This almond flour cake is light and tender; each bite gives you poppy seeds and a subtle citrusy sweet taste.
I am proud to have partnered with Bob's Red Mill to bring you this recipe.
This almond flour cake is perfect for any occasion
I fear our family is looking at the last year for the Easter bunny. Our nine-year-old (and youngest) has begun questioning everything. I'm probably to blame, the tooth fairy hasn't been very punctual with her monetary gifts and that has probably been my daughter's first clue that the fairy may not exist. Once a kid questions the tooth fairy, Santa and the Easter Bunny aren't far behind.
My husband and I will be traveling over Easter. My oldest daughter told me in secret that my youngest will renew her belief in the Easter Bunny if she gets a basket while we are gone. If she gets a basket while I'm away, then the I cannot personally be the Easter Bunny! I know she is not ready to give up these childhood beliefs so she will take any proof of there existence she can get! I love the way she thinks, I'm not ready for that innocence to be gone.
One day, the holidays will be different. All the kids will know the role I play in the holidays. The baskets may be smaller, but the dessert table will not. I will still bake up Cherry Chip Cookies and fill bowls with jelly beans and candies. This easy almond flour cake will definitely be served up as well!
About almond flour cake
This is such an ideal cake for those time you serve up brunch like on Easter or on Mother's Day. It is light and airy, it won't weigh you down like a sweeter, heavier cake, plus the citrus flavor is bright and fresh; it pairs well with breakfast dishes, coffee or tea. This cake is made with Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour (which adds so much flavor to these chocolate chip toffee cookies too) and a touch of coconut flour. When you use both flours together, you get a light gluten-free texture The key to getting an airy cake is to separate your eggs and beat the whites until they are fluffy enough to have soft peaks. By folding in the egg whites, your batter will be downy and soft.
This citrusy fresh cake is the perfect way to kick off the day!
This lemon risotto tastes like spring with its pop of tangy, fresh tasting flavor.
This classic side dish is creamy and comforting.
Lemon risotto is a new favorite
Growing up, my favorite side dish was my mom's orzo. Orzo, is rice-shaped pasta, and the best way to prepare it is to toast it in butter first (this brings out a nice, nutty flavor) then allow it to simmer with chicken broth. The pot must be set on low and covered. The end result is plump, soft pasta with an almost creamy texture. This is the exact "technique" I used for the Skillet Chicken and Orzo recipe. Simmering the pasta in broth brings out the starch, which combined with the chicken broth, imparts a huge amount of flavor in your dish.
Cooking orzo with the above method is similar to cooking risotto, with almost the same result. Risotto is made with Arborio rice, which is a short-grained Italian rice. It has quite a bit of natural starch which lends itself perfectly to creamy risotto recipes (like this Cheesy Leek and Bacon Risotto). However, to get that starch out requires time and patience. Do not make risotto if you are in a hurry!
About Lemon Risotto
Lemon risotto does not require many ingredients, nor is the recipe involved, again, it just takes time and your vigilance. You need to start by simmering chicken or vegetable broth in a saucepan. Keep it handy along with a ladle as you start your rice. I like to heat a little olive oil in a separate saucepan and add shallots as it heats. I add my rice (just like I do with my orzo) to bring the nutty flavor of the rice and then I add a ladle full of broth to my rice and stir; you want to slowly stir the rice until the liquid has absorbed, at which point you will add another ladle full of liquid. You keep this process up until your broth is gone and risotto is thick and creamy. Then hit i twith fresh lemon zest and juice along with Parmesan cheese. The lemon flavor immediately explodes upon touching the hot rice. And the Parmesan cheese? Well, that just makes this dish extra rich and lovely. Risotto is appropriate any time of year and for any occasion, plus it can accommodate almost any adds in like mushrooms, spinach, or bacon.
Homemade carrot cake is easy and delicious, especially when it is covered in a luscious and creamy bourbon infused browned butter frosting. Once you have this carrot cake, no other recipe will do!
Homemade Carrot Cake Brings Up Memories
Carrot cake always makes me think of my sister. I seem to recall that this was the cake she requested for her birthday most often. Her birthday is in March so perhaps I am just getting confused with Easter, regardless I always associate my middle sister with carrot cake.
I remember one year, we had a crazy snow and ice storm on my sister's birthday. I was in my 20's and living on my own in a dumpy, studio apartment in a shady part of town. It was the kind of weather where you were warned to stay off the roads unless travel was necessary. I told myself travel was essential.... I had to see my sister on her birthday, right? The truth was I was lonely and did not want to be stuck in my tiny apartment during a snowstorm, besides where there is a birthday there is birthday cake and damn it, I wanted cake.
