Tag Archive: Food

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Creamy Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Dip

The best way to be a better cook is find recipes you like and learn to make them your own way. Some months I get lazy and never make anything new–I don’t mind the same lunch every day of the week. But reading blogs help me find recipes good enough to break me out of my rut.

This recipe from Mississippi Kitchen looked too good to pass up. I never buy as much spinach and salad mixins as I should so instead I wanted to take the same flavors and put them in a dip. This has a ton of savory, salty flavor and surprisingly healthy ingredients. You could serve this at a party and they’d never know it’s a bean dip!

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Seasoning should be the last step of this recipe. There’s no right amount of salt–you’ll need to taste it and figure out how much to add based on how salty your ingredients are.

Always taste a sauce or dip with whatever you’re using for dipping; if you’re using vegetables you’ll want the dip to be on the saltier side, while if you’re using seasoned crackers keep it on the bland side.   

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 servings):

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 4oz feta, crumbled

  • Salt to taste

  • Vegetables for dipping 

Method:

  1. Add the beans to a food processor and pulse until smooth.

  2. Add in the tomatoes, sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and feta and process.

  3. Slowly add more buttermilk to get the dip to the right consistency while processing. Only add as much as you’d like to make it the right thickness.

  4. When done, season to taste with salt.

  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator when not enjoying. 

The Elderflower Fizz

The Elderflower Fizz Cocktail

Every time I find something new I’m not sure how I lived so long without it.

Last Summer I couldn’t get enough of elderflower drinks. A friend made this awesome recipe I’m about to share a few weeks back and I had to recreate it. It also was the perfect excuse to use my SodaStream and silicone ice cube trays. Why did we settle for plastic, rectangular ice cube trays for so long?

This cocktail is the perfect balance between sour citrus and sweet elderflower liqueur. It’s a great introduction if you haven’t tried it before. Using soda makes it even more Summery and refreshing.

The Elderflower Fizz Cocktail

Make sure not to shake the ingredients too vigorously or you’ll lose the carbonation. I used SodaStream’s diet grapefruit soda for this. If you don’t have that, you can opt for Fresca or a different brand. 

The Elderflower Fizz

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 drinks):

  • 1.5oz Vodka

  • 1.5oz Elderflower liqueur

  • 6oz Grapefruit soda

  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice

  • Ice

Method:

  1. Mix the vodka, elderflower liqueur, soda, and juice delicately in a cocktail shaker.

  2. Pour into two glasses over ice. Drink cold. 

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Everyone has a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe but not many have a go-to oatmeal cookie recipe.

As soon as I pulled these out of the oven and tasted them these became mine.

Chex is launching this month a line of oatmeal including flavored oatmeal packets and sent me some to try. I’m glad gluten-free oats aren’t a “specialty” food anymore and it’s easier to get classics like packaged oatmeal. The maple brown sugar flavor was by far the best breakfast I’ve had in a while.

Instead of loose oatmeal this recipe uses quick-cooking packaged oatmeal. It’s an easy way to add a lot of flavor. When you’re baking it’s better to use quick-cooking oats than rolled oats because they’ll bake faster and softer. 

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie Ingredients

I made mine with chocolate chips, but if you wanted to make these healthier you could add chopped walnuts, pecans, or even dried blueberries! Basically, if you’d have it with a bowl of oatmeal, it’s going to go great with these cookies. 

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 14 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 24 cookies):

  • 3 packets Chex gluten-free maple brown sugar oatmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free or regular flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oatmeal packets, flour, sugar, chocolate chips, and baking powder.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract, butter, and eggs and mix thoroughly until it makes a soft dough.
  4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten them out just a bit before putting them on a nonstick baking tray. 
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the bottoms begin to brown. 
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

4 Memorial Day Dessert Recipes

When the Summer comes around, it makes me realize how boring the Winter was. Every weekend someone’s having a picnic or a party or a birthday. It’s a really good problem to have.

Assuming you have one(or all) of those lined up for Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to share 4 of my favorite recipes to celebrate the warmer weather(of course if it’s too warm and chocolate starts melting, then it’s a travesty).

Any of these are a great way to finish off a picnic or a backyard barbecue depending on what your mood is. Each recipe is also gluten-free or easily tailored to be. 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Flag Cake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Flag Cake–Because every memorial day needs some patriotism. The great thing about cake is that it can’t melt, so if it’s hot out you can still have a tasty time. This cake defies normal gluten-free cakes with a super moist base and a rich vanilla frosting. You can’t really go wrong.

