Israeli Couscous Cucumber Salad

This Israeli Couscous Cucumber Salad is a refreshing summer salad that’s bright and light with fresh herbs and summer garden vegetables! Israeli Couscous Cucumber Salad is refreshing summer salad that's bright and light with fresh herbs and summer garden vegetables!

I think one of the greatest gifts my father gave me was the love for fresh out of the garden vegetables.  I grew up with huge gardens on our property in NH and so summers meant colanders full of fresh picked tomatoes, armfuls of fresh picked cucumbers, and baseball bat sized zucchinis.  In my mind, nothing beats the crisp cool crunch of a home grown freshly picked cucumber. This Israeli Couscous Cucumber Salad is the perfect way to highlight those summer cucumbers!

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Easy Garlic Rosemary Focaccia

Make your own soft, salty Easy Garlic Rosemary Focaccia bread at home with just a couple of ingredients and minimal work!Make your own soft, salty Easy Garlic Rosemary Focaccia bread at home with just a couple of ingredients and minimal work!

Have you seen that Weight Watchers commercial that used to play on Hulu (maybe it was on regular cable too, but we’re too cheap to pay for that so we just use Netflix and Hulu) with Oprah and she’s sitting in a chair outside proclaiming, “I LOVE Bread.”  Yeessss Mother Superior, I hear ya.  Praise Be bread.  It is, undoubtedly, one of my favorite food groups (Yes, bread alone is a food group!).  Homemade bread, especially.  No Knead, Rye, English Muffins, Baguettes… I love them all.  And now we can add this Easy Garlic Rosemary Focaccia to that list!

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Homemade Onion Rings

Crispy Homemade Onion Rings are the perfect appetizer or accompaniment to any burger or sandwich!Crispy Homemade Onion Rings are the perfect appetizer or accompaniment to any burger or sandwich!

In this household we eat really a well and balanced diet and do really well at  staying away from refined sugar and sweets (it’s especially easy when you make everything from scratch!).  But there are a couple of things that I am just completely weak to.  And by weak I mean inevitable face stuffing will occur.  Those two weaknesses:  #1 Tater Tots. #2: Onion Rings.   

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5 Minute Homemade Buttermilk

Ready to make a recipe but you don’t have any buttermilk? No problem, just two ingredients and 5 minutes and you can make your own Homemade Buttermilk!Ready to make a recipe but you don't have any buttermilk? No problem, just two ingredients and 5 minutes and you can make your own Homemade Buttermilk!

How many times have you gotten all excited about a recipe and done a survey of your fridge for ingredients only to find out you don’t have any buttermilk. Ppppffffpfpfpfpfpfff…. Yup, that’s the sound of your ballon deflating.  Until now: 5 Minute Homemade Buttermilk!  

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Fry Sauce From Scratch

A love child of homemade ketchup and mayo, this Fry Sauce From Scratch is the perfect condiment for dipping and spreading! The perfect condiment to dip all your favorites in, made from scratch with homemade ketchup and mayo!

Do you have any super vivid memories of particular food moments that you’ll never forget?  I don’t mean those beautiful moments like the first time you bite into the heavenly potato pillow that is fresh made gnocchi.  I’m talking about that time you saw someone murder a beautiful bowl of spaghetti by slicing a knife repeatedly through it.  For me, I was about 19 and I had this gorgeous Bosnian friend who I used to waitress during the day with and then go out drinking with at night.  And one of those night when we were out we ordered a side of fries and I watched, in horror, as she asked for a side of mayonnaise and dipped her fries in it like it was a albino ketchup delicacy. I almost gagged.  It was the grossest thing I had ever seen and my pure ketchup and fry eating brain couldn’t even comprehend what was happening.  I was so grossed out and so naive.  Today, even though you still wont find me dipping my fries in straight mayo, now that I’ve discovered the absolute deliciousness that is a Fry Sauce From Scratch, I get it.  And I’m sorry for all of the silent (and sometimes not so silent) judgement I’ve passed to all you mayo dipping good people out there!

