Erica Lea on Jan 14th 2013
I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve really been into salads. In fact, I’ve had one nearly every day for past week. All of the nutritious ingredients that I pile into my bowl make me happy, knowing that I’m doing my body (and my baby’s) good.
Often times I fall into a rut with my salads: Stuff greens into bowl. Add cheese, nuts and dressing. Repeat with exact same ingredients every day. But I’ve been attempting to be more creative and try new combinations. Here are a couple that I’ve been enjoying:
Mixed greens with clementines, avocado, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, fresh ground pepper and coarse sea salt.
Another lovely combo: mixed greens with cheese, pepitas, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Simple but satisfying.
I also tried an apple/gruyere combination. Very good.
Also, these Smashed Potatoes with Parmesan Gremolata are AMAZING. Get the recipe over on the Good Life Eats blog here, and make them tonight!
What are your favorite salads? I need some inspiration!
Hope ya’ll have a happy Monday!
Erica Lea on Nov 19th 2012
Confession: I have a special place in my heart for boxed Stove Top dressing. Granted, my mom doctors it up quite a bit with wild rice and turkey, but there’s just something about it that says “Thanksgiving” to me.
I’ve always wanted to try making stuffing from scratch. Though tasty, boxed dressings are often loaded with unnatural ingredients. But making it myself always seemed a bit daunting. How are you supposed to find a recipe with just the right amount of spices so it’s tasty and liquid so it isn’t soggy?
Then I decided to jump right in and give a recipe a try. To my surprise, it was uber easy and no-fuss.
Will it replace your beloved Stove Top? No. But what could without using high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and MSG? Is it a good natural, healthy alternate? Definitely yes!
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s a great canvas for your culinary creativity. You could so easily add your favorite ingredients: cranberries, wild rice, turkey, nuts, whatever you please!
If you’re using homemade or low-sodium chicken broth, you’ll probably want to add a little extra salt to the stuffing mixture.
- 1 loaf bread (whole wheat, white, or whatever you please) torn into bite-sized pieces to make about 8 cups
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish and foil
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage (depending on how “sagey” you like your dressing)
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1) Preheat your oven to 350° F (175° C). Place the bread crumbs on two rimmed baking sheets and bake in preheated oven until nice and dry, about 14 minutes, stirring & rotating the pans halfway through baking. Set aside to cool (these can be made ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container for up to 1 week).
2) In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery, season with salt + pepper to taste, and cook until nice and tender, about 8 minutes. Add the sage and celery seeds and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
3) Place the bread crumbs in a bowl and add the sauted vegetables. In a separate bowl, mix together the chicken broth and egg. Add to the bread crumbs and toss together until evenly moistened. If you’re using homemade or low-sodium chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more salt at this point.
4) Place the stuffing in a buttered 13×9-inch pan or a 10-inch cast iron skillet and bake at 350 until warmed and the bread has soaked up the broth, about 25-35 minutes. You can also store the un-baked dressing in the refrigerator until ready to heat.
Erica Lea on Oct 31st 2012
Hey ya’ll! Time to talk about coconut oil.
A while back Tropical Traditions contacted me about reviewing their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil and becoming a part of their referral program. Now, I was no stranger to this company - my mom had been buying coconut oil from them in bulk for years. We had always been impressed with the quality AND price of their products. So of course I wanted to share it with you guys!
I’m sure ya’ll have heard about how healthy coconut oil is. Back in our health-craze days when we were in our teens, my husband and I ate this stuff like candy. Almost. We still enjoy it for popping popcorn, in soups and on mashed potatoes. If you get the extra virgin coconut oil, it even adds a nice coconut flavor to rice and curry.
And, just so you know, if you order anything from Tropical Traditions by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from TT in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you. Cool, huh? It’s part of their referral program.
What’s your favorite way to use coconut oil?
Hope you’re having a wonderful week!
Erica Lea on Aug 10th 2012
Hey everyone! This awesome, tasty salad is over on the Tasty Kitchen Blog - check it out!
And my apologies for my bad grammar.
Have a lovely weekend!
Erica Lea on Jan 14th 2011
Sometimes I just want to bake something simple yet flavorful; sometimes I need to bake something that doesn’t require exotic ingredients. Like this bread.
You are almost certain to have everything needed for this recipe in your house right now. And if you don’t have exactly the right ingredients (as I did not) you can safely and easily make a substitution.
This bread tastes like a mixture of a quick bread and cinnamon swirl bread. Because it is impractical to swirl cinnamon in a wet batter, bits of butter are mixed with cinnamon and folded into the batter. This creates little pockets of buttery cinnamon goodness.
Going with my usual substitutions, I used half whole wheat flour in place of all purpose. Also, since I didn’t have any “solid” natural sweeteners on hand, I used maple syrup and added an additional 1/4 cup of flour to compensate.
Having no buttermilk in the house, I used 3/4 cup sour cream mixed with 1/4 cup milk instead.
I thought the bread was a little salty. Next time I will probably reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon. I also think the bread could benefit from a dose of nuts — say, toasted pecans.
Adapted from eat make read
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (hard white or soft white)
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (I used 3/4 cup sour cream mixed with 1/4 cup milk)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 Tablespoons butter, chilled & cut into small pieces
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1) Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.
2) In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, combine buttermilk, butter, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Beat well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
3) In yet another small bowl, work butter and cinnamon into pea-sized pieces. Gently fold cinnamon butter into the batter. Pour into prepared loaf pan.
4) Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (I had to bake mine for an additional 10 minutes or so). Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto the rack and allow to cool. Serve with butter and a tall glass of cold milk.
Makes one large loaf