Candied_Citrus_cake

This Candied Citrus Cake is the perfect summer treat

Cake cake cake cake! I was craving something sweet over the weekend, and What’s Gaby Cooking’s Candied Citrus Cake hit the spot. Plus, a little baking was the perfect excuse to use my new KitchenAid mixer! In case you all haven’t noticed, I’ve got a major copper theme going on with our wedding registries.

This cake is beautiful, buttery and just sweet enough – it’s an impressive dessert that doubles as a delicious breakfast. What more could a person want?

Candied_Citrus_cake

I mean…

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Spicy_shrimp_tacos

Spicy Shrimp Tacos for Cinco de Mayo

Is there a better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with tacos and margaritas? I think not.

Also, I’m loving that two of my recent posts include “spicy” in the title.  My true essence.

This year, we’re celebrating with Pinch of Yum’s spicy shrimp tacos with garlic cilantro lime slaw. I meal prepped three different sauces on Sunday, and realized that each was green. Obviously I love my avocados and cilantro. And I looooove my garlic too. Thankfully, so does Hunter or he would have a hard time eating anything I cook for him. This garlic cilantro lime sauce is the kind of sauce that could really go with anything and everything…salads, fish, quesadillas, burgers, etc., so if you like the ingredients in its name, keep it nearby at all times.

Taco_in_the_air

Cheers!

It’s important to note that these tacos have a delicious slaw. So basically, they are a salad. But in all honesty, if you did want to cut down on carbs, you could easily put these in lettuce wraps and they would be just as delicious. I’m a big fan of wrapping my food in romaine. It would also help offset the necessary fresh guac and cold bev that must be served alongside this entree.

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Brighten your day with Less Sad Desk Lunches

Your desk lunch doesn’t have to be sad. In fact, it can be the highlight of your workday if you put a little planning into it.

Of course, ideally we would all be sitting on a patio somewhere sipping cocktails and enjoying a nice cheese board, but sometimes that’s just not an option. Now, with the invention of mason jar salads and major improvements in the plastic lunch container world (how cool are these adult lunch boxes?) lunch at your desk can officially be less depressing and more enjoyable.

Key attributes of a  great desk lunch include:

  • Portability (major key)
  • Ability to fit in office fridge
  • Easy assembly
  • Minimal mess
  • Great tasting (necessary)
  • Healthy (for the most part…)

Today I give you two options that meet all of the above criteria:

  • Lemon Tarragon Salad with Sautéed Vegetables + Veggie Burger with Lemon Hummus and Sprouts (my current fave)
  • LL’s Salad in a Jar (bonus: makes a great Instagram)
salad and veggie burgur desk lunch

Veggie burger with lemon hummus and sprouts; lemon tarragon salad with sautéed veggies and of course water

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open face burrito

White Bean Avocado Baked Burritos

Who doesn’t love a good burrito?

This recipe gives the everyday burrito a major upgrade by baking it and smothering it in avocado tomatillo salsa (my new favorite!)

This recipe can easily become #buzzword #Vegan if you use gluten free tortilla wraps (of course we didn’t.) You could also go the opposite route and kick it up a notch with some cheese, but this recipe has plenty going on flavor-wise and worked out perfectly for us. Hunter was anticipating the baked burrito situation for weeks.

prepped burrito

White bean avocado baked burrito, topped with tomatillo avocado salsa, with sautéed sweet potatoes on the side!

The original recipe can be found over at Ceara’s Kitchen. When I saw it, I knew it would be a perfect way to work in a not-so-terrible-for-you Mexican weeknight dinner. Note that I’ve switched the recipe up just a bit, but kept the serving sizes the same (12 burritos!) because this would be such an awesome addition to any and every party you will ever go to.

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Super Bowl of Chips and Dip + Baked Jalapeño Poppers

The Super Bowl, AKA day of super snacking. The Carolina Panthers face the Denver Broncos in what is sure to be a delicious day of chilling in jerseys and chowing down on sweet and savory game day treats.

The savory game day snack is my jam, so I have two easy, crowd-pleasing recipes for you:

  1. Tomatillo Avocado Dip from What’s Gaby Cooking
  2. Skinny Baked Jalapeño Poppers from Skinnytaste 
Super bowl_dip

Take it from an expert: this dip is the bomb.

There are few things I love more in life than a heaping bowl of chips paired with a bangin’ dip. It’s like diet Kryptonite! There is no limit to the amount of chips and dip I can consume. If you’re like me, just make sure there are a few other people around to help you out. Especially with this dip. It’s addicting AF.

As for the jalapeño poppers – enough said. Everyone loves these things. Crunchy, spicy, creamy, cheesy…you just can’t go wrong. And TBH, love football, but the Super Bowl just wouldn’t be as fun without great food. So let’s get started.

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Seriously Delicious Spaghetti Inspired by Delfina San Francisco

You know a meal is really good when you want to recreate it right after eating it.

painted ladies

Work took me to San Francisco last week, and I’m so glad because it led me to one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in a long time (along with the opportunity to sip some of Northern California’s best wine, of course.)

