Egg Free Brown Butter Cookies

Egg free brown butter cookies

These cookies are delicious. I swear. Don’t be fooled by the title. I know “egg free” may be a bit of a deterrent, but with the addition of brown butter, who even needs eggs? Since entering the mommy world, I have had a crash course on what you should and shouldn’t feed an infant, and what foods pose the biggest risks to kids; don’t give the baby honey, no peanuts, wait to give the baby dairy, no “dirty fruits,” be careful with mercury in fish, no dairy until 1 year, and the list goes on and on. For the most part I feel comfortable giving my baby any foods that I eat, and so far we haven’t had any issues. … 

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Chocolate Pinwheel Cake

1st Bday Pinwheel Cake

A couple of weekends ago my daughter turned one and I threw her her very first party. I didn’t want to go overboard since I know she will never remember the day, but it is so hard not to get caught up with all the cute ideas on Pinterest, surprisingly I did restrain myself. I knew I wanted to keep the menu simple to make my life easier; if I have learned one thing this past year, it is that kids take up an insane amount of time and I no longer have the energy to pull off an over-the-top extravaganza. … 

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Key Lime Dressing Yucatan Salad

Key Lime Dressing Yucatan Salad

After coming down from last week’s sugar high, I thought I should lighten things up this week and try to eat more greens. After looking over the recipe archives on my blog, I realized I haven’t posted a single salad. I promise I eat salads, I do (really), but I guess I think that they are never exciting enough to share. Most of the time I have salad at home it is a last-minute effort with a hodge podge of ingredients from the fridge that are about to go bad; this is especially true in the early summer when I have an over abundance of produce from my CSA. That’s not to say that the salads I have at home aren’t delicious, because they are (you can’t really go wrong with locally grown, fresh produce), but they are usually a little less thought out. This might be because I work for a local restaurant that is known for its delicious lunch fare which includes many seasonal salads that tend to be more structured. So this week I decided to plan ahead of time, and to look for fresh, seasonal produce at the store that play nicely together with baby greens. … 

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Nutella Budino

Nutella Budino

You can’t really go wrong with this dessert. Whether it is Valentine’s Day, a birthday get together, or a random Tuesday, this is definitely a crowd pleaser.  Dark chocolate + Nutella = can it get any better? Maybe if there was a bacon garnish, but I didn’t have any in the house, so a chocolate dipped strawberry will have to do. … 

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Crispier Granola

Granola for 2

This is definitely not the first time I have posted a breakfast recipe. It’s not even the first time I have posted a granola recipe. Breakfast is kind of a big deal in my world. Thankfully my husband thinks so too, so we often spend our weekend mornings in the kitchen or out at brunch. Although we both enjoy sweeter, calorie-dense breakfasts on the weekends (pancakes, waffles, cinnamon rolls, etc.), we both like to start our workdays with something a little lighter and healthier, that is why granola has always been a good compromise; it is “usually” a little sweet, but is also filled with heart healthy nuts, seeds, grains, and fruits. The reason I say “usually” a little sweet (little being the key word), is because it seems like so many store-bought versions have way too much sugar and too many artificial flavors. I hate when granola is overpowered with flavors of vanilla or almond and is as sweet as Lucky Charms. That is why I started making my own granola years ago (not to mention the homemade version is a lot cheaper, and takes no time at all)…. 

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Mediterranean Stuffed Dates

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Happy National Date Day. Yep, you read that correctly. Today has been dedicated to the sweeter-than-candy palm fruit. I didn’t grow up with dates in my house, although my dad, who was born in Palm Dessert in California, would always talk about the date shakes he would get on his way home from a hot day at work. It seems like nowadays though, dates have become much more mainstream and more readily available. Don’t believe me? Go to your local Costco, and you can find a 2 lb box for $7! So what does one do with dates (and 2 lbs of them!)? Well there are many options.

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Avocado Spring Rolls

Avocado Spring Rolls 1

When the Super Bowl rolls around each year, where does my mind go first? To avocados, lots of avocados. I love this time of year because avocados are in season, and they become really cheap; like buy them by the box cheap. I love living on the West Coast because you can always find avocados at the store, and they are practically on every restaurant menu. This does not mean however that they are always affordable. I have a hard time paying $2 for one avocado; but when the price hits 2/$1 or 3/$1, I go crazy with avocado recipes. A couple of years back I made this delicious and creamy avocado pesto; or I use them on top of burgers, or on top of tacos, or on top of soup, or I make them into soup (like I did this past Tuesday)…you get the picture. Usually for the big game though, it is my tradition to make guacamole. … 

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Profiteroles with Tuaca Chocolate Sauce

Profiteroles with Tuaca Chocolate

These profiteroles are perfect for a dinner party, a night with the girls, or date night. How about for the Superbowl? Not so much. I was going to try to create a chocolate sauce using stout beer so I could have that be my excuse for serving these along side Nacho Doritos and 5 alarm chili during the game. My guess though is that these light and airy cream puffs probably wouldn’t fly at a Superbowl party, so instead I made them for a dinner with friends and took a more refined route and filled them with sea salt caramel gelato and topped them with Tuaca chocolate sauce. … 

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Root Beer Braised Brisket Tacos

Brisket Tacos 1

So I decided to try something new this past week: slow cooking, very slow cooking. And by slow, I mean starting the meat the night before and letting it cook all night while I slept. This recipe for slow cooked root beer braised beef brisket is my first attempt ever at cooking in a Crock-Pot. In the restaurant world, using a Crock-Pot is just something you don’t have time for (and it’s not big enough anyway). I have made many braised meat dishes in the past, but they have always been in a Dutch oven and have never taken longer than 5 hours. This recipe cooks for 9! In my head that seems insanely long, but after tasting the sweet tender brisket I’m a believer in the Crock-Pot…. 

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Sausage & Kale Lasagna

Kale Lasagna 1

New Years has come and gone and so have all those New Year’s resolutions right? I would like to say that I resolved to lose those last few pounds of baby weight, or that I will go to the gym 5 days a week, or maybe I will lay off the frozen yogurt this year. But who am I kidding? I like food too much to be that dedicated. It’s not that I don’t strive to be healthy, but I don’t like to set strict limits on what I eat since I am a chef. If I go to a nice restaurant and I know their pastry chef has just created a new peanut butter parfait for the menu, I won’t be turning that down! I try to do everything in moderation though, so that is always my goal when it comes to eating and working out. Since December is always a busy month (at home and at work), it is way too easy to stuff Christmas cookies or cheese dip in my mouth when I’m in a hurry (and it is so easily accessible!). So when January rolls around, I do like to lighten things up and eat a little more balanced…. 

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