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Chocolate Oat Banana Muffins

Don’t you love when something just works? You try something new with no real expectations, and you end up with something fantastic? That’s what these chocolate oat banana muffins were for me. I needed to use up the leftover bananas and wanted to do something a little different than my usual go-to of Joy of Cooking’s banana bread. I wanted to use oats because it feels more like a healthy breakfast treat. It may not be true, but I can pretend, right? I also wanted to make them chocolate, since I’ve been seeing chocolate banana bread everywhere and just had to make some myself. But not chocolate chip chocolate, I mean good cocoa powder chocolate. Unsweetened, dark, delicious.

As always, I found a recipe to use as a starting point. In this case, it was a chocolate oat banana bread from Jenna at A Savory Feast (the link to her recipe is here). So simple (which by now you should know is right up my alley), and looked so tasty. I added some almond meal because I wanted the extra flavor, used brown sugar because it added depth and a molasses quality, and some lemon zest and cardamom because they’re some of my favorites, and a: banana bread requires lemon and b: chocolate and oats both are made better with a hint of cardamom. They’re even quick enough that I can (technically) make them in the morning before work. Seriously, like 10 minutes of work, then into the oven for 20-25 minutes, and that’s it.

I’ve made these twice now, because the first batch was ridiculously good but I wanted to see if I could make a healthier version. The first round, my coworkers (AKA my usual taste testers) thought they were delicious, super light, and somehow felt simultaneously rich and healthy. Round two: also delicious, less sweet, and even more like a good breakfast choice. Kind of like Sunday brunch vs. week day morning. I honestly can’t say which I prefer, because both are so good, which means both versions are below. And bonus (for some people): they just happen to be gluten free (and the richer version is dairy free, too).


Chocolate Oat Banana Muffins (Sunday brunch version)

February 1, 2018
: 12
: 10 min
: 25 min
: 35 min

Chocolately, tasty, and surprisingly light, these are perfect for breakfast or a snack. Try them topped with butter, peanut butter, raspberry jam, or a dollop of yogurt (or even whipped cream?).


  • 1C (or more) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2C almond meal
  • 1/2C brown sugar
  • 1/4C white sugar
  • 1/4C cocoa powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/4t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of cardamom
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1/3C oil (I use coconut oil, melted)
  • 1/2t lemon zest
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • Step 1 Heat the oven to 375. Prepare a muffin tin by thoroughly oiling the cups or using liners (I always use vegetable oil, no liners).
  • Step 2 Put the oats in a food processor and grind into a loose flour. The finer you grind it, the denser the muffins will be. I prefer it to be a good mix of very fine and mostly whole oats.
  • Step 3 Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Step 4 Mash the bananas in a second bowl until smooth. Add the egg, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir until well combined.
  • Step 5 Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  • Step 6 Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full.
  • Step 7 Cook for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  • Step 8 Cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
  • Step 9 Enjoy!

Chocolate Oat Banana Muffins (Weekday morning version)

February 1, 2018
: 12
: 10 min
: 25 min
: 35 min

Chocolately, tasty, and surprisingly light, these are perfect for breakfast or a snack. Try them topped with butter, peanut butter, raspberry jam, or a dollop of yogurt (or even whipped cream?).


  • 1C (or more) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2C almond meal
  • 1/2C brown sugar
  • 1/4C cocoa powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/4t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of cardamom
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1/3C greek yogurt (I prefer Siggi's plain skyr)
  • 1/2t lemon zest
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • Step 1 Heat the oven to 375. Prepare a muffin tin by thoroughly oiling the cups or using liners (I always use vegetable oil, no liners).
  • Step 2 Put the oats in a food processor and grind into a loose flour. The finer you grind it, the denser the muffins will be. I prefer it to be a good mix of very fine and mostly whole oats. Use enough old fashioned oats to end up with 1C oat flour.
  • Step 3 Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Step 4 Mash the bananas in a second bowl until smooth. Add the egg, yogurt, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir until well combined.
  • Step 5 Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  • Step 6 Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full.
  • Step 7 Cook for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  • Step 8 Cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
  • Step 9 Enjoy!

Creamy Weeknight Pasta

I said in an earlier post that I might be really bad at consistency. Clearly, I’ve been true to my word. I’m often most consistent at BEING inconsistent. Sorry!

It’s been two months since I last posted anything, and I apologize for that. I could give all sorts of excuses about being overwhelmed with work (it was the holidays, my day job is in retail, it gets stressful/exhausting for a couple months there), feeling like I didn’t have enough time, etc. Mostly, to be honest, while I really did feel drained and like I didn’t have time, the biggest thing is that I wasn’t feeling at all inspired. It’s the holidays, and this is a food blog. It really should have been a big time for me to be even more productive, but I really just didn’t feel like I had it in me for the last couple months. I can only promise that I will try to be better about that in the future!

On that note, how is January half over already?! Boston has had some crazy weather these last couple weeks, just like most of the rest of the country. I don’t know about anyone else, but a 90 degree swing between hot and cold is a little disorienting. The upside, as much as I do love the look of an actually white winter, is that the sidewalks are far easier to negotiate without the snowbanks. It’s mostly been cold, or at least cold enough, that I still crave those delicious and cozy winter foods like beef stew, a hearty curry, or a creamy pasta.