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake is on my short list of recipes to make soon. It’s pretty much a home run with any crowd with good taste. It’s easy to make gluten-free, too, by using gluten-free pretzels or even vegan with dairy-free substitutes.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries are of course a classic dessert for any Summer party. As long as it’s not too hot out, these are a refreshing way to cool down. Create a variety by using milk, white, and dark chocolate.

Red White and Blue Stuffed Strawberries

Red, White, & Blue Strawberries take the chocolate covered strawberry idea and flip it inside out(literally). These take a little more time and skill but they’re worth the effort. If you’re up for a challenge and ready to impress, give these a go.

Happy Memorial Day!

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bananas get a worse rap than any other fruit. You never hear of people who refuse to eat blueberries or mangoes; what makes the banana so loathable?

If you do love bananas then this is the right cookie recipe. They aren’t overly cakey or fruity–they’re just right.

The flour I used was Betty Crocker’s gluten free baking flour. It’s mostly rice based which keeps the cookies light and airy. If you use wheat flour I’d suggest all-purpose or cake flour.

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made mine with coconut oil and the flavor was even better. If you don’t have coconut oil, try adding shredded coconut.

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 18 cookies):

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil(coconut oil works well here)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips 

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the banana, eggs, oil, and vanilla. 
  3. Add in the baking powder, sugar, flour, and salt and mix well until it makes a soft dough.
  4. Fold in the white chocolate chips evenly. 
  5. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten them to about 1/2 inch thickness before putting them on a nonstick baking tray. 
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the bottoms begin to brown and the top is crispy. 
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

Breakfast Paleo Mug Cake

Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake

I’m a boring breakfast person. I like to eat the same thing every day until I get tired of it and find something new. For the past couple of months these have been my breakfasts. It’s fast, easy, and chocolate-flavored so it’s easy to love.

This has been one of my most popular recipes. I still have people commenting on the original post who’ve made it and loved it, and that’s a good feeling. The ingredients are fairly common and cheap, so even if you’re skeptical I’d say give it a try. It always tastes better with peanut butter or Nutella slathered on top so if you’re still not convinced I’d say try that.  

Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake

I’ve never tried any variations but I’ve had readers mention this recipe works just as well with sweet potato puree, butternut squash, and applesauce. You can also mix in other ingredients like chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, or raisins(well, maybe not raisins).

Paleo Mug Cake

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 3 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 cake):

  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons almond butter(or any nut butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder

Method:

  1. With a fork, mash the banana into a smooth puree.
  2. Mix the almond butter, egg, cocoa powder into the banana puree until it forms an even batter.
  3. Fold in any mix-ins into the batter that you’d like. Otherwise, pour the batter into a mug or other microwave safe container. Be sure to only fill the container up to 2/3rds the way because it will expand in the microwave.
  4. Microwave on high for 2 and 1/2 minutes until the center is set. Carefully remove the mug from the microwave and enjoy hot, cold, or at room temperature.

Raw Chocolate Fudge Pie

Rich raw chocolate fudge pie

If there’s any way to make peace after 2 weeks of not posting it’s this recipe.

Spending the weekend with friends or family is great but usually leads to a week without recipes. Last weekend was the exception. My friend Eury visited and stayed with me and insisted(she’s going to hate that word–”suggested”) we make the raw fudge pie recipe she’s been working on.

Whether you’re gluten-free or gluten-full, vegan or a meat lover, there’s no denying raw desserts are just better than regular ones. They’re always fudgier, creamier, more flavorful, and easy to convince yourself they’re healthy so you can go back for seconds.

Rich raw chocolate fudge pie

With permission I’m sharing Eury’s recipe which’ll easily win over the staunchest crowd. The cashew filling has the same taste and texture as any milk chocolate fudge.  If you do not care about the health benefits of eating raw and only make this because raw desserts have amazing flavors and textures, feel free to substitute the maple syrup for honey, corn syrup, or simple syrup. 

Raw Chocolate Fudge Pie

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 16 servings):

For the crust:

  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Method:

  1. Pulse the almonds and walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Add in the syrup, cocoa powder, and vanilla for the crust and continue processing until it forms a mixed dough.
  3. Press the dough into a 9-inch pan until the bottom’s about 1/4-inch thick.
  4. For the filling, process the cashews into a fine powder. Make sure not to over blend them into cashew butter.
  5. Add in the maple syrup and water and continue blending until smooth.
  6. Add in the rest of the ingredients and process until it forms a smooth liquid filling.
  7. Pour the filling over the crust and spread into an even layer.
  8. Refrigerate for ~4 hours until the center has set. Cut with a sharp knife into servings. Refrigerate when not enjoying.

