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Rainbow Chard Salad in Parmesan Bowls Recipe

I recently moved into a very tiny junior one bedroom apartment in San Francisco. If you have never heard of such a thing before, you are in good company. It is basically a studio that has a little separation, but no real separation. That said, I could not be happier! It is my little piece of heaven and the best part is that it has an awesome kitchen, perfect for hosting company!

This past weekend, I invited a few of my friends over to celebrate the new place, my new job, and life in general. I wanted to make something easy and fun that would require very little work when they arrived. This Rainbow Chard Salad in Parmesan Bowls recipe was the perfect appetizer. You can prepare everything before your guests arrive, as the bowls need time to get to room temperature. The slight bitter crunch from the rainbow chard pairs wonderfully with the creamy sweet avocado, and salty crunchy parmesan bowl.

I hope you enjoy and would love to hear about your favorite celebration appetizers!

Rainbow Chard Salad in Parmasen Cheese Bowls
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SuperMac and Cheese with Salsa Bites

With the Superbowl this Sunday, it’s an important time to build the perfect menu! In my house, we have three rules for food when we are entertaining.

  1. The food must be delicious!
  2. The food must be fun!!
  3. And, lastly, the food must require little attention once your guests start to arrive.

These SuperMac and Cheese with Salsa Bites match all of the criteria. They are salty, crisp, warm, gooey, with a kick of spice! Hope you enjoy and have a great time watching the superbowl!

SuperMac and Cheese with Salsa Bites

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Peppery Potato Skins with Quail Eggs

Living right next to San Francisco has many perks; one of my favorites is the large amount of visitors passing through. Whenever someone visits, I show them the popular tourist spots, and then I show them my San Francisco! My San Francisco includes many parks, restaurants, and one dive bar with great music called Tempest! The Tempest has an attached kitchen that serves all sorts of fun concoctions. I am especially partial to their Pork Belly Potato Skins with Quail Eggs. Every bite is rich, cheesy perfection.

Today I was looking for a similar bite, so I created these peppery potato skins with sunny-side up quail eggs on top. They offer the same rich, cheesy flavor as the Tempest’s skins, but are made with a crispy pepper bacon creating a slightly lighter bite. I hope you enjoy them! And, I would love to hear what makes your city yours!

Peppery Potato Skins with Quail Eggs
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Plantain Guacamole Bites

There is nothing like sporting events to bring people together. As a Penn State alum, I believe that I gain 110,000 friends whenever I go and watch a football game at Beaver Stadium. Sporting events allow everyone to speak a universal language, one of pride, competition, and teamwork. Right now, in the midst of the Fifa World Cup, this sentiment is so strong.. Walking through the streets of San Francisco, I see so much USA pride and at game time, the city transforms itself to only teammates and friends.

Getting in the spirit of the World Cup, I made these Plantain Guacamole Bites to enjoy with my friends, as we watched the US play! The fresh flavors transport you to Brazil. Each bite offers a fruity sweetness from the plantain, a tart kick from the lime, and a little spice from the jalapeño. I would recommend making extras, because I know I could eat them all by myself!

Plantain Guacamole Bites

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Watermelon and Feta Bites with Mint

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Mini Antipasto Platter

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Caramelized Onion Crostini

Summer has always been my favorite season. As a child, I would spend all day in the pool or playing outside with friends. Soaking in the sun and fun I stayed outside until sunset at which point I would come inside and eat everything in sight. I do not know if it was from all the energy I used playing, but my appetite was three times larger in the summer. Now as an adult (still a little bit of a scary phrase at 25), not much has changed. Of course I have to go to work on weekdays, but I rise extra early and stay out a little later to enjoy the outdoors. I feel very blessed to live in the San Francisco Area, as the sun shines bright and I am surrounded by the beautiful bay!

This weekend, to celebrate Memorial Day, some of my friends and I made a special trip to a local beach town, Pacifica. I was astounded by the beauty surrounding me – soft sandy beaches, rolling hills, magnificent houses, surfers galore, and gorgeous people everywhere you looked. The day was magical. After the beach, we all headed over to my house for dinner and judging from my summer appetite, I knew we would be hungry. This Caramelized Onion Crostini Recipe fit the bill. It has lightly toasted French bread with a little olive oil, goat brie cheese, and delicately caramelized onions. The mix of textures comes together perfectly, creating a savory delight with a tinge of sweetness from the onions. It was a pleasure to share this with such good friends on a special holiday weekend and boy did it start the evening right.

Caramelized Onion Crostini Recipe

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Mini Caprese Bites with a Pesto Dipping Sauce

IMG_2187We have had an exciting week. Stefanie’s cilantro garlic chicken wings were chosen as the recipe of the day at the Toronto Wing Festival. What a great feeling! Onto our mini caprese bites…

I had armloads of basil this week. My brother in law has the best garden and has been keeping me stocked with fresh herbs. I’ve made pesto twice this week, the first time in a food processor and the second time by hand. There is a big difference in taste but depending on time constraints either way works.  I’ve poached the garlic so it doesn’t overpower the delicate tomatoes and mozzarella. These bites are easy to put together and any leftover pesto can be used in sandwiches or on pasta. [click to continue…]

English Muffins


Years ago my friend Carol Flynn introduced me to her homemade English Muffins. Filled with nooks and crannies, it’s hard to stop eating them. Not only are they great for breakfast, but they also make the best cheeseburger buns and delicious garlic bread. The dough comes together very quickly. Cooked on a griddle over low heat they need minimal attention. They are so easy to make they may become a weekly habit. [click to continue…]

Beet Chips with Cilantro Hummus

Beet Chips and Cilantro Hummus Recipe

Beet Chips with Cilantro Hummus is the perfect recipe to make for a fun get together. They compliment each other deliciously and is a great gluten free option.

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