Brownie Cupcakes

brownie cupcake

Happy New Year Everyone!

I know I’ve been MIA for quite some time. Who knew editing a 400 page manuscript would take so long? Now that I’ve settled into my new job, I can’t wait to post fun recipes, re-connect, and check out your fabulous blogs.

I don’t know about you, but I have a terrible habit of not keeping my New Year’s resolution. This year, I hope to find a literary agent to represent my novel, Chasing Legends. I know the statistics of how impossible it will be. But as soon as I’m told I can’t do something, I go for it. And now that I’m posting my resolution online, I have to follow through with it. 🙂 I’m also making a resolution to drink lemon water in the evenings. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow. It’s something I know I can achieve every day.

I hope you reach for the stars this year too! On the days you want to give up, treat yourself to a brownie cupcake and celebrate what you’re trying to achieve. Continue reading

Southern “Cassoulet”

Southern Cassoulet

Last week, I read a touching tribute to one amazing grandfather on Seek the Best Blog. When I mentioned my grandfather was also from the South, Lady G suggested that I share my family’s favorite meal and a little background behind it.

At the age of eight, I traveled with my relatives back to the South. It was a magical time on the family farm where my brother and I chased fireflies, drank sweet tea on the porch, and ate to our heart’s content. I remember the importance my grandfather bestowed on giving thanks for every meal. Though I miss him dearly, he taught me from humble beginnings comes great things.

Today, my father and I share a special love for Creole Cuisine. Southern Cassoulet combines southern comfort food with traditional French methods of slow-cooking beans. Serve with a tangy mustard, my grandfather’s favorite condiment, and you have food for the soul. Continue reading

Coconut Bread Pudding

Coconut Bread Pudding

The second that I finished interviewing author Zoë Ferraris, I had to try Umm Ali. After multiple attempts to perfect the recipe, and about a million calories later, I think I have a winner. The best part is, the dessert looks deceptively fancy. By using frozen puff pastry, it cut down the prep time by half. Umm Ali would be a fun sweet to make for a Finding Nouf book club party. You can find out more about Zoë Ferraris’ page-turning mystery here. Continue reading

Good Morning Smoothie

Goodmorning Smoothie

It’s one of those rainy spring mornings again. To wake up, I made an antioxidant-packed smoothie bursting with fresh citrus and ginger. If you’re fighting a cold, I read that you could also add a small amount of cayenne pepper to the smoothie. I’m not sure if I’m that daring in the am. 🙂 If you give the cayenne a try, let me know. Continue reading

Citrus Salad

Citrus Salad

I found blood oranges at the market today. It’s the first time I tried them, and I realized they’d taste wonderful in a colorful citrus salad. The combination of citrus and fresh greens made such a simple and pretty springtime salad. It’s so easy to make; you could double the recipe and serve it at a party. Continue reading

Lumaconi with Almond Ricotta and Spinach

Lumaconi with Almond Ricotta and Spinach

Lumaconi pasta comes from a beautiful town overlooking the Amalfi Coast. Legend has it that a young pasta maker fell in love with a fisherman’s daughter. To impress her family, and win her hand in marriage, he invented a new pasta inspired by seashells called “Lumaca di mere.” Traditionally, the pasta is stuffed with ricotta and baked like lasagna. It’s one of my favorite recipes, and I hope it becomes yours too. Continue reading

Greek Parfait

Greek Breakfast

I love parfaits in the springtime when it’s still a little too cold for smoothies. The breakfast parfaits I had in Greece were made with goat’s milk yogurt and honey. To make this parfait healthier and reduce the cholesterol, I blended plain non-dairy yogurt with a frozen banana and added a little vanilla powder to sweeten it up a bit. Top the yogurt mixture with antioxidant-rich berries, pomegranate seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, and pistachios. It’s a fun recipe to make with children and a great alternative for dessert. Continue reading

Greek Caesar Salad

greek-caesar-saladA party pleasing salad

I love bringing this dish to family get-togethers. Trust me, the creamy dressing combined with roasted chickpeas, homemade parmesan “cheese,” and crispy romaine hearts is a crowd pleaser. It’s dairy free, gluten free, and packed with good-for-you ingredients. Sometimes I make two batches, so we can have it at home the next day. Continue reading