“More is More” Loaded Sweet Potato Fries

It’s been a while. At the risk of sounding delightfully cheesy, I’m just going to come right out and tell you why I’ve been away…I found the love of my life, and I married him in the fall. Not to distract from the food, but this is the kind of love that I want to shout from the rooftops every single day. He fills me to bursting with the most incredible joy…and he’s the best sous chef I’ve ever had.

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Now, I’ve made this recipe probably five or six times for him and some friends (with rave reviews), but the time I normally set aside to write was taken up by wedding planning and kitchen remodeling. Those are both wrapped up, so here I am, ready to reset and finally tell to you about this “more is more” recipe I created almost a year ago.

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When I came up with this dish, I was scouring the web for various loaded/smothered/covered sweet potato fries recipes and all that popped up were Mexican/California style fries with black beans, jalapeño, and sour cream. While that’s a pretty strong offering, I was hankering for something with a Mediterranean twist. The tahini sauce and fried egg components came to me first, and the rest fell into place like dominoes straight into my belly.

Ready? Gird your loins…you’re gonna …keep reading!

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Avocado Cilantro Dip

You guys, I hosted a clothing swap with a bunch of my girlfriends, and I highly recommend you do the same.

I cleaned out everything – my closet, under my bed, my drawers, and my jewelry box! It was an unintentional spring cleaning, but regardless, it was BIG (7 bags stuffed to the brim!), and it feels so liberating.

healthy avocado dip

Granted, it’s an arduous process pulling everything out, evaluating an item’s current fashion status, trying it on, and finally, weighing the likelihood of how often you’ll sport your clothes that have fallen out of favor, but the de-cluttering is worth the work.

It’s especially worth it when it comes with a party and gazpacho, cherry gin sours, and avocado cilantro dip. For the cherry gin sour, just replace the simple syrup with cherry syrup, and follow the rest of the recipe. To my gazpacho, I added three slices of good white country bread to the bowl first to let them soak in the tomato juice and vinegar to soften before blending.

Now for the avocado cilantro dip! …keep reading!

Honey Roasted Cocoa Chili Pecans

Sweet and spicy roasted nuts

Hello fellow fall-lovers, and welcome to the best time of year. A long, tomato and cocktail-filled summer is now behind us, and we can greet autumn with a warm scarf, warmly spiced sweets, a hot cup of coffee, and a comforting bowl of carrot ginger soup.

In an wonderfully cliché manner, I wandered around Berkeley neighborhoods with my man yesterday – hot coffee in hand and crunchable golden leaves galore – and I became giddy with the feeling that fall has finally arrived as I planned our evening menu of pumpkin leek soup with mustard croutons and roasted pumpkin seeds. The only things missing were a plaid flannel and boots. We may have also purchased decorative gourds and a pumpkin ale, and I may have required a cozy blanket while we enjoyed them out on the balcony. No shame – I want all the autumnal clichés! To round them out, we’re also having a pumpkin carving party soon.

Spiced Nuts Recipe

Another thing that I always associate with cooler weather is spiced nuts. My mom makes …keep reading!

Coconut Blueberry Pops with Lemon, Honey, & Thyme

You have popsicle molds, right?? If you don’t, you need to raid the summer sale section of the store today.

Everyone needs a cold, refreshing treat when it’s blazing hot outside, and easy homemade pops are clearly the way to go. Lately I’ve just been buying bags of frozen organic berries, blending them up, and mixing in a hint of sweetness and a fun add-in or two. One of my recent favorites is raspberries with lemon and a splash of cherry simple syrup (And if you’re willing to invest in a more involved pop, my Creamy Pistachio Cardamom Pops are off the hook.)

Coconut Blueberry Pops with Lemon, Honey, Thyme

Looking to mix it up, I tried a coconut milk-based pop with blueberries, and then I got a little crazy…hang with me for a minute. I added honey for sweetness, lemon zest for brightness amongst all the creaminess, and lastly, fresh thyme to mirror the lemoniness and add that earthy, herby note the way thyme does.

This one is a little on the adventurous side, but I think the combo is definitely worth a try. My professional taste-testers (*cough* boyfriend *cough* roommate) wanted to make sure Continue reading

Toasted Almond Any-way-you-like-it Granola

I changed my blog name, well, technically just translated it. What do you think? :)

Best granola recipe

In other news, I have a horrible kitchen secret.

I’ve probably confessed before, but I rarely follow a recipe. Only if it’s a Julia Child recipe or a complicated pastry will you find me double checking every line of measurements and instructions. Otherwise, I like to think of recipes more as guidelines – there to help you on your culinary adventure with tips on flavor and proportions. (Real talk, I even look at my own blog recipes when I want to whip those up again and occasionally stray.)

I just can’t be boxed in!

Recently my roommate was having a horrible string of bad granolas, so I decided that would be a perfect kitchen project. Added bonus? All granola recipes read “…or whatever dried fruit/nuts you want to substitute.” I still didn’t follow most of the rest of the recipe, but hey, I made some bomb granola.

Almond Granola

Only problem? My roommate requested …Keep reading!

Cheddar Biscuits

Biscuits. Cheddar biscuits.

Cheddar Biscuit Glory

I’ve been on a warpath lately – luckily for you (and my roommates) this warpath is filled with fierce love, cold butter, and lots of shredding on a quest for my perfect cheddar biscuit. Through all my baking adventures, my mom always says, “If you only master good bread and biscuits, you’re set. Everyone will love you.” When it comes to these biscuits, I think I’m well on my way. Man, I hope my future husband isn’t gluten intolerant. That would be a deal breaker huge hurdle. “No bourbon” would also be a problem, but I suppose I can always make an Old Fashioned for one.

Biscuits used to scare me. I don’t know why, but I think it had something to do with all the fuss over the size of the butter and the speed at which you incorporate it into the dry ingredients so your hot little hands don’t melt the dang butter. I’m here to tell you, don’t be a scaredy cat like me – jump in the biscuit dough, the butter’s fine! …or something like that.

Biscuit Dough

Fast to come together and no rest or rise time, biscuits are a dream bread. They successfully masquerade as breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack. Sweet or savory? It’s a choose your own adventure sort of bread once you’ve mastered the basics. My great aunt made a mean biscuit, but this recipe works as a great base biscuit (just leave out the cheddar…although that seems foolish).

If you have the same fear of

Continue reading

Mexican ChocoPOP

I love popcorn. It’s easy snacking; it’s light (except when it’s not); it’s a high-fiber dinner – no shame.

Mexican chocolate popcorn

I was the kid at the movie theater who made a B-line to the popcorn butter pump. I went all-in. My thought? More is more. It’s just so salty and, well, ultra-buttery. Y’all know that it’s really butter that makes the world go ‘round, right? When it comes to popcorn, it’s all about that lightweight crunch under the POP of flavor.

I really didn’t think I had that much to say about popcorn when I sat down to write this post, but now I’m analyzing how my popcorn love has gone through a few stages throughout my life. It started with the movie theater popcorn (which I still love, don’t get me wrong, but it feels like a special occasion these days). Then in college, I discovered the simplicity of popping popcorn kernels in a paper bag with just some salt. And now, I’ve discovered the beauty of stovetop popping with lots of fun flavors.

I really got into it initially with a nice drizzle of truffle oil and a healthy dash of salt, garlic powder, and paprika. I dabbled in some delicious kettle corn for the first time last year, and I just decided to try out other fun sweet combos.

Spicy Chocolate kettle corn

Enter Mexican Chocopop! Continue reading