Noodle Bowl with Swiss Chard and Poached Egg

Noodle bowl with broken poached eggNoodle bowls are my latest obsession. I’m not sure why I jumped on this bandwagon after wintertime (i.e. soup weather) ended, but it might be because these soothing, one-bowl meals are never too heavy or filling, and therefore are perfect for all seasons. A steamy bowl of whole wheat noodles, sautéed mushrooms, and barely cooked greens floating in rich homemade chicken stock loudly screams “comfort food!” to me. But not too loud, because that’s disruptive and not at all comfortable… Instead of screaming I think it wraps its warm soup hands around my belly and just murmurs “comfort food.” Yeahhh… Continue reading

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercreamDespite the frigid middle of this week (go home, April; you’re drunk), I am still so excited that it is finally spring! To celebrate spring and hopefully encourage continued sunshine, I made these scrumptious birthday cupcakes. To me, moist chocolate cake is the absolute BEST kind of cake, and strawberry buttercream made with fresh strawberry puree just shouts spring!

To make these cupcakes I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, and adapted this recipe for strawberry buttercream to fit my batch of cupcakes. One of the reasons this cake recipe has earned the spot as my favorite for cupcakes is because it doesn’t call for coffee! The many, many chocolate recipes that call for coffee encourage non-coffee drinkers to still use them because you can’t taste the coffee flavor. Well, I have nothing against including coffee in my cake batter, but since I don’t drink coffee, I never have it at home! This lovely recipe doesn’t call for coffee, and yields delightful, moist, rich chocolate cupcakes. Continue reading

Healthy Spinach Turkey Burgers with Gouda

Turkey burger lunch

It’s funny, although I love healthy eating and am not a big sandwich fan, sometimes during the week, especially at lunch, I get a solid craving for a thick, juicy burger. I usually try to ignore it and satisfy myself with whatever nutritious lunch I packed that day, but over time the itch gets so unbearable that I usually end up breaking and splurge on a greasy burger laden with mushrooms and bacon and cheese and all sorts of other glorious things. Yes, I’m weak. But the first step is acceptance. 🙂 Well, this week I decided that all of that was going to be different. This week, I would still pack healthy lunches, but would also ease my burger craving before it even came to destroy me. Continue reading

Lemon-Lime Basil Martini

Pouring the basil martini 3Bright sunshine, warm rains, blossoming dogwoods, and plump red-breasted robins… It seems spring is finally here to stay!

Ever since the first fingers of spring began to spread over the city, I have been aching to do all kinds of culinary things to welcome and celebrate spring. I made an elaborate lamb dinner last week, cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting over the weekend (post to come), and created this delicious martini!

I first experimented with basil simple syrup combined with ginger beer in mocktails that I made over the winter when I was pining for warmer weather. But now that spring is finally here, it’s time to break out the bar tools and use the syrup to create refreshing, light, fun martinis. And this one fits the bill! Continue reading

Super Mason Jar “Salads”

Super mason jar salads 1I’m always looking for creative, healthy lunches for the work week. I can’t quite get with the traditional sandwiches and wraps, and I could never find a way to make salads that lasted throughout the week, were easy to pack in the mornings, and that I looked forward to enjoying at lunch time!

However, all of this changed when I stumbled across this post on Pinterest. Inspired by the Vintage Mixer, I decided to emulate the popular to-go lunch trend of mason jar salads, but instead of cucumbers, chicken, and lettuce, use cooked, nutritional powerhouse veggies and quinoa! Then I’d have vegetarian lunches with high vitamin content that contained some of my favorite sides combined into a salad. I was so excited to begin. A half day of prep and cooking later (and quite a bit of nibbling along the way), I had six “salads” for a nourishing week of ready-to-go lunches! Continue reading

StrictlyDelicious Coq Au Vin

20140309-104755.jpgThe last few Fiesta Fridays I’ve attended I’ve been pretty selfish. My additions to the party have been dishes made just for one, which makes me not a very considerate attendee at all! Although I will most likely bring dishes for one to the party again in the future, my contribution today is made to share. So all of those who enjoy decadent chicken with thick cut bacon, fragrant herbs, and white wine, pull up a chair!