To be fair, I want pasta all the time. Well, carbs in general. Pasta, potatoes (I’m mostly Irish, how could I not love potatoes), and bread. Alllll the bread. If I could live on fresh bread and still feel good, I absolutely would. It’s my biggest guilty pleasure (remember the episode of Friends where Monica wants to live in a house of cheese? I’d want a house of bread. Except I’d just eat the whole house, and then I’d be homeless, so it would need to be a magically self-rebuilding house.) Add some cheese (and/or butter), and I’m a very happy girl. The only thing I’d be missing is lemon. So this pasta, which is pretty much a go-to for me, satisfies the carb cravings, and the cheese cravings, can be as lemony as I want, and is seriously adaptable. I love to add peas, sautéed mushrooms, and handfuls of fresh arugula, but it would be fab with really any veggies you might want. Tomatoes would be delicious, and make the whole dish feel lighter and brighter. Change the herbs and add other cheeses (or change the parmesan for another hard but melty one) to better fit your veggies and tastes, or to make it more complex. If you know me (or really my food) at all, you know I love simple but delicious, and this definitely fits the bill. One of the best parts of this dish: it’s cheap, oh so satisfying, and most of the ingredients are always in my pantry or fridge anyway.

I had honestly never thought to use egg as a binder to make creamy pasta until I found Alex Delany’s ‘Sad Boy Pasta’. Now, like I said, this is my go-to. I also freely admit that I sometimes mess up, and don’t leave the pasta wet enough/add the egg too quickly without stirring or having something else in the pot, and I end up with something sort of maybe kind of like slightly scrambled eggs stirred into the pasta and cheese. It’s still delicious, it just looks funky.

One thing I’ve realized making this (many many times) is that while you don’t want to drain the pasta to the point where it’s more or less dry, you also don’t want to leave water in the pot. The sauce won’t be creamy so much as watery if you do. The butter is also optional, but I find that it helps with the creaminess. Honestly, there’s nothing not to love about this dish. You can change it to be exactly what you want, and it will pretty much always be there for you. What could be better?

Cheesy Herby Pasta

January 18, 2018
: 1

So delicious, so simple, and easily changed to whatever you either want or have on hand.


  • 1 (large) C pasta (I prefer rotini)
  • 1/2C fresh grated parmesan
  • 1 egg, room temperature, beaten with a fork
  • 1T butter (Ideally an herb butter)
  • 1T lemon zest
  • 1T fresh herbs like parsley, basil, and tarragon (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
  • Optional: peas, sautéed mushrooms, arugula, other veggies
  • Step 1 Boil a pot of water, heavily salted. I do mean heavily, like a good 2-3 teaspoons.
  • Step 2 Cook pasta until al dente. *If you’re adding frozen peas, add the to the pasta about 30-60 seconds before it’s ready to drain.
  • Step 3 Before draining, take a tablespoon of the pasta water and mix it in with the egg.
  • Step 4 Drain the pasta, being sure not to drain all the water. Return the pasta to the pot.
  • Step 5 Add the parmesan, then the egg (I find it’s best in this order), stir, and then add the remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste, and crushed red pepper if wanted.
  • Step 6 Enjoy!

Pizza, pizza…I’m huuuungry!

Does anyone else feel like the last couple months have just flown by?? I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving, I swear I meant to post a new recipe well before now! Somehow the last 6 weeks or so have just gone by in the blink of an eye, and October seems to have gone by without a trace. I think I have three posts somewhat started, all of which will eventually show up. Hopefully sooner than later, too. And I promise they’ll be delicious: carrot ginger soup, cauliflower chickpea curry, and mustard rosemary chicken. For now, though, I’ll start with this one: homemade pizza, with my (really my dad’s) cheat to have it rise quickly.

Quick side note about the title of this one…I fall asleep on the couch while we’re watching tv all the time. When the bf and I started dating, I would often wake up mid sentence (or full on conversation), so I was convinced I was awake for the whole thing but only actually became aware of it halfway through. He was always so confused, and used to get so frustrated with me because he didn’t realize I was asleep. And then he found out I actually talk in my sleep sometimes. I sat up in the middle of the night, and said ‘pizza, pizza, I’m hungry!’ before tossing myself back down and sleeping quietly again. So now, it’s one of those inside jokes that we say to each other regularly, and it makes us giggle every time.

Anyway. Back to the food. This is the pizza I grew up eating. It’s Gemelli Pizza Margherita from Maggie Glezer’s ‘Artisan Baking Across America‘. Almost every week, we got to enjoy this fabulously crusty dough, with deliciously puffy crusts, topped with all kinds of goodness. This is not your thin crust, crunchy style pizza. I love that too, don’t get me wrong, but when I make it from scratch, this is what I want. As I got older, I became the pizza girl, and it was often my task to make the dough for dinner.

When I can, I actually follow the recipe, which calls for 6 hours of rest time. That said, I’m lazy and don’t plan ahead all that well, which means I usually don’t end up with the option of waiting 6 hours for dough to rise if I want to eat dinner at a rational hour. So instead, this is my hack, as learned from dad. And I promise you it’s delicious!

The original is delicious, and I’ll note the differences below. But to be honest, why am I going to take 6 hours to make something that I can have delicious in 2? And yes, it’s lazy and impatient of me, but really it’s mostly that I’m rarely on top of things enough to have planned ahead. Or I’m trying to make dinner after getting home for the day, and at that point 6 hours is far too long to wait!

Now in terms of toppings, everyone has their own preferences. My dad always made a super tasty tomato sauce full of garlic, spices, etc. My version, though, is very simple. I like to use crushed tomatoes (a canned version works just fine!), and then top that  with herbs, salt, and pepper before adding the cheese and other toppings.



November 19, 2017
: 2 hr 30 min
: 20 min
: 2 hr 50 min

This shortened version of Maggie Glezer's 'Gemelli Pizza Margherita' recipe makes for a delicious, doughy crust that's easy enough for a (late) weeknight dinner, and flavorful enough to seem like you put a lot more effort into it!


