Blue Apron Miso Chicken


There's nothing more frustrating than the dinnertime rut... that familiar tug and pull between making the same old thing, trying something new (but what??) and calling the delivery guy.  This is the main reason I've been dying to try Blue Apron, they take the guessing game out of your nightly routine!  If you don't know about Blue Apron, it's a pretty fabulous service that sends out weekly recipes with pre-portioned, fresh ingredients in one convenient box.  The meals are simple, yet unique, so you'll most likely try something you hadn't thought of making!  You still get to do the cooking, but they make your prep very easy, and the recipes are extremely easy to follow with step-by-step photos as you go along.  Carson and I tried out the 2-person meal plan for one week, and the other night I made the Miso Roasted Chicken with Spring Peas and Jasmine Rice.

As a fan of miso, I LOVED this.  The chicken was roasted perfectly in the oven, and the spring peas brightened everything up.  I had never worked with pea shoots before, so that was fun to try, and the chopped nuts sprinkled on top gave the meal a wonderful texture.  Some comments on the site say the dish is too salty, but I didn't really think so (I should mention, however, that I LOVE salt).  I give this dish a two thumbs up, and I give Blue Apron three thumbs up!  (I have three thumbs, it's amazing the things you learn about me on this site.)    

Today Food Contributor!


Yesterday was a humbling, overwhelming and surreal day.  It was announced that I will be joining the Today Show family as a Today Food Contributor!  Every time I'm there, I feel like making a bedazzled poster and joining the energetic plaza crowd... and then someone comes to put a microphone on me and I'm like, oh, you want me to be on TV?  Are you sure?????  Pinch me.

What I'm even more excited about (if that's possible) is the launch of the new TODAY Food (check out this video if you haven't already).  It's a redesigned website with easy-to-follow recipes, tips, meal plans and videos... it's real, healthy, affordable and SIMPLE meals... it's finding your comfort-zone in the kitchen... it's Today.com/food.  HA!  I'm a commercial!  But seriously - no SIRIiously - my goal all along with this blog has been to make cooking FUN.  If a recipe freaks you out, change it, if you can't find a weird ingredient, skip it.  Cooking does not have to be intimidating!  

To answer one big question I got yesterday... NO, this new gig does not mean I will give up blogging.  In fact, I'll probably blog more!  I seem to be more productive when I'm busier, is that weird?  This blog is my happy place, and you virtual people are my virtual family.         

So in case you didn't see my segments yesterday, you can view them (and find the recipes) here:

Thanks for all the well wishes, you guys are THE BEST!

Mini Cookie Butter Cake


Don't worry, no tuscan beans or rice were harmed in the baking of this cake.  Or used at all.  That photo is just for reference, because I baked this cake in a soup can!  (Which I've done before here and here.)  I mean, is there anything cuter than a tin can cake??  Not if you're a woman, because then you love mini things (don't get me started on the tiny tabasco bottles you get at hotels).

This cake is baked with Biscoff, and is topped with a cookie butter buttercream.  If you're a fan of the stuff, you will LOVE this tiny treat!  And you might do what Carson and I did, which is dip each bite in tequila.  Or rum.  Because that's a totally normal and logical thing to do.      

Mini Cookie Butter Cake
Recipe adapted from The Baker Chick

For cake:

1 egg white
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 Tbsp cookie butter spread
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 Tbsp milk

For frosting:

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
2 Tbsp cookie butter spread
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an empty, cleaned soup can with baking spray.  In a bowl, whisk together the egg white and sugar until combined.  Add melted butter, cookie spread and vanilla, and continue to whisk until creamy.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.  Finally, whisk in milk until everything is combined.  Pour into soup can, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let cake cool before applying frosting.

For frosting, vigorously stir together the butter and cookie butter spread.  Add the powdered sugar and milk, and stir until combined and creamy.  Spread onto cooled cake.

Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake


It's Carson's birthday!  We are on day 3 of celebrating over here, after having a little party on Saturday and of course Father's Day yesterday.  It's all very confusing for our almost-three-year-old daughter, who thinks every birthday party is HERS.  On Saturday, Carson requested a "light fluffy cake" with berries and whipped cream, so I found this recipe for a Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake.

For the first time, I made this type of cake properly with a grocery store-bought angel food cake pan.  Follow these three pointers, and you TOO can enjoy this deliciously "light and fluffy" treat:

1. As tempting as it may be, do not grease the pan.  Apparently the cake needs something to cling to. 
2. Fold your ingredients together!  Google "how to fold cake batter" if you need a tutorial.
3. Once baked, turn the cake upside down on top of a beer bottle to prevent cake from collapsing.

Happy Birthday Carson :)

Homemade Treats for Dad


I always find Father's Day hard to shop for.  Most of the cool, techy toys I know Carson would LOVE are like, stupid expensive (I'm talking to you, drones).  I've found homemade gifts are the most meaningful, whether that's a customized beer bottle label from this site, or a baked treat from MY site!  Here are some ideas!  Exclamation points!  (Or is it marks?)

Father's Day cooking...


First of all, my heart is breaking for those affected by the tragedy in South Carolina.  I can't wrap my head around something so cruel.  It may seem silly, but when unfathomable things like this happen, I think of this Mr. Rogers' quote because it's a simple reminder that there is good in the world.

There's no easy transition from that, so I will just move on.  This morning I was on the Today Show with Carson, making his favorite Father's Day meal, which consists of a grilled bone-in ribeye and a zucchini and summer squash gratin (honestly, HOW do you pronounce that word?).  You can check out the segment in its entirety and view the recipes here.  And if you care to read the article I wrote about Father's Day that Carson references, you can check that out here.

I'll be back at Today next week, so please continue to tune in!

All photos by the lovely Samantha Okazaki.

Frozen Peanut Butter Banana


Carson came home from work the other day and was raving about this easy recipe: a banana, sliced in half, smothered in peanut butter and frozen.  What a great thing to keep in your freezer for a sweet, savory, healthy snack!  I, of course, would dip it in dark chocolate, maybe roll it in coconut... but I don't know when to stop.  You should make this, thanks Joy Bauer!    

Speaking of Carson, I wrote a little something about him for Father's Day here.  If you enjoy, please share, and vote, or better yet... join the site and write your OWN!    


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