Mashed Sweet Potato and Smoked Gouda Cakes

Mashed Sweet Potato and Smoked Gouda Cakes

Am I still considered an adult if I called my mom just to complain that my nose felt “yucky?” I certainly hope so. I spent the back end of this week filled with phlem. This came at an extremely inconvenient time. I woke up with a dry, achy, sore throat around three in the morning…

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Roasted Cranberry Tart

Roasted Cranberry Tart

Culinary school has certainly taught me a thing or two about how to maneuver around my own tiny kitchen at home. I don’t exactly have the cabinet space for appliances like blenders and food processors, so I very often have to improvise. Before I moved to New York, I wouldn’t think twice about throwing all…

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Focaccia with Grapes and Olives

Focaccia with Grapes and Olives

Yesterday was one of those days that, in a perfect universe, would come with a rewind button. It was one of those days where you just don’t have it in you to pull yourself out of bed on time. It was one of those days where, once you do pull yourself out of bed, you beg…

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Cinnamon Apple Monkey Bread

Cinnamon Apple Monkey Bread

On any ordinary day, I generally leave my apartment in the morning wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt. So when I hopped on the train this morning and saw a woman with the most perfect ankle boot/infinity scarf/fedora coordination that has ever been witnessed, I could only think… I bet her underwear and bra match…

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Pumpkin Apple Soup with Cumin-Candied Pepitas

Pumpkin Apple Soup with Cumin-Candied Pepitas

Cough, cough. I’m sick. I’ve got PUMPKIN FEVER!!! Hashtag bad dad joke. But really… so much so that I found a bit of roasted pumpkin from this soup in the washing machine when I did laundry earlier this week. Totally serious. Pumpkin on my panties. A lot of the recipes that I make and share…

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Pumpkin Cake French Toast

Pumpkin Cake French Toast

It’s fall, ya’ll!!! So what’s new in my life? Well… I recently learned that I can recite Hocus Pocus verbatim. So that’s depressing. I bought what I was told were seedless grapes this weekend. In fact, they were not seedless. I could make grape seed oil with all of those grape seeds. My dog is…

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Spicy Pickle, Ham, and Pawlet Sandwiches

Spicy Quick Pickle, Ham, and Pawlet Sandwiches

Here’s the deal. Halloween is over. Christmas music, Christmas decorations, and all-around holiday cheer are now 100% acceptable. I celebrate in private all year long, but only in public once I deem it necessary to wear a scarf. Those are the rules. I was overjoyed to learn that my roommate is as crazy about the…

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Aunt Norma's Seven Layer Bars

Aunt Norma’s Seven Layer Bars

It was the worst and most painful text message I had ever received. It was from my mother and it read something like “I can’t afford to subsidize your Diet Coke addiction anymore.” My heart sunk. ‘Twas like I had lost a close family member. The expression on my face probably would have led others…

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Pecorino and Black Pepper Potato Skins

Pecorino and Black Pepper Potato Skins

I can’t seem to get rid of the Southern in me when it comes to cooking, which is not necessarily a good thing when learning how to cook classic French cuisine. I guess I do some “southern” things when cooking that I didn’t even realize. My chef instructor, who knows I’m from Texas, has reminded me that…

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The Ultimate Ooey Gooey Chocolate Brownies

The Ultimate Ooey Gooey Chocolate Brownies

Someone asked me why I was single today. I still don’t know whether to take that as a compliment or a punch in the stomach. It’s a horrible question, either way. Do you have three hours for me to explain, kind sir? In his defense, I have reason to believe he was homeless, but still……

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Latke and Smoked Salmon Stacks

Latke and Smoked Salmon Stacks

One of the first things we learned how to cook in culinary school was – you guessed it – a potato. Like, eight different ways in the span of six hours. One of my favorites was the recipe for pommes darphin. I remember making it for the first time and slowly but surely realizing that…

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Skillet Pumpkin Cornbread

Skillet Pumpkin Cornbread

Hey there. I’m currently recovering from Wednesday, otherwise known as the dreaded day of oeuf and boeuf. During level three, we’ve been having these mock midterms. They’re basically designed to prepare us for our real midterm, where we pick two dishes out of a hat and have to prepare them for a panel of judges…

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Pear, Apple, and Cranberry Cornmeal Crumbles

Pear, Apple, and Cranberry Cornmeal Crumbles

If there happens to be anyone that lives in my apartment building reading this post, you’re welcome for making the entire building smell like cinnamon and rainbows and everything perfect this weekend. I will not, however, be sharing any of the food that made the place smell like cinnamon and rainbows and everything perfect with…

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Caramel Apple Turnovers

Caramel Apple Turnovers

Following your dreams is exhausting. No one tells you that. The disparity between how my roommate and I leave the apartment in the morning is stunning. She leaves with her hair and makeup done, smelling nice and looking cute. I leave smelling much less nice and looking like I just rolled out of bed. Because…

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Spinach, Feta, and Bresaola Tartlets

Spinach, Feta, and Bresaola Tartlets

As I was walking to the train this morning, I overheard an interesting conversation between a young girl (I’d say about six years old) and her dad. It went something like this: Girl: “Daddy, I love Fridays.” Dad: “Oh yeah? Why?” Girl: “Because the next day I don’t have to wake up or do anything.”…

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Almond Brown Sugar Pound Cake2

Almond Brown Sugar Pound Cake

I have been having the hardest time waking up for the last few days. It’s not like I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m pretty sure I just have a genetic predisposition toward wanting to die when I wake up in the morning. My mom is the same way. If the devil came to her and…

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Toasted Ciabatta with Shrimp and Tarragon Butter

Toasted Ciabatta with Shrimp and Tarragon Butter

It has been a whirlwind week. My weeks don’t go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday anymore. One week to me now means Garde Manger, Poissonier, Saucier, Patissiere, Exam/PANIC. My Saturdays and Sundays are now consumed by sleep, laundry, and catching up on TV shows. Like, is Gotham as good as I’ve made it out to…

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Lemon Olive Oil Coffee Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Coffee Cake

Good morning from my bed where I will remain until the end times. Well… until my bladder is like “Yo, Riley. Come on.” Can I just start out this conversation with a quick question? Consommé. Has anyone here ever made consommé? If you’re wondering what consommé is, allow me to explain. You basically take some…

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Marinated Margherita Flatbread2

Marinated Margherita Flatbread

If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind that I am truly, madly, and deeply in love with cheese, it was proven to be false yesterday. Because yesterday was cheese day. I know. I had the same reaction. THERE’S A CHEESE DAY??? A WHOLE ENTIRE DAY DEDICATED TO CHEESE??? I said that in my best…

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Strawberry Crumble Bars

Strawberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

I learned a few things today. The first – NYC in the pouring rain during rush hour is pure madness. I’m surprised I didn’t lose an eye this morning, what with the hundreds of umbrellas flying in my face. On the bright side, people walk faster. There’s no stragglers when you’re determined to not spend…

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Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Celery Root Slaw

Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Celery Root Slaw

Every day this week felt like Friday. I don’t know why, but it felt like something special was happening every day this week. Monday was special, oh I don’t know, maybe because I met Jacques Pepin and it was the best day of my life. Tuesday because we made soufflés, profiteroles, and mousse. Wednesday because…

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Maple, Almond, and Cranberry Granola

Maple, Almond, and Cranberry Granola

This is the story of Riley and her terrific, delightful, so good, very rad day. Wow, lame sauce. Anyway… I have never in my life enjoyed a Monday as much as I did yesterday. I hold the firm belief that no matter how much you love what you do, waking up on a Monday morning…

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Tuscan White Bean Crostini

Tuscan White Bean Crostini

I think deciding to go to culinary school was the best decision I have ever made. I just love it. I love that my first task coming back after a long weekend was to blanch a lamb tongue. I love that people offer me bread every day. I love that the pastry students bring over…

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Lemon Pistachio Cookies

Lemon Pistachio Cookies

You know what? I made three different kinds of cookies this weekend and I don’t even feel bad about it. Know why? Because I live on the fourth floor of a walk up building. I mean, it’s a surefire weight loss program and I have buns of steel now, but I still feel like there…

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Spicy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa

Spicy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa

It’s nearly impossible for me to wrap my head around this, but I’m already three days into level 2 (out of 6) of culinary school. I cannot believe how quickly the time is going, but at the same time, I cannot believe that I’m this exhausted after only one month… I am in desperate need…

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Maple Bacon BLT with Pickled Shallots

Maple Bacon BLT with Pickled Shallots

We had our first practical exam in which we had to prove to Chef Dominique that we can use knives without hurting ourselves and others in class today. Usually our exams just require the ability to memorize definitions and diagrams. But today I didn’t slice anyone open. And every day that I don’t slice someone…

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Salted Chocolate Espresso Brookies

Salted Chocolate Espresso Brookies

Is there some sort of ‘So You’re an Adult Now: How to Proceed’ book that I can read? Well, skim. Obviously I don’t have time to read a whole book. I’m a busy adult now. I didn’t even read my textbooks in college. (Errrm… Mom, stop reading.) I’m really wishing there was a ‘How to…

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Grilled Salmon with Peach and Pickled Onion Salad

Grilled Salmon with Peach and Pickled Onion Salad

Rules of the professional kitchen include: no whistling, no singing, no dancing. What is this, the town from Footloose? Also, no chopping the head off of the fish and making it talk like C3PO. Last week we started to work with fish. We played with some sea bass, flounder, and Mr. Trout seen here. Today…

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Smoked Chicken Salad with Peanuts and Apples

Smoked Chicken Salad with Peanuts and Apples

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I totally rocked it this week in culinary school. Monday, I made a duck leg my bitch. Tuesday, I made some salads my bitches. Wednesday, I made waffle fries my bitch. And so on. We started off with preservation, moved on to salads, and then came…

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Peach, Bacon, and Smoked Mozzarella Panini

Peach, Bacon, and Smoked Mozzarella Panini

I’m well into my third week of culinary school and it’s been pretty fun so far. I’m finally surrounded by my peeps. My kind of people. The kind of people that also received measuring cups and cast-iron skillets for Christmas and had a Martha Stewart Living subscription at the age of twelve (there’s legit another…

