Friday, December 23, 2011

The Best Gingerbread Cookies

It snowed about 4 inches here yesterday morning, I have all of my presents purchased and wrapped, family is gathering, and there are only 2 days until Christmas. I could not be more excited! One of my absolute favorite parts of winter break, besides Lucy, has to be cooking and baking for everyone. This is most likely due to the fact that I get to use my parents' KitchenAid mixer and gas stove. Ah's the little things in life.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Broccoli and Cheese Frittata

The ease with which you can mix only a few ingredients with eggs and bake it into a light and fluffy delicious frittata has been one of the greatest discoveries in my college cooking journey. It's affordable, hearty, and quite nutritious. I am a firm believer that all foods are versatile but you can really put anything into a dish like this, add a crust and you have a quiche, or fold it in half and you've made an omelet! Eggs get me excited, what can I say...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cookbook Winner & a Promise

First things first, congratulations are in order for:

You are the winner of The Parchment Paper Cookbook giveaway!!! I will e-mail you soon, I hope you enjoy cooking recipes from this book as much as I have.

Now for that promise.

I WILL be a better blogger after this Friday. 
Finals week is almost over. 
I will have all of glorious December to blog and work on my Dietetic Internship applications. 
Expect my return to commenting, blogging, exercising, and eating copious amounts of food that does not come from the freezer to happen in full effect starting December 10th! I miss you all and will be seeing you again shortly.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Parchment Paper Asparagus & a Giveaway!!!

Happy week after Thanksgiving! I decided to take a few days off blogging to enjoy family and the "break" I have from school. I hope you have all done the same and relished the beginning to this wonderful holiday season. I want to start it off right with what else but a great recipe and a giveaway!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

Nothing brings out the pumpkin hoarder in me more than cold weather. With the average temperature hovering around 40 degrees we haven't even begun to see winter but that didn't stop me from stocking my pantry with 5 industrial sized cans of pumpkin. I can't help it, I discovered what Fall was like without pumpkin last year and I'm determined to never have that happen again.
I think my skin has started to take on a semi-permanent fake-tan orange hue due to the copious amounts of pumpkin I have consumed in the past couple of months. So if that makes you jealous, which it totally should, make this and enjoy spreading it on toast, dipping cookies into it, and my favorite, stirring it into oatmeal. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Easy Chai Tea Latte & an Award

 The other day I got a most exciting package; a huge envelope full of coupons for local businesses, of which I saved about half. One of the lucky ones was for a free hot beverage from a drive through coffee place near my apartment that I didn't even know existed. After my workout I headed right over to get a Chai. It was incredible. Perfectly spicy, creamy, and reminded me so much of Christmas that it brought tears to my eyes (okay maybe not). Then I noticed the price I would have to pay now that I had used my one and only free drink coupon, that actually did make me cry. I had to start making my own if I wanted to be able to buy groceries next month.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Raspberry Baked Oatmeal & Giveaway Winners

A couple of weekends ago I woke up to rain drenched streets, shivering leaves, and a gray sunless sky. It was the kind of day that was made for baking. It also happened to be a Sunday, a day on which I almost always find myself pulling out my measuring cups. I'm not sure why, I suppose Sundays are just for baking. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cilantro Coconut Sauce Rice Bowl & a Giveaway!

I was pretty busy this weekend so Sunday was an ideal night for something extremely quick, easy, and flavorful for dinner. I just happened to have the perfect meal for that as I was recently asked by  Lundburg Family Farms and Stonehouse 27 sauces to review some of their products. I more than happily agreed and promptly received my goods in the mail. The first thing I did (besides take a picture of course!) was open the sauce. I immediately knew what I was going to make.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Spicy Asian Noodles with Kale

I have a confession.
I like shopping for produce.
Okay, I don't just like it...I obsess over it, I love it.
The produce manager and I are on a first name basis.
Brad will complete an entire grocery shopping trip in the time it takes me to marvel at and pick out all the fruits and vegetables on our list.
You can't deny that there is something exciting about discovering the apples you always buy or the berries you normally pay a ridiculous amount for are on sale. It always feels like a great accomplishment when you pick out that perfectly ripe piece of fruit, which it should, that's no easy task.
 One of my favorite things though, is finding a new fruit or vegetable to try. Last week I happened upon a papple, a pear apple hybrid, and just last year I discovered golden beets, butternut squash, bok choy, and kale.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FNCE in San Diego

