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Gluten Free

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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Crunchy Gluten Free Granola


I love breakfast, but these days I find myself in a rush every morning and breakfast unfortunately is the least of my concerns. That does not change the fact that I need a healthy breakfast to keep motivated throughout the day. This crunchy granola recipe enables me to do just that. You can make a large batch on Sunday and then eat it with dried fruit and yogurt throughout the week for a delicious protein packed meal!

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Pumpkin Casserole

Fall is great for many reasons: sweater weather, leaves changing colors, Halloween,
Thanksgiving, and pumpkins! Pumpkins are one of my favorite things to cook. They always make me reminiscent of childhood roasting salted pumpkin seeds with my family after carving silly faces on our pumpkins. We never were elaborate with our designs. Not only are the memories wonderful, the sweet taste of pumpkins is wonderful.

This pumpkin casserole is the perfect side for Thanksgiving. A sweet, savory dish that pairs well with turkey and stuffing. I used a pie pumpkin, smaller than your carving variety, but available at most grocery markets. You can also used canned pumpkin for any time constraints.


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Green Bean Almondine

I know I have said it before, but I cannot help to say it again. I love green beans. I could eat them every meal. Growing up we would buy pounds of green beans. For breakfast we would fry them with eggs, at lunch we would make a delicious salad with raw green beans, and then at dinner we would sauté them for a perfect side dish. It says a lot that I would not only not get sick of them, but that I would still crave them. I would love to hear how you enjoy your favorite green beans in the comments!

Thanksgiving is a perfect day to make all of your favorite green bean dishes. Especially with a big group, green beans are one veggie that is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. We have a lot of vegetarians in our family, so we are always looking for new ways to add filling dishes with protein to our holiday menu. Green bean almandine is a great way to do just this. It is delicious, salty, nutty, and crunchy making each bite the perfect taste sensation. I love garlic, so I added a clove to my recipe to make the dish a little more of my own. Feel free to leave it out! Either way it will be delicious!

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Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

I love Thanksgiving! I have always been a “give me all of the sides and hold the turkey” kind of girl. My favorites being the sausage stuffing, green beans, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, anything (and everything) cranberry… I am sure you get the idea. Thanksgiving vegetables are always the best vegetables, buttery and without concern over caloric content. I am always trying new fun ways to enjoy my favorite vegetables, so this year I have decided to make green bean casserole with a homemade cream of mushroom soup.

I have always been a little hesitant by green bean casserole because of the canned soup and canned onions. I knew a lot of people who loved the Thanksgiving side dish, however, which made me want to see what it was about this combination. I decided to make this dish by using all fresh homemade components. And, it was delicious. The snap of the green beans, the nuttiness of the mushrooms, and the crunch of the onions. No wonder this is a Thanksgiving favorite!


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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Burger

This year for my birthday my mom gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts – a few cooking classes of my choosing. This gift was really two presents in one. The first, was obvious, the opportunity to learn new techniques and skills. The second, and most special, was the opportunity for discussion with my mom about class choices, the lessons learned, and discussing how our eductions differed. I feel so lucky to be able to share this passion for cooking with my mom.

One of the cooking classes I signed up for was a knife class. I have experience with knives, but needed improvement in both technique and efficiency. If you have never taken a knife class before, I could not recommend it more. We cut onions, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and even a grapefruit. Learning tips and tricks along the way. After leaving the class, I went to the store and stocked up on all sorts of funky shaped vegetables to practice what I learned.

After a lot of chopping, I decided to make veggie burgers to avoid wasting any of my practice material. These veggie burgers are hearty and rich. The sweet from sweet potato and red pepper, pairs nicely with the kick from the chili powder. These burgers are perfect alone, on a salad, or as plated below on a pretzel bun with pepper jack cheese and fresh mixed greens. I would love to hear how you enjoy them!

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Shrimp Taco Lettuce Wraps

Shrimp Taco Lettuce Wrap

It is officially fall in San Francisco and while sadly, we do not have the beautiful changing leaves, we do have 80 degree weather. The weather makes me want to just play outside and enjoy everything the city has to offer, including the plentiful parks.

This weekend marks one of the biggest celebrations in the parks all year, The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. I am grilling out ahead of time and coming prepared with these fun, Shrimp Taco Lettuce Wraps. You can make the ingredients up to a day ahead of time and keep them refrigerated or eat them when the shrimp is fresh off the grill. Either way they are guaranteed not to disappoint. [click to continue…]

Arugula and Honey Roasted Almond Salad

My dad loves making things. As a child, he built us a treehouse and dollhouses, throughout my adolescence he brewed beer, and now he is a beekeeper collecting delicious honey! He then shares the honey with us (my favorite!), uses it in food, and makes candles. I really enjoy this hobby of his.

Today using a special batch of his honey, I made an Arugula and Honey Roasted Almond Salad. The salad is light and summery offering a peppery bite from the arugula and a sweet, salty crunch from the almonds. The almonds also step this dish up a little offering a source of protein for a more complete meal!

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Watermelon and Feta Bites with Mint

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Lamb and Date Tagine

Lamb and Date Tagine Recipe

Around the time I turned 21, I was doing a six-month co-op for Johnson and Johnson in New Jersey. It was a wonderful experience; I loved the job and it made the commute home to Connecticut relatively short. The weekend before my birthday I went home to celebrate with my mom, stepdad, and grandpa. We had a wonderful celebration eating, gabbing, and laughing, and my mom surprised me with a beautiful Le Creuset tagine.

That was the last birthday I got to celebrate with my grandpa. But I am so lucky, because now whenever I cook with the tagine I think back to that night and all of my wonderful memories with my grandpa.

This lamb and date tagine recipe offers delicate and delicious flavors. The meat is exceptionally tender and holds a light sweetness from the dates. A dear friend of mine just returned to California after a long time away. I could not think of a better recipe to celebrate his return, as this recipe makes you feel right at home.

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