One of the first meals that I started to “play around with” in a no-recipe kind of way baked ziti. I realized that with pasta, cheese, sauce, and fix-ins you could absolutely make edible slash delicious dinners. I’d add meat and veggies to make the dish more substantial, and this was a pretty frequent meal in our house – until gluten free came on the scene. There’s been a lot more meat (thanks Costco) and I was starting to miss my Italian food.
Lemon Lush is a favorite dessert in my family. Every 4th of July this is served, and devoured, without fail. If you read the ingredients you’ll see packaged lemon pudding mix – you can trust that if I’m sharing a recipe with a pre-packaged mix the results had better be fantastic.
Do you know about frozen puff pastry? I love the stuff because the homemade version is really hard to make and not necessarily better tasting. I consistently keep a box of Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry in my freezer because truly, the possibilities are endless.
My friend Susan makes a vanilla layer cake – every time I eat it I check, just to make sure, that she’s using the boxed cake mix and hasn’t found the recipe I’m seeking. I want to make vanilla cake from scratch that I enjoy eating as much as boxed cake mix.
This dinner got great feedback – husband, preschooler and toddler all cleaned their plate (well, preschooler cleaned her plate after twenty minutes of sitting at the table alone after we’d long finished and only with the hopes of ice cream for dessert). Another bonus is that though I told my husband I needed twenty minutes of child distraction from him to get dinner together, I needed even less than that – quick, easy, healthy and crowd pleasing are my main goals these days.
You’re probably a pro at cooking salmon. Your skills have been honed by practice because the (absolutely correct) notion of salmon as a superfood has been sufficiently pounded into your head. Though salmon is one of the healthiest ocean edibles, we shouldn’t overlook his fellow swimmers – white fish is high in healthy fat and protein and very low in calories. It’s also milder in flavor, which makes it a great choice for kids (hello, fishsticks?).
A while back I tasted an almond flour banana bread at my friend Brianna’s house and let me tell you, it was memorable. I knew a bag of almond flour was on the expensive side so I was waiting for a reason to bake gluten free; well now I have a reason so let’s get started (I promise not to only make gluten free recipes – and I also promise to compare them in flavor to non-gluten free baked goods).
The other day I was making these pecan pie bars for like, the hundredth time, when I pulled the toasted nuts out of the oven. I wanted one, but I knew without a little help it would taste blah – I drizzled a few with maple syrup and a sprinkle of kosher salt and gobbled them up – heavenly. I needed a way to make that same flavor in an easy, big batch.
The other day a friend who had just recently looked over this blog remarked on how quick and easy most of the recipes were. It was funny because that had never been an angle of mine and I know for a fact there are some fairly involved recipes on here, from back when spending several hours on a lazy Saturday afternoon making a dessert seemed not only possible, but relaxing.
So, we’re new Costco members (Christmas present from my mother in law – ps what a great present idea!). It’s far enough away that I probably go only once every other month, but one of my favorite buys is the organic ground beef. I believe it comes in pack of four and shakes out to less than 6 dollars a pound – pretty good for organic. The warm weather inspired me to look outside of my chili and bolognese rut and I am SO glad I did.
My three year old is big time into playing house. I am usually the little girl and she is the mom. Ever since she ate this cake for dessert most of our mother-daughter (or daughter-mother, rather) conversation has centered around lemon cake.
In general Rich (my husband) likes the way I cook. This doesn’t mean there aren’t things he’d change, though luckily he’s smart enough to keep those thoughts to himself. He listens attentively to my excited rants on lentils and split peas, which is kind, because I know for a fact he, like a lot of men, wants more meat. I’ve upped my meat game recently so he nuanced his request – salmon please. I agree, we should be eating it weekly because it’s one of the healthiest foods, but pregnancy has thrown me way off salmon twice now and it’s fallen out of the rotation.
Gluten free AND with only 4 ingredients (5 if you count salt, which I don’t)! So my husband is giving up gluten – he has an autoimmune issue and has heard/read that omitting gluten could help. Nothing makes him happier than coming home to cookies so I needed a gluten-free swap to cheer him up during his first week of the altered diet. I’d made a version of these with almond butter years ago and they came immediately to mind; short ingredient list, super quick to put together, and as tasty as the real deal.
I bought a giant bag of wild caught salmon at Costco – I know we should be eating it weekly (at least) but when I combine the sticker shock with the fact that neither kid enjoys the taste, it rarely makes an appearance. Enter Costco! These skewers were delish and coming next week, a crispy mustard baked salmon.
I’ve heard that chocolate has an addictive quality – in fact my mom gave it up for lent and instead of hand-over-fisting it on Easter, she found a small piece was enough. I am currently in the throws of a rather manic period of chocolate eating. I figured instead of quitting, I’d just come up with a healthy chocolate-ish alternative.
On beautifully warm, breezy and fragrant spring evenings, “what’s for dinner” is literally the last thing on my mind. We all know that to eat healthy you need to spend more time in your kitchen and less time dining out, so I’m constantly on the look out for meals that not only come together quickly, but yield very little clean up. Interested in a one dish meal that tastes great but keep on you on track for bathing suit season? That’s what I thought.
Another “post-it inside the cabinet” recipe. These are simple, straightforward, and absolutely delicious.
This is not something that is routine for me. You’d think I’d grown up eating it, with all the Italian food around, but no. It’s easy, healthy, and pleasing to most people but I’ve never made it, not once. Until this time, that is. It was a first-try recipe but my husband like, freaked out about it so I figured my first go-around was successful enough to share!
I vascillated between call this hummus or pesto; I maybe should have just gone with “dip”. Technically, though, peas and chickpeas are both legumes, so this more closely resembles hummus. Regardless, besides the gorgeous verdant color it literally tastes like spring – bright and fresh as can be.
I’m perfectly happy with beer and wine. I like the taste of both, and if I’m going to use up over 300 calories on something I’d like it be ice cream or chocolate cake. Or pizza. The one drink that does actually get me going is a margarita. It’s the drink in my “last meal”. I like it with salt, on the rocks, and not too sweet. Let’s be real though I’ll take it any which way.