Healthy and easy doesn't always mean "not as good." These 5 dishes are quick, easy, and beyond loaded with flavor. And they're not SO healthy that they're not Thanksgiving worthy. They also make fabulous dishes for easy weekday meals.
Can Thanksgiving be healthy without having to give up your favorites? It can definitely be HEALTHIER! This roasted cream corn is a great example, and it only takes about 5 minutes to make. Maple replaces sugar, lower fat products replace the cream and butter. The best part, it tastes as good as the full-fat version!
2 tbsp reduced fat Irish butter - softened
1 lb bag frozen roasted corn - thawed (Trader Joes has a fabulous one)
2 tbsps maple syrup
1/2 cup light cream, plus more for thinning
1/2 tsp kosher salt - to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Parsely - optional
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium low heat. Add the corn, maple syrup, cream, salt, and pepper and stir together. Bring to a slight boil for one minute and lower the heat. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining tablespoon of butter with the flour until it becomes a thick paste and add to the corn. Cook for about 2 minutes until thick. If it gets too thick, add a little more cream until desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl. Top with Parmesan and parsley.
Thanksgiving is upon us, and I can't think of anything more suitable than squash to serve with your turkey and ham for the big day! It's the perfect side dish without being uber-Thanksgiving traditional. Plus, it's a little healthy and you'd never know it!
1 large butternut squash
2 medium acorn squash
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch red pepper flake, to taste
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Peel the butternut squash. Cut off the rough ends then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half into two shorter halves then cut into 1 inch sticks and moons. Cut the ends off the acorn squash then cut in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Slice into 1 inch moons - keep the skin on these!
Place all the squash on a large sheet pan lined with foil. Drizzle olive oil evenly over the squash then sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Drizzle the maple syrup and sprinkle the cinnamon and red pepper flake. Toss together with your hands until all squash is covered in the oil and spices.
Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the squash is slightly soft and caramelized.
Thanksgiving is typically a day where calories don't count, but it never hurts to have a few healthier dishes at your table. I'll be honest, when I eat this cauliflower mash, I don't even miss mashed potatoes. The brown butter and sage give it such a warm fall flavor, and the (fat free) cream cheese gives it such a fluffy, creamy texture. I love this cozy side dish - it'll be at my table all season.
1/2 stick butter
1 tablespoon chopped sage + 7 whole leaves
1 head cauliflower florets
1 garlic clove - chopped
4 ounces fat free cream cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and don't move. Let the butter melt. When it starts to brown around the edges, add the chopped and whole leaf sage. Remove the whole leaves with a slotted spoon to a folded paper towel as soon as they get crispy - about 30 seconds. As soon as the butter is brown and nutty, turn off the heat. This butter can be used immediately or stored in your fridge for several weeks.
Steam the cauliflower in a steam basket on your stovetop until very soft. Transfer to a higher speed blender with the garlic, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and 3/4 of the sage butter. Blend until completely smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. When ready to serve, transfer to a bowl and top with the remaining brown butter and whole sage leaves.
Weekly dinner table or Thanksgiving side, this salad is everything I love about fall and NEEDS to be on your table asap. Smoked Gouda, sweet potato, and smoked almonds... need I say more?! So many unique flavors going on here from sweet and salty to creamy and smoky - complete with a hint of that cinnamon holiday flavor we all love so much. I can't put into words enough how great this is - I've had few salads I like more - I guess that sums it up?
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 large sweet potato – peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
4 cups spinach
4 cups arugula
1 cup smoked almonds – roughly chopped
1 cup smoked gouda – shredded
In a glass jar or plastic container with a lid, add the maple syrup, olive oil, Dijon, cinnamon, and a dash of salt and pepper. Shake together until combined.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet covered in foil, toss together the sweet potato cubes with the olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, kosher salt, and pepper. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until slightly golden and tender. Set aside to cool.
In a salad bowl, mix together the spinach and arugula. Top with the cooked sweet potatoes, smoked almonds, and smoked gouda. Pour the dressing over the top and toss together.
If you're going for the scariest meat board out there, this is it! I love this board particularly because it's little work for a huge impression. So easy and your guests will love it! Feel free to play around with the charcuterie used - it doesn't have to be exactly like mine. Be creative!
