Crispy Chicken & Root Veggies Skillet (gluten-free)

Last week I had a dream that a high school acquaintance told me on Facebook I should “stop by sometime” — and I did. Totally unannounced. I just opened the door to her house, took in the very confused faces of the kids I’ve only ever seen on Instagram, and was like, “So I’m here! I was thinking we could roast some chicken!” In all seriousness, you guys. I was there to roast chicken. Simple as that. And you know, she seemed a little fazed, but not overly so. Instead she kind of just exchanged glances with Jesse Pinkman and his street team, who — duh — were gathered around the living room watching football, and told me the rest of the family would be over soon. That dinner would be on the late side because her mother-in-law had to pick up cannoli from the bakery across town instead of the shop on the corner. She told me she had just bought new Ziploc bags, and they were in the freezer. Then Vin Diesel offered me a beer, declared I was “family now” and reminded me that the cook never cleans. At this, Jesse’s crew nodded subtly in acknowledgement. They’d … Read More

Cheesy Sweet Potato Waffles w/ Sour Cream & Maple

There are weeks where you feel like you just suck at life. And I’m having one. In a big, fat, cure-me-with-carbs kinda way. So let’s talk waffles. I like waffles. They taste good. They make my insides feel good. And the they’re a guilty pleasure for my OCD side. I maybe eat my waffles along the gridlines. WHAT. I’m not going to insist that these waffles are life changing, but I will tell you that the more I use the word waffles in this post, the better I feel. Try it for yourself. I mean, you don’t have to type it out if you don’t want, but just say it a few times with me: Waffles. (Are you saying it? Are you saying Waffles Make the World Go Round, Whee-Waffle-Whee-Waffle-Woo…? Maybe not, but damn if that ain’t catchy.) So waffles. You guys, these are so good. They’re smooshed full of nutrient-rich sweet potatoes, sweetened up with brown sugar, savoried up with thyme and cheddar and then topped with plenty of cool sour cream and smoky, amber maple syrup. They’re, like, the perfect any time of day, any time of year food. Oh hey, Holiday Brunch, what’s up. Yo, Bakesale. Let’s … Read More

Roasted Miso-Glazed Pumpkin (vegan & gluten-free)

A few weeks ago, I tempted fate and went shopping at Costco without a grocery list. I’d say I live for cheap thrills — except flat after flat of $9 organic produce adds up reeaaal frickin’ fast. So along with my usual haul of Greek yogurt, bananas and Dave’s Killer Bread (side note: have you guys heard he’s off the wagon? Seriously so sad…) — I picked up two little tubs of organic white miso. Let the ahhhglazing begin. Troof be told, to-date my only experience with miso at home has been with those guilty little packets of instant miso soup that they sell at the Asian food store. And I’m not gonna lie. I like ’em. I like ’em a lot. But I knew, just as soon as I dropped those little square tubs in my massive, two-child-occupancy cart, that something more interesting than soup was in my future. Something to make the most of the season. Something temptingly simple yet special enough for guests. Something that — oh I got it! That could even star as the veggie main on your holiday table! Oh boy, you guys! Isn’t it exciting?? I’m really feeling where this is going. Even … Read More

Farro Salad with Roasted Fennel & Grapefruit

It’s been a big week, I’ll have you know. This Sunday, I ran my first half-marathon — the US Half in gorgeous SF. Then proceeded to catch me a nasty head cold — again. And today, I heard my first Christmas song. Mariah Carey, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), if you’re curious. And yes, there was a moment where the sheer Christmas cheer was cut cleanly in half by a brilliant stroke of panic that I blacked out Thanksgiving. You never know. That tryptophan is really crippling. Gladly, the half-marathon wasn’t so bad (we had a great cheering section), the head cold is currently at the mercy of too much NyQuil (as is this blog post, I’m afraid), and we’ve yet to enjoy Thanksgiving — that I’m aware of. Although it’s entirely possible that I wasn’t completely present for Halloween. We just didn’t get our act together in time to do the jack-o-lanterns, the cobwebs, the black lights and spooky music. I didn’t even don a costume this year, but then again, I’m kind of an all or nothing kinda gal when it comes to dressing up. It’s the pressure, you know? Like, remember when it was totally ok to just … Read More

Spicy Prosciutto Cheese Straws (w/ vegetarian twist)

Spicy Prosciutto Cheese Straws | an easy snack or app for entertaining -- done in 25 mins! Full recipe at | #recipe #holiday #appetizer #snack

How excited are you guys for Daylight Savings Time? I’ll tell you what: I’m frickin’ stoked. This morning I slept in until the grand ol’ hour of 7am and it was still dark as eff when I rolled out of bed. ‘Sokay, because good thing I have the lamest night vision ever. I only jammed my thigh into the footboard twice before successfully making it to the light switch. Black and blues are sexy. Fortunately, injuries are a great excuse to reward yourself with fatty indulgences. When I was four, I tripped over the hem of my nightshirt and tumbled down a flight of 13 stairs, end over end. Ain’t no thing — momma fixed me a banana split FOR BREAKFAST! Homie totally plays that. So hard. Twenty-six years later and nothing has changed. I just whined my way all the way to the kitchen where I motored through half a dozen cheese sticks — and voila! Mah leg felt just dandy. Well, ok, no, my leg throbbed, and I was actually swearing like a yooknow since the trip to the kitchen also included an en route toe-stubbing on our club chair, but who doesn’t want spicy, cheesy pastry for breakfast? All … Read More

