Thug Kitchen Potato Salad

Thug Kitchen Potato Salad 2

I’m always looking for ways to use potatoes from my CSA and non-mayo potato salad with fresh corn was a delightful choice!  This potato salad is refreshing with fresh vegetables and lasts for a few days in the fridge.

I added fresh parsley in addition to the fresh dill.

Potato Salad Recipe


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Smitten Kitchen Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 5

As usual, the Smitten Kitchen blog does not disappoint.  Chocolate peanut butter is one of my favorite combinations.  These cookies were chewy and moist and the sugar coating added a little something extra.  Check out the recipe here, the only change I made was to use all chocolate chips and no peanut butter chips.

Smitten Kitchen Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Wheatberry Salad

Wheatberry Salad 2

I’ve come across Dorie Greenspan’s name a few times while looking at other food blogs.  Last year I finally checked out her cookbook Around My French Table which I found to be full of delightful recipes.  I found myself with celery on hand and that is what inspired me to make this salad.  I am absolutely in love with grain based salads.  In fact, I just had the most incredible farro salad at Wondering Goose.

This was my first time using wheatberries and I was pleasantly surprised.  They are a little chewy while also light in texture.  Give yourself a hearty salad treat this weekend!

Wheatberry Salad

adapted from Dorie Greenspan


  • 1 cup wheatberries
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus 1 tsp more for tossing)
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper, red pepper flakes
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium red apple, cored and diced
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • optional add-ins: chopped avocado, chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped hard boiled eggs, 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley, 1/2 cup chopped swiss chard


  1. Cooking the wheatberries: Start a few hours before you want to eat the salad by cooking the wheatberries. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the wheatberries.  Lower heat to a simmer and cook the wheatberries stirring occasionally until they are tender but not mushy (1-1 1/4 hours). Drain and rinse the wheatberries in cold water.  (Can refrigerate up to 24 hours before using, bring to room temperature before assembling salad)
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk together in a small bowl the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  3. Make the salad: Place wheatberries in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. If time allows, let the wheatberries soak in the vinaigrette for 1 hour.  Add the celery, onion, apple, and pepper and toss gently.  Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.  Mix in a few additional add-ins if desired (I did fresh parsley and chopped raw chard). Enjoy!

**Note: when I make this to have for lunch multiple days in a row, I keep the dressing separate until the day of eating and mix a small portion in before having lunch!



Jerusalem’s Kohlrabi Salad


My advisor recommended that I check out Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Jerusalem.  I checked out the cookbook from the library to take a look.  Checking out books from the library has been my new go to in order to try not to fill my entire house with cookbooks.  There are so many beautiful new cookbook’s and it is so difficult to choose, thus I began checking them out at the library and trying out a recipe or two.

This cookbook was absolutely gorgeous to flip through and I loved all the different Mediterranean flavors.  This recipe calls for ground sumac which was a first for me.  The sumac bush produces red berries and is one of the main components of za-atar. When in doubt, I venture over the The Kitchn to learn about various ingredients or cooking tips.  Check out their blurb on sumac!

I had some beautiful kohlrabi and purple carrots so I altered the recipe to be mostly carrot based with a little chopped kohlrabi and I think you will find that this combination is refreshing and delightful!

Carrot and Kohlrabi Salad

adapted from Jerusalem

  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and chopped into small pieces (about 1/4 inch x 1/2 inch rectangles)
  • 1/3 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 5 Tbsp sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 tsp ground sumac
  • salt and pepper


  1. Mix together the shredded carrots and chopped kohlrabi in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. To make the dressing, place the yogurt, sour cream, mascarpone cheese, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a medium bowl.  Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a grind of fresh pepper.  Whisk the ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Stir the dressing into the kohlrabi and carrot mixture.
  4. Stir in the mint and sprinkle the top of the salad with sumac.



