Category

Crave-Worthy Recipes

Category

Creamy Fig Almond Smoothie mixes up fall breakfasts

As much as I adore pumpkin flavored foods, autumn has so much more to offer — namely, fresh figs. I don’t think I had a fresh fig until my dad decided to test his luck on a potted fig tree. With the crazy cold Pittsburgh winters, it ended up more like the fig tree testing him. If you’re not lucky enough to live in the Mediterranean or other mild, semiarid climates like California and Oregon, you’ll probably just have to buy them at the store. Fresh figs are super fragile and often bursting with juice to the point they split open. Because of this, some stores stock figs that have been prematurely picked. So beware. You may find a variety of dark and light figs. Black Mission, Adriatic, and Brown Turkey are three common varieties. Each will have a slightly different flavor, but any will work well in this creamy…

Football whoopie pies are a total touchdown for game day desserts

Football season has officially kicked off, so bring on the food! These football-shaped whoopie pies will score points for being delicious as well as adorable. They’ll be the MVP of your tailgating table. Note: If you’re making these in the off season, or if you’re shorter on time, you can, of course, make this recipe without forming cookie batter into footballs.  Football Whoopie Pies Makes about 48 cookies, or 24 gobs Ingredients For the cookies 2 cups all-purpose flour 2/3 cup cocoa 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup hot water (in a large glass) 2/3 cup milk 1/2 cup shortening 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp butter flavoring For the filling 1/4 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup shortening 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp butter flavoring 3 cups confectioners’ sugar 2 tbsp milk (if necessary) Directions Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a…

How to pick the best butternut squash

Fall has finally arrived and winter squash are stocked on the shelves — acorn, spaghetti, and of course, butternut. Butternut squash a must-have fall vegetable that dates back nearly 10,000 years ago.  It’s true. Archaeological evidence suggests that squash was first cultivated in what is now known as the Isthmus of Panama. Squash was one of the three main crops (known as the “Three Sisters” — maize, beans, and squash) planted by Native Americans. If you’re looking for authentic North American fall foods for your Thanksgiving feast, squash certainly qualifies. (Read more at: How Americans Became so Obsess with Pumpkins) The most noticeable difference between winter squash and summer squash, like zucchini and yellow squash, is the exterior skin. Summer squash have thin, flavorful skin you leave on and eat, while winter squash have a tough, inedible outer shell. It’s because of this shell, however, that winter squash can be…

Pumpkin and sage stuffed shells

The best thing about fall? The food, OF COURSE! While summer is the season for fresh fruit and farmers markets, fall is time for casseroles, crock pots, and delicious comfort foods. Which takes me to my latest recipe… We had two days of fall-like weather last week and already I’m inspired to break out the pumpkin! These pumpkin ricotta stuffed shells would be a perfect addition to your holiday spread, or anytime you want a savory, seasonal dish to share — this recipe makes a lot of shells! The fresh sage and nutty Romano cheese are the perfect way to accent that rich pumpkin flavor. Plus, the light pumpkin taste in the sauce makes this dish truly something different. You’re going to love this this seasonal switch-up on an old classic. Note: Get 100% pumpkin puree (I like Libby’s brand). Other pumpkin blends can sometimes come with fall spices mixed in…

Pumpkin banana smoothie a delicious breakfast for fall

I know what you’re thinking. It’s not technically even fall yet. If you’re one of those people who can’t even look at a pumpkin until September 21, then I advise you to temporarily seek recipes elsewhere. I’m about to blow up this blog with pumpkin recipes — this Pumpkin Banana smoothie is just the beginning. I love using a bit of pumpkin puree in my fall breakfast smoothies. It’s an easy way to add fiber and flavor while getting in a festive mood. Plus, pumpkin is packed with protein, rich in antioxidants, and high in vitamin A. One trick I can’t emphasize enough is freezing your fruit — or even just half of it. So, say your recipe calls for berries and bananas — make sure your berries are frozen and use a fresh banana. Freezing at least one of your fruits can save you from having to water your…

