When I’m asked to bring a side dish to a party, potluck, or cookout, I almost always go with pasta salads. They’re quick + simple to make, they appeal to kiddos and adults alike, and they’re very forgiving temperature-wise, being equally awesome cold straight from the fridge or at room temperature. So, when I recently saw a recipe for a delicious-sounding lemony Tortellini-Chickpea Pasta Salad and was having a big group over to my house for a potluck dinner the following day, I knew that I had to give it a try. I love pasta, I looooove lemon, + I love fresh veggies, so I sensed that I was going to be a huge fan of this salad.
And the verdict from myself and my guests? This pasta salad is SO delicious. Truly, this might be the best pasta salad I’ve ever made! There’s tasty cheese tortellini, hearty chickpeas, + bright, crisp vegetables (carrots, spinach + tomatoes), all tossed with an amazingly wonderful homemade lemon, herb + garlic vinaigrette. (Note: the super-simple-to-make vinaigrette is also fantastic for dressing green salads!) Including all chopping, prepping, + cooking, this only took me about 30 minutes to make, which was much appreciated by this busy mama. As printed below, this recipe serves 4-6 people as a side dish, but it’s easily doubled or even tripled (which is what I did) if you’re serving a bigger group. So, now that the season of warm-weather parties is approaching, make sure you bookmark this recipe to try – I promise, you and your cookout companions are going to love it!
continue reading →
Recently, Fearless Toddler has been learning lots about colors. She is so proud of herself for being able to say the names of the different colors + tell us which of her toys are red, which are blue, which are green, etc. So, one day last week while she was taking her afternoon nap, I decided to make a homemade funfetti cake as a surprise for her. I knew that combining her favorite things — cake! sweets! colors! — was sure to be a big success. I looked up a few different recipes, found one that used all ingredients that I already had in the house (woohoo!) + got baking.
And the result? This cake turned out fantastic. It was super quick + easy to make, incredibly buttery, soft, + flavorful, + was a huge hit with both Fearless Toddler AND the adults in the house. It *did* turn out denser than a typical boxed funfetti cake mix, but after reading the comments/questions posted on the original recipe, that appeared to be common + expected. I actually loved the texture, and found that it got even softer + more delicious the day after it was made. For the buttercream, I used Recipe Girl’s buttercream recipe that I use all the time. I’ve tried many buttercream recipes, and this is the absolute best – it tastes excellent and always is the perfect consistency. continue reading →
I love celebrating holidays now that I have a child. With a nearly-2-year-old at home, I’m always looking for ways to teach her about holidays through crafts, activities, books and food. With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, what better time to share some delicious, healthy, kid-approved green snacks?
First up: green smoothies! My daughter loves fruit smoothies, but I was skeptical about whether she’d go for a green one because, well, it’s green. The more involved I let her be in the food-preparation process, however, the more likely she is to eat the result. For this recipe, I let her assist with washing spinach, peeling the banana, measuring ingredients and putting it all in the blender. After watching it whir and turn a gorgeous green, I asked, “Do you want to try it?” Her response was an enthusiastic yes. Much to my delight, she loved it! It doesn’t hurt that these smoothies are absolutely delicious – they’re creamy, citrusy and coconutty, like something you’d enjoy on a Caribbean vacation.
continue reading →
Despite the fact that I use my Crock-Pot all the time, I haven’t posted a slow-cooker recipe here in almost six months. How is that possible?! Well, certain slow-cooker favorites (like this, this, and this) are such big household hits that I haven’t had as much need to try out new recipes. That’s a pretty darn great problem to have! However, my toddler has become a huge fan of beans, legumes, + meatless meals, so that inspired me last month to try this wonderful Chickpea Coconut Curry. Do not be fooled by the short, simple ingredient list – it is packed with beautiful, bright, complex flavors. Since then, it has been in frequent rotation in our home, impressing both the adults + the kiddo alike. My favorite way to serve it is as pictured, with Cilantro-Lime Rice (which is SO good), but it’s also tasty with plain white or brown rice, quinoa, farro, or naan.
While this turns out beautifully in the slow-cooker, it is easily adapted for quicker cooking on the stovetop, which I’ve done when I left dinner-planning until the last minute. =) Simply saute your onions/garlic in a medium saucepan until tender/translucent, then add in the other ingredients as described below. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer + cook, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are heated through and the sauce has thickened to your liking (about one hour for me). Whether you cook this on the stovetop or in your slow-cooker, however you serve it, I know you are going to be wowed by it — it really is a scrumptious meal! continue reading →