Category Archives: Highlights

20 Times I Loved As A 22-Year Old

Tomorrow’s my birthday. If I have the energy I might make a carrot cake or a flourless chocolate cake. More likely I’ll yelp a bakery where they sell gluten-free cupcakes and call it a day.

Here are 20 times I’ll miss from being 22, but I know there are 40 more waiting for me at 23.

1. Moving to New York

2. Every time I’ve found a bar with drinks under $8 in New York


3. When I visited The Today Show for the first time

4. When I became sort-of-kind-of Pinterest-famous

5. The day Buzzfeed quizzes started

6. The day I graduated college

Reese’s Lover’s Bark Whole

7. Every moment that involved Reese’s

8. Whenever I met new friends

9. Whenever I re-met old ones

10. Whenever this song played

11. When I wrote a viral Buzzfeed post


12. When I found this gif

13. When I found Nutella for $3.29

14. When I discovered Freaky Eaters on Netflix(Watch all of the episodes. Right now)

Eldeflower Cocktail

15. The day I discovered Elderflower liqueur

16. The two weeks spent on my couch watching athletes compete in Sochi

17. When I found out how easy making caramel sauce is and vowed to do it more often(I haven’t done it since)

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18. When General Mills invited me to the NYC Wine & Food Festival


19. And also any time I stuffed my face with Chex mix

And of course

20. That one time Starbucks spelled my name right

Let there be cake.

Scenes From Easter Weekend

‘Tis the season…

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…Now let me at that discounted candy.

Mama Pea’s Cookie Dough Dip

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What’s better than cookie dough? Cookie dough you can eat as a dip. When Jessica first posted her recipe, I think we all swooned. I didn’t dare ever make it with soy-based dairy substitutes, since I’m sure they wouldn’t have done her original recipe justice. Luckily, Mama Pea was inspired by my peanut butter dessert hummus to make a raw version of Jessica’s recipe(are you following?). I knew I had to bring things full circle and try Mama Pea’s creation; she’s never steered me wrong in the past.

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I put all of the ingredients in a food processor(using water instead of almond milk) and let ‘er rip.

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Once it was smooth, I stirred in chocolate chips and cinnamon(not in the original recipe but I thought it would add a nice touch).

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Ya’ll, go and make this right now. It came out so smooth and richly satisfying. I might like the dough part to be a bit sweeter but even so that didn’t stop me from eating half of it.

And then this happened:

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And all was right with the world.

How To Make Food Tastier With Just 1 Ingredient

There are certain secrets to cooking. Seasoning is one of them.

My favorite way to think of seasoning is that it shouldn’t flavor the dish; instead, it should make the dish taste more like itself. Certain ingredients are really good at that, especially in the right recipes. Here’s my quick list of “secret” ingredients that you can add to any dish to make the flavor pop. Look out because the cat’s coming out of the bag.

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Salt is probably the most common seasoning. It’s also one of our taste sensations. We all salt our dinner plates but do you salt your desserts? A little bit of salt in sweets makes the flavor irresistible.


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Banana Chocolate Chip Blondies with Peanut Butter Frosting

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We all know a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down. But we don’t all know how good it works in savory foods. Most of the time when we’re cooking dinner, we don’t think to use sugar. Even if the flavors you’re working at aren’t sweet, a little sugar—just like a little salt—can go a long way in making savory flavors pop.


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Vegged-Out Quinoa and The Best Quinoa Dressing

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I’m always(OK, once) asked what’s the secret to making brownies taste good? Well, here’s one of them: instant coffee. The bitterness in coffee pairs really well with the bitterness in cacao and helps to make the flavor richer and deeper. Add a teaspoon of instant coffee to any brownie mix to boost the flavor.


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Outrageous Triple Chocolate Brownies

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Most of the time, none of us think of nutmeg. We use it in pies and pumpkin bread in the Fall and that’s about it. But a pinch of nutmeg with any earth flavor like chicken, potato, or greens can enhance the overall dish.


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Sautéed Spinach With Silken Tofu

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Bay Leaves are the unsung hero of great tasting beans and marinades. You never see them because they’re not edible and need to be discarded after cooking. But adding a bay leaf when cooking beans or lentils, or when marinating chicken adds a strong earthy flavor that only enhances everything that’s there.


