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Zucchini, Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese Pizza

September 5, 2012

And after a wonderful 4 day (birthday) weekend, it’s back to my day job and back to my standard routine. The thought of no vacations in sight is a bit daunting (and making me exhausted already) so I decided I better start planning little stuff. You know, like Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks said:”Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.”

And for me- most of these little treats I give myself are in the form of delicious food or yoga or a new magazine. Today’s treat was fresh, homemade pizza. Work may have been extra stressful (with having to catch up on the days I took off) but knowing I was coming home to already prepared pizza dough (I made and froze it over the weekend) and lots of goat cheese gave me something to look forward to (in addition to my adorable puppy and goofy boyfriend, of course).

Plus, this recipe uses up more produce from my CSA box so I don’t even have to feel guilty about eating pizza since those veggies needed to be used up anyways!

Oh. And I got to rock the new Smoosh shirt I received for my birthday from Kristin and David. Have you met Smoosh yet? Oh man, you should (and can- here).


Zucchini, Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese Pizza

  • 1 pizza dough, store bought or homemade
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into thin ribbons (I used a peeler and it worked perfectly)
  • 1 small red pepper, sliced
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out pizza dough to your liking on a floured surface (I like mine thick but you could be a thin crust kind of person). I also recommend sprinkling cornmeal or polenta on the bottom to make a crispier crust. It’s absolutely delicious. Top your pizza in the following order (or just follow the pictures): tomato sauce, goat cheese, zucchini, and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook for ten to fifteen minutes or until the edges are crispy

Enjoy warm with a cold glass of your favorite beer (or wine or tea or kombucha or whatever your fix is)!


Breakfast Pizza Part 2: Blueberry Lime Pizza

June 21, 2012

And here we are…onto Part 2 of Breakfast Pizza! This one is a sweet pizza with layers of sweet crust, lime flavored cream cheese, and topped with blueberry syrup. Delicious? I’d say so!

There is something very elegant about mixing blueberry and lemon…it just feels like it would be the flavor you order at an expensive bakery or a wedding reception. But Blueberry lime? That is a whole different story! That screams “playful” to me and I immediately conger up images of laying on the beach in Key West or enjoying a waterfall picnic. Maybe that is just my skewed since of association but I’m stickin’ with it!

Blueberry Lime Breakfast Pizza

Sweet crust:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 cup oats
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

Blueberry sauce:

  • 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon potato starch (you can use cornstarch, as well)
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/8 cup warm water

Lime Cream Cheese Spread:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon honey


In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast and let sit for about five minutes. In a mixing bowl with a bread hook attachment, toss in the ingredients for the crust and mix on low. Once combined, turn the speed up to medium and mix for about 5 minutes or until a gooey dough forms. Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl; cover the bowl and let rise for about a half an hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out the dough and place in a 9 inch round pan. Bake for ten minutes or until golden brown.

To make the lemon cream cheese: cream together all the ingredients with a mixer until smooth. set aside while you make the blueberry sauce so the flavors can mend together.

And for the blueberry sauce: In a small saucepan, add blueberries, honey, and orange juice. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. In a small bowl, combine the warm water and starch together before adding it to the simmering mixture. Then combine all and simmer for a minute or two or until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

Once everything has cooled, assemble by spreading the cream cheese on top of the crust and then topping with the blueberry sauce.

Enjoy immediately with other yummy pizzas and  while relaxing on the porch!

Breakfast Pizza Part 1: Savory Breakfast Pizza

June 19, 2012

I made a breakfast pizza “buffet” last night for dinner. I use this term “buffet” lightly because really…it was only 2 pizzas (a savory and a sweet) but that is a lot of pizza for two of us! I had spotted the original concept for this recipe on Smitten Kitchen months ago and knew I had to try it…eggs on a pizza, who would have thought? But the idea of mixing two of the best things (breakfast AND pizza) was just too tempting not to play with.

I had to trick Wyatt with this dish. We are a pizza-loving house and he wants to go out for pizza at least once a week. Once a week! I’ve tried to rationalize it by loading the pizzas with mounds of veggies but he finally complained that I put too much on them and now just insists on cheese. Never will you meet a couple that fights so much over pizza toppings! So, of course, you can only imagine the look on his face on Sunday night when he asked what I was making and I replied with pizza dough. Let’s just say it started out as a big grin then quickly turned into a suspicious glare and ended in the question “What are you putting on top of this pizza?”. I told him “breakfast. Mostly eggs”. He must have assumed this was a joke because it was dropped and the look on his mortified face when I cracked three eggs over the pizza dough the next day was absolutely priceless.

Luckily, he was hungry enough to eat whatever I put in front of him and not only did he eat one piece with egg on it, but he ate three! It was just that good! Imagine a delicious pizza crust as the toast and then lathered between the toast and egg is a layer of gooey cheese and spices. How can that be bad?

I also made a delicious blueberry lime pizza but you will have to wait until tomorrow for that recipe!

Savory Breakfast Pizza

Simple pizza dough:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active yeast
  • 3 cups + 1 Tablespoon warm water

And for the toppings:

The night before: Whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast. Slowly add in the warm water and mix until just combined. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the mixture and knead until everything is incorporated (this shouldn’t take more than a minute or two). Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a rag. Let sit overnight so that the yeast can do its thing and double in size.

Once ready to make the pizza, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Divide the dough in half and either roll out two pizzas or save one of the halves for another night (you can wrap it up and stick it in the fridge for another day). Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface until it’s the desired thickness you’d like (it will rise a bit in the oven but not much). Set aside to let the dough rise slightly while you prepare the toppings. Also, note that a lot of people claim you should not use a rolling pin to stretch pizza dough because of the air pockets but I have never had problems with the dough not coming out delicious so do whatever you are comfortable with.

In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the fakin’ bacon and cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until it becomes crispy. Remove from heat and slice into little chunks.

Spread a tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the pizza dough and then layer on the mozzarella, tomatoes, bacon, and basil. Finally, crack the eggs and place in four different spots on the pizza. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, checking periodically. Depending on how you like your eggs is how long you will want to cook it- it you like the yolk running then take it out much soon than if you like them hard (just make sure the white parts are for sure cooked before removing!).

Serve with a strong bloody Mary or tequila sunrise.

Pizza Party: BBQ Tempeh Pizza vs. Creamy Purple Potato Pizza

April 25, 2012

I live about two blocks from my favorite house in Bloomington. This house is actually a HUGE old historic home that was converted into 4 businesses. The business in the basement is a coffee shop that is just too quirky not to love; I probably owe my degree to this place since it gave me a place to actually enjoy going to when I had to write awful papers for classes. Soma is filled with old TV-turned-fish tanks, mannequin’s dressed as 80′s drag queens, and map murals all over the walls. I find all of it’s charm to be very inspiring and often times write these blog posts there to get the juices flowing!

