. Sprinkle them with salt.

Roast the pumpkin in the oven for 20 minutes until soft. Once out of the oven, cut the skin off the pumpkin and discard the skin.

To make the filling combine the goat cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ground ginger.

Roll the puff pastry out on a floured surface. Cut the pastry into sixteen even rectangles. Here’s the fun part, evenly divide and spread the goat cheese mixture on each pastry rectangle. Top each pastry with a roasted pumpkin wedge, and roll the puff pastry around the pumpkin. Place the puffs seam-side down and evenly spread them out on a freshly lined baking sheet.

Before baking, brush the surface of each puff with an egg wash by whisking together an egg yolk from the egg with a dash of water. Save the egg whites for a scramble the next morning. Top each puff with a few pepitas.

Bake the pumpkin puffs around 20 minutes, until golden. Combine the white sugar and cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar. Once you remove the puffs from the oven sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the puffs.

Pumpkin pastry puffs

Roasted honey brie turkey burgers

 
Roasted honey brie turkey burgers
 

Roasted honey brie turkey burgers (for 6 burgers)

I'm on a campaign to convince people that turkey burgers can be incredible. And no, not in a passable way, but actually crave-able. With the right ingredients and cooking methods a turkey burger can be crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside just like any other burger. This one shines with melted brie cheese (a treat!) and roasted honey pears. Since the burger needs some crunch, I added raw and shredded brussels sprouts as well as raw red onions on top. Trust me, this'll change your opinion of what a turkey burger can be.

  • 2 pears, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ~7 oz. brie cheese, sliced
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 3/4 cup shredded brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the sliced pears with the honey and a pinch of salt. Roast them for ~25 minutes until golden. Set aside.

To make the patties, mix together the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, garlic, thyme, paprika, egg and plenty of salt and pepper. Divide the mix into six even sections, and form each of the patties.

Reduce your oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To cook the patties, heat an oven-safe pan on medium-high. Add the burgers to the pan. Cook each burger on one side until browned (not just brown, but like crispy beautiful burger brown). Flip and brown on the other side.

Top the burgers with the brie slices, add the butter to the pan and place the entire pan in the oven. Remove the burgers from the oven once the cheese has melted and the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toss the burger buns in the oven until toasty.

To serve, top each bun with a burger and a few pear slices, shredded brussels sprouts and red onion.

Roasted honey brie turkey burgers

Coconut milk mac and cheese with butternut squash and sage

 
Butternut squash coconut milk mac and cheese
 

Coconut mac and cheese with butternut squash and sage (for ~6 generous servings)

One of the most popular recipes on my site is my original coconut milk mac and cheese recipe, and I'm tickled that it is! I absolutely love mac and cheese, it's my favorite food, so it seems fitting that all of you like it too. This version switches my original recipe up a bit with the addition for roasted butternut squash and plenty of fresh sage. Dried sage would do as well, of course! Any mac and cheese is a good one to me.

  • 18 oz. (approx. 4 cups) butternut squash
  • 1 lb. dried medium shells
  • 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop the butternut squash into large chunks. Toss the chunks in a generous drizzle of olive oil and spread them out on a parchment-lined baking pan. Roast the butternut squash in the oven for around 40 minutes until soft and golden. Transfer the butternut squash to a plate and mash the chunks until smooth using a fork.
  3. Meanwhile boil the shells to al dente with plenty of salt according to your package's instructions. Drain the pasta and return the pot to the burner.
  4. Heat the pot on medium heat. Add the coconut milk and three of the fresh sage leaves to the pot. Bring the coconut milk with the sage to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir until the milk slightly thickens.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the flour and a few tablespoons of water. Add this mixture to the pot, and stir it in until completely combined. Remove the sage leaves from the pot.
  6. Add the turmeric, smoked paprika and cheddar cheese. Allow the cheese to melt, then add the butternut squash and the shells to the pot. Stir to make sure the sauce coats the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add the mac and cheese to a shallow baking dish and set aside.
  8. Finely chop the rest of the sage leaves. To make the topping, combine the breadcrumbs, melted butter, and the chopped sage. Evenly top the mac and cheese with the breadcrumb mixture.
  9. Bake the mac and cheese in the oven until the breadcrumbs brown, around 20 minutes. Enjoy right away, but re-heated mac and cheese is always good too.
Butternut squash coconut milk mac and cheese

Kale cobb salad

 
Kale cobb salad
 

Kale cobb salad (for 4 servings)

I love cobb salads, and this one doesn't disappoint. This is like a polish your fine china sort of cobb salad because it has it all. There's crispy bacon, tomatoes, avocado, hard boiled eggs, crispy croutons, and a lemon dijon dressing. Everything comes together with kale, lacinato kale to be specific. It's not rough like curly kale, and when you let it sit in the dressing for a bit it softens into a craveable green. And yes I mean it, you'll crave these greens!

