Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Nutella and Traditional Rugelach Cookies

I have always been a huge rugelach fan. As a kid I I would devour the chocolate variety any time they were around. I used to consider them a special treat when my mom brought them back from the bakery. This recipe is somewhat time consuming, but the cookies are delicious. I have made these many times in the past and have shared them with coworkers for holiday. They have always been a huge hit with all age groups. I only recently made Nutella rugelach, but they are so easy to make that it may have to become a regular thing. They are also very addictive and it is impossible to only eat one- consider yourself warned.

Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Middle Eastern Herb Omelette (Ijee)

This omelette has been a family breakfast favorite for years. It's loaded with healthy herbs and is full of flavor. I love serving this with fresh bread, some sliced cucumber and tomatoes and a cheese plate. This may not be a very traditional brunch or breakfast item, but it is delicious. my family and I just made this again over the weekend and as always, everyone was stuffed and the entire omelette was devoured.

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Vegan Cranberry Banana Muffins

Generally speaking, I am a very traditional baker. I use eggs, butter, milk, and all those traditional baking staples. I have family members that are vegan, so every now and then my mom or I will try out a new vegan recipe. This time around it's an autumn themed muffin. If you are not vegan but still want to try this, you could substitute regular milk for the almond milk. You could also use coconut milk or other various milk alternatives. The original recipe does not add cranberries, so feel free to skip that step if you don't have the time to make the cranberry mixture.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Breadsticks with Garlic Salt

I felt like dabbling in bread making the other week. Every now and then I feel inspired to try baking breads from scratch. I recently made two different recipes, these tasty breadsticks, and rolls that turned out dry and crumbly. I brought these to a friend's house for dinner, but I snacked on some of the less properly shaped ones at home. The trickiest part to this is dividing the dough properly. Be sure to follow the instructions so you end up with similar sized breadsticks.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Parmesan Polenta

My friend made this recipe for a dinner she was hosting a while back. At that point I had not had polenta in years and I realized I was missing out. This polenta was delicious. She served it with roasted brussel sprouts and salmon. I've made this roast chicken before and other times with a poached on top. The Parmesan in this recipe gives the polenta its flavor. I tend to eat way too much of this when I cook it, but it's hard to resist. This is also a very easy side dish and it works great for yourself and is also nice enough to serve for guests. You can make this look nicer by adding a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper and some shaved Parmesan on top.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Honey Rosemary Roasted Carrots

I discovered my love for honey roasted carrots about 5 years ago when I was in a phase of making lamb roasts every few weeks. One day I decided to drizzle some honey on the vegetables surrounding the meat and I was hooked. I remembering eating more veggies than anything else that night. I now like to make honey roasted carrots as a side dish to a variety of main courses. I last made these as part of a vegetarian feast where I made a bunch of different salads and roasts (I had a ton of farmer's market veggies to use up). I use fresh rosemary in this recipe, but you can improvise with whatever you like.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Japanese Style Carrot and Ginger Dressing

I have always loved Japanese carrot and ginger salad dressing, but until now had never thought of making it at home. Turns out it is very easy to make and tastes delicious. I served this for some friends a few weeks ago and the salad was devoured. You need to double the recipe if you want to serve more than 3 to 4 people.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tomato, Feta and Caramelized Onion Tart

I have always been a fan of tomato and feta based snacks. One of my favorite sandwiches is a fresh pita stuffed with tomatoes, feta cheese and basil. This tart is the fancy, guest approved version of that. I serve this with a salad and it makes a great summertime dinner. Don't go too heavy on the onions or the tart may become soggy. This tart is best straight out of the oven (plus a few minutes of cool down time). If you reheat it try avoiding the microwave.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

I was looking for a salad that would be easy to transport and wouldn't get soggy if I made it ahead of time. I was bringing food to a friend's party and didn't have time the day of to do anything that required more than five minutes. Luckily, my mom's friend told me about this salad that she loves serving during the summer. I've had this as a main course before when I wasn't very hungry, but it goes great with any BBQ basics.

The dressing used in this salad can be altered for your preferences. I tend to like it on the creamy side and use more yogurt than my mom's friend. If you like the citrus kick feel free to add more lemon. I have also made this without the cranberries and nuts and have enjoyed that too. This salad will still be crunchy and delicious the next day.
Pin It Now!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Vegetarian Tuscan Pasta

My mom is the one who deserves credit for finding this recipe. She was looking for vegetarian options and decided to try this one out. It turns out this is a delicious pasta dish that meat lovers and vegetarians will both be happy to eat. I consider this a main course. It's filling without making you feel overly full. Great for a summer night and full of flavor.