I knew I wanted to make a chicken with white wine sauce for the party, but was less than thrilled with all of the Coq Au Vin recipes I found online. I decided to combine what I liked from the recipes I found, add touches of my process making Beef Bourguignon, and figure out what else it needed as I went along. It’s a great way to cook, and the result was delicious! Continue reading

Spinach & Mushroom Orecchiette with Bay Scallops

20140227-213205.jpgFirst off, I want to apologize that it has been so long since I last posted. Guess who finally got a social life?! Yes, my friends, it’s true. My introverted self has been challenged to actually be around real live people. gasp. How terrifying! But I am enjoying it. Sadly, that does translate to less time for cooking and blogging! But, I am learning balance, and promise to try to not leave for so long again.

I bring to you today another scallops dish.
If I only I could explain the sweet, guilty pleasure that comes from eating something you thought you were allergic to your entire life! Every time I eat scallops or clams, I still can’t believe that I’m eating seafood with no reaction! (Still haven’t gotten the guts to try tuna yet…)

But since my discovery of legal seafood, I’ve fallen in love with scallops. The tender, flavorful, decadent seafood pairs well with so many different things. And they cook up in just minutes! Continue reading

Healthy Single Serve, Deep Dish, Salted, Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie

ck6That’s quite a long title, but doesn’t it sound like a dream? A (mostly) healthy, deep dish, glorious chocolate chip cookie. Well, thanks to amazing 18 year old! Izy over at Top With Cinnamon, this glorious dream is actually a reality!

After my decadent duck dinner last Friday, I knew I wanted something equally delicious and equally as easy to make for dessert. This deep dish cookie hit the spot. It’s sooo good, so easy, and (dare I say) guilt-free! There’s coconut oil in place of butter, coconut sugar and honey in place of white sugar, whole wheat flour, and dark chocolate chunks full of antioxidants. That’s the kind of dessert you always want in your arsenal! Plus, the combination of sea salt and dark chocolate is one made in dessert heaven. Continue reading

Skillet Duck Breast with Blood Orange, Red Wine Reduction

20140224-164325.jpgI don’t know about you, but I’m not quite done with romance. Specifically, romantic food. Maybe it’s the fact that Valentine’s Day was so recent, maybe I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to on Valentine’s Day, or maybe, just maybe it’s because I never need a reason to cook myself a romantic dinner! On Friday night on the way home from work, I knew I had to romance myself that evening. And what better way to romance oneself than with delicious food?!

I created this recipe a week ago (my first time making duck at home!), and was absolutely thrilled with the result. Decadence that took almost no effort. You know I love that! Continue reading

Seared Sea Scallops with Coconut, Browned Butter, Butternut Squash Purée

20140208-195335.jpgHappy belated Valentine’s Day!! ❤

Words cannot describe my excitement, when, after an entire life believing I was allergic to all seafood, I found that I can in fact legally eat scallops, clams, and tuna. A random trio to be sure… But legal seafood nonetheless! As excited as I was, it took me months to get up the courage to put my body to the test. Scallops were the first I tried. How strange and exciting and forbidden to have the seafood flavor in my mouth, but experience no allergic reaction! The first scallops I tried were seared with crispy edges on the outside and tender and buttery on the inside. I ate them out at restaurants three times, and I was absolutely hooked.

When I began to think of my addition to Angie’s Fiesta Friday blog party (yes, I know I’m a little late with this post) I knew that it was time to try my hand at making scallops at home. Not only were they healthy and delicious, but a very romantic meal 🙂 I knew my creation had to have scallops seared with crispy edges and paired with something smooth and slightly sweet. I started with the idea of butternut squash, and made this creation up as I went. Continue reading