Mac n’ “Cheese”

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For nights in when you need comfort food

Hi blogging family,

I think the world could use a little soul food right now. I know I do. The first thing that came to mind for tonight’s dinner was my Mac N’ “Cheese” recipe.

When it comes to mac n’ cheese, I have a feeling it’s on everyone’s go-to list for childhood favorite. I added a little bacon – gasp. I never thought I’d say that. Ever since I was little and read Charlottes Web I vowed never to eat bacon. Then I found out that the same bacon pieces that my grandma used on our salads was actually made of soy. Way to go grandma! So I had to add it to mac n’ “cheese.”  Continue reading

Heart Healthy Waffles

20200327_152727Good evening blogging family or good morning depending where you are in the world. I hope you are keeping warm and healthy in your homes.

Not long ago (ok…maybe long ago…30 years to be exact) there were two little girls with braids in their hair, NKOTB night gowns on, rocking to “Hold On,” long before Bridesmaids was a hit movie. Often, our sleepovers ended with a yummy waffle breakfast.

Needing something uplifting after another week of sad news in the world, I whipped up my favorite cholesterol-free waffles recipe and blasted Willson Phillips while cooking. I don’t know if it was the sweet smell of waffles or listening to something nostalgic, I started my day off hopeful. So to my BFF out there, “hold on,” we’ll rock out to this song sooner than you think 🙂 Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Brownies

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Dear blogging family,

I hope this post finds you safe at home tonight. It was a hard day for America and New York especially. We surpassed China in the coronavirus outbreak.

Even on the saddest days, I have found that human kindness is all around us. As a social justice coordinator, I wondered how I could motivate others to help those most in need. After all, I’m relatively new to work and wasn’t exactly sure how people would react to the virus outbreak. Would they keep to themselves and focus on their families? Would they be afraid to reach out to the vulnerable? The answer is, absolutely not. I’m already seeing others identify the needs of our community, willing to donate their time and money to see that no one is left behind in assistance. What a special thing to be a part of.

It was raining when I took pictures of the brownies. Now, as I have one before dinner 😉 the sun is shining and I think I’ll go for a walk. I hope all of you get a little break from the rain in your life and see a glimpse of sunlight. As for brownies…well it can’t hurt to have one or two in order to get through the evening. Continue reading

One-Pan Tomato Basil Linguine

One bowl pasta

A one-pan-wonder that will impress your significant other

Hi blogging family,

As always, I hope this post finds you and your family safe and healthy. Going back to blogging has been such a joy in uncertain times. The WHO just announced today that they are going to release a series of short films that focus on health and hope. I’ll keep you up to date when they are released. I’m sure the films will be translated or have subtitles in many languages.

This post is for the significant other who normally doesn’t do the cooking. Now is the perfect time to learn a easy meal that you can make for your loved ones. You can use up some of your produce and a lot of the ingredients you can find in your pantry. It also makes for a perfect date night in. And did I mention only one dish to clean? I have a lot of tips that make the meal more flavorful than most one-pot/pan pastas. Lets get started!  Continue reading

Acai and PB Smoothie

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Hi blogging family!

I hope this post finds you safely tucked at home with plenty of food and space to exercise. I’m grateful that my family is currently healthy. Keep in mind though, we’re only at the initial stages of the coronavirus outbreak in the Pacific Northwest.

For those that don’t know me, I have a background in international law and spent years in developing countries helping others. My passion is to write and cook. I dream of publishing my first novel. And news to all my followers, I landed my dream job in social justice with kind people that are really supportive. Then the coronavirus epidemic hit.

I feel so helpless but also know I am lucky that I can work from home. For now, we can still go outside and go on trails as long as we keep our “social distance.” I decided to start up my blog to uplift others that are not as fortunate. It will still be the same format but the food will come mainly from the pantry and freezer. I’m trying to be mindful about the grocery store and providing space and time for those that need it.

So stay healthy out there – mind and body. We are all in this together and need to do our part. Now for a smoothie using an Acai packet I found in the freezer and some PB from the pantry.  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