Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins

When everyone is super busy these days who doesn’t love a grab and go breakfast? These muffins are the perfect “wrap in a napkin” breakfast. A lot of muffins you buy at cafes and stores are loaded with sugar but these are much better for you in that respect. I also added some rolled oats for fiber and hardiness. You can pretty much add whatever fruit you want to these since they are surprisingly versatile: raspberries, blackberries, currants and boysenberries would all work great as an added fruit. I added a little lemon zest to brighten up the fruit flavor. The muffins were fluffy on the inside and taste amazing straight out of the oven!
Continue Reading →

Homemade Potato Salad

Homemade Potato Salad

Potato salad is a classic American summer side dish that reminds me of hot summer days, afternoon picnics and grilling sessions. I used to purchase potato salad from a local deli but the ingredients on the label were a bit off-putting. I didn’t recognize most of them listed and I finally decided to just make it from scratch. This recipe is a perfect antidote to the store-bought problem. While it is more time consuming than just running to the store, this recipe is healthier and you know exactly what’s going in it. It’s a delicious alternative to the processed stuff!

Continue Reading →

Homemade Mexican Rice

Homemade Spanish Rice

Mexican rice (also known as “Spanish” rice) is a savory rice dish flavored with tomatoes and spices. Mexican rice holds up well on its own and makes a great accompaniment to beef, chicken, fish, tacos, enchiladas…the list goes on! It goes well with tons of different dishes and is pretty easy to make. You start by toasting the rice in a saute pan. Toasting it first enhances the flavor and is considered an essential step. I would recommend using homemade chicken or vegetable stock to give it an extra boost of nutrients and flavor!
Continue Reading →

Italian Chicken Parmesan Soup

Italian Chicken Parmesan Soup

Italian food excels at using great ingredients to elevate humble meals. This couldn’t be more true with a recipe like this soup. It combines a whole roasted chicken, seasoned with only sea salt and pepper, shredded in a savory tomato based broth with beans and veggies. The soup is peasant style with zucchini, great northern beans, fresh herbs and rotelli noodles. I used homemade chicken stock for added flavor and nutrients. Since the noodles tend to absorb a lot of the broth I don’t add them into the soup beforehand. Instead, I cook them separately and add a handful to each bowl. I would recommend using only fresh herbs since it made a big difference in the flavor of the broth. Add a big handful of parmigiano reggiano or romano cheese to each bowl for melted cheesy goodness! I served the soup with a warm crusty baguette and garnished each bowl with fresh basil.
Continue Reading →

Roasted Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Salsa and Oaxaca Cheese

Roasted Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Salsa and Oaxaca Cheese

Tacos are one of my favorite foods and I’m always looking for different combinations to try out! This recipe combines tender, shredded chicken with a smokey Chipotle salsa and melty Oaxaca cheese. I roasted the chicken in the oven with fragrant spices, garlic and honey. The nice thing about roasting the chicken is that it produces plenty of juice in the pan to incorporate back into the meat once it has been shredded. This results in the juiciest, most tender meat for the tacos. The Oaxaca cheese melted easily over the tacos and had a mild flavor that complimented the other ingredients. The salsa can be made up to two days beforehand to save time on preparation.

Continue Reading →

Roasted Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Roasted Chipotle Salsa

The thing that makes this salsa unique is the charring of the vegetables before blending. This can be done over a skillet or with a pair of tongs over an open flame. I really liked how it amplified the smokey flavor of the chipotle peppers. I used several toasted Puya chiles which aren’t too spicy and have a fruity, chocolatey flavor.  This salsa is the perfect balance between smoky, spicy and sweet. It’s also really simple and goes with so many different tex-mex dishes. I could see it going well with eggs but I made it for tacos which turned out great!
Continue Reading →

Tofu and Kimchi Mandu (Korean Dumplings)

Tofu Kimchi Dumplings7`5

I am a big fan of finger foods and this recipe for little pan fried Korean dumplings can’t be beat! The dumplings are filled with tofu, white beans, kimchi, garlic, ginger and other flavorful ingredients! It all comes together tucked in a gyoza wrapper and sauteed. The recipe makes a lot of dumplings so I had no problem having this as a main course though it works perfectly as an appetizer. I served the dumplings with a savory Korean dipping sauce which paired together very nicely! If you prep the dumplings the night before it works great for a weeknight meal.

Continue Reading →

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

I used to make instant Jell-o chocolate pudding all the time when I was a kid.  All you needed to do was dump the powder and milk in a sauce pan and stir until your wrist got tired.  This is the grown-up version of the Jell-o stuff, and much tastier! I adapted a recipe I use for vanilla custard so it uses plenty of butter and eggs (but it’s worth it for the good stuff, right?) It’s a bit more involved than the instant kind since this requires tempering your eggs.  Tempering is a process that allows the temperature of the eggs to rise without creating a scrambled mess. All you need is a steady pouring hand and another to do the fast stirring to combine the hot milk into the eggs.  It’s a breeze once you get the hang of it. I used real chocolate chips along with unsweetened cocoa powder to amp up the chocolate flavor.  It also tastes great served cold, hot and in large bowls!

Continue Reading →

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Acorn Squash and White Beans

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Acorn Squash and White Beans

Spring is around the corner but in many places winter is still raging. This soup is loaded with healthy veggies but is still hearty enough to combat the winter chills. For the stock I used my go to recipe for Homemade Stock. You can either use what you have pre-made or make it for the soup–either way works fine and instructions will follow. I packed this recipe with tons of veggies such as acorn squash, spinach, corn, peas, carrots and cabbage. The recipe is surprisingly hearty and flavorful. It has been one of my favorite go-to winter soup recipes over the past few weeks!
Continue Reading →

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love red velvet and when I came across a recipe for red velvet chocolate chip cookies I knew I had to give it a try!  This recipe combines the best of red velvet cake and the classic chocolate chip cookie.   It was very easy to throw together and the total time took about 90 minutes.  Most of that time was used to chill the dough as it was too sticky to pop in the oven right away.  The inside had an almost cake-like consistency–so soft and pillowy! I will definitely be making these again.
Continue Reading →