Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Take Two Tuesday: Avocado and Tomato Bruschetta

I was craving my Avocado and Tomato Bruschetta and thought it'd be great for a T2T. My original post was poised for Spring / Summer weather and thought it'd be nice to utilize some indoor equipment and still get these delicious bites. Try it out for your next appetizer, or use a larger loaf to make it suitable for dinner!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

There's something about bread that gets me excited to make it.  It's such a simple food, but there's definitely an art to making it homemade and patience that the cook needs to encompass. Seeing that I (at times) am not the most patient person, I was thinking what type of bread could be made relatively fast. That's when I thought about focaccia. Focaccia bread is an Italian bread that has lots of olive oil in it, leaving it moist and delicious. I added rosemary, because why not, and sea salt just brings it altogether. This is a bread that anyone can make, and that everyone will rave about.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

French Onion Soup

I can't believe it's already November. Time sure flies when you're having fun. Now that it's getting a tad bit chillier (well, kind of, California can only get so cold), French Onion Soup came to my mind. A few November's ago, I experienced the best French Onion Soup at a little cafe in Paris and I've always dreamed of remaking it. For some reason, I always thought French Onion Soup would be incredibly hard and time consuming to make.Wrong. What have I been doing with my life during these "cold" winter-ish months?! Eating canned soup?! Never again. This (in my opinion and my friend Kristina's) is comparable, or even [dare I say] better, than the one I tasted in Paris, the delicious soup's birth place (I think). It's full of flavor, not too heavy on the salt, and easy to make. Win-Win-Win. This will surely warm your insides and keep you feeling nice and cozy!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Skinny-ish Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Everyone wants "Skinny" something these days and I did the best I could to turn Spinach and Artichoke Dip into Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip. I think I made it half way, I mean it's still gotta taste good, and this dip tastes delicious. So, I'm calling it Skinny-ish. My middle school and high school days inspired this recipe. Back when my friends and I were California Pizza Kitchen's "CPK" most frequent customers. An order of spinach and artichoke dip to start and a half order of the buffalo chicken salad, please. This dip is one that your guests will ask the recipe for, so I encourage you to make this for you next dinner party, pumpkin party, or The Mindy Project get together. Oh and for the upcoming World Series, too! (Go Giants!!)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Baked Bacon and Avocado Egg Rolls

Baked Bacon and Avocado Egg Rolls. The name in itself makes my mouth water. I've always been a huge egg roll fan, but anything fried kind of scares me. I just imagine myself getting burned from all the flying oil coming out of the pan and me giving up. So, you know what they say, "Those who can't fry - bake." Oh they don't say that? Well, I do. Not only is baking (in my opinion) easier, but healthier. Win-Win according to me. Anyways, I've come to a realization that appetizers may be my favorite things to showcase. So I present you yet another delicious appetizer that will be a hit with everyone (especially those bacon lovers!)!

Monday, October 13, 2014

T2T: Sausage Stars

This Take Two Tuesday I decided to make a fan favorite - Sausage Stars. I've been making these a lot lately, whether it be for football gatherings, pumpkin painting parties, or pre-parties, they seem to be constantly requested. I didn't change much to the recipe but I thought the final pictures were a little prettier and it's perfect for a fall (football) appetizer!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Baked Orange Chicken Wings

It's football season and I'm actually paying attention this year. I can thank Fantasy Football for that. I happen to be an extremely competitive person and this whole Thursday, Sunday and Monday thing is giving me reason to throw football game gatherings while making sure I'm #1 every week (3-0 so far!). I've been thinking about making Baked Orange Chicken Wings since before W.A.L.T. was even born and now this is my chance. I served this last Sunday and I'd say it was the highlight of the night, especially since every top player decided to get hurt. Baked or fried - you can't go wrong with the delicious Orange Chicken taste!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mediterranean Panzanella Salad

I first had a traditional panzanella salad with my dad at Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills back in high school and I immediately became obsessed. The first thought I had was that it was very similar to a fattoush salad that I grew up eating (I'm half Middle Eastern - who woulda thought?). Since moving to San Francisco, I kind of forgot about the panzanella / fattoush dish since I wasn't visiting my dad every weekend anymore (he makes the best fattoush). Then I went to a delicious place called Blue Barn and there on the menu was a fattoush salad and it all came back to me. That's when the twists and turns started rolling in my head and I thought combining the two would be brilliant. And it was. Enjoy this fast and easy dish!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Caprese Pasta Salad