I am passionately pursuing my career goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian so I try to take advantage of every opportunity for networking, learning, and spending time with R.D.'s and fellow dietetics students that I can.  
The Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo hosted by the American Dietetic Association, which was held in San Diego, CA, is a huge gathering of all these people and I was lucky enough to go this year!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zucchini & Goat Cheese Socca Pizza

As the summer garden's produced more zucchini than any person can consume I have received and harvested a lot of this versatile veggie. When you've eaten whole zucchini bread loaves in only a few days, made more stir fries than you imagined possible, and grilled slices for weeks on end, you've got to start mixing things up to keep yourself sane. The nutty garbanzo bean flour that forms the crust and creamy goat cheese topping sheds a whole new delicious light on this prolific plant.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Grilled Corn: Mexican & Jamaican Style


This post seems silly with the weather we've been having lately (low 50s and rain) but I know most people still have the warmth of the summer months hanging on longer than we did! With that said I hope everyone is still enjoying the fantastic bounty of corn that hot weather brings. We've been eating it like it's going out of style over here, probably because its seemingly short-lived season ends in October. Through the many ways I've prepared it I found that grilling it and dusting it with spice mixes perfectly compliments the corn's natural sweetness.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Basil Pesto

I could barely contain my excitement when I saw the flyer; a professor wanted a group of students to adopt a garden plot over the summer to plant, maintain, and harvest. I signed up immediately. The thought of free, organically grown, sun-ripened vegetables at my finger tips made me ecstatic. A few of the things we planted that really flourished were zucchini, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, carrots, and a large variety of lettuces. The other gardener's interest in our gigantic crop of basil seemed minimal so I jumped at the opportunity to put it to good use. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

I needed something simple to ease my way back into the realm of cooking. We recently moved to a different apartment complex so I have some "new" culinary territory to make my own. It's a much bigger kitchen and I love it. As soon as we put my food processor in it's new home I decided on making these bars. I wasn't completely sold on their texture when I first put them in to bake but they emerged from the oven wonderfully chewy. The blueberry studded bars are delicious on their own but the cinnamon vanilla glaze is really my favorite part, and rightfully so.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mushroom Risotto

My summer obligations have completely overwhelmed me and unfortunately, blogging (one of the things I enjoy the most) has fallen by the wayside. I know I have missed out on tons of workout motivation, fantastic recipes, and numerous inspirational stories but finding any spare time right now seems impossible. I've been feeling pretty down trodden about all of this and realized it was high time for some comfort food. I didn't care that it was 85 degrees outside I had to make risotto! Creamy rice, salty cheese, and meaty's good for the soul. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad

Summer as a kid was a magical time. Those three months slipped away much too quickly but were always filled with plenty of running through sprinklers, laying around in the sun, drinking water straight from the hose, helping my Dad pick snap peas and raspberries from our garden, and most importantly sleeping in until noon. Since entering the world of college I have spent almost every summer taking classes. Sadly this summer is no different. There has been no sleeping in, no running through sprinklers (maybe on accident a few times), and only a little bit of gardening. I miss being a kid, but I am also happy I am kind of "grown-up" now because I get to make and enjoy dishes like these that I would have never touched as a kid. Can you imagine an eight year old asking for goat cheese on top of a big plate of veggies? I think not.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Soy & Sesame Marinated Cucumbers & Giveaway Winner!

 I thought for years sesame seeds were tasteless, purely decorative, and just one more thing I had to worry about getting stuck in my teeth. That is until I tried toasted sesame seeds and then I ventured into the realms of sesame seed oil, black sesame seeds, and tahini. It was then that I knew they were not the worthless ingredient I once passed them off as. Cool crunchy cucumbers infused with tangy vinegar and salty soy sauce showcase the unique sesame flavor perfectly in this summery salad.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese

Keeping life simple...that's what is most important to me right now. I just finished an incredibly difficult semester and am about to begin my summer classes, which will undoubtedly be hard. I'm not going to complain because I am excited to get a certain Anatomy and Physiology class over with, but it means I won't have a lot of free time on my hands (again). Recipes that take almost no time at all, but are delicious nonetheless, are ranking pretty high on my list of favorites and this is definitely one of them. Creamy goat cheese is a perfect addition to crisp caramelized Brussels sprouts. The two combine to create a dish that is great for an appetizer or a side.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Portabella Mushroom Pesto Pizzas