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Chewy Banana Quinoa Bars – Vegan, Gluten, and Peanut Free

These Chewy Banana Quinoa Bars are packed full of nutrition and flavor but free from refined sugar and peanuts while being vegan and gluten free! Perfect for growing little ones!

These Chewy Banana Quinoa Bars are packed full of nutrition and flavor but free from refined sugar and peanuts while being vegan and gluten free! Perfect for growing little ones!Back in the day when I was single, living alone, and working in restaurants, I never cooked.  Not only because I was always either in class or at work, but also because, to me, cooking is not just about eating.  Actually, if I were to pick the top 3 reasons why I cook, it’d be #3.  The act of creating and making ingredients into something new, that’s #2.  But the #1 reason why I cook? Hands down:  To share and to care for others through food.  Without other people to eat with, what’s the point??  Even now when I’m alone I don’t cook.  It’s so bad that I’ve even found myself having eaten bread, cheese, and some type of meat all separately as I graze through my hunger.  Yes, that’s right, basically a deconstructed sandwich… instead of actually making a sandwich.  It’s a new level of lazy eating, my friends. I’m not proud of it, but hey,  I’ve accepted it. 😉  

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Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

Ditch the bottle and make your own marinade.  This Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken is fresh, flavorful, and from scratch!Ditch the bottle and make your own marinade.  This Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken is fresh, flavorful, and from scratch!

Summerrrrrr!  I know you’re out there.  We saw a glimmer of it in May, but lately it’s been cool and drizzly and much more Spring like than summer.  No matter, in this household there is no grilling “season.”  You’ll find my husband next to the grill in the snow, sleet, rain, wind, hurricane, tornado, tsunami, zombie apocalypse… Man loves his grill.  And I love giving him all the things to grill, like this new Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken!

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Sourdough Sesame Rye Crackers From Scratch

Have some sourdough starter you need to use but don’t want to make bread?  These Sourdough Sesame Rye Crackers make the perfect salty, crunchy, vegan friendly snack!Have some extra sourdough starter? These Sourdough Sesame Rye Crackers make the perfect salty, crunchy, wheat-free, vegan friendly snack!

Sweet tooth?  Meh… rarely.  But salt tooth?  Oh yeah.  Is there such a thing as a crispy, crunchy, salt tooth?  If there is, I have a few of those molars.  I love all things with a salty crunch.  Whether it’s homemade crackers like these Sourdough Sesame Rye Crackers from scratch or even a perfectly dehydrated Kale Chip from scratch, I’ll always choose that salty crunch over something sweet.

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Teriyaki Shrimp Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Bring on Summer with this Teriyaki Shrimp Salad with a fresh light Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette.  Easy, healthy, and full of color!

Bring on Summer with this Teriyaki Shrimp Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette. It's easy, fresh, healthy, and full of color!Suuunnn!  Oh my gosh I can feel summer coming.  We’ve finally had some glorious summer-like days here in Portland and I am beyond ready.  We just totally splurged on a brand spakin’ new grill for the first summer in our new home and I am shopping for some new deck furniture for ultimate lounging and summer relaxing. In the meantime, I’m getting ready for summer with salads like this Teriyaki Shrimp Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette, which is my new favorite. 

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Sheet Pan Shrimp and Asparagus

Dinner in 15 minutes! This Sheet Pan Shrimp and Asparagus dinner is fast, easy, healthy, flavorful and perfect for those busy weeknights!Dinner in 15 minutes! This Sheet Pan Shrimp and Asparagus dinner is fast, easy, healthy, flavorful and perfect for those busy weeknights!

Oh the days when getting home and starting that from scratch dinner at 6:30 was no big deal because, well, it was only 6:30!  Now, with a little one who has a bedtime at 7:00 and an exhausted mom who likes to be in bed no later than 9:00 (with an alarm that goes off at 4:30 am, it’s better for everyone that way), dinner needs to be fast but not suffer in quality or freshness.  Helllooo Sheet Pan Shrimp and Asparagus!

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