It took me an hour and a half to get to my sister's house, a good hour longer than a normal commute and when I arrived, my sister was cutting her carrot cake. The thing was, back then I HATED carrot cake, so to say I was disappointed was an understatement.
My tastes have changed since then, carrot cake is one of my favorites, but only if it is a homemade carrot cake. I like to control the ingredients and the frosting (no cream cheese frosting for me please)!
Notes on Homemade Carrot Cake:
This cake can be made into a layered cake; I used a bundt pan for one reason, I was too lazy to mess with layers.
I used a food processor to finely shred my carrots, I am not big on having large slivers of carrot, plus the food processor makes short work of it all.
The frosting: browned butter may sound complicated, however, it is anything but. Browned butter is simply butter that cooks on the stove until it turns a deep, amber color. The process requires little more than your attention as once the butter turns amber, it can burn quite quickly. Allow the butter to cool in the refrigerator. You want it to turn semi-solid; meaning you want it to be soft enough for you to cream in your frosting.
This cashew chicken salad is the perfect blend of romaine and bok choy that has chicken, veggies and a cashew dressing with a little dash of heat. This salad has a little Thai flair that is healthy and delicious!
This Thai Cashew Chicken Salad will be your new favorite!
In life there are seasons. My 20's were the season for freedom, fun, and self-discovery. I didn't have much and I didn't care. I was single, carefree and worried only about myself...until I met my now husband. Then I entered a new season.
My thirties were the season for growing. My husband and I bought our first house, we got a dog and started a family. It was no longer about me; I was responsible for little beings. Being in our thirties meant that we were learning how to sacrifice our time, money and energy. This was a season for adapting to change.
I find myself in yet another season. Since I am now in my forties, I've come to realize that this is the time to take care of myself. The kids are self-reliant, and while we are busy, the kids have gotten easier. They demand my attention in the form of transportation and money, but now I prioritize time for myself. I have a strict workout schedule, I've started a skin care regimen (why didn't I start that in my 20's!) and have been paying close attention to the family's diet. Both my husband and I have noticed a huge difference in our bodies by moving towards a more paleo diet. Now we eat things like Sweet and Spicy Chicken over Spaghetti Squash and Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms. Whole foods and clean eating are making us healthier which I hope will pay off in the long run.
Who knows, my 50's could be the "screw it" season. I could switch to eating only chocolate, drinking bourbon and binge watch a lot of tv. And that would be ok I guess.
About this Cashew Chicken Salad
This salad is made with a combination of romaine lettuce and bok choy. Bok choy is a Chinese lettuce has dark, leafy parts that taste crisp and are sturdy enough for this salad. Rotisserie chicken is your friend here, but leftover chicken is great too! I added cucumbers, shredded carrots and sugar snap peas, but if you aren't concerned with soy then edamame would be fantastic! The dressing is made with cashew butter, coconut milk, coconut aminos (soy sauce if you prefer). Microgreens dress this salad but are optional, however, the cashew toppings are must! They the perfect crunch to this filling and satisfying meal!
This whoopie pie recipe starts with vanilla whoopie pies that are studded with chocolate chips and surround a creamy mint filling. These little desserts are as delicious as they are fun!
Mint Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pie Recipe Just for Fun
My love- for St. Patrick's Day comes in waves. In my teens and 20's I pretty much ignored St. Patrick's Day. I'd arrogantly think to myself, "I'm Greek, not Irish"! I never wore green, in fact, I didn't even own anything green. There was no "kiss me I'm Irish" for me! I somehow found my inner Irish when it came to drinking. Even I knew that Irish Pubs were the place to be on St. Patrick's Day!
When I was raising preschoolers, I was all over celebrating St. Patty's Day. I'd make all sorts of rainbow treats, our house would be decked out in shamrocks and Leprauchan traps would be set!
As the kids grew they discovered that there was no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and that Leprauchans were not real. While they matured, I got lazy. My shamrocks never made it out of the basement and the traps were never set again. We all seemed ok without St. Patrick's Day apathy.
These pie are simple and you'll love them! I kept the cakes vanilla and added chocolate chips to work with the minty filling. You want to keep these on the small side, I would use a small cookie scoop to scoop out your dough. As far as the filling goes, I used green gel food coloring, but the mint flavor would be fine without the color if you are opposed to using food coloring! I piped my frosting on, but you do not have to invest in any piping tools, a ziptop bag would work or you could just spread the frosting. The recipe is rather straightforward and there is no hiding how delicious these mint chocolate chip whoopie pies taste! If you need more mint chocolate chip in your life, try these Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies or some Mint Chocolate Chip Glazed Popcorn!