Let's be real. Pasta salads are everyone's favorite salads. Mix it up with caprese flavors and you really can't go wrong. I added broccoli to put a little more umph to it and I think its a perfect and light dish for your next fall gathering.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Take Two Tuesday: Soba Noodle Salad + Seared Ahi Tuna

My original Soba Noodle Salad post was a hit and I thought it'd be perfect to remake it as a Take Two Tuesday treat. If you haven't tried soba noodles before, I encourage you to give it a taste because it is absolutely delicious (+ buckwheat is pretty good for you). You get a sense of eating pasta, but with some Asian flavors and you (or at least I) don't feel as guilty eating it. I added in some fresh seared Ahi Tuna because...well because you can't go wrong with adding seared Ahi Tuna to any savory dish (just think that statement is true, okay?). Make this at your next dinner party to impress your guests or meal prep it for your lunch during the week...it's a perfect dish to make ahead and preferred to be served cold!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Skinny Chicken Salad

I love chicken salad but I don't love the calories that accompany it. I usually try to avoid dousing anything with mayonnaise. So, I present you a healthy chicken salad option. And in my opinion, I think this tastes way better. Using Greek yogurt, avocado and lemon makes a perfect creamy alternative and gives the chicken salad a very fresh taste. Perfect for lunch for kids and adults and simple to make when using a store bought rotisserie chicken!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Miso & Grapefruit Salmon

Can you guess what the theme is for this week? Yep...miso. I'm a firm believer in using whatever you have in your fridge in as many ways as possible. Miso isn't really a "staple" in my fridge, so when I have it, I go all out. It also helps that it's delicious. Miso Salmon is my favorite kind of salmon. It pairs with the fish perfectly and fill its up with flavor without overpowering it. For an easy, healthy dish, I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try and explore something that may be out of the ordinary! PS - eating the salmon with the green beans makes a perfect meal!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Miso & Greek Yogurt Green Beans

I've been thinking about this recipe a lot. I was at a Chinese restaurant a few weeks ago and we ordered the Szechuan green bean dish and I was thinking how I could twist this up. Miso has also been on my mind (thoughts of a food blogger), so I thought that miso green beans would be a no-brainer. Add in a little nonfat Greek yogurt and voila - you have yourself a delicious side dish that's lean on calories. These green beans are addictive - serve with your favorite fish or chicken and your weekday night just got a lot better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ahi Tuna Poke

I know Hawaii is home of poke, but I have to say that Newport Beach is a close second. There's a spot called Bear Flag Fish Company that has made me fallen in love with poke. Seriously though, I constantly crave the stuff. I'm pretty sure I've had poke for the past six consecutive days and may be close to mercury poisoning. Anyways - since I moved to San Francisco and away from Bear Flag, I decided to make my own. Not to toot my own horn, but it's pretty delicious. It's a lot different than any other poke I've ever had - the soy sauce gives it a sort of "earthy" taste yet still let's you enjoy the ahi tuna. Next time you want to be adventurous and make a non-cook delicacy - make sure to try this recipe out!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa Fried Rice isn't a new concept. I've seen it all over Pinterest and I had to check it out. After reviewing countless recipes, I decided to just swing it and make my own because (1) I didn't have teriyaki sauce laying around the house and (2) I'm obsessed with fried rice and know what I like and don't like in it. It. Is. Amazing. This recipe makes a lot. It can feed as many as eight or last you multiple days for breakfast, lunch and dinner (aka what I did). Something that I think is key for this recipe to really be as elevated as it is is the chicken boullian powder (this means that you need to not skip this step). Anyways - I urge you to make this as soon as possible because it's too delicious not to try!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Puff Pastry Bacon Twists

Soooo you can't really go wrong with puff pastry. And you can't go wrong at all with bacon. When you put it together with a little bit of cheddar cheese, it's pretty much an explosion in your mouth. What I love even more about these are that it has "twist" in the name - soo pretty much meant for W.A.L.T. Anyways, these bacon twists are delicious and the perfect appetizer for any dinner party!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shrimp + Avocado {Smash} Bruschetta

I know, I know, it's been forever since I have posted something. A lot has been happening in the past two weeks. I actually have a real room in San Francisco. It took a little bit longer, but it was well worth the wait(!!). I'm officially a San Francisco resident now. I've only been waiting to say that for 3 1/2 years...nbd.