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Homemade Challah

Homemade Challah

New York City has a lot of quirks. Take the subway. My ride home from culinary school is honestly more enjoyable than peeling myself out of those big bulky chef uniforms and somehow managing to force my body (that at this point is 99% dried sweat) into skinny jeans. Fine, they’re jeggings. Sue me. Anyway,…

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Hanger Steak Breakfast Tacos with Avocado Mash

Hanger Steak Breakfast Tacos with Avocado Mash

You know when you move into a new place and you kind of feel like a stranger in someone else’s home? You kind of feel like you just took up permanent residence in a hotel? I remember when I moved into my dorm room when I started college. I got there, my family left, and…

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Pickled Apple, Cheddar, and Bacon Sandwiches

Pickled Apple, Cheddar, and Bacon Sandwiches

Jardiniere, and macédoine, and brunoise, oh my! My first week of culinary school is complete! Someone fainted, someone vomited, and at least seven people sliced open their fingers, and that was just the first day. None of these people were me, believe it or not. So I call this week a total win for Riley!…

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Blueberry Pancakes with Vanilla-Poached Apricots

Blueberry Pancakes with Vanilla-Poached Apricots

I start my first day of culinary school tomorrow morning and I get the feeling that I am in for a world of hurt. As you may know, I cannot resist of good loaf of bread. My list of favorite foods goes bread, then chocolate, then cheese. If I was deserted on an island and…

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Black Bean Soup with Spicy Chipotle Crema2

Black Bean Soup with Spicy Chipotle Crema

Today was orientation day at culinary school! I’m super pumped now. As pumped as I can be, because getting there was a little tough. You see, I’m staying with my brother until I can move into my new apartment, and the train in his neighborhood is being serviced. So first I had to take a…

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Quinoa Cakes with Basil-Chive Cream

Quinoa Cakes with Basil-Chive Cream

Good news, everyone! I won’t be living on the streets! My new roomie and I applied for the cutest, most charming, and (rather unfortunately) tiniest little apartment there ever was on Friday and we were just informed today that we got it! I sign on the dotted line tomorrow! The place is quaint and packs…

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Homemade Pita Bread

Homemade Pita Bread

48 hours in New York City and it has been quite an adventure so far. I feel like I could write a book, but instead I’m writing a blog post. Within the first 8 hours I managed to slice my pinky toe open on a broken wine glass and had to walk 10 blocks with…

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Blueberry Rhubarb Turnovers

Blueberry Rhubarb Turnovers

Holy hell. Come early tomorrow morning, I’ll be putting most of my life and personal space into the hands of the TSA and boarding a plane for New York! I start culinary school in 15 days. WHAT??? I’ve finally found a great roommate, and that was quite a feat. I went through more than my fair share…

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Fried Plantain Chips

Fried Plantain Chips

Next week I’m making the big move to New York to start looking for an apartment and start culinary school! I’m extremely unprepared. I can’t even decide on the definitive color scheme for my room, which is obviously the most important part. I’m only now realizing that I have a few very precious days to enjoy…

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Cucumber, Watermelon, and Roasted Corn Salad

Cucumber, Watermelon, and Roasted Corn Salad

Let me tell you the absolute best part about moving to a different city. In my case, I currently live in the same city that I grew up in. The same city where I went to high school. This means I often run into a lot of people that I don’t want to run into….

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Caramelized Pineapple

Roasted Pineapple Ice Cream with Caramel

I’m thinking about taking up a new hobby. Generally when people ask me what I do in my free time, I tell them that I love to cook. But soon I’ll be doing that for a living, and I’m pretty sure there’s an unwritten rule somewhere that says your hobby can’t be your occupation. And…

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Burrata and Peach Chutney Crostini

Burrata and Peach Chutney Crostini

My sweet baby girl got her teeth cleaned this morning and she’s been zonked out right next to her mama on the couch ever since. She’s a warm, cuddly, gingivitis-free zombie. The ride home was hilarious. She was rolling around the seat like a half-empty water bottle for 10 minutes. Now she has a lazy…

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Cherry-Plum Pie Pops

Cherry-Plum Pie Pops

Guess what arrived in the mail the other day? That flimsy, stupid, and (for some reason) enormous college diploma that proves I is smarts. Some of you may know that I majored in accounting. Because when I went to college initially, I thought to myself, what is the easiest major I can find that will…

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Grilled Flank Steaks with Sicilian Olive Tapenade

Grilled Flank Steaks with Sicilian Olive Tapenade

Let’s talk about the delicate dance that is finding a roommate. I know that I already complained about this particular subject recently, but some recent online conversations have proven to be very disturbing. This issue is far from over. I just don’t understand why some people say the things that they do when they are…

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Strawberry Lemonade Paletas

Strawberry Lemonade Paletas

I think it’s safe to say that summer (or at least the unbearable weather that comes with it) is officially here. That means fresh berries, homemade ice cream, and BBQs. Bring it on! Oh wait… Actually summer means very little of that for me. Not this year. This year, at least half of my summer…

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Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos

Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos

Let me start by saying thank you! My first eCookbook was released last weekend. And since I’m as awesome as they come, I made it free for all of you for two days. Boy, did you guys take advantage of that! The cookbook got over 1,000 downloads in the first 48 hours! Amazing! The not…

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HEALTHY-SWAPS-COVER-FINAL

Big News: The ‘Healthy Swaps’ E-Cookbook Is Here!

I have some exciting news to share with you! For the last few months, I have been working on my very first E-Cookbook and it’s finally here!!! The book is called ‘Healthy Swaps‘ and it is designed for the Amazon Kindle. The book is filled with 40 fresh and healthy recipes that are guaranteed to…

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Three Cheese Garlic Gnocchi

Three Cheese Garlic Gnocchi

I’m a long suffering insomniac. I spend a lot of time staring at the ceiling in the dark, wondering if I should take another melatonin. But there are few things worse than the emotional roller coaster that comes along with not being able to get comfortable even though you are absolutely exhausted. Last night was one…

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Salty Pretzel Bites with Cheddar-Beer Dip

Salty Pretzel Bites with Cheddar-Beer Dip

I have never been less interested in a NBA playoff since… last year. Normally, I would say anyone but the Heat. But I’m a Dallas Mavs fan. I bleed blue. I was born a Mavs fan and I will die a Mavs fan. Therefore, I will die before I root for the Spurs. But at…

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Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding with Roasted Berries

Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding with Roasted Berries

When you’re recovering from surgery, you get bored. You learn a lot of useless things that you keep wondering about but keep forgetting to look up. For instance, did you know that cats don’t have collar bones? I also looked into slotted cereal spoons and whether or not you can embarrass your dog. I thought…

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Mexican Chorizo and Sweet Potato Hash

Mexican Chorizo and Sweet Potato Hash

I’ve decided that hash is the ultimate kitchen sink meal. It is literally just a skillet full of wonderful things that you find in your refrigerator that you don’t want to let spoil. We all have extra vegetables or cheese or herbs that are just waiting to stink up their prospective drawer in the fridge….

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Roasted Poblano and Creamed Corn Ravioli

Roasted Poblano and Creamed Corn Ravioli

Corn – it’s just cool. It’s like the Kenickie of the vegetable family. Speaking of Kenickie, can we take a minute to talk about how excited I am about the live-action Grease special??? I still have that Sound of Music thing on my DVR. Still haven’t gotten around to watching that. Don’t think I ever…

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Peach Brown Betty Muffins

Peach Brown Betty Muffins

You. You, person who is reading this right now. This is your fault. I’m now currently reflecting on my sad life, because I’ve been sitting at my computer trying to think of something to write about for the last hour. Then I realized I have been super boring lately and have accomplished and experienced next…

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Peppered Steaks with Roasted Garlic Butter

Peppered Steaks with Roasted Garlic Butter

Emotional cleanup in aisle five. My poor little dog, being the senior citizen that she is, had to go to the vet yesterday She had to get a shot in her hip, and now she is sore and limping around like an old lady. She is utterly traumatized, and wouldn’t even eat her breakfast this…

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Pan-Seared Salmon with Tomato-Olive Salsa

Pan-Seared Salmon with Tomato-Olive Salsa

Addiction runs in my family. Salt addiction, that is. It is a real disease and it afflicts every member of my family (except for my uncle, but he just has a pepper problem instead.) We salt everything. We fight over the three, yes three, salt shakers on the table when we get together with the…

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Roasted Strawberry-Buttermilk Ice Cream

Roasted Strawberry-Buttermilk Ice Cream

There are three things that we all know to be true about summer. 1) Ice cream becomes everyone’s best friend. 2) Back sweat is a completely normal thing that you shouldn’t be ashamed of. 3) No one ever wants to turn on their oven. I’m going to ask you to break that third rule and…

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Cheesy Gnudi with Green Beans and Pesto

Cheesy Gnudi with Green Beans and Pesto

Queue the inappropriate and immature giggles. Gnudi – it stands in a long line of my favorite words that are fun to say, e.g.: Worcestershire, wonky, zeitgeist, lackadaisical, gnudi. But don’t think I’m making this just because it sounds funny. It’s my new favorite thing. Gnudi are like gnocchi, only better. We’re skipping the whole…

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Shrimp and Pineapple Pizza with Chipotle Glaze

Shrimp and Pineapple Pizza with Chipotle Glaze

So what’s new in my life… Well life after college has been very successful so far. I’m still pulling all-nighters, but instead of studying, I’m just getting caught up on Golden Girls marathons. I made lemon bars the other day… I got my teeth cleaned yesterday. Made a pie today. I made a doctor’s appointment…

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Lemongrass Margaritas

Lemongrass Margaritas

Thursday marked my very last day of college. Ever. The feeling you get knowing that you never have to set foot in that hell hole again is a feeling unlike any other. I think it will live on as the best moment in my entire life. Marriage, birth of children, eh. I can take it or…

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Lemongrass-Marinated Flank Steak

Lemongrass-Marinated Flank Steak

I hereby declare this week as lemongrass appreciation week. Today, we’re using it in a spicy marinade for flank steak. This weekend, we’ll be using it to flavor a tasty drink. A tasty, boozy drink that I’ll be using to celebrate my release from prison… erm… I mean college. A drink that can also be…

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Baked Feta with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce

