Beef & Polenta Cannelloni + The Pyrenees Mountains

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Polenta? In canneloni? You say whaaat?

Ignore those internal forces of yours questioning what on earth you’re doing and just do it (swoosh). Put the polenta in the meat.

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While I was traveling this summer with my family and Vivian’s family, we were super lucky to be able to stay in some beautiful homes, which is a change for us. But, considering that I needed to cook for all you people on the interwebs, it was a welcomed and exciting adventure. We rented this beautiful house in the literal middle of nowhere: aka an hour from Lourdes, a large skiing town at the edge of the Pyrenees Mountains.

We were there for a friend’s wedding and decided to stay in a little farmhouse outside of town instead of one of the hotels, and what an experience we had.

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Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

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Hello chicken ench. How gorgeous do you look today?

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I kind of go through phases with food. For weeks on end I’ll crave only chicken tortilla soup and enchiladas, then I’ll switch to tagliatelle with tomato sauce and chicken fingers (random, I know) and finally I’ll settle on french fries and vegan banana pancakes, my usual go-to cravings.

As you can tell though, I am currently in the enchilada phase.

Like any person who has an allergy will understand, you’re always searching for that “creaminess” in food, something that you very rarely have. When I eat out, I order salsa verde chicken enchiladas a lot, and they are beautifully tender and flavorful and delicious. But it’s always missing the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth taste that queso gives you.

And then I found this vegan queso recipe from Side of Sneakers blog, and it basically changed my vegan queso craving little life. I thought about adjusting the recipe to make it my own, but sometimes you just gotta let someone else have it. And she’s got it.

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Superfood Kale Salad

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I am going to let you in on a little secret. The key to the kale’s success inside a salad. This is a secret tale as old as time (like what I did there?). The secret to the kale is this.

Kale needs to be massaged.

I’m not talking like a quick two finger rub down. I’m talking about a full-blown, hands only, deep tissue massage. And that, my friend, is the secret to delicious kale.

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The Lemonade Bar: Homemade Lemonade 5 Different Ways

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Nothin’ says summer quite like a big ole glass of ice cold lemonade. You know what I mean, when the only thing that can really cool you down after a hot day out in the sun is a popsicle or lemonade. They are basically the epitome of summer if you ask me.

I’ve been wanting to try to make infused lemonades for a while now. The idea started when I found some dried lavender at a local health food store. And when I realized how easy it was to make really delicious homemade lemonade, I wanted to try other flavors, and on and on and on, until I came up with these five different lemonades.

Now that we’re entering the official hot season of summer, July and August, make one of these to quench your thirst and keep you hydrated while you’re out having summer fun!

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Refreshing Mango & Lime Juice Popsicles

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I don’t really know anything better than a hot summer day by the pool slurping on fast-melting popsicles. I love how sometimes when it’s so hot (especially being a Florida girl) all I can really have to quench my thirst is a super cold and delicious concoction of frozen fruit juice.

Popsicles have really “taken off” as the “cool summer snack” in the last few years, so I’ve loved being able to play around with different types of flavors and make popsicles that are such big hits with my favorite little people (and big people too!).

Recently, my cousins were visiting (how cute are they?) and were looking for a snack after swimming in the pool all morning. I brought out these mango and lime juice popsicles and Gabriela basically devoured one in about five minutes flat. I filled some of the popsicle molds only half way, and that was the perfect size for Gabs to eat it all before it melted.

Seconds, anyone?

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4th of July Orange Pork Sliders with Homemade Buns

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Heyo! Happy 4th of July Week!

This is an interesting holiday for me considering that I’ve only actually spent a handful of 4th of July’s in the United States. My family is like the super-travel family. My mom’s birthday is July 5th, and her favorite thing in the whole wide world is to travel. So most of our 4th of July’s have been spent looking out the window of an airplane at the fireworks as we fly out of JFK or Hartsfield-Jackson airport. And this year will be no different. We will be celebrating the 4th of July in Paris!

How patriotic of us! Ha!

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Peach & Prosciutto Pizza

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Buonjourno!

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So hey. FROM ITALY! I’ve just spent my entire morning slaving over a hot wood burning oven to bring you this delicious pizza straight from the streets of Florence.

Just kidding. Kind of.

I really am in Italy, but I might have made this pizza before I left.

That doesn’t mean that it isn’t totally knock your socks off good as Florence pizza though, because it really is (totally knock your socks off good as Florence, in case you were questioning it).

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Summer Corn Salad

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There are two types of people in this world.

1. salad people.

2. non-salad people.

In my vegetarian/vegan days, I was a total non-salad person. All the way. When you get offered salads like 90% of the time you ever eat out, it can definitely put you against the salad. But once I started eating meat again, salads came back into my life as a joyous food order.

Bacon on salad = winning.

My favorite type of salad is cobb, but I might just have a new favorite with this corn salad.

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Chewy Coconut Brownies

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I’M BACKKK!

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Sorry sorry for taking a little hiatus there last week. Between working on my exciting new project and getting packed, it’s just been crazy busy!

Packed you say? For where, Hunter, you ask?

Well let me tell you… My friend McKenzie and I have embarked on an adventure! We have just arrived in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Next, we are heading to Charleston, NC, then Asheville, NC, Nashville, TN, and finally Grammy’s house in Moulton, AL. I know, exciting stuff.

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I, of course, had minor (er, I mean major) panic attacks all day today.

I am not very independent, so it was definitely hard for me to leave my family behind and head out on the open road.

But I’m excited for these next few weeks just traveling around and experiencing something new.

And I’m even more excited to be experiencing it with my best friend. I mean, how great is that?

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And I wish I would have made enough of these brownies to take with me. These things are delicious. I got this recipe from my aunt, who still has a ton of my Grandma’s old recipes, and I couldn’t wait to try it.

I’ve made them about 4 times now and they are quick & easy, and tasty! I love how the coconut kind of melts into the brownie, and the nuts are the perfect crunch.

Yum is all I can say.

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Well, it’s a beautiful day here in sunny Hilton Head! And don’t worry, there will be many picture posts to come (if you like that sorta thing), and I will also do my best to make up for my lack of posting last week.

By the way, I’ve lived at the beach for 10 years and hardly ever actually go down to the beach. But here, I’m excited to go to the beach. What is up with that? I know, I’m such a weirdo.

And beach spoiled? Yeah, I know that too.

I have a special request, can someone please bake me some coconut brownies and deliver them to me? Like, while I’m sitting on the beach?

Oh you’re too kind.

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Chewy Coconut Brownies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
for the "crust"
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
for the brownies
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts and they were delish)
  • ¾ cup coconut flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the "crust" ingredients together and spread into a greased 8x8 inch pan.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  4. When the crust is done baking, combine the brownie ingredients in a large bowl and spread over the top.
  5. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Cut into bars while hot and enjoy.
Notes
If you have a strong oven, you might need to reduce the temperature and bake time for the crust. You want it to come out chewy, not hard.

 

P.S. Who else is pumped that summer is here?!

Cherry Cheesecake Pops

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Happy Monday from Sunny Los Angeles!

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Yep, you heard that right. I’m in LA! Whoop! Anyone reading this live in LA? Let’s meet up, say hey!

I’m here for just a quick trip to help celebrate the launch of my dad’s new product, pretty cool stuff. But don’t worry, I have a delicious recipe for you while I’m here!

Cherry cheesecake popsicles, need I say more?

These are beyond easy peasy lemon squeezy to make, and taste just delish. I love the mix of the tangy cherry filling with the creamy “cheese”cake in the center. YUM.

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