Wild Rice Stuffed Delicata Squash

20151222_112926 (1)

This was my first attempt at stuffed squash and I am now a complete convert.  Once again, my CSA has pushed me to stretch my vegetable boundaries.  I had a delicata squash and an acorn squash that I needed to use before leaving for vacation.  Both the delicata and acorn squash work well with this recipe, I bet any winter squash would be successful.  If you are choosing a squash then I recommend going with the delicata squash because you can eat the skin!

Wild Rice Stuffed Delicata Squash

Recipe adapted from Chowhound


  • 4-6 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice mix
  • 2/3 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,


  1. Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place the squash cut-side up on a baking sheet, brush 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over the tops and insides of the squash halves, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until just fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. While the squash is baking, place 1 tablespoon of the melted butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, add the onion, shallots, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 6 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice, pecans, cranberries, and measured salt and pepper.  Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.
  5. Divide the rice filling among the roasted squash halves (about 1/2 cup for each)*.  Continue roasting until the squash is completely fork tender, the edges have started to brown, and the filling is heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

* I had a lot of extra wild rice mixture that I served on the side of the stuffed squash.  The rice mixture is also delicious by itself and can be served independently.

Banana Bread Butterscotch Chip Biscotti and The 2015 Food Blogger Cookie Swap

banana bread biscotti 4

The time has come again for the annual Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  This is my third year participating.  It is a cookie swap between food bloggers all over the county (and I think even globally) where proceeds go to benefit Cookies for Kid’s Cancer.


And before I get to this delicious banana bread biscotti recipe that, trust me you do not want to miss I want to thank the other food bloggers who sent me such amazing and wonderful cookies!

2015 Cookie Swap Guava

Guava Paste Cookies by My Thyme and Passion.

2015 Cookie Swap Chocolate Surprise

Surprise Chocolate Chip Cookies by Alley’s Recipe Book.

2015 Cookie Swap Red Velvet

Red Velvet Swirl Cookies by A Sprinkle of This and That.

Now onto banana-ey goodness!  I usually like to eat my bananas at the perfect just-turnedd-yellow-yesterday level.  This is typically difficult to achieve for more than one day, so inevitably a few bananas go past their prime.  I have started to freeze these bananas which works out terrificlly for making banana baked goods like muffins, bread and now biscotti!

I had extra banana and was wondering what I could do that would be different than banana bread and turned to my favorite baking blogger, Brown Eyed Baker.  I changed her recipe and did not do the chocolate dip and instead added some butterscotch chips.  Butterscotch and banana blend so well together, give it a try!

Banana Bread Butterscotch Chip Biscotti

adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (or refrigerated butter microwaved for 10 seconds on 50% power)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 medium overripe banana, mashed well
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Egg Wash

  • egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grown cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the banana and the egg until completely combined, then beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Mix in the butterscotch chips.

4. Divide the dough in two and place into rough 9-inch by 1½-inch logs on the prepared baking sheet (the dough will be soft and shaggy looking, but that’s okay).

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water, then brush over both logs. (This will help to smooth out the surface of the dough.). In another small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over both of the logs.

6. Bake the biscotti for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven, but keep the oven on if you plan to twice-bake the biscotti.

7. Allow the biscotti the cool until you’re able to handle them. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into ½-inch-wide diagonal slices.

8. Re-bake the biscotti  between 0-15 extra minutes depending on the degree of crispness you want.  I settled on 8-10 minutes for medium crisp biscotti.  They are delicious without any twice baking also (it will be easy to sample a slice when you cut them).

9. Allow the biscotti to cool completely.


Parsley Bean Salad

Parsley Bean Lemon Salad 1Parlsey, beans, lemon, yum!  One of the most difficult challenges with fresh herbs is figuring out how to use the entire portion without it going bad.  Most recipes call for only a small amount and then it is challenging to find a recipe to use the rest up.  This does cause me to stretch and flex my cooking muscles.  Parsley arrived in my CSA so I found this lovely recipe.  It was fantastic!  I used regular store bought hummus, but I do plan on trying her lemon hummus soon.