Now that I'm settled in I can start churnin' out recipes like the good ol' days. I decided to make a Shrimp + Avocado {Smash} Bruschetta for my first post in the new place. I've been craving seafood like a crazy person lately and I decided to be a little bit more friendly to my wallet (SF is an extremely expensive city...) so I chose affordable and fast shrimp. What I love about this recipe is that it can either be an appetizer or a meal depending on what size baguette you choose. It's full of flavor and still gives a nod of the fast ending summer. Hope you all enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Take Two Tuesday: Skinny Potato Salad

It's BBQ season and time for my favorite potato salad, ever. My Skinny Potato Salad. No heavy mayonnaise needed, just a light, flavorful and simple lemon and olive oil dressing to turn an American classic into a guilt-free side. Perfect to make before a big gathering as it's fast and even better served cold. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lemon Ricotta Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

My best friend mentions my lemon pasta on a regular basis. We live together and she begs for me to make it [almost] everyday. I've been making the pasta for about seven years now and wanted to see if I could put a little twist on a classic of mine; and boy did it turn out amazing. It's pretty much my old recipe, but with the ricotta cheese instead of heavy cream, consists lesser calories. It's incredible and I assure you it will not disappoint as the perfect summer pasta salad for your next line-up!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Panko + Parmesan Baked Asparagus "Fries"

Something I love seeing on Pinterest are all of renditions of "fries" people come up with. Carrot fries...zucchini fries...and now, I've made asparagus fries. These tasty spears give you that same satisfying crunch without all of the calories and I am completely obsessed with them. They are perfect as a side dish or on their own (but to tell you the truth, you probably won't want to share!).

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Take Two Tuesday: Blueberry, Lavender Cupcakes with a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

My second Take Two Tuesday post is featuring an early W.A.L.T. treat: Blueberry, Lavender Cupcakes with a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. I know, it's a mouthful, and your mouth will be full once you bake these up. The egg whites give these cupcakes almost an angel cake texture and they will truly just melt in your mouth. I made these for Mother's Day this year and my mom didn't even notice the Tiffany's necklace that I got her. They're that scrumptious. Anyways, I thought this is a perfect redo seeing that my original post has been getting a great amount of traffic over the past couple of months. Hope you all enjoy!

Monday, June 2, 2014

{Skinny} Asian Coleslaw with Peanut Powder Dressing

At every family gathering, we order the most delicious Asian coleslaw with peanut dressing. It's so good that I couldn't wait until the next gathering to have this dish and decided to make my own with a "skinny" lil' twist by utilizing my newest obsession: peanut powder. It's pretty much peanut butter in a powder form, and all you need to do is add water and voila! peanut butter with half the calories! This coleslaw is perfect for all of those summer BBQ's and is sure to be hit with all of your hungry gatherers! Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Take Two Tuesday: Lemonade's Quinoa

I'm excited to post my first "Take Two Tuesday" and showcase my very first post: Lemonade's Quinoa Salad...with a lil' twist. As I look back at my past posts, it has dawned on me that where I am today (post-wise) is very different than a year ago (and for the better!). It's wild to see my progression between that period of time and can't wait to see what another year of blogging knowledge brings me!

This recipe has been getting a lot of buzz recently and thought it made sense to revamp it a little. I made lil' twists here and there and believe it's just as delicious (or maybe even a little more) than my first post! I hope you all get a chance to give it a try and leave feedback on how you like it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dutch Oven Beef Brisket

I feel that owning a dutch oven has opened my culinary mind to the nth degree. There are so many things that baby can cook that an ordinary pot can't (or can, but with less ease). I wanted to step out of my comfort zone for a quick second and tackle a red meat dish. My taste testers (guys) were ecstatic. I say out of my comfort zone, because I've always been a chicken or fish kinda gal, with the occasional filet mignon here and there (and usually on special occasions). Red meat usually just doesn't do it for me, but I think I may have changed my own mind with this melt-in-your-mouth brisket I've somehow come up with. The seasonings and accompanied veggies will make your house smell like Thanksgiving morning, and when paired with some yummy mashed potatoes or even a nice cool coleslaw, your guests will be asking for seconds...and thirds...and tupperware that they promise to bring back (yeah, right..)!