Wow, I haven't posted (or been on my blog for that matter) in a really long time! I missed out on a lot in the blog world but hopefully I will get to catch up soon, I know for a fact I've missed some really great posts. Since I have been so busy I haven't had a lot of time to make anything too complicated. However, I did get a chance to rekindle my love for pesto when I made these quick and easy mushroom pizzas. These are almost too simple to call a recipe but they are too delicious not to share.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Roasted Asparagus

Sometimes I wonder what the people at our apartment complex think about Brad and me. When they see us carrying multiple armloads of groceries upstairs do they think I have some sort of insatiable food addiction? Do they ever catch a glimpse of us through our open windows, bent over a plate full of food, camera in hand, holding a reflector at odd angles to catch the light? Most importantly do our neighbors ever walk through the hall, smell what I'm cooking, and wish they were inside our apartment? I hope so!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lemon Yogurt Cake

It happens at least once a year, my Grandma makes a brilliant yellow bundt cake slathered in creamy lemon glaze. It is one of the only things she cooks anymore but she pulls it off perfectly every time. If she read my blog and knew I had made my own I would tell her that hers outdoes mine by more than a mile but, in all honesty the first thing I exclaimed after taking the first bite was "It tastes exactly the same"!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Parmesan & Sage Spaghetti with Mushrooms

Whole wheat pasta is just the right vehicle for this lightly indulgent sauce. The hint of earthy fresh sage is a perfect compliment to woody mushrooms, a splash of truffle oil and liberal sprinkling of salty parmesan really puts it over the top. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Vegetable Samosas with Mint Chutney

I was trying to fall asleep but all I could do was think of recipes, I think there may be a few of you out there who can relate? I wanted to make "curried potato and pea stuffed things" so I wrote that down and fell asleep. Around 2 am I woke up and remembered they were called samosas. The next day I immediately found this recipe in Cooking Light's Way to Cook Vegetarian cookbook so, instead of searching for days on end, I just went with it. I am so glad I didn't waste my time because it was exactly what I wanted. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Curried Lentils (Dal)

I was hovering over 5 different cookbooks, excitedly flipping pages, trying to decide which interpretation of this Indian dish I wanted to make when I landed on Mark Bittman's version in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It was so simple...exactly what I needed considering this was the first time I have cooked lentils on my own and the first time I had ever spiced an Indian dish with something other than curry powder. If I didn't know it before, I definitely know it now: I am completely head over heels in love with Indian food. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Herbed Baked Eggs

Dear Ina Garten,
I haven't always loved you, in fact, your show used to put me to sleep. Recently though, you have completely entranced me with your relaxed style, inspired meals, and gorgeous garden. I envy a lot about your life. I would love nothing more than to eat a meal I thought up while reminiscing about my most recent trip to France in my garden full of herbs and flowers. Alas, that is not my life but I can pretend right? 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I really love enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, all Mexican food really, but getting it at restaurants usually ends with me wishing I hadn't. The veggie versions are always too onion-y and cheesy for my liking. So making enchiladas at home is something I have been doing for awhile and I have made them like this since I was in high school. I know we are biased but Brad and I think these are some of the best enchiladas ever so try them and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Muffin Bread Pudding

Have you ever been really excited about a recipe, whipped it up, waited anxiously for it to bake in the oven, pulled it out, waited for it to cool (or not) and taken that first bite only to find out it is dry, flavorless, or just kinda sucks? I definitely did this last night when I made some very dry banana muffins. The greatest disappointment came when I realized that I was probably going to just throw them away because no amount of peanut butter could save them. Then I had a moment of genius (if I can be so bold). I decided these muffins had to be made into bread pudding and what emerged from the oven after baking this treat did not disappoint in anyway. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Honey & Thyme Glazed Acorn Squash

very similar dish was the star of my Thanksgiving so I decided to deconstruct it and make it a bit simpler for a more everyday approach. The combination of caramelized honey, savory thyme, toasted walnuts, and sweet acorn squash is a blend of flavors that is difficult to describe. It's wonderful. An extremely easy yet fantastically elegant meal.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cheesy Broccoli and Pasta Casserole

