Category Archives: Recipes


{Guest Post!} Chad’s Beer Butt Chicken

If you remember, Chad Williams is the fitness guru behind Anthrophysique and the Evernote Ambassador for Fitness.  Here he’s sharing one of his favorite healthy recipes!

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Beer Butt Chicken is one of my favorite meals of all time. It’s a pretty simple recipe and best of all, it’s done on the barbecue.

When it comes to cooking, I like my meals on the BBQ. I’m not so handy when I have to do things in the oven, but over an open flame I’m better at getting it just right. I also like the flavour you can get and the control you have.

If you’ve never had this meal, you’re in for a treat! Continue reading

Parmigiano Orange Zucchini Bites with Dipping Sauce

My Ode to the King of Cheese: Parmigiano-Orange Zucchini Fritters

Parmigiano Orange Zucchini Bites with Dipping SauceI’m three months into my thirtieth year, and it’s become official: I am not aging backwards.  I had briefly entertained the notion that, by some arcane feat of magic or dubious loophole in the natural law, I might merely crest the top of this thirty year timeline before slowly and gracefully falling backwards where I would begin to age in reverse, somehow growing younger and fresher as the days wound on.

Now that I’ve written that out, it does sound a little stupid.  But I like to think that stranger things have happened.  Case in point: the platypus.   Continue reading

Zucchini Calabrese Hash with Poached Eggs

Zucchini Calabrese Hash

Zucchini Calabrese Hash with Poached EggsI make some of my best dishes off-the-cuff when I don’t feel good.  When I’m sick, I need rest, green tea, and hot delicious food, in that order.  Plus throwing together a very quick, simple but tasty meal for myself lifts my mood and helps me feel better.

This little veggie hash is one of those things.  I didn’t think much of it when I threw it together the first time, but then it was gorgeous.  So gorgeous I had to make it again a few days later.  It not only takes very little time and looks gorgeous, but it’s easily customizable and full of veggies and it features one of my favorite sausages of all time: calabrese.   Continue reading

Strawberry Marshmallows

Valentine’s Day: Make All the Marshmallows!

Strawberry Marshmallows

Strawberry Marshmallows

I’ve been on a marshmallow-making kick lately.  I’ve made vanilla bean, chocolate-Grand Marnier, amaretto dipped in almonds and chocolate, and chocolate covered strawberries.  Next I plan on lemon, stuffed marshmallows and vegan marshmallows.  Why, you ask?  Because happiness and marshmallows are pretty close to being the same thing.  Fluffy, pillowy, flavorful, fun to melt on a stick and smoosh in between pieces of chocolate and graham cracker.  There are a lot of similarities between the two.

Also, it’s surprisingly easy.

Continue reading


Coconut-Flour Parmesan Drop Biscuits

IMG_0026We had two really warm days this week.  By “really warm,” I mean, 50 degrees in Michigan in January.  They were promptly and predictably bookended by several days of snow and freezing temperatures.  It’s the kind of weather that makes me think about….well, running away to Tahiti.  But also biscuits.

I love biscuits.  Pillowy, fluffy, savory biscuits, dripping with butter and all the promise of delicious flavor conveniently transported to my mouth in one hand-sized package.  My favorite, of course, is the buttermilk biscuit that I can now make in my sleep, practically.  But I’ve been working on other species, if you will, of biscuit.   Continue reading


Satsuma Delight

Did you have a merry Christmas?  Or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, did you have a terrific Tuesday?  I did.  I got to spend time with friends and family and relax and eat good food.  That’s what holidays are truly about.  And I’m lucky enough to be off work for the next two weeks, and it’s a good thing too because I have serious plans for my kitchen and pantry…but more on that in a later post.

I promised you the third and final installment of our Citrus Dinner series—that is, the recipes and dishes we made for our citrus challenge, featuring delicious and fresh satsuma and clementine oranges from Whole Foods.  Thus far we’ve covered a delightful Champagne Wednesday cocktail (berry punch with clementine simple syrup) and a wholesome cheese plate (goat cheese, olive oil, raw almonds, fresh satsumas), plus two main courses (clementine-roasted chicken with thyme, mushrooms and tofu en papilotte).  Now, for the grand finale….

…dessert. Continue reading

Clementines and Thyme

Clemen-Thyme Roasted Chicken & Citrus-Scented Mushrooms and Tofu En Papilotte

Whew.  Say that three times fast.

Continuing with our citrus fest, let’s move on the main show, shall we?  If you remember from last time, Whole Foods sponsored a little bit of experimentation using their fresh, in-season clementines and satsumas.  And with these beautiful little balls of sunshine, we made a delightful feast.