  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz. bacon
  • 1 cup cubed baguette
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 cup tomatoes, cubed
  • 6-7 packed cups lacinato kale
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons olive oil

Start by cooking the eggs. Place the eggs in a medium-sized pot. Add a pinch of salt and fill the pot with water until the eggs are covered by an inch or two. Bring the eggs to a boil, then turn off the heat (keeping the pot on the burner) and keep the pot covered for ~15 minutes to hard boil the eggs. Before assembling the salad chop up the eggs. Set aside.

Meanwhile, fry up the bacon until crispy in an un-greased pan on medium head. Remove the bacon from the pan onto a paper-towel lined plate, reserving that bacon fat.

To make the baguette croutons, add the cubed baguette into the hot pan of bacon fat, frying them up until golden.

Make the lemon dijon dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, crushed garlic cloves, dijon mustard, and honey. Drizzle the olive oil in slowly, whisking to combine all the ingredients.

Add the dressing to the kale, tossing to combine. Allow the kale to rest in the dressing for at least 10 minutes so the kale softens slightly.

Assemble the salad by combining the dressed kale with the chopped eggs, bacon, baguette croutons, avocado, and tomatoes. Dig in.

Kale cobb salad

Fried cauliflower rice with a fried egg

This fried cauliflower rice recipe is just like your favorite takeout but without all carbs! With garlic, ginger and sesame oil, it has everything going on for that classic fried rice flavor. And since fried rice isn't necessarily a full meal, we're going to top it all off with a fried egg.

 
Fried cauliflower rice with a fried egg
 

Did I tell you about that time when I sent in a question for Cherry Bombe magazine to ask Martha Stewart during Cherry Jubilee? Ok so that's a thing I did, and they asked her it. A freakin' question of mine somehow made it's way to Martha Stewart to answer. I never get picked for things like this! This was major.

So now you want to know, so...what was the question? It's kind of lame, but I wanted to know what Martha's favorite thing to cook is when she doesn't feel like cooking.

That's it! It's a simple question for a big problem most of us have. You get back from work and you're hungry and you definitely don't have it in you to cook a full meal. Her answer? Eggs. She cooks eggs.

So here's a quick idea for those times when you don't feel like cooking, and the answer is eggs. I love fried rice, borderline addicted, but it's not that good for you. So this is dish has all of those flavors, but instead of rice, we're using finely grated cauliflower. There's no right or wrong way to make this recipe either, so feel free to add the vegetables you have living in your fridge. The recipe is below!

Fried cauliflower rice with a fried egg (for 4 servings)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup kale, packed and shredded
  • 1 ear of fresh corn, kernels removed
  • 3 tablespoons frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 eggs

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the garlic, green onion and ginger. Stir until fragrant. Add the cubed zucchini, stirring the vegetables until they're softened.

Prepare the cauliflower by removing the florets and blitzing them in a food processor until they’re crumbs. You should have around 3 cups of cauliflower crumbs. Stir the cauliflower into the vegetables, then add the kale, corn kernels, and the peas. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, and keep on sautéing everything until evenly combined and tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Set the fried cauliflower rice aside to fry up a few eggs to put on top. You can do this in one giant pan. Heat the pan over medium-high heat and coat the bottom of the pan with butter. Crack the eggs in a different quadrant of the pan and since it’s hot it’ll go quick. Fry the eggs on one side, flip and cook on the other. 

Serve each portion of the fried cauliflower rice with a fried egg on top. Add some more green onions on top to garnish.

Fried cauliflower rice with a fried egg

Tricolor potato pancakes with horseradish cream

 
Tricolor potato pancakes with horseradish cream
 

Oh hi! I'm back, but you know what else is back? Football season. Oh yes, football season is one of my favorite times of the year because Sundays are dedicated to both bumming on the couch and out of control finger food.

Last year I brought you three solid recipes for football season, my killer pastrami nachosherb pesto arancini, and one of the most popular recipes on my blog to date, sausage, peppers + onions pigs in a blanket.

But this year I wanted to class up your typical football eats for some fancy finger food with these tricolor potato pancakes. And since football eats need to have something creamy, a horseradish cream is smothered on top! They're a tiny bit fussy, but they're also perfect finger food.