Baked Feta with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce

Folks, you are not going to believe this, but I am seven days, three exams, one presentation, one paper, twenty prolonged sighs, five eye rolls, one hair pull, one very large brain cramp, and I’d say two or three panic attacks away from being a college graduate. I can see the light at the end…

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White Chocolate Scones with Lemon Curd

White Chocolate Scones with Lemon Curd

I love my grandpa, but the man has this one weird… habit, for a lack of a better word. He takes a love of all things lemon to an entirely different level, meaning he eats the entire lemon, seeds, rind, and all. It’s disgusting. Just thinking about it makes my teeth hurt. The man just…

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Brookies with Salty Caramel Filling

Brookies with Salty Caramel Filling

In 18 days, I will know what freedom feels like. A huge burden will be lifted off of my shoulders and it won’t feel like a Jeep is sitting on my chest anymore. College has definitely been the worst part of my life so far, and I have had something legitimately emotionally devastating happen to…

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Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Apricot Chutney

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Apricot-Currant Chutney

I’ve reached a lull when it comes to school work. I have nothing urgent or pressing that absolutely must be completed for at least a week. What that means is that I’m lying in wait, anticipating that something is going to go horribly wrong. I’m waiting for the email that says something to the tune…

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Chocolate Chipotle Pudding Tarts

Chocolate-Chipotle Pudding Tarts

Here’s what I have concluded from college – there comes a time during those four years (hopefully it is toward the end) when you have simply put your brain through too much and it is just physically incapable of comprehending any more information. It doesn’t even have anything to do with a lack of motivation…

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Muffuletta Pasta

Muffuletta Pasta

Picture it – Sicily 1922. It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times. It was Sicily 1922. A beautiful young woman with breasts not unlike Brigette Neilson, except hers moved when she skipped, comes walking down a picturesque country road when suddenly a yellow Rolls Royce pulls up and blocks her path….

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Green Chile Skillet Queso

Green Chile Skillet Queso

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you eat for your final meal? I have a sweet tooth, but I also love me some good Texas BBQ. That’s the only good thing about dying – you don’t have to choose. I would definitely request a dying brunch consisting of a short…

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Cornmeal Waffles with Balsamic Strawberry Sauce

Cornmeal Waffles with Balsamic Strawberry Sauce

I recently binged on Parks and Recreation in its entirety. Those are some depressingly relatable characters, am I right? I definitely have a lot of Ron Swanson in me. We both hate people. I have some April in me. She also hates people. I have some Ben in me as well. He too has disdain…

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Chile-Braised Brisket Tostadas

Chile-Braised Brisket Tostadas

T-minus 36 days until I am released from the hell that I call college and many people around me call ‘that place that flips her bitch switch.’ Whoever decided that these are supposed to be the best years of your life was clearly not all there. The only thing that is really helping me through these last…

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Hazelnut Cream Cupcakes

Hazelnut Cream Cupcakes

[WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD] If you are like me and watch a lot of TV, you’ve probably had a hard few weeks. That poor little girl completely lost it on The Walking Dead. Some creepy ninja thing stabbed Allison in the stomach (and me in the heart, consequently) on Teen Wolf. Will was killed off…

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Greek Panzanella Salad

Greek Panzanella Salad

I took this online survey a while ago that matches you with potential roommates, since I’m going to need one when I move to New York for culinary school (!!!) Some of the questions are very specific, which I guess is a good thing, but I have a hard time believing that most people are…

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Mini Cinnamon Raisin Coffee Cakes

Mini Cinnamon-Raisin Coffee Cakes

Let it be known that there is no word in the English dictionary that can be used to describe the pain and anguish that a 20-something girl that grew up in the mid-90’s to early-2000’s feels when she discovers that The Backstreet Boys are going on tour and then realizes that she won’t be attending….

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Poblano Chile Gratin

Poblano Chile Gratin

I hate St. Patrick’s Day. Ugh. My disdain for this holiday has only grown with age. When I was younger, I hated it because people always pinched me when I wasn’t wearing something green. I always gave them a serious glare… made them stare into my GREEN eyes. Then I told them I was wearing…

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Smoked Sausage, Apple, and Manchego Sandwiches

Smoked Sausage, Apple, and Manchego Sandwiches

How many of you are obsessed with those quizzes like “Which Friends character are you?” or “What kind of cat are you?” I can tell you right now that I’m a total Monica and a fat, lazy indoor cat. Which Will and Grace character am I? Grace Adler. Which Gilmore Girls guy is my soulmate?…

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Pretzel Peanut Butter Crispy Bars2

Pretzel Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

Grudges. I’m really good at holding them. Mainly stupid ones and mainly against my mother. Not for spiteful reasons but just because I like to push her buttons sometimes. I’ll never let her forget the time that she made me take a nap on my fourth birthday. Although I should probably let that one go…

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Balsamic Fig-Stuffed Pork Chops

Balsamic Fig-Stuffed Pork Chops

You know what’s really great? And I mean really great? Getting letters and emails from your college begging you for money. It’s the best thing that has happened to me in a while, and I am freakishly aware of how sad that is. But it means that I am almost free from that god-foresaken place, and…

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Agave-Crusted Salmon with Blood Orange Salsa Verde

Agave-Crusted Salmon with Blood Orange Salsa Verde

Being alone with nothing but your thoughts is the worst. That’s why I hate going to sleep so much. You just lay there and imagine all of the worst possible outcomes for every situation that you could possibly face in the near future. And then when I try to count or something like that, I…

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Apple Crumb Muffins

Apple Crumb Muffins

I had a dream last night that I ate a whole batch of muffins and 20 some odd doughnuts in one sitting and it was magical. I think I woke up with indigestion. I want that to be my recurring dream instead of my latest one where I’m a K-Pop superstar. I cannot confirm or…

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Roasted Vegetable Cornbread Cobbler

Roasted Vegetable Cornbread Cobbler

The other day, I put some real thought into who, whether they be dead, alive, or fictional, I relate to most. I came to the conclusion that I am a relatively evenly weighted mixture of Sophia Petrillo, Carson Kressley, and Grumpy Cat. Sophia Petrillo because I am admitttedly as pessimistic and passive aggressive as that…

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White Corn Shrimp Taco Salad

White Corn Shrimp Taco Salad

You know what question I hate the most? What is something interesting about you? You see, just like all of you, I am incredibly ordinary and I hate having to pretend like I have some special, intriguing quality that a room full of strangers should know. Not to mention, I definitely thought these silly questions…

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Cranberry, Apple, and Pear Crostata

Cranberry, Apple, and Pear Crostata

I have a love/hate relationship with those little messages on the Dove chocolate wrappers. They build you up and make you feel so good about yourself. First it’s like, follow your dreams, sleep in today, don’t sweat the small stuff. But then they just drag you down and it’s like you need to smile more,…

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Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Scramble

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Scramble

I miss the days when Netflix didn’t realize that more than one person was using an account. It’s pretty amusing when you share an account with your mother and brother. At least, it used to be. The eerily specific movie genres that showed up one after the other were something to marvel at. ‘Witty Dysfunctional-Family…

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Sweetheart Sugar Cookies

Sweetheart Sugar Cookies

Let it be known that my mother most definitely has a favorite child. I’ve suspected it all along. But now I have cold, hard proof. Usually for Valentine’s Day, my mom likes to get me and my brother small presents, even though we are fully formed adults. Whatever, free candy. It’s never a huge gift,…

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Fettuccine with Roasted Garlic Sauce

Fettuccine with Roasted Garlic Sauce

So I have this class on Friday nights from 7-10 pm. Because what better way to spend the beginning of your weekend than with a man from Dubai that likes to go off on tangents about the wingspan of military airplanes? Boring. And random, right? My mother suggested that I pay attention and try to…

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Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

This morning I woke up with my dog’s butt directly in my face and I realized something. I’m 22 years old. In less than six months, I’m going to be starting culinary school, then six months later I’m going to be a real life grown up human dealing with real life grown up human things….

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream Tart

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream Tart

Chocolate. You’re doing it wrong. So wrong. You think you know how to eat chocolate, don’t you? Right now, you’re thinking you’ve been eating chocolate like a pro this whole time, right? Well you haven’t. You’ve been popping bonbons your whole life, but unless you have experienced this Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream Tart, you have…

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Sweet Potato and Apple Ravioli

Sweet Potato and Apple Ravioli

Being awake at four in the morning is fascinating. What’s on TV, particularly. I’m totally into the “as seen on TV” products. It’s my favorite aisle at CVS. I mean, the hurry cane? That’ll come in handy one day. The chillow pillow? Awesome. My feet are always freezing, but the rest of me is always…

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Caramelized Onion Barbecue Grilled Cheese

Caramelized Onion Barbecue Grilled Cheese

The first week of my last semester of college is over! And it started off with a bang that triggered a near heart attack on my part. Imagine my surprise when I woke up to an email telling me that all of my classes had been dropped. Way to give a girl a heads up,…

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Spiced Apple Cider Fritters

Spiced Apple Cider Fritters

There are just some things that are never going to happen. Not in my lifetime. Like fetch. Fetch is never going to happen. I’m never going to see a commercial for male enhancement drugs that doesn’t make me uncomfortable. There will never be a time when I will refuse a freshly fried doughnut if it’s…

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Barbecue Pulled Pork Biscuit Sandwiches2

Barbecue Pulled Pork Biscuit Sandwiches

Dolly Parton once said, “My weaknesses have always been food and men – in that order.” I can relate, girlfriend. Especially when it comes to biscuits. I just can’t contain myself. I cannot be trusted in the presence of warm, flaky, buttery homemade biscuits fresh out of the oven. Not many biscuits make it out…

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Serrano-Wrapped Chicken with Basil Sauce

Serrano-Wrapped Chicken with Basil Sauce

You know why I love the news so much? While it brings us stories of tragedy each and every day, it also brings us heartwarming stories that make you consider reconsidering your stance on humanity. And then Dennis Rodman goes to North Korea again and brings us something so entertaining that you can watch it…

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Mexican Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate

I’m doing pretty well on that list of New Year’s resolutions that I made for myself this year. I exercised three times last week. I’m eight episodes into season one of The OC. And I sang a little Barbara Streisand in the shower just yesterday. But if we’re being completely honest, I did watch Teen…