Monday, May 5, 2014

{Mini} Korean Barbecue Tofu Tacos

First and foremost, I'd like to apologize for my recent hiatus. A lot of things have happened over the course of the last month. I moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco (yay!) and it has taken up most of my life, but every exhausting day has been worth it. I'm currently back down in Orange County picking up the rest of my things and saying goodbye to all of my friends and family in the area. I'm also taking this week to develop and cook as many recipes as humanly possible so this sort of hiatus never occurs again!

Anyways, back to the reason I'm posting this delicious recipe. Happy Cinco de Mayo! Another holiday to give reason to drink a margarita in the middle of the day and not feel ashamed! Putting my twist on a traditional Mexican taco, I chose to take the Korean {BBQ} route. Korean barbecue has hit Southern California hard with its food truck presence and my brother has been begging me to incorporate the bold and spicy flavors to a dish for the past year now. I chose to keep on that healthy kick by using tofu, but can alternatively be replaced with your choice of protein!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Greek Yogurt Deviled Eggs

Easter is around the corner and deviled eggs are a staple in my house for the holiday (which now that I think about it, is kind of ironic). To lighten up a dish I grew up with, I decided to replace the mayonnaise with some non-fat Greek yogurt. It tastes incredible! It makes the bite light and with summer around the corner, it won't even mess up your diet.  I assure you that the Greek yogurt will only enhance the traditional deviled egg and it'll be a rave! Enjoy :)

How To Boil an Egg (Hard-Boil)

One of the most frequent questions I receive from friends and family is "How do I boil an egg?" It's a simple thing to do, but easy to mess up. Boil it too long and then the less than desirable gray lining along the yoke appears, boil it too short and then you get a soft boiled egg (which, when wanting a hard-boiled egg, can be problematic). So, to answer the age-old question on how to {hard-boil} an egg, follow my instructions below!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mini Puff Pastry Hot Dogs

To give a nod to the start of baseball season I thought it would be fun to twist up a traditional baseball hot dog. I have a thing for making things "mini-sized" so what perfect way to make delicious miniature hot dogs, which some may refer to as a "pig in a blanket."  Except these are no ordinary pigs in a blanket. These delicious hot dog bites are accompanied with caramelized onions and wrapped in fluffy, buttery puff pastry and topped with Parmesan cheese which is perfect for a baseball-themed party (and to also "wow" your friends with your cooking abilities)! Hope these make it onto your next appetizer list!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Avocado and Tomato Salad

I'm excited to share with you all an easy and simple avocado and tomato salad that I am absolutely obsessed with. This salad highlights two main {delicious} ingredients without adding too much fluff to it. I believe it encompasses Southern California in a bowl (avocados are a Southern Californian's best friend, didn't you know?), while also giving the feeling of (the fast approaching) summer.

What inspired me for this salad was...you guessed it, guacamole. Guac is a staple food where I'm from and I can devour a bowl in ten seconds time. Really. I love it. The thing I don't really love about the dip though is that it is usually accompanied by a fried, salty, delicious tortilla chip. Now, tortilla chips aren't really in my "soon-to-be-in-a-bikini-all-day-everyday" diet, so to make traditional guacamole more acceptable to eat on its own, I decided to make things a little more chunkier while adding a different kind of crunch to satisfy that no-chip-needed attitude. Hope you all try out this tasty dish and comment on what you thought about it!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Raspberry and Peach Bellinis

I have a soft spot in my heart for juices and the bubbly. My love for the two developed while I was in college up in northern California. Background: Now, some may say my school is a "party school," but after visiting many friends that were scattered across America throughout those four years, I'd say it blended perfectly well with every other university. What the students of our school benefited from though (and how we probably got that "party school" image) was that it's in an extremely walkable college town with drink specials seven days a week (not kidding, the local newspaper mapped out which bars offered $1 specials Sunday-Saturday, which my roomies and I had taped to our fridge). I'm talking about living within a four block radius from all of your best friends, bars, restaurants, the gym, and, of course, school. So, driving wasn't always (like, never) an issue.

Okay, back to my love of the bubbly. There is a place called the Breakfast Buzz in my good ol' college town. The Buzz for short. And it was my absolute favorite place, ever. Why? Because they offer $6 bottomless mimosas Thursday-Sunday and was three blocks from my house, that's why. Try finding a price like that in LA (and call me if you do!). Sure, it was usually a cheap bottle of Andres and some boxed orange juice but it did the job, and by job I mean got us {fun} drunk.  It was a very easy sell to get people to go to the Buzz too, so it was always a good time. And, maybe that's the root for my love (lets get psychological, now) of the perfect combination of champagne and juice, because I knew it was guaranteed to have brunch (also my favorite meal of the day), good friends and great laughs. OH, and drinking during the day was always a plus too; no heels, no problem.

