diy, the latest

idiot-proof recipes i vouch for

Sometimes, I have a hard time following recipes. If something calls for too many ingredients or takes 3+ hours to make, I’m really not interested. Every once in a while, I stumble across a recipe that is literally impossible to mess up…even if you get easily distracted or like to put your own spin on a dish. Here are some of my favorite idiot-proof ideas.

Winter Crunch Salad (from Bon Appetit)

This recipe makes a great side dish for dinner, then packs up beautifully for tomorrow’s desk lunch. It has all my favorite salad things – brussels sprouts, kale, apple, sunflower seeds, and parmesan – and takes literally 10 minutes to make. Last time, I roasted the sprouts for extra flavor, which took a little longer, and used balsamic vinegar instead of the mustard for the dressing. Still delicious.  salad.jpg


Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookie (from Alison Roman)

You’ve probably seen these cookies all over Instagram. The good news? They’re actually SUPER easy to make. There’s less than 10 ingredients, and they’re a more sophisticated (and slightly salty)  twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie. You won’t be disappointed. cookie.jpg


Mini Asian Crab Cake Bites (from Martha Stewart)

I made these for a dinner party a few years ago, and it was the first time I’d ever worked with crab meat. These were surprisingly easy to make, and the easy addition of coconut milk, lime, ginger, and cilantro give these mini crab cakes fresh, Thai-inspired flavor. You can make and shape them ahead of time, too, then just quickly fry them up before serving. I made a corn salsa (fresh corn, red onion, tomatoes, and garlic quickly sauteed) to go on top!

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Molten Lava Cakes (from Paula Deen

This dessert is a dream if you don’t want any leftovers! And everyone will think you’re an amazing pastry chef, when, in reality, it’s like 5 ingredients. The recipe uses a mix of milk and dark chocolates, and I always skip the orange liqueur because I never have any.

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: kitchen

It’s no secret that I love food. I’ve also grown to love cooking and baking, especially when I get to share the finished product with my family and friends. I love the way food brings people together, and I think that the kitchen is the most important shared space in any home.

In my dream kitchen, there’s lots of light, a farmhouse sink, and plenty of space for people to gather. Here are some photos inspiring my future culinary space.

What’s a must-have for your dream kitchen? 

 

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the latest

instagrammable food orders

I post a lot of food photos on Instagram. You may or may not know that I LOVE to eat, and I really enjoy checking out new restaurants and hunting down trendy foods. When I go out to eat with other people, I like to coordinate orders with them so we get a good spread – both for budget/taste practicalities AND Instagram reasons.

Here are some of the prettiest and most photogenic foods to order at any eatery.

Avocado toast

I know, I know. So basic. So overdone. But SO DELICIOUS. And so pretty. You literally can’t go wrong.

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big breakfast gal 🥑 @bluestonelanecoffee

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A gooey cookie.

Something with melty chocolate, ideally.


Pizza.

The love I have for pizza is truly endless, but I love the stuff even more when the pie is particularly instagrammable. Ask one of your friends to hand model for extra depth.

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ILYSM ❤️❤️❤️ @lilfrankies

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A smoothie bowl.

Another trendy brunch item that I just can’t seem to quit. Big fan of this one, with candied orange slices and perfectly arranged toppings.

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wish my personality was this vibrant

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Ice cream.

It’s a lucky coincidence that my favorite ice cream flavor is M&M, which almost always has a colorful, tie-dyed look. Perfect for the ‘gram, and my belly.

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not not breakfast 🍦

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Follow me on Instagram for more!

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: tacos

Birds are chirping! Flowers are blooming! I am sneezing!

In short…warm weather is here. As temperatures heat up, literally all I want to eat is Mexican food, preferably outdoors, accompanied by a margarita (or three). So this installation of pin-spiration is all about tacos. Spicy chicken. Crispy fish. Lime wedges. Homemade salsa. You get it.

Follow me on Pinterest for more!

images sourced from pinterest. 

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the latest

an official unoffical ranking of the best cookie flavors

I’m aware that the opportunities for cookie innovation are pretty endless, so in this round-up, I’m sticking with the most classic and typical homemade varieties.

Chocolate Chip

It just doesn’t get better. Buttery batter, melty chocolate, and flakes of sea salt on top…sigh. I love my mom’s classic recipe, but lately I’ve been super into this trendy shortbread version.

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my kinda story research 🍪

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Frosted Sugar Cookies

The frosting is key. Also, A LOT of vanilla. Bonus points for crisp sprinkles and bright colors.

Cowboy

Not everyone has the same definition of Cowboy cookies, but in my book, they’re oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips, too.