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Salmon with White Beans and Kale

Salmon with White Beans and Kale

Happy New Year everyone!!! This next year is going to be a huge one for me. It is the year that I will start culinary school, something that I’ve been looking forward to since I started high school. It is the year that I will graduate from college, something that I’ve also been looking forward…

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Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto

Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto

I am constantly amazed at some of the Google search terms that somehow lead to my blog. Things like “disgusting rice recipe,” “watch George Clooney eat a donut” and “2.” Just “2.” It gets me thinking. Is the internet just super good at creeping on me, or am I sharing way too much weird information…

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Top10(2)

Yours + Mine: Our Favorite Recipes from 2013

This has been quite a tasty year, yes? There’s been a lot of cooking and eating at my house. I’ve shared a lot of recipes with you over the course of this year, but there were a few that stood out. I put together a list of the recipes that both you and I loved…

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Cocoa-Cinnamon Marshmallows

Cocoa-Cinnamon Marshmallows

This is my last Christmas where I can justify doing absolutely nothing for weeks on end. Apparently, you relinquish that privilege once you’re done with school, so I am taking full advantage of it right now. You know what I did yesterday? I made marshmallows. That’s all. The day before that? I sat on the…

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Ginger Cream Whoopie Pies

Ginger Cream Whoopie Pies

Behold, my favorite Christmas cookie ever. This is everything that a Christmas cookie should be, and then some. These Ginger Cream Whoopie Pies started out as cookies, with a little icing smeared on top instead of smushed between two cookies. My grandma started making them long before I ever came around. Consequently, I have been…

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Spicy Turkey and Chickpea Chili

Spicy Turkey and Chickpea Chili

You might have heard me talk about the stray cats that have taken refuge in my neighborhood once of twice before. I don’t think I ever fully explained the situation, though. There are at least twelve feral cats that wander around from porch to porch in my neighborhood. They’ve all been spayed, and the whole…

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Peppermint Red Velvet Cupcakes

Peppermint Red Velvet Cupcakes

A huge ice storm hit Dallas last weekend. I had about six stray cats and a dog that was ever so reluctant to pee outside on my hands. I was stuck inside most of the time, but it wasn’t all too bad. I got a lot of cooking done – chili, stew, muffins. The possibilities…

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Spicy Pork and Pineapple Tacos

Spicy Pork and Pineapple Tacos

It’s settled. I’m going to start putting everything that I eat in a wonton cup. Not only are they super duper cute and fun to eat, but the package comes with approximately four thousand billion gazillion wonton wrappers. Does it not occur to them that when I shop at Whole Foods, I’m not typically looking…

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My Grandma's Chili

My Grandma’s Chili

I’m enjoying a pseudo-snow day! It’s icy and slippery outside, and my dog is not enjoying it one bit. She’s clumsy enough as it is, so while watching her trip on ice is slightly enjoyable for me, she seems less enthused. She is also being forced to wear her pink fleece sweater, the poor thing….

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Baked Root Vegetable Chips with Garlic-Rosemary Salt

Baked Root Vegetable Chips with Garlic-Rosemary Salt

Feel gross yet? After all of the food that you no doubt consumed on Thanksgiving, I’m willing to bet you feel fatter than ever right now. Not to mention, you are still working your way through those leftovers. You are probably looking for something light and healthy right about now. I’m thinking you are going…

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Turkey Melts with Cranberry Chutney and Cheddar

Turkey Melts with Cranberry Chutney and Cheddar

Hope you all had a fun, safe, and (most importantly) delicious Thanksgiving! It’s the holiday that revolves around food – most importantly, leftovers. This is one of the best uses of leftover turkey and cranberry sauce that I’ve made so far, and it’s really simple. I hope you all get a chance to try these…

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Spicy Candied Almonds

Spicy Candied Almonds

Anyone who loves to cook learned from someone. My grandma has always been a huge influence on me in the kitchen. She is the best cook that I know. Even if we are given the same exact recipe to cook, hers will always turn out just the slightest bit tastier than mine. She has the…

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Toasted Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Toasted Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Today, we are going to learn about manners. Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and if you are lucky enough to be invited over to someone else’s home on the big day (and consequently not having to cook) then you better be prepared with a little something-something to bring along to express your gratitude….

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Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese Bars2

Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese Bars

Somebody had a little work done!! Ain’t she a beauty? My Daily Morsel got a new design and I can’t stop looking at it. Homework be damned! It’s a lot cleaner and easier to navigate now, so I hope you all like it! I’m still working out some kinks and learning how to maneuver around…

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Maple, Brandy, and Fig Ice Cream

Maple, Brandy, and Fig Ice Cream

This week is quickly working its way up the list as one of the worst in my lifetime. It’s meeting a lot of the criteria – vindictive college students stealing my parking spaces, dealing with incompetent people who are supposed to know about the technology they are selling me, GROUP PROJECTS. Seriously, this week I…

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Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

It’s that time of year again. I’m going to ambush you with lots of Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts. I want you to have as many choices as possible, and if it so happens that you can’t pick your favorites, I’ve heard it said that anything under twenty side dishes is totally acceptable on Thanksgiving….

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin cake is a staple for my family during the holidays. My grandma has made it every Thanksgiving since I can remember. She faces a terse line of questioning on the big day that goes something like “Can I frost the cake now? Please? Can I please frost the cake now? I think I should…

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Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Raita

Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Raita

While watching Scandal last week, I realized I am a totally mature grown up person now. I’ve based this conclusion upon the many different characters that Scott Foley plays on television. (Side note: that man does not age. It’s unreal.) I watched Felicity off and on when it was on the air, but I’m pretty…

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Brown Butter Pecan Hand Pies

Brown Butter Pecan Hand Pies

So, I know that Thanksgiving is supposed to be about being thankful and all, but every year, I seem to become very overprotective and greedy with my Thanksgiving meal. Especially when it comes to the dessert. Like, that pecan pie looks amazing, but wouldn’t it be better if it was all for me? Yes. If…

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Roasted Tomato, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese Frittata

Roasted Tomato, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese Frittata

Today is National Chocolate Day! So, naturally, I am giving you a recipe for a frittata. Eggs, chocolate, whatever. I apologize for dropping the ball and depriving you of chocolaty treats, but you can blame college for that. I do have some delicious pie coming up this week, though. That’s something to look forward to,…

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Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Goat Cheese Butter

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Goat Cheese Butter

I grew up in the South, so I feel like I have some sort of authority when it comes to knowing what makes good comfort food. I didn’t really grow up eating grits and collard greens like most southerners. But one thing that I can tell you with absolute certainty is that I know how…

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Baked Butternut Squash Ziti

Baked Butternut Squash Ziti

Baked Butternut Squash Ziti. A.K.A. the ultimate fall dinner. This time of year, I want to stuff my face full of as many carbohydrates as I possibly can. Gooey baked pasta dishes oozing with cheese tend to be my carb of choice. A mixture of tender roasted butternut squash,ziti, and an easy béchamel sauce are…

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Polenta and Vegetable Tartlets

Polenta and Vegetable Tartlets

I like things that are able to serve multiple purposes. Like the stray cats that live in my neighborhood, for example. They are super cute, they kill all the bugs before they can come into the house, and they make me feel like a good person for feeding and taking care of them. The killing…

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Chocolate Orange Mousse

Chocolate Orange Mousse

The last few days have been rainy and gloomy and I’ve been loving every minute of it! I’ve been cooking up some cozy meals while simultaneously trying to stop the eight to twelve stray cats in my neighborhood from trying to sneak inside to escape the rain. It probably doesn’t help that I feed them…

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Tuscan Grilled Bread Salad

Tuscan Grilled Bread Salad

I’m seriously dying to start putting pumpkin in everything. The fact that it is still getting up to 90 degrees every day is a minor detail that I am determined to ignore. I’m eager to start singing you Christmas songs and roasting chestnuts on an open fire. In fact, I listened to Christmas music while…

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Late Summer Marinades

Late Summer Marinades

I want to take a minute to share a few recipes for marinades and vinaigrettes that are perfect during these last few days of summer, or really anytime! The best part of these marinades is that they work as unique and flavorful vinaigrettes as well. A few good marinades and dressing recipes is always nice…

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White Bean and Roasted Vegetable Salad

White Bean and Roasted Vegetable Salad

You learn something new every day. Last week was cold, hard proof of that statement for me. I got stuck in major traffic on my way home from school. One of the three major highways was completely shut down. But me, being the optimist that I am, decided to make the most of a bad…

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Mini Nectarine-Almond Dutch Babies

Mini Nectarine-Almond Dutch Babies

You may know that I am a total news junkie. My ideal day is just sitting on the couch (sans pants), drinking a cold Diet Coke, and watching CNN. I have a major crush on Jake Tapper and I want to be best friends with Wolf Blitzer. So what? I rarely watch the local news,…

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Farmers' Market Lasagna

Farmers’ Market Lasagna

That time toward the end of summer and the beginning of autumn can be both exciting and a little disheartening. For one thing, you are just starting to feel that nip in the air that signals the inevitable return of cooler weather. You are eagerly waiting to break out the cute boots, and cook those…

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Ratatouille with Goat Cheese

Ratatouille with Goat Cheese

A few weeks ago, my friend and I drove down to Austin to attend an event for which the proceeds went to a great organization called Blood Water Mission. The group works to fight against the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa. Tony Hale (a.k.a. Buster Bluthe) was there to watch an episode of Arrested…

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Grilled Corn Panzanella Salad

Grilled Corn Panzanella Salad

This very well may be the last time this year that I get the opportunity to enjoy this season’s most delicious crop of corn. That makes me sad. It’s like, when the corn disappears, a little part of me dies. I am feeling very emotionally unstable right now. Give me a minute. Whew. That got…

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Fried Cherry Pies

Fried Cherry Pies

I could probably just stop right here, because, you know, fried pie. It’s a thing. All the cool kids are doing it. I have been super cool since I was but a little baby. Obviously… I was introduced to fried pie at a pretty young age. One of the barbecue joints that I went to…

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Roasted Hatch Chile Cheesecake

