raw apricot + ginger nut bars (happy birthday, dad!)

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This is probably the most health-conscious recipe I’ve ever posted. It may be the most health-conscious recipe I’ve ever made. No butter? No added sugar? No white flour, chocolate, bacon, or glazed donuts? I know, I know. It shocked me, too.

I’ll allow a super healthy recipe on occasion though, especially cause these were a birthday gift for my dad. Today’s his big 5-8! Since his diagnosis, he’s basically gone vegan and gluten free, so I wasn’t about to make him a pile of caramel turtle brownies (mmm, those do sound good though…) and totally wreck his healthy diet! What kind of a daughter would I be?

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summertime fried egg sandwich

What do you think of when you think of summertime?

When we were kids, summers to me and my sisters meant going to California to visit our dad, stepmom and stepsister. They lived in the southern California desert at the time, so summer days there could reach temperatures of 110 and above, easy. Not the nicest weather, but we had fun anyway. Sometimes during the day, we’d get lucky and our stepmom would take us to the waterpark in town while our dad was working. We didn’t venture outside much during the day though. Most of the time, we’d run outside at sundown to play hide and seek in the dark, rollerblade in circles on their concrete driveway, and occasionally we’d all go to the movies.

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creamy baked eggs

(Psst! The recipe for the real version from The Cup Cafe was posted online! Get it here!)

Recently, I was in Tucson visiting family. It was St. Patrick’s Day weekend and we were trying to decide on a place to grab brunch. My sister is vegan so she recommended The Cup Cafe inside Hotel Congress, in downtown Tucson because they happen to have lots of vegan menu options. I had never been to The Cup, but always wanted to try their food. While looking over the menu, one dish stood out at me: Cast Iron Baked Eggs. I’d never before had baked eggs, and their version was decadent beyond belief: Two eggs baked in a little cast iron skillet, with leeks, Gruyere cheese, ham, and lots of cream. Vegan, this certainly was not! I practically inhaled the little skillet of eggs, even though they were piping hot from the oven. Any burns to the mouth were worth it for this super tasty dish.

Cast Iron Baked Eggs from the Cup Cafe in Tucson, AZ. Photo courtesy urbanspoon.com

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i’ll never buy bagels again

A long time ago, like 10+ years ago, I attempted to make some homemade bagels. I remember virtually nothing about them except that I found the process slightly tedious and annoying. I’ve always loved bagels, but up to now, I’ve been content to just buy them from places like Einstein’s and the like. There’s nothing really wrong with their bagels, they’re just not spectacular. Don’t even get me started on the crap “bagels” that you can buy in most grocery store bread aisles. They’re essentially dense hamburger buns with holes in the middle. Where’s the chewiness? Where’s the good crust?

Ingredients

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herb + cheddar scones

I wake up for work at 5:30 every morning. At this time of the year it’s still pitch dark outside (and cold, even for Arizona standards!), and it makes it very hard to get moving, much less to eat breakfast. All I want to do is turn off my alarm clock, send a text that says “Sorry I won’t be coming in today, I’m far too sleepy.”, and go back to bed.

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