Appetizer, Side, Salad, Fall, Gluten Free, Spring, Winter


It was different this year. Different, in an oh-so-wonderful kind of way.

Christmas took its same course of stress and scrambling to make sure I got everyone something thoughtful and nice, sticky notes of who is cooking what, messages of what time we need to be where and remember to tell grandma an hour earlier because you know she'll be late. A joyful frenzy builds through December, to a day that is, well, joyful and frenzied? Hugh and I were able to spend time with everyone, chased around our adorable niece, bundled up for church outside, stayed up super late laughing and chatting with each other; I made undercooked french toast for my family, got a vacuum from Santa, and soaked it in. The holidays are some of the sweetest and funniest times with my family, and having a sparkly new husband to enjoy everything with, made it even better. We got home late Christmas night after talking all day, and I told Hugh the presents were nice, but my favorite part is just the time. We don't often have days with no where else to be than where you are, doing just what you're doing. You've got to savor days like that.

So here we are again, a bit overloaded on sweets and craving foods on the lighter side. This salad is so tasty and gorgeous with all the contrasts of color. Little bit of crunch from the pomegranates and pistachios, and just a subtle touch of coconut in the quinoa. I've been eating leftovers with an egg on top, and I think it'd work well with just about any protein.

May the rest of your holiday season be full of the giving and taking of time.

COCONUT QUINOA + SPINACH SALAD // Serves 6 as a side

I know some are still wary of using raw spinach, and I think arugula would be great as well, maybe just use a bit less as it's a bit stronger in flavor.

1 Cup Quinoa

1 Cup Light Coconut Milk

1/3 Cup Vegetable Broth or Water

2 Large Shallots

2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil*

1 Cup Fresh Pomegranate Seeds

4 Cups-ish Organic Baby Spinach

1/2 Cup Toasted Pistachio Nuts

2 Tbsp. Orange Juice**

2 tsp. Fresh Thyme or 1 tsp. Dried Thyme

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil (I used a lemon infused olive oil - SO good)


1. In a small pot, combine the quinoa, coconut milk, water and a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, this will take about 10-12 minutes. Empty quinoa into a bowl and allow to cool.

2. Slice the shallots width wise into thin coins. Heat up the oil in a 8-10'' saute pan (you don't have many to crisp up). * If you don't have coconut oil on hand, canola oil will work as an alternative, it's just not that great for you. Once it's just shimmering, add in the slice shallots. Stand by them, as they'll burn quickly. They will dance around a bit, and once you see the edges turn golden flip them over or move them around. Set up a double layer of paper towels, remove the shallots just as they turn brown and drain on the paper towels.

3. In a small bowl, mix the orange juice, thyme, olive oil and generous pinches of salt and pepper. **Any citrus would work - lemon, lime...whatever is on hand.

4. You want to make sure the quinoa is room temperature before you toss, or it will wilt the spinach, and we don't want that. Maybe you do, but I don't. In a salad bowl, toss the spinach, half of the cooked quinoa, half of the pom seeds and half of the pistachios with desired amount of dressing. Your choice as to what ratio you want, you can save the rest of the quinoa for later, or toss it in, again, the ratios are up to you. Garnish the top with the rest of the pom seeds, pistachios and all of your crispy shallots. Little grind of fresh pepper and enjoy.

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Breakfast, Gluten Free, Spring



My grandma, more formally known as 'Memaw', has been very supportive of my cooking endeavors. She doesn't like to cook, but she does read homey magazines and frequently rips out recipes with pretty pictures and passes them on to me. I wish I could do justice to how excited she was about her recent gem, as she told me she found a recipe for an 'egg pizza'. It took me awhile to figure out what she was describing, as she is not quite fluent in food vernacular. I came up with my own version for my sweet grandma who is so easily impressed. Whether you are an old friend to the frittata, or believe this is a pizza, it's tasty.


I have shared with you how I love breakfast, love eggs in particular and this recipe is no exception. I'm not one for pie crust, so I find this more intriguing than quiche. It is an economical option because you really can throw any vegetable into the eggs and it works. Kind of... use your better judgement carrot or beet lovers.


