Honey matcha green tea caramels


Matcha Green Tea Caramels

Everyone knows the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Or at least that’s true for people built like me. Hand me a scoop of ice cream and you’ll make me the happiest girl in all the land. Bake me an awesome cookie and we’ll be best friends for life. Or in Lucas’s case, cook me your mom’s passed-down arroz con pollo and let’s get married forever and ever. Things escalate quickly when food’s involved. For occasions that need just a little note of celebration, edible gifts like these honey matcha green tea caramels are my go-to choice.

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Recipe Rewind: Vegetable & tofu Thai curry


Tofu Thai curry

Recipe Rewind May 20, 2014: You know that feeling when you look in the back of your closet and find a forgotten favorite shirt that fell off a hanger and has been buried in a dark corner for several months? A) How could I have forgotten that beloved shirt? And B) Woo! It’s like Christmas in May and I’m never taking this shirt off, not even to shower. Also C) It totally fits me better now that I’ve got these awesome white pants that match it. That feeling. That’s the one that I got with this recipe. To be honest, I think much has to do with the recipe improvements I made on the second go around (namely crab –> tofu). Plus, if you look at those pictures of the pile of slop from the prior version (see below the jump), it’s pretty clear why we shoved it in the back of the recipe box and forgot about it for over two years. And boy am I glad we dug into the archives for this vegetable & tofu Thai curry.

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Baked white bean and artichoke dip


Baked white bean and artichoke dip

We should probably go pick up some lottery tickets. At least the low-investment scratch-off kind. You see, we’re on a winning streak. How’d you get so lucky? I don’t have an answer for that, so I’ll just brag about it instead. Our good fortune extends beyond how lucky I feel that I got to eat this baked white bean and artichoke dip for lunch today. We’ll come back to that. The lucky streak all started a few Saturdays ago when we picked up some plants for our growing backyard garden at the edible schoolyard plant sale, and a few fundraiser raffle tickets later, walked away $50 in local fish richer. That’s a lot of fish, guys. For me, at least. Lucas begged to blow it all on one super fancy fishy feast. It might have to come down to a rock-paper-scissors match – how all disagreements in marriage are solved.

So we were feeling pretty lucky – why stop there?

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Grilled pineapple tofu skewers with spicy mango BBQ sauce


Grilled Pineapple Tofu Skewers with rice

When it feels like summer in the Bay Area, you need to grab on and relish in it as much as possible until it inevitably disappears behind the fog again. With a sunny holiday weekend approaching, there’s no better way to celebrate than by lighting up the grill. And when your husband goes out to get mesquite lump charcoal for your birthday pig roast and winds up coming home with 120 pounds of it because “it was such a good price,” grilling is the only option when the sun is shining bright. So with our warm pre-summer May, we tossed some juicy pineapple and tofu chunks onto skewers and called our friends over for an impromptu grill-sesh. To add a bit of heat to balance out the sweetness, I brushed the pineapple tofu skewers with a spicy mango BBQ sauce.

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Watermelon mint agua fresca & How to pick a watermelon


Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca with Honey

The Bay Area was scorching hot this week. And by scorching hot, I mean it was barely hot at all, but, just as LA is ill-equipped to handle a little drizzle, The Bay Area melts with just a tiny spike above our usual year-round 60-70ºF temperatures. Without AC, the coolest part of our house was 85ºF inside! As a girl who grew up in 100º+ hot hot summers, I feel conflicted about complaining. I mean, we made all of our friends hang out in 110ºF direct sunlight to watch us get married last June for cryin’ out loud. But guys, last week was a sauna – my clothes felt like they were melting off of me. All I wanted to do was sprawl out on the cold hardwood floor with the cats who also had the exact same global warming survival plan. I wanted to smear ice cream on my face and jump into a pool filled with this refreshingly chilled watermelon agua fresca. That, or drink it.

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Guilt-free shrimp and veggie fettuccine with cauliflower alfredo


Fettuccine with Cauliflower Alfredo

Raise your hand if your favorite pasta dish as a child was creamy fettuccine alfredo. Did your house exclusively refer to fettucine alfredo as “Sarah’s favorite pasta” like mine? I’d order it every time I found it featured on a dinner menu and I’d throw in some shrimp for good measure. And when I grew up a bit, things got fancier and I’d toss a pre-made jar of alfredo sauce with some boxed fettuccine for a comforting meal. What with that and the boxes of fruit roll ups and otter pops I consumed, if I still ate the way I wanted to eat as a child (and a college student, for that matter), I’d most definitely have all sorts of health problems. I distinctly remember setting out to make fettuccine alfredo from scratch and realizing it was filled with loads of butter, cream, and parmesan cheese. That’s when alfredo and I broke up. We’ve rekindled our relationship today with this recipe that allows you to indulge in your favorite creamy pasta without the associated guilt and hours of exercise to work it off. I bring you a new family staple: guilt-free shrimp and veggie fettuccine with cauliflower alfredo.

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Zucchini arepas: zucchini corn cakes with cheese, salsa, and guacamole


Zucchini Arepas with Salsa

When I first when off to college, I’d regularly call my mom from the grocery store to ask, “in what part of the store would I find _____ ?” Anything from salsa to olives to pizza sauce. For me, this was the adult manifestation of watching my parents drive from one place to the next without a map; how on earth did my mom have such an accurate road map of the grocery aisles on the top of her head?! Compare this to the current me who maximizes my time by writing my shopping list in order of each item’s shelf location. Back then though, I could barely find everything on my shopping list. It was in my days of not knowing my way around a grocery store that I failed my mission to find what my friend’s mom told me was, “special corn flour for arepas.” I needed to satisfy a seriously wicked craving for Venezuelan arepas. Just imagine: if I had succeed in finding what I thought was the unicorn of flours, I may have come up with these crispy zucchini corn cakes much sooner in life.

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Gluten-free deep chocolate layer cake


Gluten-free Chocolate Layer Cake - Two Tiered

I got caught in the middle of the top-secret of all surprises, wearing a pink leopard print apron with a chocolate covered spatula in hand. There are surprises that if discovered before their time maybe bum the surprise-giver out for a split second, but really aren’t that big of a deal. Like when you plan a birthday breakfast in bed, but your spouse wakes up early and finds you mixing a bowlful of eggs in your jammies. You easily just snap with a smile, “get back to bed!” and continue whisking. Then there are those top-secret surprises that are a really really big deal and your brother would probably kill you if you spoiled it. Like when he plans a surprise proposal to his girlfriend (Alexis) of 5 years on a hike with her best friend, followed by a surprise engagement barbecue with family and close friends. And there you are, baking a two-tiered deep chocolate layer cake in your parents’ kitchen on a Friday night for the engagement barbecue the next afternoon when your mom texts you, “Alexis is bringing me home from dinner, HIDE ALL EVIDENCE!”

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