The Perfect Easter Meal

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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Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Banana Skillet Cake

My dream dessert

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.

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Greek Lamb Tacos

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.

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Steak Fajitas

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.

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Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese

The perfect football Sunday indulgence

As I’ve mentioned in a former post, pulled pork has a special place in my heart thanks to my mom and her ability to serve it at every possible family gathering without anyone ever getting bored of it. In fact, I have a friend who comes over solely around these said holidays just to devour a few bites straight from the pressure cooker. When I was thinking about what to serve at this past snoozefest of a Super Bowl, pulled pork was the first thing that came to mind. We weren’t sure how many people were coming, we had planned this gathering very last minute so I didn’t have much time to prep, and I felt downright lazy when faced with the idea of cooking all day. Instead, I stuck to my mom’s foolproof plan and added a bit of a cheesy and indulgent twist. One of my favorite things to do at prior lacrosse tailgates or at my parent’s infamous Christmas party is combine the homemade pulled pork with some of the mac and cheese that always seemed to conveniently be served next to it. A spark went off in my brain and immediately decided what we’d be having for the big game: pulled pork mac and cheese. Let it be said that by no means is this as “clean” as majority of my recipes on here. I’m usually not one for adding butter and I typically don’t cook with a lot of cheese, but this dish just felt right. Plus, it’s the god damn Super Bowl – a time to worry less about eating vegetables and more about whether any game will ever compare to 2018’s. Plus, I’d venture to say this home cooked dish is still healthier than any comparable you could purchase or order from a restaurant.

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Valentine’s Day Date Night In Roundup

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.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Almond Butter Cups

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!

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Shaved Vegetable Salad, Pressure Cooker Lamb, and Mushroom Risotto

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!

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Whole Roasted Chicken & Root Vegetables

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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Cauliflower Gnocchi with Ribeye Steak and Vegetables

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!

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