  • 3 1/2C all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur unbleached flour)
  • 1T (not quite full) instant yeast
  • 2t salt
  • 1 1/2C lukewarm water
  • Cornmeal for the cooking surface
  • Tomato sauce (I use canned crushed tomatoes)
  • Salt, pepper, spices
  • Toppings of choice. I use fresh mozzarella (not the brined kind) and ricotta, fresh basil, and pepperoni
  • Step 1 Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Step 2 Add the water, and mix until it forms a shaggy dough.
  • Step 3 Knead until just blended but not too smooth, not adding extra flour.
  • Step 4 Cover and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Step 5 Knead for 5-10 minutes until fairly smooth.
  • Step 6 Shape into a tight ball, cover tightly, and let rest/rise for about 2 hours. It should be soft and puffy, but still springy. Tip: leave it somewhere warm, like inside the oven with the light on, or in my case on top of the stove that’s always slightly warm because it’s a gas oven.
  • Step 7 When the dough is ready, turn the oven on as high as it can go. I use a flat baking tray with parchment paper, so that I can slide the pizza off the tray onto the oven rack halfway through, and get a good bottom crust. A standard baking sheet works just as well. Sprinkle the baking sheet (or parchment paper) with cornmeal.
  • Step 8 Shape the dough, without letting it get too thin in the middle. Using your fingers or the outer edge of your hand, lightly press around the outer edges of the dough, to make a line between the crust and the center where the toppings will be.
  • Step 9 Drizzle with olive oil, top with sauce (my version: crushed tomatoes, not a cooked sauce. I like the brighter flavor), add salt, pepper, and spices. I like to add chopped chives, oregano, and thyme. If you’re not me and can actually eat garlic, add chopped garlic too!
  • Step 10 Add cheese, fresh basil, pepperoni, whatever other toppings you prefer.
  • Step 11 Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, the cheese is melty and bubbly. If you’re going to transfer the pizza to the oven rack, do so about 10-15 minutes in.
  • Step 12 Let it sit for a minute once removed from the oven, slice, and serve.
  • Step 13 Enjoy!

*The original recipe calls for only 1/4t of yeast, and 5-6 hours of rise. If it’s a weekend and I think of it in time, I will make it that way, but like I said, I’m not usually that on top of things to make dough that far in advance!

Cranberry Ginger Granola

Someone tried to break into our apartment two nights ago. To be honest, I don’t know how they’d actually have gotten through the window they were trying to open, considering it was only cracked and there’s a stove, island, and tons of stuff on the window sill all in the way, but it’s still scary. Thank god the bf is a night owl, and he was still awake. He was watching tv with headphones on, heard a noise, and when he went to check it out there was a guy standing right at our kitchen window trying to open the screen. If he hadn’t been awake, or hadn’t been home, I would have woken up with a stranger in the apartment. When the bf asked he was doing, the guy told him he was just ‘hanging out’ and proceeded to get defensive and start swearing at the bf when he told him to go away. I’m sorry, but you don’t have any right to get pissed off when you’re told NOT TO BREAK IN TO MY HOUSE! So we had the cops come by at 2am, they took a statement because from 2 feet away the bf clearly had a pretty good look at the guy, and now they’re going to be doing some extra patrolling behind our building for the next few nights.

I don’t think he’s going to be back any time soon, but I hate that now I don’t feel safe having the windows open even while I’m home. At least not at the moment. I always sleep with them open, but won’t be doing that for a while. This is when I really wish we had a pet. I just might ask our friend in the building if I can borrow theirs! This is the first time this has happened in the 8 or so years the bf has lived in this apartment, so in general it’s a very safe place, and I’m angry that someone had to go ruin that sense of security for me. According to the cops, there’s a rise in this every year around now, because it’s when all the students come back and new people move into the area. This guy wasn’t a student, but being in a college town with typical leases starting September 1, it’s a lot of new people moving in all at roughly the same time. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new people (some of whom may not be used to being in the city or who forget that we’re actually still in the city even as far from downtown as we are) combined with it being end of summer/early fall meaning lots of open windows is just too inviting a combination fore some people. Still. Screw you for making me nervous in my own home.

Anyway. Being a bit freaked out led me to be wanting comforting things. Like food. Who doesn’t want comfort food? Plus it’s fall. Even if it’s been sunny and high 80s (or higher) with 95% humidity in New England at the end of September, it’s still now fall. I may not be a pumpkin spice girl, but I still crave fall flavors once the seasons change and it (in theory) starts getting cooler. I have yogurt with granola almost every morning, and my go-to is Bola granola. It’s delicious, light, and doesn’t have much extra stuff to it. It’s just straightforward real ingredients, plus it’s made in the Berkshires in western Mass, and how can I not love a local, woman run company that makes me yummy things to eat? But that being said, I’ve been waiting for the cooler weather to make this granola recipe inspired by my aunt. She came for Christmas a few years ago, and being as food oriented as all of us Millers are, she brought us each a fabulous chocolate ganache sauce and homemade granola. It was the best chocolate sauce I’ve ever had, and I still drool about the granola when I think about it. So, even though it’s been so hot and humid recently that our sheets literally feel like they never made it into the dryer before being put on the bed, I made a batch of it yesterday to satisfy all my fall comfort cravings. It may not be magical enough to immediately restore my sense of security, but I will gladly eat through the whole batch to test it’s potential power.

My aunt’s recipe is more of an outline, with suggestions of a couple measurements and that’s it. She makes it enough that she can eyeball the proportions, so when we coaxed the recipe out of her bit was just a rough idea. It’s how I cook too, as taught by my dad. It takes me longer to make any of the recipes I post because I’m actually measuring as I go just to  make sure I have numbers to write down! Take that to mean that while I’m going to list measurements, feel free to adjust or change as you want. This is just the way that I like it, and it’s pretty damn delicious, but I will admit it’s not the only way.


Cranberry Ginger Granola

September 27, 2017
: 10 min
: 1 hr

A delicious fall-flavored granola, perfect on yogurt or even ice cream. It's wonderful as written, but easy to adjust to suit your tastes! Try different oils, nuts, spices, or fruits. There are endless possibilities.