Kick off football season with Meatball Sub on a Stick

This Meatball Sub on a Stick recipe is a fun take on an old classic. It’s perfect as dinner, an appetizer, or as a Game Day snack. You can make this recipe more your own by making mini meatballs from your own family recipe, or if you’re all about speed, stock up on store-bought frozen meatballs. There are a number of brands to choose from and they all typically offer some variations including Italian-style, chicken, or turkey. So this is really just a start for you. Take this idea, and run with it! Follow this clever tip from Alton Brown the next time you make meatballs. Sprinkle these meatball sub kabobs with shredded mozzarella and serve with a side of marinara for dipping. Meatball Sub on a Stick Ingredients 1 bag frozen meatballs (I used turkey meatballs) 1 tube breadstick dough 2 tbsp Italian seasoning 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese…

Vegan chickpea tikka masala

Cooking as part of my job means that I — thankfully — don’t have to rely on too much take-out to keep myself and my fiancé fed. However, no matter how much food I’ve prepared at home, we have one serious take-out weak spot — Indian food. Seriously. When that intense Indian food craving calls, off to the buffet (or online ordering app) we go. We can get incredible Indian food at a little restaurant called Taj Mahal just a five minute drive away. They pretty much win Best Indian Restaurant in Pittsburgh every year, so I know we’re not alone in our obsession. While my cooking doesn’t come close to their 25 years of expertise in the biz, this Chickpea Tikka Masala recipe can hold us over, so we feel the need to get Taj take-out just a teensy bit less. Plus, the chick peas and coconut milk mean this…

Mango green smoothie

Smoothies are the fastest way to pack your diet full of greens. When I look at my blender bursting with handfuls of spinach or kale, I’m amazed at how easy it is to eat healthy when you have a few good smoothie recipes on hand. Not that I don’t love a big salad, but honestly, it’s not something I want every, single day. With smoothies, that doesn’t matter. I get my greens and so much more. Make this delicious Mango Green Smoothie and you’ll give your body a nutritious boost. Mango Green Smoothie Ingredients 1/4 cup coconut milk (from the carton) 1/4 cup water 1 tbsp chia seeds 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach 1 small ripe banana 3/4 cup frozen mango Directions Add ingredients to blender in the order above. Blend until smooth. Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy immediately! ALSO TRY, 9 healthy smoothie recipes.  Follow us on…

15 foods you need to eat before the end of summer

Summer is still in full swing, but we can’t help but notice September sneaking up on us. While the fall brings its own delightful foods (hellooo pumpkin spice!), once summer has slipped by, you just can’t enjoy a juicy watermelon in quite the same way. Take this as your summer foods PSA: Head to the market and get cooking these 15 quintessential summer foods before it’s too late! Blueberry pie Don’t miss out on homemade blueberry pie! A big juicy slice is simply a summer-must. You can even wash and freeze some berries now, if you want to prolong your blueberry pie calendar. That way, you can enjoy them for another month or two.  Get the recipe. Vegetarian SPINach, ricotta stuffed peppers Use up those beautiful summer peppers in the best way we know how — stuffed peppers. Make this recipe tonight. Caprese Summer Rolls Perhaps you’re a fan of…

Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe is a perfect weeknight dinner

Chicken Parmesan is a family favorite. It’s a classic dish that takes pan fried chicken breasts then tops them with tomato sauce and smothers them in cheese before baking. What comes out is deliciously golden brown and bubbly — what’s not to love? This chicken parmesan recipe — with its fresh mozzarella and homemade tomato sauce — will make you look like you spent hours in the kitchen, when really, you’ll have the prep work done in about 15 minutes. Serve chicken parm with fettuccini or other pasta or even rice or mashed potatoes for an easy weeknight dinner. If you’re whipping this up in the summer, don’t miss the opportunity to sprinkle on some delicious fresh basil. Easy chicken parmesan recipe Makes 6 servings Ingredients For the chicken: 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for garnish) 2-3 large…