Anyways, in the “attic” is a very awesome consignment shop that has shelves and shelves of cute vintage clothes. And next to that is a stone shop that sells adorable jewelry and gems. Lastly, there is a burrito shop called ‘Laughing Planet’. This place only serves local meat and everything is organic. On top of these healthy ingredients, they always come up with the most creative combination for burritos. For example, for Thanksgiving they have a burrito that is filled with mashed potatoes, corn, vegan gravy, turkey or tempeh, green beans, and served with a cranberry salsa. Sounds weird…which it is but also surprisingly delicious.

Oh yeah, the point of this story? I was eating lunch there last week with Kelsey and we decided to try their special of the week which was a ‘grill out’ themed burrito. It was filled with sweet potatoes, kale, corn, bbq tofu, and black beans. Absolutely delicious. And this burrito was the first thing I thought of when I realized how much homemade bbq we had leftover from Kristin and I’s cooking adventure the other night.

I wanted to do something besides Mexican since we just made tacos the night before so I decided to try to turn it into a pizza! This, for some reason, led to Wyatt wanting to compete with my pizza idea and make it into a competition.  So off we went to Bloomingfoods and he managed to snatch up some beautiful purple potatoes and locally made Alfredo sauce for his pie.

Both the pizzas turned out delicious. I have to give Wyatt some credit for coming up with such a delicious recipe on a whim (and one that definitely photographed better). Neither of us would budge on which pizza was better so you guys will just have to whip these pizzas up and decide for yourselves!

Pizza Dough

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups of flour
  • corn meal, for dusting

In a mixer with a dough hook (or a large mixing bowl if you don’t have a mixer), combine the yeast, sugar, and water and let sit for 10 minutes (this gives the yeast time to start reacting).

Next, add in the salt and olive oil. Turn the mixer in low and start adding the flour a half a cup at a time (or use your hands to mix in the flour). Start with 3 and a half cups of flour but add more if the dough is still too sticky that it’s not turning into a ball. Mix on high for five minutes.

Place in a oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place for about an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dust your surface with cornmeal and use a rolling pin to roll out two pizza crusts with this dough. Place on an oiled cooking sheet and set aside while you prepare the toppings

BBQ Tempeh Pizza

  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce
  • 4 oz tempeh, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup kale, chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 cup Gouda, shredded

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium. Add the tempeh and saute for about five minutes. Mix in 1/4 cup of bbq sauce and cook for about a minute. Remove from heat.

Bring a large pot to a boil. Boil the sweet potato chunks for about five minutes or until they become a little soft (cooking time will depend on how big or little you made the chunks – make sure you don’t let them get mushy though!).

Lather the rest of the bbq sauce on the pizza. Top with the tempeh, kale, frozen corn, sweet potato, and gouda. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has browned.

Creamy Potato Pizza

  • 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
  • 3 ounces of Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried Dill
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Dash of fresh pepper

Lather Alfredo sauce on top of dough. Then top pizza with everything else and stick in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese has browned.

Chocolate Pizzas

December 24, 2011

These pizzas have it all: gooey marshmallows, salty peanuts, sweet chocolate, and juicy cherries. My mother picked this recipe up early in her adulthood (probably around the age I am at now!) and has been making these every Christmas since…which means I could not resist sharing this recipe since I’ve been eating these pizzas every Christmas since I could ever remember.  I use to give my teachers them when I was younger and am still to this day impressed with how wonderful of a gift they make! All you have to do is wrap them in some clear cellophane and pop a bow on top!

We traditionally make these at Christmas because of the red and green on them but feel free to make these anytime of the year and subsitute the cherries for other color candies or nuts. Also, this recipe is great for potlucks or as something to bring to a party since they are easy to divide into slices.

So as you get ready for the Christmas chaos tomorrow, spend this low key Christmas eve poppin’ that festive Frank Sinatra vinyl in the player, sing to your kitty, and whip these pizzas up while dancing in the kitchen.

Chocolate Pizzas

Serving Size: 3 pizzas

  •  1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 pound white almond bark
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup rice crispy treats
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • dozen red maraschino cherries, halved
  • 6 green maraschino cherries, quartered
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 3 disposable 12 oz pie/pizza tins

Combine the chocolate chips and 14 ounces of the almond bark (save the other 2 ounces to drizzle on top later) in a large bowl and melt by cooking in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes (stirring it every 30 seconds). Stir the marshmallows, rice crispy treats, and peanuts into the melted chocolate mixture.

Divide mixture evenly between the 3 GREASED pie pans and spread evenly. Top with the “pepperoni” cherries and “green pepper” cherries. Sprinkle the three pizzas with the shredded “mozzarella” coconut.

Melt the other two ounces of almond bark with 1 teaspoon of oil in the microwave for about one minute (checking every 30 seconds). Drizzle on top of the pies and then stick them in the fridge (or outside because it’s Christmas and it’s cold out there!) for an hour or until the chocolate hardens.

Slice like a pizza and devour all three pizzas. Or give away one for a gift and munch down on the other two.

Margherita Pizza

September 16, 2011

As I’ve mentioned 100 billion times previously, the tomatoes at the farmer’s market right now are spectacular and this is by far one of my favorite pizza recipes (which works out great since it’s so simple!). This recipe is also a great way to show off the beautiful color and size of these heirlooms. Mmmmmm.

Yup.  This recipe is so simple that I’m going to keep this whole post simple and not ramble. I will say that you should never bother buying delivery (OR FROZEN-EWWW) ever again because this is faster, cheaper, and soooo much better.

  • 2 colorful and big heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 pizza dough (you could make it by hand but we used Trader Joe’s herb pizza crust and it was scrumptious)
  • 1 package of miniature fresh mozzarella balls
  • 3 cloves garlic, mined
  • olive oil
  • handful of fresh basil, torn into small chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pizza dough and place on a oiled baking sheet.

Spread olive oil on the first layer instead of pizza sauce. Next top with fresh garlic, mozzarella, tomato pieces, and the basil.

Cook for 12 to 15 minutes.

Damn. That’s it. Eat quickly before the roommates get it. Or share with your dog. Whichever.

Oh and please enjoy with yummy, cold beer.

Preferably this one:

Phyllo Veggie Pockets

March 2, 2015


I don’t mean to alienate anyone in the southern hemisphere right now but I. have. cabin. fever. I grew up  in a town right along Lake Michigan and we would get the craziest lake effect snow. When all the nearby towns would get hit with 2 or 3 inches, we would get buried in 2 to 3 feet. As a little kid, it was great; they’d cancel school (and work), our electricity would go out so we’d have to sleep next to the fireplace in our sleeping bags (it felt like camping – which I adored so much as a kid), and we’d get to ride snowmobiles to the gas station for grilled cheese supplies. I have fond memories of being locked in the house with my family and the adventures that would occur due to the wild storms we’d get.