  • 2C old fashioned oats
  • 1/2C unroasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2C sliced almonds
  • 1/2C shredded coconut
  • 1/2C dried cranberries
  • 1/2C crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1/2C coconut oil
  • 1/2C agave syrup
  • 10 cardamom pods (or 1t ground cardamom)
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1/8t allspice
  • 1/8t salt
  • Step 1 Warm the oil, syrup, and spices in a small pan. If using cardamom pods, crush them first to open them up.
  • Step 2 Combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and coconut in a large bowl.
  • Step 3 Stir in the oil/syrup mixture, straining it if you used cardamom pods. Mix together until it’s combined. You don’t want to soak the oats, so add the wet ingredients in two or three parts to coat well each time.
  • Step 4 Bake at 300 until golden brown, stirring occasionally. This will take roughly an hour, but remember that it will continue to bake a bit longer once you pull it out of the oven so you don’t want to let it get too dark.
  • Step 5 Let cool, then add in the cranberries and chopped ginger.
  • Step 6 Store in an airtight container.
  • Step 7 Enjoy!

Peanut Sesame Noodles

My boyfriend and his friends have had a fantasy football league going for at least 10 years now, in some form or another. It’s always the Saturday after the first Thursday game, and the weekend is essentially sacred. I mean seriously, try to even remotely ask any of them to do something else that weekend and they will laugh in your face for asking such a ridiculous question. Not being a football fan, I don’t really get it, but it’s also the only time of year they see a few of the guys. The last few years, we’ve gone as a group up to Rockport or Gloucester, rented a house for the weekend, and enjoyed getting the time out of Boston.The draft itself is just Saturday, but since they don’t give time limits to picks, it can take all day. Literally, last year it took  over 12 hours. I think they ended around 3 am, I went to bed way before that. As we’ve all gotten a bit older, and there’s now a 2.5 year old in the mix for one of them, the girls have more or less dropped out, and this year we’ve even been banned. The guys are going to Vermont for the weekend, and none of them can even remotely wait for a boys weekend. It’s going to be a mess, with a ton of meat, and I’m more than happy to leave them to it!

The point of all that is to say that when the bf got home Wednesday night (which was my day off), he took over the kitchen to make Korean short ribs and Thai honey-lime wings to take to their draft weekend, which started Thursday. Since I can’t exactly make dinner while he’s cooking (our kitchen is super tiny), I decided to make one of my favorite cold summer dishes from growing up: peanut sesame noodles. Dad used to make it all the time, and while I’ve helped with it at home, I’ve never actually made it on my own before today.

I didn’t completely follow Dad’s recipe, mostly because I didn’t feel like cooking chicken today and the precooked ones at Whole Foods are pretty delicious already. It’s grey and wet outside, I’m happy to feed into my laziness this afternoon. Obviously this is great when you cook the chicken yourself, too, but today I’m all about enjoying my lazy side. I also used togarashi and black pepper, which work very well, but I was also being lazy again, because really I just didn’t feel like buying white pepper or chili oil. My spice shelf is running out of space, and I already had the other two on hand. My general philosophy on food, though, is that there’s almost no recipe that can’t handle substitutions. To quote one of my dad’s favorite lines, “they’re more like guidelines, anyway”.

Peanut Sesame Noodles

September 10, 2017
: 4-6
: 20 min
: 10 min
: 30 min

While good when the noodles are warm, this is best chilled. Perfect for a picnic, or a hot summer evening.


  • 1lb chicken breast
  • 1T + 2t sesame oil
  • 2T peanut oil
  • pinch of pepper (preferably white)
  • 6oz bean sprouts (strings removed)
  • 6oz noodles
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 3 scallions
  • 1-2T cilantro, chopped
  • 1T peanuts, chopped
  • For the Sauce:
  • 3T peanut butter
  • 5T chicken broth
  • 1 1/2t rice vinegar
  • 1t ginger, fresh
  • 1t chopped garlic (optional, but recommended)
  • 3/4t sesame oil
  • 1T soy sauce
  • 1/2t togarashi
  • Step 1 To make the sauce, combine the 8 ingredients in a bowl, and set aside.
  • Step 2 Cook the noodles al dente, drain, and mix with the peanut oil, 1T of the sesame oil, and a pinch of pepper.
  • Step 3 Parboil the sprouts (30 seconds), drain, and rinse in cold water. Drain again.
  • Step 4 Slice or shred the chicken, and mix with 2t sesame oil.
  • Step 5 Combine the noodles, chicken, sprouts, sauce, and most of the cucumber, and mix thoroughly.
  • Step 6 Chill, if you have time. This can be made a day in advance.
  • Step 7 Serve topped with the remaining cucumber, scallions, cilantro, and chopped peanuts.
  • Step 8 Enjoy!

St. Germain Dino Gummies!!

This won’t be a long post, I’m just too excited by how adorable these are! I keep coming across homemade gummy bears online, and finally decided to try them myself. When I told the bf I wanted to try them, he said there must be fun alternatives to bears in terms of molds, and I found the cutest dinosaur shaped one on Amazon (you can find it here). And it comes with a dropper to make it easier to fill in all the little dinos.

One recipe I found said to slowly sprinkle the gelatin powder into the heated liquid a bit at a time to ensure it blends in smoothly. Most others said to mix the powder with liquid first, and then add that mixture to the heated part. I did sort of a combination, but honestly I mostly did the latter, because I felt too lazy and excited to take the time to do the former. Of course, considering I didn’t initially add enough liquid, I actually made more work for myself because it made this thick mass that was like drying rubber cement, that I could barely get out from inside the whisk. I basically had to cut it out and slowly add more liquid to it until I could smooth out most of the lumps. I would suggest NOT making the same obvious mistake, and next time I won’t either! This flavor of these can of course be easily adapted, just change the type of liquid to whatever flavors you might want to try.

I might (just maybe) be making a second batch tonight, this time coffee flavored, with a bit of vanilla. Mmmm mmm!