Roasted Hatch Chile Cheesecake

So I don’t know about you, but in Dallas, it is a big freaking deal when August rolls around. In part, because it means that this physically painful summer spent in what feels like the lowest circle of hell is almost over. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But for…

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Grilled Blueberry Bread with Lemon Curd2

Grilled Blueberry Bread with Lemon Curd

I’m free!!! Free from managerial accounting, free from retirement and insurance planning, free from pretty much everything that confuses and depresses me! At least for two weeks… So as much as I would like to sit here and talk to you… I don’t really want to sit here and talk to you. No offense. But…

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Grilled Herb Shrimp with Mango Coulis

Grilled Herb Shrimp with Mango Coulis

I have come to the point in my life where I am ready to hit go on the time machine and travel back in time for the sole purpose of slapping my six-month younger self in the face. And I would have a few things to tell her. First of all, I would give her…

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Banana Cajeta Ice Cream

Banana Cajeta Ice Cream

I have recently learned that it is quite nearly impossible for me to do any type of exercise that requires lying on the floor when my dog wants to play. She looks sweet and unassuming, but she is relentless. I thought she had learned her lesson when I accidentally kicked her in the face mid…

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Chocolate Pecan Granola

Chocolate Pecan Granola

I have a new thing for oats. A love affair of sorts. You know how I know? I made oatmeal last week. What was that about? Oats of all kinds have become my favorite go-to ingredient to play around with in the kitchen. Oatmeal last week, granola this week. In my last post, I talked…

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Shrimp Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

Shrimp Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

A lot of people say that the egg is the most versatile ingredient when it comes to cooking. And it’s true. You can turn an egg into an omelet, pudding, or even a fruity custard. Different cultures eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can take a simple, relatively flavorless ingredient and turn it…

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Oatmeal with Stewed Fruit and Almonds

Oatmeal with Stewed Fruit and Almonds

You know how there are just certain things in life that gross you out? Normal, natural things that everyone does at some point in their life, but it still gets under your skin? Like when you find your brother clipping his toenails in your bed… I cannot watch someone eat oatmeal without feeling physically ill……

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Breakfast BLT

Breakfast BLT

We all have that one horrible recurring dream that confuses us and causes us to wake up in a cold sweat. For most people, it is something relatively normal, like showing up to work and realizing that you’re completely naked. In my case, I dream of Samuel L. Jackson standing on a stage in front…

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Garlicky Scalloped Tomatoes

Garlicky Scalloped Tomatoes

Who needs potatoes? Hmm… For the record, I did NOT just say that with a straight face. Me. I need potatoes. They are an essential part of my life. They complete me. But today, I am turning those heavy, cream-based scalloped potatoes that we all know and love into something a little lighter and healthier…

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Parmesan Crisps with Heirloom Tomato Salad

Parmesan Crisps with Heirloom Tomato Salad

The world is playing tricks on me. Life is mocking me in a very harsh tone. Have you ever walked out of an exam and just been like, “have I been going to the wrong class for the last three weeks?” Well, I officially have, and it doesn’t feel too good. The question “why am…

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Asian Slow-Roasted Salmon

Asian Slow-Roasted Salmon

So for the last few weeks I have been living like a crazy person that, despite basically being told months ago that I should probably consider upping the meds for the drastic decision that I was about to make, took on a twelve hour course load for the summer semester. Wow, that was the longest…

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Red Potato and Tomato Salad

Red Potato and Tomato Salad

Funny story. I actually woke up at precisely 4:38 a.m. the other night out of shear hunger. And let me tell you, the “do I like food or sleep more?” debate between me and myself lacks any logic whatsoever when the sun isn’t even up. This is what happens when my sleeping schedule gets thrown…

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Butterscotch Budino with Salted Caramel

Butterscotch Budino with Salted Caramel

… And a very happy first birthday (on Friday) to my little labor of love, My Daily Morsel! It has been quite a year. I have had many a technological failure-related headache. In my quest for great photography angles, I have stood on many a wobbly chair and almost fallen off many a time. My…

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Grilled Corn and Pickled Shallot Bruschetta

Grilled Corn and Pickled Shallot Bruschetta

A wise man once said “Sex is good. But not as good as fresh, sweet corn.” That man was Garrison Keeler. I’ll go ahead and admit it. I am not a stranger to Prairie Home Companion. Night-time radio is a pretty lonely place, and I guess there’s something comforting about NPR and Garrison Keeler breaking…

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Asian Grilled Chicken Salad

Asian Grilled Chicken Salad

Let me preface this by saying that I can’t really figure out if this salad is more Asian or Mexican-inspired. Look at me, being indecisive. Surprise, surprise. I’m totally convinced by the Asian dressing until I see the crunchy tortilla strips on top. But there’s ginger. Then again, there’s corn. This is the most confusing…

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Orzo-Stuffed Peppers

Orzo-Stuffed Peppers

I want to get something off my chest. It is random, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the recipe that I am sharing with you today. But it is something that really bugs me. It haunts me down to my core. Feel free to scroll down and get to the good stuff….. Why…

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Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn

Have I ever told you that I am obsessed with movie musicals? Of course I haven’t, because it is horribly embarrassing. Nevertheless, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, Footloose, I love them all. It’s really a treat to watch one of these movies with me, because I can recite just about every single song, word for word, without…

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Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

How hard is it to grade a multiple choice exam?? I’m going to guess it’s not quite as hard as it has been to keep my crazy at bay. I’ve been obsessing over one particular grade for the last thirty six hours. I’m convinced that my professor has a personal vendetta against me and is…

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Orange White Chocolate Bread

Orange White Chocolate Bread

There’s a whole lot of crap rolling around in my brain right now, and it has been crucial to my own personal sanity to occasionally stop, breathe, and go to my happy place. My happy place where statistics was never invented and you can survive on bread and chocolate. My real-life happy place is Whole…

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Balsamic-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Balsamic-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Julia Child said it best – “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces.” More often than not, simple food is the best. This is especially true during the spring months when fresh fruits and vegetables are at their finest. So I’ve been sticking with really simple things for the last few weeks. I…

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Snap Pea and Cucumber Salad

Snap Pea and Cucumber Salad

Ugh. Finals… It’s times like these that I wish I were ambidextrous, because my right hand has lost all feeling. I am typing this post entirely with my left hand, using only one finger and everything. I literally studied for eight hours straight for one class today. The horror. I probably popped some weird brain…

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Potato, Tomato, and Smoked Mozzarella Frittata

Potato, Tomato, and Smoked Mozzarella Frittata

I had the single strangest dream of my life last night. It was the kind of dream that could only have gotten weirder if I had turned into an orca or something like that. I was wearing this beautiful white wedding dress. Lace, pearls, a veil that had a train that went on for miles,…

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Homemade Nutella

Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Has everyone heard the story about the Nutella heist? Time out. Before we go any further, can we all just agree that it is pronounced “nootella?” Because this is a very touchy subject for me, and I refuse to back down. I don’t know why I get so riled up about this particular subject, but…

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Salmon, Asparagus, and Couscous Salad

Salmon, Asparagus, and Couscous Salad

I’m having some serious writer’s block. I’m desperate. I really don’t know where to start today. I asked my dog for help. She was useless. All she did was stick out her tongue and look at me like I was doing something wrong. The tongue thing is normal, she has a cute little overbite. The…

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Honey-Nut Shortbread Bars

Honey-Nut Shortbread Bars

I took a little road trip to Austin this weekend to visit my friend. We learned some valuable lessons this weekend, like it is important to buy concert tickets ahead of time. Even if it is a band that no one has ever heard of. And the next day, you should buy your movie ticket…

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Rigatoni with Fava Beans and Pecorino

Rigatoni with Fava Beans and Pecorino

I’m sure everyone gets asked what their favorite movie is pretty often. And for most people, the answer is usually pretty simple. But for me, being both the indecisive and utterly strange person that I am, have to reply with “it’s a tie.” And if you weren’t satisfied with that answer, allow me to elaborate….

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Salted Caramel Bread Pudding

Salted Caramel Bread Pudding

They define insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. As a perfectionist, I often feel like I embody this definition in every way, especially in the kitchen. I think developing and testing recipes requires some degree of insanity. Who keeps making the same seemingly perfect caramel sauce recipe…

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Spring Green Risotto

Spring Green Risotto

My OCD suffers frequent mood swings. I can live like a frat bro one day – clothes all over the floor, dishes in the sink that I can’t be bothered to move into the dishwasher that is two inches away, my bed looking like a fight scene from the Lion King was filmed in it….

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Prosciutto, Strawberry, and Brie Panini

Prosciutto, Strawberry, and Brie Panini

I’m coming to you currently from my couch, where my feet are practically being held together by bandages. Why, you ask? Because I’m stupid. More specifically, because I forgot to bring an extra pair of shoes with me to school today. Let me give you a little background here. I had to give an oral…

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Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

So I have all this yogurt taking up half of my refrigerator. In a good way. Therefore, I have been dreaming up ways to use this yogurt. Literally dreaming, as in waking up in the middle of the night and, with one eye open, making notes about recipe ideas before I forget them. And subsequently…

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Popovers with Strawberry Butter2

Popovers with Strawberry Butter

It feels like my life has been on auto-pilot for the last few weeks. This week in particular, it seemed like a God-given miracle if I got to sit down and eat a legitimately home-cooked meal. Seriously. Planning my schedules is really starting to freak me out, and the words “managerial” and “entrepreneur” are starting…

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Roasted Peanut Habanero Salsa

Roasted Peanut Habanero Salsa

Spring is great and all… Pretty flowers, warmer weather, tons of fresh fruits and vegetables. But at the same time, it has got to be my least favorite time of the year. Because with those flowers, sun, and fresh produce come the allergies. People, I am walking phlem. I am a human tissue dispenser. My…

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Greek Pizza

Greek Pizza

This all feels very high school-ish, but I am going to show you a very profound and moving quote. Not like the quotes that I viewed as deep and meaningful that I used when I was sixteen as my Facebook status. This one has far more truth to it. “You are what you eat. So…

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Alfajores

Alfajores

Just when you think you’ve made every kind of cookie known to mankind… you see a sign at your favorite restaurant with a Spanish word that you can’t pronounce and a delicious looking sandwich cookie. You order a few of them to take home and, of course, even though you said the name over and…