I don’t live near Lake Michigan anymore; now I live in a landlocked town that gets enough snow to keep you away from the outdoors but not enough to ever have the town shut down. Work continues regardless of the pile up of white fluff outside our doorsteps. The wind chill is too intense to do anything after working hours but curl up with my favorite pup and blanket. This cycle has continued for two months now. And although I thought my wildest dreams consisted of eating pizza every night while snuggling with my favorite pup, I’m starting to get that crazy itch. The itch that I need to feel the sun’s warmth on my face and run around without 4 layers of clothing on.


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We got hit with another snow storm yesterday so I was forced to cook with only ingredients found in the kitchen. These phyllo pockets were the result of pantry ingredients so I want to keep the recipe open-ended so you too can find yourself with everything on hand to whip this up. Don’t have phyllo dough? Swap it for puff pastry! Use whatever veggies you have on hand that will roast well together. Mix in curry powder instead of cumin or chickpeas instead of feta. Get creative – it’s fun and there is a good chance it’ll turn out delicious (as long as you pick ingredients that you like).

I guess you could say this recipe is for all of us that outgrew our snow pants. I can’t spend all day frolicking in the snow anymore because…well… I get cold and building snow forts doesn’t entertain me for hours like it once did. Instead, I have to turn to inside activities like getting creative in the kitchen and figuring out how to use all these veggies up before they go bad (exciting! I know!).

Working with phyllo dough can be a bit intimidating as it is a finicky thing. Make sure that you are keeping the sheets you aren’t directly working with moist under a slightly damp towel. Also, once you’ve taken them out of the package, you’ll want to work quickly to ensure they don’t dry out or else they will stick together.

Continue Reading…

Multi-Grain Knots 2 Ways: Parsley-Garlic & Cinnamon-Whiskey Sugar

February 22, 2015


Remember when I used to post about salads and juices and the benefits of food healing? Well those topics feel miles away as this Midwest February demands carbs, alcohol, and anything else that is going to fatten me up and keep me warm. Honestly, if I wasn’t so set on turning these into garlic knots and sweet rolls then the bread would have just been fantastic on it’s own; I sometimes struggle with my loaves coming out dense  but these were light (despite using whole wheat flour!) with a wonderful crunch on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside.

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As you may notice, this post is crowded with photos; I’m trying out something new today. Instead of photoshopping my photos side by side (since my site doesn’t allow me to put photos next to each other – grrrr), I just made them all HUGE! The only problem with that is that there are now SO many of them which makes me think that I probably spend way too much time editing photos to begin with and I could have just shown you a finished product shot and been done with this post five hours ago. Ugh, unfortunately that is not how I work – my words aren’t usually that inspiring (hey, I know where my strengths and weaknesses are) so I strive to lead with gorgeous photos. Anyhow, I’m sorry if it’s crowded – I’ve already spent all afternoon editing photos so I’ll keep it minimal with the words to try and tone down the scrolling. Maybe we’ll end up being really into it this way and it will feel less crowded with time? Or maybe I’ll go back to the side-by-side photoshop edited photos that look so uninspiring when pinned and awkward when linked to on Facebook. Who knows – we’ll see.

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Pomegranate Cranberry Rum Punch With Candied Rosemary

November 16, 2014


I know I know – I disappear for a whole month and when I come back, I only have a simple drink recipe to give you? I can explain. Our oven was broken – for six weeks. We rent our home so it wasn’t as simple as dipping into our saving to invest in a new one; instead, it was a constant battle of calling and emailing our rental company, them ordering parts, installing those parts (3 different times), and it still coming out broken. It was frustrating and I may have had a few meltdowns that made me disgusted with even bothering with the kitchen for a few weeks. Yes, I could have used the stove-top to whip you something delicious but it was the frustration of the whole thing that really unnerved me every time I walked into the kitchen and the annoyance took all my creative drive right out of me. So yeah – I was feeling negative the last few weeks and really didn’t want to bring you into it..I am hoping you understand. After a particularly nasty call I made when we were told it was fixed (for the second time) and I whipped up a big batch of cake batter only to find that the oven stopped halfway through the baking process, Wyatt snuck out of the house and returned with a toaster oven the size of our real oven. I am now able to bake you cakes, pizzas, breads, and so much more in this giant toaster oven so watch out – there will be lots more recipes very soon!


Until then, I bring you a cocktail recipe! Thanksgiving is approaching fast and we are switching up the tradition this year. In years past, Thanksgiving prep was actually great practice for the freelance world; I would spend weeks researching recipes by scanning through magazines, Pinterest boards, and the indexes of my favorite blogs. I’d make lists of 30 to 40 recipes that would then be dwindled down to 10 or so by my stepdad and ma. We would then spend two solid days cooking (these are now shoot days in my freelance life) and prepping the food. It would all end up with a huge feast that we’d present to the whole family. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case this year due to my stepfather’s passing two months ago and my mother not ready to carry out that tradition just yet.

Instead, I will be heading up the the northern part of Wisconsin (brrrrrrrr) to celebrate with Wyatt’s family in their cabin. I am excited to start this new tradition with Wyatt’s family but am also bummed I won’t be taking control of the food this year. Wisconsin may only be 2 states away but the drive is 13 hours and I can’t imagine that a cake or pie will fair well in the back seat with Tuko.

So alas, I am throwing in the towel and only bringing ingredients for a cocktail recipe instead. Besides the obvious point that these ingredients will travel well and it’ll be easy to prepare, I am hoping to bring a bit of my family’s tradition with me to Wyatt’s event. It is not that this particular cocktail is an old family recipe but that my family has always celebrated with alcohol. Both sides of my family are German and we all tend to be heavy and joyful drinkers; I realize some families have negative views of drinking as it leads to dramatic arguments and un-controllable negative habits but not with my family. My family works hard and we also play hard; my mother and I have at least one ‘mother-daughter pool day’ a year in the summer months that consist of drinking sangria and lounging by the family pool, my grandparent’s drank a Manhatten together every evening as they talked about their days for over 50 years, my father pulls out the bottle of Jack whenever his old college buddies come into town and they drink rum and cokes while reminiscing about their old prank days, and my mother and I always get a boot full of glühwein during the holiday season when we go up to Chicago for Christmas shopping.  Similar to food, it’s nice to be able to take a sip of a certain cocktail and have my mind transported to a moment in time that I had shared with loved ones.