St. Germain Gummy Dinosaurs

August 24, 2017
: 160 dinosaurs
: 5 min
: 45 min

How can you not love something so adorable? These can be adapted to whatever flavor you'd like, and are a quick, tasty treat that looks far more impressive and time-consuming than it really is.


  • 1 1/4C St. Germain
  • 2T water
  • 6 packets gelatin powder
  • 3 strips lemon peel
  • Step 1 Heat 1C of the St. Germain with the lemon strips over low heat.
  • Step 2 In a small bowl, mix the gelatin powder with remaining 1/4C St. Germain and the 2T water, making sure there are no lumps.
  • Step 3 Slowly add the gelatin mix into the pot of St. Germain, making sure to whisk together completely. It will look cloudy when the gelatin gets added, but keep stirring until it’s clear again and any new lumps are gone.
  • Step 4 Let cool a bit until it’s room temperature, then carefully fill the molds. Try not to spill around the molds, just because they’re messier when you remove them. Purely aesthetic, they’re work just fine either way.
  • Step 5 Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  • Step 6 Store in a closed container so they don’t dry out, and enjoy!

Peach Cardamom Sorbet

One thing I know very well about myself…I’m usually very lazy, and have trouble finishing things. I swear, most of my knitting projects (because I knit too, as well as sew) sit unfinished and still on the needles for years before they might just maybe get finished. Honestly, it’s something I get ridiculously frustrated with myself over, and while I wish I could change….surprise surprise, I’m too lazy to make the effort most of the time! And on that note, I’m going to just put out a blanket apology right now for the occasional long gaps between posts. I can pretty much promise they’ll happen every once in a while, but I can also promise that I will try to make to make sure they don’t happen too often.

This recipe was a bit of an experiment, and one done with high hopes of it turning out delicious. Thankfully I was so so right….it’s fantastic. I was inspired by two recipes: ‘Cardamom Poached Apricots’ from The Broken Bread, and ‘Fresh Peach Sorbet’ from Making Thyme for Health. I hadn’t thought about making any sort for frozen treat like this without having an ice cream maker, so when I stumbled on Sarah’s recipe at for a no-churn version using almond coconut milk, I thought it a great time to test it out. My boss at work had given me a bunch of fresh peaches that she’d picked with her kids, so it was really the perfect summer treat to use them up. I recently made Kristan’s poached apricots, which were amazing, so the idea of adding cardamom to the peaches seemed like it would be a great flavor combination: a bit of sweet, a bit of spice, and add a bit of lemon zest to brighten everything brilliantly.

About a week ago, I decided to make a sage simple syrup, because I have a very rapidly growing sage plant in my garden and I don’t want to let it go to waste! It’s such an easy thing to make, and somehow something I’d never done before. Of course, I made an extra large batch and now have a mason jar full in my freezer, as well as they one in the fridge. When I decided to make the peach sorbet, and realized I wanted to use cardamom in it, I figured what better than to also make a cardamom simple syrup? A wonderfully delicate flavor in an uncomplicated recipe, what could be better?

I love recipes that use minimal ingredients for incredible flavor, and this sorbet is one of those: fresh peaches (frozen first, preferably done day of, but store bought would work in a pinch), coconut milk, lemon zest, and the cardamom syrup. The syrup can be made even a few days ahead of time, but if you decide to make it the same day as the sorbet, be sure you give yourself at least an hour and half so that the cardamom can steep long enough in the sugar water and then cool to room temperature. While you might be able to make this using ground cardamom, it most likely won’t strain well and you’ll have the grains in the syrup. Definitely use pods instead (the ones I use are from Swad), and crush them with the side of a knife like you would garlic. You only need a few tablespoons for the sorbet, but I can promise that the syrup is so wonderful that you’ll be more than glad to have the rest of it ready in your fridge. It’s fantastic in coffee, by the way, especially iced coffee.

Peach Cardamom Sorbet and Cardamom Simple Syrup

August 9, 2017
: 8 hr
: 30 min
: 8 hr 30 min

Bright, fresh, and with a hint of spice, this sorbet is summer in a bowl.


  • For the cardamom simple syrup:
  • 1C water
  • 1C white sugar (I use raw cane sugar)
  • 5-6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • For the sorbet:
  • 4C diced peach (~1inch cubes)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3T cardamom simple syrup
  • 1/2t lemon zest
  • Step 1 First things first: freeze the peaches. Give the cubes as much space as your freezer will allow, they’ll freeze more evenly and be easier to dump in a blender later! Allow to freeze thoroughly, for 3-4 hours.
  • Step 2 Make the syrup. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring to be sure the sugar doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Step 3 Lower the heat a little bit, and add the crushed cardamom pods. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Step 4 Remove from the heat, and let the cardamom steep in the sugar water for 30-60 minutes. Stir it occasionally, and certainly taste it. The flavor will continue to get a bit more intense , so if you’re happy after the 30 minutes then you’re just about done.
  • Step 5 Strain the syrup into a jar (I prefer glass), and let sit until cooled to room temperature before you close it.
  • Step 6 Once the peaches are frozen and the syrup is ready, place the four sorbet ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste, and adjust if necessary.
  • Step 7 Pour into a freezer-safe container to set, I used a metal bread pan lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer for 4-6 hours, or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.
  • Step 8 Enjoy!

Lemon Olive Pasta

I started this whole thing saying that I was going to share family recipes, and so far the only one I’ve posted was the very first entry. Time to change that with this lemon olive pasta. This has always been one of my favorite dinners, and it’s so good as leftovers too. Of course, that means not overeating and finishing off everything I’ve made for dinner, and I’m not so good at that when dinner is something this delicious. I’m working on it. I just kind of like food. Just a little bit.

