Chocolate Espresso “Stress” Cake

Desserts | January 29, 2016 | By

Chocolate Expresso "Stress" Cake

How do you deal with stress? Some run; some do yoga; some read; I bake. Whenever I am really stressed, I find baking to be therapeutic. I don’t know exactly why, but something about creating the perfect cake, cookie, bread, brownie or pastry helps me get out of my brain. Maybe it’s because I know that with just a few hours in the kitchen, I can whip up almost anything. Or maybe it’s because I like taste testing the fruits of my labor. Who knows. :-)
For the past couple weeks, my work schedule kicked my butt. So, I spent last weekend baking up a storm. It was a spur of the moment decision to make this chocolate “stress” cake, so when I found that I didn’t have all the ingredients I would usually need to make a cake, I had to improvise. 

After I already started making the cake, I found I didn’t have two crucial ingredients — milk and butter. I rarely buy milk these days (I’m trying to cut back on my dairy intake), but not having sticks and sticks of butter in the fridge and freezer was very unlike me.


Acorn Squash Soup

Main Dishes | January 22, 2016 | By

Acorn Squash Soup

January is all about resolutions. Eating-healthy-, going-to-the-gym-, working-less- and traveling-more-resolutions. But when you are busy with a packed work schedule, family engagements, dinners with friends and all those little weekend errands, it’s easy to let your resolutions slip to the wayside. I mean, it’s so tempting to skip the gym or eat a cheat meal while working over time, balancing extracurricular engagements and fitting in time with friends and family. I follow a few fitness bloggers and see their amazing, healthy routines and I cannot help but wonder…how do they do it?!
Though life sometimes gets in the way, one way I’ve kept my diet moderately healthy this month is by prepping my meals in advance. I realize that “meal prep” sounds like something reserved for the gym rat or health freak, but if your can embrace #mealprep, it can be a lifesaver. (Ok, maybe not an actual lifesaver, but it will really help you keep your diet on track those mornings you’re running late for work and need to rush out the door). 


Super Simple Banana Ice Cream

Desserts | January 19, 2016 | By

Banana Ice Cream

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today’s post is all about food cravings. Cravings that hit you every time you go to open the pantry/fridge/freezer. Cravings that make you wish that you could turn your everyday chicken salad lunch into a fresh-out-the-oven bacon maple donut. Cravings that make you linger a little longer in front of the chocolate babka at the Trader Joe’s fresh baked desserts section. I’m craving sweets. 

In an effort to start this year off on the right foodie foot, I’ve done my best to cut the junk out of my kitchen. This includes eating out less and little-to-no sweets. So, when the sweet tooth hits, I’ve had to be a little creative with my “desserts” of choice. My newest obsession: banana ice cream. 

Making this ice cream is incredibly simple and only really needs two ingredients: bananas and mix ins. Though I find the riper the banana, the sweeter the ice cream, any banana would do. I remember reading somewhere that as bananas ripen, the banana’s sugar level increases, so if you are concerned with your sugar content, I would suggest using greener bananas. 

The second ingredient is really a list of ingredients, or what flavors you want in your ice cream. I decided to copy cat one of my favorite ice cream flavors: Chunky Monkey from Ben & Jerry’s. But if you want chocolate, just add a tablespoon of cocoa powder. For vanilla, add a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. You get the idea. This ice cream lends itself to mixing and matching flavors.

I hope you enjoy!


Baked Eggs With Leeks and Spinach

Breakfast | January 12, 2016 | By

Baked Eggs With Leeks and Spinach

Happy (slightly belated) New Year! The first few days of 2016 brought non-stop rain to California, and I LOVED IT. The weather made me want to pull out all my warmest sweaters, light candles and curl up with a good book. Oh, and make these baked eggs over and over again.

Baked eggs is one of those breakfast dishes that looks like it takes a lot of time and effort to prepare, but in actual reality only takes a few minutes to whip up. The “wow factor” is only one perk. The incredible flavor is the other. The leeks and shallots add a mild, almost sweet onion taste that pairs wonderfully with the creamy yogurt and tangy dill. Just writing about this dish makes me want to immediately go to my kitchen and whip up another batch of baked eggs. 

Though this dish is really simple to make, you still want to keep an eye on your eggs. Once in the oven, your eggs get a “glossed over” look, so you might not be able to tell if they are fully cooked. I prefer my eggs on the runny side, so I like to bake them for approximately 6 minutes at 400 degrees F; if you want a well done egg, leave in the oven for a couple more minutes.