almond pavlova + new beginnings

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It’s a three day weekend! Hooray for Memorial Day, and the start of summer, and having something to celebrate. Will you have a slice of this yummy pavlova and celebrate with me?

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mini bread bowl quiche

Sometimes you discover an idea that you wish you’d thought of first. Chocolate chip cookie shot glasses? Guacamole grilled cheese sandwiches? Cake pops? All brilliant, but they’re sadly the brainchild (brainchildren?) of other people.

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And how about little single-serving quiche made in bread bowls? Not my idea, but I love them just the same! I saw them on some random blog back in the day. I adore the idea of miniature food and single serving snacks (for years, I’ve loved the Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook by Martha Stewart, mostly for the pictures inside!). Instead of serving a whole gigantic quiche to your breakfast or brunch guests, why not create individual versions stuffed with all their favorite quiche fillings, adorably crammed into little bread bowls? Tell ’em the idea was yours alone. I won’t be bummed if you take the credit — they’re just too cute!

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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!

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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.

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devoured phoenix 2014

It’s that time of year again! Time to crowd into the courtyard at the Phoenix Art Museum, nearly elbow to elbow with other valley dwellers, all in the name of some damn fine food and drink. Let’s go to Devoured!

Devoured

Tickets to this 2-day event sold out long ago. Luckily, I was able to snag a staff lanyard as an employee of Urban Cookies Bakeshop! So, I made my way to the museum with my foodie friend Dusty in tow, and we made a day out of stuffing ourselves with some of the Phoenix area’s finest eats.

Devoured Food + Wine Classic is held this year in the first weekend of March. This is Devoured’s 5th year, and boy is the event going strong! There’s no better place to try such a varied bunch of local restaurants all in one place. Last year was my first time attending Devoured, and it was my most favorite food-centric thing I did all year long. Could you say I was excited to attend this year? Oh yes.

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strawberry scones with cornmeal + black pepper

I can never resist the combo of strawberry and black pepper. I can’t remember where or when I first heard of pairing the two together, but it’s somehow genius! I’ve done it before with these popsicles, and I had always wanted to apply those flavors to a pastry of some kind. These scones seemed like a natural match!

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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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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!

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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.

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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!