Category Archives: Uncategorized

7 Netflix Shows For Foodies

My Netflix queue is embarrassingly long. I know I’ll never get the chance to watch them all, but I can always find something I want to watch.

There’s of course Orange Is The New Black and Breaking Bad on that list alongside plenty of documentaries. When it comes to documentaries about astronomy, food, or prehistoric earth, I can’t possibly get enough.

If you’re a foodie too who likes documentaries, I hope there’s one(or seven!) thing on this list that catches your eye. Whether you like news trends and scientific reporting or reality shows a la Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, there’s something here for everyone. 


This is one of the most underrated food documentaries available in my opinion. It takes a different approach by literally having people from Craigslist go vegan and share their thoughts on the transition and lifestyle. I like that it uses people with different beliefs and doesn’t come from one biased standpoint.  

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Inside: Chipotle 

If you love Chipotle(and really who doesn’t?) you’ll probably want to watch this short documentary. It gives a peek into the history and future of Chipotle, a large chain that breaks the rules of fast food and focuses on healthy, quality ingredients. There are no shocking scandals or controversies here–just good old burritos and guacamole.

Spinning Plates 

Spinning Plates tells the story of 3 different restaurants in very different settings. You get to learn about the food but more important are the families behind the restaurants. This documentary shows how much the people behind the food matters and the ups and downs of owning your own restaurant.

Kings Of Pastry

This documentary feels like a movie at times as it follows elite pastry chefs in France through one of the industry’s highest honors. It lets us into a world otherwise incomprehensible where making the perfect pastry sculpture is as thrilling as a Super Bowl or World Series. 

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Freaky Eaters 

Freaky Eaters is a guilty pleasure reality favorite of mine. Each episode follows a person struggling with a good addiction from 20 cans of Coke a day to habitually eating raw corn starch. You really won’t learn much from this show but an episode can be an entertaining way to spend 20 minutes.

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Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead

Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead is a documentary about the power of juicing. It follows one mans journey from being–you guessed it–fat, sick, and nearly dead from a poor diet to the other extreme: An all juice diet. Watching this won’t make you swear off solid foods forever but it might inspire you to drink juice more often.

Food, Inc.

No list like this is complete without Food, Inc. which is probably the most popular of any food documentary there is. If you haven’t seen it, I’d strongly encourage watching it first even though it’s the last of this list. It’s not overly preachy or provocative–Michael Pollan lays out straight facts about the food industry and advocates for better awareness of what we’re eating.

Do you have a favorite foodie documentary? 

A First Attempt At Fudge

Martha Stewart's Penuche Fudge

Fudge is one of my favorite desserts. I’ve made chocolate fudge plenty of times and even a few batches of peanut butter; I try to convince myself that the easy, no-fuss microwave method of making it is just as good as any other.

That’s just not true.

Occasionally I go to a small beach town in Maine and the coast is lined with candy shops. Beyond the salt water taffy and chocolate covered gummy bears, they no doubt have homemade fudge there. And you can bet it’s not the kind that’s made in the microwave. My favorite to get is the penuche because the flavor is so pure and simple and yet complex in its own right.

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I got a candy thermometer for Christmas last year thinking that would get me to try all the recipes I’ve bookmarked but never had the chance to make. Well, it took me a good 7 months to finally use it; better late than never I guess.

I searched and searched for a promising penuche fudge recipe and landed on Martha Stewart’s. It got off to a bad start when I realized it called for a 5oz can of evaporated milk and not the 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk I had. Oops. To compensate I made a last minute switch and used the condensed milk with 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar and 4oz of butter.

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I’m pretty sure my stove runs hot because as soon as I put it on it started boiling and the temperature went up and up and up. I took the pan off the heat and kept stirring and tried to get it to heat up slowly, but by then it looked like it had burned a little.

I stirred for about 10-15 minutes and then combined it with the powdered sugar and vanilla. I was more than anxious to see if it would be too hard or too soft or too oily or too dry. I held my breath and put the loaf pan in my refrigerator to cool.

Martha Stewart's Penuche Fudge Yield

Impatiently, I took the pan out before it’d cooled all the way. Instead of a brick of taffy, I was surprised to find fudge, real fudge. The kind with layers and crackling sugar and a sweet smell to it.

I bit in. The flavor wasn’t quite penuche; it’s a little more complicated and something I can’t put my finger on. Brown butter fudge? Salted caramel fudge? I don’t know. It’s good, though. And with a little time and a lot of practice I’d make it again.

