Whole rack of lamb, vegetable quinoa medley, and a kale salad
I’m a big fan of lamb no matter the day, but I specifically love that Easter provides a tradition, for many families, to roast a whole rack. Now, while this dish is, and always will be, the star of this meal, you can’t forget to dress it up with some delicious sides. While I was creating this recipe I realized that, about five years ago, Freckled Foodie was truly born on Easter weekend. My mother was traveling somewhere and we had somehow become responsible for hosting over 10 people for an Easter lunch. Instead of cancelling on everyone, I, not quite knowing what I was doing yet, decided to step in and run with the task at hand. That Easter was the first time I confidently prepared a meal for a large group of people; proving to myself that I was not only able to, but also that I loved it. This meal is the prime example of a pretty effortless and healthy Easter spread that will impress your guests, taste delicious, and not break the bank. With the lamb being the center of attention, you are able to pair it with some delicious, yet affordable and quick, sides. If you’re in charge of cooking, here is your answer!
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My favorite meal for a crowd
People often ask me, “what is your favorite dish to make?”. As someone who know cooks at an extremely frequent rate, that is an extremely difficult choice to make. How the heck can I choose just one dish!? After spending some time debating and reassessing all of my favorite foods, there is one meal that I always come back to: whole roasted chicken with root vegetables. There is something so comforting, loving, and warming about this dish. To me, it feels like home, so it is the perfect way to welcome people in to mine. When I was making this dish for a Sunday night dinner in a few weeks ago, I was shocked to see I hadn’t posted a recipe on my site yet. How can I claim this is my favorite thing to make if I haven’t shared it with all of you yet!? Here is to hoping that you too enjoy this meal as much as I do and that it not only fills your home with delicious scents that I can only label as “cooking”, but also warms your soul.
A few days in nature’s heaven
As a New Yorker who constantly craves nature and all things outdoors, Joshua Tree was more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. An extremely small and quaint town, with not much, if any, of a night life, allows you to relax, enjoy some peace and quiet, and focus on the real reason you came here: the national park. Grab some food for the road and focus your days on the park and all it has to offer. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
I did this trip as a solo excursion and have never felt so relaxed in my life. The breathtaking views, energy, and overall calmness were exactly what I needed. If you’re someone who is interested in solo vacation / exploring, I highly suggest it! Although traveling with friends, family, or significant others is also wonderful, it is an extremely rewarding and relaxing feeling to travel somewhere on your own. You are able to go without a set plan, do whatever you truly feel like doing, move at your own pace, and truly connect with yourself. Joshua Tree was the perfect place for this. With such a low-key town, there is no pressure to be out at night. Also, the hikes and trails are all very well populated so I never was technically “alone” or felt at risk.
Like most people, one of my favorite food combinations is banana, chocolate, and almond butter. Truly, is there anything better? I’m always looking to get my fix in somehow and majority of the time that method is through dessert. As a lover of all things cake, this recipe seems like a no-brainer, so I am quite confused how it took me this long to create something like this. Nonetheless, I am excited to have this recipe in my back pocket for any dinner party to come. It is so easy to throw together and is the perfect dessert to toss in the oven while your crowd is enjoying dinner. Not only does it cook itself, but it leaves your apartment smelling like a delicious ball of heaven.
A flavorful combination of two of my favorite things
I wish I was lying when I said these tacos legitimately came to me in a vision like format. I was lying in bed, day-dreaming, before getting up and starting my day. Usually, and embarrassingly, a lot of this time is spent thinking about food. No lie, it is often the first thing I think about when I wake up. Moments like this, I’m grateful for these “visions”, because it gave me this incredible combination. I don’t know why I’ve never thought about combining these two delicious things (tacos and Greek food), but oh my God, am I glad I did. I have a recent, and serious, love affair with Greek food, and majority of it is centered around the flavorful punch lamb packs to a dish. These tacos are no exception.
Discussing my diagnoses over the past 5+ years and where I am today
Let me start by stating that, by no means, do I have all the answers or the credentials to diagnose or recommend treatment for your specific illnesses or health issues. Unfortunately, I cannot provide you with the specific answer you may be looking for. However, what I can do and what I am doing in this post, is sharing with you my story. If there is a small piece that resonates with you and encourages you to seek professional help or try something different, than I am more than willing to share in order to help you along your way.
