Roasted Chicken Thighs with Blistered Mushroom and Kale Pasta

The Perfect Anniversary Dinner Date

As someone who loves the NYC restaurant scene, I am a big fan of date night out exploring either some of the new “must go” spots or returning to some of our favorite local places. However, almost as often, I crave a date night in. There is something about actually putting in the time and effort to make a meal for the person you love and then enjoying it in the comfort of your own home (and the comfort of leggings and a sweatshirt, but that’s another conversation). Joe and I just recently celebrated our eleven-year anniversary of which Joe continuously reminded me that “this really isn’t our anniversary anymore”. I understand that, going forward, we will now celebrate our wedding anniversary, but this day will always have a special place in my heart. So, in the compromise of still celebrating while not making it a big deal, a date night in was established and a more elaborate than usual weeknight menu was prepared. One of Joe and my favorite meals to make is a deliciously juicy crispy chicken thigh. I mean, is there anything better than the perfectly crisped chicken skin? The answer is no. To serve alongside these beauties I decided to create a veggie packed pasta that would use majority of the juice from cooking the chicken as it’s sauce. The smartest idea I’ve had all year? Quite possibly.  Date night or not, this dinner is a hit!

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Kale Salad with Roasted Chicken

My kitchen staple

Whenever I feel I haven’t spent ample time in my kitchen and just miss the warm welcoming flavors of a home cooked meal, this is what I whip up nine times out of ten. Whether it be a weeknight dinner or a lunch for guests staying with us over the weekend, it always hits the spot. Most likely because it includes just about all of my favorite foods, but also because it is such a comforting hearty meal that you forget how healthy it really is. No matter the reason, I will always crave it.

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Pumpkin Cream Sauce

my Halloween inspired dinner

Since I was away majority of October, I feel like I missed out on not only all of the pumpkin flavored food, but also the hype surrounding Halloween. (True story, I didn’t really realize it was Halloween today until midway through the afternoon when I saw a kid in a costume while running an errand). So, safe to say, I am not a big Halloween gal in this stage of my life. That being said, I wanted to celebrate somehow – in addition to contradicting my food beliefs and handing out classic Snickers and M&M like candy to little kids. Obviously, my celebrating turned into creating a new recipe for dinner. Along with my desire to make a dish that featured pumpkin and the color orange, I also have felt this deep anger towards the fact that I haven’t been able to get my hands on any of the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi since it was released (what feels like years ago). Combining all of these random thoughts I had during my yoga class this morning, it came to me: I was going to make my own god damn gnocchi for dinner and you better believe it was going to be orange! Hello, my favorite vegetable, sweet potato to the rescue. Not only did I feel really freaking important and chef-like while making this dinner, because I hate to admit I’ve never made homemade pasta before (sorry!), but it is also absolutely delicious. Fall flavored, cozy, rib warming, I want to take a nap in this bowl, kind of dinner. I’ll let you see for yourself! Plus, not like I follow all of these, but I’m just going to through it out there: this meal is vegan, gluten and dairy free, paleo, and Whole30 compliant…

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@Bytorib’s Guide to the Soho/Nolita Area

By now you all know I love supporting the concept of a side gig and people (especially females) that are pursuing their passion. However, I love this all even more when the person is someone I used to work with in the corporate world and is putting in that hustle of starting something on her own while also working what I know is an insanely demanding job. So, let me introduce you to Tori from ByToriB, who is the queen of all things NYC food and beverage scene. Think of her as a more personalized, organized, and useful version of The Infatuation (dreams, right!?). Lucky for us, she gave us an inside look to some of her favorite places in the Soho and Nolita area. It’s safe to say she knows what she’s talking about, so save this tab, get out there, and explore! Continue reading “@Bytorib’s Guide to the Soho/Nolita Area”