Moving on from my gluttony. I love garlic. Until a couple years ago, almost everything I cooked had at least some garlic and onion to it. Sadly, a few month before I turned 28, my body decided it to say ‘haha, you’re almost 30!’ and won’t let me eat (or even drink) lots of the things I always loved. Like asparagus, and eggs, and beer, and most red wine. And especially garlic and onions. My body really doesn’t like garlic and onions anymore. At this point it’s been a few years, I’m now so used to it that my tongue is starting to revolt against them too, and my poor boyfriend whose body was just starting to think that just maybe garlic and onions were okay has now gone back to not being able to eat them at all either. Basically, eating in our house is a constant struggle to find the line between who can eat what without feeling awful, and how much of those things we are willing to suffer for anyway in the name of deliciousness. I have found, though, that I can handle small amounts of chives and the green parts of scallions, so I can still enjoy some of the flavor without feeling horrible afterwards.

The upside of this is I can eat the chives he really wanted to grow in our garden. Yay! And have I mentioned our garden? Because I’m loving having it! Living in an apartment building in the city, garden space isn’t exactly easy to find. Luckily for us, there’s a community garden about a 3 minute walk from our building, and we got a space for this year. It’s one of my favorite investments, worth every penny we put into it, and we are both loving having something to do that’s outside, productive, and doesn’t involve us spending our days off spending a ton of money because we can’t think of anything better to do than go for long walks around the city and inevitably stop at 1-2 different places for food and a quick drink. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love walking around Boston and stopping into whatever restaurant we happen to be near or feel like getting to, but it doesn’t really help me save money. Getting to actually eat the things that we’re growing, too, makes them just that much better, and it’s so satisfying to know that we grew them ourselves, and that there were no harsh chemicals or anything involved (it’s an organic only garden).

This is the first time either of us has really had a garden before so we’re learning as we go, but I have to say I’m pretty impressed with us for being novices. If only we can figure out how to actually stop the squirrels and chipmunks from getting to all our cucumbers and tomatoes! They also seem to love our cilantro. Not the parsley, for some reason, or the basil. Really just the cilantro. Sadly, though, all the cucumbers that were there just a few days ago have now been devoured by the tricky little guys, and without building some sort of net roof I think that’s just the way it’s going to be. Luckily, they really aren’t getting to the parsley, basil, sage, rosemary and chives, so we get to enjoy them ourselves. It makes me so happy 🙂

This pasta, when we made it growing up, always used a clove or two (or three) of garlic, so please please please add it if you like it! It was incredible with the chives instead, but that was initially done because I needed a substitute. Plus, why would I not add fresh herbs that I picked just a few minutes before I made dinner? That would just be silly. I said in my initial post that part of the inspiration for the name ‘Lemon & Biscuits’ was my lifelong love of everything lemon, and this dish is definitely case and point. You can always adjust the lemon to suit your preferences, adding more or less juice and zest, tasting a bit as you go. I could have easily added even more lemon and still been super happy, but this had such a good balance of flavors that I didn’t want to push it. I also could have cooked more pasta and had just a bit less of the lemon and olive sauce coating everything, but that ‘s another thing that can be trial and error when you make it yourself. For me, this was the perfect amount of sauce for about 4 servings.

You can make the lemon and olive sauce a bit before you’re actually ready to make dinner. Honestly it’s better if you do, the flavors meld together if you give them an hour or two to soak each other up. If you don’t have time for that, though, it will still be super tasty. A bit of fresh parsley and cheese on top makes it perfect. The boyfriend went with parmesan, but I had picked up a sheep’s milk feta at Whole Foods and oh my god. It was nutty, buttery, creamy, soft but still firm enough, and just amazing. Not as salty as I tend to think of when I think of feta. Pretty sure I won’t be buying any other kind for quite a while, unless I’m adding it to watermelon or something where the saltiness of a classic cow’s milk feta would be a better contrast. In this case, the sheep’s milk version was the perfect pairing with the lemon and olives.

Lemon Olive Pasta

July 14, 2017
: 2-4
: 5 min
: 15 min
: 20 min

Delicious warm or cold, topped with feta or parmesan, and with whatever pasta you prefer, it's a perfect picnic dish!


  • 1C chopped kalamata olives (pitted, obviously)
  • 1/2C lemon juice
  • 1/3C olive oil
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 4-5 chives, chopped
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2t black pepper
  • 1-2T chopped parsley
  • 8oz pasta of choice (roughly 1/2 a package, usually). Fusilli is a great choice, something with ridges and dips to catch the sauce.
  • Crumbled feta or grated/shaved parmesan (optional)
  • Step 1 Mix all the ingredients except the pasta and parsley together, and let sit. If you have time, leave it for an hour or two.
  • Step 2 Boil a pot of heavily salted water and cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. In my case, the pasta needed about 6-7 minutes to be al dente.
  • Step 3 Drain, return the pot, and pour in the lemon olive sauce, mixing together well.
  • Step 4 Plate, and top with the fresh parsley and cheese of choice (if you want cheese).
  • Step 5 Enjoy the deliciousness!



Sesame Crusted Tofu with Tamari-Lime Sauce

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I last posted something! I apologize for disappearing, I was taking the first real vacation I’ve had in at least five years, if not almost ten years. It made me realize that I need to stop waiting for the timing to work out, and to make it happen myself. It’s not like I’ve had no time off at all in those ten years, but not the week and a half I just took. It was a busy vacation, but so necessary, and filled with all good things. I got to go to the wedding of one of my oldest friends, and spend about 36 hours back home on Mt. Desert. Sadly neither of my sisters were able to make it, so the simple Father’s Day breakfast we had planned ended up being a much smaller affair, but I’m so glad I was able to get to spend a little time with my parents and Quintus, the 150lb beast who thinks he’s a lap dog.