But surprise! You don't just get one recipe today because I teamed up with 18 other bloggers to bring you a total of 19 incredible recipes for football tailgating. There are some true gems here which you have to try out, like Easy potato chip nachos from Honey and Birch and Pumpkin pulled pork bowls by The Speckled Palate. Don't even get me started about Feast + West's Chorizo-stuffed bacon wrapped dates. Oh my, oh my. The options here are incredible!

Find links to all of the recipe plus my full recipe below.

19-tailgating-recipes

Here's all of the incredible football tailgating recipes for hungry folks:

Chicken Swiss Dip by The Life Jolie
Creamy Pepita Dip by The Mexitalian
Traeger Pulled Pork by Or Whatever You Do
Slow Cooker Apple Cider Chicken Sliders by Cake 'n Knife
Baked Brie Crescent Bites by The Culinary Compass
Aunt Julie's Pepperoni Bread by Off the Eaten Path
Jalapeño Ranch Dip by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Corn Dip by Me and My Pink Mixer
Chorizo Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates by Feast + West
Easy Pepperoni Bread by Love Bakes Good Cakes
Bacon Wrapped Cheese Smokies by West Via Midwest
Easy Roasted Veggie Fajitas by Hello Little Home
Pumpkin Pulled Pork Bowls by The Speckled Palate
Caramelized Onion Dip by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Easy Potato Chip Nachos by Honey and Birch
Apple Pie Twists by 2 Cookin Mamas
Buffalo Cauliflower + Blue Cheese Dressing by For the Love of Food
Pigskin Cheeseball by Love & Flour

Tricolor potato pancakes with horseradish cream

  • 24 oz. tricolor potatoes, washed and scrubbed
  • 1 small shallot (~2 tablespoons)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons white flour
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Start by shredding the potatoes. You can use a hand grater, or to make it even easier, the shredder attachment of an electric mixer. Add the shallot as well to shred it. Drain the potatoes and shallot by squeezing out all of the liquid using a cheesecloth or a few paper towels. The less moisture, the better for frying.

To make the potato pancake mixture, combine the shredded potatoes/shallot with the egg and flour.

Now it’s time for frying. Heat a large pan on medium heat and add enough oil for a shallow fry. To make each pancake use an ice cream scoop to form a very packed ball of the mixture. Squish the ball until flat and gently place each pancake in the oil. You’ll want to do this in batches until you run out of the potato mixture. Have patience, you’ll want to flip each pancake once they are very crispy on one side. Then flip them again to crisp up the other side. Sprinkle some salt on each potato pancake when it’s remove from the oil.

To make the horseradish cream, combine the sour cream with the prepared horseradish and a generous pinch of black pepper.

Top each potato pancake with a generous scoop of horseradish cream and a few cherry tomato halves.

Tricolor potato pancakes with horseradish cream

Note: This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by the National Football League (NFL) or any of its teams. All opinions and views expressed are our own, not that of the NFL and/or any of its teams. Any team names, logos or other symbols referenced are properties of their respective organizations.

Banh mi-style hot dogs

This banh mi-style hot dog recipe has everything you need: pickled carrots, spicy Sriracha mayo, cucumber and a homemade cilantro pesto. Oh yeah, and a super crispy hot dog! 

 
Banh mi-style hot dogs
 

I love hot dogs so much that I sometimes joke that I need to start a hog dog themed Instagram account. Everyone thinks I'm joking, but no sir! I'm dead serious.

I would say the obsession began when I was maybe 7 and we would go to lunch at Friendly's. You know Friendly's, the place with the crazy ice cream sundaes and giant salads? We'd go and my order was always the same. One hot dog with a side of mac and cheese. My two favorite foods right there! My obsession was real.

Growing up it wasn't a BBQ without a hot dog, but for the longest time a hot dog was simple: the dog, the bun, and a squirt of mustard. Then I started working for a lobster roll company in NYC. While slinging lobster rolls at various outdoor markets I was exposed to tons of new food vendors. One of them? Asia Dog.

Asia Dog made the most incredible hot dog with spicy ketchup, mustard, and crushed potato chips on top! This was way before the food scene was all about mile-high milkshakes and rainbow bagels, so I thought potato chips on a hot dog was crazy! Little did I know. Asia Dog also had a banh mi-style hot dog, which this recipe is a little ode to.

This is certainly no banh mi, since I wouldn't dare to claim it as one, however, it has a few tasty elements you'd find on a traditional banh mi. There's pickled carrots, cucumber and Sriracha mayo, but I'm switching it up with a cilantro pesto. Yes, we're going there! The recipe is below for those that can't wait to eat them up. 

