holidays

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.

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! 

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!

Healthy Banana Oat Pancakes

Healthy Banana Oat Pancakes

Now these are a tall stack that you won't feel guilty about! Who knew that a quick mix of oats, ripe bananas, and eggs would make a satisfying alternative to regular pancakes? These whole grain pancakes are naturally sweetened and flavored with ripe bananas, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. You can keep em simple, or add fruit or chocolate chips to the batter! 

Lemon Cream Stuffed French Toast

Lemon Cream Stuffed French Toast

Mother's Day is just around the corner! For some reason, this holiday always makes me think of French Toast. Maybe it's because Mother's Day feels like one of those mornings you wake up to sneak to the kitchen and surprise Mom with breakfast in bed. Or going out to brunch with family - either way, French Toast is pretty to look at, simple to make, and delicious to eat. Check out my other French Toast recipes for Hot Chocolate French Toast, Pumpkin French Toast, and King's Hawaiian French Toast! :) 

One of the most popular items on a brunch menu is often a Lemon Ricotta Stuffed French Toast. The idea of making this at home was intriguing to me - how hard could it be? Turns out, it's super simple and only takes 20 minutes. What I love about this recipe is that you can substitute ricotta for mascarpone or cream cheese like I did :) Adding fresh lemon zest and juice to the filling gives the perfect punch to this sweet breakfast. Top it off with your Mom's favorite fresh fruit and you'll be chalkin up all kinda Brownie points :) Let's get cookin! 

Crack Almonds

Crack Almonds

These almonds are crack. Crunchy, cinnamon-sugar roasted nuts are so comforting and delicious! I've been poppin em in my mouth all day :) They're easy to make - simply toss them in fluffy egg whites and a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a dash of salt and throw them in the oven. What's even better about this recipe is that you can make them in a toaster oven just like I did! I don't have an oven in my apartment here in Hong Kong, and these babies were easy enough to slow roast in my handy toaster oven. You can use this recipe with your favorite nuts - they're super addicting and make for great gifts! Let's get roasting! 

The One Minute, Single Serving Brownie

The One Minute, Single Serving Brownie

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! Whether you like to celebrate or not, I think we can all agree on one thing - chocolate. Mug Brownies are hugely popular on Pinterest, so I decided to see if it was actually as good as everyone makes them seem. Turns out, you can have a warm, fudgy, single serve brownie in a minute! This recipe is as simple as whisking together a few ingredients and then microwaving them for about a minute in a mug. You can customize your brownie off of this base recipe - add chocolate chips, caramel, ice cream, whipped cream... even chili powder :) 

Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats

This classic snack is my go-to for potlucks, last minute parties, or easy, delicious gifts. These are the perfect solution for when you're in a jam and need something that's a little more special than picking up something in the supermarket bakery. It takes about 10 minutes from start to finish, and tastes so much better than the store-bought Rice Krispie Treats. These babies are light and fluffy, buttery and perfectly sweet and salty. Let's get cookin!

Hot Chocolate French Toast

Hot Chocolate French Toast

The smell of hot chocolate is so comforting to me. It reminds me of my childhood. When it comes to breakfast, my family has always been about waffles. What is it about wanting what you don't have, even when it comes to something as simple as breakfast? :) As a kid I always craved French Toast. I imagined the crisp edges and custardy center...while munching on waffles. Now as an adult, I eat French Toast when ever possible ;) Check out my recipes for King's Hawaiian French Toast and Pumpkin Spice French Toast as evidence! For Christmas breakfast, I thought, why not combine these two fantastic flavors? Soaking eggy brioche in a custard mixture spiked with hot chocolate mix is as decadent as you can get. Hot Chocolate French Toast is perfect for the holidays. Let's get cookin :) 

Maple Glazed Carrots

Maple Glazed Carrots

An oldie but goodie; simple Maple Glazed Carrots are a delicious side dish perfect for any holiday meal. The natural sweetness of the carrots are enhanced, and fresh parsley, a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper balances it all out. These are the simplest veggies to make! Seriously they took about 15 minutes from start to finish...and I gobbled them all up right after shooting :) The crisp-tender carrots aren't too sweet and are a wonderful accompaniment to savory entrees. Plus, carrots are super cheap! You can also use colorful heirloom carrots to add more beautiful color to your table. Let's get cookin! :)