If you know me, you know that my all time favorite cocktail is a dirty martini. You should also know that my favorite food of all time is pasta. That said, I present you with my latest recipe creation: dirty martini pasta.
I recently partnered with DeLallo Foods in order to showcase some of their amazing specialty items and I've been snacking on these Italian Pitted Castelvetrano Olives non-stop. They're super plump and have the best briney-buttery taste to them. The flavor of DeLallo's Italian olives and their brine really shines through and is the perfect compliment to the subtle boozy hint of white wine.
My husband Bryant and I are absolutely obsessed with Jet's Pizza - we love the fluffiness and how crispy and buttery the crust is. This is the closest I've ever come to making something that tastes similar at home!!
Full disclosure I used this recipe from Serious Eats to learn how to do this. I made a few adjustments based off what worked for me!
I'm truly at a loss for words. Banana bread meets oatmeal cookie meets chocolate chips?? These are the best cookies I have ever made and believe it or not, I actually guessed the amounts of each ingredient as opposed to using another cookie recipe as a base and it freaking worked. That almost never happens when I try and bake!! Ah! My very own and first ever original FOJ cookie recipe!
FYI, this recipe made 16 cookies. You'll want to pay close attention to the consistency of your finished dough since it's super hard to measure flour properly for baking without weighing it. Since baking measurements are way more sensitive than cooking measurements, I bet even the size of the banana you use compared to the one I used could make a difference in the texture! The finished cookie dough should be firm enough to hold a somewhat of scoop shape and def shouldn't start spreading out onto the cookie sheet before baking. If your dough is too wet and looks like pancake batter, I would add in flour, 1 teaspoon at a time and then mix it in until it seems thick enough to scoop. Also, throwing the dough into the fridge for twenty minutes helps to make things more solid for scooping as well.
If you're one of those people (guilty!) that skip through the beginning text of a recipe here's what you need to know before making these: have 1/4 cup of extra flour handy to add to the dough if you need to. Sometimes, the size of the banana you use can throw things off and the dough will need more flour to prevent flat and completely melted cookies from coming out of the oven.
I've been making my husband Bryant this garlicky, soy sauce flavored chicken and broccoli for a long time now and it's one of his all time faves. It's come along way since the first time I made it back in college and it's gotten to the point where it's so damn good that I wanted everyone to be able to try it!!
A few tips:
There are so many different ways to make macaroni and cheese. I typically don't like starting off with a roux (which is a flour and butter mixture that acts as a thickener) but in this case, since the recipe is vegan and it'll need all the thickness it can get. Also, if you don't eat gluten, you could easily use brown rice pasta and then arrowroot or cornstarch in the roux instead of flour. (I used arrowroot starch but I feel like most people don't have that at home so flour is fine.)
For the butter, I used Melt Organic Butter but Miyoko's organic vegan butter is really good too. The brand of cheddar cheese will make a big difference for sure. I would recommend Daiya Foods or Follow Your Heart. I'm sure any dairy-free milk would work but I really like rice milk because it has the least flavor and is super neutral.
The sauce in this recipe is enough to feed four people decent-sized portions and pairs with an entire box of pasta (around 1 lb.) When I make this recipe, I make a half box of pasta with it (enough for two) an then I save half of the sauce in the fridge so that I can make it again in a few days without all hassle. To reheat it - just pour the cheese on top of cooked pasta in a pot on the stove and let it re-melt. Adding a little splash of rice milk can help the sauce loosen up a little better.
I've been trying to find the best way to make a healthier banana bread without gluten or dairy and after tons of awful, grainy and tasteless test runs, I finally did it! The best part is that you only need 2 bananas - that's usually the amount we have leftover and over-ripening in our house anyways so it always works out perfectly. It makes enough for a smaller size loaf, but if you want a big loaf and maybe a few muffins on the side you can double the recipe!
The recipe below is just for basic banana bread. When I'm feeing fancy I like to add in a few tablespoons of oatmeal and or a few tablespoons of chocolate chips.
