(Guilt-Free) Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

If you’ve been following me lately (thank you!) I’m sure you’ve noticed the semi abrupt absence I took recently. It’s been… quite a month, to say the least. But I’m so excited to be back, and just in time for pumpkin season!! And don’t worry, these guilt free pumpkin pancakes are simple to make and can be enjoyed allllll season long ( and yes, I know its on the early side to get excited about pumpkin. I’m one of those pumpkin fanatics that can wait for pumpkin everything).

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Bacon, Egg, and Brie Buckwheat Crepe

Bacon, Egg, and Brie Buckwheat Crepe

One of the most challenging things I learned as a young chef (and still work on today) is the act of simplicity. Even from the home cook’s perspective, “fine dining” or “gourmet” recipes seem to correlate to ingredient lists a mile long. And while in some cases that may be true, I find that some of the most interesting and exquisitely prepared meals are those that practice restraint. It’s a hard concept to master because, as artists, our creativity tends to cloud our ability to think minimally. But when we do, the end result can be a masterpiece. This Bacon, Egg, and Brie Buckwheat Crepe is no masterpiece. But damn, its good.

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Kitchen Basics: Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde with shrimp

I get asked all the time what my favorite recipe is or what’s my style of cooking. I see that as a complex question because one of the most fulfilling aspects I find by being a chef is the ability to constantly learn and grow. So my style, passions, and knowledge changes constantly. However, one consistent in my kitchen is my desire to create everything I can from scratch. They may seem like a “duh” kind of statement. But unlike many chefs, I mean that to a T. Meaning I try to stock my pantry and fridge with homemade items that many others buy out of convenience, like vinegar, yogurt, butter, and sauces. This Salsa Verde is a favorite pantry staple in my kitchen. Its the easiest sauce that adds complexity to any dish in seconds.

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Lemon Blueberry Granola with CBD

Ohhhh man is it hard to be back after vacation, amiright?? These past few weeks have been an incredibly calming, jam-packed, sun-soaked adventure. We were in Key Largo for an amazing wedding (and yes, the wedding cake was a hit!!); spent a week in a condo overlooking the white sandy beaches of South Beach Miami (eating, drinking, and swimming with sharks- all in excess); and had an eventful fourth of July weekend in Connecticut meeting a new addition to the family. But all of that time in vacation mode now means I’m feeling less alert and slightly more sluggish than usual. And the one too many tropical cocktails and decadent vacation food has definitely weighed down my usual hop out of bed this morning. Which is why this recipe for Lemon Blueberry Granola with CBD is a perfect meal to jump-start my post-vacation gears.

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Juniper Spiced Leg of Lamb with Blackberry-Corn Relish

Juniper Spiced Leg of Lamb with Fennel, Rainbow Chard, Blackberry-Corn Relish

Hokay so… wedding cake is finished (yay!) and on its way to Florida now! Which means two things: 1) it’s almost vacation time!!; and 2) my family gets to eat fresh, homemade food again. Not that we didn’t enjoy all that pizza. But considering how much I love to cook needless to say I’m happy to be back in the kitchen. And man, this Juniper Spiced Leg of Lamb with Blackberry-Corn Relish is the perfect meal to start off vacation.

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Halibut with Beets, Radish, and Salsa Verde

Halibut with Beets, Radish, and Salsa Verde

Well, it seems as though Summer has officially arrived in New England!! And other than vacations, beach days, and lots of ice cream, what that also means is that I find myself wanting to spend fewer hours in the kitchen. Which is kind of a bummer because I love cooking! But its very challenging to get inspired or creative when the sticky temperature inside the house parallels the heat outside. And trust me, I know how to work in the heat. I worked the line or standing in front of a 900 degree wood oven for most of my career. But plating your family’s dinner while wiping sweat from, well everywhere, is not as sexy as busting your butt on the line. Plus those years are behind me now (thankfully) so if I dont want to cook in the heat, I try to avoid it at all costs. But… we need to eat. So that’s why a dish like this Halibut with Beets, Radish, and Salsa Verde is so ideal during the summer. Plenty of bright flavors, filling, and requires very little stove time.

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Jungle Curry

Jungle Curry

Alrighty folks, its go time! For those following along at home, it’s cake week! And by that I mean I will elbow deep in buttercream and cake batter as I prep for my cousin’s wedding cake! We are t-minus 7 days away from the destination wedding in Florida. Which means I have 4 days to bake, assemble, pack, freeze, and send off a 3 tiered cake for a long 2 day drive to the Keys. Yeah, I know it sounds a little coo-coo, but the cake is already coming together and I can tell it’s going to be stunning. But a week task of making a wedding cake means there is very little time to make actual meals. I did however manage one pretty tasty meal before the week got too crazy. Enter: Jungle Curry.

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Farmer’s Market Tartine

Farmer's Market Tartine

Happy Friday y’all!!! Oh man, this one feels good. My poor family has been battling colds so we are looking forward to a quiet (somewhat, I’ll still be in the middle of cake prep!) and restful weekend. But despite having these nasty colds, we still got out of the house to enjoy one of my all time favorite activities: visiting the farmers market!! Being a California born and raised transplant to New England, the arrival of the farmers market is a huge deal. Where I come from, farmers markets are basically available all year long. But here (where seasons exist), the start of the farmers market season is the start of warm weather, giant green trees, and lots and lots of outdoor fun. And if any dish was going to properly celebrate the beginning of this fun season, it’s this Farmer’s Market Tartine.

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Sake Washed Tuna Tartare with Grapefruit Slaw

Sake Washed Tuna Tartare with Grapefruit Slaw

I used to hate raw fish. I was a I’ll-eat-fried-shrimp-and-nothing-else kinda girl. Now I love it! So it’s funny to now look back and wonder when that switch to raw fish lover happened. My first raw fish memory is slightly blurry. My dad was most definitely there, so it must have happened early in my collegiate career. You know, the same time coffee became a necessity and not a disgusting thing my parents must’ve had to choke down. In fact, my first memory of tasting coffee was with my dad too. We were having a garage sale and offered free coffee to shoppers. He had me try a sip which immediately induced my spitting reflex. So even though I hated coffee and raw fish back then, I suppose I have my dad to thank for the development of my palate. Although… I wonder if I would have enjoyed raw fish earlier if I had a dish like this Sake Washed Tuna Tartare with Grapefruit Slaw.

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Ras al Hanout Chicken with Brown Butter Roasted Vegetables

Ras al Hanout Chicken with Brown Butter Roasted Vegetables

Ok so right off the bat, I know this recipe doesn’t scream “Summer”. The inspiration for this dish came mostly because I was wanting a dish that would leave me with delicious leftovers. The downside to all of the fresh and crisp Summer recipes I’ve shared lately is they dont have a long shelf life. And if you’ve been keeping up with me lately, you’ll know I am about to embark on an exciting week of wedding cake prep. Which means very little time for dinner prep next week. So I needed a stick-to-your-bones, feel good, leftovers welcome kinda meal. And nothing encompasses all of those things more than a roasted chicken dinner. Like this deliciously comforting Ras al Hanout Chicken with Brown Butter Roasted Vegetables dinner.

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