Here’s a link to the recipe again. If you’re daring(or just good with candy thermometers), I’d recommend giving it a go. And if you’re intimidated by any other cooking technique, I’d recommend giving it a go, too. What’s the worst that could happen?…

Just keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

Banana Peanut Butter

Banana Peanut Butter

I’ve always wanted to make a banana flavored peanut butter. It’s no secret bananas and peanut butter go well together. But one of the problems of a banana flavored peanut butter has always been that bananas just don’t last once you peel them. What you need is a shelf-stable banana—something like banana chips!

This was a lot easier to make than I thought it would be. Both the banana chips and the peanuts pureed quickly. The flavor isn’t quite as banana-y as if you took a banana and mixed it up with some peanut butter, but for the convenience of having this in your pantry and ready to eat with a spoon at any time it’s plenty delicious.

Banana Peanut Butter Banana Chips

After I made these I found out banana extract exists. If you can track that down in a local store, I would suggest using that in place of the vanilla extract. If not, don’t worry; the vanilla adds a subtle flavor that only enhances the banana without drawing too much attention to itself.

Banana Peanut Butter

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 1lb 2 ounces):

  • 1 cup banana chips
  • 1-2 Tablespoons oil
  • 3 cups roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Blend the banana chips in a food processor until they turn into a smooth puree. Slowly add in small amounts of oil to help them move along.
  2. Once the chips are pulverized, add in the peanuts, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and continue blending for 5-10 minutes until it forms a butter-like texture.
  3. Add in extra crushed peanuts or banana chips if desired and fold them in.
  4. Move the peanut butter into a sealable jar. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Banana Peanut Butter Simple

If you’re thinking this would be good on banana bread, I’m right there with you.

A Nutty Spring Salad


Today my second recipe hits the Peanut Butter & Co. All Stars Recipe blog. What do spring greens, peanut butter, and white chocolate have to do together? Surprisingly, they make a terrific salad recipe.

White chocolate used for savory recipes is something that’s always intrigued me. What better time to try out a chocolate recipe than Easter when you’re already eating chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies?


The dressing is made with White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter and mustard creating a sweet, savory, nutty and smooth taste that pairs well with the tomatoes and asparagus spears. It’s has a terrific light taste that’s perfect to start off a meal. 

I have another asparagus recipe to post tomorrow. I promise this won’t turn into asparagus week–unless that’d be a good thing in which case bring on the asparagus.

What I Miss As A Vegetarian

5 months ago yesterday was the last time I ate meat. I can still remember it, but wasn’t very exciting; it was grilled chicken from an airline meal on a plane coming back from London. At that point, I was already set on becoming a vegetarian, and wrote about it on the blog a few weeks later.

I haven’t written about being a vegetarian very much since because—honestly—it doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. I eat the same 90% of the time as I did before being a vegetarian. My grocery cart is virtually identical as before. I’ve eaten out a few times as a vegetarian and it’s been slightly difficult, but not even close to as difficult as it is to eat out gluten-free so it’s nothing I’m not used to. Basically it’s going well, I’m a happy eater, and I’m never at a lack of recipes to try.


Even before becoming a vegetarian, I was aware of the reasons some vegetarians choose to eat meat again: They start craving chicken and red meat; they develop vitamin deficiencies that leave them feeling weak; they gain weight; they can’t eat enough to feel full anymore.

None of those have affected me on a vegetarian diet. If I crave animal protein, I can usually curb that by eating eggs, tempeh, or something sodium-rich. I’ve been running faster than before. I’ve gained muscle lifting. Any weight I’ve gained I assure you is from sugar and chocolate—not vegetables and beans. And if I’m not full, I just eat more.

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But there is one thing I miss, and it’s something nobody told me to expect before becoming a vegetarian: I miss cooking meat. Not eating it; just cooking it. You can’t replicate the smell of a roasted chicken pulled straight out of the oven filling up a kitchen, the sound of sizzling from searing a steak so that the outside turns a deep brown and the inside is pink and bloody, or the complex flavor that bacon grease adds to golden home fries. Tofu and tempeh just don’t work that way.

Does that mean I’m going to stop being a vegetarian? Of course not. While I miss these intricate parts of cooking, being a vegetarian for ethical reasons is much more important to me. Maybe if I’m lucky my family will let me cook and carve the Thanksgiving turkey, but I’ll take an extra helping of potatoes on my plate instead, please.