Pin It Now!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad

This beet salad make a great summertime dinner. It's very light but is still filling. The dressing is a basic vinaigrette and can be made ahead. The pistachios add a nice crunch to the salad. Make sure you roast them to bring out the flavor even more. If you do not like arugula, you can also make this salad with spinach or any other dark, leafy green. I prefer arugula since it has more flavor, but I know some people dislike it. I also love the flavor of golden beets here, but you can use regular beets if that is all you can find.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lime Possets with Mint and Mango

I wanted to make panna cotta for dessert one evening. However, my grocery store was out of gelatin and did not receive a new shipment for a few days. I scrambled to find a similar style dessert that I could make without gelatin. That's when I stumbled across the easiest desserts I have ever made: possets. Possets are a custard-like dessert that consist of cream, sugar, and come lemon or lime. They taste delicious, especially when topped with various fruits. This one combines mango, lime and mint to make an exotic tasting. Though the ingredients are rich, thew dessert itself feels light.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Red Snapper with Bell Pepper Chermoula

I wanted to try making chermoula for a while now. Though this recipe is not exactly authentic, the flavors are delicious. If you enjoy spicy food, make sure to keep the seeds of the serrano pepper, otherwise the bell pepper chermoula is mild. I let the bell pepper chermoula marinate overnight to bring out the flavor. If you do this, the recipe comes together very quickly the night you serve it. You could use any kind of white fish that you like with this recipe. You can also cook the fish differently if that is easier for you. I have sauteed the fish before when I didn't have time to get my grill going. I usually serve this with couscous or rice. 

Pin It Now!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Easy Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes

I don't know if I'd call these banana pancakes or banana crepes, but either way this make a delicious and very easy breakfast. The pancakes are a little difficult to flip since they're much more delicate than a pancake made with flour. The smaller you make these, the easier this will be. I accidentally overcooked mine, hence the slightly too brown picture, but they still tasted great. I topped mine with honey but they are just as good plain or with maple syrup. In the version picture I did not use baking powder. This recipe makes breakfast for one person.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Roasted Eggplant, Tomato and Cucumber Salad

recently discovered this salad through a friend. I told her I wanted to make a new and exciting salad and she immediately recommended this. Thank goodness for friends with good taste in food! This is currently my favorite food. I've made this salad multiple times over the past 2 months and everyone who has tried it loves it. The flavors are fresh and and exciting and the herb dressing and yogurt sauce combined make the perfect accompaniment to the vegetables.

You can play around with how spicy you make it based on how many serrano peppers you use. This salad is very filling and can be served as a light main course. I love pairing this with some freshly baked za'atar flatbread. It's my perfect summer dinner. If you are against using your oven during the summer, you can also fry or saute the eggplant. Sauteing work, but the end result is a little messier looking. The taste will still be wonderful. This salad make great leftovers too, so even if it's just 2 of you eating this, go ahead and make the full recipe. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Za'atar Flatbread

I recently bought a jar of za'atar and was immediately curious about a recipe for za'atar flatbread on the label. Za'atar is a delicious Middle Eastern flavoring that consists mainly of sumac with some thyme, sesame seeds and salt. You can make this spice blend on your own if you can't find it already prepared. I love the flavors of this spice and was very excited to try baking with it. This flatbread recipe is extremely easy, but the taste is incredible and it looks like you put a lot of work into the baking process.
Pin It Now!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Simple Shrimp and Garlic Pasta

We all have those days when you feel like you don't have any time for cooking, but you still want to have a delicious dinner. This recipe fits that description perfectly. This pasta is very easy to make. You can use any noodles you have at home. Make sure to use fresh or frozen basil. I sometimes freeze my basil with a little bit of olive oil and it comes in handy for recipes like this. If you don't like shrimp, I've had this plenty of times without any protein. Leftovers heat up pretty well, but the basil will look less appetizing on day 2 (the taste is still great though).

Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

No-Bake Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake

Last summer my neighbor introduced me to this cheesecake. She had been experimenting with it for a while and brought one over to a barbecue. I love the original recipe as it is, but the only remnant is the original snippet from a magazine along with her notes. Though the origin of this recipe is unknown, this cheesecake is amazing! Not only can you avoid turning you kitchen into a sauna this summer while making desserts, but your taste buds will be very grateful.

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cinnamon Spiced Lamb Stew

Lamb dishes are often one of my favorite meat options. Though I don't cook lamb that often I always love it when I do (or when someone else does). This stew doesn't require any exotic ingredients but the flavor is delicious and reminds me of a Moroccan stew. This is not the kind of dish you can throw together, so plan ahead if you're going to make it. The meat needs to sit in some spices for 24 hours before cooking. However, the recipe itself is not very difficult. Serve the stew with couscous for added Moroccan flair.

Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Salted Chocolate Caramel Crackers

It's almost Passover again and my family is looking for new ways to mask matzoh. I have never been a fan and have always considered matzoh to be a cardboard-like, strictly symbolic, barely edible food. So when this recipe turned out being delicious I knew this was a winner. How can you not love anything covered in caramel and chocolate? I have never tried this with actual Saltines or other crackers, but I am sure it would be just as good. If you enjoy salted caramel or sea salt chocolate flavors you will enjoy this treat.

Pin It Now!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Texas Caviar

I've been slacking off and not cooking or baking that much this past month. Luckily I have very inspiring family members who also love to cook. This recipe was first tried by my mom and came highly recommended. If you enjoy fresh Tex-Mex flavors, you will love this dish. I can eat it by the spoonful, but when I'm around other people I serve it with tortilla chips, pita chips, or pita wedges. This is extremely easy to make and the flavor won't let you down.

Pin It Now!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

Last month I went to Lake Tahoe to visit a friend of mine who is lucky enough to call that area home. After a fun day of skiing and snowboarding we decided we wanted to cook dinner, but didn't want to make anything too labor intensive and we were starving.  She suggested making spaghetti and meatballs I was convinced this would be the perfect comfort food. We did a quick search for an easy meatball recipe and came across a very thorough meatball tutorial on The Kitchn. The recipe looked simple and the cooking technique was the easiest I've ever used. I have to admit that I never knew you could put an uncooked meatball straight into your pasta sauce and cook it that way. It is by far the easiest method I have ever used (no mess from frying, no heating up the oven). If you've never made meatballs before click on the link to the recipe and learn all there is to learn about meatballs and the many ways of preparing them.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Spitzbuben (Swiss Butter Cookies with Jam)

Spitzbuben are a typical Swiss cookie which is usually baked around Christmas time. The consist of a buttery cookie base and are filled with jam. My favorite jam for this cookie is raspberry jam, but feel free to use apricot, quince, blackberry, or any flavor you love. These cookies are an easy hit and look beautiful too. You can serve them with or without a sprinkle of powdered sugar. My dad always prefers his plain, but the powdered sugar makes it look more festive. To me this cookie is not particularly just a Christmas cookie since it doesn't have an ingredients which shout "Christmas!" (no nutmeg, no cloves, no cinnamon...). But a traditional Swiss family will make sure to stock their cookie tins with these come December. Clearly I am behind schedule, but trust me, you will love these regardless.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Alice Waters' Spicy Cauliflower Soup

This recipe comes from "The Art of Simple Food" which is a staple cookbook in my family. The soup itself is very filling and has a great punch to it. If you're not crazy about spicy food you will definitely need to tone this recipe down. Even with a dollop of plain yogurt the soup is spicy, hence the name.  This soup keep well so plan on having leftovers. If you do have leftovers, store the soup on its own and only top with the yogurt, lime and cilantro when ready to serve again.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Roasted Delicata Squash

I had never cooked with delicata squash before this recipe and was a little bit skeptical during the whole process. Being unfamiliar with the squash, I though there wasn't enough flesh to merit roasting. I also worried the the skin would end up being too tough. Luckily I was proven wrong and this easy side dish was absolutely delicious.

The biggest benefit of delicata squash is how easy it is to prepare. It's a small squash and you don't need to peel it. The peel soften while roasting and is best left on the squash since you may end up with very little left to roast if you do peel them. I found these squash at our farmers market and have also seen them at a co-op. I have never seen them in our regular grocery stores so they may not be the easiest item to find. If you ever find them buy a few and try them out.

Pin It Now!