Tag Archives: recipe

Creamy Cacio e Pepe

Late last night I suddenly realized that I was not prepared to make lunch for myself. I hadn’t been grocery shopping so I didn’t have any lettuce (typically I make salads), and I didn’t want to have to spend a bunch of time cooking something up that would prevent me from getting to bed at a reasonable time.

Then I remembered this. Cacio e Pepe, literally “cheese and pepper.” It was a recipe I had seen a bunch of times in emails I receive from Bon Appetit, and I was pretty sure it would be easy. Granted, I’d never actually LOOKED at the recipe. But I figured I could guess and that would be close enough. And so that’s what I did!

The end result was surprisingly delicious for a bunch of random things that I threw together at the last minute, and it was satisfactorily easy to get me into bed on time. Perfect!

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Homemade Nut Butters

A few weeks ago I made myself praline butter. It was so delicious and incredible that it kicked off my new obsessive trend: homemade nut butters.

These are super easy, super yummy, in some cases cheaper than buying them at the store, and in many cases quite a bit healthier. Also, there are way more possibilities for variety if you’re making these at home than if you just buy what they carry in stores.

Do you have a food processor (or maybe even a blender)? Good! Do you have nuts? Great! That’s all you need to get started making your own nut butters.

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Walnut Grape Salad

I made this salad for lunch on Sunday, and then it was so good that I made it for lunch again today. I fully intended to take a picture, but I forgot until I was already halfway through eating it so you’ll just have to use your imagination. The good news is salads are super easy and barely even count as a recipe (this one especially), so using your imagination shouldn’t be too hard.

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Homemade Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Blue Cheese Dressing

I stumbled upon a salad recipe the other day that called for blue cheese dressing, but when I went to my Food Lion I couldn’t find any light options and all of the available choices were over 100 calories for two tablespoons, which is ridiculous and way more than I’m willing to use on a salad dressing.  So I decided to take matters into my own hands and made this super easy and super yummy dressing myself! Did you know that you can make your own salad dressing? Because I definitely did not. But you can, and I did!

Healthy Blue Cheese Dressing

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The Whatever-I-Had-Left-in-My-Fridge Cobb Salad

I’m going home for five days over Thanksgiving, and that means the last few days I’ve been trying to eat as much produce as possible so that it doesn’t all go bad while I’m gone. It also means I’ve had to go with some unconventional combinations as I’ve been trying to use up some ingredients while running out of others.

Today’s lunch was a great example of that, where I decided that I needed to make a salad to use up my kale, and then saw my hard boiled eggs and bacon and settled on a cobb salad. Except that I was missing a whole bunch of the things that cobb salads generally have, including dressing. So I got a little creative, pulled together a bunch of random things I had in my fridge that seemed appropriate, and then Googled cobb salad dressings and combined a few recipes to make my own. The good news is it was yummy, and only 343 calories! So now I share my unconventional cobb salad with you:

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How NOT to Make Grape Jelly

A while ago, I bought grapes. I like grapes, and I’ve been eating them, but not as often as I eat other fruits and the trouble with grapes is that you have to buy them in huge quantities, so this evening I found myself realizing that I needed to figure out a way to use or preserve all of my grapes, pronto, or I was going to be throwing away a whole lot of them.

So of course, as I do when I want to use up anything in my kitchen, I went to allrecipes.com and searched “grapes.” Enter the recipes for grape jelly.

“Oh!” I thought. “What a great idea!” I thought. “How hard can it be?” I thought.

I clicked on the first recipe and read the list of ingredients: sugar, water, pectin, and grape juice. “Well that won’t work,” I thought to myself. “I’m trying to use up my grapes, and I don’t even have grape juice.” I clicked on another recipe. This one used actual grapes, but still called for a ton of sugar. I happen to buy no-sugar-added preserves, so I knew it was possible to make it without. I tried Googling “no sugar added grape jam recipe.”

It wasn’t until I got through two or three of those that I finally realized the elephant in the room: all of the recipes required pectin, and I had no idea what that was and definitely did not have it in my kitchen. In retrospect I imagine it’s probably similar to gelatin, which I do have, and maybe I could have substituted, but in the moment I had a completely different thought process.

“That’s ok! I made those cherry cheesecake bars yesterday and the cherry part ended up like jelly before I mixed it in – I’ll just repeat that process with the grapes. I’m such a good cook now; I don’t even need a recipe for something I have definitely never done before.”

Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Fun obvious fact of the day: cherries and grapes are very different and are not good substitutes in recipes where consistency is really important. With that in mind, you can probably imagine where this went. So, without further ado, I present you with my very own recipe for…

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Homemade Pesto (Chicken Caprese Sandwich)

I feel like this is very quickly turning more into a cooking blog than anything else, but alas, I keep making yummy things and I want to share them with the world.

I used to work right across from a CVS, and although it doesn’t sound like CVS would be a good place to grab lunch, they had a pesto caprese sandwich that was delicious and I would run across the street to grab one at least once every two weeks or so. Sadly, since CVS changed their food options and I no longer work near one, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to enjoy that lunch. So, when I found a recipe for homemade pesto, I knew exactly what I was going to use it for (with several modifications to make it healthier). And I’m glad I did!

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