Continue Reading…

Fresh Squeezed Heirloom Harissa Bloody Mary

August 25, 2014


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Today I’ve paired up with the fine folks over at Williams-Sonoma to share my favorite Bloody Mary recipe with all of you!

Hmmm…end of August. I almost went all season without posting a tomato recipe which would basically make me the worst food blogger on the interwebz. Some people look forward to tomato season for the margerita pizzas and others for the buscetta but me? I look forward to tomato season for the fresh squeezed tomato juice and the killer Bloody Mary’s. I’m not much of a hostess (“we have water and uh…we have some open bottles of tequila and whiskey”) but I never skimp on the Bloody Mary’s during tomato season.

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Most drinks you can tolerate if they are watered down or a little off but not Bloody Marys. Bloody Marys are such an unusual concoction to begin with that you really need to make sure it’s damn good or else it could easily be inedible. I personally think the secret is to have that kick – sriracha is my spice of choice usually but I ran into a huge deal on hot peppers at the market yesterday so harissa felt like a great replacement to experiment with.

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Fresh Spinach Pasta with Roasted Carrot Almond Pesto

January 13, 2014



It’s 13 days into the new year – are you still kicking strong with your new years resolutions? So far 2014 has not just been about being conscious of what I am eating but why I am eating it. Why is it so important to get that green smoothie in every morning? How is my body benefiting from consuming greens, carrots, greek yogurt, and honey? I recently picked up The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murry and can’t seem to put it down. It’s a hefty thing ranking in at a whopping 900 pages (Hey… it does warn you with the word ‘Encyclopedia’ in the title and is often times used as a textbook in holistic nutrition courses) but is brimming with wonderful food insight on every page. The bulk of the book is split up by specific foods and tells you the history, health benefits, research conducted on that food, and potential harmful effects of pretty much any whole food you can think of (spices, fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, etc).




All this new found knowledge has gotten me really excited about eating whole foods. After a breakfast of avocado toast and blueberry oatmeal, I notice myself immediately running to the book to find out the benefits of avocados, oats, blueberries, maple syrup, and almonds (from the homemade almond milk). And then again after lunch. And after my afternoon snack. And so on.




So, as you probably expected, I can’t wait to share all the wonderful benefits of this veggie-centric dish with you (but please remember, I am not a certified health expert of any sorts and all insight shared here is to merely share a few of the engaging health benefits outlined in Healing Foods).

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Caramelized Cranberry & Brie Pull-Apart Bread

November 12, 2013



Are you guys ready to talk about Thanksgiving? Excellent because it’s been on my mind a whole bunch lately and I am wearing my excitement on my sleeve. Holidays weren’t something I truly appreciated until I moved away and spent months upon months away from my family (it also helps that, in the more recent years, I’ve become obsessed with food as well). These days, it seems like I get more and more excited about the holidays sooner and sooner. Hell, I was ready to start talking about stuffing at the end of September!



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Homemade Pumpkin Pasta with Goat Cheese Whip & Browned Butter Sage

September 27, 2013


You know, I was so proud of myself for thinking about using that can of pumpkin before October rolled around. I was like ‘damn, I’m going to beat the pumpkin craze this year for sure!’ and then I waited 3 days to post this. And now this recipe is in the dead middle of all the pumpkin blondies and nutmeg dutch babies. Oh well. This was my attempt to create a ‘savory’ dish with the pumpkin instead of the sugar overload that October tends to bring (helloooo Halloween!).



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Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

June 10, 2013

I grew up in a town where ‘world cuisine’ meant heading to a chinese buffet or picking up a deep dish pizza. It wasn’t until I moved to Bloomington that I discovered the wonderful world of Falafel and Coconut Curry and Samosas and Naan and Pad Thai. Fast forward five years later and I can’t imagine living my life without these foods. Ethnic foods bring a world (literally) of variety into a vegetarian diet. I couldn’t imagine wanting to whip up anything else besides a big bowl of Curry or Samosa Patties on a rainy day.

These baked sweet potato falafels are a fun twist on the traditional deep fried chickpea falafel. Full of protein and vitamin B6, these little patties will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied with out all the grease. They also reheat wonderfully for a great left-over lunch.

Note that you can also bake or boil the sweet potatoes in the recipe below to reach a desired ‘mashed’ consistency. I chose steaming because it’s supposed to retain the most nutrients out of any of the cooking methods. ALSO, you can easily make this recipe vegan by omitting the feta topping and choosing a vegan sauce to put on the patties (how about this vegan avocado cilantro dressing?)




Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Cilantro Yogurt

  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • olive oil
  • salt/pepper


Cilantro sauce:

  • 1/2 cup chobani plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt/pepper


Delicious additions:

  • Pita bread
  • cucumber, diced
  • tomato, diced
  • Feta, crumbled
  • shallot, chopped
  • lettuce
  • sriracha

To make the sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until combined. Let set in the fridge for at least a half an hour after mixing (this will help the flavors meld together).

For the patties: Place diced sweet potatoes in a steamer basket and transfer basket to a pot. Fill the pot with about an inch of water and cover with a lid. Let steam for 10-15 minutes (depending on how big you diced the potatoes). Remove the steamer and let cool slightly

Mash the sweet potatoes with the cumin, garlic, lemon, chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until the batter has firmed up (this will help form the patties better).

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Using floured hands, shape the batter into 2 inch circle patties that are about a 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with the rest of the batter and place all patties on the greased cooking sheet. Brush the tops with olive oil and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the tops begin to brown.

Serve warm inside warmed up pitas with cilantro yogurt sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, shallots, and any other produce that sounds refreshing.




French Onion Soup [Revisited]

May 15, 2013


Soup?! Really? But it’s SPRING. Soup season is over. Or so I thought. This past rainy and chilly Saturday sparked my desire for one last soup for the season. My stepfather and Ma had dropped off a 10 pound bag of onions from Shriners earlier in the week week. TEN pounds. Do you know how many onions that is for two people? A lot. I racked my brain trying to think of recipes that used more than 1 onion in it…stuffed onions with couscous and goat cheese? Or Pickled onions with beets and coriander? And then Wyatt suggested onion soup. Of course!

I’ve only made quick french onion soup but the rain challenged me to spend the afternoon in the kitchen caramelizing the onions. And don’t get me wrong – the quick method is delicious but it’s not even comparable to traditional french onion soup. This method leaves you with melt-in-your mouth, sweet slices of onion amaziness. I wish I had caramelized all ten pounds of onions to throw onto of everything (pizza, pasta, salads, …ice cream?).

Try this method of making french onion the next time you are stuck inside because of the weather or come home after a long day and need some serious cooking therapy.