I've been trying to eat a little less dairy lately and I wanted to see if I could recreate one of my all time favorite cheesy dishes without real cheese. Okay, so I'll admit it, it's not the same as the original dish that Italian grandmothers have been whipping up in Rome for years. But it's GOOD! It's just missing that sharp sharp taste that pecorino romano cheese gives off. Also, butter isn't a typical ingredient of cacio e pepe but since this is a vegan version, the (vegan) butter helps to add more of that silky texture that melting real cheese into the pasta water creates in the traditional non-vegan version.
Originally, I wanted to use this vegan parmesan cheese I've had in my fridge for a while (Follow Your Heart brand) but at the last second I realized that there are chickpeas on the ingredient list so I had to abandon ship and just use nutritional yeast. If you can eat chickpeas, I might try half nutritional yeast and half the vegan parm - it might taste more cacio e pepe-ish and cheesy that way.
What you need:
What to do:
I actually call this one Marcy's bolognese because the mom of a family that I used to babysit for would ALWAYS make this and it was always soooo different and good.
It makes a pretty decent portion, I would say enough for a family of 4-6 but you can freeze the leftovers and reheat in a pot anytime!
Just like the rest of the world, I'm in love with Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi. I love carbs, but if it's possible to eat a little healthier without noticing that carbs are missing, I'm game. I know there's a handful of you that don't have access to a Trader Joes or if you do, you live in an area where it's constantly sold out so I wanted to try and make a copycat recipe from scratch at home!
So the ingredients on the back of the TJ's package say cauliflower, cassava flour, potato starch, olive oil and salt. I actually had everything I needed at home to get started on recipe testing! Pamela's Products sent me a box full of goods so I had their cassava flour which is 100% yucca root so gluten free, paleo, non-GMO and vegan. I also have a lot of tapioca starch at home because I use it to make steamed rice noodle rolls so I subbed that for the potato starch that's in the TJ's recipe - Bob's Red Mill has tapioca starch so it isn't too hard to find in stores, unlike the Asian brand I have and use at home.
I decided to boil the cauliflower vs use it raw. I just felt like the moisture from boiling it (even though I removed most of it) was needed in order to create a softer texture gnocchi.
DON'T SKIP READING THIS PART!!
Every cauliflower head is a different size. The one I used was fairly large so keep that in mind. (I would say that once riced, the head I used produced somewhere between 2-3 cups of cauliflower and it make like 3 batches of 20 gnocchi pieces.) The best way to figure out if you have the right ratio of flour/starch to cauliflower would be to make one little gnocchi and sear it on both sides in a skillet with oil and then taste-test it and adjust the ratio from there. I found that adding in more flour or starch makes the gnocchi more firm so if your results are soggy - add more of the flour/starch in small equal amounts and taste test again.
A few cauli gnocchi life hacks:
If you don't have a food processor or want to save time, you could probably purchase pre riced cauliflower and use that - just make sure if it's frozen, you try and get most of the liquid out of the cauliflower so that it's easier to combine with the flour and mold into pieces.
Also, for more flavor, you could add parmesan cheese or (vegan) nutritional yeast. I would say a a couple of tablespoons. Also not against the idea of seasoning the cauliflower with garlic powder or herbs like oregano, parsley and basil.
You can either fry or bake them. I fried them in a skillet with olive oil and fresh sage but the trick to frying and keeping the shape in tact would be popping them in the freezer for 15 minutes before adding them to the skillet! No need to freeze with baking since they sit still on the baking sheet the whole time. I also bet you could air fry them but I don't own an air fryer so I would check other bloggers recommendations for temperatures and settings.
I grew up eating these delicious little dough pockets every single year on Christmas Eve! They're a family staple from my dad's side. My Grandma learned how to make them from her mom (who I was lucky enough to have around for a lot longer than most people can say about their great grandparents!) This recipe has been passed down for generations from Polish roots so it's v authentic and v special to lots of people in my family.
My Grandma's recipe makes about 30-50 pierogies depending on how big you make them and how much of the dough you repurpose as you go along. (The key to making the most out of the dough scraps is covering them so that nothing dries out!) I really love how there's milk, butter and sour cream in the dough recipe - it makes it so much more stretchy and playable compared to a basic flour/water/egg dough mixture.