This weekend it rained/snowed a little bit so a warm comforting dish was much needed. Toothsome pasta that's crunchy on top, smooth and cheesy on the inside, all studded with broccoli...honestly what could be better? It's perfect to serve as a side dish but also delicious enough to have as the main course.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pesto, Peas, and Potatoes

 Pesto is not just for pasta anymore my friends. Sweet peas, crunchy potatoes with creamy centers, and smooth salty pesto combine to create a dish that is not easily forgotten. The best part may be that cutting potatoes is the most work that has to be done to create this intriguing dish.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Part Two of the pumpkin shortage: it's not quite over yet but I managed to scrape up an organic can of the orange stuff at Sprouts...oh how I love Sprouts, in the absence of a Trader Joe's it definitely suffices. This recipe is simple but it is so warm, earthy, and satisfying that I just had to share it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

All the ingredients I needed for a recipe I had been milling over were in my kitchen, except one...a can of pumpkin (apparently equatable to gold around here right now). I went to five different grocery stores asking if they had canned pumpkin and the last employee I spoke with finally offered an explanation as to why I kept coming up empty handed: NOBODY around here had pumpkin, the crop froze this year and there seemed to be a shortage. I scrapped the pumpkin and started to search for a substitute. I found a frozen package of pureed winter squash and decided to go with it. It really worked beautifully and this wonderful muffin was born.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spicy Vegetable Picatta

I decided to remake this recipe from one of my very first posts and I wanted to call it Vegetable Scampi. However, after some research on the meaning of the word scampi I discovered it did not refer to the garlicky sauce you normally find the shrimp in, it refers to the shrimp themselves. Scampi actually means prawns. Since my dish lacks anything of the sort I went with the term picatta because it is defined as "savory, tasty, spicy, or piquant" and that certainly sums this meal up perfectly. This dish is incredibly flavorful, the sauce is light, smooth, and tangy, the vegetables are garlicky and the capers, lemon zest, and basil on top make it seem much fancier than it actually is.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kale Chips

I know kale chips are seriously old news but I had to jump on that band wagon sometime! Actually, I had never cooked or done anything with kale (excluding using it as a plate decoration) until last month. Kale is a somewhat leathery green and I never expected it to be transformed so much by simply baking it. This leafy vegetable becomes incredibly light, delicate, crisp, and seriously addicting. The taste falls somewhere in-between brussels sprouts and spinach and I love it. These chips are packed full of magnesium, fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K. I don't think a snack could be much better for you and taste as good as these.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Vegetables with Peanut Sauce

Peanut butter is one of my absolute favorite foods. I could eat it on almost anything, whether it be sweet, salty, or spicy...I also frequently find myself eating it straight from the jar with a big spoon. Considering it is a good source of protein but also a high calorie food having this sauce over steamed vegetables is a perfect combination. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tostada

I had originally planned on making this as quesadillas but trying to keep the sweet potato pieces and black beans stuck between two tortillas would have been much too difficult. I am glad I did it this way because it was very filling, incredibly simple, and I didn't end up with it all over the floor.  I saw a recipe similar to this in Cooking Light but it required a lot more prep and I just didn't feel like making dough. Anyways...this is a great mexican dish, the smoky-spicy chile powder and sweet potatoes are a perfect combination. The beans add a lot of fiber, which makes it a great option for lunch to hold you over until dinner.
This would be a fabulous burrito or taco filler as well, if you felt so inclined.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Asian Baked Tofu

After the holidays are over time seems to just start dragging...especially with a new semester of school starting, all I can do is think about summer! Unfortunately, I haven't been doing much unique or new cooking recently and despite my efforts I have yet to find any inspiration to do so. However, I did discover my new favorite way to prepare tofu. This is an excellent combo of sweet and spicy and is easily prepared for a quick lunch or dinner.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Apparently I am on a serious Indian kick and will make anything I can with curry powder. This was the first time I have ever had acorn squash and it will certainly not be the last. The sweet caramelized squash and spicy curry was an absolutely delicious combination.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

It has been a long time since I have made a quick bread. I had forgotten how much I loved them. This earthy, pumpkin spiced bread is wonderfully healthy and has the ideal texture and amount of sweetness to be perfect with coffee in the morning or served warm with ice cream as dessert.
It filled our apartment with wonderful smells that reminded me of the holidays, which now seem long ago.
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