pepperoni pizza eggrolls (my 100th post!)

Hooray! Today I bring to you my 100th blog post, all wrapped up in shiny paper and a pretty bow.

Oh, what? Sorry about those drips of marinara sauce… and the parmesan cheese. Wrapping pepperoni pizza eggrolls is a messy task!

2014-06-30 13.14.45

Continue reading “pepperoni pizza eggrolls (my 100th post!)”

golden roasted cauliflower with tahini + fried onions

This has been my most popular post for a while now! I revised this recipe recently to work out any potential kinks with the tahini sauce seizing up (if this has happened to you, I’m sorry). Scroll down to see the revisions in bold type! -A

If you’re not from Arizona (or southern California, for that matter), then you probably haven’t been to a lovely little restaurant called Pita Jungle. For the uninitiated, Pita Jungle serves all manner of Mediterranean-inspired dishes from cilantro-jalapeno hummus to chicken shawarma sandwiches wrapped in lavosh bread. It’s a veggie-heavy menu, and they also have a lot of items that can be modified to vegan, which is great for people like my vegan sister. 2014-06-17 17.39.50 My favorite item on the menu happens to be vegan as well, even if I’m not. (Hell, I had a double-double from In N Out for dinner last night.) It’s the caramelized cauliflower with tahini sauce, and it’s wonderful. Since the first time I tried it, I’ve been scheming how to recreate it at home, and I’m proud to say I’ve finally done it. Continue reading “golden roasted cauliflower with tahini + fried onions”

cobb salad sandwiches with chicken, bacon + hard-boiled egg

20140428_175942

This sandwich was never supposed to happen.

My initial goal for this recipe was to make Cobb salad stacks à la the wedge salad stacks in Deb’s Smitten Kitchen cookbook. It’s a wonderful, smart way to make a wedge salad, and I thought I could employ the same techniques when making a Cobb salad. I found out a fun fact along the way: Romaine lettuce doesn’t really like being sliced into rounds. Since the leaves aren’t as large as ones on a head of iceberg lettuce, the rounds just sort of fell apart. So, that idea was scrapped.

You know what I like better than salads, anyway? Sandwiches.

Continue reading “cobb salad sandwiches with chicken, bacon + hard-boiled egg”

tortas de carnitas with pineapple + pickled onions

Have you all heard of Serious Eats? Well, one of the guys who runs the site is like a mix of all the best parts of Alton Brown and America’s Test Kitchen rolled into one. His name is Kenji and he has a recurring column called The Food Lab. Kenji knows a LOT about food and is always sharing with the readers of SE, some in-depth recipe for the best version of ________. Whatever it may be, Kenji will come up with an amazing recipe for it. Like this crispy pork carnitas, for one!

2014-02-23 12.15.30

Typically, carnitas (pork shoulder slow-cooked in a big pot of lard) is something I only order when I’m out at a restaurant. I didn’t think I had it in me to make it at home, until Kenji’s recipe came along and gave me hope. He really simplified the process! The goal with carnitas is to slowly break down the connective tissue in the pork shoulder, and the result is some of the most tender, tasty pork you’ll ever want to eat. Usually, the big pot of lard will freak some people out, me included. I didn’t want to have to buy lard (cause who buys lard?), and a larger cut of meat like a pork shoulder was sort of intimidating to me. With Kenji’s carnitas recipe in all it’s simplified glory, I had all the confidence in the world, and soon, I’d have the best pork I’d ever cook in my life.

Continue reading “tortas de carnitas with pineapple + pickled onions”

cauliflower + roasted garlic soup

Are there some recipes you just can’t get out of your head once you’ve made them? Dishes that you crave and can’t wait to make again? For me, this soup is one such recipe.

2014-01-18 10.43.35

I first made it this past Thanksgiving as a starter for the whole giant meal. I had been looking for a somewhat light soup that was also fall-weather appropriate. When I found this creamy cauliflower soup from Martha Stewart, I knew my search had ended! How could cauliflower combined with wine, cream, roasted garlic and parmesan cheese NOT be downright amazing?