What you need:
What to do:
This totally looks like a normal fried chicken sandwich but what you can't tell from the photo is that it's not just any old fried chicken sandwich - it's a buttery, garlicky fried chicken sandwich. That's right. I roasted garlic and then mashed and combined that with melted butter in order to create the best non-buffalo tasting fried-chicken sauce I've ever had.
I really wanted to make chocolate chip oatmeal cookies the day I invented these pancakes but I was out of brown sugar and v low on chocolate chips so I decided to make pancakes instead. I used cinnamon to give it an extra sweet taste since I originally was craving chocolate.
I know everything is supposed to taste better when it's made from scratch but I love Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix. It's just so good and always turns out so fluffy - plus, I use the kind where you have to add eggs and oil so it's not as big of a shortcut as the kind of pancake mixes where you just add water.
What you need:
For the pancakes
What to do:
I'm sure you guys get it by now. I'm in love with fried chicken. Pretty sure I feel the same way about pasta. There's just soooo many different styles and flavors to choose from but the main ingredient stays the same. Versatile - that's the word I was looking for!!
Anyways, I spent a couple of days frying up different kinds of chicken in my kitchen and I would have to say that my favorite part of chicken fried "Nashville hot chicken" style would be the chicken thigh. You just can't beat that juicy dark meat especially once you've put the time and effort into soaking it in buttermilk for 24 hours.
Let me know if you have any questions below! And as always, the serving size for this recipe is for around 2-4 people. (Two starving people, three normal people, or four people who feel like snacking together.)
Poutine is something that I'll never stop dying over. French fries, gravy and cheese curds. Hot damn.
There's a restaurant in Cleveland called the Greenhouse Tavern and they make a dish real similar to poutine but it has juicy pork belly bits, a fried egg and whole grain mustard on it - it's so good and my version of poutine is totally inspired by it.
I'm REALLY obsessed with tacos al pastor right now. Seeing that I don't have any devices at home that can cook meat on a spit for hours on end, I decided to not try and do that, lol. I seasoned a pork shoulder with the same flavors as tacos al pastor and cooked the meat in a crockpot so that the pork turned into soft and juicy shredded meat.
Also, this is very much a long recipe. The best way to make it not feel like that is to start marinating the pork around dinner time and wake up and get it going in the crockpot in the morning so that it'll be ready by the next day's dinner time. It makes a lot of pork, I'd say to buy enough taco shells for around 6 people. You can refrigerate the leftover meat and it'll stay good for a few days.
What if I told you you didn't have to go to your favorite local chicken wing joint to eat the best boneless wings of your life?? I've tried hundreds of times to make them at home and they've never turned out like how they taste from a restaurant. UNTIL NOW, and guess what? It happened on accident, lol.
I was frying chicken to put on sliders for a recipe that I was working on and the batter turned out not so great. So I dipped the chicken into flour, after dipping it into the batter to see if that would help and I'm so glad I did!!
What You Need
To Make The Batter
What To Do
“It ain’t easy bein’ cheesy” is a straight up lie because you can achieve the ultimate cheesiness in under 10 minutes with this recipe. #foolproof
Also, if you want to make this into a baked mac and cheese situation with bread crumbs, just use an additional 1/2 cup of heavy cream in the recipe. Once it's finished, top with a handful of breadcrumbs and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and cook in an oven-safe dish for 15-20 minutes at 400 F. (I like to add more cream to ensure that the pasta doesn't dry out while baking.)
A few notes: You could use milk if you don't have heavy cream since the cornstarch is a thickening agent - the sauce just won't be as luscious from all the fat in the heavy cream! One time I made it with half heavy whipping cream and half 2% milk and it turned out just fine. I also have a vegan macaroni and cheese recipe that's bomb if dairy doesn't suit you. If you can't eat gluten, the sauce is naturally gluten free so just swap out the pasta for your favorite brown rice pasta! Gotta look out for all my homies with food sensitivities or allergies. <3
If you're cooking ahead of time, pour the finished product into an oven safe dish before refrigerating. My favorite way to reheat it is to add a cup of Velveeta cheese cubes to the top and then pour in 1/2 cup of whole milk before warming in an oven for 30 minutes at 300 degrees F. The Velveeta isn't necessary but it just takes everything to another level. I do think that the milk is necessary though because it tends to dry up a little bit when it's been sitting in the fridge.