Banh mi-style hot dogs

  • 6 hot dogs
  • 6 hot dog buns
  • 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced length-wise
  • Sriracha mayo
  • Pickled carrots (recipe follows)
  • Cilantro pesto (recipe follows)

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Score the hot dogs four or five times on one side to let the air escape during cooking. Add the hog dogs to the pan, and cook them until crispy. Set them aside.

Toast the hot dog buns in a toaster oven or in the oven.

To serve, place a hot dog in each bun. Add a slice of cucumber, a drizzle of the cilantro pesto and a generous portion of the pickled carrots to each hot dog. Drizzle Sriracha mayo all over the hot dogs. Enjoy right away.

Pickled carrots

  • 5 small carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Combine the carrots, white sugar and rice wine vinegar. Allow the carrots to pickle, as little as 30 minutes. Pickle them overnight for even more punch.

Cilantro pesto

  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon almonds
  • 1 garlic clove

Combine the cilantro, olive oil, almonds and garlic in a food processor. Blend until combined. Add a little more olive oil if the pesto is too thick, otherwise season with salt and pepper.

Banh mi-style hot dogs

Roasted apricot chicken

Roasted apricot chicken is a sweet take on your old favorite, roasted chicken. Garnished with chopped pistachios, poppy seeds and fresh mint, this is an easy but different take on the classic dinner dish. Oh, and don't forget those jammy roasted apricots! They make the dish.

 
Roasted apricot chicken
 

I just got back from an amazing week in the Hamptons, and I would be lying if I didn't say I miss it a teeny bit. I mean, the beach! The farm stands! The wine! It's honestly an expensive dream of a place. But let's go back to the farm stands for a second. They're insane, truly, but I was in heaven with all of the beautiful stone fruit. But alas, it's almost the end of summer.

I'm bringing you into the pre-fall season with a little mix of summer and fall. The method is roasting which is perfect for fall weather, but we're hanging onto summer with a stone-fruity chicken recipe. It's easy, and a great way to introduce yourself to a fun technique. Searing to get that crisp outer crust and then baking to roast it up. The recipe is below for those that want some adventure!

Apricot chicken (for 5 servings)

  • 2/3 cup apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 10 chicken thighs
  • 4 fresh apricots, sliced
  • To serve: chopped pistachios, poppy seeds and fresh mint

Prepare the marinade by combining the apricot jam, mustard, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of salt and a liberal drizzle of olive oil in a bowl. Add the chicken, tossing to coat. Let the marinade sit with the chicken for at least 30 minutes.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, conviction setting preferably if you have one!

Heat an oven-proof pan on medium-high heat. Add the chicken, leaving behind excess marinade. Sear the chicken on one side until golden. Flip and then sear it again on the other side. Once golden on both sides add the sliced apricots and place the pan in the oven. Bake the chicken for another 30 minutes or until cooked through in the oven.

Remove the chicken from the oven. To serve, top each serving with chopped pistachios, a sprinkle of poppy seeds and plenty of fresh mint. Oh! And don’t forget to spoon the baked apricots over the chicken.

Roasted apricot chicken

Green tea salmon salad

The easiest way to enjoy salmon? This green tea salmon salad. It's all about fresh summer ingredients plus a cooling cucumber in a yogurt dressing. Oh yeah, and it's easy and perfect for those hot summer nights.

 
Green tea salmon salad
 

This salad is the kind of thing you wish you food prepped on Sunday evening. Ok, heck you should probably make this on Sunday evening so you can enjoy it for lunch the following days too.

Peaches are the sweet component. Avocado is the creamy component. Ok, there's more creaminess with the cucumber yogurt. The yogurt is a good foil for the salmon which is slightly earthy and smokey. All of these ingredients go quite well together so I think you'll enjoy this one!

Get that recipe below.

Green tea salmon with arugula (for 3 servings)

  • 2 green tea bags
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1.5 lb. salmon, cut into filets and skin removed
  • 1 cucumber, de-seeded and sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
  • 3 cups fresh arugula 
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 peach, cubed

Remove the green tea from the tea bags. Combine the green tea with the chipotle chili powder, salt and pepper to make the rub for the salmon. 

Pat the salmon dry. Coat the salmon on all sides with the green tea chipotle mix. 