After the best four years of my life were up, it was time to say goodbye to living within walking distance to everything I had learned to love, including the Buzz and cheap champagne. I knew I wasn't going to find a place like it in LA. Or Orange County. Or San Francisco. Or anywhere. And that did not make me happy. I immediately started a fancy internship in Beverly Hills after graduating and was always getting taken to just as fancy restaurants. (My college town had one nice restaurant (I'm sure there were more) so getting wined and dined in "no jean" environments had kind of become foreign to me.) There was one restaurant that I liked in particular, and always suggested it whenever the dreaded "Where should we go?" question came about. That restaurant was Mr. C's.

Mr. C's had just opened when I moved to LA. It is actually a hotel with a restaurant in it and owned by the brilliant minds of Cipriani in New York and Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy (aka the people who created the Bellini). It's a true Italian restaurant. Seriously, everything is little like in Italy; the chairs, the table, the drinks...I sometimes felt like I was in a chic toy house. Back to the story. Mr. C's is when I got introduced to the "Bellini." The first sip I took of this {tiny and cute, but tiny and $25} peach puree + prosecco mixture was pure heaven. It was just the right amount of sweet and the perfect amount of bubbly. It was me saying goodbye to my $6 bottomless mimosa self, and hello to the new, grown-up, college-graduated $25 per Bellini me. As silly as it may sound, it was a very imperative moment in my life. I drank to drink, and not to get drunk. Aka, maturity. Now my go-to drink (during the day) are Bellinis. And I love them very much. And I bet you will too.

So, in order to save my wallet (and yours) from $25 per Bellinis, I have come up with my own. And I must say, it's pretty darn delicious.

Twist: Raspberry and Peach Bellinis 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Acai Greek Yogurt Parfait

I love how quick and easy this acai parfait recipe is. I've been a huge fan of acai since high school. There's a place in Newport Beach called "Al Cap" that serves the best acai smoothies that you will ever have! Seriously. Perfectly thick and topped with yummy granola and a circle of banana slices. I stopped by Al Cap at least three times a week before school, and it was in the completely opposite direction. I'm talking about me living two minutes from school and driving 10 minutes across Newport to get these. (I may or may not have even treated my teachers to these babies whenever I ran a little (or a lot!) late to class; they're that good.)

When I went off to college (and away from my favorite breakfast spot) I was devastated to find that there really wasn't a place that offered a smoothie as good as theirs. I was acai deprived. Until, of course, I found out that you could buy the smoothie mixtures at specialty grocery stores. This is when I started to play around with the acai. Throughout all of my test runs, I fell absolutely in love with my acai parfait. Thick greek yogurt mixed with the acai and a little agave nectar goes perfect with my homemade granola and fresh fruit. It's pretty much a traditional parfait, but I like to think that the acai elevates it and give its the perfect lil' twist. Hope you do too!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chia Seed and Agave Granola

I've recently discovered Chia seeds. And I've recently fell in love with Chia seeds. They are kind of a super food which fills you up with protein and fiber and can even curb hunger(!). I've been adding them to a lot of different things lately and also eating them by themselves. As I was thinking of other great ways to incorporate this wonderous seed, I thought of a granola. As I was researching different kind of granola recipes, I was noticing a lot of them use sugar and other things that aren't really in tandem when I think of granola (aka healthy). So, doing what I do best, I made up my own recipe for a healthy granola using not only Chia seeds, but agave, coconut oil and flax seeds! Check it out below and let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tofu, Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

I'm not going to lie, I have never been a huge fan of tofu. It kind of has a weird texture and doesn't really taste like much. But, I'm sticking with my New Years Resolution to eat healthier in 2014 so I gave it a go. And I'm glad I did! Mixing the tofu with the taste of a chicken lettuce wrap is a perfect leeway into this protein-rich food.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Macarons with a Beer Buttercream Filling

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner and what better way to ring in this beer-centric holiday then with delicious macarons with a beer buttercream filling. I don't know why I have never seen this done before, but it gives the right amount of sweetness with just a hint of beer (AKA amazingness).