What you need:
What to do:
Pretty sure pho is famous for it's slow simmered broth but I loooove picking out all of the noodles and spicy jalapeños whenever I'm eating it. A few people replied to my IG story saying it's not pho since I used soy sauce, but I'm allergic to hoisin sauce since there's peanuts in it so I had to improvise. It still has the flavors of pho with the beef broth, lime and ginger that I used and that's good enough for me. Ps, this recipe will serve two people or one VERY hungry person.
So it's not traditional pho, but it's still really phoking good, okay?!
The trip to your local Chinese grocery store is so worth it for these chow mein noodles. You could try to skimp and use spaghetti - but it won't be the same!
Growing up I used to pound my Grandma's cabbage and noodles which consisted of butter, onion, cabbage and egg noodles. This dish is inspired by that but it also has some Asian influence!
Also, yes I am allergic to sesame seeds, but the person I was cooking dinner for isn't so I put them on her dish! :)
Fact: adding cabbage to dumplings makes the filling a whole lot softer. It's less like a dry meatball inside of there and more like a juicy piece of meatloaf. I always get questions about what kind of dumpling wrappers I use and since I'm too lazy to make homemade dumpling dough, I buy gyoza wrappers from a local Chinese grocery store in Cleveland. (Nee How in North Olmsted or any of the grocery stores in Cleveland's Asia Town.)
If you think about it - a dumpling is very similar to certain food from other cultures, like a pierogi or an empanada. Meat or veggies stuffed into dough. I've learned about the common ingredients that are used in Asian cooking from following other food bloggers for years but also even just going out to eat at my favorite Chinese restaurants in Cleveland and seeing what's used in the food I order! So from there, I take what flavors I like and use them in my kitchen. I'm so thankful for Asian cuisine - I seriously cannot get enough of everything dumpling and noodle related.
Ps - if you prefer a slippery dumpling texture instead of the pan fried crisp, you can boil them for about 8 minutes (they should float when they are done.)
I legit never think to buy buttermilk when I'm grocery shopping but I saw it the other day and decided I wanted to try and make some seriously good buttermilk fried chicken. I typically use a salt water and garlic brine but this was SO MUCH BETTER!
I was trying to stop myself from eating the chicken all on it's own after it came out of the hot oil. The seasoned salt is such a clutch ingredient in turning the chicken that really pretty golden color and it smells amazing.
I love fried balls of any sort. Lol.
But for real, goat cheese is the GOAT - and I love arancini so this is sort of like a weird version of that. Also, how good is goat cheese with honey?? The best combo since pb & j.
I used to beg my mom to take me to Cracker Barrel so that I could eat their chicken and dumplings and this is so much god damn better than that. LOL.
It's actually so easy to make dumplings, I was shocked when I started googling to find out how. I used dark meat because I think there's way more flavor and it's way juicer. #teamdarkmeat
I love this recipe, the combination of that extra virgin olive oil + the zesty lemon flavor gives me all the light and crisp flavor feels. Adding more of the olive oil into the bread crumbs and then topping with more lemon zest at the end is what takes this one to another level.
It's no secret that I love making fried chicken of all sorts. I think it might be the only other food that I consistently post about besides pasta, noodles and/or dumplings. I don't own a deep frier so I just use a large pasta pot for frying the wings. (If you're in the same boat, be sure to use a tall enough pot so that the hot oil doesn't splash out.)
I don't have a thermometer to check to see if the oil is hot enough for frying different types of food. I just run my finger tips under the sink faucet and then flick a little tiny bit of water into the pot of oil as it's heating. Once the water reacts and makes a crackling sound, it's hot enough to fry stuff.
This recipe isn't the same without Cleveland's famous Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard. Just sayin'. Go Tribe. For real though, I put this stuff on everything - as I am writing this I'm squirting some out onto crackers that I'm snacking on, lol. The obsession is real. If you're going to use other stuff, dijon is the next best thing.
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