Perfectly seasoned shrimp are nestled in crisp lettuce wraps and drizzled with a fresh tasting citrus sauce!
This shrimp tacos recipe is fabulous for those busy nights
where you want something fresh tasting but don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen!
This shrimp tacos recipe is a time saver!
When I was in my 20's, I thought I was the most organized and patient person around. I made lists and completed those lists, my house was clean and tidy, my laundry was done on time and I never left items off my grocery list.
Back then, I wasn't bothered by slow drivers, slow check out lines, or long, elaborate dinners. I kept my patience right up until the time I had kids. It took about two weeks with a newborn for me to realize that patience was a thing of the past and kids and motherhood was going to test them every single day. However, even on those days when I thought I was going to lose it, I could pride myself on being organized. I had chores for each day of the week, laundry was always done, folded and put away by naptime, I had meals planned for two weeks at a time, I had bills paid early and the checkbook balanced too!
As my kids have gotten older, I find my patience has returned. I am not as rattled by the kids and their different needs and personalities. But what happened to my brain? I rarely come home from the grocery without missing items, I forget to pay bills, I miss appointments, the house isn't as clean and laundry may or may not get done on time. In other words, I am a hot mess.
While the kids are more self-sufficient, life is busier than ever. Between my work, helping at school, running kids in 5 or 6 carpools, training a very stubborn puppy, I am hanging by a thread. Sometimes I think I might be going crazy. My only consolation is that every other mom I know is in the exact same position. I'll take that knowledge and run with it. It's my justification for all my loose ends.
One thing I am very good about is meal planning. I incorporate as many quick meals as I can because I know with our family, time is of the essence. Cheeseburger Skillet Dinner and Buffalo Chicken Tator Tot Casserole make regular appearances because they are quick and easy. This shrimp taco recipe is going to become an addiction. For starters, the recipe is quick, it is super simple, it is light and it is Paleo too! This recipe only requires a handful of ingredients; most of them are spices and citrus. This shrimp tacos recipe is vibrant and fresh! If you love the sound of citrus shrimp, try this shrimp and orange salad or this easy citrus shrimp recipe !
Strawberry Pretzel Salad Bites are the perfect party food! A pretzel crust holds a creamy filling and a fresh strawberry adorns the top! Each bite is creamy, sweet and salty; the best combo!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad Brings Up a Distinct Memory
When I was a kid, my parents often took us to a restaurant in our local mall. It was called Hot Shoppes. It wasn't quite a buffet and it wasn't quite a diner either. The decor was very brown; it was probably meant to feel homey, like your dining room. It felt very dated to me, although for the 70's the decor was on point.
To order, you would walk up to kitchen area, grab a tray and move down the line, grabbing food as you walked down the line. You could choose from little bowls of coleslaw, salad, or cottage cheese; dessert could be a fruit cup, strawberry pretzel salad, green jello (not sure why it was always green) or pudding, then you'd move to get your meal. I remember my parents always asked for the blue plate special, which literally meant the "food of the day" served on a plate with a blue rim. I can't remember the details of the meals, just that there was a protein with gravy and lots of creamed veggies.
None of the food described above was the kind of food we ate at home, so I can't imagine why my parents liked that place. I can only assume it was because my parents could not pass up a bargain. The meals themselves were not very memorable, but that strawberry pretzel salad is ingrained in my mind.
The thing is, I am not a big fan of Jello. I never have it around and I never use it in recipes, but the memory of that bright red Jello and the white filling will always bring back some serious nostalgia. These little bites have zero Jello, but the taste will remind you of that class Jello salad.
About These Strawberry Pretzel Salad Bites
These little guys start with crushed up pretzels that, when tossed with melted butter, form perfect little crusts. They are then filled with a cream cheese filling mixture which tastes rich like cheesecake and each little bite is topped with a fresh strawberry. These are easy mini desserts that give you the salty and sweet taste that many of us love! If you love this, definitely try these Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Cupcakes and these phyllo cups filled with tropical fruit salsa!
This rotisserie chicken salad is THE BEST! Using rotisserie chicken makes this so recipe easy, there is no reason to not have this on hand all the time.
This salad is loaded with fruits and nuts but it can handle anything you throw at it!
Rotisserie Chicken Salad Is The Best
One of my jobs in high school was working at a Subway Sandwich shop with my friends. I had a blast working there and I'm sure the owners lost a lot of money. This was the place where everyone gathered Friday nights after the high school football game or on Saturday nights when there was nothing else to do. If I wasn't working there, I knew someone who was. And if my friends we there, we were eating for free.