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Tuscan Salad

Tuscan Salad

I think I’ve been spending a little too much time alone lately. First I was holed up in my room for nearly 48 straight hours studying for midterms. Then spring break rolled around, and instead of being a normal twenty-something hanging out at the beach with friends, I hung at at the paradise that I call my…

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Cherry Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta

Cherry Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta

Let me set the scene. It’s Friday night and do you know what I’m making? Short ribs that braised slowly in the oven for hours and hours, perfuming the entire house with the scent of cold weather comfort food. Do you want to know what I made for dinner tonight, just two days later? Cherry…

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Berries and Cream Crepes

Berries and Cream Crepes

Me and brunch go way back. We have a pretty sordid and turbulent love-hate relationship. It all started when I was sixteen years old. I was planning on cooking breakfast for my aunt at her B&B. When I was getting ready to go, my mom was all like “are you sure you don’t want to…

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Perfect Steakhouse Steaks

Perfect Steakhouse Steaks

Today was a meat and potatoes kind of day. It was a day when I had to convince myself that running over the jerk that just beat on my car was not worth it. It was a “good lord, the light JUST turned green… CHILL OUT” kind of day. It was a “I’ve never seen…

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Orecchiette with Roasted Fennel and Sausage

Orecchiette with Roasted Fennel and Sausage

You know how when you’re really mad at someone and people tell you to write them an email explaining every detail about what you dislike about them, but don’t send it. I’ve decided to start doing that with food. Whenever I am mad at or annoyed with someone, I am going to start cooking them…

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Pear Upside-Down Cake

Pear Upside-Down Cake

I think it’s time that I face the fact that I am going to be a cat lady. And I don’t mean that in the way that every girl does when she thinks she is going to die alone and hopes that her cats don’t eat her before someone finds the body. I mean it…

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Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Maple Onions

Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Maple Onions

I slept like a baby last night. Yet, come to think of it, that expression makes zero sense to me. Babies do not sleep. They cry, and they cry at the most inconvenient times. Like in the middle of the night. But apparently if I had a screaming baby in the next room, I would…

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Goat Cheese, Black Bean, and Brown Rice Rolls

Goat Cheese, Black Bean, and Brown Rice Rolls

Today, I discovered that my fat pants had a hole in them. Ruh roh… I must have pulled a loose string, right? There’s no way that I busted out of stretchy work-out pants, right? That’s not possible. Despite the fact that two dozen of these chocolate cupcakes managed to disappear in the last 48 hours….

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Chocolate Cupcakes

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

I had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning on Friday and there were, like, people outside. Doing things. Walking dogs and jogging and taking out the trash. And one weird guy roller-skating backwards in the middle of the street. I was completely dumbfounded. I wanted to ask them if they were aware that it wasn’t…

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Coffee-Rubbed Steak Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

Coffee-Rubbed Steak Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

Let me ask you something, coffee lovers of the universe. When you first tried coffee, did it taste like a piece of leather that had been soaked in vinegar and then left outside at the height of a Texas summer for two weeks? Because that’s the initial image that came to mind when I tried…

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Mini Lemon-Blueberry Pies

Mini Lemon-Blueberry Pies

Now, how cute are these little itty-bitty individual pies? Especially with Valentine’s Day coming up and that cute little heart in the center. You can tell how serious I am about my food, seeing as I demand my own dessert even if it is Valentine’s Day. Mommy never taught me how to share, I guess….

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Roasted Poblano Hummus

Roasted Poblano Hummus

Let’s talk Super Bowl food. Normally, I’m a basketball girl (go Mavs!) but armed with the proper amount of wings, chips, dip, etc., I think any girl can get into a football game. Even if it is what feels like a million hours long, those million hours can be filled with eating. So is my…

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Lentil Vegetable Soup with Whipped Feta

Lentil Vegetable Soup with Whipped Feta

I’m going to tell you a little story about my mom. I’m sure she will be beyond thrilled to read this. Over the moon, I say. Not. She is, and has been for decades, a follower of her sacred saint of health, Dr. Weil. Dr. Weil is an expert on holistic health. I cannot tell…

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Beet, Bacon, and Herbed Goat Cheese Flatbread

Beet, Bacon, and Herbed Goat Cheese Flatbread

Hi there. If I could have your attention for a moment, I would just like to point out that we are already two-thirds of the way through January. Gasp. I’m not complaining though, because I am only 110 days away from finishing another semester. Yes, I counted. Besides learning how to “professionally develop” myself (yeah,…

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Goat Cheese and Thyme Biscotti

Goat Cheese and Thyme Biscotti

Some people dip their biscotti into coffee. Me, I dip my biscotti into soup. Preferably, my Minestrone Soup. Call me crazy, but I am going to bet that savory biscotti is going to be a new trend this year. It’s gonna happen. It’s so not fetch, if you know what I mean. Forget artisanal popcorn…

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Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken and Snap Peas

Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken and Snap Peas

I’ve figured it out. Life, the meaning of it, and everything else. Well, I at least figured out how to keep myself from bored eating, which at the moment, felt like life got a whole lot simpler. Don’t be bored. It was quite a revelation on my part, because I have always been one to…

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Cinnamon Sugar Brioche Doughnuts

Cinnamon Sugar Brioche Doughnuts

My freedom is gone. Done. It’s over. It was ripped away from me faster than I could say “five more minutes.” My wee little holiday break went by so fast, I barely got a chance to enjoy it. Sadly enough, the Christmas decorations still aren’t totally put away. But in my own defense, I was…

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Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

As much as I love cheese, grating it is one of my least favorite things to do. I put it up there with laundry, word problems, and going to the dentist. If I were filthy rich, I would hire someone whose only job was to attend to my every cheese-grating need. No joke. If I…

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Shrimp Lo Mein

Shrimp Lo Mein

This may be the first time in blog history that a dish was created for the sole purpose of showing off a pair of cute chopsticks. If it doesn’t make blog history, it is certainly a first for me. Beautiful and tasty food is the important part, right? Wrong, at least for today. When I…

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Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

If you must know the truth, hot chocolate is what I make when I don’t really want to make anything. It is one of the simplest things to whip up, yet it brings back a lot of great memories for me. It reminds me of when my brother and I used to fight over who…

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Fig Jam Muffins

Fig Jam Muffins

I must be psychic. We are two days into the new year and that whole “being healthy” resolution seems to be a thing of the past. I knew this would happen… I went from raw kale to figgy, jammy, sweet muffins in less than twenty four hours. But that’s life, I suppose. At least, that’s…

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Grapefruit, Kale, and Feta Salad

Grapefruit, Kale, and Feta Salad

Happy new year! Now here’s the deal. I, like most of you, am completely unable to keep my new years resolutions for more than two weeks. Nevertheless, I try every year. I vow to workout four times a week, or eat more salads. Since I always (repeat, always) fail, year after year, I am just…

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Ravioli with Broccolini and Pistachios

Ravioli with Broccolini and Pistachios

I’ve told you before how strange of a child I was, and I’m sure I’ll mention it again. I was afraid of getting my hair cut, but I was more than willing to jump on a four-inch balance beam and do a back handspring. I rarely finished my French fries, but scarfed down massive amounts…

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Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

So… that happened. We had a white(ish) Christmas. And it was much needed. We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve this year. Even though it’s just another day in the year, it felt strange sitting around on Christmas day with no presents left to open and stale cookies in the kitchen. So when I looked outside…

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Cranberry Spice Snacking Cake

Cranberry Spice Snacking Cake

Winter is here again! It’s that time of year when everything is a little brighter and everyone is a little happier (except for the people driving anywhere near the mall.) Those people are insufferable. I get to spend my nights cozied up on the couch with my dog and a cup of hot chocolate, catching…

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Fettuccine with Sage and Asiago Pesto

Fettuccine with Sage and Asiago Pesto

Are you still there? You sure? Because the world was supposed to end today… But I’m still here. Perhaps I’m writing to no one. Anyway, yesterday I was seriously considering eating a bowl of cereal for dinner. Then I got this strange feeling in my gut, like I was finally buying into the whole 2012…

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Fennel and Maple Breakfast Sausage

Fennel and Maple Breakfast Sausage

Breakfast for dinner. It’s a great thing, right up there with Sunday brunch and unexpected snow days. When I was younger and my mom used to tell me that we were having breakfast for dinner, it was like Christmas in July. Pancakes, eggs, and bacon for dinner? I felt like I was breaking some kind…

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Chocolate Crackles

Chocolate Crackles

Ever since I can remember, a holiday season has never gone by without making at least one big batch of these Chocolate Crackles. They are a very integral part of the holiday cookie line-up for me. I love them because (1) they are chocolate and (2) they look like little snow-capped mountains. The cookies are…

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Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings

Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings

Finals are over and I’m freeeeeeee, free at last! At least for four weeks. I am rewarding myself for all of my hard work and good study habits the only way that I know how – with fried food. Nothing says “you can finally sleep in again” like onion rings. Right? That’s the first thing…

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Beet and Blood Orange Salad

Beet and Blood Orange Salad

‘Twas the night before finals… and visions of multinational enterprises, supply and demand, and the importance of corporate social responsibility (ugh) were competing with visions of actual sugar plums. You can’t imagine how hard it is to focus on something as dull as financial accounting when all that is on your mind is what kinds of cookies…

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Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Brown Butter

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Brown Butter

Something quite magical happened today. There was snow on my windshield. It was 32 degrees outside when I left in the morning. I had to wear a freakin’ scarf and boots, you guys. It was crazy. So crazy that I, the girl who meticulously plans her dinners out weeks in advance, had to make a…

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Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino

I’ll keep this quick. For a couple of reasons. First, it’s Saturday night and I have a life. Second… whatever, I don’t need another reason. When I was driving home from work today, the mere thought of making dinner literally made me sick to my stomach. I had been on my feet all day cooking,…

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Vanilla Bean Apple Butter

Vanilla Bean Apple Butter

I’m about to tell you something that is going to blow your mind. Blow. Your. Mind. Are you ready? There’s this thing called apple butter. No wait, that’s not it. It gets better. There is no butter in this so-called apple butter. Somehow – I presume by magic – a mixture of sugar and apples…