Then it was a long day of driving back to Boston to swap out luggage (including exchanging my wedding guest dress for my maid of honor dress), before heading to Cap Cod to spend the week with the bf’s family. His parents live in Japan, so we don’t get to see them nearly as often as we’d like, it usually works out to once every year or two, but his sister lives in St. Louis so we get to see her at least once a year, and she was here with her husband and their two adorable little nuggets. It’s awesome to watch them grow into real humans, especially since it’s always months between visits so they’re always leaps and bounds ahead of where they were the last time we saw them. Or at least it is for now, while they’re only 2 and 4. After a (mostly) relaxing 5 days, I got up crazy early, had the bf drive me to Providence to catch the train, and went to Philly for all of 24 hours to be able to be there for wedding celebration 2.0 for one of my best friends and her fantastic new husband. I am so glad she asked me to be her maid of honor, and that I was able to be there not just for their small wedding ceremony in Maine, but to be able to make it down to Philly for the huge reception with their friends and extended family too. It was the first time I’ve had to go to a wedding alone (the bf’s parents were still in town, I couldn’t have him join me), and it was so much better than I expected.

(Michelle and Andrew got married at the Azalea Gardens in Northeast Harbor, ME. I mean really, could you ask for a better venue? And how amazing did Michelle look?! Photos by Sheila Irene Photography.)

And now this is about to get serious and confessional. For those of you who don’t know me, or don’t know me well, I’m usually very anxious and uncomfortable in new situations, and as a typically shy (until you get to know me or I’ve had a couple drinks) type person, events where I don’t know anyone are hugely challenging for me. But Michelle and Andrew are amazing, their friends and family are wonderful, and I still had a great time even without the bf’s company. I would never have let my anxiety stop me from going, but I’m so glad I’ve gotten myself to a place where I was able to go without expecting to feel insanely awkward. Honestly, this vacation had a number of those moments, and I’m so grateful to be at a point where I can acknowledge them. Some of you will know what I’m about to talk about, but for those who don’t, I had a hard time with a number of my classmates growing up. I was one of the girls they singled out to pick on, and I could never understand why. I’ve spent most of my life feeling like I don’t fit in and to be honest wishing that I didn’t exist. Not in a ‘I don’t want to exist anymore’ kind of way, but in the sense that I wished I never existed in the first place. It took me 30 year to be able to express that feeling in words, and I swear it was one of the biggest self-revelations I’ve had, being able to coherently state that particular sentence. Scared the hell out of me, too, and almost made me feel even more broken than I’d already spent my life feeling. It was like a dam had broken open. I was always on the verge of tears. But it was also a turning point in that getting to that place where it was an actual sentence, something I could explain, opened me up to be able to both say it out loud to those people I have around me, and to actually hear others when they in turn acknowledged what I was saying and told me that they’d heard similar things from other people who were honestly able to find ways to pull back from that precipice feeling. I FINALLY got my shit together enough to start seeing a therapist, which had always been a weird point for me. I felt like I wasn’t damaged enough to need one, which was just so ridiculous. It doesn’t matter how damaged a person is, seeing someone to talk through even the smaller challenges of life can never be a bad thing. But I also still sort of struggled with a sense of shame in the idea of going to a therapist. Again, ridiculous. I should have started seeing someone 20 year ago. It has made such an incredible difference in my life, and it hasn’t even been a full year. But my outlook on life, and my reactions to situations that used to overwhelm me, are night and day from where I was a year ago. I mean, I still get super stressed and worked up over some things, but that’s just always going to happen. But when I do get that way, I’m better able to acknowledge it and let people know what I might need to get out of that headspace, and that alone is a huge change.

Now the reason I’m sharing all of this is because the wedding up in Maine included a number of people that I’ve known forever, who I was close to at various times, but who were also part of my life during the years that left such damaging impressions on me. I’ve seen almost all of them enough that I am honestly very comfortable with them all, but it’s been years since I’ve been around such a group of people at once from a period of my life in which I really felt outside and quite frankly disliked. I really want to emphasize that I didn’t go to this wedding with any expectations of negative feelings, but I was aware that those old feelings and insecurities might surface in this particular context. They usually have in the past, in similar situations, so I wouldn’t have been surprised to find myself uncomfortable. Kind of like going to the other wedding alone, though, the bride and I have been friends since we were 6 years old, our families are very close, and there was never a single moment when I would have even considered not going. Instead of finding myself at all awkward, everyone I saw was so incredibly supportive of this whole food blogging endeavor I’ve now embarked on, going out of their way to mention it, to tell me they read it, to tell me they can really see me and my family in it, to tell me I have talent. It was one of the most validating moments I’ve had in years, possibly ever, and I’m so incredibly grateful to every single one of you that took the time to tell me that you’ve even seen this blog or that you really do read it, or are excited to try any of the recipes, etc. It means the world to me, and I honestly cannot express how much I appreciate it. I had also made the dress I wore, and the comments on that were amazing on their own! I was nervous to wear something I created based on a picture I saw on Pinterest, and while so proud of myself (especially when I hadn’t sewn anything in a few years), it was incredible to hear such affirmative reactions from others.

Long (very long) story short, while this vacation was so necessary just for being a vacation after years of not taking one, it was also amazing for my mental health in such wonderful ways, more than just getting a break from the every day. And I’m so so grateful for it.

So now back to the food. It’s been hot and humid, and basically summer here in Boston. Since, you know, it’s summer. Our apartment definitely likes to trap the heat, too, so it just sort of sticks around and makes it even harder to want to spend much time in the kitchen, or to eat anything very heavy.

What I love about tofu is that it’s so quick to cook up, and just needs a little delicious sauce to make it a wonderful weeknight dinner. The sauce for this one also takes no time at all. And minimal stove time means even less heat in our already warm home.

Sesame Crusted Tofu with Tamari-Lime Sauce

July 7, 2017
: 4
: 20 min
: 20 min
: 40 min

I usually serve this with rice, but it would also be great with your choice of noodles.


