Moody Monday: Dog Park Picnic

Posted on: April 16, 2012

Why hello Monday, is that you…AGAIN? Okay, well I least I just had a beautiful weekend to hold me over. This weekend was filled with picnics, the farmer’s market, and live music so I can’t complain too much.

Today’s Moody Monday is about picnics (and how much I freaking love them). But to be more exact, it’s about the picnic I had yesterday. As you probably know if you’ve ever read my blog previously, I have a really really cute boxer puppy that has more energy in a day than I have in an year. Luckily, Bloomington has an amazing dog park that backs up to a lake with lots of dog friendly trails.

Anyways, so yesterday I made up a few yummy veggie sandwiches stocked full of farmer’s market produce and carrot slaw and we headed to the park. We took our puppy for a hike and had a beautiful picnic out in the woods. It was a perfect ending to an eventful weekend.




Pesto Parmesan Ravioli /// How to Handle A College Boy

Posted on: April 15, 2012

This should really be “how to handle a college boy’s kitchen” but that doesn’t sound quite as exciting. I promise it’s harder than you might think…have you ever had to even walk through those filthy, dishes-piled in the sink, off smelling room that 20-something year old boys call a “kitchen”? Well, try cooking in it! I give my boyfriend credit…he is pretty clean but his 3 roommates are not which makes trying to prepare a dinner almost impossible.

After dating these types of boys for over 4 years now, I have a few tips for girlfriends, parents, etc trying to feed those incompetent boys in their lives.

1. Get Creative. I always have a small heart attack in the beginning when I am trying to compile things I will need for the meal and realize that Wyatt doesn’t own measuring cups, mixing bowls, or a microwave. But I realize if I just take a deep breath and relax than I can get rather creative with it. Use tupperware for mixing bowls, melt things over the stove top, use your best judgment for measurements, etc.

2. Keep it simple. The less ingredients used the less you’ll have to worry about them not having something. Spices seem like a standard for most but you’d be surprised. Also, always bring your own perishables… just because there is milk in the fridge does not mean it hasn’t been there since last summer.


3. Be prepared to share with his roommates. Not only will this score you extra brownie points but that other boys in the house probably haven’t had a home cooked meal in months either.



4. Ask them to clean before you arrive. When I made this ravioli, a huge grease fire started on the stove top because it had not been cleaned in months (Luckily, I made Wyatt put it out while I stood back and took pictures). Be aware of the lack of cleanliness and make sure they do something about it BEFORE you start cooking.


5. My last piece of advice is to bring beer. Even if they don’t enjoy your cooking, they will be satisfied enough with the beer to invite you back again.


Simple Pesto Parmesan Ravioli

  • 1 16 ounce package of ravioli
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt/Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook ravioli according to the instructions on the package.

Mix together the pesto,tomatoes, heavy cream, and half the parmesan. Fold into the cooked ravioli.

Pour into a square casserole dish and top with the rest of the parmesan. Cook for 20 minutes or until the top is browned.

Season with salt/pepper and serve with a baguette.

Carrot Slaw

Posted on: April 14, 2012

So I got some adorable carrots at Bloomingfoods this morning. I realize that seems weird for a type of food to be “adorable” but I think it’s possible. If it’s in miniature form…or colorful. And these carrots are bursting with color, to say the least.

See, aren’t they? Well anyways, I’ve been determined to start ‘Saucy Saturday’s’ and something keeps coming up. Like these carrots. How could I not immediately make a recipe with them instead? And I decided on a slaw so two condiments in one day just is too much. Oh well, I shall try again next week.

I’ve only eaten this by itself so far and it is delicious! To be honest, I don’t ususually think of carrots being able to hold their own but they manage to shine in this yummy recipe. The citrus and cranberries give it a great sweet kick as well so I think I will be putting these on some veggie dogs later this week (and for sure on my usual veggie sandwiches). I hope to post a picture of them as condiments as soon as I try it out! Until then, they can handle themselves on their own.

PS psssssst, substitute the honey for agave nectar to make it vegan!

Carrot Slaw

  • 1 pound carrots (or about 10 medium carrots), grated
  • Juice of half an orange
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup crushed pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt/pepper, to taste
  • garnish with cilantro

Wash and grate the carrots.

Combine all ingredients together. Refridgerate for at least a half an hour so the flavors can blend.

Eat by itself or in a sandwich!



Vegan Gravy Train [Sandwich]

Posted on: April 13, 2012

I get it. I totally know what you are thinking. You can’t believe that I am posting about these HUGE breakfast sandwich topped with GRAVY while everyone is all excited about their breakfast juicers and green smoothies. And yeah, both those things will be much much healthier for you. Hell, that is what I usually consume for breakfast (although, I have not gotten my juice out yet this year- can’t wait though!).

Here is the problem with that… I LOOOVE breakfast/brunch food. It’s the best food genre ever to exist. So since I limit myself to healthy energy boosters in the morning, sometimes I like to splurge for dinner. And eating this ridiculously delicious sandwich for dinner hit the spot. I highly recommend you to transform your indulgent breakfast ideas into dinner plans. It’s super fun to mix things up!