Continue reading “cauliflower + roasted garlic soup”

mini taco salad cups!

I’m not usually much for sports.

I enjoy sports, but I don’t actively watch them on TV or in person. There is one exception, and that’s the Super Bowl! Sort of like those people who only go to church on holidays, the only time I watch football is the Super Bowl. And not even for the commercials which, I admit, can be pretty entertaining. I get genuinely excited about the game (even if I don’t understand all of it sometimes), and it’s a lot of fun! The thing I look forward to most about Super Bowl Sunday, though, is the food. Obviously!

2014-01-26 16.28.09

Continue reading “mini taco salad cups!”

salad jar shenanigans (happy blogiversary!)

Blogiversary

Today marks one year since my first blog post!! My one year blogiversary. Can you tell I’m excited?!
I’ve come a long way as a blogger in the last year. I started this site to share my recipes and all the fun stuff I create in my kitchen, and it’s been a total learning experience for sure. Of course, not everything came out perfect on the first try, and some recipes I’ve tested and then held back from the blog because I wasn’t fully satisfied with them. I’ve pushed the boundaries of my creativity and had a blast doing it. I hope you have enjoyed reading everything, and I hope you’ve been inspired by my creations! Here’s to another awesome year of pretty, tasty food. I have lots of ideas for 2014, and I hope you’ll enjoy what my brain dreams up.

It’s a new year, and in that relatively small window from January 1st through, say, February 13th, most people have at least a partial goal in mind to lose weight/eat healthier/get more active, or any combination of the three. Whether I verbalize it or not, I usually have some plan in mind to be a better version of myself as the year begins. Those aspirations are so easily shattered, especially once Valentine’s Day rolls around and every store is chock-full of heart-shaped, chocolate-coated everything. Basically, I have zero willpower when it comes to sugar.

Even if I can’t lose 20 pounds or run a marathon by the time this year is out, I can make little changes. Working in a bakery as I do, I’m not only constantly surrounded by sugary, fatty temptation (it’s mostly organic, so there’s that, anyhow), but I also don’t have a scheduled lunch break. I’m free to sit down and eat something whenever I have the time but more often than not, I simply don’t make the time. I feel much more productive in my work if I can just keep going straight through my 8 hour shift without much distraction. If I sit down and eat something for lunch, I have a hard time getting back to the same head space I was in before. It majorly derails my concentration, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Continue reading “salad jar shenanigans (happy blogiversary!)”

hello, 2014!

The beginning of a new year usually means people are throwing on their running shoes, buying gym memberships, and searching Pinterest for healthy new recipes. What am I doing? I’m daydreaming about how I can re-create a gorgeous cheesecake dessert that I ate during my NYE trip to Vegas. Clearly I’m not like most people. If you happen to fit into the former description rather … Continue reading hello, 2014!

perfect pumpkin lasagna

Let’s talk a little bit about pumpkin, shall we?

Pumpkin is good. It’s good in pie, it’s good in savory dishes, it’s good in soups, it’s even good in coffee as Starbucks would have you believe. Carving pumpkins is awesome, too.

20131019_175423

How about pumpkin in lasagna? No, that’s not a typo. “But wait,” you say, “lasagna is supposed to have meat and tomatoes and lots of cheese! How can you fit pumpkin into all that?” Well, dear reader, I encourage you to branch out from your usual ideas of lasagna, cause this stuff is damn good.

Continue reading “perfect pumpkin lasagna”

olive focaccia with tomatoes + onion

If there’s one thing I haven’t truly mastered in the kitchen, it’s homemade bread. I just haven’t made all that much of it. I can hold my own with pizza dough and no-knead bread, and I did make some damn good challah once, but that’s sort of the extent of my bread-making experience.

20130908_164748

Continue reading “olive focaccia with tomatoes + onion”