  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices or squares
  • 2t wasabi paste
  • 2T black sesame seeds, plus more if necessary
  • 1/2C tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 limes, juiced
  • 1 1/1t chopped chives
  • 1 inch chunk ginger, minced
  • Dash of togarashi or crushed red pepper
  • 2-3 bunches baby bok choy, leaves separated
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • Vegetable or peanut oil for sautéeing
  • Step 1 Combine the tamari, lime juice, chives, ginger, and red pepper. Set aside until the end.
  • Step 2 If you’re making rice, start it now, if making noodles then start the water.
  • Step 3 In a large pan, heat some oil, and add the vegetables to sauté. They’ll take about as long as the rest of the tofu itself. Pull them off earlier if you want them a little bit more crisp. Really, whenever they’re as done as you like them. I like to add a couple spoonfuls of the tamari-lime sauce towards the end to cook a little of the flavor into them, too.
  • Step 4 Put the sesame seeds into a small bowl or plate.
  • Step 5 Coat each slice of tofu with a small amount of wasabi.
  • Step 6 Cover with the seeds, pressing them lightly into the wasabi so they stick.
  • Step 7 Heat a bit of the oil in a large saucepan on medium-high.
  • Step 8 Place the tofu slices in the pan, I add them in a circle (the way you’d cook scallops), then leave them to brown! Seriously, don’t touch them for 2-3 minutes before turning them over to cook another 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  • Step 9 Plate. I like the tofu and the vegetables on the side of the rice, but again, that’s up to you. Pour a bit of the sauce over everything and enjoy!

Turkey Meatballs with Chimichurri

For some reason, meatballs have became a joke in our house. More specifically, demanding meatballs. A few months ago, the bf was hungry and we were both lazy and watching tv, and he told me to get up and make him meatballs. Pretty sure it was also about 11pm, and there was no way I was being ordered to make anything, aside from the fact that I don’t exactly take orders! Plus, he was completely joking. Except about having an intense craving for them. But it meant that he kept thinking about them for weeks, and kept wanting to get them for dinner, and I finally decided to be nice and surprised him with making them (for the first time ever) on one of my days off. The first batch were a combination of turkey and pork, and they were amazing. I now usually make them with just turkey (half light, half dark), but still love the added pork too. It keeps them a little juicier with the added fat content, but then again that’s part of why I try to go with the all turkey version regularly.

When I finally caved, I of course spent a large chunk of the day browsing recipes online to get inspiration. What finally got me excited was seeing this one from Jo Cismaru of Jo Cooks, who dressed hers with chimichurri and feta. How could I go wrong with one of my favorite sauces? I personally make my chimichurri sauce a little differently, I like it with a far higher parsley to liquid content, but that’s partly because if I made it with more liquid and ate it in the quantities I want to, it would be way too much oil at once for me to feel that good about consuming! But that’s such a matter of personal taste, so definitely play around with the proportions until it becomes what you want to eat.

Turkey Meatballs

June 8, 2017
: 30 meatballs (4-6 people)
: 20 min
: 45 min
: 1 hr 5 min
: Beginner

I like mine baked, but you could fry them if you prefer. They'd also be fantastic with tomato sauce, basil, and marinara, or really anything else you want as toppings!


  • 2lbs ground turkey
  • 3/4C panko breadcrumbs
  • 1-2 eggs (I've done both, it's delicious either way)
  • 3 scallions, chopped or just thinly sliced
  • 1t salt
  • 1t black pepper
  • dash of crushed red pepper
  • Step 1 Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Step 2 Mix until well combined, and mix it well! Don’t hurry this part.
  • Step 3 Form into 1″ sized balls. I use a spoon to scoop the mixture into a ball, and finish forming it with my hand. It should be pretty smoothly formed.
  • Step 4 Place the meatballs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Clean up is soooo much easier this way! But they can also just be placed directly on the baking sheet if you prefer.
  • Step 5 Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, turning them over halfway through.
  • Step 6 Top with chimichurri and feta, tomato sauce and mozzarella, or other dressings of choice, and enjoy!

I am slightly obsessed with chimichurri.  It’s great on just about everything, and it’s so simple to make. Just throw everything into a blender or food processor, and blend away. It’s one of those things that takes a lot of taste-testing, so try it regularly and adjust it so suit your preferences. Add more liquid to get it to the consistency your like, more acid to balance the oil and brighten it up (I use vinegar, but a bit of lemon juice is good too), and a bit salt to bring out all the flavors. Some people like cilantro in addition to the parsley, but I’ve never been happy with it when I’ve done made it that way, I find that the more simple it is, the better I like it.


June 8, 2017
: 30
: 10 min

I'd happily eat this by itself with a spoon. It's amazing on steak, over eggs, on toast...the list goes on.


  • 1 bunch fresh parsley (most of stems removed)
  • 1/3C olive oil, plus more to taste
  • 1/3C vinegar, plus more to taste (I use red wine, but sherry vinegar is amazing too)
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Step 1 In a blender or food processor (I often use my immersion blender if i’m making a smaller batch), chop up the parsley until fine.
  • Step 2 Pour in the liquids until you like the consistency.
  • Step 3 Add salt and pepper, a dash of crushed red pepper.
  • Step 4 Taste, and adjust it as necessary. I usually find that I need to add more salt and more vinegar, but I’d always rather start with too little and need to add more, than feel like it’s being overpowered!

We got to spend this past weekend up in Maine seeing one of my best and oldest friends marry the love of her life, so were away from our garden for a week. I got the chance to check on it yesterday, and our arugula and other lettuces went insane! Since I clearly had plenty of it, I did a simple arugula salad on the side, which I love and always dress with just lemon juice, olive oil, and a bit of salt. In this case, also with crumbled feta. So many deliciously peppery leaves! I can’t wait for the rest of our lovely plants to grow big enough for us to eat.