Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Chopped Thai Salad with Curry Coconut Dressing

Without realizing it, I have been on an Asian-inspired food kick lately. I've been making spring rolls and dumplings and noodles and have been loving all of them. I found this recipe and though it would make a great, hearty salad. I made a few small changes to the original recipe based on my preferences (I don't love kale when baby kale or a delicate lacinato kale aren't available). I also tried this recipe with almonds and almond butter instead of peanuts and peanut butter and it was still delicious. If you know someone with a peanut allergy, the almond substitution is very good. If you have leftovers, these will still be good on day 2.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Masoor Dal (Spiced Red Lentils with Sweet Potatoes)

It's that time of year again where hearty stews and soups are back on my dinner rotation. I wanted to make a filling, vegetarian dinner and came across this recipe. I love Indian food and the ingredient list for this is fairly simple if you already have the spices. The recipe is very easy to follow and the leftovers taste delicious. This makes a generous portion which can feed 4 to 6 easily. Serve this with a side of cucumber raita and rice and enjoy.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

No Knead Crusty Dutch Oven Bread

I tend to go back and forth on whether or not I like baking bread. I wanted to find a foolproof recipe that I could whip together without worrying about kneading too much or adding too much flour. I found this recipe and absolutely love it. It is so easy to make and the end result has a crusty outside and softer inside. Spread some butter over a slice of warm bread and you have a perfect side dish or snack. The dough will be very sticky when you do form it in to a ball, but do your best with it and keep your hands covered in flour the whole time (I dunked my hands in flour multiple times). This is the only step that actually requires a little effort, but do your best to shape the dough. This also gets easier the more comfortable you get with bread dough.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Spicy Thai Noodles with Zucchini and Mushrooms


One of the easiest dinners to make is a quick noodle stir fry style meal. This dish is delicious and comes together very quickly for an easy weeknight dinner. Feel free to add your favorite protein to this dish if you're not a big fan of vegetarian dishes. I love this version and you can always add another egg to make it heartier. This is great fresh from the pan, or can be warmed up the next day. Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your liking. I like to add cilantro and peanuts, as well as use 1/5 tablespoon of chili garlic sauce in the sauce.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chicken Tikka Masala

My entire family love Indian food. I wanted to make dinner for us one night and decided to try out this recipe. I made the tikka masala on a Sunday, knowing I would serve it on Monday. Sunday night I tried the dish and I thought it was ok, but hen I re-heated it Monday night it was fantastic. The flavors really come out when you let it all sit together overnight. I would suggest making this ahead of time and serving it the following day. The sauce will be outstanding and the consistence will come out perfectly. I served this dish with rice, but you could have it with naan and even a raita or yogurt with cucumber. Make this one night ahead of time and enjoy this delicious homemade Indian food.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Chinese Style Chicken Dumplings

I am a huge fan of all things dumplings and dim sum. I could eat my weight in dim sum on a regular basis, I love it that much. For some reason I had never tried making my own dumplings, but now that I have I don't think I am stopping any time soon. These dumplings are really easy to make (though they do take some time) and I was beyond happy with the end result. Serve these with a little soy dipping sauce and you are good to go! I made these for dinner, along with a salad, and it was a great meal. For wrapping the individual dumplings, I followed this YouTube tutorial, which was simple and easy to follow. I used coconut aminos in this recipe since one of the guinea pigs trying these dumplings has a soy allergy. This is a very easy swap and it still tasted great.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Swiss Style Onion Tart


I was recently on a baking kick and was determined to find an onion tart recipe similar to the one my grandfather used to make. Though I ave not found a perfect match just yet, and I likely never will, this tart was delicious and very quickly devoured. The dough is a little finicky to work with, but that could also be my lack of experience with making pie and tart crusts. This tart filling is delicious and you could cheat and use store bought dough or a pie shell. I made this without bacon and I still love it. Feel free to use Gruyere cheese if you have it readily available, otherwise a Swiss cheese (like Emmental) will work as well.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fresh Corn and Ditalini Pasta Salad

I am a huge fan of pasta salads during the summer. I love how easy they are to make while still being popular items. It's easy to make a pasta salad from scratch and the dressing on this is so simple. No need to buy bottled dressing this time around. Feel free to adjust this pasta salad as you like. You can add more fresh summer veggies like red peppers or grilled zucchini- the options are unlimited. You can also add a splash of hot sauce to the recipe for an added kick.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Coconut Banana Muffins