Heat a pan with a very thin layer of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the salmon, flat-side down first. Keep the salmon cooking until it’s crispy on that first side. Now, flip the salmon onto the other side. Same thing, cook the salmon until crispy on the second side. If your salmon is particularly thick you’ll want to cook it on the sides as well until it’s cooked through. Take the salmon off the heat, gently cutting the salmon into bite-sized pieces and cool the salmon on the side.

To make the cucumber yogurt, combine the cucumber, sour cream and dill weed. It’s done.

Toss the arugula in your favorite dressing or a simple mix of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Top the arugula with the salmon, some cubed arugula and peach, and a scoop of cucumber yogurt.

Green tea salmon salad

Caramelized onion tart

This is an easy caramelized onion tart, all of the flavor and none of the fuss. Goat cheese adds some tang and cherry tomatoes make it the perfect choice for summer feasts. 

 
Caramelized onion tart
 

The first time I made caramelized onions, I couldn't believe my eyes. I nearly burned them, let's get that straight, but somehow I turned crunchy white onions into golden brown onion jam. It was incredible. But at the same time, the effort was no joke. It takes time and patience to caramelize onions, but it's a skill we should all master.

And they are the star of this easy caramelized onion tart, along with two of my favorites: goat cheese and cherry tomatoes. Serve this with a side salad and a meal is made.

Head's up, this looks like a pizza and it cuts like pizza, but it's not a pizza! It's a flakey pie masterpiece, so you'll want to fork and knife this guy. The recipe is below, eat up!

Caramelized onion tart

  • 1 white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem
  • 1 pre-made pie crust (I used this one)
  • 1 ounce goat cheese
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Heat the olive oil on low heat in a sauté pan. Add the onion. Now you need some patience. Continue stirring until the onions are just softened. If they start to burn, turn the heat down or take ‘em off the heat for a bit. Once softened add some salt and pepper and the sugar. With more patience, continue stirring until the onions are golden brown. At this point stir in the fresh thyme leaves and set aside.

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Roll the pie crust out on a lined baking sheet. Prick the pie crust with a fork all around. Don't go too crazy! Place the pie dough in the oven and bake for ~13 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven when it’s almost golden.

Layer the onions over the pie crust, and crumble on the goat cheese. Place the pan back in the oven for 3-4 minutes to warm up the goat cheese. Remove the pan from the oven and top the tart with the cherry tomatoes. Dive in.

Caramelized onion tart

Summer vegetable pasta salad

This pasta salad tastes just like summer! With fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and basil, it's all there. Enjoy this pasta salad hot or cold, anything goes.

 
Summer vegetable pasta salad
 

Three cheers for a pasta salad that is very easy for the summer. You don't want to turn on the oven, but you want to eat tons of vegetables, right? Well, your wish is granted!

Before you start boiling water, here are my tips. You can totally use frozen corn, but there's no substitute for fresh basil. Don't try to use the dried stuff, no! Stop it! Also, if zucchini isn't your thing try eggplant instead AND yes, please add some cheese to this if you'd like!

The recipe is below, enjoy!

Summer vegetable pasta salad

  • 1 lb. orecchiette pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, ends trimmed and cubed
  • Pinch of red pepper flake
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed from the cob
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 handful of fresh basil, chopped

Cook the orecchiette according to your package’s instructions. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the zucchini and red pepper flake, cooking and stirring until the zucchini is softened. Once softened, add the corn and tomatoes. Keep stirring to heat all of the vegetables through. 

Take the vegetables off the heat. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, the chopped basil and another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pasta and stir everything together. Serve the pasta warm or cold.

Summer vegetable pasta salad

Eggplant rollatini

This eggplant rollatini recipe is not fried and not coated in breadcrumbs. Gasp! Instead it's baked, and it's an easy take on a classic dish. Eggplant rollatini is great right from the oven or heated up as an easy weeknight leftover!

 
Eggplant rollatini
 

There's no better way to feel sneaky than to create something that looks fancy, but is actually very easy. Eggplant rollatini definitely fits in that category for me! 

But first, a few tips. Don't overfill the eggplant rolls, but if you do there's no harm done. You can just scoop that extra ricotta mixture out of the sauce with a spoon once it bakes! Also don't feel the need to pick the basil leafs off of the stem. Just throw the entire stem in with all of the leaves. Also eggplant is incredible, but you need to salt it. When you salt the eggplant and let it sit the salt soaks into the spongey eggplant and excess water is drawn out. This makes for one delicious eggplant.

The recipe is below, enjoy!