4 Egg-Filled Easter Brunch Recipes

4 Egg-Filled Easter Brunch Recipes

Easter doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it. There’s a bunny but bunnies don’t lay eggs, so why are you searching for them? And where does the candy come in?

Assuming you’re not having plastic eggs filled with dollar bills and chocolate candies, you might want to have something a little more satisfying. Maybe for a brunch crowd–maybe for just yourself. Here are 4 of my favorite egg-cellent(I’m already sorry I made that pun) brunch recipes for you. 

For something traditional…

Easy Broccoli Frittata Serving

Easy Broccoli Frittata is a great way to feed a crowd something healthy and satisfying. I’m a big fan of frittatas for breakfast or dinner. Even as just one person, they’re good to make on the weekend and heat up through the week. Add some potatoes or toast and you’re golden.

For just two(or one—no judging)…

Mushroom and Herb Cheese Omelette

I’d never make omelettes for a crowd because they’re hard to keep warm while the rest cook, and if you have other distractions going on in the kitchen they’re a nightmare. But a Mushroom and Herb Cheese Omelette is satisfying and just the right amount of food for one or two people and goes great with just about any side. 

For something spicy…

Thai Deviled Eggs

Thai Deviled Eggs have just the right amount of flavor and kick mixed with tradition to please just about anyone. I assumed I didn’t like deviled eggs until I toughened up and tried some. Hopefully the peanut butter and kick of these will get a few deviled egg nay-sayers to bite. 

For something sweet…

Gluten Free Chobani Pancakes

Chobani Pancakes may not be egg-filled but the egg helps to make almond flour and greek yogurt into a delicious, hearty, and gluten-free breakfast. It’s a much better option than the white flour pre-made pancake mixes. And at the end of the day who doesn’t like pancakes for brunch?

Happy Easter!

Peanut Butter Banana Refuel Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Marathon Monday is just a week away. Growing up in Massachusetts, it was always a big deal. I was shocked to find out it wasn’t actually a national holiday and most people work on Marathon Monday.

This year Stonyfield Greek is the official yogurt of the 2014 Boston Marathon. They asked their Clean Plate Club members to write how Stonyfield Greek helps us through the marathon of life.

When I was marathon training, there were 4 foods I constantly ate: Peanut butter, bananas, oatmeal, and greek yogurt. After so many weeks you learn the little ways to not make every snack or meal taste like the last.

Even though I haven’t registered for a marathon since 2011, I still make working out and running a routine. Making a smoothie instead of a meal is an easy, tasty way to refuel and move on to the next part of my day.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

I never get tired of this recipe. It’s not too sweet or overly peanuty; it’s just the right balance of ingredients to be healthy and perfectly flavorful.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 big or 2 small servings):

  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 5.oz Stonyfield vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6-8 ice cubes

Method:

  1. Combine the banana, peanut butter, yogurt, and milk in a blender and mix until smooth.
  2. Add in the ice cubes and continue blending until they’re completely crushed and mixed in.
  3. Pour and serve cold.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Packed Lunch: Rice & Bean Bowl

Homemade rice and bean bowls for a healthy and affordable packed lunch

I’m one of those people at the office who brings in lunch every day. The same lunch every single day. The Huffington Post wrote an article about us.

Sure packing a lunch every day can get tiresome, but it’s cheaper and healthier to do it yourself. It’s hard to argue with that.

If you’re on board the lunch-packing train, even just a few days a week, this lunch will definitely keep you satisfied. It’s just as good as a Chipotle bowl but costs about $2 or less. It’s also perfect for packing on a Sunday night to have later in the week since you don’t have to worry about sogging bread or spoiling meat.

For a simple step-by-step photo guide, scroll below the recipe.

Rice & Bean Bowl

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 4 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 lunch):

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup(1/2 can) black beans
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen vegetables
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Method:

  1. In a microwavable bowl, layer the rice, beans, vegetables, salsa, and cheese in that order.
  2. Cover tight with a lid. Don’t keep at room temperature for more than 6 hours.
  3. When ready, microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes.

An easy, healthy and affordable meal you can pack for lunch every day