I have been on a baking kick lately and my friends are probably tired of my coming over with a bunch of baking experiments. I decided to make these muffins on a whim since I had all of the ingredients at home and wanted to try something other than my classic banana go to: Leonie's banana bread. Leonie's banana bread will probably always be one of my favorite classic banana bread/muffin recipes out there, but I wanted to try something a little new. I had a bunch of coconut flakes leftover from when I last made energy bites, so this was the perfect recipe to make a dent in that. There muffin taste great and look adorable with the shredded coconut on top. Wrap in an airtight container and snack on these for a few days in a row.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jujeh Kabob (Persian Chicken Kabob)

I was lucky enough to grow up with friends whose mother's were amazing cooks. I can;t even remember how young I was when I first had jujeh kabobs, but I have always loved them. I first made these myself about 2 years ago and was so pleasantly surprised by how well they turned out. I made these again recently at a friend's BBQ and forgot how much I love this variation of grilled chicken. Though traditionally these are served as a skewered chicken kabob, I have at time just marinated chicken thighs in the marinade and grilled them on their own. Either way, this recipe is delicious and easy to make.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Spinach and Cherry Tomato Pasta

Living on my own I often look for simple recipes that can be made without much effort. This recipe is one of my go-to quick dinners for days when I really don't want to make anything too time consuming, but I still want a tasty dinner. If you ever feel like mixing it up, omit the spinach and add 1/4 cup chopped basil. That's my other go-to weeknight pasta dinner. Either way, this is a very simple and satisfying meal.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Oat Banana Bread

I recently had a case of too many ripe bananas in my house. though I usually freeze them for smoothies, I decided to use a few of the and make a healthier-ish banana bread. This recipe made a great loaf cake that is not very sweet, but goes wonderfully with a cup of tea or coffee in the morning. It's a great snacking cake (I unintentionally finished off about a third of the cake in one sitting, then decided I needed to share it as soon as possible). The ingredients are ones that I have at home, so this was a great recipe for me. But I also keep things like ground flax seeds around for sprinkling on yogurt or oatmeal, or making peanut butter chocolate chip energy bites. As with most banana breads, you really can't ruin this recipe.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Roasted Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde (Green Sauce)

Photo Credit: Katie Senft
My friends and I recently went to a Peruvian restaurant where we were instantly obsessed with the delicious roasted chicken. Once we tried the chicken with the aji amarillo (yellow sauce) we could not get enough of the flavor. My friend found this recipe and we both loved that the ingredients are very easily found and the end result was a hit. She had made it first and sent me the recipe. I tried it the next week and as more than happy to have leftover. Adjust the spiciness to your preferences and you might be hooked too.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake

I have been on a blueberry spree lately, only to realize that I had gone a bit overboard a needed to make something with them aside from smoothies. I looked at a few loaf and bread recipes and loved the simple ingredient list of this one. I have also had success with other Joy of Baking recipes, so I gave this one a try. The loaf cake had a great blueberry to cake ratio and a subtle lemon flavor. I decided to add a little more lemon the next time around, and loved the recipe even more. If you prefer a lighter lemon flavors, only use one tablespoon of lemon zest. For a more intense lemon flavor, add another 1/2 tablespoon (about 2 lemons). I love having a slice of this loaf cake with a cup of tea or coffee. The loaf cake will remain moist for at least 3 to 4 days (mine has never lasted beyond that). You can wrap this in foil and keep it at room temperature for storage.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Overnight French Toast Casserole

Many years ago a friend of mine brought a french toast casserole to a potluck and I remember loving it. Time passed and I completely forgot about this delicious breakfast food until my sister reminded me of them. This recipe is pretty simple and makes for a great, ready to bake breakfast food. I love having this plain, but feel free to add some maple syrup on top.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Turkey Meatball Gyro

When I was in Denver visiting my sister I looked for a few quick and easy recipes that were still kid friendly. I found this recipe and decided it would be a great one to try. The meatballs and the yogurt sauce are easy to make and can be prepped earlier in the day. My 2 year old nephew loved the meatballs and yogurt sauce, while my sister and I made the full gyro with all the toppings and enjoyed those too. This is a very easy recipe and if you have any leftovers, they will still be great the next day.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lemon Scented Rice

A while back my friend hosted a girls night and made a lemon scented rice that I instantly loved. I had never tried a rice with lemon flavor before this, but I was hooked. I should start this by saying I am a huge rice fan. I could happily have basmati rice multiple time a week. This recipe is a fun way to add a little extra kick to plain rice.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sugar Crusted Blueberry Muffins