Also, this was extra exciting for me to make because it’s the first time I’ve ever poached an egg. I know, crazy! I’ve managed to tackle homemade cheese and DIY pierogies but have never poached an egg… ridiculous, I know. Glad to say it was super easy and I am rather sad that I didn’t tackle poached eggs sooner. Lastly, the gravy is vegan but obviously the egg is not. Feel free to make it vegan by omitting the egg or substituting with tofu.

Breakfast Sandwich

For Two
  • 2 eggs, poached
  • 2 English muffins
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, large slices

Peppered Sage Gravy:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups almond milk (or regular)
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

To poach the eggs: Bring a small saucepan of water to a slight boil. Add a dash of vinegar and put the egg in a small bowl. Drop the egg into the water and turn off the heat immediately. Let sit for 4 minutes in the water and scoop out with a spoon.

To make the gravy:

In a large skillet, whisk the flour, nutritional yeast, and milk together. Once it is a smooth consistency, add all the spices. Place the skillet over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Next, add in the butter and reduce to medium low. This is when you recruit someone to continuously stir the gravy while you start prepping the scramble. Cook the gravy until it is thick and feel free to add more salt/pepper.

Assemble: Toast the muffin. top with butter, tomato, avocado, poached egg, muffin top, and then lather in gravvvvvvyyy. (or as my boyfriend says…”ride the gravy train”…although that has nothing to do with it).

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze

Posted on: April 10, 2012

Every Easter since I can remember I spent it with family. Since my parents are divorced, my brother and I would have two huge Easter meals. I would have a brunch with my Ma and a dinner with my Father. This was great as a kid because that also meant you received two baskets, twice the amount of candy, two egg hunts and twice the amount of dessert.

However, in addition to be being grown up and grown out of Easter baskets, I now live 4 hours away from family and going home for the holiday just did not seem feasible. I knew it would be okay because I’m not religious and I would have been dragged to church by my Ma and lectured about my faith. But I felt a little sad not celebrating my favorite meal of the day- brunch. So, I had to compensate in some way by whipping up a brunch recipe that I’ve been eyeing for weeks.

The product of my Easter blues were these Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls. And they were well worth not receiving a free buffet brunch this year. These rolls are not over sweet because they are made with whole wheat flour and sweet potatoes but still very indulgent with the sugary maple glaze lathered all over them.

Adapted from So Good & Tasty

For the rolls:

  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes, cooled
  • 1 cup almond milk, warmed
  • 4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoons nutmeg
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, melted

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (+ more if you’d like a stronger flavor)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and maple syrup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let sit for ten minutes.

In another bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, eggs, oil, and spelt flour. Add to the yeast mixture and mix well. Next, add in the flour a cup at a time until a sticky ball of dough forms.

Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for one hour or until it has doubled in size.

Wait…go play with your puppy…wait…dance to 90s classics…wait….watch a rerun of Twin Peaks…wait…

Split the dough in half. On a floured surface, roll out a looooooong rectangle (this doesn’t have to be an exact measurement or science. Just roll it wider if you like more layers and taller if you like them big and popping out the top of the pan).

Make the filling mixture by combining the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread half the melted butter over the dough and sprinkle with half the filling mixture. Roll from the bottom (with the long sides being from left to right) to the top as tightly as possible. Slice into 6 sections and place in a greased baking dish. Repeat with the other half of the dough so you end up with a total of 12 rolls.

Cover with a clean towel and let rise for another half an hour.

Go take a walk…play bananagrams with your roommates….do some online shopping…wait…

Preheat oven to 400. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

To make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and syrup until a thick glaze forms. Lather over the rolls and let sit for a minute so it melts.

Moody Monday: Porch Naps

Posted on: April 9, 2012

Monday, agaiiin? The weeks are going by so fast! I graduate in less than a month and am in no way ready for “the real world”. I feel too young and niave still…I feel too entitled to everything still. I am not ready for that reality check.

On a happier note, I went to the first Farmer’s Market this past Saturday. Oooooh, how I love the market! Fresh produce, plants, baked goods, puppies! As I noted in my previous post, I got some yummy produce that I used right right away and am already ready for next week’s market! Oh summer…you are approaching fast!

Anyways, Moody Monday… I think I shall write today’s post about porch naps. I have an absolutely fabulous porch AND a plant filled sunroom which I have become keen to on windy days. Both days this weekend I took some afternoon naps on them and could have not been more satisfied. What is a better feeling than waking up to fresh air and beautiful sunshine?

This is the view of my paper crane mobiles when laying on my couch in the sunroom. The thought of porch naps will be what gets me through this week!

What’s your Moody Monday perker?