I like to use more whites to make it a bit lighter, if you like a richer egg dish, use 10 whole eggs.

2 Whole Eggs

10 Egg Whites

1/3 Cup Milk

2 Leeks, White and Light Green Parts, Thinly Sliced

1 tbsp. Butter

1 Cup Fresh Steamed Spinach

¾ Cup Shredded Cheese (I used Goat’s Milk Gouda)

2 tsp. Hot Sauce (Tapatio, Chalua etc)

1 Cup Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Halved

Fresh Basil


Salt and Pepper to Taste

Preheat oven to 500’

1. Warm the butter in a saucepan (preferably non stick) on medium heat, add the sliced leeks and sauté until they begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, egg whites, hot sauce and milk. Incorporate some air and break them up, whisk about 4 minutes, yes, your arm will start to hurt. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Squeeze as much water possible out of the steamed spinach, give it a rough chop, and squeeze again.

4. Distribute the leeks in the pan, as this will be your frittata base. Turn the heat back to medium and pour the egg mixture on top. Scatter in the chopped spinach and the shredded cheese and allow the mix to sit for a minute. Use a spatula to lift up the sides.


5. As it starts to firm up, lay your tomatoes on the top, cut side up. Put the entire pan into the oven on the top rack. Let it bake for about 8 minutes and check. It should be set, but still have a little give when you push on the middle. Remove and let it cool a bit before serving. Goes well with some fresh chopped basil and a dollop of greek yogurt.

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Side, Salad, Winter, Spring, Gluten Free



Earlier this week I had some lady friends over for dinner. I enjoy cooking for other people, but it’s definitely a bit of a challenge to make things that will please all taste preferences.

If you're over the age of five, there's a good chance you're alright with broccoli and everyone loves the flavor of leeks, even if they've never technically purchased one. So we're off to a good start with this one...

You can only cram so much on the grill, so these veggies are fit for the oven. If the chopping is done before hand, this salad requires little time and attention while you are finishing the rest of your meal. As far as entertaining goes, I like to make things that I can prepare as much as possible ahead of time, so I don't have to leave friends to work. Not only was this big bowl of green-ness a crowd pleaser, but it saves well, so you can throw in a protein of choice and take it for lunch. I had enough leftover to fill a family size tupperware and ate the entire thing the following day. True story, I am a known veggie-binger.

I improved the original with a bit of good quality feta cheese. It's pretty salty, so no need to add salt elsewhere. I'll say it again, using good ingredients yields a better end product. I don’t consider myself a brand snob, but sometimes the generic grocery store cheese will not suffice. And neither will their yogurt, salad dressing, pesto or dark chocolate. or ice cream. OK...only sometimes a brand snob.



1 lb. Broccolini

1 lb. Broccoli

1 Lemon, zest and juice

1 Large Leek

3 tbsp. Olive Oil

2 tsp. Black Pepper

3 Cloves Garlic

6 oz. (about 3 Cups) Fresh Spinach, roughly chopped

3/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped

3/4 Cup Sliced Almonds, toasted


1/2 Cup Feta Cheese

Oven set to 475'

1. Cut the broccoli and broccolini into roughly two inch chunks, on a bias. Using the white and light green parts of the leek, slice length wise and rinse out the dirt. Slice thin. Toss the veggies with the olive oil, pepper and lemon zest.

2. Slice the garlic cloves as thin as possible, no mincing. Add the broccoli mix to a large roasting pan. You don't want to cram them in a dish as they will end up steaming in their own moisture. Give them space. Sprinkle the garlic slices on top so they feel the direct heat in the oven.

3. At this point, you could cover and wait until you're getting ready to eat. Or, pop that pan on the top rack of the oven for 12 minutes.

4. Pull out the baking pan, and toss in the spinach, almonds, parsley and lemon juice. Toss in the pan so the heat wilts the spinach and the dressing it's created, distributes. Put in your serving dish and crumble the feta cheese on top.


* This may seem like a lot of parsley, but it's a lot of broccoli. I tend to make things how I like them, use less if you're not partial to the parsley kick. You and Hugh can be friends.

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