What You'll Need:
A plastic or styrofoam skull head
A dark or wooden board
12 to 16 ounces of prosciutto or similar meat
Pepperoni (as much as you need to fit on your board, feed your guests)
Salami (as much as you need to fit in your board, feed your guests)
Turkey, Ham, or both (as much as you need to fit in your board, feed your guests)
Petits Poivrons or cherry tomatoes
Anything else you like with your meat
Place skull in the center of the board. Drape prosciutto over the skull head (make sure the head is clean before you begin). You may have to tear and stick meat together as you go. Assemble the rest of the meats with the accompanies however you please. Serve.
A picnic can be as simple or extra as you want it to be. When I host picnics for friends or put together a picnic for me and Tres, I think of it as if I'm deciding where to go to dinner - quick, fast, casual, easy OR fancy, frou frou, elegant, and Instagram worthy. Both are fine by me, but a planned, picnic to a lovely setting with a beautiful spread will be relished much longer - my idea of a fabulous afternoon!
So why a Halloween picnic? Because it's the most beautiful time of year consisting of sweater weather, gorgeous colors, and few bugs! Most people just prefer to be outside this time of year, and it won't be long before the temps drop too low to even think of a picnic. Halloween is simply one of the most fun holidays to celebrate so find a spooky, cozy backdrop and set your perfect picnic of lovely food, a few books, and wine!
What To Eat:
To me, a picnic is all about fancy meats and cheeses. Check out some of my Halloween meat and cheese boards for inspiration:
- Witching Fruit Board
- Darling Pumpkin Board
- Spooky Sausage Board
Also a beautiful baguette from the bakery and any spreads (Fig, Apple Butter, Pumpkin Jelly) to go on it works as the perfect centerpiece of any picnic.
What To Drink:
A seasonal wine that really speaks "fall" is what I go for on a picnic. A deep red that's still light enough for the day time or a buttery chardonnay to warm you on the inside. I'm also all about an Oktoberfest or Pumpkin brewsky, so you decide!
What to Pack:
- A beautiful neutral colored blanket to act as a backdrop for your food. Food shows up better on neutral colors.
- A pretty picnic basket. I got one years ago and use it constantly. Plus it's so pretty in photos. If you can't find a picnic basket Michaels and Hobby Lobby has loads of cute little baskets with handles.
- Books! I prefer any type of campfire tale stories - The Scariest Stories You've Ever Heard and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark are ideal!! Actually, they're life!!! If you didnt grow up reading these books, buy them for your children or future children!
- Platters or Cheese Boards and utensils for food
- Wine glasses - nothing beats the real thing. We always take glass wine glasses with us on picnics.
- Little hints of Halloween - a pumpkin, a skull, a skeleton dog - haha! It just brings it all to life.
Where To Go:
- Your favorite park
- Your backyard (no one said you have to leave home)
- A campground or the woods
- The drive in movie (new Halloween movie. anyone?)
- A cemetery (if you dare! Seriously though, some actually have picnic areas).
My pretties, THIS is the most witching cheese boards of all cheese boards: The Witching Fruit board.. #3 in the Top 5 Halloween Meat and Cheese Board Countdown (see the Darling Pumpkin Board and the Spooky Sausage Board)! It's complete with delicious creamy, light, crowd-pleasing cheeses and the most delightful fruit to pair. I can't even deal with how Halloween-glam this one is. How something can be stunningly elegant and disturbingly sinister at the same time, I don't know but this board does it!! I think the extra large antique-ish platter does it - I found it at Michael's! Have fun with this one - purple fruits, red fruits and all the best cheeses!
Brie (bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes)
Aged white cheddar
Any other white cheese you love
Cranberry Goat Cheese
Fig or Grape jam
Brown rice crackers
Place the baked brie in the middle of the board. Cover in pomegranate seeds and drizzle with balsamic syrup. Arange the other cheeses, fruits, jam, and crackers around the baked brie. Serve.
Introducing #2 of 5 Halloween Meat and Cheese Boards to inspire you to entertain this month: the Spooky Sausage Board happens to be one of my favorites! I make this one for our Halloween party every year because it feeds a lot of people at a lower cost - we've had close to 100 people at our Halloween party before so this big board of meat comes in handy. It's also a lot of fun for friends to get a "flight" of different sausages to sample. Plus, it's the perfect centerpiece for an erie Halloween table. Make sure you get all the props: skull heads, skeleton arms, and plastic spiders - all also low cost at any dollar store!