My Journey

A Video Blog Telling my Story

Hello everyone! For those of you that have been following for awhile, or for those of you who are new to Freckled Foodie, I hope you all enjoy my video blog: My Journey! I have received a lot of DMs lately asking what I studied in college, what I specifically did in the corporate world, how I decided to transition into this world, and what it is like to work for myself. While I could talk about this for hours (seriously, somebody give me a mic), I tried to keep it as concise as possible… while still coming in at almost an hour. Whoops! This video obviously does not contain everything, but it focuses on a lot of topics that people have asked me about. I hope this story and advice resonates with you and gives you more insight into my journey of how I’ve gotten to where I am, but remember, I cannot make your life decisions for you. Common questions I receive such as “how do I know when it is time to leave my job” or “how much should I save before quitting” are unfortunately not ones I can answer for you. All I can do is provide you with my story and hope that it in some way helps shine light on your own. I hope you enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Butter Overnight Oats

The Essence of Fall in a Bowl

Want to know what it tastes like to eat the entire essence of Fall in a bowl for breakfast? I GOT YOU! I promise, this bowl embodies alllll the best parts of fall. Between the cinnamon and nutmeg warming spices and the flavorful apples (if you don’t go apple picking, is it even Fall?), you will not only devour this bowl in seconds, but also feel like you’re ready to take on every changing leaf and pumpkin patch in your future. The apple butter may seem daunting at first, but it is quite possibly the easiest thing I’ve ever made in this kitchen! If you do not have an instant pot, you can do the same method on a crock pot but cook on low for ~3 hours, or on the stove top in a covered pot on simmer for ~20 minutes (you will just have to mash the apples more than the other two methods).

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Dry Rub Pork Ribs with an “Inbetween Seasons” Salad

When you’re not quite sure if its Summer or Fall

As the seasons are changing and we’re all screaming “YAY FALL” and excited for the lower temperatures, pumpkin spice everything, and change of leaf colors, there is still a part of me ever so slightly holding on to the summer and warm weather. This meal is the perfect depiction of my exact emotions. With the main touches of fall flavors with the pecans and butternut squash, it still has that small hint of summer through the pomegranate seeds and the nod to barbeques with the baby back ribs. Food has never better expressed my current emotions. This meal was a hit for the dinner party I threw this past weekend. From age 26 to 85 and both males and females, everyone was licking their fingers (quiet literally, thank you ribs). Quick, invite some friends over and get cooking. You won’t regret it!

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Meal Plan on a Budget

Averaging Out to Just $5 Per Meal

The most common misconception regarding eating a healthy and balanced diet: it is too expensive. Yes, buying organic vegetables is more often than not more pricey than the non-organic option, and certain health focused grocery stores have some pretty ridiculously inflated prices, but that does not mean it is impossible to eat healthy (and also delicious) meals on a budget. In order to prove this point, I am providing you with a meal plan for the week that will average out to just $5 per meal. Yes, that is the real number. Complete with a 4-day meal plan, organized grocery list, and corresponding recipes.

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One Sheet Mediterranean Halibut Dinner

The “I don’t feel like cooking or cleaning” dinner

As you know by now, I am all about easy, quick, healthy, and delicious dinners. When I was working in the corporate world and would get home after a day spent in the office, laboring over a dinner and then cleaning (what felt like a thousand) dishes was the last thing I wanted to do. While I no longer feel that way, I am here to help you. So, what is better than a dinner that only dirties one dish in the cooking process? I’d say just about nothing. But, to make this beauty even more incredible, she is filled with flavor and one of the lighter meals I’ve ever felt truly satisfied and full from. A triple win and your new go-to “I just got home from work but am having some girlfriends over from dinner and would rather eat McDonalds than have to spend time cooking in the kitchen” meal.

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Shrimp Tacos

Close your eyes and pretend you’re in California for a second

As part of my ode to Taco Tuesday and the promise of switching things up each week, I recently tossed a new combo into the ring: these shrimp tacos. Boy, they did not disappoint. If you’re like most New Yorkers and intimidated by the act of cooking shrimp for the fear it will stink up your apartment, I promise, it’s not that bad! Plus, this avocado crema makes it all worth it. The perfect creaminess on top of a perfectly charred tortilla with some juicy shrimp. For a second, you can close your eyes and convince yourself you’re actually in California and not this muggy still feels summer when will it ever be fall city. We can dream, right??

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