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Apple and Dried Cherry Turnovers

Apple and Dried Cherry Turnovers

There are certain things in life that I am absolutely certain of. Chocolate can fix any problem. If chocolate doesn’t fix it, a nap will. My dog is cuter than your dog. Then again, some of these things that I am so certain of turn out to be very, very misleading. I thought Javier Bardem…

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Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash

Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash

Ah, butternut squash. The spokes-vegetable of the autumn months. I use butternut squash so much this time of year, like in my Autumn Couscous Salad. It’s usually one of the first things that I see when I walk into the grocery store, so you can’t blame me for putting one in my shopping cart when…

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Cannellini Bean Soup with Parmesan and Kale

Cannellini Bean Soup with Parmesan and Kale

I’ve been on a bit of a cannellini bean kick lately. I tend to go through phases, like the great goat cheese debacle of 2009. But I think the cannellini beans are here to stay. I find myself adding them to practically every savory thing that I make – salads, soups, pastas, crostini, anything. They…

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Brownie Pudding

Brownie Pudding

When I was coming up with ideas for My Daily Morsel, I asked some friends and family members for their input. I told my aunt to brainstorm some ideas for a catchy slogan. She replied with “You never know what you’ll choke on. Eat dessert first.” Not what I was expecting, but so true. So…

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Mini Cranberry Tartlets

Mini Cranberry Tartlets

I’ve never been huge on working Thanksgiving leftovers into great meals for the next day. I usually just throw some leftover turkey on a leftover roll with some leftover cranberry sauce. Or heat up some leftover stuffing and add some leftover gravy. This is leftovers at their simplest, and me at my laziest. I’m still…

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Butter Rolls

Butter Rolls

I guess Thanksgiving stresses most people out, but not me. This is due mainly to the fact that I am an expert planner. Truly. I could have been a professional organizer in another life. Or maybe it’s because my birthday just so happens to fall somewhere in that same week. For whatever reason, I always…

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Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Arancini

Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Arancini

In the rare case that you are not completely pumpkin-ed out by now, I want to share one last festive, pumpkin-inspired dish with you. I’m sure you have had your fill with pumpkin cakes and pumpkin pie, but you will just have to make room for these beauties right here, okay? I make sure to…

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Roasted Pork with Smoky Red Pepper Sauce

Roasted Pork with Smoky Red Pepper Sauce

I don’t know how you approach your cereal in the morning, but for me, it is and has always been Cheerios. Cheerios drowned in sugar, because to be perfectly honest, they are pretty nasty on their own. I had a friend in grade school that shared my admiration for these so-called “sugar-o’s.” I’m a little…

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Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby

Smitten Kitchen’s Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby

I have been reading Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen blog for years. I love reading her posts that seem to ramble on and on (in a good way because it is impossible, I repeat impossible, to ramble for too long about food.) I have always imagined her as the kind of person that always has a…

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Radicchio, Pear, and Marinated Goat Cheese Salad

Radicchio, Pear, and Marinated Goat Cheese Salad

The holidays haven’t even (officially) started yet, and I already feel like I have been eating way too many heavy and fattening foods. That rare chill in the air just makes me crave pasta, freshly baked cookies, and any and all carbs that I can get my hands on. I’m even making my dog fatter….

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Apple-Oatmeal Crumble Bars

Apple-Oatmeal Crumble Bars

Well, here we are… November… and the high today was 82°F. Do you want to know what I wore today? Jeans, and it was a big mistake. Do you know what I should have worn? Nothing. Going au natural would have been much more comfortable. For those of you who are experiencing normal temperatures, I…

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Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wasn’t planning on sharing these cookies with you today, partly because I didn’t want you to know about them… I want them all to myself. There, I said it. I don’t want to share. But last night, while I was watching the first few hours of election night coverage, I was a nervous wreck….

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Orange Poppy Seed Scones

Orange Poppy Seed Scones

Something that I have a hard time with, besides the correct pronunciation of Worcestershire, is the difference between a biscuit and a scone. I could look through recipes and ponder this for days, but I am content accepting that a scone is basically just a fancy biscuit. It’s a fancy biscuit that makes you feel…

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Bacon Peanut Brittle

Bacon Peanut Brittle

When I walk into my grandparent’s house, the first thing I do is sneak into my grandma’s room to snatch up a piece of peanut brittle. It’s my own little personal tradition… with myself. My grandma always has a big box of peanut brittle sitting on her night stand. I adore it. It’s sticky, crunchy,…

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Sweet Potato Hash Browns with Sage

Sweet Potato Hash Browns with Sage

Who’s ready for a little pre-Thanksgiving festivities? Bring it on! I love to cook up some delicious food that is always guaranteed to get me in the Thanksgiving holiday spirit. This year, I started with these Sweet Potato Hashed Browns with Sage. It is unbelievable how great this dish smells. It will make your house…

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Smoky White Bean and Chicken Chili

Smoky White Bean and Chicken Chili

I have a question. Is there anyone out there on this little place we call Earth that actually enjoys doing the dishes? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? If that sick person exists, come on over. Now. Because I have this little problem where I tend to use every dish available to me when I cook. And…

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Lambert's BBQ Sauce

Lambert’s Barbecue Sauce

Where I grew up, barbecue sauce was a staple in just about every kitchen. We always had several half-empty bottles of barbecue sauce stored in our refrigerator. Up until today, I had never made barbecue sauce at home. I don’t know why. It was one of those moments when I asked myself “why didn’t I…

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Autumn Couscous Salad

Autumn Couscous Salad

You know what my problem is? I am incredibly indecisive. Whenever my best friend is in town and we are deciding where to eat, we spend more time staring at the wall saying “what do you feel like?” than we do actually driving to the restaurant and eating. I am quite certain that I am not alone…

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Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples

This time of the year, I look forward to the day that I will step outside into the cool autumn air. A chill runs up your back and you know that it is finally time to pull out the boots and put away the sandals. With this beautiful weather comes mounds of gorgeous green and red apples…

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Roasted Citrus-Herb Chicken

Roasted Citrus-Herb Chicken

Back in the day, my mom would typically heat up a rotisserie chicken for dinner on a busy weekday. I remember when she pulled it out of the oven, I would rush to her side and wait for her to look away for a moment. I would then proceed to peel the crispy skin away…

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Ham, Gruyere, and Apple Napoleons

Ham, Gruyere, and Apple Napoleons

When you get an email with the words “puff” and “pastry” in the subject line, the answer has got to be yes, right? No matter what the content? Despite the fact that you have three exams this week and you are still tripping over boxes that you haven’t had time to put away since you…

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

I have been living out of boxes for the last week and it is really starting to get the best of me. Moving always seems exciting until you are surrounded by all of those things you have been secretly hoarding for years. You realize how crazy you really are. Do I really need to keep…

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Hot Fudge Sauce

Hot Fudge Sauce

A girl’s gotta have a few tricks up the ‘ole sleeve in the kitchen. A few easy go-to recipes can make cooking a lot simpler and a lot more fun. This hot fudge sauce is, if you will, that reliable cardigan of your fall wardrobe. It goes with just about everything – you can drizzle…

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Roasted Poblano-Cheddar Soup

Roasted Poblano-Cheddar Soup

Even though it is not quite soup season yet, I just had to share this one with you. This weekend was a cool and rainy one. It is the kind of weather that is just begging and pleading with you to whip up a warm pot of hearty soup. It even had me toying with…

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Caramelized Onion and Bacon Quiche

Caramelized Onion and Bacon Quiche

Hello, my name is Riley and I am a CNN addict. Despite people joking that the only place people ever really watch CNN is by default at the airport, I love it. I am a political junkie, so when election time rolls around, I am like a kid in a candy store, glued to the…

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Homemade Corn Tortillas

Pork Asada Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Making homemade tortillas is something that I have been dying to try. Great tortillas are hard to come by. The ones that you buy at the grocery store are dry and frankly, they taste like cardboard. I live in Texas, and even I have trouble finding tortillas that taste fresh and flavorful. But I don’t…

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Salted Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sundays can be a bummer. My Sundays usually consist of work, studying, and dread surrounding my inevitable return to classes on Monday morning. But when I do have a day free of work and worry, I find that there is nothing better than a little bit of comfort food on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I…

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Salmon with Spicy Anaheim Chile Sauce

Salmon with Spicy Anaheim Chile Sauce

I think my love of food is truly something genetic. It’s in my blood and it always has been. When I was a kid, I turned up my nose at junk food like burgers and chicken nuggets, but I would jump at the opportunity to nibble on some asparagus or spinach. My mom always tells…

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Couscous with Balsamic-Roasted Vegetables

Couscous with Balsamic-Roasted Vegetables

Some days, you just can’t win. Today, I dodged two near-death experiences on my drive to class. I thought my day was looking up when I spotted a primo parking space. I was thrilled that I wouldn’t have to drive around in circles for twenty minutes and finally resort to slowly stalking students as they…

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Grilled Bread with Herbed Ricotta

Grilled Bread with Herbed Ricotta

Do you remember that game that we all used to play in elementary school?  The one where you sat in a circle and had to introduce yourself to your friends by telling them your name and sharing something that you love that starts with the first letter of your name.  I always hated that game….

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Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

When I was in grade school, a friend of mine invited me to stay over for dinner.  I said sure and asked what we were having.  She replied with shrimp.  Oh yum!  I loved shrimp.  And the whole house smelled wonderful.  But when we sat down at the table, her mother poked her head out…

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Chewy Cherry-Chocolate Granola Bars

Chewy Cherry-Chocolate Granola Bars

Where did my lovely summer break go?  Classes are in full swing and I am taking eighteen hours (eek!)  Two weeks of this semester down, ninety six more days to go.  Getting ready for school used to be kind of fun.  I wore a uniform, so there was never any worry over what to wear….