Parsley Bean Salad

adapted from Cookie and Kate


  • 2 (14 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced (I made this for lunch each day, so I added fresh cucumber as needed since cucumber tends to get soggy after a day or two when it’s been chopped)
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • small pinch red pepper flakes


  1. Combine the prepared kidney beans, chickpeas, onion, celery, cucumber, and parsley
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper flakes until emulsified. Pour dressing over the bean and vegetable mixture and toss thoroughly.
  3. Ideally let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors soak in
  4. If eating small portions each day for lunch, add fresh cucumber each day and add a little lemon juice to revitalize the flavors.

Lavender Shortbread

Lavendar Shortbread 1Shortbread, what buttery bliss.  I absolutely adore shortbread.  This recipe is one of the best, just soft enough to give a pleasant chew but has a delightful crunch.  I prefer my shortbread a bit on the softer side than most bakery versions.  This recipe is my favorite by far.  I had some lavender from the CSA so I made a lavender version, but these would be equally spectacular with simply butter.

Lavender Shortbread

adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Joy the Baker


  • 12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, warm
  • 6 Tbsp granulated sugar, separated
  • 1 Tbsp lavender
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • sugar for sprinkling
  • Turbinado, Demerara or granulated sugar for sprinkling


  1. Line an 8 ich pan with aluminum foil, leave an overhand on two opposite sides
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the lavender and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar until fragrant
  3. In a bowl, combine the melted butter with 5 tablespoon sugar, lavender sugar mixture, vanilla and salt.
  4. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated.
  5. Pat and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Let rest for at least 2 hours, or overnight (no need to refrigerate).
  6. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  7. Bake the shortbread for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with sugar. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes.Lavendar Shortbread 4

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake 1 My roommate when I first moved to Seattle was a bit lactose intolerant.  So she would buy me Tillamook Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream so that she could eat some spoonfuls.  Then we got started on a hot fudge kick after buying some hot fudge from a local ice cream store.

For her birthday, she asked for an ice cream cake, so I ended up making an ice cream brownie cake.  The brownie recipe is not quite up to snuff to serve frozen for me to add the recipe here, but the hot fudge is fantastic!  It is my favorite fudge recipe I have found to date, smooth, creamy, and perfect over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I hope you enjoy!

Hot Fudge

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract


  1. Melt the chocolate and butter very slowly in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring frequently until combined
  2. Heat the water to boiling in the small, heavy saucepan
  3. Stir in the melted butter and chocolate into the boiling water
  4. Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt and mix until smooth
  5. Turn the heat up and stir until mixture starts to boil
  6. Adjust the heat so that sauce is just maintained at the boiling point, stirring occasionally
  7. Allow the sauce to boil for nine minutes
  8. Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes
  9. Stir in the vanilla extract and serve warm over ice cream (or ice cream cake!)

**you can save leftovers in the fridge, repeat in the microwave in 15 second increments until warm**

Breakfast Black Beans

Breakfast Black Beans 6 - Mark BittmanMark Bittman is a great food writer for the New York Times.  I was perusing the library book shelf in the vegan section and ran across his VB6 cookbook.  I had not heard of this before and read his introduction which essentially is his way to eat healthier and reduce his meat intake…by eating vegan for breakfast and lunch each day (before 6pm)!  I have been trying to decrease my meat intake also so I gave this recipe a try, plus some additions (feta cheese, yum!) which makes it vegetarian.  I am in love with tortilla chips so I tend to enjoy eating with them instead of tacos, but these would also be great with some tortillas.  Have fun eating beans for breakfast!

Breakfast Black Beans

adapted from VB6


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cans of black beans, drained
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped ( I prefer red, yellow or orange)
  • 1-2 jalepenos, seeds removed and chopped (keep some seeds if you like spicy food)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3-5 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • tortilla chips (or tortillas if you prefer)


  1. Place the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and stir.  Cook until vegetables soften, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the bell peppers, jalepenos, and chili powder and stir.  Continue to let soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the black beans and lime juice.  Stir for 3 minutes.
  4. Mix in the cilantro, scallions and feta cheese.  Combine until heated through.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and extra feta cheese if desired.