I’ve been waiting for another Italian meal to sweep me off my feet since I was in NYC last year. There is truly nothing better than good Italian food. Delfina in San Francisco did not disappoint.

  • Venue: Delfina
  • Location: 3621 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94110
  • Dish: Spaghetti (simple and delicious!)

When ordering pasta, spaghetti typically isn’t my first choice. However, this is not your average spaghetti. Serious care is put into creating this dish. It was brilliantly simple and unforgettable. So of course, I immediately turned to Google on the way back to the hotel to find out if the recipe was available online. When I found it on Tastebook (source listed as Madre) I decided to recreate it and share with you all. PLUS the last recipe I posted involved a healthy zucchini “pasta” so I thought I’d treat you to the real thing.

Delfina spaghetti

Bon Appetit!

Bonus: this dish does not require many ingredients! Just try to use quality tomatoes. It makes a big difference!

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Roasted Red Peppers with Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Goat Cheese

A healthy meal involving goat cheese and pesto? Yes please. Too good not to share!

To preface this recipe, I am obsessed with my spiralizer. I have the Paderno 3-blade, and use it to incorporate more veggies into our meals pretty much as often as Hunter will allow (there was a month last year that consisted of a TON of spiralized zucchini spaghetti and meatball dinners, so I don’t blame him for limiting my zoodle usage.) But hey, the spiralizer has many benefits. It’s simple to use, easy to clean and disguises veggies as carbs (for the most part.) This week has been cray at the office so I was looking for something easy, flavorful and healthy – after all it is still January, people. Let’s not throw our health and wellbeing out the window that quickly.

This recipe was created by Inspiralized – my go-to blog for all spiralizer recipes! Ali is so creative with vegetables it’s seriously inspiring (get it?) You can find the original recipe here! Also, I haven’t mentioned how gorgeous this dish is. Check it out:

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That is one good looking pepper!

These beauties make a great side for grilled fish or chicken if you’re adding protein, but are also substantial enough to serve as a meal! That said, let’s get down to business.

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Ringing in 2016 with Cheese Boards and Black-Eyed Peas

Happy New Year friends!

Hope you all celebrated 2016 as enthusiastically as I did! Currently detoxing with Roots Pressed Juices’ Hydrate situation – cucumber, lime, mint, apple and ginger. Bottoms up!

This year (Technically last year, we’ll say Thursday night) we hosted a few friends for New Year’s Eve, so I decided to do the right thing and put together a cheese board. Now, to preface the situation, you should know that I have an extreme cheese board obsession. I love all cheeses, old, blue, sharp, soft…etc. etc. so cheese boards hold a special place in my heart. I’ll need to post a roundup of my favorites in Dallas, as I have tried many a local platter of this delightful dairy product. I digress.

MichaelScott

Now on New Year’s Day, we eat black-eyed peas. I can’t speak to whether or not these actually bring good luck, but as Michael Scott once said, “I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.” Last year I kept it simple and made the peas with some roasted cabbage steaks. While that was pretty tasty, this year I decided we needed a little more substance to our meal. I came across The Young Austinian’s recipe for Hoppin’ John Bowls, Collards and Cornbread Biscotti. It looked super hearty and seemed to be just what we were needing after a night out, so I put my own spin on it using Benevolent Bacon.

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Mulled Wine + Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

Checking in from my home office (AKA bed!) It’s been a fabulous couple of days here, due in part to unseasonably nice December weather, two weeks off of work, and the arrival of Christmas week.

Hunter and I celebrating a friend's birthday at Henry's Majestic, in December, on the patio. Cheers.

Hunter and I celebrating a friend’s birthday at Henry’s Majestic, in December, on the patio. Cheers.

In spite of the warm temperatures, I decided mulled wine would be a good choice to prep for my friends during our annual Secret Santa party last weekend. Wine is flowing in all forms throughout the season (and year-round TBH), so why not mix it up and try a warm, spiced version for a change? Just pretend you’re somewhere that experiences snow on Christmas and you’re good to go.

I’m also sharing one of my favorite enchilada recipes (courtesy of my sweet friend Sue! Original recipe here) Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas. Basically a health food packed with nutrients! And cheese! My family recently started the tradition of preparing a Mexican feast on Christmas. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of the change. This year my mom has the enchiladas covered, so I decided to make these babies to kick off the week because you can never have enough Mexican food, am I right?

Let’s begin with the wine.

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Eating, Drinking and Changing Lives with Café Momentum and D Magazine

#Firstpost!

Q: What’s better than a 10-course meal expertly crafted by D Magazine’s best new restaurants of the year?

A: Giving back to an organization that makes a huge impact on our community, like Café Momentum.

D‘s annual Best New Restaurants Dinner, held at Café Momentum on Dec. 1,  donated 100 percent of proceeds from ticket sales to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit restaurant, which works with the Dallas County Juvenile Justice Department to provide adolescents with job skills, education and employment opportunities; along with equally important mentorship and a positive environment. Read up on the many ways the organization is helping young people here.

But moving on to the FOOD…let’s just say I experienced firsthand the delicious evidence that led D to select these restaurants as Dallas’s best in 2015.

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