Two delicious options for a great Valentine’s Day date night in
Let me start this post by disclaiming how much I love love. However, in my opinion, Valentine’s Day is up there with New Years… two of the most ludicrous excuses of a holiday. If you’re single, Valentine’s Day kinda feels like a personal attack by shoving everyone’s relationship, happiness, and love in your face. If you have a significant others, it poses this weird stress that I relate to New Years in the sense of making sure you have the “perfect” night. Luckily for us New Yorker’s, we have all the restaurants in the world to capitalize on this by creating pre-fixed menus at ridiculous price tags. Unless you plan on signing a pretty hefty check, I suggest taking this holiday to the four walls of your own home. In the five years Joe and I have lived in NYC, we have successfully avoided this mayhem by creating delicious at-home Valentine’s Day meals in our kitchen.
A glorified Valentine’s Day chocolate covered strawberry
Considering chocolate covered strawberries are basically only consumed on Valentine’s Day (okay, and maybe New Years, but that’s a bit of a stretch), I knew they had to be the hidden star of my V-day themed dessert. Instead of replicating the exact treat that I could purchase anywhere, I decided to get creative. As a girl who loves her layers, and thinks that almond butter is just about the perfect addition to any meal, snack, or dessert, my mind immediately led me here: chocolate covered strawberry almond butter cups. These three-layer treat are the perfectly creative dessert to cap off your meal with and the reinvented version of the oh so classic and (dare I say it?) kind of boring original. Make for your friends, loved one, or yourself – everyone will enjoy!
A Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress
As discussed in my Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget recipe, I’m not one for dining out on this “holiday”. Don’t get me wrong, I love restaurants and I love love, but I definitely do not love spending an outrageous amount of money for an overcharged set menu just because it happens to be a specific day in the middle of February. As a person who likes to peruse a menu, try a few things, make a shit-ton of substitutions, and split as much as possible, prefix and I don’t work to well. However, even in the walls of our own dining room (who am I kidding, we live in NY, it’s all one room), sometimes you want to ball out like you’re at a restaurant. That my friends, is why I’ve created this recipe. This Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress will have your date (or friend, or family member, or, hell, yourself) feeling like you’ve stepped into the fine dining of one of your favorite NY restaurants. The best part? You don’t need the culinary background those chefs have. Win, win!
The true definition of “home cooking”
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.
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Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget
Among many things, Valentine’s Day can be expensive – there is no getting around it. If you’re like me and you’ve already decided there is 0 chance you are spending money on a prefix menu just because its February 14th, I’m assuming you’re heading to your kitchen to whip something up. While we all (hopefully?) love to celebrate love, and want to spoil the person we are cooking for that night, whether it be a significant other, a friend, or hell, ourselves, a lot of us are on a serious budget. Who says you need to spend a ton of money for a delicious meal? Not I. For those of us who are watching our costs this Valentine’s Day, I’m here to help with a meal that costs less than $15 per person (assuming you already have the pantry staples). Hell, that’s comparable, and way more impressive, than Chipotle pickup. You’re welcome!
Dare I say better than the bagged options?
This weekend I found myself in a very unfamiliar situation: without any granola in the apartment. As someone who loves to add some type of crunch to all of my yogurt parfaits and needs that extra fuel, granola is something I rely on heavily. (That being said, I am especially pick about which ones I purchase and consume). Surprisingly enough, I have never attempted at making my own. Sure, I’ve heard it’s easy, and I know it’s delicious based on some of my friend’s creations that I’ve tried, but I’ve never been the one mixing the ingredients for a fresh new parfait topping. That is, until this past Sunday morning. Opening my fridge to tons of tasty yogurts and beautiful fruits and realizing I had nothing to top it with, I decided to get creative. Considering I always have a stocked pantry, it wasn’t too hard to whip up a combination I loved. I’ll still be purchasing a few of my favorite brands going forward, but, this one will definitely be added in to my rotation!
Roundup of my favorite crowd-pleasing recipes for the big day
Sure, I love me a good Sunday meal prep to set myself up for a healthy and efficient week ahead, but there is nothing I love more about Sundays than eating delicious food with friends and family while watching football (preferably an Eagles win). That is why the Super Bowl is my Mecca of Sundays. Obviously, no Super Bowl will compare to last year’s, when Joe and I were in the stands crying as we watched the Eagles win their first ever championship live, but that’s neither here nor there. The thing I don’t love about Super Bowl Sunday (besides the fact that it should be a 4:20 start time)? Waking up on Monday and feeling like absolute shit. Why is it that majority of football food (aka bar food) is loaded with crap? Who says you can’t eat well and still cheer for your favorite team? Not I. That is why I’m here to roundup some of my favorite football Sunday recipes to make sure you have the best lineup for your party this weekend. Enjoy all the food without the stomachaches. I wish I could promise no hangover either, but that’s on you boo.
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A big old bowl of coziness
There is something incredibly warming and comforting about a nice big bowl of stovetop oatmeal. Between the ease of the cooking process, the smell that fills your kitchen, and the physical warmth that fills each bite, it makes me feel all sorts of cozy inside. Although primarily a cold weather dish, it is something I enjoy all year round. In theme with the heat of the oats, I love to top mine with fruits of the similar temperature – fresh off the sauté pan with all of my favorite spices. Sure, I can write home about my love for almond butter and banana as a topping for any type of bowl, but when I want to cuddle on the couch with a blanket and feel all sorts of “Sunday morning” vibes, there is no better combination for this stovetop oatmeal than stewed cinnamon apples. Truly, my heaven. Perfect for a lazy weekend morning with a book or netflix, or as a pre-prepped breakfast for the office. No matter where you’re eating it, the comfort will commence.
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Behind the scenes look at hosting friends for my favorite night of the week
From following me on Instagram, you all know by now that there are two things that are very important to me: taco Tuesdays, and cooking for friends and family. Growing up in a family that continuously hosts others, it is one of my favorite ways to use our apartment. While Joe and my tradition of Taco Tuesday is consistently just us, and often times our weekly date night, there are many times we open our doors to any friends free to join us. Last week when I was heading home from Florida on a Tuesday morning, I realized it was about to be taco time. Firing out a quick text to see who wanted to join us, and put our new and very overdue dining room table to work, I realized this would be a perfect opportunity for a behind the scenes #FFTacoTuesday VLOG. In an effort to show how easy it can be to throw a dinner party together when serving this crowd-pleasing spread, I’m here to show you all the necessary steps. From creating a grocery list on the plane all the way to the final product, this video and corresponding recipe is here to assist you host your own classic Taco Tuesday with all the fixings.
The new GF breakfast option you didn’t know you needed
As a gluten-free gal, I am constantly missing what I call the “crunch factor”. For me, this one craving is what I find hardest to fulfill when not enjoying all things gluten and, interestingly enough, it is most commonly missed with my breakfasts (hence the reason why I typically turn to all things granola). Never the less, I find myself missing all the glorious toast combinations that fill my IG page and breakfasts of my past. Reminiscing over the delighted feeling that came over me when I discovered the idea of sweet potato toasts, I realized that there are plenty of other vegetables that can not only replace this bread base, but also pack some serious crunch. One of my favorite toast/bagel combinations of avocado, smoked salmon, and cucumber immediately came to mind. Then, ding went the lightbulb. Welcome to the world, cucumber boats (or toasts… unsure what we’re going with yet). This breakfast, or snack, provides all the things my morning self is searching for. Plus, slab on some cream cheese (of which my kitchen was not stocked with), and now you’re really talking. The cucumber boat/toast is your easel and you are Picasso! Get painting.