Monday, February 16, 2015

New Blog Site

In the past month, I have been starting a new adventure as a food allergy coach where I help people with a newly diagnosed food allergy work their way through figuring out what they can and cannot eat while supporting them during the myriad of emotions they will feel. It's felt so rewarding so far and I'm looking forward to working with lots of amazing people.

As much as I've loved writing here on Blogger, I've felt a bit too confined by it for quite a while. I debated about going to wordpress, but it has such a steep learning curve that I didn't want to bother.

Because of this new adventure, all of my new recipes and blog posts will be on my website If you would still like to be included via email, click here to sign up for my newsletter.

I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life and hope that you will join me in it!

Thanks for the wonderful years, Blogger. I'll miss all of you!


Friday, January 30, 2015

Rigatoni with Tomato Bacon Sauce

Mark and I were watching Diners Drive-Ins and Dives the other day. It's one of our favorite shows to watch on the Food Network. In that episode, Guy Fieri was in Tuscany exploring all these amazing restaurants, making us drool over the pasta. So of course, we had to make our own.

I wanted some garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, while Mark wanted cherry tomatoes and bacon. Since he was off at a function, I got to make the pasta my way and it was amazing! Both of us had seconds because it was so good.

I layered all the flavors with three tomato products to add extra depth: cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste. I added in garlic, along with some basil, chicken base and a splash of red wine for color and flavor. It was so good! I am definitely going to make this dish part of my regular repertoire.

Rigatoni with Tomato Bacon Sauce

Serves 4

1/2 box rigatoni
3 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2" slices
1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp chicken base
1/4 c. red wine
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
6 leaves basil, sliced

Bring water to a boil in a large stock pot, then cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

For the sauce, heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add bacon pieces and cook for 5 minutes until bacon is crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon, leaving behind bacon fat if desired. Otherwise, pour bacon fat into a small bowl and wipe pan with a paper towel. 

Using bacon fat or 1 tbsp olive oil, cook garlic over medium heat for 30 seconds, then add in sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for another 30 seconds, then add in cherry tomatoes, chicken base, red wine, water, tomato paste, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and half the basil. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to thicken, stirring often. Add pasta to pan and stir to combine. Serve with basil and bacon sprinkled over the top. 

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shrimp, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Making a salad in winter can be tough sometimes. There's not a whole lot of produce that is available that doesn't require some sort of cooking. That's why I love using avocados and citrus fruits in my salads in winter! One of my favorite winter salads is making a shrimp, avocado and grapefruit salad. I love the citrus notes with the creamy avocado, which I serve with a nice lemon parsley vinaigrette. I also use bay shrimp since they are already cooked and so my prep time is much shorter.

If you aren't a fan of shrimp, feel free to use cooked chicken pieces. And if you don't like grapefruit, orange slices are wonderful too. Just don't leave out the avocado! That's the best part. Yum!

Shrimp, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Serves 4

1 lb bay shrimp (sometimes called shrimp meat)
2 avocados
1 large or 2 medium grapefruit
your favorite greens (I like baby kale)


6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Alternatively, combine ingredients in a small jar, top with lid and shake to combine. Set aside.

For salad, rinse the bay shrimp and set aside. Cut the avocados in half, remove pit, then slice. Remove skin by scooping out avocado flesh with a spoon. For the grapefruit, cut off the top and bottom to create a flat surface, then using a knife, cut away the peel and the pith (white bitter stuff), leaving the pink interior. Cut along the membranes to create slices. (For a more on-depth tutorial, click here

Arrange greens on 4 plates, then top with grapefruit slices, avocado slices and bay shrimp. Whisk dressing to emulsify, then drizzle over the top of the salad. Enjoy!

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Lemon Garlic Steamed Clams

When I went to Long Beach, WA last November for my boyfriend's birthday, we ate out almost every night. We tried Castaways (pretty good, but buttery!), the Lost Roo, and a few other places I can't remember. Our favorite was the Lost Roo. It had this relaxed feel inside and great food. My favorite that I got twice was the bruschetta. Holy moly it was delicious!

I mean look at the photo! Doesn't it look amazing??

The one night we didn't eat out, we had stopped in Oysterville for some oysters. They only had pint sized containers or larger and Mark definitely could not have eaten all of those oysters! So we settled for clams and stopped by the store to pick up some garlic, lemon and wine, plus a few other items.

We cleaned the clams, then sauteed some garlic in oil, added lemon juice and white wine and let them steam until they opened. I had never cooked clams before, and I was surprised at how easy it was. The broth was so flavorful and we wish we had bought some bread to dip it in! Seriously, if you haven't cooked clams before, you should definitely try them!

Lemon Garlic Steamed Clams

Serves 4

2 lbs. clams
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. white wine, plus more to drink
salt and pepper

Add clams to a large bowl and fill with enough water to cover the clams. Let stand for at least an hour to wash out all the grit. Toss any that don't close when you touch them. Drain and rinse. 

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for about a minute or until fragrant and just turning light brown. Add juice, zest, wine and clams. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, then check to see if they have opened. Stir and cover cooking another 2 minutes or so until all the clams have opened. If any do not open, discard.

Serve clams in a large bowl with lots of bread to soak up the juices. 

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Brussels Sprout Pasta with Ham

Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that people either really love or really hate. I'm definitely in the love category, but I mostly eat them in soups or roasted with bacon! This was the first time I had tried them in a different form: with pasta.

I took kind of a German/Czech spin on this dish, which was based off something I ate as a kid: Schinkenfleckerl (aka Ham and Noodle Casserole). My mom made it a lot, but unfortunately it has a lot of butter and eggs in it. So I decided to make a fresh version with shredded Brussels sprouts. 

And it was delicious! I sauteed the Brussels with garlic and olive oil, then added in some chopped ham and served it over linguine. It was quick, easy and absolutely delicious. This dish is perfect for any cold winter night!

Brussels Sprout Pasta with Ham

Serves 4

1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half then sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb ham
1/2 lb linguine

In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil, then cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic and brussels sprouts. Saute for 5 minutes or until Brussels are wilted and beginning to turn brown on the edges. Add in the ham and saute for another minute to heat, then add in the pasta. Toss to combine and serve hot. 

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