Eggplant rollatini

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 7 fresh basil leaves
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese 
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for baking
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

Cut off the ends of the eggplant, then cut the eggplant length-wise into sheets. You’ll want the sliced to be thin enough so they’ll roll. If you try to roll and the eggplant snaps, it's too thick! Lay the slices out on a few sheets of paper towels and sprinkle the eggplant liberally with salt. Set aside for 10-20 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Pat the eggplant dry (it should be wet on the surface!), and rub the eggplant with olive oil. Place the eggplant in a single layer on a paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake the eggplant in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool.

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil on medium heat in an oven-proof sauté pan. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes stirring them into the garlic oil. Stir in the red pepper flake and basil, letting the sauce bubble and get hot.

Meanwhile prepare the ricotta filling by combining the ricotta cheese, egg, shredded parmesan cheese and dried oregano.

Fill up the San Marzano tomato can a third of way with water and add it to the sauce. This will help if the sauce is getting too thick. 

Create each eggplant roll by adding a scoop of the ricotta filing into the middle of the pieces of eggplant. Gently roll each eggplant slice up and place them all seam-side down into the pan of sauce. Top each of the rolls with more mozzarella cheese until covered.

Bake the eggplant rollatini for another 10 minutes until the cheese melts. Serve warm!

Pesto chicken salad

This pesto chicken salad is a delicious upgrade to classic chicken salad. It's perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or a special lunch, and it's served in half of an avocado! Does it get any better?

 
Pesto chicken salad
 

Chicken salad is notoriously creamy, and notoriously not that healthy. To improve that situation I made a few delicious swaps. Instead of bread, a half of an avocado serves as a vessel for holding all of the chicken salad. Instead of all mayo, I cut the mayo with some fresh basil pesto. You could totally swap the mayo for greek yogurt, but let's not get carried away now.

So I hope you're not over avocados, because this chicken salad shines in one! Is it possible to be over avocados? I hope that day never comes. Recipe is below!

Pesto chicken salad

  • 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup basil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flake
  • To serve: halved avocados

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat the chicken dry and then sprinkle  each one liberally with salt and pepper. 

Place the chicken breasts on a greased and foil-lined baking sheet. Roast the chicken in the oven for ~20 minutes, flipping them halfway through roasting. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.

While the chicken is roasting make the pesto by combining the basil, lemon juice, and pistachios in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto comes together. Stir 1/2 cup of the pesto with all of the mayo and a pinch of red pepper flake to make the sauce for the chicken salad.

Cube the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Gently fold the chicken into the pesto sauce. To serve fill each well of the avocado halves with a generous scoop of the chicken salad.

Pesto chicken salad

Grilled eggplant with spicy tahini and pesto

Grilled eggplant shines with a drizzle of spicy tahini and basil pesto. This dish is perfect for weeknights when you need something to eat quickly, but don't want to make boxed mac and cheese once again. 

 
Grilled eggplant with spicy tahini and pesto
 

I used to hate eggplant, but I've since grown to really like it. It's a little tricky vegetable actually. Eggplant is a bit like a sponge, it absorbs olive oil with crazy speed and can sauté kind of wonky due to its water content. However grilling is a great way to avoid this!

I like grilled eggplant with some sort of sauce because it can be bland otherwise. For this recipe I made two of them, a spicy tahini and a fresh basil pesto.

Tahini is like sesame butter, it's crazy rich and you only need a little bit to make an impact in this dish. Adding some water and lemon to tahini makes it perfectly drizzly too! And pesto needs no introduction. It adds some freshness and color to this dish. The recipe is below!

Grilled eggplant with spicy tahini and pesto

  • 1 small eggplant, thinly sliced
  • Fresh basil, chopped for garnish

For the spicy tahini:

  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the pesto:

  • 1 packed cup fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Heat your grill pan (or grill!) on medium heat. Brush olive oil on the pan to grease it up a bit. Add the eggplant, grilling until soft with grill marks. Remove the eggplant from the grill and set them aside after sprinkling the eggplant with salt.

Prepare the spicy tahini sauce by combining the tahini, water, hot sauce and lemon juice. 

To make the pesto, blitz together the basil, lemon juice and pistachios in a food processor. While the food processor is on, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow and steady stream until it comes together.

To serve, drizzle both sauces over the eggplant and top with some fresh basil. Enjoy. 

Chipotle honey wings

These spicy and sweet wings are the answer to your chicken wing cravings. Unlike traditional buffalo sauce, these wings are combination of smokey and sweet thanks to chipotle and honey. Oh, and there's no frying necessary for these wings.

 
Chipotle honey wings
 

Not to brag, but I grew up a 10 minute walk away from some of the best buffalo wings you'll ever find. Candlelight Inn wings. Look. It. Up. 

