2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/4C cocoa powder (I always use Hershey’s Dark Chocolate)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1C unsalted butter, soft at room temp
1/3C light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 (1 oz) bottle red food coloring (yes, the whole entire bottle)!
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
*Scroll down to the bottom for the cream cheese frosting recipe
1. Combine dry ingredients: cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. Beat butter in a mixer. Add sugars, eggs, food coloring, vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Beat on medium until combined. Gradually add all of the flour and scrape down the sides.
3. Scoop rounded portions of dough unto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350*F 10-12 mins. Let cool fully before frosting (otherwise, your frosting will melt and get all sloppy).
4. Frost the cookies and share with the people you love!
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Combine 1 block of cream cheese (8 oz) + 1/4C softened butter in a mixer. Add 1 tsp vanilla and gradually add 2-3C of powdered sugar (you just want it to reach a nice consistency for spreading).
1C spicy chipotle hummus
2C chicken stock
1 jar piquillo peppers, a few saved for garnish (use regular roasted reds if you can’t find piquillo)
2C white rice
1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and shredded (buy a rotisserie chicken if it’s on sale)
Fresh parsley, garnish
Siracha hot sauce, garnish
1. Puree the chicken stock, hummus and peppers in a food processor or blender. Add to a big soup pot.
2. Add your rice and chicken, and a touch of salt & pepper. If it’s too thick for you, add some more chicken stock to thin it out.
3. Garnish with lots of chopped fresh parsley, sliced peppers and a drizzle of Siracha hot sauce.
Thai Pineapple Coconut & Chile Tilapia
with Jasmine Rice
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
3 green onions, finely diced
1 can Del Monte pineapples, finely diced
1tsp curry powder (cayenne pepper, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon)
1 tsp ancho chile powder
2tsp spicy red pepper paste
½ tsp cumin
4 tsp soy sauce
1T brown sugar
14-oz can coconut milk
4 tilapia filets
1C jasmine rice, cooked (to serve along side)
Cilantro, to garnish
Lime, to garnish
1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add ginger and garlic, cook for a minute. Add pepper, green onions and pineapple. Add the curry powder, pepper paste, cumin, soy sauce, brown sugar, salt and coconut milk.
2. Brush tilapia with oil and another pinch of salt. Broil for 7 minutes.
3. Serve the fish on a bed of jasmine rice, drizzle with the delicious pineapple sauce, cilantro and lime!
Espresso. I can’t live a single day without it. Rich, dark concentrated coffee made from a pure blend of beans. And the burst of caffeine! Omg! Is it really that bad for you if you drink it every single day (sometimes 2-3x’s)? They do it in Italy and Paris, right?! And they’re all healthy and skinny and everything over there…so?! So…I have no problem admitting to you guys right now that I have a slight addiction to espresso. Long nights of filming/editing and I may even be a self-admitted coffee hoarder, stashing it away for emergencies. Here’s a never before seen pic of my secret stash:
Have you heard that coffee dries out your skin/makes you dehydrated? Solution!
Coco Cafe = coconut water + 1 shot of strong espresso + a splash of reduced-fat milk. I heard a few friends talking about it when it first came out and I’m (clearly) a huge fan! It tastes great super-cold and stored in the fridge, but it’s equally as good (if you’re a hoarder like myself) stored in your desk 100% organic.
You guys know me by now and understand that I have a bit of an obsession with good-quality chocolate. I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about this vegan, organic dark chocolate so I had to try it for myself! They add herbs, spices and flowers to create a unique tasting experience. The coolest part is that you can’t chew or bite the chocolate, you have to let it slowly dissolve and melt in your mouth. Dark chocolate has been found to have tons of health benefits: possible reduced risk for heart disease, lowered blood pressure, lowered cholesterol, increased brain function…do your homework, the research is all out there! The requirements for regular dark chocolate allow it to have trace ammounts of pesticides – ew! Who wants that in their chocolate?! When you have 100% organic chocolate, it’s completely pesticide free. The mixed bag of Wei of Chocolate includes chai, chili, himalayan pink salt, citrus and pure dark! My personal favorite is the Himalayan Salt: 72% cacao, pure himalayan salt, orchid flower essence, date flower essence, pink primrose flower, organic vanilla, cocoa butter and sugar. For more details, check out: http://www.weiofchocolate.com/
Here’s another no-fuss, budget-friendly dinner!
