Healthy Apple Breakfast Muffins

Growing up in the midwest, apple picking was a popular fall activity.  Southern California does not quite have the same apple picking appeal, but in an effort to make it feel a little like home, I like to travel to Julian, CA, and visit their apple orchards.  Julian is a cute, little mountain town that is known for their apples.  Some great cider comes out of there if you’re a fan… California is experiencing a severe drought right now, so there were only two orchards open this year.  We made the best of it and were able to come back with a bag of (fairly small) apples.  There’s no way we can eat all of the apples before they go bad without cooking them, so I used some of our haul to make a healthy breakfast muffin. These less guilt muffins are quick to throw together and you get apple in every bite.  An apple muffin a day keeps the doctor away. Buttered-Apple-Muffin Continue reading

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Roasted Sea Salt Pumpkin Seeds

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While most of you are enjoying the wondesr of fall, those of us here in Los Angeles are stuck in an emotional rollercoaster of a heat wave. With a temperature range of balmy 85 degrees to “dear god I’m melting,” it’s a little hard to get into the fall spirit. Seriously, a Pumpkin Spiced Latte is not meant to be iced, its just depressing. But sometimes you just gotta suck up the 95 degree weather and carve some freaking pumpkins and roast those delicious seeds.

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Butternut Squash Lasagna

Sometimes you’re going to have a busy week and need something filling that can go a long way.  Butternut squash lasagna is your meal.  This butternut squash lasagna was not only filling, but reheats well, making it great leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.  Don’t be intimidated by  the number of steps, it is really easy to make (and easier to eat…).  I’m glad I took a break from sweet potatoes to make this lasagna and I love that I can be lazy efficient with my time by getting many meals out of this one dish. If you own one of the best vacuum sealer, saving the leftovers has never been easier.  Happy Meatless Monday!

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Grown Up Grilled Cheese with Homemade Pesto and Heirloom Tomatoes

Sometimes you just want to eat a grilled cheese. Adding tomatoes and homemade pesto to the grilled cheese makes it an acceptable adult dinner in my opinion. If you haven’t made pesto at home before, you’re going to be surprised at how easy it is and tastes way better than store bought! If you are a fan of kale, a great modification is replacing half of the basil with fresh kale.  Grab the last of your heirloom tomatoes, dust off your food processor, and let’s get cooking!

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Apple Noodle Kugel

Kugel is a traditional Jewish dish eaten at holidays.  Growing up, I had the opportunity to eat kugel with my friends celebrating Jewish holidays.  I’ve been told that there’s endless variations of kugel, but one of the most common versions has raisins.  I have an aversion to raisins (in that I do not like them), so I made mine with apples.  If you have not had kugel before, I highly recommend giving it a try! With Yom Kippur coming up, this week is a perfect occasion to try it for breaking the fast once Yom Kippur is over (and if you aren’t observing, you can make it whenever you choose). You can eat it for breakfast or as a side dish for dinner.  It is slightly sweet, noodle tastiness.

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Eggplant Parmesan

It’s Meatless Monday folks!

This is my first time cooking with eggplant. It was surprisingly easy and super delicious, who knew right? In fact, this was my first time even eating eggplant, and lightly battered and covered in sauce and cheese is the right way to eat just about anything for the first time. Every time I see an eggplant recipe, I’m always reminded of the “Friends” episode where Monica accidentally accepts a kickback of steaks and an eggplant and then gets fired. It gave me a strange aversion to my new purple friend. This recipe is fairly easy, and if you’re cooking for yourself or only a few people, it freezes quite well. After this, I’m totally on the eggplant band wagon (wait, it that a thing?).

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Baked Three Cheese Mac and Cheese

There’s nothing that beats homemade mac and cheese. If you have never made it before, once you do you will never be able to go back to the boxed kind. I’m telling you, THIS is the cheesiest. My mom makes fantastic homemade mac and cheese. Of course she does not use a recipe. Of course I compare everyone else’s to hers. A couple of years ago we were making mac and cheese for Thanksgiving and I asked if I added enough cheese. Her response? “You can never have too much cheese.” So true. I’ve really abided by that for this baked mac and cheese recipe. Minnesota is close enough to Wisconsin that I think I inherited a love for cheese from them.

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