Citrus Dinner Menu

So we covered the berry punch with clementine syrup (which I already have another request for—as one of our New Year’s Eve cocktails) and our lovely fresh satsuma, almond and goat cheese plate (still one of my favorite appetizers ever).

But there was more.  Oh, so much more.  I’d been wanting for a while to make a thyme-roasted chicken dish and figured that adding a bit of citrus would make it even better.  And I was right. Continue reading

Champagne Wednesday: Berry Punch with Clementine Simple Syrup and a Satsuma Cheese Plate

fresh satsumas and thyme in a wooden bowlWhat I love about winter is that it’s when some of the brightest, cheeriest fruits are available: oranges of all kinds.  And beyond the basic navel, there are other delicious citrusy goodies to be had, like clementines and satsumas.  To be honest, I’ve never really worked with either of them.  Sure, I’ve had the odd clementine now and again, but I was mostly a navel girl.  And satsumas, a variation of mandarin oranges that originated in Japan, were never really on my radar until recently. Continue reading

Champagne Wednesday: The D’Artagnan

Champagne Wednesday is, as you probably remember, our quick, easy to way to liven up the boring midweek with a bit of bubbly.  We do this by buying the tiny, 187-ml bottles of sparkling wines that you can get at grocery stores and Whole Foods and making two little cocktails out of them.

This week’s cocktail was the D’Artagnan, a nice little mix of orange, Grand Marnier and sparkling wine.  I’ve noticed that most champagne recipes have a citrus flair to them.  I think next week we’ll try something entirely different, but this one was pretty good. Continue reading

Bousou La Tmssou (Algerian Cookies) and the Food Blogger Cookie Swap

I was very excited to learn about the Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year.  I love getting mail from random strangers, I love cookies and I love the food blogging community so everything about it appealed to me, including the opportunity to donate to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

I decided to make a recipe I’ve had in my Evernote recipe notebook for years but never got around to making, an Algerian treat called “Bousou La Tmssou” or some variation of that.  These are adorable little things made very simply with powdered sugar, ghee (clarified butter), flour and orange blossom water.   Continue reading

French 75

Champagne Wednesday: French 75

I’ve decided on the perfect description for this #champagnewednesday thing: “It’s like a tiny Christmas, covered in bubbles.”  I think that pretty adequately sums things up.

This week’s cocktail is called the “French 75″–a pretty potent blend of gin, lemon and sparkling wine.  We used Meyer lemon and cava in ours.  It was good, seriously potent, but I think I’d make a few swaps next time, namely that instead of lemon juice and powdered sugar, I’d make a lemon simple syrup.  Also, a bit of ginger.  I feel kind of ginger-y these days.

Continue reading

Amaretto Shortbread

M&M Amaretto Shortbread Cookies

m&m amaretto shortbread cookies in a boxThis is one of those weeks that just calls for tiny m&m cookies.  I don’t know what it was.  Maybe it’s excitement from my Skillshare class starting this week.  Maybe it’s end-of-the-year stress.  Maybe it was half a bag of tiny M&Ms sitting leftover on my counter and a half bottle of Amaretto out on the bar.  Who’s to say, really?

The point is, there are two things currently in my house that we should all strive to emulate. Continue reading

Lemon Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins

lemon cranberry cream cheese muffins-up closeYou like all of those words.  You like them individually.  You’ll also like them together.  You’ll want them to hang out more, maybe rent an apartment in New York together.  You’ll want them to have an insanely popular television show on TLC where you can follow along with their hopes, dreams, careers, personal relationships, good times and inevitable betrayals.  And you’ll cry at the reunion show, “Lemon Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins: The Next Batch” because no one thought that Cranberry would show up, but she will.  She will.

(This is why you shouldn’t write blog posts when you’re tired.) Continue reading

Champagne Wednesday: A Mango-Ginger Beer Cocktail

mango-ginger cocktailChampagne Wednesday may just be the best idea I’ve ever had that involved champagne.  It’s really a nice little pick-me-up on what is maybe the most “meh” day of the week.  This time, I got inspired by the blood orange sparklers from the lovely gals at We Ae Not Martha.  I didn’t have any blood orange juice available though, so I took a different route with mango juice and orange biggers.  I still ended up at the desired location, though: the corner of Delicious St and Bubbly Avenue. Continue reading

My friend Mac recently had a birthday.  His request?  A peanut butter cup cake.

Challenge accepted.