What You'll Need:
6 to 8 different sausages - you can get as creative as you like with the selection - I like:
- Cheddar Bratwurst
- Chicken Apple
- Mild, Spicy, or Sweet Italian - or all
- Another chicken variation
2 to 3 sauces - I like:
- Good Quality BBQ Sauce
- Whole Grain Mustard
- Dijonnaise or Honey Mustard
Small Bowls for Sauces
Extra large wooden board or several small boards placed together
Sticker labels (I like chalkboard because they're black and go with my tablescape)
Glitter Skulls (Dollar store)
Plastic skeleton arms or hands (Dollar store)
Plastic spiders (Dollar Store)
Grill all sausages until fully cooked. Place each kind together on a separate plate - make sure you label each plate so you don't forget which sausages are which. When cooled, slice each sausage into pieces and set aside on the same plate. Spoon sauces into small bowls. Place pickles into another small bowl. Line the bowls down the middle of the board or your table. Arrange sausages on the board or boards, keeping like sausage together. Label each sausage. Decorate with skulls, skeleton arms, and spiders. Add container of toothpicks to the side or on the board.
The first of Five Halloween Meat and Cheese Boards I have coming to you this month! I particularly love this one because it's so dainty and beautiful. It could also be stretched on to use for Thanksgiving if you don't have a reason to make it for Halloween. Or make it for both! For crying out loud, it's ALL PUMPKIN!!!
Pumpkin Baked Brie:
- Brie cheese wheel
- Pumpkin Butter
- Ground cinnamon
Nutty Pumpkin Goat Cheese:
- Goat Cheese log
- Candied or Praline walnuts or pecans
- Pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin Seed Smoked Gouda:
- Smoked Gouda chunk or wheel
- Toasted pepitas
- Pure maple syrup
- 4 ounces Mascarpone cheese
- 2 heaping tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons (or to taste) maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Pumpkin trail mix (I got mine at Target)
- Pumpkin butter or jelly
- Candied ginger slices (nut and wellness aisle of the grocery store)
- Pitted dates
- Extra pepitas
- Extra candied/praline nuts
- Whole grain or Flax Seed crackers
- Cinnamon crackers (Blue Diamond Honey Nut Thins are to die for)
- Rosemary sprigs
- Mini pumpkins or gourds
Bake Brie for 5 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees until soft but not oozing. Top with a heavy dollop of pumpkin butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Set aside.
Place Goat cheese on a plate. In a food processor combine about 1/4 cup of the candied nuts with about 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice until it turns to a dusty crumble. Pour over the goat cheese and roll cheese in the nuts until completely covered. Set aside.
Place Smoked Gouda in a plate, top with pumpkin seeds and drizzle with maple syrup. Set aside.
In a bowl, stir together the Mascarpone, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Spoon into a small white, brown, or copper bowl and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.
Put ingredients such as nuts, pepitas, and pumpkin butter in small bowls. Arrange cheeses and accompaniments on a marble, white, or copper platter - or a mixture of all - it's fun to stack and get creative. Add cheese knives and serve.
Green Goddess dressing rarely gets a rap of being healthy but this one actually is. This is one of the best chicken salads I have ever made/eaten, and it's perfect for a summer party or picnic! The apple and avocado make it a little sweet, crunchy, creamy, and decadent - and in my opinion, it's what makes this salad over the top delicious!
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1/2 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons tarragon
2 tablespoons chives
1 small garlic clove - peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1 large lemon - juiced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large Granny Smith apple - diced small
1 large avocado - pitted and cubed
1 loaf sourdough bread - sliced and grilled
Heat oven to 425. Rub chicken breasts on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool.
In a food processor, add the yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, basil, tarragon, chives, garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice and olive oil. Blend together until completely combined and creamy. Sauce should be slightly green - you may have to scrape the sides down and few times to get the right consistency.
Cube cooled chicken and place in a large bowl. Add the dressing and apple and mix together throughly. Lightly fold in the ripe avocado so they stay somewhat cubed. Serve on grilled sourdough with arugula if desired.