But here's the thing, it's hard for any wings to compete against those, and I'll certainly never even try to compete on their level. Not that I'm intimated, no, it's because I don't even want to destroy the sacred respect I have for the Candlelight Inn wing. It's perfect. Can't knock it. But what I can do is make some bomb.com wings to hold you over.

That's where these chipotle honey wings come in. They're smokey. They're sweet. These are the wings that will expand your chicken wing vocabulary. Plus you can make them at home, no frying necessary. Good-bye Frank's Red Hot. Chipotle in Adobo is your new best friend.

Chipotle honey wings

Chipotle honey wings

  • 1 7oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3lbs. drumette wings
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a convection oven, use that setting!

In a bowl whisk together 1 chipotle pepper and 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the can of chipotle peppers in adobo, 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

Toss the drumettes in the sauce, then lay them in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the glaze. Heat in a small pot until melted, the tablespoon butter, the last tablespoon of honey, 2 more chipotle peppers and the rest of the sauce from the can.

After 20 minutes of baking, brush half of the sauce onto the wings. Bake for 5 minutes. Then brush the rest of the sauce onto the wings and cook for another 5 minutes.

Peachy yogurt popsicles

This peachy yogurt popsicle is the best of both worlds, creamy and tart. Made with fresh peaches and thick greek yogurt, these popsicles are sure to be an easy hit for summer parties.

 
Peachy Yogurt Popsicles
 

It's Popsicle Week! After seeing all of the incredible popsicles from last year, I wanted in. Hosted by Billy from Wit & Vinegar, Popsicle Week is a special time when food bloggers (including some of my favorites!) share their favorite popsicle recipes. It's a sign of summer, if you will, and I'm excited to take part.

My contribution this year are these peachy yogurt popsicles. Unlike your typical peaches and cream pop, you get a little bit of everything here. The top of the pop is concentrated tart peach, the bottom is creamy yogurt, and the middle is a mix of both! 

If you're in the market for popsicle molds, these are the ones I used.

Peachy Yogurt Popsicles

Peachy yogurt popsicles (for 1 dozen pops)

  • 2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2.5 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Heat the peaches, lemon juice, and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook them until they break down a little bit and the juices start bubbling. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the greek yogurt and almond milk until smooth.

Scoop a few peach slices into the base on each popsicle mold. Fill each mold midway with the yogurt/almond milk mixture. Add the rest of the peaches, distributing between each mold, and top off each mold with the yogurt/almond milk mixture. 

Add a popsicle stick to each mold and freeze until completely frozen, 2-3 hours. Run each pop under hot water for a few seconds to remove from the mold. 

BLT quinoa salad

This quinoa salad recipe is fast to make, with all the ingredients in a BLT. Crispy bacon, crunchy frisée lettuce and bright cherry tomatoes.

 
BLT Quinoa Salad
 

Is anything better than a perfect BLT? It's my go-to diner order for a reason. There's crunch, there's the perfect balance of moisture and there's bacon. Every sandwich should have all three, nah...every meal should. 

I've seen enough quinoa salads professing to be the healthiest salad ever that I decided to make it into a BLT. This salad comes together fast, in the time it takes to cook a half-pot of quinoa and fry up some bacon. If you can help yourself from eating all the bacon before it gets into the salad, you're the real winner.


BLT Quinoa Salad

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 small head of frisée lettuce, stem removed with leaves separated
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on your package. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile heat a frying pan on medium heat. Reduce to medium-low and add the bacon. Cook until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan to drain on a paper towel-lined plate, then crumble. Take the pan off the heat, keeping the bacon fat in the pan. Toss the quinoa into the pan with the bacon fat. 

To assemble the salad, toss quinoa with the frisée, crumbled bacon and cherry tomatoes.

Enjoy as is, or if you’d like a vinaigrette whisk together olive oil, balsamic and a teaspoon or two of dijon mustard. 

_MG_6805.jpg

Roasted green beans

 
Roasted green beans
 

It's almost summer which means we have lots of vegetables and we need something to do with all of them. By something I mean anything other than what we usually do to them. Boiled green beans, no more! It's time for you to try roasting them.

This isn't anything like tortilla chips and queso, but it's freakin' delicious even so. I love a cheesy chip situation like the rest of us, but sometimes it's a little counterintuitive to actually, you know, eating healthy? So a sprinkle of pecorino romano is the compromise here.