Farmer’s Market Sweet Potato and Asparagus Curry

Posted on: April 8, 2012

Yesterday morning, after much anticipation, I went to the first outdoor Farmer’s Market of the season!! It was even better than expected. In years past the first few market’s were only filled with budding herb plants and strawberry shrubs but with the weather being so warm lately, there was plenty of produce to be had! I got a box of sweet potatoes, a (still living) head of lettuce, and a bunch of asparagus.

Needless to say, I immediately started thinking about how to combine the three. I ended up saving the lettuce for sandwiches this week but found this great curry recipe for the sweet potatoes and asparagus. This made me particularly excited because

  1. I am using my sweet potato and asparagus
  2.  I LOOOOOOVE curry
  3.  this curry was like no other curry I have ever made before

[Here comes the rant about my love for curry] WOAH, it is kind of ridiculous how much I love curry. It’s so flavorful, vegan, stocked full of all my favorite vegetables, and infinitely versatile. Yesterday was a particularly chilly day compared to what we’ve been having so the idea of warm goodness lathered over some soft rice sounded so satisfying. Summer is no place (sadly) for curry and I was super excited about being able to make this one more time this season. What was especially fantastic about this curry was it used every vegetable I would have avoided when making my usual curry. I associate curry with onions, peppers, potatoes, etc but this one was chocked full of asparagus, sweet potatoes, and even a bit of corn! And the best part is it still turned out fantastic. Gah, okay, I am done ranting about how amazing it is and am going to now tell you how to make it.

Sweet Potato and Asparagus Curry

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons powdered turmeric
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk
  • 2 sweet potatoes, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to  400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, throw the asparagus in and immediately turn off he heat. Let it sit in the warm water for a minute and then drain.

On a large baking pan, toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook for 8 minutes in the oven. Once cooled, cut into 1 inch pieces.

In a large pot, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil over medium. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they pop (about 3 minutes). Next, add the onions and saute for 5 minutes or until they have softened. Then add in the garlic, spices, and bay leaves and cook for another 2 minutes.

Next, add in the coconut milk + 1 can full of water to the mixture. Add in the tomatoes, corn, and sweet potatoes and bring the sauce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce has become thick. Lastly, add in the asparagus and simmer for 1 more minutes.

Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro. Munch down with naan bread or a mango lassi! Enjoyy!

Sweet Berry Tart

Posted on: April 5, 2012

You can probably expect to see a lot of baking posts in the next month. Things are winding down with school which means stress is at an all time high as I finish this chapter in my life and begin to prepare for a new one. This entire year has been a game of decision making and I am constanly hoping I make the right ones. The time is nearling where I will begin to see where my decision takes me and I feel like I have been holding my breath waiting. In the meantime, I’ve turned to yoga and baking to cure my anxiety.

This tart was influeced by how beautiful I thought the Galette was that we made the other month and this could almost be considered a sweet spin on that recipe (although I am going to continue to call it a tart because I have a diffferent “sweet spin” in mind that I plan to recreate for a sweet Galette ASAP- stay tuned for that!).

Anyways, this tart did turn out beautiful and absolutely delicious! I have become  a big fan of these “free form” type crusts instead of the traditional because I just love the rustic look it gives to the pies; it just gives off more of a home cooked feel than standard pies that mimic the same kind you purchase in the store.

For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tbsp ice water


  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • dash of lime juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 tsp water, beaten together

  • 1 tsp strawberry jam
  • 1 tsp water

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your hands, rub the butter into the dry mixture until it all resembles coarse sand. Then, add in the ice cold water and form a ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 5 minutes or until chilled.

To make the filling, combine the berries, cornstarch, sugar, lime juice, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Let sit while you roll out the dough to help make a thick syrup.

Take the dough out of the freezer and use a rolling pin to make a 12 inch circular crust. Scoop the filling into the mixture and make sure to leave an inch or two empty to fold over. Next, fold over the edges and brush them with the egg/water mixture.

Cook for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 375 and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the berries have softened and the crust has browned.

Combine the teaspoon of jam and water together and crush on top for a nice glaze.

Serve with ice cream or whip cream.

Make sure to share with your puppy and roommates!

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Posted on: April 4, 2012

These remind me of “pub grub”; I really don’t like sports…or chains so when I do end up at Chilis or TGI Friday’s (I guess those are bad examples of “Sports” bars but you know what I am talking about), it’s always out of desperation and I am normally so hungry I could eat anything on the menu (and then it usually turns out I cant eat anything on the menu- even the salads are drenched in meat!). Anyways, I always see these as appetizers and skip right over them knowing they are going to be filled with beef. I guess these were a product of my frustration about having to skip over clever (well…relatively clever) food ideas because of my diet restrictions.

They turned out really yummy. Crunchy on the outside with gooey, hot, cheesy insides. I kind of wished I had stuck avocado inside or made some guacamole to go along with them but that’s probably just because I am avocado obsessed. You should feel free to add (like avocado or more jalapeno, if you like it hot) or take out (replace the crumbles with more beans if you don’t have any on hand) whatever you’d like.