This week is also the first time I’ve made a “vegetarian blunder”, i.e. ate something not vegetarian.

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I could have sworn Brach’s candy corn were gluten-free and vegetarian, but after I finished off my first big size bag I looked at the ingredients and sure enough gelatin was on there. I’ve always avoided things made with gelatin like most commercial marshmallows in the past, and while I considered making an exception for sweet, sweet candy corn I couldn’t accept my own hypocrisy. Luckily, I’ve found a solution:

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The generic CVS brand candy corn and candy pumpkins are both completely vegetarian. While I remember these having a somewhat stale texture from my childhood, I’ve eaten 2 bags over the past 2 days and they get an “A” grade from me. They’re still clearly not health food, but if you’re a vegetarian who just can’t see yourself giving up candy corn, give these a shot and you won’t be sorry.

Dairy-Free Rum Raisin Ice Cream

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My favorite kitchen tool is my ice cream maker. I could tell you how useful and multi-purposed the food processor is for making healthy dishes, but it just can’t hold a candle to an ice cream maker. It doesn’t churn out fresh, delicious ice cream. And don’t try and tell me “But you can make 1-ingredient banana ice cream in a food processor” because we all know as good as that is it’s not the real deal. If I want ice cream, I want fat, sugar, and preferably alcohol.

I hadn’t had rum raisin ice cream in years before making this. I’m not even sure what inspired me to go that direction, but I’m glad I did. As soon as I tasted the chilled base, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop at one serving. Cinnamon and maple syrup are the secret ingredients that add warm and deep flavors complimenting the rum, which there is plenty of. For an extra special kick, soak the raisins in a rum and water mixture before adding them to the ice cream.

Dairy-Free Rum Raisin Ice Cream


  • 2 1/2 cups coconut milk, preferably full fat
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Thompson raisins

For the base, gently heat the coconut milk and sugar over low heat until lightly bubbling. Remove from the heat and temper the eggs yolk until they can be combined into the base. Let this cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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Whisk together the cold base, maple syrup, rum, and cinnamon, pour into an ice cream maker and churn under manufacturer’s instructions. In the last 5 minutes, add in the raisins. Freeze for 2 hours before serving.

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This really tastes like rum. Like, really. You might get a little tipsy after eating too much of this. I did. But you won’t regret it, because, really, how could you regret this?


Home is a funny concept. We all know what it feels like, but no one can define it.

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It’s not a building with a front lawn and a  wood porch.

It’s not where the home fries burn and omelets come out perfectly.

It’s not where you can watch endless hours of crappy Bravo TV reality shows and still feel good about yourself(though that’s about as close as you’ll get). 

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It’s not about the ice cream maker just begging to be used through Summer.

It’s not about the back roads with hayfields, ice cream stands and cattle.

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It’s not where there’s always a stack of cinnamon no-grain pancakes waiting for you in the morning.

It’s not where you can walk down the street and have everybody know your name.

Lady Antebellum says it best: Home is where the chocolate heart is.

How To Use Tumblr To Promote Blog Content

For the last two weeks, I’ve been trying out a new(ish) blogging platform: Tumblr. No, this blog’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Rather, I’ve started experimenting to see how a secondary food photography Tumblr blog can help food bloggers spread their content.

Tumblr is all about posting and reblogging visual content between members. There is (not surprisingly) a large percentage of their membership who like looking at good food photography and subscribe to food blogs. By releasing your content on Tumblr, you can draw the attention of people who might not know about your blog.

Getting Started:


The first thing you need to do is create your account. It’s free and easy; just choose your domain(I suggest having it relate to your primary blog like, pick a theme, and choose how you want your landing page to look. That’s it. From your dashboard, you can start sharing text, photos, videos and more.

How It Works:


When you make a post, your primary goal should be spreading content. The first step is to make sure what you’re posting is visually interesting in some way. A good way to spread your blog content would be to publish a picture on Tumblr with a link in the body to the original recipe post.


The next biggest factor in deciding if what you post will get seen is the tags which help people find your posts. Don’t be too descriptive but rather give words that people might search for like “Chocolate” or “Vegan” as they relate to the content.


In terms of feedback, people can reblog your content meaning sharing it with their followers(and possibly or not adding notes of their own”), replying directly to the author, or simply “liking” your post. Each of these counts as a note.


