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Easy cranberry ricotta cake makes the holidays merry

When is cake an acceptable breakfast choice? When it’s Christmas, or New Year’s, or bunch anytime, or basically any day in December. There’s nothing like this incredibly delicious cranberry-streaked cake to make your whole Christmas season feel special. The ricotta cheese makes this recipe super moist and the plentiful cranberries give it tons of juicy flavor. Add a thin crystalized sugar crust on top and you have yourself a dessert-for-breakfast delicacy that pairs perfectly with your choice of coffee, tea, or orange juice.  This cake would also be delicious with fresh raspberries in the summer.  [Prepworks Flour Sifter (seen above), $9.99.] Cranberry ricotta cake Ingredients 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp salt 1 cup sugar + 1/4 cup sugar 3 eggs 1 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta 1 stick butter, melted (1/2 cup) 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup fresh cranberries + 1/2 cup fresh cranberries…

Strawberry oatmeal muffins

This time of year, I just can’t get enough fruit. I like eating it fresh most of all, but I also find it impossible to pass on delicious, fruity baked goods. Last week, I came across a killer deal on strawberries at the market, so I was inspired to use some of my stash to make this super summery strawberry muffin recipe. These strawberry oatmeal muffins have tons of texture thanks to the quick-cook oatmeal. And the brown sugar gives just enough sweetness. You’ll love these for breakfast, brunch, or an anytime snack. Since strawberries can sink to the bottom of batter, coating them in flour first will help them float throughout. It also helps distribute their moisture throughout the muffin leaving you with something tender and tasty. Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins Ingredients 1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 1 cup Greek yogurt 1/3 cup vegetable oil…

What’s the difference between an English muffin and a crumpet?

When it comes to breakfast breads, most of us are carb-loving connoisseurs. Toasts like wheat, rye, and sourdough are just the beginning. Scones, muffins — both blueberry and bran, biscuits and bagels make their way into our morning meal more commonly than we’d care to admit.  And of course you know the English muffin. It’s the sturdy, humble base to your oozing Eggs Benedict and the spongy exterior of your McDonald’s McMuffin. English muffins, and all of these other common carbs, are sold in the bakery and bread aisles of just about any grocery store nationwide. So that leaves the crumpet.  What the heck is it? You’ve probably joked about tea and crumpets in your best stuffy-English accent before, but did you really know what you were talking about? Have you actually ever seen one in the States? English muffins and crumpets are two entirely different creatures, but they have…

The best chicken salad ever

The best chicken salad I ever had was from a little bistro up the street from where I used to work. Sadly, it went out of business in just a few short years, but I still believe they could have kept their doors open with their chicken salad alone had more people discovered their incredible combination. I’m not sure of their exact recipe, but like all delicious, good-for-you food, all of the main ingredients were right there, whole and easily identifiable. The red grapes were a welcome addition to the crunchy cashews, and flavorful fresh dill. The mayo mix was light, and just present enough to stick all of the ingredients together. I swapped the classic chicken salad croissant for a slice of toasted brioche out of preference, but you serve on any bread you would like, or just spread it on a few hearty crackers. Also try, Healthy avocado…

Healthy avocado egg salad

This avocado and egg salad is one of my favorite homemade lunches because it’s healthy, tastes great and uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo! Tuna salads and egg salads are often passed off as healthy, but they’re so loaded with fatty mayo that you might as well have opted for a cheeseburger! This salad has only healthy fats from fresh avocado. Plus, it doesn’t have that gooey, wet consistency that mayo gives. Ew. I can hear the stickiness now. This salad is everything you want from a lunch — It’s easy to make ahead, it’s packed with protein, and it’s full of flavor thanks to the zingy Dijon mustard and smokey turkey bacon. Substitute the bread and arugula for a large lettuce leaf to cut carbs, if that’s your thing.  Either way, it’s the guilt-free lunch you need for healthy resolutions in the New Year! Healthy Avocado Egg Salad Ingredients…