Oh! Also, these only make between 6 to 10 (depending on how much you stuff them) so if you’re thinking about making them as an appetizer for lots of guests, I may suggest doubling the recipe. Mmmkay, that is all! Happy Eating!


Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls with Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • About 10 wonton wrappers
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups meatless crumbles (like this or these)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup of black beans, rinsed very well
  • 1 1/2 cups corn (canned or frozen)
  • 1 heaping tsp cumin
  • 1 heaping tsp chili powder
  • dash of cayenne
  • dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese

For the dip:

  •  1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • dash of salt



To make the sauce: stick all the ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and mix for about 2 or 3 minutes or until everything is well combined. Stick in the fridge while preparing the eggrolls to help solidify the flavors.

For the egg rolls: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. First, warm up a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the frozen crumbles and saute for about 3 minutes. Next, add the corn, jalapeno, black beans,onions, red pepper, and seasoning. Saute for another 3 to 5 minutes or until everything starts to soften. Remove from heat and fold in the cheese.

Take a look at the picture below to help guide you with wrapping! Basically, you are going to take about 2 Tablespoons full of mixture and put it in a long line diagonally across the wonton. Next, fold the corners directly on the left and right and then roll up the wonton from the bottom. I know it sounds complicated in writing but hopefully the picture will help!


Coat the tops with a tiny bit of olive oil. Cook for ten minutes. Enjoy with the chilled sauce and a beergarita!

Moody Monday: Pancake Party

Posted on: April 2, 2012

It felt particularly hard to get out of bed today. I think I was dreaming that I woke up and it was Saturday so I felt cheated when I woke up to Monday morning smacking me in the face. Oh well, life goes on, right?

Today’s Moody Monday is about eating breakfast/brunch for dinner! I am not sure if there is any food genre (I don’t think “food genre” is a real term but oh well) I enjoy more than Brunch. However, it is never convenient to host a brunch party when you associate with a group of youngsters who wish they were rock stars and think it’s cool to party all night and wake up at 4 PM. This has led me to really appreciate breakfast for dinner because it allows you to make all the essentials (french toast, bloody marys, mimosas, hashbrowns, etc) without having to worry about no one showing up.

The other Friday I had a few people over from work and we had a pancake party. Without the help of Evan, we whipped up some yummy versatile pancakes that we managed to throw dark chocolate chips, hazelnut, and strawberry jam into. Mmmmm.

Kristin managed to rock the pancake flippin’

Pancake mix-ins inspired By Food Coma!

Oatmeal Honey Buttermilk Bread

Posted on: April 1, 2012

I realize a lot of you already know this but I live in a house of five girls but what you don’t know is that really translates to 6 girls, 2 boys, and a dog if you count all the baggage that comes along with college ladies (boyfriends, siblings, animals, etc). Anyways, my point is there is always SOMEONE around which is fantastic because I love the company but baking is one of my stress reliever and every once in a while I just want to bake in peace. Luckily, Saturday was one of those days where I took the kitchen all to myself. I woke up extra early because I knew that would give me time with two of my roommates being late sleepers, one being in Chicago, another in New York checking out Cornell for the fall, and my boyfriend at work. It was wonderful to just be able to put a vinyl on and go to work.

I love my breadmaker because it gives me the ability to just throw everything in the machine and come back at lunch to fresh bread for sandwiches but making it by hand is so simple and satisfying when you have the time. I realize it seems daunting thinking you have to plan for 3 hours to make this bread but really there is about 20 to 30 minutes of hands on time so when you are busy around the house anyways, letting it rise for an hour by itself is not a big deal. Anyhow, this bread is delicious and anyone who appreciates fresh bread with their sandwiches, I highly suggest making this recipe!

The recipe makes two 8×9 loaves of bread but since I only had one pan I made one loaf and 4 big sandwich rolls (yum!). The bread turned out super moist (still just as moist today – the day after!) and very hearty with the ever-so slightly hint of sweet from the honey.

Oatmeal Honey Buttermilk Bread

adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
  • 1 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt

Combine 1 cup of oats and hot water in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes or until the oats absorbs the water up.

In the bowl of your mixer, add in 1 tbsp of honey with 1/4 cup warm water and sprinkle the yeast on top; let sit for 5 minutes so the yeast can react to the water.

Next, add in the soaked oats, buttermilk, oil, 2 tbsp honey, oil, whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, and salt. Turn the mixer (with the bread hook) on low until everything is combined and then turn up to medium for 10 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap for one hour or until it doubles in size.

Wait, go play with your puppy, do some dancing to David Bowie, wait.

Tuco helping me bake

Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about five minutes to get the air bubbles out of it. Divide the dough in half and place in two oiled pans (or form into circles if you’re making rolls). Mix the remaining tsp of honey with 1 tsp of very hot water and brush on top of the loaves. Sprinkle the remaining oats on top.

Let sit for about 30 minutes to let it rise a bit more.