Whether I was on duty or not, I would waltz in and help myself to hot steak wrapped in cheese, meatballs, cookie dough, chips and anything else I felt like munching on. It was horrible. Yes, it was basically stealing and aside from that, it was unhealthy. I put on at least 15 lbs while I was working there.
I Love A Good Chicken Salad
Subway never carried a chicken salad, if they did, I probably would have devoured that too. I love a good chicken salad, but it cannot have too much mayo! Chicken salad has to have a hint of sweet and a little crunch. As the name implies, this recipe starts with rotisserie chicken. I LOVE using a rotisserie chicken! I use it in my Chicken Florentine Soup and even in dips like this King Ranch Chicken Dip. It such a time saver and it never lets me down. I tossed the chicken with juicy red grapes, tart dried cherries, and chopped walnuts. I kept this recipe Paleo and used a little avocado mayo but any mayo will work. I whisked a little vinegar into the mayo along with garlic, salt and pepper then combined this with the chicken and voila! There you have the worlds best chicken salad!
This recipe is rather adaptable, you can add or take away any of the ingredients and you would still have a kicking chicken salad recipe! A better chicken salad than anything you could find at a restaurant!
Portobello mushrooms "beef" up this easy Vegan Pot Pie!
This hearty meal is loaded with veggies and topped with potatoes for a filling meal that is brimming with amazing flavor!
If you were to tell my 9-year-old self that I was going to grow up loving mushrooms, I probably would have rolled my eyes at you and walked away. As a kid, mushrooms were high on my hate list. I thought they were slimy and tasted like dirt. I hated them just as much as I hated Swiss cheese, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, liver, and spinach. Nothing was more depressing than when mom made eggs for breakfast, with spinach mushrooms and liver! Those were the mornings I wanted to run to my bed and hide under the covers.
I have no idea when I decided to try mushrooms and all the other veggies I hated. But I did try them all and fell in love with all of them! It's amazing what a little maturity will do for your taste buds.
Here I am years later making a meal where mushrooms are the main ingredient in this easy vegan pot pie recipe. Portobellos are the star of the show; they are my absolute favorite mushroom! They are a good, substantial mushroom that can handily replace protein in many recipes. I've used them as hamburgers as in these Portobello Mushroom Burgers and I've stuffed them with pizza toppings in this quick and easy pizza stuffed mushroom recipe.
This pot pie has a pound of portobello mushrooms, carrots, celery and lots of spinach. I made a sauce with vegetable broth, flour, and Pompeian Organic Balsamic Vinegar then topped off my pot pie with olive oil mashed potatoes instead of a traditional pie crust. I used Pompeian's Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil to saute my veggies as well. The deep, earthy flavors of the olive oil pulled all the flavors together nicely. This is a hearty pot pie that leaves you full and satisfied!
This easy monkey bread recipe features biscuits coated in a lemon sugar mixture then baked until golden!
The lemon glaze really adds a big citrus punch!
The Best Monkey Bread Recipe
I don't think a birthday goes by where someone doesn't ask for monkey bread for their birthday. Caramel Apple Monkey Bread Muffins are our usual birthday treat. Next week, my middle child, my only son, will be turning 13. I cannot believe that we will have TWO teenagers! I know all parents say this, but wow, time goes by so quickly! One minute you are worried about the color of baby poop and then next minute you are worried about social media and peer pressure.
Out of the three kids, my son is the most challenging. He has always done the opposite of what I'd hope he would do. He is the kid who has to get the last word and is always right. He is lively, noisy, vivacious, moody, lazy and smart. He makes me want to scream and hug him all at the same time.
As much as he drives me nuts, I know that of all the kids, he is most like me. When I really think about his traits that make me crazy...always having to be right, his obsessiveness, his fidgeting, and his moodiness are traits that I find in myself. Let me tell me you, it is really hard to parent yourself.
Despite all the things that are turning my hair gray, this kid has me bursting with pride. I love everything about him, good and bad. Life would be so dull without him. I know that his frustrating qualities are all the things that will serve him well as an adult. His obsessiveness and his desire to never give up will help him accomplish anything!
About Monkey Bread Recipe
This is a pretty standard monkey bread recipe. I used kitchen shears to quarter buttermilk biscuits and I tossed them with sugar and lemon zest (which I also used on these simple Lemon Sugar Biscuit Donuts) and placed them in a bundt pan and drizzled it all with butter. After baking and cooling, a simple lemon glaze is drizzled over top. You can bake this in an angel food cake pan as well. Be sure to let your monkey bread recipe rest for 5 minutes only before flipping onto a plate. If you wait too long, your caramelized butter mixture will harden and your biscuits will stick. This lemon monkey bread recipe is tangy, refreshing and so delicious!