Smooth(ie) Talk: Cashew Cream

Who knew that if you let 1 cup raw cashews soak in 1 cup boiling water for 15 minutes, added both to a blender with 1 cup ice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon raw honey, you'd end up with this: A dairy-free smoothie that's creamy as heck, packed with protein and pretty darn tasty. How's that for a nutty experiment?

A Syrious Love Affair: Mujadara

If you've ever worked in the food service industry, you probably know that the food with which you work becomes about 100% less appetizing after you've been on the job for a few days. I've experienced this several times. When I worked at my favorite pizza place in town, I ate maybe one slice per month. My shifts at a coffee shop ended in a mad dash home to change out of my clothes that perpetually wafted of the caffeinated brew (which did have its ...

Lessons from a Winter Salad

Yesterday, I decided to make this Blood Orange, Beet and Fennel salad from Bon Appetit Magazine. I learned a few things along the way: 1. I gained a lot of respect for the complex orb that is the orange. Never again will I agree to peel, remove the pith from, de-membrane, and segment oranges, unless I have first been given a citrus fruit crash course with a culinary great. It was an incredibly juicy half hour, and not in a good way. 2. To put it politely, I'd ...

Humble Hummus

Remember the days when only the cool kids ate hummus? Some unsuspecting victim would bring the mysterious mixture to a neighborhood gathering or New Year's Eve party, and was immediately jumped on by the Rest of Us. We collectively gave Mrs. Cool a what's that? as we slid our veggies cautiously through the suspicious spread. "Chicks?" we gasped under our breath, trying to mask our horror. "This is make with chicks?!" The hummus-laden carrot stick would linger in front of our open mouths for a minute too long.  Mrs. ...

Smooth(ie) Talk

The promising buzz of the blender as it purees my favorite ingredients, the cascade of the whipped concoction streaming into a never-big-enough cup, the simple satisfaction of the blended beverage as I take the first sip. Perfection. I'm the first to admit, I have a bit of an obsession with smoothies. Smoothies and I go way back to 8th grade when a classmate rattled off her demonstration speech in our public speaking class. I don't remember any of the other speeches that year (except mine, which was ...

College Survival Tip #2: Cream Cheese Pickapeppa Appetizer

This appetizer is ridiculously tasty for the minimal effort it takes to make it. It's perfect to bring to a last-minute get-together,  a Rose Bowl watch party, or to survive on for a week. All you need is: 1.) An 8 ounce block of cream cheese. Put this on a plate. 2.) A bottle of the Jamaican wonder, Pickapeppa Sauce. Pour this liberally over the cream cheese. 3.) A box of your favorite crackers. I like a Wisconsin favorite, Potter's Crackers. DIG IN. Your world of quick and easy ...

Choices in a New Year: Roasted Nuts 3 Ways

I've never been in to celebrating the New Year. Sure, it's a great excuse to cook toothpick-able foods, stay up late watching Twilight Zone marathons, and renew my annual resolution to floss more often. Other than that, January 1 has always been just another day. Until this year. Yesterday, I started thinking about where I'll be and what I'll be doing one year from now. With college graduation just four and half months away, and no definite post-graduation plans, I wasn't able to envision my future self. ...