Preheat oven to 375. Cook the loaves for 20 to 25 minutes and the buns for 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy hot with butter or make sandwiches like I did below!

wishing I had some avocado

“Everything but the Kitchen Sink” Quiche

Posted on: March 31, 2012

I am very strict in my system when it comes to groceries; every week I make a list of what groceries I’ll need for 3 dinner recipe (for Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday) and then have my usual list of staples (stuff for lunch sandwiches, quick dinners, etc) and that’s how we do it. We eat leftovers and quick dinners on the nights that I don’t cook and veggies sandwiches for almost every lunch. However, the last couple meals before I get to the store are always a mish-mash of what we have left on hand. And this is how this Quiche came about; it’s a mix of all the produce I had left lying around along with a pie crust in the freezer and half a dozen eggs. Simple? Ridiculously simple. I suggest you should create your own spin on this recipe and add in whatever produce you prefer or have on hand. Don’t have feta? That’s great- throw in some swiss! Don’t like leeks? Replace it with green onions! Mmmmkaa, I think you get the point.

Another great thing about this recipe: I used so much produce that the egg mixture was enough for two quiches! Which was perfect because we gobbled a whole pie down for dinner and then had another one to warm up for breakfast the next day! And I used different ingredients for the two pies and experimented a bit. Lastly, I used the basic recipe from when I made Sicilian Quiche because it turned out soooo wonderful the first time around.

“Everything but the Kitchen Sink” Quiche

For the First Pie:

  • 1 prepared pie crust
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim because that is what I had but whole milk would probably make it richer!)
  • 3 oz of goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 leek, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto
  • splash of olive oil

For the Second Pie:

  • 1 prepared pie crust
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 cherry tomatoes,  halved
  • 1/2 leek, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 artichoke hearts, chopped and drained
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • splash of olive oil

Preheat oven to 425.

In a large skillet, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat and add the leek, cherry tomatoes, and minced garlic. Saute for about five minutes or just until they start to soften. Divide mixture evenly between the two pie crusts and add the artichokes (if using).

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs , cream, and milk. Pour over the veggies in the pie crust. Sprinkle with cheese.

Next, swirl the pesto into the mixture (or the thyme) and top with salt/pepper.

Cook for 30 minutes or until the filling as completely set and is starting to brown on top.

Serve immediately with a big mimosa or Bloody Mary.

Bakery Style Berry Muffins

Posted on: March 28, 2012

And so continues my desire for summer food! This recipe is great though because it’s like a fake summer recipe…you use frozen berries so that they hold their shape and color while you fold them into the batter. It’s great because you can go into this recipe knowing that it will turn out fantastic regardless of what season it is.

I had to race out of bed this morning in order to get a picture of these fluffy muffins before my roommates gobbled all of them up. These muffins are “bakery style” so they puff up way past the top of the tin and stay super moist and flavorful because of the yogurt in them (and smell up the whole kitchen with berry baking goodness!)

This recipe is adapted from Isa’s Vegan Brunch; it’s one of the first recipes I discovered when diving into vegan baking and it really hooked me. I believe strongly in the idea that vegan baked goods stay moist longer and manage to pack more flavor with their slightly dense texture. I suggest this recipe (and Isa!) for anyone who does not have much vegan baking experience but is ready to learn!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup soy greek yogurt (I used blueberry flavored and it turned out great!)
  • 1/2 cup nondairy milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yogurt, milk, and oil. Use a spatula to mix everything together until a smooth batter forms. Fold in the berries.

Scoop the batter into the muffin tins (just the 12- it should fill most of each tin so that they will rise to be big, bakery style muffins). Bake for 23 to 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Serve with butter or eat them by themselves for the rest of the weeks breakfast!

Corn Fritters with Roasted Red Pepper Feta Sauce

Posted on: March 27, 2012

This weather is confusing my body! It thinks its summer and all it wants are smoothies, fruit, and corn on the cob! This is most disappointing since none of these things are in season yet (well smoothies are always in season) so I am doing my best to improvise.

I made this recipe a couple of summers back when I was staying with my parents. They have this great pool that demands constant pool parties and this was a hit from those summer parties. I know this recipe is impressive because I go through such mass volumes of recipes that I can hardly remember what I made last week let alone years ago! The fact that this recipe still pops in my mind is a sure sign that it’s worth making again!

It turned out just as I remembered; the patties were inviting with their fluffy texture and an intense kick from the cilantro. The sauce is salty from the feta with a great vibrant kick from the red pepper [it also makes loads so I've been using the leftover sauce on veggie sandwiches]. The two really work perfect together so I insist on making them together!

Corn Fritters with Roasted Red Pepper Feta Sauce


  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • `salt/pepper


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups of corn (canned or frozen)
  • 4 scallion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • canola or vegetable oil, for frying

First let’s make the sauce. In a blender, add the feta, sour cream, water, lime juice, and garlic. Puree until smoother. While blender is running, slowly add in the olive oil. Add the basil, oregano, and bell pepper. Puree until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Stick in the fridge until the fritters are ready.