It's always necessary to splurge on any holiday, but in July, it's swimsuit season! We have a beach vacay coming up, so I'm doing everything I can to keep it together. Something about my healthy eating habits have resulted in me waking up every morning completely starving, and while I'm typically not a sweets person, I've been craving something sweet lately to go with my morning coffee. These are the perfect healthy breakfast or even dessert to have on Independence Day! As a matter of fact, I've made them every week for the past month!
6 to 8 slices of whole grain bread - cubed or torn into pieces
8 strawberries - cubed small
3/4 cup blueberries
4 ounces fat-free cream cheese - cubed small
1/4 cup almond or cashew milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-cup mini loaf pan or a 12-cup muffin tin well. Evenly distribute the bread pieces, strawberries, blueberries, and cubes cream cheese in each tin.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pour evenly into each loaf or muffin cup. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Time will vary depending on tin used - watch closely. Serve warm or room temperature with a drizzle of maple syrup or fat-free whipped cream.
For a long while, Disney was not necessarily a food lover's dream. It was simply a place to park hop, grab a few bites on the go, and quickly find a pillow to get a few hours in before the next day. Today, I find it to be much more a place for food lovers to spend a few extra days just to chow down on some good eats.
Two things: I love food (duh) and I know Disney like the back of my hand. Really though, I can't even count the number of times I've been to the home of Mickey and Minnie - if I had to guess I would say 50+. That's just a guess but I'm pretty sure it's not an overestimation. Not that I'm a crazy Disney fan or anything - I'm really not at all. To explain, I used to work for the cheerleading company, Varsity, that puts on all the ESPN shows broadcasted from Disney's Wide World of Sports. I would go anywhere from 5 to 6 times a year. That's not including the years I cheered. Not to mention, my husband also works for the company so he frequents Disney several times a year (and sometimes stays for 2 to 3 weeks). Just so I'm not home without him for that amount of time, I still jump on that Disney train occasionally - toot toot!
So let's get down to business. Where do I eat when I go? I have some staples that have been there for years that I frequent but most of my favs are new joints. Here's my list... and none of it's in a park.
This is my favorite area in the Disney area. The hotels are fabulous and the restaurants in them are superb. They're a little more fancy so perfect for date night.
Hands down, favorite restaurant in the area. Sometimes I'm only in Orlando for like 48 hours but I always make sure this is in the food rotation. Fantastic Italian food - authentic but with fun modern flairs. Love can't even describe!
Bull and Bear
Fancy-schmancy... I absolutely love this restaurant but it's definitely pricey. The atmosphere is very romantic, candle-lit, the menu is absolutely phenomenal and fun, and the food will knock your socks off. It's a good date-night spot if you're going without kids and really is worth the money.
A seafood lover's dream with an open kitchen to a white tablecloth dining area. Amazing fresh fish dishes, delightful seafood towers, and crafted sushi rolls - this place has it all. If you love fresh seafood, this is your place.
Kind of a park? I don't think it's considered one but it's new, hip, happening, and in the middle of all Disney. If you went to Disney back in the day, you'll remember this as "Treasure Island." It's been completely redone and holds serious good eats. This is great for the kids, without the kids, or even alone (I had a blast here bopping around by myself last month)!
If I had one restaurant that's convenient to a typical Disney schedule, this would be it. I'm not even a huge Asian food fan and this restaurant is life... I'm obsessed. Get the steamed BBQ Pork Buns, the spare ribs, and the Morimoto Buri-Bop. You will go back for those 3 things. I promise.
Just a really fun restaurant with good steaks and sides. There are several STKs all over the country, so if you've been before, maybe you can skip it but if not, go! Be prepared for loud music... it's kind of like a restaurant inside of a club. Really fun with friends!
Chef Art Smith's Homecomin'
Ok, so I've been here twice - once was over the weekend and the other was on a Monday. I'll say this, my weekend experience had me put this restaurant on the list. The weekday experience had me almost not. But here it is. If you like southern food, this is a gem - amazing friend chicken, mac and cheese, and literally perfect grits (if you know how I am about my grits, this is a huge statement from me... I hate grits almost everywhere but at my house). However, the second day I went was a little flat. I say take the chance and hope you have an experience like I did the first time!
Lake Buena Vista
This area is kind of the "town" of Disney. It's where all the fast food and chain restaurants are - - and most importantly, the fantastic outlet mall. Aside from all the food joints you'll typically see at home and all over the country, there are 2 local places worth checking out.