Eggplant-Ricotta Pasta Bake

I’m gonna tell you a story about Chris and eggplant. Here we go: Chris thinks he hates eggplant. End of story. It was a short one. Guess I could have thrown in a twist where you thought, for a second, that he liked eggplant. But come on. I can’t fool you. BUT. Here’s something joyful. Chris eats eggplant kind of a lot. He just doesn’t know it. Or maybe he does and he’s a good sport. I guess that’s the one. He’d be less than stoked if he thought I thought he was a picky eater, because really he’s not. He’s just a guy that knows what he likes. Guess that should make me feel pretty fancy, eh? *Wink* OK! So, here’s how you make someone that doesn’t like eggplant not realize that they don’t love eggplant. Mix it with a crap-ton of cheese and orecchiette pasta and bake it in a pretty skillet. With more cheese on top. Right? Amiriiiight? So, make some sneaky eggplant pasta this weekend for your family! Kids and totally not picky at all significant others will eat it right up. Oh, and eggplant lovers will have their itch scratched, too. Winning. Eggplant-Ricotta Pasta Bake … Read More

Watermelon, Orzo and Feta Salad

So I’m back from squeezing the best friend’s baby, and all I have to say is holy cow babies. As in holy cow babies are so cute. Holy cow babies eat ALL the time. Holy cow babies look like little people versions of glow bugs. And holy cow babies are a BUTTLOAD (with capital everything) of work. I had no idea. I mean, and I’m the kind person that even thought I had some idea, but I totally did not. I was so very wrong. I am so very tired. Just, holy cow babies. (I kinda loved it. Shhhhhhhhhh.) Anyway, hope you guys all enjoyed Joel’s little toast-post while I was out exploring the Great Midwest. I was totally sold at ovo-avocado (#ovocado, amiright?), but the bacon and sprouts thing didn’t hurt a bit. Kind of a wonder combo, if you ask me. Love that guy. We’re taking off yet again for the first of three weddings we’re celebrating with dear friends this month, but before I go, how about another little salad to help you hang on to these last few days of summer? It’s a cinch, I swear. And because it’s bulked up with tasty orzo, it feeds … Read More

Snap Pea, Parmesan & Bacon Salad with Dijon Dressing

Evening friends. Quick post tonight as I want to save a few things for a bonus post I’ll be putting up later in the weekend. A little sunt’n sunt’n about a certain blog turning one. We might even light a candle, but let’s not get ahead of things. This week has been, in a word, flaughghg. I’ve been operating in a bit of a fog, attempting to nurse myself back to health with a winning mixture of green juice, Emergen-C and DayQuil, but only after a trip to the doc and a five-day stint of antibiotics am I finally starting to feel better. Summertime bronchitis. Who knew. The great news is that we’ve got so much fun shig on the calendar this coming month that there is, quite simply, no time for coughing, wheezing or one-eyed nose blowing. (Do you close an eye when you blow? Is that just me?) Next week brings a trip to the great Midwest to meet the BFF’s new baby boy, then it’s THREE back-to-back weddings for three sets of dear, dear friends — and lastly, almost a full week of hosting this crazy girl (and her slightly less crazy beau) in our teeny-tiny one-bedroom … Read More

(Almost Vegan) Caramelized Onion White Bean Dip

I had such good intentions for how I was going to spend today. With Chris off traipsing around with one of his two-wheeled concubines, my Saturday was slated to begin with an early morning run (thanks again to that birthday gift we discussed), a jaunt to the market, several late-morning hours of intensive literary study via young adult romance, and an afternoon in the kitchen working on this week’s recipes for you guys. And then something deliciously derailing happened. I slept in. (If you didn’t gather, this is a rare weekend occurrence likened only to something as epic as the marketing of Gak or the smooth sounds of Soul for Real.) So now, instead of being halfway through photographing an early supper of quinoa cakes with avocado curry, I’ve barely lit the darn stove. Can I get an Oh, Well? (Oh, Well!) The great thing about days like today is their ability to reset my appreciation for slowing things down. Contrary to my own delusion, you can extract a fair amount of reward from something as simple and blatantly labor-free as sleeping in. Frankly, I don’t know why I don’t do it more often. Equal reward — and I’ve really tee’d … Read More

Drunken Plums with Mustard-Caramel Sauce & Rosemary Shortbread (over ice cream!)

Believe it or not, I’m actually going to get right into the recipe today. Pretty incredible, right? No obnoxious detour into what we did this weekend (It was four freaking days long! What didn’t we do!) or how many YA novels I’ve made it through in the past two weeks (Five, you guys! I think that’s a record!) or how my awesome mom and godmom stopped by to gift me and Chris with a funky new cookbook and about 11 lbs of barbecued beef ribs (I have nothing to add! The awesomeness if pretty obvious!). Instead, I’ll just tell you how stoked I am for the recipes, below, which are my entry for the third and FINAL round of Saucy Mama’s Sliced competition in which entrants are required to use Saucy Mama Mustard and booze (!!) to create a dessert that’s worth a thousand big ones. (‘Member these guys?) A thousand buckaroos, mis amigos. And, of course, the title of Sliced Champion, which, given my fellow food blogger contenders, would be the highest of fives. Needless to say, it was time to pull out the big guns. As in…. ….I actually baked. I know, I thought about adding wings to the … Read More