entertaining

Microwave Sweet Potato Mash

Microwave Sweet Potato Mash

I've been making Sweet Potato Mash this way since high school. Some of my favorite recipes come about from a bit of laziness. :) This method really celebrates the sweet potato for all of its natural beauty and can be made while you're making the rest of your meal. Here in my apartment in Hong Kong, I have one induction plate, vs 6 burners at home in the States. This has really changed the way I cook, especially when it comes to timing and the order in which I cook things. It's nice to have the option to prepare a satisfying side dish like this one, in the microwave while I cook something else on the induction plate.

The incredible sweetness of the flesh on its own blows my mind every time. Normally, I just prepare the mashed sweet potato with flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper, but today I'll show you how adding a bit of freshly grated ginger and a dash of cinnamon can elevate this simple side dish to something really special. There's no need to add tons of cream or fancy ingredients when the flavor of the sweet potato is so vibrant on its own.

Crack Broccoli - The Best Broccoli You'll Ever Eat

Crack Broccoli - The Best Broccoli You'll Ever Eat

This is the best broccoli you'll ever eat. Roasting is such a delicious way to prepare veggies, and broccoli absolutely transforms when cooked in a hot oven. They turn golden brown, the stalks turn tender, and their flavor is enhanced. When roasting any vegetables, it's super simple: don't be afraid of oil & salt! Don't skimp, and toss the vegetables so that they're properly coated in oil and seasoning. 

This roasted broccoli really wakes up the taste buds. Flaky sea salt, cracked black pepper, and thinly sliced garlic are the base for great seasoning, but what really brings this broccoli up a notch is the addition of shichimi. Shichimi Togarashi is a Japanese blend of seven spices that varies depending on the region or cook. The typical ingredients include sansho (Sichuan pepper), dried citrus peel, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, shiso, nori, hemp seeds, and chiles. This mixture is wonderful on meat, noodles, rice, and fried foods. I love adding shichimi to my eggs or on top of my avocado toast!

After the broccoli is roasted, finish it off with a good squeeze of lemon juice and fresh lemon zest for some good brightness and acid. The cake topper is tossing in shaved Parmesan cheese for some nuttiness. This recipe works well for regular weeknight dinners, or as a side for entertaining. There's no need to measure a ton of ingredients - just toss it all together and roast it off in the oven for 15 minutes :)

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

Ok, so I'm never buying store-bought hummus again! I've always heard about how easy it is to make your own hummus at home, but haven't ever given it a try. I recently got a blender during a pretty epic White Elephant, and have been so excited to blend everything. This recipe for hummus is super simple - bright and lemony, and ready to enjoy with carrots, pita, whatever you like. Watch the recipe video below and get blending :) 

Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

One thing I actually do really miss about the States are Trader Joe's snacks. They have the best snacks!! One of my favorites are Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips!! TJ's and Stacy's make them, and now you can make them at home for much less :) I can inhale an entire bag of these, which can definitely get expensive lol! Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips are so easy to make and taste just like the store-bought ones. All you got to do is brush fresh pita (or tortillas) with butter or coconut oil, and sprinkle them with cinnamon-sugar. Bake them for 10 minutes, and you're in holiday snack heaven. These are amazing on their own, or served with other sweets like ice cream, yogurt, or baked fruit. Watch the recipe video below and let's get baking! 

Honey Baked Pears with Walnuts

Honey Baked Pears with Walnuts

These baked pears are the quickest way to indulge in some holiday goodness. Anyone can make them - just 5 minutes of prep and 25 minutes in the oven (I made them in my toaster oven!). Beautiful fresh pears are drizzled with a quick mix of honey and vanilla extract, and sprinkled with cinnamon, your favorite granola, and crushed walnuts. There is nothing quite like the smell of warm cinnamon filling your home to remind you how close we are to Christmas! 

Feel free to add your own homemade granola - I love using Nature's Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola on my morning yogurt and on treats like this. I also love adding a sprinkle of hemp seeds for an extra boost of nutrition - they're packed with amino acids, Omega-3s, fiber, and more. Once the pears bake up in the oven, they transform into tender, spoonable desserts that are warm with holiday flavor. Top the baked pears off with plain yogurt or your favorite ice cream. These are simple to make and are easy on the wallet - ideal for entertaining :) Let's get baking!

Holiday Roasted Pumpkin with Cranberries

Holiday Roasted Pumpkin with Cranberries

Speaking of the holidays, this week's recipe is a simple and cozy side dish that is wonderful for this time of year. Roasting vegetables brings so much depth of flavor to the party, and also gives each piece of pumpkin a nice toasty edge. Adding pumpkin seeds for crunch, and dried cranberries for a tart contrast makes this the easiest dish to bring to your holiday parties this year. 

This recipe is completely adaptable. Don't have pumpkin? Try butternut squash or sweet potato. I like adding cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries, but roasting the veg with trimmed Brussels sprouts, bacon, prosciutto, shallots, pecans, kale, ginger, chili, or cumin is wonderful as well. In this recipe, I finish off the dish with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, and flaky sea salt, but fresh parsley, feta, or even tossing it with pasta is delicious, too! Watch the video recipe below and let's get cookin! 

Low Carb Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks

Low Carb Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks

Garlicky, cheesy bread is pretty undeniable. Cauliflower crust is one of the most surprisingly delicious low carb, gluten free substitutes for bread. The cauli crust comes out fluffy and flavorful, and will wow your family - they won't know the difference :) I love dipping these cheesy breadsticks into marinara. Seriously so satisfying! 

Bisquick Crepes

Bisquick Crepes

This recipe came about as a happy accident. One night (I know you love breakfast for dinner!) I was craving pancakes and decided to whip up a quick batch (carbs be damned). I only had skim milk (0% fat milk) that I use with cereal, and didn't think it would really make a difference. You know the saying "The first pancake is always a failure"? I totally thought that was the case when I poured this batter on the hot skillet. The resulting pancake was more like a crepe - thin, fluffy, and beautifully crisp along the edges. I realized I had just created a hack for crepes - until I googled it and discovered it was a thing. Either way, here's a super simple recipe for crepes that can be turned sweet or savory...whatever you like :) 

Today I'm filling them with plain yogurt and fresh strawberries, topping them with toasted coconut, lemon zest for brightness, and a scoop of non-dairy ice cream. I'm using Happy Cow Dairy-Free Ice Cream, which is made from coconut milk and brings tons of creamy decadence to this dish! Let's get cookin!

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs

Growing up, I've gotta admit that I really loved Fig Newtons. But, raise your hand if you've actually never had a fresh fig before! I didn't try the actual fruit until fairly recently. I fell in love with their rich, earthy flavor... sweet, with a slightly chewy texture. They're so simple to eat. You can slice them up and eat with with yogurt or açai, throw some pieces onto a cheese board, or add them to pizza or flatbread with some burrata. Today's recipe is a fast, elegant appetizer that takes minutes to put together. 

Honey Lime Summer Corn Salsa

Honey Lime Summer Corn Salsa

This is a bright and zesty recipe to enjoy some of summer's best produce!! It can be enjoyed with chips as a dip, or eaten as a summer salad. Golden brown kernels of corn come together with tomatoes, creamy avocado, red onion for bite, black beans, and tons of fresh cilantro in minutes, and are tossed with the most amazing Honey Lime Vinaigrette. This combo is seriously delicious - the combination of lime juice, earthy, warm cumin, honey, and extra virgin olive oil is the absolute perfect way to bind these ingredients together. The best part is that the flavor of the dip gets better as it sits - so it's great to have out during an event, or to make ahead for lunch! Let's get cookin!