Great "Surf and Turf" style restaurant with fresh seafood. They're known for their stone crab and it's delicious. The back patio and bar is lively, fun, and reason to go all on it's own.
Miller's Ale House
This place is a little nostalgic for me, as it was the first real restaurant I ever went to that wasn't a "Disney" restaurant. It's very casual, bar style food, but I just love it. It's a great place to watch a game and throw back a few beers. I love the zingers and the Cajun chicken pasta - I eat like a kid at this place.
Celebration is an adorable little community in the Disney area. It's like it's own little village with lots of little boutiques and local eating joints. The houses are lined close together, all so immaculate and with such detail. I had to spend the night at the hospital in Celebration once, as I was rushed there in an ambulance for a kidney stone. Unimaginable pain and possibly the worst situation of my life as I was supposed to be working all weekend, and instead I was hooked up to an IV in a hospital bed. But leave it to the cute town of Celebration to have a hospital that felt like the "happiest place on earth," complete with Disney character wallpaper. Probably not a necessary story to tell, but maybe it puts the charming little town of Celebration in perspective.
Celebration Town Tavern
The patio here is just great and the lobster roll is everything. You HAVE to get the lobster roll.
Holler and Dash
I would normally never put a restaurant on my list I haven't visited myself, but this place has been on my list for awhile, as I've heard from numerous people it's absolutely delicious. It's a breakfast/brunch joint, and people rave about this place! Knowing another Orlando trip is always in my future, I'll be going here on my next visit.
Peaches are my go-to this time of year. If I'm at a farmer's market, I'm getting a whole lotta them. Since my Peach Buratta Salad from the cookbook, this is the best Peach Salad I've ever made!! Y'all, this is mind-blowing good and should be your new weeknight favorite!
4 peaches - core removed and cut into thick slices
1/2 small red onion- sliced thin
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pepper flake
1/2 lemon - juiced
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
8 cups spinach arugula mix
1/2 cup cranberry goat cheese - crumbled
1/4 cup smoked almonds - roughly chopped
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
Place peach and onion slices into a large bowl. In a saucepan, bring water, vinegar, sugar, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and pepper flakes to a boil. Take off the heat and let cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Pour over the peach-onion mixture and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Drain and set the pickled peaches and onions aside, retaining 2 tablespoons of the liquid in the same large bowl. Add the lemon juice, honey, a dash of salt and pepper, and whisk in the olive oil until combined. Add the spinach arugula mixture and toss together until coated. Plate in a large salad bowl to share or on four separate plates with the cranberry goat cheese, smoked almonds, and crystallized ginger over the top.
CHEERS TO HAPPY EATING!!!
The official launch of my very first cookbook is underway! On May 10, the book will officially be released in stores and we will be celebrating with a Book Launch Party and Book Signing at Novel in East Memphis! I hope you can all make it!
Until then, I wanted to inform you all where Andrea's Cooktales can be purchased online. In addition, I wanted to include an events and book signings calendar. There are several book signings and appearances coming up, but I'll be adding to the calendar throughout the year so you all know where to find me!WHERE TO BUY
WHERE TO FIND ME
April 28-30: Orlando, FL - ICU
ICU Cheer and Dance Worlds, I'll be around and have books - holler!!
May 3: Germantown, TN - Mozelle
Mozelle Boutique Spring Sip and Shop, buy some cute clothes and a cookbook! 6pm
May 8: Memphis, TN - Live at 9
I'll be doing a cooking demo and talking about the book - set your DVRs! 9am
May 10: Memphis, TN - Novel
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY AND BOOK SIGNING!!! This is the official launch of the book - be there to celebrate with me, all the fabulous people behind the book, Novel, and Joes Wines! We will be pairing a wine with several appetizers from the book. There will be book signing, a cooking demo, and food giveaways!! 6pm
May 12: Hernando, MS - Farmer's Market
Join me in my hometown for a cooking demo, sample from the book (a pasta dish inspired by the Hernando Farmers Market), and purchase the book! 9am to 12pm
May 17: Memphis, TN - The Mighty Olive
I'll be doing a cooking class, demoing recipes from the book and signing copies of the book! Plus, you'll get to sample it all! The book will be available here so if you can't make it to the class, but a copy when you pick up your olive oil!
