Last year was full of Dole fun. First up, the Dole Blogger Summit, followed by a series of cooking videos starring Ally from Ally’s Kitchen. Finally, the Dole Cook-Off where three home cooks battled to the final buzzer for a chance at winning $25,000. I truly believe in the “better late than never” philosophy. I found myself looking at a few of these photos over the weekend and figured it would be a great time to share them. Continue Reading »
Following a harrowing return trip from Vancouver, BC, I made my way to The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council’s Little Changes Kitchen Challenge. The mission–show how blueberries, or those little blue dynamos, could be incorporated into various recipes, whether they be entrées, hors d’oeuvres or desserts. There would be a savory and sweet category with four chefs engaged in a little friendly competition for the title winning position. Each chef, paired with a local blogger or food writer, would have a couple of hours to create a stand out dish that the judges could not resist. My chef partner was Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections, and for about three hours we whisked, whipped, and stirred our way to the finish line with our eyes on a win. Continue Reading »
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That old familiar saying tells you exactly what to do when a hefty lot of negative is flying your way. No one tells you what to do when you have eight or nine perfectly ripe avocados on hand, and we all know that the worst thing you can do with perfectly ripe avocados is let them go to waste. I had this figurative batch of “lemons” in one hand and a bag of cocoa powder in the other. The logical thing to do was make a cake.
Towards the end of January, I received a copy of Paulette Lambert’s new cookbook, The Wellness Kitchen. Years of hosting a food blog, and working in the food industry in general, have definitely played a role in expanding pant sizes and plumper cheeks. Of course, the food isn’t to blame, but let’s be honest…the life of many food bloggers is often characterized by indulgence. To add a bit of balance to the teeter-tottering scale, the meals I cook for myself are often very plain and regimented. Even I find myself getting bored with some of the healthy, single girl meals that grace the table, so there’s always room for new “fresh, flavorful” dishes, as the book promises. One recipe in particular stood out thanks to a unique spice blend and its use of several of my favorite ingredients.
How ironic. The perpetual single girl is writing a blog post about great meals to cook as a couple. I really am laughing about it as I type. Although I do not spend my weeknights and weekends cooking with a significant other, I know that it is more fun to cook with someone. And to share a meal with someone! So here are a few recipes that are not only great to make with someone, but also for someone, and of course, to share with that special person. Continue Reading »
It keeps happening. The roasted squash train just won’t stop. There’s been a salad, a savory crumble, and here’s the final one (at least for now)…a sweet quickbread. It is inspired by the usual sweet breads we often make with fruits and vegetables–banana, zucchini, carrot, etc. Puréed squash is a great addition to soups, stews, dips, pies and more, and it’s a more than obvious ingredient to add to breads. You can make your own, or buy it if in a can or frozen. What makes this purée a little different from the rest is that the squash is tossed with a little something sweet, roasted and then blended before it forms the foundation of this bread.