French toast is one of those dishes everyone should master for, say, a brunch when you want to cook for a crowd or a decadent breakfast-in-bed for Valentine’s Day. Either way, this recipe is the perfect place to start. It’s a departure from tradition because it’s baked rather than pan-fried, so you can put the focus on your guests or significant other rather than tending to a hot pan.
Continue Reading: Pretty. Easy. Almond-Vanilla Baked French Toast →
It’s pretty much impossible to spend any real time in Hawaii without coming across boiled peanuts. Along with poke, boiled peanuts are a classic happy hour pupu (appetizer) and I can never seem to get enough of them. When I’m on Oahu, I stop by Tamura’s where there’s an awesome selection of booze, poke, and boiled peanuts. But I started getting annoyed that I was spending money on boiled peanuts since they require nothing more than a few ingredients and a few hours.
Continue Reading: Pretty. Easy. Spiced Boiled Peanuts →
If you’re like me, you’ll take all the help you can get during the holidays. In the spirit of entertaining, here’s an hors d’oeuvres that’s so simple to put together, it doesn’t really need a recipe. It’s a Mediterranean take on a sushi hand roll where the seaweed is replaced by Bresaola (an air-dried beef) that’s filled with an assortment of flavors. These are gorgeous little bundles that are a sure thing at a cocktail party though I’ve been making them as a little snack break between all the party prep that I’ve been up to.
Continue Reading: Pretty. Easy. Bresaola Hand Rolls →
While there are plenty of healthy store bought snacking options out there, making your own vegetable chips allows you to control how much fat and salt you’re putting in your food. For The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving menu, the meal starts off with a Roasted Sweet Potato and Toasted Sage Dip and these roasted vegetable chips are a perfect pairing. If you don’t have time to make your own, you can serve the dip with crisp raw vegetable, quick blanched vegetables or whole grain crackers instead.
Continue Reading: Roasted Vegetable Chips →
Cocktail parties are my favorite. And, no, it’s not because of the cocktails. Okay, it’s partly because of the cocktails, but it’s mostly because, to me, a good party is made up of a range of small bites with a variey of tastes. With the holidays around the corner we’re heading into high-gear party season, so I thought I’d share one of my go-to cocktail party recipes: Mushroom Agrodolce Bites.
These little numbers have a lot going for them — they’re affordable, a cinch to make, and can be made ahead of time — but what I’m drawn to is the sweet-sour flavor. Agrodolce is a sweet-sour sauce hailing from Sicily and though it’s classically made with just onions, here it’s combined with roasted mushrooms for a recipe packed with a mix of sweet-sour and earthy flavors. If you aren’t entertaining anytime soon, serve the mushrooms (without the endive) as a side-dish as they a natural pairing with a variety of cold-weather fare from roasts to slow-cooked foods.
Continue Reading: Mushroom Agrodolce Bites →
It’s been a crazy month, to say the least. While I’d hoped for crisp fall evenings that I’d spend making the first slow-cooked recipes of the season, it has instead been very busy with my “To Do” list seeming like it’ll never stop growing. It’s times like these that I go simple and quick in the kitchen, but never at the expense of flavor. Just because things are speedy doesn’t mean they should lack flavor, and I turn to high-heat cooking methods like stir frying, sautéing, broiling, and roasting to ensure that doesn’t happen. These sweet-savory quick-roasted grapes fit the bill perfectly.
Continue Reading: Sweet-Tart Quick-Roasted Grapes →
It’s that time of year: time to shake out the sweaters, shine the apples, and celebrate fall. I’d be more than willing to, except the weather in California is anything but fall-like and the gardens here are still brimming with late-summer produce. Add to that the fact I just scored a load of eggplant from some very generous friends with some very green thumbs and, well, I’ve been cooking with eggplant like it’s the height of the summer. But the great thing about eggplant is it has a long growing season that lasts into October (at least around these parts), so I figure it’s fair game to cook with. At least until I see a leaf change color or feel the need to pull out a scarf.
Continue Reading: Late-Summer Roasted Eggplant Pasta →
Some ingredients turn people off with mere mention; for many, one such ingredient is tofu. It’s really a shame because tofu is a chameleon ingredient that takes on any flavor it’s mixed with. I blame it on the fact there’s tons of crappy tofu in the grocery stores. That and because not enough people have had this recipe. The flavor of this rich, intensely chocolatey pudding is such a dead ringer for traditional chocolate pudding that’s it’s unbelievable that it’s made with tofu and dairy-free, hence the reason I named this “Unbelievable Chocolate Pudding.”
I came up with this recipe for a pudding-loving friend who’s dairy free and hoped it would be a decent replacement. What I didn’t anticipate is that it’d turn out so well that my omnivorous friends would request it on a regular basis. Not that I mind because this recipe requires a fraction of the effort and kitchen time of regular pudding, not to mention it’s lower in fat and calories, so it’s less of a guilty pleasure. Of course, none of that would matter if it didn’t taste so unbelievably good.
Continue Reading: Unbelievable Chocolate Pudding →
Urban legend has it that the smooshed sandwich came about when a mother put her toddler on the kitchen counter while making a sandwich. The mother turned away for a second and when she looked back her baby had sat on (and thus squashed) the bread.
I love that imagery but it’s more likely this sandwich came about when someone made a no-cook panini by putting a sandwich at the bottom of a picnic basket and letting it get smooshed by the other contents. Whatever the origin, it’s a fun sandwich that kids adore making. There’s something about manipulating and squashing food that gets kids jazzed and this sandwich takes full advantage of that. The fillings are a riff on the BLT, known as the PALT (prosciutto, lettuce, avocado, and tomato) around my house, but feel free to use whatever sandwich fixings your kids like. No matter how you fill it, just make sure you leave yourself adequate smoosh time because it a flattened sandwich is all that more fun to eat.
Continue Reading: Urban Legend Of The Smooshed Sandwich →
By now it’s engrained in us: soda’s the enemy. Even so I still yearn for a cold fizzy drink when it’s hot out, like, for example, this week where temperatures have been nearing the triple digits. There’s only so much water I can down, so I’ve compromised by mixing up homemade nonalcoholic drinks. Making them myself allows me to avoid all the scary stuff while still satisfying my soda fix. These fizzies are an awesome alternative because they’re simple to make, just a tad sweet, and an easy way to get a few extra servings of fruit, which is why they’re part of my week of healthy back to school recipes. So, help your little ones stay cool and healthy and toast the new school year with these homemade fruit fizzies.
Continue Reading: Fresh Fruit Fizzies →