8 sundried tomato wraps
Fresh spinach (about 2 cups)
One red onion, chopped
Roasted red peppers, chopped
Mozzarella cheese, shredded (about a handful/quesadilla)
Feta cheese (a few tablespoons per quesadilla)
Fresh Basil, 1C chopped
#1: On a plate, place a tortilla. Sprinkle with spinach, red onion, red pepper, black olives, mozzarella, feta, oregano and basil. Don’t get greedy and overload it or they’ll come out soggy.
#2: Place another tortilla on top. Bake in the oven at 350* for about 15 minutes until slightly crisp and melted (you can also do this on the stovetop, but I like that there’s less clean-up involved in baking it).
#3: Remove the tortilla and cut into wedges with a knife. Serve with pesto or tzatziki!
FARFALLE PASTA WITH SPICY SAUSAGE
1 box Barilla Pasta Plus farfalle
1 package mild Italian turkey sausage
4 chile peppers (I use dried de arbol peppers found in the spice section)
1 bag arugula & spinach mix
1 pint baby roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
White wine, 1T
Olive oil, a swirl in the pan
Parmigiano reggiano, to garnish
1. Boil a pot for your pasta and cook according to package. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Sautee the garlic, tomatoes and chile peppers on medium-high until the tomatoes pop a bit. Crumble in the sausage and sauté until cooked. Add the white wine and stir, cook for another 4 mins so the flavors party together.
2. Toss the cooked pasta with the sausage-tomato mixture and your arugula and spinach. The hot pasta will cook the arugula almost immediately. Grate some fresh parm reggiano over the top and serve!
This is a throwback recipe! Shout-out to my Mom for hooking up the English muffin pizzas back in the day. These aren’t fancy, they’re super cheap but really delicious and filling. I use 100% whole wheat English muffins, top them with marinara sauce, spinach, basil, mushrooms and mozzarella balls. Pop in the oven 375* for about 10 mins until the cheese melts and they get a little crisp. Fuss free, no recipe required
COCONUT PANKO CHICKEN TENDERS
1 package boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1/4C coconut milk
1C panko bread crumbs
1C shredded coconut
1/2C vegetable oil
Wegmans sweet chili sauce (so amazing!)
1. Set up 3 bowls for breading:
First = flour & salt
Second = eggs & coconut milk
Third = panko & coconut
2. Heat up the vegetable oil. Dredge the chicken first in the flour, than the eggs, than the panko-coconut.
3. Placing about 6 strips in the pan at a time, cook the chicken for about 4 mins on each side. If your strips are thicker, you can just finish them off in the oven.
Serve with the sweet chili sauce (my new obsession) and enjoy!
1 baby watermelon, cut into little mini cubes
1C fresh basil, I just rough chopped a huge bunch from the garden
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 shallot, diced
1 lime, juiced
Toss the watermelon cubes with basil, jalapeno, shallot and lime juice. Add a bit of honey if desired and serve!
My favorite savory food from the 2012 food & wine festival came from Fin Restaurant at the Tropicana. Their “Maine Lobster Bisque” was incredibly rich and luscious! I’m not sure what their secret is, but I can tell you that most lobster bisque recipes call for white wine, garlic, shallots, thyme, sherry, heavy cream, butter and fresh Maine lobster. Did I get your mouth watering yet?! At their restaurant, you can choose from modern and classic dishes (“with” or “without” fins), hand crafted cocktails and every single seat has a view of the ocean! Their menu boasts a delicious variety of options: Chilean Sea Bass Francaise, Grilled Swordfish, Panko Crusted Shrimp, Blue Crab Macaroni & Cheese, White Cheddar Truflle Fries and lots more. The lobster bisque made such a great impression, I can’t wait to head over to the restaurant and see what else they have to offer!