French Onion Soup [Revisited]

  • 7 cups sliced onions
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 springs of fresh thyme
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (I used homemade)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • fresh baguette, cut into 1 inch thick pieces
  • 1 cup grated Swiss or gruyere (or a combination of the two)
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste


Melt the butter and oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepans. Add the sliced onion and toss until coated with butter / oil. Cover, lower heat to low, and let cook for 15 minutes untouched (go play with your puppy, eat some almond butter, read a magazine, etc).

Uncover, turn the heat back up to medium-low and add in the sugar and a dash of salt. Cook for about an hour and stir frequently. Cook until the onions have become a deep brown and are irrisistable sweet.

Add the flour and cook for a minute. Next, add in the wine, broth, and thyme springs. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and use a spoon to scoop out the thyme stems.

Transfer soup into your desired amount of  ovenproof soup bowls. Top each with a  thick slice of baguette and grated cheese. Stick under the broiler until the cheese has melted and is just started to brown.




Cornbread Waffles with Roasted Vegetables & Chimichurri Ramps

May 1, 2013

My daily posts have turned more into weekly posts as thing have become a bit hectic around here. There are so many things I’ve wanted to share without over sharing on a food blog…which then usually just turn into not sharing them at all. So, instead, I’m just going to give off a short list of excuses that have been both tearing me from this blog and keeping me occupied in my “real” life:

1. I got a new day job / promotion. I was promoted from indie-rock-princess to indie-rock-queen. Hah, no. But I did go from a glorified secretary to being in charge of over 200 of our music client accounts. So, needless to say, I’ve been working 9+ hours a day trying to figure out everything that goes along with this new job.

2. It’s spring! And I’ve been putting most of my free time energy into prepping my garden. What good is a food blogger who can’t even grow her own produce to write recipes with?

3. My grandma passed away. I realize that this is a normal occurrence for people over the age of 80 but that does not make it any less unsettling. I don’t care how old you are – it’s very upsetting to watch a wonderful person have everything ripped away from them.

4. My boyfriend is obsessed with the X-Files. And not only is he obsessed but he is determined to watch EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. So starting at season one in Februaray, he has constantly had that on the TV…which has been…very distracting. Do you know how many episodes of the X-Files there are? HUNDREDS. There are NINE seasons. Do you realize how many hours have been wasting getting sucked in by that when I could have been cleaning my stove-top or seasoning my cast iron or making butterscotch cookies?!

5. Remember that Lemon Thyme Butter I posted about last week? OH MY! I’ve discovered that it’s pretty much amazing on everything. Melt it over pasta or spaetzle and thank me later. You’re welcome.

Okay, enough about me. Let’s talk about YOU! I have an ice cream recipe for YOU. Yup, that is right – homemade ice cream. And it’s filled with the most delicious…well I can’t tell you. But it’s sweet and savory and creamy and Middle Eastern. And it’s going to be posted on VV soon…how soon? I can’t tell you that either (can’t ruin the fun now!) – you’ll just have to check back.



Now back to ramps. Yes, that is right. I am posting ANOTHER ramps recipes. Two in a row, really? Well if we compare it to how many pizza or tofu recipes I’ve posted then it’s really not that bad. Ramps are new to me…and I’m pretty obsessed. I know they are going to start disappearing from the Farmer’s Market just as quickly as they appeared. This means, I’ve been cooking them up like crazy while I can!



Cornbread Waffles with Roasted Veggies & Chimichurri Ramps

Makes 2 generous servings

Cheddar Cornbread Waffles:

  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cups milk
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Roasted Vegetables:

  • An assortment of your favorite vegetables to roast (I used 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, 1 diced onion, 1/2 diced small sweet potato, 2 chopped carrots)
  • 2 springs of fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt/Pepper


  • 1 bunch of ramps (about 10 stalks)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 red pepper flakes
  • dash of pepper


To roast the vegetables: Preheat oven to 400 and toss the veggies with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Lay in a even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened and just started to brown.

To make the chimichurri: Rinse the ramps and cut off the roots and any rough tips.  Slice into big chunks. Blend all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) until a smooth paste forms.

To make the waffles: Preheat your waffle maker. Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yokes, milk, and butter. Fold the dried ingredients into the liquid until incorporated. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff but not dry peaks form. Fold the egg whites and grated cheese into the batter.

Ladle 1/2 cup (more or less depending on how big your waffle maker is) of the batter onto your preheated waffle iron and cook according to manufacture’s instructions (mine usually takes around 3 minutes).

Pile high with roasted veggies and chimichurri.



Desserts / Sweets/ Treats

April 5, 2013

Homemade Raw Vegan Fudgsicles
Poached Plums With Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt & Dulce de Leche
Mini Strawberry Chocolate Tart with Whipped Goat Cheese & Basil Micro Greens
Strawberry Rhubarb with Ginger Crumb Pie
Baklava Ice Cream
Dark Chocolate Chunk Angel Food Cupcakes with Brandied Strawberries
Berry Brioche Muffins
Gluten Free Caramel Pecan Tart with Chocolate Genache & Mascarpone Drizzle
Caramelized Banana Scones with Whiskey Chocolate Drizzle
Hazelnut Shortbread with Mascarpone
Mexican Wedding Pumpkin Cookies
Sweet Berry Tart
Giant Chocolate Cookie Cake
Hazelnut shortbread with Dark Chocolate Drizzle
Salted Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter Bites
Honey Cinnamon Almond Butter
Baked Blueberry Lemon Donuts
Butterfinger Bites
Gingerbread Biscotti
Candied Orange Peels
Festive Rum Balls
Peppermint Dipped Brown Butter Shortbread
Vegan Boozy Stout Brownies
Dark Chocolate Espresso Raspberry Scones
Chai Latte Pancakes
Homemade Caramel Corn
Spiced Bread Pudding
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Persimmon Pudding
Fall Apple Crisp
Pumpkin Granola
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Baked Chocolate Cake Donuts
Butterscotch Roll Up Cake
Blueberry & Peach Cobblers
Blueberry Lime Pizza
Berry Mango Yogurt Popsicles
Bakery Style Berry Muffins
Mixed Berry Grunts
PB & J Pie
Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Guinness Chocolate Cake
Marbled Parfait with Goat Cheese Filling
Chocolate Surprise Cookies
Chocolate Pizzas
Peanut Butter Potato Chip Clusters
Gingerbread Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Stout Beer Cupcakes
Mini Strawberry & Cream Cheese Danishes
Sweet Almond Bread