Whenever somebody does one of these things as well as when you gain a new follower, this appears in your feed.

Of course, you can share whatever you want on Tumblr and it doesn’t have to be related to any other blog. Tumblr is a great way to informally blog and meet people with a different area set. This is just one way that you can use it to expand your blog’s reach. If you have any other questions about Tumblr, I will be happy to answer them as best I can.

Reviewing The Marathon Roadmap

Hello, foodies! Today I’m taking a small departure from recipes to talk about my friend Matt’s new e-book, Marathon Roadmap: The Vegetarian Guide To Conquering Your First 26.2.

Unlike most beginning marathoner’s books, this is the first to be written by a vegetarian for vegetarian. Now, I’m not vegetarian(though maybe I should coin No Wheat Athlete…), but I would say I run on plants and am signed up for the National Marathon in March so I was excited to read this when Matt asked me if I’d like to. The more I read, the more I found myself relating to Matt and his first marathon: undertrained, injury-ridden, and stubborn? Check, check, and check. Needless to say, it was helpful to hear the things Matt does differently now training for a marathon to help me run the best I can.


In this book, you will find:

  • How to pick your first marathon. This part I kind of breezed past having already picked mine but it had good advise such as not committing financially until you feel confident you’ll avoid injury along the way(Matt, where were you 6 months ago with this advice?!) and a training plan that I am considering using from here on out.
  • How to run and train. I thought I knew how to run, but now I’m not sure what I’m doing on the road or if it’s the best I can do. And I’ve never made a distinction between long runs and speed workouts. If you’re a new runner with a time goal, this will be crucial information.
  • How AND why to be a vegan or vegetarian for your first marathon. Let’s face it: If you’re buying this book this is probably the part that you’re most interested in. Even as a flexitarian, I appreciated how Matt really covered the whole topic from nutrition to recipes to meal planning and performance.
  • All about the race day. This is one thing I had yet to think about before reading and I have to say as a first time marathoner that I still feel pretty lost. It’s good to have the advice of someone who’s been around the block enough to know what they’re doing on race day and take their tips.

What I took away:

No more goal time. Matt makes a good point that running your first marathon is the goal and that obsessing over a specific pace and potentially burning yourself out is counterproductive. Come race day, I’ll be happy just to finish.

I need a tennis ball. Matt does a great job at showing how to stretch your muscles to prevent and help injuries. I’ve always heard of foam rolling but never have found one, but the amount of stretching you can do with a simple tennis ball is astounding.

There’s so much to do to prepare for race day. I never thought before how much detail and care has to be put in to the actual day of the race. It’s scary, really. At least there’s a checklist here I can print out and cross off when that time comes.

Matt’s e-Book launched yesterday and is available for a discounted price from now until next Monday, the 21st. If you want to read more about it, check out Matt’s post or go ahead and buy it.

Food For Training

Saturday I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, because I knew I had to at least attempt a long run even after a less-than-stellar week of running. The plan was to shoot for 14 miles and—if I made it—continue marathon training for a week, and if not accept that I should drop down to the half-marathon. Unfortunately(fortunately?), I did make it. It was long; it was hard(TWSS). But somehow I pushed my tired bones along 14 miles in 2:18:17. I can only assume that my stellar diet is to thank.

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Every time I workout, whether it’s running or going to the gym—no matter how long—, I need something sweet to get me out the door. It doesn’t matter if it’s 7am or 3pm. And I’m fine without coffee, but without sweets? Keep dreamin’. I recommend double chocolate oh baby bars.

After finishing 14 miles, I stopped and waddled(think John Wayne in a Western only painful and without the chaps) into my home, took a few swigs of water and then went for a sports drink:

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Gatorade, soda—it’s all sugar anyway so what’s the difference? Besides, this drink tells me I’m a grown-up whereas the other one only makes me worried I’m going to sweat purple, so this seemed like the better choice.

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It didn’t last long.

And then of course there’s the importance of vegetables…

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Spinach on one leg and broccoli on the other, because variety is important in your diet. I’ve also learned that small vegetables like peas and corn are good, whereas clunky ones like green beans are not. These are really just a starter until I give in and finally go to take a cold shower, which by the way are as awful as they sound and never get easier no matter how many you do.

And that’s how I would eat differently on a day that I run 14 miles. I would also eat in bed, where I would watch 27 Dresses and do some reading for 8 hours because the thought of walking anywhere is not appealing. Marathoning is the sport of masochists.