May 25-27: Knoxville, TN
June 1-3: Atlanta, GA
OTHER POTENTIAL LOCATIONS THIS SUMMER:
Atlanta, GA - a couple of visits
Nashville, TN - a couple of visits
Little Rock, AR
If y'all follow my story on Instagram, you know by the looks of last week, I'm obsessed with Palm Springs. It's honestly one of my favorite places on earth, and lucky enough, Tres and I have visited every year for nearly 10 years now. Every time I go back, it feels like home. It's small enough and so charming, it's easy to warm right up to it and feel like you live there. About two hours from LA, two hours from San Diego, and one and a half hours from Temecula Valley wine country, the day-trip possibilities are endless - not that you need the day trips though, Palm Springs is the perfect 3 day getaway all on its own! If you happen to visit LA or San Diego and want to change it up a bit, try a day trip here. It's pretty fantastic. Oh so worth it! I've eaten nearly everywhere in Palm Springs and you can see my full Palm Springs Guide here. But I wanted to narrow the food list down to absolute must-haves.
Every person who has been to Palm Springs or lives there will more than likely recommended this super-happening brunch spot before they recommended anything else. And it's for good reason. Get the bacon flight to make your life right. And anything on the brunch or lunch menu is just fabulous! You may want to go here for the brunch one day and lunch another.
For an early breakfast to get the day started, you can't go wrong with Sherman's. It's a traditional breakfast diner, and the food is absolutely to die for great! If I want a hearty, good breakfast early in the morning, this is my first stop.
Cute, adorable, and charming doesn't even do this place justice. It's simply beautiful, cozy, fun, and all the things I can think of!!! If anything, go here to just look at the beautiful decor, but honestly, the food is totally worth it too - the lunch menu is delicious and the blood orange margarita is everything. Plus, the pool view from the restaurant is just perfection.
Poolside lunches are where it's at in PS, and this one is one of my favorites. The pool is gorgeous, the cocktails are fabulous, and the food is worth raving about. Whatever you do, get the burger with chorizo spread. I don't even know what to say besides that's probably the best burger I've ever had.
You'll walk in and not even be able to get over the decor in this place - it's amazing and worth the dinner itself. I have said before, I think the atmosphere here is better than the food. I thought that until I had their fish special. I don't know if it'll be on the menu again, but whatever the special is, I recommend getting it. The cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and duck are also fabulous.
This is a new place and it's great for either cocktails or dinner - or both. The drinks are fantastic and the food is playful, unique, and so so good. This one's a little pricy but just YUM. Whatever the fish dish is called that comes out in a smoked dome - get that (in pic above)!!!
I don't leave Palm Springs, period, without coming here for a cocktail or two. It opens late afternoon and stays open late night and it's just superb!!! The drink list is huge but get one of the staff to help you pick - they're great. And the atmosphere is everything. It's the perfect little hideaway!
Quick and easy for the perfect last course of any meal. These can be prepped ahead and refrigerated then popped in the oven right before the dessert course!
2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon Marsala cooking wine
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 package puff pastry (2 sheets) - thawed
Flour, for dusting
1 egg - beaten
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together the blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, Marsala, cornstarch, and vanilla paste. Let sit for at least 10 minutes
Using a rolling pin, roll out the 2 sheets of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface until large enough to cut out 4 to 5 inch circles. Using a 4 or 5 inch round bowl, trace circles with a knife and cut out. Place circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Fill each center with some of the blueberry mixture and rustically fold ends over fairly tight. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Serve with whipped cream.
Seattle is one of the best food cities. And if you love fresh oysters, it may just be the BEST food city! I find west coast oysters to be the best oysters in the U.S. and Seattle is the place to find them. There's a lot to eat in this seafood town, but I've narrowed the list down to my Top 10 musts!
It's a staple, it's delicious, and it's in Pike Place Market so you can walk around after you finish your bowl of soup and take in what's truly one of the best markets in the country.
When you walk up to this place, you'll think it looks touristy but when you walk in, your mind will change. Sit at the oyster bar, get a glass of champs, and devour the absolute most divine oysters.
This experience is seriously one of the best food experiences we've ever had. You literally get a bite of every single thing on their menu, and they're some of the best, most creative bites of food you'll ever eat. If you've been eating all day and plan to maybe eat more later, share the tasting. It's a good bit of food!
Serious views from up here with delicious cocktails to keep you entertained while you look around. Go when they open, as it gets crowded later in the afternoon and at night.