For those who have been following me for awhile, you know I have struggled with a plethora of health issues over the past 5+ years. Digestive issues (bloat, constipation, etc), appendectomy, hernia removal, SIBO (twice), shingles, food poisoning, a parasite, a pretty serious concussion, and, now, mercury poisoning… just to give you an idea. Hell, it was why I started this account in the first place. So fed up with having to explain my thousand different food intolerances to restaurants, I began cooking on my own. Now, here we are. It has been one hell of an emotional roller coaster and there have been plenty of days where the frustration and discomfort wins and I simply break down and cry.
A rundown of my favorite finds
Expo West – the land of free food samples, overeating, socializing, and high anxiety levels. For those of you who don’t know, “Expo West” is the Natural Products Expo that is held twice a year: once in the West (Anaheim, CA) and once in the East (Baltimore, MD). It is the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event and pulls over 85,000 attendees from around the world. These four days are jam-packed as attendees try to see as many booths as possible in the extremely overcrowded trade show floors. While I’ve now been to Expo East twice, this was my first West experience. Sweet Jesus, this thing is massive. Three years ago, I vividly remember constantly refreshing my IG feed to stay up-to-date with all of the posts that food bloggers were sharing from their trip and feeling extreme jealousy that I wasn’t able to be there due to my current job. As my first self-employed March rolled around, I knew it was the year I’d finally get my butt to California.
A thank you to the man who hit me with his car.
On Friday evening, March 2 2018, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. I know, I just dropped a bomb on ya. But, keep reading, because this post is heading in an unexpected direction. Now, one year later, I’m living a very different life and doing photoshoots in the middle of the street. Who woulda thought…
It was the first day of a big snowstorm and I was heading to an after-work yoga class before meeting up with a girlfriend for dinner. As a morning workout person, exercising after work was something I rarely did, especially on a Friday. I’d venture to say this was probably the first time I tasked myself with this activity. Plus, the yoga class was in Brooklyn, somewhere I rarely ever ventured for workouts. I got off the subway, threw on my massive fur lined hood to my jacket, and got walking to the studio. As I approached the final block, with the studio just across the street, I waited for the pedestrian sign to signal “walk”, looked both ways, and began crossing the street. One second I was halfway through the crossing path and the next I was on the ground looking up at a car’s head beams having no idea how I got there. While I was crossing the street, a car was driving down the parallel street and instead of continuing to go straight through his green light, he turned left and, without seeing me thanks to the snow, poor lighting, and the fact that I was in all black, didn’t stop until he struck my body. Fortunately for me, what ended up really helping my situation was that I had my headphones in and my hood on, unaware that the car had turned prior to hitting me. Personally, I believe if I hadn’t had these “blockers” of sorts, I would’ve turned towards the noise of the car and either been hit facing the car or tightened my body in preparation for the blow. Since I was unaware of the car approaching the light and then turning, it hit the side of my body while I was completely relaxed. Even though I flew onto the hood of the car and the onto the ground, my physical body was left pretty unharmed besides a few bruises here and there. My brain, however, was not as fortunate. Hitting my head on either side on both the car and the ground, I was left with a concussion.
Can’t wait to have you all involved!
March madness meal prep edition… Let’s get it!
I’m excited to announce a fun new project I’m working on that combines two of my favorite things: meal prepping and the idea of competitive sports. Sure, you may not be *playing* a sport during this challenge, but I’m taking a bit of the structure from one of my favorite athletic events (March Madness) and putting my own spin on it. Interested? Here’s how it works:
A new take on #FFTacoTuesday
This past week my girlfriend and her fiancé came over for a birthday celebratory Taco Tuesday and, when I gave her some meal options, she immediately jumped at the idea of a steak fajita night. Dare I begin #FreckledFoodieFajitas on top of #FFTacoTuesday!? Probably not, but it was a fun mix-up! Plus, oh steak, how I love you. For a food that so many people love, I find a lot of us are intimidated by the act of cooking it. Sure, having a grill is pretty damn sweet and makes the entire process way more simple, but after living in NYC for almost 6 years and relying solely on my cast-iron skillet, I think I may enjoy the end result more than a grilled steak. Surprisingly (or not, depending on who you ask), I find a cast iron steak to have more flavor. To help those of you intimidated by the task, I’m dumbing it down with a super at-home easy to follow tutorial of how I make my steak so crisped on the outside with that perfect medium rare middle.