Dec 31

5 Goals for a Blissful 2011


While this is a blog about food, I'm going to stray from that path slightly for just this one post because, hey, food lovers have goals for the new year, too -- hope you enjoy the detour! As 2011 draws nearer and 2010's door slowly squeaks shut, I've been thinking about my goals and aspirations for the year to come.  I have goals as a school psychologist; I have goals as a blogger, baker, and cook; and I have goals as a human being.  As any thorough school psychologist would do, I've broken … [Read more...]

Dec 29

27 Young Years

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Ravioli

On my second birthday, I made the declarative statement that I was "two old years."  Whether this was just a silly reversal of words or an actual statement of my perceived maturity I can't recall, but it is a childhood moment that my family members lovingly bring up around my birthday each year.  As the years move forward and I grow older, the statement seems more appropriate; however, I'm beginning to realize that it's the attitude not the number that defines my age, so this year I'm … [Read more...]

Dec 18

Cookies for Breakfast and Loved Ones

Amaretto Apricot Cookies

I'm all for a balanced and healthy breakfast, but there are times when all the yogurt and granola in the world fail to satisfy and only a cookie will do the trick.  I had one of these days this past Wednesday after spending all of Tuesday night baking my favorite cookies to give to loved ones and coworkers for the holidays.  Despite putting back two -- okay, three -- cookies for breakfast Wednesday morning, the guilt was kept at bay because my heart was happier and more satisfied … [Read more...]

Dec 18

Five-Spice Diced Veggies in Endive Leaves

5-Spice Veggies in Endive Leaves

I'm finally down to the last of many recipes from my mom's party.  This one is straightforward and vegan-friendly; however, any form of food-lover will happily enjoy this sweetly spiced veggie appetizer.  The preparation is simple but slightly time-consuming due to all the fine dicing, so be sure to leave yourself ample time to get down to business with your cutting board.  The combination of veggies and spices makes for a flavor that is refreshing and warm and will lure you back in for … [Read more...]

Dec 14

Spicy Green Salad with Shaved Parmesan, Toasted Pepitas, and Pears

Spicy Green Salad with Paremesan and Pepitas

When it comes to salads, I like to keep the combination of ingredients simple, the flavors fresh, and the dressing light.  Keeping these things in mind, a well-executed salad should highlight the flavors of its ingredients rather than mask them.  My number one tip for doing this is to make homemade dressing.  Hold it.  I can almost hear your mouse scrolling across the screen as you frantically search for the little red X to make this whole idea disappear, but read a bit further and at least … [Read more...]

Dec 11

Mango, Roasted Pepper, and Chipotle Cream Cheese Tortilla Pinwheels

Mango, Roasted Pepper, and Chipotle Tortilla Pinwheels

This recipe tops my list of all-time favorite dinner party appetizers.  My mom found the recipe for these amazing little spiral creations in a vegetarian cookbook (i.e. Vegetarian Appetizers: Simply Delicious Recipes for Easy Entertaining by Paulette Mitchell) years ago and we've been making them for guests ever since.  The pinwheels are so easy to make it's bordering on ridiculous.  More importantly, the flavor combination of sweet mango, smokey roasted peppers, and creamy chipotle cheese is … [Read more...]

Dec 08

Bay Scallop Ceviche with Blackened Tomatillo-Truffle Sauce

Bay Scallop Ceviche

Ceviche is any combination of raw fish "cooked" by the citric acid from limes, lemons, oranges, etc. and is especially popular in South and Central America.  While this recipe is pesco-vegetarian, it is certainly worth a post.  I wasn't able to try this at my mom's party this past Saturday, but this appetizer has been a family favorite for years.  So please heed my ex-omnivorous advice and make this dish.  You will be always delighted and never disappointed by this one.  The flavors are … [Read more...]

Dec 08

Recipes for Birthday Bliss


This past Saturday was a very special day; not only was it the day of my mom's 55th birthday bash, but it also marked the first time in history that my step dad and I demanded that my mom keep away from the kitchen, out of the grocery store, and stay out of the party planning altogether.  Not once had my mom not been involved in the planning and execution of a party at our house and not once had she been thrown a proper birthday party -- crazy, right?!  Well, it was time for things to … [Read more...]