Snicker Doodle

Another standby of my mom’s. I tend to favor chocolate in cookies, but these guys are one of the exceptions. I used to bring Snicker Doodles into elementary school all the time and my classmates went nuts.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Do these have an official name? This is what I’m choosing to call them, but I’m betting you’ve tried these before. They come in last of my favorite cookies because unwrapping all the Hershey’s kisses is extremely annoying, and though they taste AMAZING, they’re awkward to eat in public.

Bonus: Stroopwafels

Not sure if these are technically a cookie, but they’re delicious and I wanted more than one photo for this blog post.

ATTENTION: I am raising money for a bike ride that raises money for Alzheimer’s research. If you donate more than $20, I will personally bake you a dozen of any of these cookies. Click here for more info!

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eat-a-city

eat-a-city: REYKJAVIK

I recently checked something off my things-to-do-before-I-turn-30 list: going to Iceland! I went with my friend Klaudia for a long weekend in March, and we had a great time. I’d been wanting to go for so long, and when we were able to score a round trip flight for under $300 (!!!) we just had to go.

As is true with any city I visit, I was eager to hunt out the best foodie spots. I got some great tips from friends who had already been to Reykjavik, as well as questionable recommendations from co-workers who encouraged me to try the whale (I didn’t). I also browsed Instagram for recommendations, and we managed to have a lot of yummy meals.

Sandholt

This was our first meal after arriving on a red-eye. We had time to kill before we could check in to our Airbnb, and this was one of the few eateries open before 9am (so un-American). We settled in for a leisurely breakfast, and enjoyed super flaky croissants, fruit, coffee, and chia pudding.

Flatey Pizza

Neapolitan pizza? In Iceland?? Yes, it’s possible! I did a quick Yelp search for pizza in Reykjavik, since it’s an expensive city and pizza is filling and usually affordable, and when I saw photos of the pizza here, I was sold. It tasted as good as it looked! Mine had pickled peppers, pepperoni, and honey on top.

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Brauð & Co

Two different people recommended the cinnamon rolls at this bakery to me. I was skeptical when I saw them since they didn’t have any icing, but the insane amount of cinnamon made up for it.

Reykjavik Roasters

We stumbled across this cute coffee shop on our way to Hallgrímskirkja, the beautiful church. Teeny iced lattes and a chocolate croissant kept our bellies happy until dinnertime.

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Bergsson Mathús

This was my favorite eatery we went to in Reykjavik, mostly for the aesthetics. The restaurant was sooo cute, and the food was affordable and delicious. We actually went here two other times, just for coffee. We had a simple brunch here one day of Icelandic yogurt, soft-boiled eggs, fresh bread, cheese, and prosciutto.

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the latest

calories worth consuming

It’s no secret that I love to eat. I appreciate all kinds of food, whether it’s a super fancy pizza or an old standby, like a vanilla cone from Dairy Queen. A lot of times, I’d rather skip a snack or wait for something better instead of “wasting” calories on a food item not worth its value in flavor.

I gave up “sweets” for Lent, and though I’ve had a few pieces of banana bread (technically a breakfast food!!) and some dark chocolate (to scare off starvation in Iceland!), it’s been a challenge. I usually end each day with something sweet – often a scoop of frozen yogurt (Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food is a go-to) or something dipped in chocolate hummus. It’s gotten me thinking about the foods that are worth eating, no matter how much fat or sugar it contains. Here’s my definitive list.

Ice cream.

I only buy frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream to keep at home, so when I go “out” for ice cream, I want the good stuff. Full fat. Maybe a waffle cone. Maybe a sundae if I’m feeling famished.

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the best things in life are pistachio-flavored 🍦

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Wine.

Especially rosé. Especially in warm weather.

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Necessary. #humpday #rosé #repost @quaintrellebyab

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Pizza.

Again…the good stuff. Stringy mozz. Not-too-sweet tomato sauce. Lots of fresh basil. Maybe some kind of spicy pork product. Mike’s Hot Honey if you have it.

Doughnuts.

I probably have four doughnuts a year, so they need to be good to be worth eating. One of this allotment is reserved for an apple cider doughnut each fall. In January, I had a doughnut from Kane’s, a Boston icon that lived up to the hype.

Brunch.

Belgian waffles, pancakes, and allll the whipped cream. Plus maple syrup. And fresh berries. Nothing like a midday sugar high.

Good bread.

I told you I’m obsessed with carbs. Not sandwich bread, or pita bread, but real, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside bread. Preferably with lots of Kate’s butter and a little salt on top.

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