Main / Entress

April 5, 2013

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
Cornbread Waffles with Roasted Vegetables & Chimichurri Ramps
Sweet Potato Biscuits with Peppered Sage Gravy
Stuffed Brunch Biscuits
Eggplant Tacos with Peach Salsa
Spicy Orange Tofu
Butternut Squash Galette with Sage & Cheddar
Stuffed Peppers with Goat Cheese & Corn
Spaetzle with Swiss Cheese & Shallots
Lentil Meatball Subs
Coconut Curried Carrot Soup with Spiced Chickpeas
Butternut Squash Mac N’ Cheese With Gingersnap Crust
Sweet Potato & Mascarpone Ravioli with Caramelized Onions
Mini Winter Fritattas with Sweet Potato, Onion, & Parmesan
Pear Brie & Spicy Brown Mustard Grilled Cheese on Pumpernickel
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
Black Bean & Wheatberry Chili
Brie, Fig, Apple, & Arugula Sandwich
Stuffed Peppers with Goat Cheese & Corn
Fall Curry
Eggplant Involtini
Veggie Fritters with Tomato Corn Relish
Caprese Breakfast Sandwich
Zucchini Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Pizza
Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables
Vegan Macaroni & Cheese
Zucchini Fritters with Dill Dipping Sauce
Corn & Feta Empanadas
Black Bean & Goat Cheese Quasadilla
Polenta & Veggie Lasagna
Southwestern Veggie Sliders with Avocado Mayo
Pesto Linguine with Spinach, Edamamae, & Pecans
Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps
Veggie Hoagies
Rustic Cakes with Red Wine Onion Relish
Veggie Sloppy Joes
Nacho Night / Buffet Style
BBQ Tempeh Pizza
Creamy Purple Potato Pizza
Pesto Parmesan Rovioli
Sweet Potato & Asparagus Curry
Spring Leeks & Zucchini Galette
Open Faced Grilled Cheese
Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Pierogies with Roasted Tomatoes & Artichokes
Creole Jambalaya
Homemade Pasta with Zucchini and Carrot Ribbons
Artichoke and Red Lentil Pasta Sauce
Sandwich Round Up
Veggie Tofu Pot Pie
Homemade Pierogies
Black Bean Chili

Breakfast / Brunch

April 5, 2013

Maple Almond GORP /// The Adventure’s Food
Berry Brioche Muffins
Caramelized Banana Scones with Whiskey Chocolate Drizzle
Sweet Potato Biscuits with Peppered Sage Gravy
‘Detox Affair’ Juice
Stuffed Brunch Biscuits
Chocolate Chai
Honey Cinnamon Almond Butter
Honey Bee Chai (Vanilla + Honey)
Baked Blueberry Lemon Donuts
Cinnamon Quinoa Granola
Breakfast Bowl with Mascarpone
Breakfast Sandwich with Mascarpone & fresh fruit
Mini Winter Fritattas with Sweet Potato, Onion, & Parmesan
Bannock Bread
Pesto Tofu Scramble & Roasted Tomatoes
Apple Latkes
Pumpkin Granola
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Caprese Breakfast Sandwich
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Feta Zucchini Muffins
Stuffed French Toast
Roasted Tomato & Feta Polenta
Sky High Biscuits & Gravy
Berry Mango Yogurt Popsicles
Buttermilk Pancakes
Gravy Breakfast Sandwich
Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread
Everything But the Kitchen Sink Quiche
Bakery Style Berry Muffins
Mini Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins
Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Marbled Parfait with Goat Cheese Filling
Orange Waffles Stopped with Veggie Scramble and Peppered Gravy
Shapilicious Eggs
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Whiskey Glazed Pecans
Cranberry Goat Cheese Breakfast Bake
Mini Strawberry & Cream Cheese Danishes
Mushroom Gravy
Sweet Almond Bread
Baked Chocolate Cake Donuts
Chai Latte Pancakes
Muesli Bread
Breakfast Pizza
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Kale, Tomato, & Garlic Breadsticks

March 19, 2013

Kale, Tomato, and Garlic Breadsticks

These breadsticks are a product of a frustrating juicer clean up experience. And by frustrating I mean the twenty minutes I spent scrubbing it’s inside parts trying to get green stains out. And then the other twenty minutes I spent scrubbing the kitchen counter to remove the orange carrot stains. And then finally the last ten minutes which consisted of scorching my hands with hot water trying to get all the last bits of color off of my own hands. Through this process I kept thinking to myself ‘Never again will I wait until my lunch break to clean up my morning juice’ which then was followed by thoughts of ‘these stains are crazy. Does it stain the inside of my stomach like this?’ and then ‘I bet this is how they make that fun colored pasta’ and finally ‘wait..I bet I could make fun colored doughs!’

And there you have it. The next day I set out of make dye juices out of carrots, kale, and beets. I didn’t end up following through the the beet one though…I know it would have made the most beautiful color dough but I couldn’t do it. I can not stand the smell of beets (let alone the taste) and knew the sticks would go straight to the trash if I even attempted to try it. And then my hands would smell like beets. And my beet stained hands would be reminders of the horrible earthy smell [sorry, beet lovers. I can not relate to you on this one]. I also ended up wanting a deeper red than the carrot juice gave so I ended up using tomato paste which worked wonders. And lastly, I played around with all sorts of toppings – poppy seed, garlic, parmesan, sesame seeds, and fresh herbs. The results were an array of fun colored breadsticks all with individual flavor profiles. No two sticks the same…which made it challenging to not want to sample them all.



All in all – my favorites were the kale poppy seed, tomato paremsan, and garlic thyme ones. These would make pretty party appetizers or go along perfectly with pizza. In fact, the basic dough recipe is my favorite pizza dough so you could totally just double that part and use half the dough for pizza. Just saying – I’ll take any excuse to eat pizza.

Make these thicker if you like your breadsticks doughy and soft. I personally was going for a cracker feel so I made them thin and let them sit out for a few hours.


Kale Tomato Garlic Breadsticks


Garlic, Tomato, & Kale Breadsticks

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3+ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • a bunch of kale
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • assortment of toppings (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, parmesan, garlic, herbs, spices, etc)

Whisk together the yeast, 1 Tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water and let stand for ten minutes or until the yeast has become a thick foam.

Stir together 1 1/2 cups of flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and the rest of the water (3/4 cup) and stir until smooth. Add another half a cup of flour and mix. If the dough is sticking to your hands then it’s too moist so add a bit more flour and if it’s too dry then add a bit more water (try to keep on the stickier side since you’ll be adding a bit more flour as you knead).

Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let dough rise for an hour or until it’s doubled.

While it’s raising, press washed kale through a juicer to create a few tablespoons of juice.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and keep the two parts you aren’t working with covered in the bowl (this will help the dough from drying out).

On a floured surface, fold in the minced garlic to the first part of the dough. Knead the dough until garlic is speckled throughout. Roll the dough into a 9×13 rectagle and use a cookie cutter to cut 5 long strips. Pick up a strip, twist it, and transfer to a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the strips.


