Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Lightened Up, Vegetarian

Celebrating Toast Tuesday with Lemon Ricotta Toast


Want a different toast and a clever way to use up that ricotta from lasagna? Here’s Lemon Ricotta Toast. It’s light and satisfying, without being over heavy or filling. I love the bright acidity the lemon juices adds to the creamy ricotta, simply flavors with salt and red pepper flakes. Pumpkin seeds add a delightful crunch, while spinach adds some color and a little extra something-something.
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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Lightened Up, Vegetarian

Sinfully Good Homemade Cinnamon Rolls


I love cinnamon rolls, especially ones that are warm and gooey and right out of the oven. Thanks to Minimalist Baker, here’s an idea for ones that are homemade; they’re lightened up with less butter, use almond milk instead of heavy cream or whole milk and have a little whole wheat flour to round them out. I made these from scratch on Christmas morning and my parents gave them a stamp of approval. With a little patience to let the dough rise, these homemade Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect addition to your brunch arsenal.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Meal Prep, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Holy Cow Homemade English Muffins


This was quite fun! I haven’t truly made bread from scratch before, but I’ve made beer bread or ones using a bread machine. I chose to make Whole Wheat English Muffins post finals and as a study break before my next one. Making bread dough from scratch is actually cathartic even if it’s a bit of a waiting game. I got to properly knead dough to add air to it to make it light and fluffy, while also stretching out the gluten strands to give it its texture, and also “punch” it down to remove the extra air after it rises. The key is to stretch out the dough and not to pound it. (Check out The Kitchn‘s guide for exactly how to properly knead dough.) I saw a recipe for homemade English muffins in Real Simple this winter, but I’ve had a big store-bought batch hanging out in my freezer. Even though these are technically dairy-free, they’re still fluffy and just like English muffins are their signature time in the skillet. I also didn’t have cornmeal for the bottom, but never fear! Just be a bit more weary when cooking the bottom since the cornmeal doesn’t act as a buffer.

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Appetizer, Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish

5 Minute Crispy BBQ Pizza


I’ve been craving pizza lately and when I say craving, I mean CRAVING. I didn’t feel like making a cauliflower crust, I couldn’t find my go-to naan at Whole Foods, and I didn’t want to make dough from scratch. Instead I found Top This! Whole Wheat 13″ Crust in the freezer section. It was thin, crispy, and had a nice char flavor since it’s grilled. I went a little light on sauce/toppings since I wasn’t sure how this crust would hold up, but next time I make it, I can definitely go closer to the edge and add some more BBQ. The honey sriracha BBQ sauce pairs well with chicken sausage to give you a Crispy BBQ Sausage Flatbread.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian

Crazy for Scones


I love scones. I may or may not be still in a cranberry pistachio phase, which inspired this Orange Scones with Cranberries & Pistachios recipe. (if you’re not convinced, see my Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pistachios & Cranberries). I usually bring scones as a hostess gift, as a “thank you” or just because. I made this today as a special thanks for someone, who has helped me do some medical soul searching over the years. For those of you wondering, scones are a traditional English baked good that are both lightly sweetened and served with tea. Making scones from scratch are not as difficult as one may believe. There’s three basic butter rules that must be followed to ensure you’ll have perfectly delicious scones:

  1. The butter must be chilled.
  2. The butter must be “cut in” the dry ingredients with a pastry blender (easiest — like one here), a fork or even two knives (I think this is the hardest way). A pastry blender gives you the most leverage, it’s efficient, and prevent the butter form melting.
  3. The butter must resemble pea-sized pieces once cut in.

“Cutting in” the butter ensures the fat will be evenly distributed amongst the dry ingredients. It almost creates pockets of butter throughout the dough. I lightened up the traditional recipes and replaced heavy cream with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cut the flour 50/50 with whole-wheat, and substituted egg whites for eggs. The orange zest adds in such an unique freshness, the fresh cranberries a tartness, and the pistachios a salty, yet nutty perfection. As breakfast or brunch, as a holiday treat or with a cup of coffee or tea, these Orange Scones with Cranberries & Pistachios are sure to please.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Lightened Up, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Beautifully Baked Bite-Size Donuts


When I think of apple cider donuts, I think of trips to Wallingford’s Orchard to pick apples and grab a perfectly hot and sticky-sweet donut for the road (or for the walk home to my old house). As good as Wallingford’s are, sometimes you need something homemade, not fried, and readily at hand, not a drive away. Recipe taken from The Friendly Fig, these Mini Apple Cider Donuts are delectably delicious, and they’re bite-size — even better!  They’re sure to delight and be an instant crowd pleaser. Just be sure to enjoy them fresh out of the oven for the full effect. Continue reading “Beautifully Baked Bite-Size Donuts”

Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mmm, Mmm Pumpkin Squares

IMG_4646These aren’t your typical Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Squares, but they’re still delicious. I taste-tested these on my dad, the king of desserts. He not only approved, but asked me to bake more, so I’m thinking these must be good. I recently acquired coconut oil, coconut flour and coconut sugar and have been waiting for the right recipe to give these ingredients a try. I made the pumpkin squares two ways: one with coconut flour (for a gluten-free option) and the other one with whole-wheat flour. Based on the flavor and consistency, I enjoyed the ones made with whole-wheat flour more; they were more cake-like and true to the pumpkin spice flavor. Neither has a strong pumpkin flavor, but then again, we associate that “pumpkin flavor” with rich, sweet, decadent pumpkin pie. Either way, these pumpkin squares are a bite-size dessert!
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Appetizer, Entrée, Low Sugar, Vegetarian

Summertime Flatbread: Kale, Asparagus & Cherry Tomatoes

Kale, Asparagus & Cherry Tomato Flatbread

Now that my finals and my chapter at Cornell have come to a close, I have the chance to post some power meals in the making from this past week. Inspired by the Moosewood cookbook my mom gave me, I want to make some that would be both fresh and ready for summer. On my kale kick from the Kale Caesar Salad, I decided to indulge in a roasted vegetable flatbread, a perfect transition to warmer weather. Here’s the Kale, Asparagus & Cherry Tomato Flatbread.

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