When I think of Seattle, this place is what I picture. Grungy, gritty, and laid back, Shorty's is a dive bar with pin ball machines, arcade games, and casual eats. There's plenty of local beer on tap, and playing games while you sip is just an added plus.
Best. cheese. ever! Try the samples and order the Flagship Grilled Cheese - its serious business. We also had the Mariachi Mac and Cheese that was to die for, but if you have to pick one, go with the Flagship sandwich! And don't forget to leave with a container of cheese curds to snack on all day.
This place is an absolute gem! It's located in Ballard - a super cool area, a little drive aways from the heart of the city, but I highly recommend a day or at least afternoon in this area. The oysters here are the absolute best and the bread and butter is the perfect accompaniment. Go as soon as it opens - it gets packed and a line forms out the door.
After you've had your share of oysters at The Walrus and the Carpenter, walk next door to Barnacle and have a cocktail - this place is an apéritif and amari bar. I had one of the most delicious cocktails of my life here and the atmosphere is so cute and cozy.
After your cocktail at Barnacle, walk here for a food finale that ends with pasta and great wine! The staff here is fantastic, the pasta is delicious, and the wine paired with it is perfectly on point! I love the casualness of the open kitchen atmosphere with just enough elegance and coziness that also makes it romantic.
*Side Note: You could almost do a little foodie hop in the "little box" these restaurants (Walrus, Barnacle, and Staple) are housed in. They're all located next to each other inside an old building in Ballard. And these aren't the only ones - there are several others with cool themes and menus (next door at Marine Hardware, they were having Lobster and Hip Hop Night - it was completely sold out, and by the looks of it, I understand why. It looked at blast!)
Both of these brunches are so divine, it's hard to choose but they're different so here's the breakdown: Chinooks across from Ballard on Salmon Bay, so if you spend the day there, it's the perfect late morning meal. It's right on the marina and the big window views of the boats make you feel so relaxed and happy. The food is so extremely great here - I can't express it enough. Salty's is located across from the city on Alki Beach with breathtaking views of the skyline. It's a brunch buffet with every piece of seafood and brunch food imaginable so there's a lot of eat here!
Bread with Roasted Garlic AND Pasta at How to Cook a Wolf
Yall... I've never had bread this good!!!!! The set up is incredible. So are all the small plates and you'll just drop dead over the pasta. All so good!!! Atmosphere is sick too... the best 80s new wave tunes are playing!!! So everything... so so everything!!!
All the Dumplings, Noodles, and Small Plates at Revel and Joule
Pick one or go to both!!! Two Asian fun influenced restaurants - and they're related so if you just pick one, don't feel bad. I can't choose though... both so good! Maybe do one for lunch and one for dinner!!
The Set Lunch Menu at Sushi Kashiba
This lovely little place is tucked away in a corner away (but close enough) from all the chaos of Pike Place Market. Go here for lunch - there's a set menu and the outdoor seating is so discrete and quaint. Best sushi yall!!!
Mac and Cheese Dumplings at Pel Meni Dumpling Tzar
Omg yall!!! This place was a surprise. Not planned. Needed late-night food. And socks blown off!! Everything was great. The mac and Cheese Dumplings were a stand-out. Great cocktails too!! Not sure why I needed any more at 1am? But worth it!!
Monday - January 29
Start your week of extra clean and healthy - but delicious. This fish is to die for, and if you can't find snapper, any white fish will be great!
Tuesday - January 30
A twist on a BLT - but low carb. This chicken is so good it could easily become a regular household staple!
Wednesday - January 31
Light and healthy pasta with flavor that comes at you in every bite!
Thursday - February 1
It's up to you how much cream and cheese you put in this broiled, delicious chili, but it's almost the weekend so do as you'd like!
Dips are easy, they're fun, and people love them at parties - especially Super Bowl parties. These 3 dips are literally the only dips you need at your Super Bowl party!
A combo of hot wings and hummus - this dip is healthy and you won't be able to stop eating it.
I can't say enough about this dip. Once you pop you can't stop takes on a whole new meaning. When I say this is the absolute best dip you'll ever eat in your life, I'm not lying. This dip is beyond. And it takes about 10 minutes to make!
The fries are crispy, the dip is truffly and creamy, and your guests will flip over this appetizer!
CHEERS TO A HAPPY SUPERBOWL!!!