So I browsed through my collection of cake recipes and thought about my plan of attack.  I decided that what I wanted was a two layer chocolate cake with a layer of peanut butter frosting in the middle and a crown of tiny peanut butter cups on the top. Continue reading

strawberry delightI have recently decided that certain things need to start being a way of life.  One of these things is Champagne Wednesday.  What, you may ask, is Champagne Wednesday?  Well, my good man/woman/non-gendered person/furry, Champagne Wednesday is a celebration of the everyday.  You combine the normal humdrum that is Wednesday with the sparkle and verve of unexpected champagne.  Well, I guess it’s not really unexpected now that I’ve told you we’re going to do it every week.  But it’s delightful nonetheless! Continue reading

I like having little snack foods around the house.  Something I can just grab a quick handful of as I go about my day, cleaning house, playing with the dogs, being awesome, avoiding doing chores.  I like these snacks to be crunchy but flavorful and preferably something easy to make.  I also like a variety of flavors…I bore easily, after all.  Hey, let’s go ride bikes!

I’m just kidding.  It’s too cold outside to ride bikes.

Anyway, these almonds are great.  I made them last year as Christmas gifts.  I started making them again this fall as snacks for get-togethers or just to keep around the house.  I’ve tried a few different flavors, my favorites being rosemary-olive oil, and cinnamon-sugar.  The pumpkin spice were pretty good, too.  ingredients for cinnamon almonds: almonds, splenda, cinnamon, egg whiteLast year, I made these with regular sugar but this year I started making them with Splenda so that my sugar-conscious friends could still enjoy them and to be honest, you really can’t tell the difference.

cinnamon almonds on a pan

Everyone loves munching on the sweet (or savory) and crunchy little snacks.  If you need a snack to put out before holiday meals this year, this is it.  They also make great, hand-made gifts wrapped up in pretty cellophane bags and tied with a bow.  And if you get almonds from a bulk-food co-op or store like Costco, they can be really affordable too!

Sugar-free Cinnamon Almonds


  • 4 cups whole blanched almonds
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 250F.
  2. Whip the egg white until frothy (just a minute or so). Add in the splenda and cinnamon and the fold in the almonds. Stir until the almonds are thoroughly coated in the mixture.
  3. Line a baking pan with parchment or tinfoil and spread the almonds out on the pan. Bake at 250F for one hour. Let cool and eat! Store in an airtight container.


More interested in the rosemary-olive oil almonds? Replace the egg white with 1/4 cup olive and replace the Splenda and cinnamon with a couple tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary.

For pumpkin spice almonds, sub a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon in this recipe.

And don't forget all the other flavors you could try---chili and lime (a bit of lime juice and zest and chili powder), cocoa almonds (canola oil, cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar), or even vanilla bean almonds (scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean or use vanilla bean paste and mix that into white or brown sugar). Be creative! And enjoy.


a glass cup of chocolate cheesecake mousseThis mousse won’t give you diabetes.  Seriously.  I can’t make this claim about much of my food (coughapplesyrupcough) but this mousse is actually sugar-free.  Free of regular sugar, anyway.  I’ve been experimenting with sugar substitutes and this recipe is one of my new favorites.  It’s also free of one other thing: effort.  If you can put things in a mixing bowl and blend them together, you can make this mousse.  It’s great for days when you’re low on time, or low on energy and want a creamy, chocolaty fix.  I’m feeling under the weather myself today, so this is my quick-fix pick-me-up.

Enjoy :)



Sugar-free Chocolate Cream Cheese Mousse

Yield: 4 servings


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Splenda (or similar sugar substitute)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream (hey, I didn't say this was lowfat)
  • (optional: dark chocolate shavings for garnish (may contain sugar))


  1. Cut the cream cheese into smaller chunks and put it into a mixing bowl with the Splenda and cocoa powder. Turn your mixer or beaters on medium and blend well. Drizzle in the whipping cream and continue to beat a few more minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until well incorporated. Serve immediately (with a chocolate shavings garnish if desired).


I ran the ingredients that I used through a nutritional calculator and it came out with approximately: 405 calories; 9g carbs; 41g fat; 6g protein; 2g fiber per serving. Again, that's an approximation and your mileage may vary.

a cup of chocolate cream cheese mousse


fresh pitted cherries in a bowlLast weekend, a terrible thought hit me.  “Summer is practically over,” I thought.  “It might as well be September.”

But that’s crazy.  Summer is far from over.  Summer is merely at its peak.  Summer tastes sweet, juicy and goes well with cream soda.  You know how I know this?  Because summer is currently on sale in one of its purest forms: cherries.

Prompted by what turned out to be a fantastic idea by Whole Foods, we threw a cherry party this week.  That’s right.  Cherry all the things.

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Did you know that Michigan is the cherry capital of the world?  In fact, according to Wikipedia, the Traverse City area alone produces up to 360,000,000 pounds of cherries per year. 