For the fritters: In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, coriander, and cumin. Next, add in the egg, lime juice, and water. Use a spatula to mix until smooth. Finally, fold in the corn, scallions, and cilantro.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Use a heaping tablespoon to determine the size of the patties and cook them for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned (how fast they cook will completely be determined by how hot the oil is so keep an eye on them!).

Serve warm with the yummy yummy sauce!

We enjoyed them on the porch as a perfect evening snack!

Moody Monday

Posted on: March 26, 2012

Here it is again! Oh Mondays…you seem to come up so quickly these days. Luckily, this weekend was filled with cooking, family, and music shows so I have no reason to complain.

Today’s Moody Monday is about all the sprouting going on! Ahh! It’s March and my blueberry bush has already sprouted and all the trees are practically in full bloom! It’s crazy but gorgeous and it’s the kind of simple pleasure that can’t help but make you feel relaxed (even if it is Monday).


Spring Leeks and Zucchini Galette

Posted on: March 25, 2012


I actually made this last weekend but have been putting it off for two reasons: 1. I was a little frustrated because pictures could not convey how beautiful this piece of food was and 2. I don’t even know where to begin with being able to describe just how delicious this thing was.

Honestly, this is a bit more complicated than most of the recipes I blog about but it’s well well well worth the extra effort. The crust is flaky like a crescent roll with the slightest hint of sweet from the sour cream that you would never expect. And then the veggies are roasted until they practically melting in your mouth and to top it all of there is a layer of cheese on both the top and bottom. Looking to impress some guests? Please please please make this Galette!

I suggest making the pastry crust earlier that day so save  time when it comes to cooking it. Also, I got the crust recipe from Smitten Kitchen so head over there and prep the crust!


Spring Leeks and Zucchini Galette

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Leeks, sliced
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced
  • 2 small red potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup smoked mozzarella, shredded
  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
  • Drizzle of honey
  • 1 crust from Smitten Kitchen
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 Tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the Olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the garlic, potatoes, zucchini, and leeks and saute for about 3 minutes. Then add in the thyme and salt/pepper and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.



Spread the cup of smoked mozzerela evenly across the bottom of the crust. Line the vegetables however you’d like within the crust (we did in inward spiral with the zuccini and potatoes and then put the leeks in the middle but feel free to get creative)! Top with chunks of goat cheese and fold the extra crust over (see pictures below!). Brush the egg white mixture along the crust and pop in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the vegtables has softened and the crust is browned.


Drizzle a tiny bit of honey over the goat cheese sections and serve right away! Be careful though because there was three of us and this was gone in about 2 minutes with us wishing we had made 2…or 3 galettes!


Mixed Berry Grunts

Posted on: March 24, 2012

I don’t know what the proper name of this dish is called; I’ve heard grunts or dumplings or just plain old stove top cobbler. Whatever it is, it’s amazing. I looooove cobblers but when I discovered that I could make a version that has doughy dumplings drenched in fruity sugar…I was sold. I made a vegan version last summer which you can find here.

It’s like we skipped most of winter and now we are skipping spring and heading straight for summer. This is totally throwing my body off and the summer vibe is making my body crave fruity desserts. But it’s not fruit season yet (is it still March?) and my blueberry bush has just started blooming so what’s a girl to do? Well, I marched (in the form of walking my puppy) right to the store and picked out the freshest berries I could find. The pickens’ were slim with lots of impersonator fruits that we all know have traveled thousands of miles and were picked weeks ago but I did manage to find a batch of delicious looking strawberries and a batch of blackberries (sorry Kroger, I don’t like my blueberries shriveled and decrepit).

Don’t hesitate to make this vegan by substituting Almond/Soy milk for the milk, sugar cane for the sugar, and Earth Balance instead of butter!

Mixed Berry Grunts

  • 1 pint of strawberries (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups Blackberries (or blueberries or raspberries)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

In a large saucepan, combine the fruit, sugar and lemon juice. Let sit for about ten minutes so that a sugar starts to form. Next, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and stir it often.

While waiting for the mixture to simmer, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Next, melt the butter into milk in a tiny saucepan. Add the warm mixture to the dry ingredients and stir into a thick dough.

Scoop heaping tablespoons full of the mixture into the simmering fruit to make dumplings. Then cover with a lid and let simmer for another 20 minutes.

The dumplings should double in size and the fruit should be drenched in a syrup. Serve warm with yummy ice cream on a sticky [March] summer [spring] evening!

Glazed Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Posted on: March 21, 2012

I honestly feel a little embarrassed making this post. I pride myself on having lots of what may seem to be unusual ingredients in my main rotation of cooking materials like agave nectar, Gruyère, and seitan. However, I’ve never cooked with (let alone ate) Brussel sprouts. Waaaah? I know! I never grew up eating them because they always seemed like a “icky” vegetable as a kid (you know like broccoli and peas; they just seemed too green and earthy smelly to consume when that yummy neon yellow macaroni and cheese was piled high on the other side of the plate (it’s been awhile since we were kids but I know you know what I’m talking about!).