Spicy cauliflower, arugula salad

I love when a restaurant dish inspires me to make something similar at home. It’s not that making it at home stops me from going back to the restaurant — the exact opposite, actually! I find that it keeps the menu item top of mind, so I actually can’t wait to return! This dish was a restaurant-inspired salad. Roasted cauliflower and raisins might not seem like they’d be the best of friends, but the combo is really quite nice, especially when the cauliflower is roasted with the spicy heat of Calabrian chili peppers. Add some arugula, Parmesan cheese, and lemon, and you have a unique flavor explosion that is creative, healthy, fresh and crisp. Spicy Cauliflower, Arugula Salad Ingredients Serves 4 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets 2-3 spicy chili peppers, finely chopped + 3 tbsp of hot pepper oil (more if you love heat) 4-5 large handfuls of arugula 2 lemons,…

Pickle Soup is quirky, fun, and a really big dill

Pickles have been somewhat of a sensation lately. The beloved briny cucumbers show up in everything now days from icy slushies to creamy dips and fried chips. So I say, why not soup? There are several different recipes out there circulation around the web, but I think this variation is the best. The bold color flecks of veggies look delicious in the bright yellow broth. It’s tangy and salty, yet mild enough to enjoy a whole bowl — and then another, and another… It’s addicting and delicious and you just might make a believer out of folks less fanatical about pickles than yourself. I definitely recommend dill kosher pickles, because is there any other pickle? The snap makes every bite the best bite. I like to finely chop all of the ingredients to make it easy to eat and pour. Plus, I think it looks most delicious. Serve it hot…

Apple cinnamon streusel bread

Christmas cookies take all the glory, but I say there is nothing better than fall baking. The smell of this apple cinnamon bread is mouth-watering. It will float out of your door and into the street, mixing with the cool, crisp fall air — De-lightful! As far as quick breads go, this recipe is a bit more involved. It’s still very easy to make, it just has a longer ingredients list thanks to the streusel topping — but trust me. The crunch you get from those toasted oats and brown sugar is worth the extra step. I like to use Granny Smiths in almost every apple recipe I make, but just about any apple should do the trick here. I’ve used Granny, Rome, Gala, and even Honeycrisp before — all amazing. Apple cinnamon streusel bread Makes 1 loaf Ingredients 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 1/2…

Refreshing pineapple, cucumber salad

Summer is the season to celebrate with fresh fruit salads. There is such a bounty of fruits and vegetables and you can enjoy them individually of course, but you can also put them together in unusual ways and get excited about bright new flavors pairs. This is one of my favorite fruit salads to share. People are always surprised at how well this colorful combo works together. Sweet pineapple is balanced by the bite of the lime and the crunchiness of the cucumber. The cilantro brings it all together — herbs are good like that. Truth-be-told, this recipe is just a variation of a pineapple salsa recipe I make — just with bigger pieces of pineapple and cucumber so it’s easier to eat with a fork (and not just a tortilla chip). But, that said, if your crowd appreciates a little heat, you can consider adding the diced jalapeños back in. They…

These are the 100 best brunch spots, according to OpenTable users

Nothing says “I love you Mom” more than a Bloody Mary and eggs benedict. Or maybe the new spring weather has just put some pep in your step and you’re feeling more energized to actually put on pants before noon. Either way, OpenTable is here to help. The restaurant reservation app has rounded up the top 100 brunch spots for 2018. Nearly 45,000 restaurants were considered based off of 12 million customer reviews. The top restaurants were then sorted into different categories like “great for brunch,” for example. From California cool brunch spots to which New York dining destinations, the list includes winners from 24 states plus Washington, D.C. California took the most top spots with 19 winning restaurants, followed by New York with 15, D.C. and Pennsylvania, each with nine a piece. Here are all of the 2018 Best Brunch winners listed by state. California Beachcomber Cafe – Crystal Cove – Newport…