On a very floured surface (this is important because we are going to be adding more liquid to the dough which will make the dough sticky and will most likely need to be adding more flour), place another 1/3 of the dough and pour 1 tablespoon of kale juice over it. Start folding the dough into itself and add more kale juice (1 tablespoon at a time) until the dough is at your desired color consistency. Make sure to add more flour if the dough starts to get too sticky.

Roll out the dough into a 13×9 rectangle and cut into 5 strips with a cookie cutter. Twist each strip by hand and transfer to your greased baking sheet.

Lastly, knead 1 tablespoon at a time of the tomato paste into the rest of the dough. Knead until the color is evenly distributed (adding more paste if you want a darker color) and roll out into a 13×9 strip. Cut into 5 pieces, twist each piece by hand, and transfer to a greased baking sheet (you may need to start a second sheet at this point).


Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top of the sticks and top with desired toppings. Cook for 20 minutes or until golden at the top.

Serve warm or let sit overnight for a cracker-like texture.
Song Pairing:

Basics: Homemade Tomato Sauce

March 7, 2013




I’m not going to lie to you. It’s the last leg of winter and I am feeling as uninspired by food as is heavenly possible. I’m over root vegetables. And citrus cakes. And winter squash curry. At first, I was pretty bummed out by this realization. But in retrospect – it happens and it’s a good learning experience to look for inspiration in more than just pretty produce and cleverly flavored recipe combinations.

So, I am taking this lull as an opportunity to hone in on basics in the kitchen. If you’ve ever owned a food blog then you’ve probably noticed that there are certain standards that are expected of you. You’ve probably been at a gathering or in a kitchen with someone while they were cooking and everyone turned to you for advice. “Oh! Shelly owns a food blog – ask her!”. I mean, yes, I have an unhealthy obsession with food but that does not make me the best cook in the kitchen. Heck. The whole reason I started this blog was to push me to become a better cook.

Sometimes the goals off VV can get lost in the trends of fun flavor pairings and exotic ingredients. So, as mentioned, this is my opportunity to hone in on basics ranging from nut butter to standardizing a soup recipe to making pasta sauce. The Kitchn recently posted a few articles about recipes you should know by heart. Do you have a basic pizza dough recipe you always turn to? Or minestrone recipe? Or a mindless recipe work that you can just whip up without having to read through 3 pages full of instructions? Knowing a few recipes and basic kitchen skills will help you to be confident next time everyone turns to you in the kitchen.

Often times we get so used to the convenience of buying things at the store that we forget about how simple they really are. I was reminded of this when making vegetable stock and again with this pasta sauce. Did you know you can make your own pasta sauce in about the same amount of time it will take to boil that big pot of water and cook your pasta? Crazy! And you can probably make it with ingredients right from your pantry.

So, instead of tackling that daunting step-by-step on how to make your next elaborate meal…why don’t you take an evening to perfect your own tomato sauce recipe that can be replicated over and over again?



[Oh and side note. I’ve also been taking this time to do a little clean up around VV. I’ve put some energy into giving VV’s Facebook Page a small makeover and started re-doing my ‘Recipe’ page [which is a loooong ongoing process]. If your into random recipe suggestions, links to weird / funny / encouraging articles, and the occasional puppy pic – then head on over to Facebook and like VV. Okay, that was my oooonly and last plug-in for the day. But…to be fair, I don’t have any annoying advertisements flashing all over my pages so a quick suggestion won’t ruin it. Maybe? Hopefully? Please, don’t leave!.]

Basic Tomato Sauce

  •  1 16 ounce can of whole tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme – dried or fresh)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • red wine , optional




Step one: Chop and prepare your veggies / herbs.




Step 2: Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium. Add onions and saute until translucent (about five minutes). Add garlic and saute for another minute.




Step 3: Add wine (if using) and turn heat up to high. Let the wine simmer until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Next, add in the tomatoes and use your [clean hands] to break apart the tomatoes (I like my sauce chunky but it all depends on personal preference). Let simmer under the sauce is thick and has reached your desired consistency.

Serve over pasta, ravioli, gnocci, or on homemade pizza!


tomato sauce


Searchable Saturday

March 2, 2013



1. Puppies on the mind. We are still on the hunt for an adorable french bulldog to be Tuko’s new playmate. We’ve been going to the animal shelter to look for lovable options but I’ve found it much harder [emotionally] to go there than before we had a dog. Perhaps now that we have the sort of connection with our own pup, it’s hard to see all those dogs not experiencing that loving connection and knowing that some of them never will. It’s just really sad. But it does make me feel good knowing that we could be helping one of those dogs one day soon.

2. There is this underground (literally- it’s in a cellar) hipster bar we go to sometimes (hipster? Don’t believe me – they have a drink called ‘The Pitchfork’). We were there on Thursday night for a friend’s show and I noticed a bunch of jars full of colorful concoctions in the fridge behind the bar. I asked the bartender about one of them and he said ‘Oh. That has ginger, orange, and gin in it. But it won’t be ready until the weekend.’ After that, I couldn’t help but start obsessing over the idea. How does the process work? What were they making? How long does it have to sit? Was it a fruit liqueur? An infused gin? I won’t know unless I go back this weekend (which…it sounds like I have to) but it started getting me thinking about fun infusions. I can feel a weekend project coming on…

3. DEEP DISH PIZZA! What more do I need to say? Growing up, I would spend the weekends taking the train into downtown Chicago with friends. We would go to concerts and eat obscene amounts of deep dish pizza. I find myself craving it from time to time but we don’t really have any deep dish pizza places down here. Best next thing? Guess I’m just going to have to start making my own!

4. So the haircut that has long been tempting me finally came last week. You think I would have got it out of my system but now I’m just obsessing with new hair ideas more than ever. I fear that once the newness of this haircut wares off, I will be left feeling like I have a super boring-plain trim. Quick! I better do something drastic – time to dye it! Should I go bright red using Lush’s organic henna dye or Aveda’s blue-black dye?! Should I do blonde dips or dye a chunk of my bangs blonde? Or do an all over honey blonde color?! So many options!


Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend ahead of them! My weekend plans got put on hold because my car is in the shop. This means the next two days will probably consist of a lot of laying around the house (unless I feel like walking…in the snow…and cold). Sometimes it’s good to be stuck in one place – that is when the creativity has to set in. Right? Maybe? I don’t know.

Coconut Curried Carrot Soup with Spiced Chickpeas

February 21, 2013



This is usually the part of winter where I get fed up. At this point, I am over root vegetables and kale salads and chili and stews. At this point, I’m usually throwing in the towel and ordering take out, frozen pizzas, or milkshakes for dinner. It’s that last leg before spring food hits the produce isle and I can’t help but find it hard to stay inspired after four months of the same thing being in season.

