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”

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers

Isn’t Halloween one of the best parts of being a kid? It’s like that old Seinfeld bit, “What is this? What did you say? What did you say about giving out candy? Who’s giving out candy? Everyone that we know is just giving out candy?!”

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Going trick-or-treating as a kid was one of my favorite times of the year. My mom would help me and my sisters touch up our costumes after wearing them at school all day, and when the sun started to go down, we’d pile into our neighbor Eric’s mom’s van and go through our neighborhoods in search of glorious, free candy! Armed with plastic pumpkin buckets and green glow sticks around our necks, we’d get out of the van every so often and get candy from a few streets worth of houses before getting back in and repeating it down the next few streets. You dress up, and people give you free candy. What a time to be alive!

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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.

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potato salad with chives + crispy bacon

For the past 10,866 days of my life, there was one thing I’d never done. It’s something that lots of other people have done, and I can’t believe it took me so long to discover the joys of this particular activity.

Are you ready?

I ate a potato salad that didn’t include mayonnaise.

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a salad in san diego

It’s hard to believe that one week ago, I was getting on a plane to San Diego.

OceanAny time I’ve ever been to SD, it’s so hard to leave. I always end up going in the summertime, which of course makes it that much more difficult to leave the cool sea breezes in exchange for the never-ending drudgery of 100+ degree temps back in Phoenix.

While the weather was a nice bonus, the main goal of my trip was to visit with my dad. It had been over 2 years since I’d seen him last, and it was so great to catch up. He’s halfway through his chemo treatments and doing relatively well, all things considered! He’s had a few minor setbacks but so far it hasn’t been anything he can’t handle.

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tomato + ricotta tart

I’ve never had much luck with growing flowers or plants. Anything that requires regular watering or tending to, just isn’t for me. I think if plants could meow like cats do, then I might be reminded to water them on a regular basis. Instead, I notice them shriveled up and wilted after a week without water and I feel really guilty about it. I had moderate success this spring with a hanging basket of strawberries, but I’m convinced that was a fluke!

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