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Coconut Almond Rice

This rice may be the best rice that I have ever tasted in my life. Bold statement, I know. The coconut milk paired with garlic, onions and toasted almonds brings the usual boring rice to the next level. Seriously, I don't even know what else to say. Try it yourself and tell me you don't agree.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It actually felt like winter this weekend down in LA. It rained for two and a half days straight. Swear to G. Thunder and all. I took advantage of this weather and cooked some cold weather food essentials. You can't get more traditional than chicken noodle soup. I've always wanted to make it fully homemade (I'm talkin' homemade chicken stock, oh yeah) and I think I've become pretty successful at it. My twist I put on this staple is...wait for it...cinnamon. My dad mentioned putting cinnamon in my soup and I straight up laughed in his face. Shortly after, I felt bad for smirking at his tip and popped a cinnamon stick in for 10 minutes, tasted it, and was pleasantly surprised. It's exactly what the soup needed. It gives your tastebuds a warm, cuddly feeling without being too cinnamon-y. I think all chicken noodle soups should include cinnamon; it may seem crazy, but it's just too good not to. Do it and enjoy :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Zucchini Crust Pizza

My friend Therese told me about making pizza with a zucchini crust. I thought it was an amazing idea. I've seen, on Pinterest, pizza with a cauliflower crust, and thought this zucchini version was a perfect and delicious lil' twist. So, below is directions to a tasty, guilt-free version of a pizza, with the ability to make it whatever kind you'd like!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Prosciutto

I feel that people have mixed feelings regarding brussels sprouts. Myself included. I recently realized how delicious this vegetable can taste, and now regret making fun of one of my best friends and roommate in college for making them everyday. (I was missing out!) Doing what I do best, I added my little twist to a classic dish by caramelizing the onions with balsamic vinegar. The crispy proscutto adds the perfect amount of crunch too! Enjoy!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Greek Yogurt Chicken with a Thyme Tzatziki Sauce

You can never go wrong with a delicious chicken dish. I've been trying to utilize Greek yogurt in different ways lately, and don't know why I never realized how amazing it would be as a marinade. It's a product that you can make taste however you'd like, and when soaked in the yogurt for a long period of time, it helps keep the chicken tender and moist. The thyme with the chicken goes hand-in-hand with the thyme tzatziki sauce, and the lemony flavor gives your taste-buds a feel for summer.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sausage Stars

I got this recipe from my second mom (Laurel) and became completely obsessed with it the second I had one. It's so simple, yet so tasty. So, I give all recipe credit to her and am so grateful to have learned about it, as it has become a staple for all of my family gatherings! Not only is this a perfect appetizer for parties, but with Super Bowl coming up, it's a guaranteed crowd pleaser for guys (and girls!). Enjoy!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lavender, Honey Macarons

If you read my first macaron post, then you know the extent of my love for this French delicacy. I have an excess amount of dried lavender in my house and what better way to make use of the aromatic flower than incorporating it in a macaron with a honey buttercream filling. I'm not even a huge sweets fan, and I loved this cookie. I assume this is what elegance tastes like. It makes your mouth feel like it's getting a royal spa treatment (in a non-soapy way, obvi). I'll be experimenting many other flavors (and shapes!) of macarons in the upcoming weeks, because what guy or gal wouldn't love one of these treats on Valentine's Day :) Hope you all enjoy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Red Quinoa, Arugula Salad with a Sherry, Balsamic Vinaigrette

Keeping up with my (and 99% of the world's) New Year's resolution to eat healthier in 2014 has given me reason to develop body-friendly meals that still taste delicious. It has been fun to test out foods that I normally would pass by in the supermarket (usually because I had no clue how to use them) and to really read into their health benefits. Now, quinoa is no foreign food to me, I honestly love any grain that can pack my body up with protein, fiber, iron and other good stuff, but to ease into the healthy eating habit, I thought I'd start with a little less "scary" genre of foods. The little crunch the quinoa gives to the peppery arugula pairs well with the most delicious homemade vinaigrette that has ever come out of your kitchen. I thoroughly enjoy this salad and I hope you do too!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Soba Noodle Salad

Ever since trying soba noodles for the first time a few months ago, my love for this pasta-alternative has been growing at a rapid pace. Not only because it's delicious, but also because it's fat-free, cholesterol-free and gluten-free.  Any food with health benefits will always appeal to me, and when it also tastes good, it's like finding a needle in a haystack. So, after testing out soba noodles for a solid two months now, I feel as if I have gotten a nice balance for this delicious buckwheat noodle. (To read more health benefits that soba has to offer click here.)


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