I’ve never actually cooked with fresh cherries before.  I’ve used dried ones in cookies and oatmeal but never used fresh.  Part of my hesitation was that I generally preferred strawberries, having not tasted how good cherries could really be before this week.  Part of my hesitation was due to this idea that cherries are hard to use.  I mean, pits?  Stems?  Let’s just call the whole thing off.  But no.  Turns out, fresh cherries are actually really easy to use, especially if you make a small investment in the right hardware.

So I thought to myself…can I make an entire meal with cherries in every dish?  Yes.  Yes I can.  Challenge accepted.


[heading style=”2″]Menu![/heading]

With recipes and bonus links below!


  • cherry salsa (fresh sweet cherries, red onion, garlic, serrano peppers, lime juice and zest)

cherry salsa in a bowl

  • cherry gazpacho (sweet cherries, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, oil, vinegar and basil)

sourdough bread, fresh peppers, fresh tomatoes, baby cucumbers, olive oil and fresh cherries ready for gazpacho gazpacho ingredients soaking in a bowl

finished gazpacho in small cups garnished with basil and cucumber sticks

Main course and side:

  • sirloin-cherry burgers with melted brie (ground sirloin, chopped fresh cherries)
  • cherry-cranberry coleslaw (coleslaw mix, dried cherries, dried cranberries, cherry syrup, vinegar and mayo)

sirloin cherry burger with melted brie on a bun sitting on a plate beside a pile of cherry coleslaw


  • chocolate fondue with berries (cherries, raspberries and strawberries, marshmallows and graham crackers; fondue is semisweet chocolate, cream and amaretto liqueur)

chocolate fondue with fresh cherries, strawberries, raspberries, marshmallows and graham crackers


  • Cherry cream soda (cream soda with cherry syrup and Black Cherry Cream soda from Sprechers)
  • Cherry mojito slushies (cherry syrup, lime juice and zest, fresh cherries, rum and mint)
  • Cherry rum and cokes (cherry syrup, cane sugar Coca-Cola and dark rum)

 cherry mojito in a small glass garnished with mint

Yes.  It was a thing.  A red, sweet, full-belly kind of thing.  Any my challenge to you now is…what kind of cherry dishes are you going to make?  If you haven’t tried experimenting with fresh cherries before, trust me–now is the time.

I’d also like to thank Whole Foods for the inspiration for this party, as well as providing me with a gift card to procure the ingredients.


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Cherry Gazpacho

Serving Size: 4 bowls

A smooth fresh cold soup of summer vegetables, fruits and bread. Adapted from Food & Wine


  • 2 slices sourdough, cubed
  • 2 baby cucumbers, seedless, roughly cut
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5oz red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus 2 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp herbes de provence
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil for garnish


  1. 1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. 2. Toss sourdough with garlic and herbes de provence. Fry in oil until browned and toasted.
  3. 3. Put bread and garlic mixture into a bowl, making sure to scrape out all the oil and herb-y goodness. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, cherries, red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Cover and let sit for 2 hours.
  4. 4. In batches, puree the gazpacho until mostly smooth, adding salt and pepper to taste. Pour into bowls, garnish with basil leaves, and serve.


*This can be made up to a day in advance; just be sure to tightly cover with plastic wrap to avoid discoloration.

Cherry Salsa


  • 1.5lb sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • serrano, diced (up to you--1/2 a pepper for mild, up to 2 for hotter)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. 1. Put cherries in a food processor and pulse until well-chopped but NOT puréed. Transfer cherries to a bowl.
  2. 2. Add in red onion, garlic, serrano, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together thoroughly.
  3. 3. Enjoy!


[heading style=”2″]But Wait! There’s More![/heading]

How to make cherry syrup, from Karen’s Kitchen

How to dry cherries at home, from the Kitchn


[frame align=”left”][/frame]Saturday was a glorious day.  We joined together in the holy name of burgers to celebrate the second Evernote cookalong.  And oh, what a cookalong it was.  Full of juicy, grilled deliciousness, smothered in cheese and various toppings, served on golden buns.

Let’s see…the burgers themselves were turkey-feta, and ground brisket and pork.  The toppings ranged from the classic cheese, tomato and lettuce to homemade double-dipped onion rings to…poutine.  Yes, poutine.  Our friends Jeff and Ruth are Canadian and well…they bought fresh cheese curds from Zingermans.  Which made Jeff think he could also get gravy and fries.  By that, I mean, he realized he could bring things to my house and I would make gravy and fries.  Because I would.  And I did.  And then he topped the fries with the gravy.  And topped the gravy with the cheese curds.  And topped his burger with the poutine.

He topped his burger with the poutine.  Well, I guess Sunday was Canada Day.  Continue reading