I just got home from visiting my sister, where baking and cooking happens much more regularly than at my own home these days (though I probably shouldn't admit that). She has been making these blueberry muffins for a while and they were delicious. Moist and lemony, just the way I like them. She has adjusted the original recipe to add the lemon flavor, which I am always a fan of. If you don't love the lemony flavor in this, you can substituent the lemon yogurt for plain yogurt or sour cream. And you can use half as much lemon zest.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Soba Noodle Salad with Citrus and Soy Dressing

My office was having a potluck, which is fun and great, but I sometime don't know what to bring to these events. It's almost impossible to warm anything up, so I tend to aim for some sort of cold dish. This year I decided to make soba noodles since we already had an abundance of green and kale salads. This recipe was quick and easy and the dish was a hit. I made everything ahead, packed the cut veggies and garnish in individual containers and mixed in the veggies right before everyone went to the buffet, topping the dish off with cilantro and sesame seeds.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Crinkle cookies are one of those sweets I love to eat, but are never really on my radar. My friend and I were having a baking day and she suggested we make a double batch of these. She had tried them before and they were a huge hit. She was 100% right about that. The batter itself will make you question whether these cookies will ever turn out, but they do. Don't be afraid of the wet/semi runny batter. It all comes together for a delicious crinkle cookie in the end.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

I've been on a spaghetti squash kick lately. Every time I stop by the farmer's market I come home with one. I had a basket of cherry tomatoes that started to burst after 2 days, so I decided it was time to roast them. I used arugula pesto in this recipe but feel free to use a classic basil pesto as well, especially if you want a slightly milder flavor. You can adjust this recipe very easily to suit your preferences. I love a lot of tomatoes on mine, as well as lots of cheese. After I took these photos I added about another 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan to each squash half. Parmesan gets used up very quickly in my kitchen, but I love the flavor it adds.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

I was looking for a make-ahead recipe a while back, but didn't want to make the usual loaf cake or muffins which freeze very well. I only needed the dessert to be frozen about a week, and this recipe turned out to be a perfect dessert for this occasion. If you do want to freeze this crisp, prepare the crisp through adding the topping to the apples. Wrap the entire dish with plastic wrap and freeze. When you want to bake the crisp, remove it from the freeze and place directly into your pre-heated oven. Just add a little bit of baking time and you are all set. You can use a variety of apples for this recipe. Ina Garten, the genius behind this, suggests McIntosh or Macoun apples, but I've had success with all sort of run of the mill, grocery store varieties.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

French Green Lentils with Roasted Beets and Carrots

About 6 years ago I was on a huge lentil kick. I used to make lentil salads every other day for work and find ways to add them to my everyday meals. I made a lot of mujaddara during this time as well. For some reason lentils have since gone off my radar, until my mom sent me this recipe. This is a warm, comfort food type of dish that is very guilt free (at least in my opinion). This makes a main course as itself, especially if you serve this with a salad and some crusty bread.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Almond Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

More often than not, I love jam cookies. If it's a bow tie cookie or a linzer cookie, I love the combination of a shortbread style cookie with sweet jam. This recipe proved to be yet another tasty jam treat. I was a little skeptical making these since the dough was drier and more crumbly than I am used to, but bear with it and you will probably love these cookies too. Ideally, you'd make these with a square or round cookie cutter. But oddly enough I could not find a simple shape anywhere, so I opted for stars. Feel free to use whatever jam you like in these cookies. I love raspberry jam, but stick with your personal preference.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Balsamic Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Crostini

I have a slight obsession with goat cheese. I know this probably sounds terrible to a lot of you (my grandma being one of them), but I can honestly eat it plain, by the spoonful/slice. My fiend first made this snack during the summer when we decided to have a picnic by the lake. She's an extremely talented cook, so I was thrilled when she unpacked all the components to make these. I was seriously under-prepared with my store bought salsa and chips. These can be made ahead and assembled before you serve them. Just make sure the tomatoes are at room temperature when served. The goat cheese will also be a little easier to spread if you let it sit out a little it before serving.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Stuffing

I absolutely love stuffing. I always forget how much I love stuffing until Thanksgiving rolls around and I am loading up my plate with it. My mom has been making the same stuffing recipe for years and it has become a classic side dish at our Thanksgiving table. Since I am on a stuffing kick, this is now on rotation in my kitchen. Also, feel free to cheat and use the pre-toasted stuffing bread cubes for this if you want to save on time and effort- it will still be delicious.

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