Anyways, so I’ve never had Brussel sprouts which means I’ve never craved them and it’s not like a lot of recipes call for them mixed in. I guess this is just me making excuses but whatever the reason, I feel bad about it! And I was in the store the other day and saw this gorgeous puppy:

Which I immediately decided I need to have. It’s so pretty and it’s like owning a new plant when buying one of these things. However, since I mentioned I have no experience with Brussels sprouts what-so-ever, I did not realize that one of these could probably feed a family of ten as a side. Since it’s just my boyfriend and I, this recipe did not cover this whole branch of sprouts and you will probably be seeing a few more Brussels recipes before this week is over.

Anyways, the grocery co-op I worked at always prepared them by sauteing in loads of garlic and more garlic. I can imagine that is amazing but that sounded kind of like what I do with all my vegetables and I decided I wanted to try something more unusual. The result was amazing and I was pleasantly surprised by Brussels sprouts! Not only did they have an amazing texture but once cooked, they practically melted in your mouth and absorbed up the sauce perfectly. I was very impressed.

Glazed Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons honey mustard (or to taste)
  • Salt/Pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts with the centers facing down (check out picture below) and season with salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes or until the bottoms brown.

Add in the wine, broth, and onions and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes (or until softened).

Remove lid and scoop out the Brussel sprouts (and onions if it’s convenient, if not it’s okay). Into the liquid mixture, add the heavy cream and simmer for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. Remove from heat and add in the honey mustard (taste test it and add in more if you’d like!).

Drizzle on top of the Brussels sprouts and season with more salt and pepper.

Enjoy with a yummy main dish or by itself!

Also, make sure to share with your puppy or he might give you the concerned eyebrow wrinkle:

Moody Monday or Tortured Tuesday?

Posted on: March 20, 2012

Moody Monday on a Tuesday? Yeah, it doesnt make sense but I was just having too much of a Moody Monday to even post about it! I know that seems strange but I was just in a really negative funk and didn’t want to write a negative post.

But now it’s Tuesdays! And Tuesday is my longest day (classes from 10 am to 9 pm) so why not think of something to get me through my “Torture Tuesday”?

Today’s Tortured Tuesday is pictures from the Lake this weekend. Not only was it 80 this weekend (Hellooooo…March??) but it was also sunny and just begging for us to have a lake day. We have this spot in the middle of the forest that is known to only fishers and other young college students (no squares allowed!) and we had it all to ourselves this weekend which meant playing our tapes extra loud and introducing our puppy to the chilly water.

Why is it not Saturday again already?

Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade (Alcoholic or not!)

Posted on: March 18, 2012


Some days you have to just let yourself sit out on the porch all day and not feel guilty about it. To be honest, I’ve been doing this a lot lately but I am hoping that the charm of this weather will wear off within the next few weeks and I won’t be a total waste of life all summer (but if it doesn’t then so what? I’ll survive!)

There’s nothing like lying around on a warm day and drinking some lemonade. I, personally, am a little addict when it comes to Andre (or any cheap champagne) so I used that to give this drink some fizz but feel free to keep it alcohol free for the kiddies or what not.



Make lemonade according to the package directions. Then mix everything together in a cute vintage pitcher and enjoy with all your friends (PS- I suggest smashing the blackberries a little because they release more color that way!)


My roommate thought she would be able to write her thesis paper over Spring Break. Yeah, don’t worry, I didn’t let that happen.

Scallion Wonton Bites

Posted on: March 16, 2012

I don’t want to elaborate too much because I feel like it’s so clique for every vegetarian to have their stories about the foods they miss. BUT…if we are going to go there… I absolutely love love love Chinese food! I’ve managed to fill the longing for General Tao chicken with this recipe (it’s just as yummy!) but I still craved the crab rangoon when indulging in this delicious dish.

I played with the idea of using imitation crab to try to tackle my own crab rangoon but I just don’t know if I feel comfortable preparing it since it’s not even the crab that I like in the pockets but the gooey cream cheese (To be honest, how often does Chinese take-out crab rangoon really taste like crab? Exactly).

So instead I turned to creating something with the parts of the dumpling I actually like and it turned out fantastic! I usually steer away from frying foods but this is super easy and did not take any longer than it would to prepare anything by sautéing or baking.

I’d suggest you try these the next time you decide to whip up a batch of General Tao Tofu!



Scallion Wonton Bites

  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 10 wonton papers
  • Peanut/Canola oil (for frying)

Blend together the cream cheese, scallions, red pepper flakes and ginger.

Place a heaping teaspoon of the mixture in the center for wonton paper and then twist to seal (see pictures below).


Heat the oil in a tiny (to conserve oil!) saucepan over medium heat (you can tell it’s ready by sticking a small strip of wonton in and see if it gets crispy).

Place one or two wontons in the oil at a time and cook for one to two minutes (you’ll be able to tell when it browns to your liking). Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Repeat with the rest of the wontons.

Enjoy with yummy Chinese dishes and your favorite movie.