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Mediterranean Chicken Marinade

Now I’ll open it to you: Do you have any secret ingredients that make people say “This is so good! What did you do to it?” that you’re willing to share?

Double-Take Desserts

As much as I love trying new things, I can’t get past old favorites. If a dessert is easy to throw together, I’m especially likely to keep the ingredients now “just in case” I need a sweet treat fast.

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I made another batch of Peanut Butter S’mores Bars one week after my first batch. I’m obsessed. These were to bring to a Christmas party yesterday, and they were just as good as the first time. I even got requests to make them for a family birthday party in January—fine by me, any excuse to whip up another batch.

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I also made another batch of microwave vegan fudge after coming home last week and realizing we had 4 pounds of earth balance. I’d like to say these were for a party or even neighbors but nope! I just made them because I was bored and craving chocolate. Don’t pretend like you wouldn’t do the same.

And now with my sugar coma I’m in awe that Christmas is just 5 days I way. I have a good idea at what some of my gifts will be and one sounds “picture perfect”. I can’t wait!

Oh, and if you thought things couldn’t get more chocolaty, just wait until tomorrow…

Taking Inventory

For the next month, I’m home with a large kitchen, full refrigerator and freezer, and 2 houses worth of groceries merged into one. Somewhere along the way, I stopped keeping track of what ingredients I had/needed and where. I figure I’ll use them all up anyway by the end of December; it is baking season after all.

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4 boxes of Earth Balance. Don’t ask me how it got to this point, just know I love it. The sad part is how fast this will probably be gone.

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My first box of shortening! I’m oddly more excited about just using this than whatever I’m going to make with it. Should I take a picture with it? Oh, a chef and his shortening…

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All the ingredients to make another batch of peanut butter s’mores bars, because one pan a week just isn’t enough.

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A whole roasting chicken to satisfy my craving of stuffing an onion up something’s you-know-what. It’s cheaper than seeing a therapist.

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Countless opened bags of Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour. Bob is my savior; I owe him my first born by this point.

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And 5 pounds of carrots, because I discovered 5 pounds of regular sized carrots cost the same as 2 pounds of baby carrots and I have a pound-a-day habit going. I’m aiming for Snookie orange by the new year.

If our Northeaster on Friday turns into a 10-foot snow storm and we’re caved in, we have plenty of butter and carrots to live off of. What more could you need?

Sick Day Comfort Food

For the first time so far this year that I can remember I’ve been sick. Of course it has to happen right at finals time; how could it not? Well, I’ve been pushing through to finish strong(the semester that is) while my trash basket looks like graveyard for tissues and paper towels(because that’s what I used after I ran out of tissues).

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I’ve had more time to cook this week than ever but no desire to make anything other than pumpkin quinoa stuffing. What is better sick day comfort food than steaming hot carbs? The first time I made it, I mixed in some tofu for protein and put it over greens and called it lunch. It was nice not to have to do anything more than push the start button on my rice cooker.

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The very next day, I made the exact same thing, except with leftover chicken. Isn’t that exciting? I also used cinnamon as the spice instead of Herbes de Provence because I was reading on Twitter that cinnamon does everything from slowing down carbohydrate digestion to boosting your immune system. If I have to eat a pan of maple cinnamon blondies to get better, so be it.

What do you like to eat when you’re sick? I could clearly use ideas. Otherwise I’m just going to turn into a pumpkin.

Recent Food Obsessions

Now that Thanksgiving is more than a week passed, we can emerge from eating leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and start getting back to eating different foods over and over again. These are the ones I’m currently obsessed with.

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Everything on this plate, including microwave vegan fudge and 2 new recipes to come this week. What can I say? I’m a sweets person Smile

Smart Balance peanut butter. I think it’s an addiction when a full jar barely lasts a week. Yikes…

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Caitlin’s Perfect Baked Tofu. I discovered this recipe when I ran out of salt and wanted something flavorful. It’s so simple and tasty. Try it!

Walnuts. With everything. How did I forget how good they are?!

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Lastly—but certainly not least—garnet yams. I never believed there was a big difference between different yams until trying these. Roasted at 400 for 2 hours, these are soft and sweet and smooth. I could even live off of these for 2 months.

What’s your latest food obsession?