Ok, I couldn't help myself so there's also a roasted red onion yogurt sauce to dip 'em in. I didn't say I was perfect, but roasted green beans will be your favorite side dish before you know it. I can promise you that.

Get the recipe below!


Roasted green beans

  • 3 handfuls of green beans 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely crushed
  • 1/2 red onion, quartered
  • 1/2 lemon, quartered
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon capers, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Toss together the green beans with the garlic and a drizzle of olive oil on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Add the red onion and lemon wedges on the side.

Roast the green beans, red onion and lemon in the oven for 25 minutes until the green beans are slightly wrinkled. You’ll want to give everything a stir halfway through.

To make the red onion yogurt sauce, add the greek yogurt, capers and dijon mustard in a food processor with the roasted red onions. Squeeze the roasted lemon juice into the food processor as well. Whiz everything together until the red onion breaks down and everything is combined. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

Serve the green beans with a generous sprinkle of grated pecorino romano and the red onion yogurt on the side. 

Some of my absolute worst recipe fails

So, here's the thing about having a food blog. I make lots of mistakes, basically always. I'm a professional mess maker and amateur recipe tinkerer so mistakes happen A LOT.

But I think it would be a mistake not to share the recipes that didn't work with you, because they're hilarious and maybe there's a lesson or two here. Enjoy this!

 
cooking fails
 

I went through a phase when all I wanted to make for this blog was ice cream sundaes. I mean, a few of them were actually really good! This one didn't quite work out. It was a roasted pineapple sundae with dulce de leche. The ice cream kept melting and when the ice cream froze up the pineapple had a funky texture.

 
cooking fails
 

Ok this idea was cool, in theory. I wanted to make beet crepes and then fill them with cream cheese + lox. But I didn't have enough beets to really pull of the color, plus I think other bloggers might be using food dye for projects like these. The resulting crepes kind of looked like...ham? It totally looks like a slice of ham, right? I'm going to rework this idea though, because I'm obsessed with those flavors.

 
cooking fails
 

I went through a phase in which I was obsessed with ices, so I decided to make one that is cranberry + ginger flavored. For some reason it tasted just like cotton candy. Not sure how i accomplished that, but for those looking for a natural cotton candy flavor, cranberry and ginger might be your best bet.

 
cooking fails
 

Ok, this dish was actually really delicious, but I think it turned out kind of boring looking. It's a baguette with melted gruyere, a swipe of dijon mustard + turkey. It's really really good, and now you have the recipe.

 
cooking fails
 

Last year the only thing I could talk about was lentils, so I thought I was being so creative by making a lentil curry without really exploring lentil cooking times or how curries are made. The lentils tasted good, but kind of looked like taupe discs.

 
cooking fails
 

Another recipe from the ice cream sundae era. This one was a mint sundae, so I thought it would be fun to create a homemade magic shell and candy some fresh mint. Maybe i should leave candy to the experts, because this mint was just coated in sugar and water (ew). Also the candy shell was so thick I needed a knife to cut through!

 
_MG_2581.jpg
 

A few months ago I had the brilliant idea to make my own cashew milk. Then I thought I would use it to make a warm matcha latte. When I started to heat the cashew milk it thickened and clumped up and when I added the matcha it turned grey. And I still tried to photograph it!

 
_MG_2330.jpg
 

The mother of all fails! This was my attempt at making an upside-down cobbler, with matcha, again. The whole thing went completely soggy once removed and flipped from the pan. You can even see how I used confectioners sugar as an attempt to fix it. Well, it didn't work!


So there you go! A few of my many kitchen fails. We all have them despite the beautiful recipes we share on Instagram. Keep experimenting though, even if you fail a few times. What's your biggest recipe fail? I'd love to hear about it!

Crunchy jicama salad

 
Crunchy jicama salad
 

With summer fast approaching, I find I'm craving anything that's cool and crisp. Slices of watermelon, raw green beans and crunchy tasty salads of all kinds are welcome. 

This crunchy jicama salad fits the bill. Crispy cabbage, jicama and radishes tossed in a vinaigrette? Sign me up! It's kind of like a light slaw, since you thinly slice everything, but it's freaking delicious as a salad. Just be sure to thinly slice everything! 


Crunchy jicama salad

  • 1/2 green cabbage, thinly sliced with darker green leafs removed
  • 1 cup jicama, thinly sliced into sticks
  • 1 radish, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper

Toss together the cabbage, jicama, radish and mint.

Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, rice wine vinegar and honey. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Toss the vinaigrette into the vegetables. Enjoy right away for the most crunch, or let it sit for more of a slaw.