Vegetarian

Cinnamon Brioche French Toast


French toast is one of those foods that takes me back to my childhood. My mom used to take me to the YMCA in Philadelphia and they taught us kids how to make french toast. So now here I am in Texas, still making french toast and still needing a step stool to reach cupboards. Enjoy!

Here’s a photo of me trying out a french toast recipe at home at our apartment in Upper Darby:

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Tomato Avocado Orzo Summer Salad

I like walking through the grocery store and seeing a bounty of summer veggies to choose from. The mini tomatoes always seem to catch my husband’s eye and are a fun snack with cheese and crackers. I had some leftover orzo pasta in the pantry that needed to be used up so there’s my boring inspiration for a yummy summer salad. Enjoy!

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 pint mixed mini tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 avocado, small cubes
  • 6-10 leaves of fresh basil (depending on size) – chiffonade
  • 1 tsp / 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil and garlic on low-medium heat until fragrant (2-3 min) and then keep pan warm on simmer setting.
  2. Cook orzo pasta per package directions, drain excess water and transfer pasta to pan with oil/garlic and stir to coat.
  3. Add tomatoes and stir to combine and leave on gentle heat (simmer) for 5-6 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. When ready to serve – remove from heat and add avocado, basil and cheese and gently stir to combine.

Fig and Citrus Salad

There are some things that I look forward to all year – one of those things is fig season. Whether they are the Black Mission, Brown Turkey, or Tiger Stripe variety, I always make it a point to head to Trader Joe’s the last few weeks of August to stock up on the deliciousness. My absolute favorite fig is the Tiger Stripe both in appearance and flavor and so I chose to use them this time but any fresh fig will do. Enjoy!

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Creamy Mushroom and Leek Tagliatelle

My sweet friend, Jen, gave me the gift of a free Hello Fresh week. It’s a service where you get a week’s worth of groceries specifically measured to create specific recipes and reduce food waste. It was fun to try different recipes and this one has become a favorite in our house. It’s creamy like an alfredo but much healthier and the leeks have a nice mild flavor – a perfect cold and rainy day dinner. Enjoy! (more…)

Sparkling Cardamom Spiced Cranberries

This recipe comes from a friend here in San Antonio – Annice Hill. She is an amazing cook and and was so sweet to share this with me. It’s perfect for the holidays and my in-laws have lovingly named these ‘Crackberries’ because of how addictive they are. The cardamom adds a slight spice which I really like. Though a little labor intensive, they are well worth the effort. Annice likes to display them in a clear glass or crystal bowl or a compote. No refrigeration required.


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Restaurant Review: Berbere Ethiopian Cuisine

One of my favorite types of ethnic cuisines is Ethiopian food. My grandparents spent many years in Addis Ababa and my mom and a few of her siblings were born there. In each of the cities that I have lived in I had a ‘go to’ Ethiopian or Eritrean restaurant that I could get a vegetarian plate with the soft tangy spongy Injera and my favorite lentils and veggies. However, San Antonio doesn’t have a restaurant like that… yet. After many weeks of Google searches and yearning for Ethiopian deliciousness I stumbled upon a Facebook page for Berbere Ethiopian Cuisine, a caterer who provided “catering for events and home parties along with personal chef services.” My parents and in-laws were coming into town for a weekend so I thought I’d give the personal chef a try so our family could spend some quality time together. I am so glad I did…

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Overnight Blueberry French Toast with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Some friends were helping us do some landscaping so I decided to make them breakfast as repayment for their kindness and hard work. Doing yard work in Texas… in July… deserves a very special treat. One of our friends really loves blueberries so I decided to try this recipe with a few changes. It’s a nice delicately rich and sweet side dish to a savory breakfast. Enjoy!

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Lemony Butter Bean Salad

One of my favorite places to eat out is the Whole Foods cafe (I maintain that the Whole Foods in Madison, WI on University is the best one I’ve eaten at so far). It’s a fun place to try a variety of healthy grains/tofu/legumes that I otherwise probably wouldn’t venture to cook. Butter beans are one of those things that I had never tried before eating at their salad bar and I really loved the creamy texture and mild flavor. Here how I like to eat my butter beans. Enjoy!

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Mushroom Barley Soup

My exposure to mushrooms as a kid was mostly mushrooms on pizza – which I could not stand. After about 15 years of thinking I hated mushrooms I came across this recipe for Mushroom Barley Soup. I decided to give mushrooms another go because I love barley and thyme. I am so glad I did because when served with a delicious chunk of warm crusty bread, this is one of my favorite cold weather dishes! (more…)

Spicy Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa

One of our favorite dinners (especially on a rare cold evening in Texas) is this veggie chili with quinoa. I have tried a few variations on chili using soy substitutes like meat crumbles, but we like quinoa in it the best. You can easily substitute the quinoa with meat crumbles, just saute the crumbles with the onions and garlic in the first step and you’ll have a chili texture that is thicker and more like the real deal. When I have a little extra time I make cornbread following either of these recipes: Homesteader Cornbread (takes about 1 hour) or Golden Sweet Cornbread (takes about 35 min). Enjoy!

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