September 23, 2008

Pam’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti

I am all about comfort food. What I love even more is food that is dead simple to make and that stores easily. That’s probably why spaghetti is my all time favorite dish. Judging from how many brands of spaghetti sauce there are at the grocery store, I would venture to say that not many people make their own sauce anymore. This was one of my mom’s staple recipes and I don’t think I ever saw her use sauce from a jar her entire life. This was the first recipe I asked for when I moved into my own apartment during college and I’ve been making it ever since. I’ve tried jar sauces before, but I always wind up feeling like I’ve let my mom down. Plus none of them taste even one fifth as good as homemade.


June 6, 2011

Blueberry-Rhubarb Tarts

Blueberry-Rhubarb Tarts

Since my last experience with rhubarb went so well, I picked up another pound of it at the grocery store to try out some more recipes. This tart recipe was the first on my list because it’s on the cover of Kim Boyce’s cookbook, Good to the Grain and I think I’ve opened that book about a million times since I got it a month ago. I just couldn’t look at it one more time without making those tarts.

The only problem was that my rhubarb wasn’t as blindingly red as hers looked, so I decided to change the filling and add some blueberries to it to give it a deeper color. I’ve tried rhubarb with cherries, strawberries and now blueberries and I have to say that blueberry-rhubarb combo is my favorite of the three. I cooked the blueberries and rhubarb with some orange zest and dark muscovado sugar which has a strong flavor similar to molasses. The resulting compote was so good I could hardly stop myself from eating it all before I even got the tarts …

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December 22, 2010

Chewy Brownie Bites – 5 ways

Chewy Brownie Bites

Well, it looks like I found something to post this week after all! I whipped these up last night (side note: does anyone else love baking at midnight or am I weird?) and they are so easy and fun that I just had to share. This is a great last minute dessert and kids will surely love them.

I’ve been looking for a recipe for soft, chewy brownies for a while and these totally hit the spot. They’re a cross between a brownie and a cookie, so you can make them either way! The original recipe makes them like drop cookies, but I thought it would be fun to use my mini-muffin pan and make them into cute little brownie bites.

This is a very basic recipe, so I thought I’d have fun with it. I was cleaning out my cabinets the other day and discovered that I have tons of baking chips in all flavors: chocolate, mint, butterscotch, peanut butter, cinnamon, etc. I needed to use them up, especially since I don’t plan on a lot of cookie baking in January and this was the perfect …

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April 30, 2009

Bacon and Rosemary Chicken with Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Bacon and Rosemary Chicken

This is just a damn good dinner. I mean, come on, can you ever go wrong with bacon? Bacon makes everything better (Seriously people, you can still eat bacon, virus be damned). Also, sweet potatoes are in my top 5 favorite foods ever. I could eat them pretty much everyday and I think they get a bad rap as being “that stuff with marshmallows that you eat at Thanksgiving”. They are way more versatile than that one dish (see exhibit B another great chicken dish with sweet potatoes and where I got part of the inspiration for this recipe).

I’ve been making this chicken dish for a while and it’s always a treat. In fact, I don’t make it all that often because I think of it as my “special” chicken dish. I think it tastes better when you only save it for special occasions.

While I wouldn’t call the recipe hard, I definitely struggled with it the first few times I made it, but that may have just been my cooking inexperience. If you’re not prepared then it can be really …

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June 30, 2008

Parmesan Pork Cutlets and Mashed Potatoes

Parmesan Pork Cutlets and Mashed Potatoes

I’m always looking for new recipes for easy and fast dinners to make. But a lot of times fast and easy = boring and no flavor. The other thing I’m always looking for is good pork recipes. I have chicken dishes out the wazoo, but barely any good pork ones. The other night I was pleasantly surprised to find a recipe, which I had torn out of a Real Simple magazine ages ago, that was successful on all counts.

I paired this recipe with my absolute favorite side dish: mashed potatoes. I used to think “real” mashed potatoes were too much work and would make the kind from a box instead, but then I found this recipe and realized how simple they are to make. I probably make mashed potatoes at least once a week these days.

October 8, 2013

Nutella Stuffed Almond Butter Cookies (Gluten free)

Nutella Stuffed Almond Butter Cookies

It’s been a little over two weeks since I completed Whole30. It wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad that I did it and I’m really happy with the results. So far, I’ve dropped 15 pounds but the biggest difference has been losing 6 inches off my waist and 3 inches off my hips. Hello, smaller pants size! The only other time I’ve ever lost this much weight was when I did Weight Watchers about 5 years ago. That took a lot of dedication and point counting and feeling hungry most of the time. What I really liked about Whole30 was just being able to eat without counting calories or feeling like I was supposed to starve myself to get results.

It’s also been very illuminating to find that even when you can’t have grains, sugar or dairy, there is still A LOT that you can eat. Before this I honestly didn’t think it would be possible to go even a single day without bread or sugar or potatoes or cheese and now I barely give those things a second …

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September 19, 2012

Caramel & Cinnamon Banana Oat Bars

I don’t know what it is about bananas but I always feel compelled to buy a huge bunch of them despite the fact that most of the time I eat three or four while the rest sit there and rot. But then I wind up standing in front of the bananas again at the grocery store and telling myself that this time I’ll really eat them all. THIS TIME. I’ll eat two a day! I swear! Yeah, right.

But now, I finally have a good excuse for letting those bananas blacken and it’s all thanks to this recipe. I’d been looking for something with oats that was healthy but still, you know, actually tasted good so when I saw a recipe that had oats and used up all my overripe bananas it seemed perfect. But I still wanted it to be healthier so I did some tests. Can I use whole wheat flour? Can I use less butter? Luckily, the answer to both of those was yes. In fact, it turns out you can completely substitute coconut oil for butter and it tastes just as good while giving you lots more health benefits.

February 23, 2012

Mini Grapefruit Angel Food Cakes

Mini Grapefruit Angel Food Cakes

I mentioned last week that I had a lot of egg whites left over after making my king cakes. I wanted to make a cake since I was still in birthday mode, but after a fairly indulgent month eating chocolate cookies and cream cheese filled cakes, an angel food cake seemed like a nice alternative. A sweet treat without any of the guilt!

But I didn’t want a plain angel food cake and I already made a chocolate one a few years ago so I decided to incorporate my current obsession: citrus! I just can’t get enough of oranges and lemons and grapefruits lately and a citrus cake sounded really refreshing. I always feel like grapefruit is kind of underrated compared to other citrus fruits, so I decided to make the grapefruity-est dessert I could come up with. This grapefruit angel food cake is flavored with grapefruit juice and zest and then drizzled with a grapefruit syrup. I also mixed a little grapefruit juice and zest with strawberries to use as a garnish. Obviously, if grapefruit isn’t your thing you can substitute your favorite citrus but despite how much …

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