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Balsamic Onion, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Balsamic Onion, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Anyone that loves to cook will tell you that they will never forget their first kitchen nightmare.  My aunt experimented with a low fat cake that was a complete bust.  No one has ever let her forget it, and this was over a decade ago.  Last year, I made a roasted vegetable soup.  It tasted…

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Black Bean and Mango Salad

Black Bean and Mango Salad

Something magical happened a few weeks ago.  I had been staying indoors as much as possible, only leaving the house for sustenance or to walk the dog.  I can blame it on my fear of getting West Nile, but I just really hate the heat.  I spend my summers wishing I were in Seattle, where…

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Turtle Brownies

Turtle Brownies

I hold the firm belief that there is no problem that a generous helping of chocolate can’t fix – at least temporarily.  Classes started back up last week, so my life is now one of financial accounting, group projects, and a mad race to find all of my textbooks without spending over six hundred dollars….

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Chorizo Breakfast Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

Chorizo Breakfast Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

I have never been good about eating breakfast.  If a big plate of pancakes or French toast is sitting in front of me, I will eat it with no problems.  But my typical morning does not usually allow for pancake batter, fried eggs, or crispy bacon.  Something that I do have time for is breakfast…

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Perfect Tzatziki Sauce

Perfect Tzatziki Sauce

I took to Google the other day to research tzatziki sauce.  I have been making the same recipe for years, but I was curious to see how other recipes varied from my own.  One of the first things that popped up in my search was a discussion on Chowhound with the title “Help! My tzatziki…

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Ricotta Cheesecake with Passion Fruit and Pineapple

Ricotta Cheesecake with Passion Fruit and Pineapple

Every once in a while, I come across a spectacular dish that really changes the way that I think about food.  Most of the time, these dishes are nothing fancy.  They have simple flavors that just happen to work well together.  Last year, I went out to dinner with my family.  This place was supposed…

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Halibut with Linguine with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce

Halibut with Linguine and Mediterranean Tomato Sauce

Many moons ago, I took a really fun cooking class at Sur la Table.  Okay, I’m already rolling my eyes.  I am twenty years old, how many moons could have possibly passed already?  Anyway, the chef taught our class the technique of “en papillote.”  The thought of baked fish served in a piece of burnt…

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Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Many of the most distinct memories that I have from my childhood all revolve around food.  I remember baking bread with my classmates in the fourth grade.  I remember decorating a gingerbread house with my mom.  I remember rolling out my own pizza dough at my eighth birthday party.  And I remember a failed whoopie…

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Cilantro-Cumin Pesto

Cilantro-Cumin Pesto

There are some kitchen essentials that are so easy to make at home.  One example of this is pesto.  The first time that you make pesto at home, you feel like it is a sin to ever buy pre-made pesto again. I especially love making homemade pesto because of the endless variations.  With one basic…

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Mango and Jicama Slaw

Mango and Jicama Slaw

Jicama is a pretty gnarly looking thing.  It kind of looks like a big ball of dirt, but when you peel away the skin, what’s left underneath is something sweet, fresh, and crunchy.  It is pretty great on its own, drizzled with some lime juice and sprinkled with salt.  But I like to mix it…

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Watermelon, Lime, and Chili Granita

Watermelon, Lime, and Chili Granita

The other day, I was flipping through the channels on the TV when I came to the local weather.  I left the TV on and continued what I was doing, cleaning, packing, etc.  The weatherman finally caught my attention when he muttered something about a cold front.  Finally!  I have been counting down the days…

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Pickled Green Beans

Pickled Green Beans

How do you garnish food?  Sometimes I use fresh herbs, other times I add a touch of shaved cheese.  Other times, I take one too many bites straight out of the pan, leaving nothing to garnish.  But I have a feeling that neither you nor I have ever thought to garnish a meal with something…

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Sweet Corn Risotto

Sweet Corn Risotto

I love to cook, but even I have trouble finding the energy and motivation to come home and prepare dinner after a long day.  Sometimes the mere idea of the monotonous chopping and stirring sends me straight to the nearest take out menu.  It is a fact that life is incredibly stressful, but your food…

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Blackened Shrimp Salad

Blackened Shrimp Salad

Whenever I need a quick protein to serve for dinner, I always turn to one thing – blackening spice.  It is a staple ingredient in my family’s kitchens.  When I don’t know what to do with meat, the answer is always “blacken it.”  Blackening anything makes it just a little bit more flavorful and adds…

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Balsamic Chocolate Truffles

Balsamic Chocolate Truffles

If you know me at all, you know that I am a total sucker for all things chocolate.  As a general rule, any dessert that doesn’t include chocolate in some form is a waste of calories.  Of course there are exceptions, but normally, the more chocolate the better.  Case and point: you’re in for a…

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Stracciatella Gelato

Stracciatella Gelato

I don’t want to spend the whole day complaining, but let me tell you, I could do it.  My week has been less than enjoyable, but I won’t go into the painful details.  I am simply here to show you how to end a bad week on a high note.  The answer is simple –…

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Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Panini

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Panini

Whenever I start to crave something really badly, I know that I should just go ahead and indulge.  I have learned this from experience.  Once I have something on my mind, it is hard for me to resist for too long.  One day in the not-so-distant past, I was really craving a good brownie.  A…

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Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake

Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake

There comes a time in one’s life when you realize that no recipe will ever be perfect.  For years, I held the mistaken belief that I was in possession of the perfect coffee cake recipe.  It was the coffee cake to end all coffee cakes.  It was fluffy and soft and sweet, oh my! Then one…

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Green Bean and Mushroom Salad with Goat Cheese2

Green Bean and Mushroom Salad with Goat Cheese

Some of the best recipes come about when you are lazy and desperate for something to eat.  Going a week without grocery shopping forces one to get creative in the kitchen.  You don’t want to go out and get something to eat, but you don’t want to fuss over dinner either.  The other day, when…

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Stuffed French Toast with Berry Jam

Stuffed French Toast with Berry Jam

About nine years ago, my aunt opened a bed and breakfast in downtown Dallas.  It is an adorable six-bedroom house that serves up a mean breakfast.  Sometimes I help my aunt cook breakfast on the weekends when she has a full house.  One of her signature dishes is a thick piece of French toast stuffed…

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Fried Pickles with Herby Ranch Dip

Fried Pickles with Herby Ranch Dip

Let’s take a moment to talk about pickles.  Salty, crunchy, juicy pickles.  There is no better salty snack. Imagine, if you will, taking a thick slice of a crunchy pickle and deep-frying it.  Now think about dunking that fried pickle, hot out of the oil, into a tangy homemade buttermilk ranch dipping sauce. You don’t…

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Grilled Beef Skewers with Soy-Scallion Butter

Grilled Beef Skewers with Soy-Scallion Butter

I used to love the movie Life-Size with Lindsay Lohan and Tyra Banks. My favorite scene was when Tyra started eating straight pats of butter much to the disgust of her dinner date.  I remember stuffing a few pats of butter into my own mouth after watching that movie for what was probably the tenth time.  I…

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Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad

What happens when you are supposed to make a Greek salad, but you forgot to buy lettuce at the grocery store?  A mad rush through the pantry, refrigerator, and that little cabinet that we keep random durable goods that I barely ever use is what happens.  Greek quinoa salad is what happens. I love quinoa….

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Asparagus a la Parmigiana

Asparagus a la Parmigiana

My dog has a pretty refined palate.  I blame myself for this.  Not only do I give her too many treats, but they all tend to be gourmet, organic, made-for-human treats.  One of her favorites is honeycrisp apples. For a long time, I had the hardest time getting her to eat regular dog food.  I…

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Freezer Jam

Strawberry-Rhubarb Freezer Jam

One reason that I love the holiday season so much is because I get to make tasty treats to give away as gifts to my friends, family, and neighbors.  But it doesn’t have to be cold outside to wrap up some edible treats for those that you love. I made a big batch of strawberry rhubarb…

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Herb-Roasted Potatoes

Herb-Roasted Potatoes

Potatoes are the quintessential side dish.  They are one of those things that, no matter how you decide to cook them, they pretty much take care of themselves.  And they always turn out delicious.  Baked, mashed, roasted, or fried, potatoes are an easy side dish that is sure to please everyone sitting around your dinner…

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Spiced Pecans

Spiced Pecans

I am that person.  The person that loves it when holiday decorations are up before Halloween is even over.  The person that yearns to hear those catchy holiday tunes in the middle of the summer.  Truth be told, holiday albums remain on my iPod all year long.  Sometimes you need a little holiday cheer, even…

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Beignets with Lemon Cream

Beignets with Lemon Cream

What is better than a doughnut?  I can’t think of much.  George Clooney feeding me a doughnut, maybe.  Other than that, not much compares to the nostalgic feeling that you get when you bite into a doughnut. I grew up going to the same doughnut shop every single Saturday morning with my family.  It was tradition….

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Ricotta Pancakes

Ricotta Pancakes

I have been playing around with a lot of different pancake recipes lately.  They all have different flavoring agents – some use lemon zest, others use almond extract.  They all have different sweet fillings, mainly blueberries or chocolate chips.  In addition, they all have that one key ingredient that keeps the cakes moist and light….

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Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins are a classic.  Everyone has their favorite recipe that they have been making for years.  So it is a little hard for me to imagine something as simple and delicious as a blueberry muffin getting any better. Today, I made some blueberry muffins that are to die for.  This time, I added some lemon…

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Grilled Salmon with Cucumber-Mint Relish

Grilled Salmon with Cucumber-Mint Relish

When I was young, there were quite a few days when I did my absolute best to convince my mom that I was sick so I wouldn’t have to go to school.  I would run up to her room and tell her to feel my forehead to check for a fever.  She would play along,…

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Peach and Blackberry Cobbler

Peach and Blackberry Cobbler

Biscuits – they are my kryptonite.  I wish I had a faster metabolism so that I could happily shovel biscuit after biscuit into my mouth with no remorse.  Flaky, buttery biscuits are the most perfect comfort food that I can think of.  Pulling warm, pillow-like puffs of dough out of the oven is one of…

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Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad

Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad

You may find this a little strange, but the day that I spot those bright yellow ears of corn at the market is arguably one of the best days of my entire year.  I live for corn season.  I get a little too excited about corn, and I always end up buying way too much….

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Grilled Peach Salad

Grilled Peach Salad

The oppressive heat of summer is approaching all too quickly.  Am I the only one that feels like we missed spring altogether?  On the bright side, this warm weather brings with it some benefits, one of them being fresh, juicy peaches. Peaches are arguably one of my absolute favorite summer fruits.  There is just something about…

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