Not this year. This year I was determined to not get bored with dinners. This year, I constnaly have been reminding myself how much I long for minestrone or curry when it’s 90 degrees out. This year I’ve added fun new techniques to my winter routine – like my tagine and slow cooker. I’ve added things into my soups to make them more interesting – like those insanely delicious goat cheese croutons.

And now I’m back with another soup recipes with a fun addition: spiced chickpeas. These chickpeas are…woah. It was hard to save them for dinner because there was so much munching I should have been making the soup. Wash the vegetables, eat a few chickpeas, simmer, eat a few chickpea, season, eat a few chickpeas. You get the idea. So addicting.

I’m pretty excited to start adding these chickpeas to my afternoon snack routine. It will be a nice change from greek yogurt or nuts. I found this great resource of different seasonings for your chickpeas over at MPMKs – cannot wait to try them all!





Coconut Curried Carrot Soup with Spiced Chickpeas

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used homemade)
  • 1 15 ounce can of coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • Salt / Pepper, to taste
  • Feta, optional


  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of salt


To make the chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the ingredients together and put in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chickpeas are crispy. Remove from oven and let cool.

 To make the soup: Heat olive oil over medium in a large saucepan. Add onions and saute until translucent (about ten minutes). Add the carrots and cook for another five minutes. Pour in the stock, coconut milk, ginger, and curry powder. Cover and cook for about ten minutes (or until the carrots are soft).

Once all the vegetables are soft, remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Season with salt, pepper, and maybe a little hot sauce (if you like a kick). Top with feta and chickpeas.


Stuffed French Toast

August 15, 2012



We live on a traffic-crazed road so behind our house there is an alley system that we use to drive up to our house or ride our bikes downtown or to take little Tuko for walks. I bring this up because although I am totally over 90 degree weather and being constantly sticky, I will greatly miss the foliage that decorates our long alley system once summer comes to an end. It gives us shade from the sun when we are biking and it’s where I pick my wildflowers for our dining room table.

Last night I rode my bike down the alley to get to our local co-op. I went there to browse and pick out goodies for the ‘Foodie Penpal’ (more on this in future posts) group I joined this month. Basically, you are assigned one person who you send up to 15 dollars worth of goodies to and then someone else sends you things and you get a new person each month. I love this idea but it kind of makes me wish I had a real pen pal (one whom you contact more than just once) that I could send a box full of local goodies and spices to and say ‘hey. make this!’ and then we can text each other pictures of the recipe and geek out over food. You know…the kind of friend you never meet (because they live in Portland or Vermont) but you feel a silly connection with them anyways? Woah, this is quite the scenario I’ve come up with…perhaps I have been seriously listening to wayyy too many ‘Joy the Baker’ podcasts lately.

Anyhow, to do another 360 (is this already the 3rd time I’ve changed the subject?) Wyatt has been on a serious health kick lately (let me remind you this is the guy who use to need pizza and gravy in his life at least once a week). I am 100% behind him on this because I prefer to eat as healthy and organic as possible but sometimes a girl just needs to eat what she wants.

My craving for french toast started last Friday when I picked up some Michigan maple syrup and a fresh baguette for Saturday’s breakfast. However, Saturday morning came and we had to clean our house in anticipation for Wyatt’s parents coming and no french toast was made. And then his parent’s stayed until Sunday and bought us some delicious local muffins on Sunday morning (which meant no french toast- AGAIN). So as I was sitting at my desk on Monday morning, I decided I NEEDED to make this french toast for lunch (I mean…in addition to my constant craving, the baguette was probably going to go bad if I waited any longer!) However, when I got home I was met with a very annoying ‘I don’t think I want that much sugar for lunch. I don’t want any- thanks’ response from Wyatt which made me feel guilty so I made us veggie sandwiches instead. Defeated, I decided that I would go to yoga on Monday night and if I still was craving it after (I usually only want huge salads after feeling amazing cleansed from yoga), I would make it regardless of any response from my sugar-hating boyfriend. And alas, yoga made me feel great but so great that all I wanted to do was continue to please myself. I ran home, didn’t say a word to Wyatt, and created these little puppies.


Woah, this has been a rant of a post sort of day!



Stuffed French Toast (or French Toastie Sandwiches?)

  • 1 stale baguette, sliced
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries (or blueberries or blackberries or strawberries)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk (soy or regular)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • butter or oil (to coat the pan)


Spread cream cheese on one side of half of the sliced baguettes. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium. Dunk the non-cream cheese side of the baguettes in the egg mixture and put on preheated skillet. Dunk all of the plain baguettes in the mixture and place in the skillet (you will probably have to do this in rounds because you don’t want to crowd the pan! Just make sure you have an even number of cream cheese to non-cream cheese slices). Cook for 2-3 minutes (or until browned and flip the non-cream cheese slices on top of the others to make a sandwich (and so the cooked side is inside the sandwich). Flip all the “sandwiches” and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and repeat with the rest of the baguette.

Lather in fresh butter, raspberries, and drizzle maple syrup. Enjoy with a Bloody Mary or Mimosas!




June Wrap Up

July 2, 2012

Well Mondays are when I usually post about being moody …but let’s be real: I have a TWO day week since my company is giving us Wednesday through Friday off for the 4th of July… so do I really have that much to complain about? I think not.

Instead, since July snuck up on us over the weekend let’s have a June Wrap up instead!

My favorite posts from this past month:

1. I am a picnic fanatic and had soooo much fun enjoying these Southwestern Veggie Sliders with Avocado Mayo while soaking up some fresh air on a lovely dinner picnic with my puppy and boyfriend

2.I am not sure where you live but this 100 degree weather refuses to let up over here in Bloomington, Indiana. Popsicles like these Berry Mango Yogurt Pops are the only things keeping me cool when I attempt to adventure outdoors.

3. Oh! My adventure with this Summer Potato Salad was pure bliss! Potato salad just screams summer and this was a great way to kick off our first grill out of the season!

4. Pizza Pizza Pizza. I cannot escape it no matter how bad I tell myself it is! I’ve come to accept this and have at least turned to making my own pizza so that I know exactly what goes into it. This Savory Breakfast Pizza was part of a two segment post that also included yummy Blueberry Lime Pizza.

In other news, June was ridiculously busy with us moving into our new house (which we are still not completely settled into) and being out of town for almost every weekend.

Also, I managed to learn a lot from my Blogging 2.0 class (which ends this week!) and can’t wait to start applying what I learned to VV.

And onto July! What to expect? Well I am hoping to spend July settling into our new place; this means starting to make lots of new memories at our new home in the form of cocktail parties, movie nights, and creative time in our new studio. I am very excited for things to calm down around here so we can enjoy the simple pleasures of summer (now if only this 100 degree weather would calm down a bit…).