Wild Rice Chowder and Open Faced Grilled Cheese

Posted on: March 14, 2012

It’s hard to believe with this 80 degree weather that I was craving soup just two days ago. But, putting myself in those shoes, it was a beautiful 60 degree day last Saturday and we enjoyed sandwiches and big coffee mug fulls of wild rice soup during a lovely picnic on the porch.

The chowder was delicious. I honestly have never hard wild rice soup before. This whole thing came about because I was at the store awhile back and saw the wild rice gleaming at me from the bulk section. It’s so colorful and vibrant and I’ve never tackled a recipe with it so I decided purchasing some would be a good challenge. Unfortunately, it sat on my shelf for the next three months before I decided that this avoidance had to come to an end. I looked up recipes with wild rice in them and came across dozens of patties, salads, thanksgiving sides, and soups.

I was sold on the idea of soups but most of them used meats and the “vegetarian” ones were just blander versions of the original. I decided to take one of the meat recipes and completely revamp it for all your vegetarian needs!

I was nervous that I’d end up with a flavorless soup myself but this was not the case. It was so delicious! And thank goodness at that because it made enough leftovers for me to eat it three times a day for the next two weeks (AKA I may suggest cutting this recipe in half if you aren’t looking for a large amount of yummy leftovers).


Wild Rice Chowder

  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups meatless crumbles
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bring the two cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the rice and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove from heat and set aside (do not drain so the rice can absorb up the excess water!)

In a large cooking pot, heat the olive oil up over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes. Then add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Next, add in the flour and stir constantly for a minute. Then add the broth and whisk until a milk mixture is created. Add in the potatoes, carrots, thyme, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Next, add in the corn and meatless crumbles and simmer for another 20 minutes (or until the vegetables are tender). Then add the half and half and cooked rice and stir until everything is warmed up and creamy.

Serve warm in cute animal mugs with yummy sandwiches!


We also made these simple and delicious sandwiches to go with the soup! Enjoy!

Open Faced Grilled Cheese

  • Half a baguette, sliced in half length-wise
  • 1 fresh tomato, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese (or however many to your liking)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Turn your broiler on low (if you have two options). Combine the olive oil, basil, oregano, and salt/pepper in a small bowl. Lather the bread pieces evenly with the mixture.

Top with the tomatoes, swiss, and then garnish with a few a bit more dried basil.

Broil for only a few minutes (I don’t want to give exact times because everyone’s broiler is so touchy and different). I would just turn the light on and watch it until the top gets brown. No more than 2 or 3 minutes.

Enjoy with yummy soup and your favorite porch spot!

Nom Nom.

Tuko being so cute and good while we enjoy our picnic on the porch!

Mini Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

Posted on: March 13, 2012

It’s amazing how productive and relaxed you feel when you don’t have hours of homework nagging at your schedule. I woke up this morning with the intentions of doing nothing but whatever I wanted to and it was marvelous.

I whip these up in about 20 minutes while sipping on coffee and listening to an old ‘Bob Dylan’ record. It was such a simple pleasure and it was wonderful to have the house to myself for once (I have four roommates..). These little muffins are SOOO easy that they can even be prepared while still half asleep and without any stress.

I seriously thought they were fantastic by themselves but feel free to dip them in maple syrup if you’re feeling extra indulgent. Also, they are absolutely fabulous when still warm and the chocolate melts in your mouth but feel free to stick them in an air tight container and munch down over a few days.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Once well incorporated, make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in all of your wet ingredients (minus the chocolate chips). Use a whisk to whisk together the wet ingredients (it’s okay if a little of the dry mixture gets incorporated) then use a spatula to fold the dry into the wet until a thick batter forms.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Grease two miniature cupcake pans and fill each about half full (these little guys rise a lot!). You should end up with about 24.

Cook for 9 to 10 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean (they won’t brown on the top).

Enjoy with syrup and a big mug of french press coffee. And perhaps your favorite lazy morning cartoons (Scooby Doo!) or a Dylan vinyl.

Moody Monday

Posted on: March 12, 2012

Monday, again? Thankfully I have a semi-easy week with it being Spring Break…although I remember when spring break meant having a week off…now I only manage to have Tuesday and Thursday off and have to work the other days. Oh well, I like my job… no complaining.

Anyways, my Moody Monday post is about my huuuuuuuge brick porch that could be a house in itself. It’s absolutely amazing and I love spending all of my free time on it. It was so nice this weekend that I was able to not have one but TWO picnics on it!

On Saturday, Ella (my wonderful roommate), Tuco (pictured below), and I had a coffee date with biscotti and Turkish tea! Mmmm

And then last night, Wyatt and I had a dinner picnic full of yummy soup (post about this adventure to happen ASAP) and open faced sandwiches.

And my porch has the best view for me to lean against the brick and watch my boys play!

PB&J Pie

Posted on: March 11, 2012

Hey everyone!

If you have a second you should wander over to Samantha’s blog and check out my guest post!


Yay! Happy Sunday!

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