Southwestern Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad

If the 80s there were acid wash jeans, leg warmers, and shoulder pads.  The 90s had hair crimpers, frosted tips, and breadmakers.  And today, we have……the spiralizer. Well, who knows what we will look back on and say “What were we thinking about?,” but I am betting that spiralized vegetable noodles and the spiralizers that create them will at least be on the list as diets become increasingly health conscience.  My attitude with friends as with vegetables is the same:  “The more the merrier.”  Its certainly not a bad thing, so I am not ready to lump them in the same category as hammer pants and boy bands. And also,…

Sage Aioli

A-I-O-L-I.  Aioli.  Spelling aioli is probably the most complicated part.  Making it certainly isn’t tough.  More importantly, who doesn’t love the stuff?  It goes perfectly with everything: fresh veggies, sweet potato fries, roasted artichokes, and beyond….  There are approximately 1000 takes on aioli out there.  I have tried a good number of them, but this sage-y garlicky version has become our mainstay. This version is made the “cheater” way with mayonnaise instead of starting at square one with an emulsion of egg yolks and oil.  Just make sure your mayonnaise is organic or higher quality.  Why “cheat?”  Less time; same taste.  Seriously, under 5 minutes for this little ditty.  I repeat.  Under…

Honey Candied Pecans

I have a little secret to tell you. I am a cheater – not on taxes, not in cards, not in marriage, but in the kitchen. What do I mean? You know the pecans I candied for the salad? Yea, they had been in my freezer for 2 months. See, I cheat. I make things that I know I can use in the future in huge batches, so I always have some handy. Whether it is candied nuts, a loaf of banana bread, chipotle enchilada sauce, or cookie dough, this comes in handy all the time. Just about anything that makes meals or entertaining a more streamlined process is a…

Mediterranean Quinoa Chop Salad

I don’t know if there is any scientific evidence behind this, but during every summer of my formative years, I was in Alaska.  My dad would be there for work so my family would join him as soon as school let out.  As a result, I inadvertently trained my body to believe that a really, really nice summer day was in the low seventies.  During the first summer that we didn’t “go north,” as my mom called it, it hit ninety degrees, my body didn’t know what to do.  I had never experienced a heat stroke but was quite sure that this must be it.  My body was simply never trained…

Italian Hazelnut Crescent Cookies

As a kid, my favorite holiday cookie was what my Mom called Russian Tea Cookies.  Although, I have heard some folks refer to them as “Snowballs” as well. When I found a recipe for Italian Almond Crescent Cookies, I was intrigued because of its similarity to my old favorite.  Now, my favorites are a variation of these little buttery crescents. Once upon a time, I was craving these on a snowy day, but I was all out of almonds.  Pilfering my pantry, I discovered that we did have plenty of hazelnuts. And, we certainly love hazelnuts!  So I thought, why not?!  Since then, we have never wanted these cookies any other…
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