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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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Winter Squash Salad


We are so sorry it has been so long, sometimes you need to just run away and December was one of those months. So boy did we run! First we both went to Connecticut, then we went to Florida, and finally I spent a few days in southern California before coming back home to cook with you. This time was very magical because we got to spend it with the people we love most, our family. Cooking, laughing, eating, and enjoying every last moment. This time was also very special to me because after months of training I ran my first half marathon! Now that we are both home in our comfy houses, together via FaceTime and Skype, we promise that we will never take such a long break again.

As I’ve said the holidays were great and now with the New Year it’s the perfect time to eat deliciously and healthily. Today we made a winter squash salad, that combines the salty smoothness of goat cheese, the sweet flavor of golden raisons, the nutty crispness of acorn squash, and the heartiness of kale. This is great as a meal or as a compliment to a pasta or meat dish!
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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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Summer Pasta Salad

Summer and the livin’ is easy. Well I guess I shouldn’t say easy, I still have to work, but summer and the livin’ is magnificient is more like it! Summer breeds countless days in the sun, parties, and outdoor gatherings. If asked, I would have to say my favorite summer activity of all is an outdoor barbecue with friends, fun games and great food.

While I’ve been known to scoff down my share of cheeseburgers, I am very partial to the sides. I mean what’s better for soaking up that one-margarita-too-many than a nice pasta salad. Summer pasta salad is the perfect name for this recipe because it has light, fresh flavors creating a happy summertime moment with each bite.

Please share in the comments your favorite summertime activities and treats!

Summer Pasta Salad
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Eggplant Chickpea Stew

My go-to snack ever since childhood has been a can of chickpeas with salt and pepper. I just cannot get enough chickpeas – I love them! When other kids were bringing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school, I was bringing hummus sandwiches on pita bread. When my college roommates bought cases of mac and cheese or ramen noodles, I was online ordering a case  of chick peas from Amazon. That’s why a few years ago when I saw fresh, chickpeas in the pod on a cooking show, I knew I had to have them! I looked everywhere for the beans with no luck. Then this past week at my neighborhood Whole Foods, I saw none other than the beans starring at me from their almost hidden spot on the bottom shelf in the produce section.

After purchasing a few pounds of the chickpeas, I went to my kitchen to experiment. Eaten raw the chickpeas have a slightly sweet flavor with a tender crunch. They are everything I expected and more. While the beans are fabulous alone, combining them with these Mediterranean flavors brings out their whole flavor profile. This recipe has delicate, light flavors making it the perfect meal for any season.
Eggplant Garbanzo Bean Tagine
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