Easy Tapenade

Olive lovers, tapenade is for you! Tapenade is an olive spread or dip hailing from the Provence region in France. It’s bold, zippy, briny and salty, though…

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easy tapenade recipe

Olive lovers, tapenade is for you! Tapenade is an olive spread or dip hailing from the Provence region in France. It’s bold, zippy, briny and salty, though we’ll be sure to keep the salt level in check.

Served with crostini or crackers, tapenade is a wonderful appetizer with drinks. It offers some welcome contrast when served with creamy dips, like hummus or spinach artichoke dip. You can also spread it onto sandwiches, dollop it onto salads, and more. Tapenade will keep for a week or two in the fridge, so you’ll find many uses for it.

tapenade ingredients

Tapenade is named after the Provençal word for capers, tapenas. Over the years, olives have become the predominant ingredient, and I used capers as a subtle accent. Similar olive spreads have been served in the Mediterranean for ages, which is why tapenade is a natural pairing with your favorite Mediterranean flavors.

Traditional tapenade also includes anchovies, but being vegetarian, I omitted them. This dip is loaded with complex flavor regardless, and it’s suitable for vegans and those with shellfish allergies as well.

To make this easy tapenade, you’ll need just a few basic ingredients and a food processor. It comes together in about 10 minutes with mostly pantry ingredients! You’ll need Castelvetrano and Kalamata olives, fresh parsley, capers, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Let’s make some already.

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Vanilla-Pear Holiday Punch

This holiday punch is unlike any I’ve ever had, and I think you’re going to love it. It’s not too sweet. It tastes like pear, vanilla, spice…

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naturally sweetened punch recipe

This holiday punch is unlike any I’ve ever had, and I think you’re going to love it. It’s not too sweet. It tastes like pear, vanilla, spice and everything nice. It’s a smooth, easy sipper, even with tequila inside. Yep, tequila!

This pitcher of cocktails was inspired by an oldie but goodie, my Pear Nectar Cocktails with Reposado Tequila. That cocktail is proof that simple ingredients can yield a delightfully complex cocktail. If you’re just making one or two drinks, follow that recipe instead.

You won’t need any fancy liqueurs for this holiday punch recipe, just some pear juice, reposado tequila, plus a few basic ingredients—lemon juice, club soda, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

holiday punch ingredients

I know we’re skipping the holiday parties this year, but I just couldn’t keep this recipe to myself until next December. If you’d like to batch some cocktails for your family, this punch is just the ticket.

Or you could drop off a jar of cocktails with friends or neighbors to share some holiday cheer. I wrote the recipe to yield eight drinks and you can divide or multiply as you’d like.

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Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

This hot spinach artichoke dip is pure comfort food. Sign me up. This dip recipe comes together in under 20 minutes with basic ingredients: spinach, artichoke, cream…

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creamy spinach artichoke dip recipe

This hot spinach artichoke dip is pure comfort food. Sign me up. This dip recipe comes together in under 20 minutes with basic ingredients: spinach, artichoke, cream cheese, sour cream, plus green onions and poblano pepper or bell pepper.

We’ll cook the green onions until they’re a little golden and frazzled around the edges, which is an easy way to yield tons of flavor. I’m obsessed with using lightly spicy, tender poblanos in this recipe (a great twist on standard spinach artichoke dip) but you can use a red bell pepper for a mild dip (also delicious!).

creamy spinach artichoke dip ingredients

The end result is not the most beautiful dip in the world, but it’s definitely amongst the most tasty. It’s creamy and indulgent, yet tastes fresh and full of flavor. This dip is fully loaded with veggies and greens, so it’s actually more redeeming than you might think.

I hope you’ll whip together this spinach artichoke dip on the holidays, or for movie nights, or just any time you get a hankering for it. I’m daydreaming about serving this dip at parties next year!

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How to Cook Farro

Let’s talk about farro! Have you tried it? Farro is a whole grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years. In fact, it may be the…

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how to cook farro recipe

Let’s talk about farro! Have you tried it? Farro is a whole grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years. In fact, it may be the world’s oldest cultivated grain. We’ve even found it in Egyptian tombs.

I love farro for its reasonably quick cooking time, nutty flavor and satisfying chewy texture. Farro is a hearty addition to salads and soups. I love to use farro in savory meals. It’s especially wonderful with some garlic and olive oil stirred in while it’s still warm.

dried farro

Farro is a nice alternative to wild rice, brown rice, quinoa and other whole grains. It’s a healthy plant-based source of protein, iron and fiber. As a bonus, it freezes and defrosts well. So, you can make a big batch to enjoy over the next few months.

Today, I’m clearing up some common farro misconceptions and sharing my go-to farro cooking method. Keep on reading for more about farro!

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Perfect Roasted Potatoes

Well hello, golden potatoes. You are exactly what I crave with dinner after a long day. More redeeming than French fries, yet just as nice. I’ll admit…

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rosemary roasted potatoes recipe

Well hello, golden potatoes. You are exactly what I crave with dinner after a long day. More redeeming than French fries, yet just as nice.

I’ll admit that it took me quite a few tries to perfect this roasted potatoes recipe. So, I have a few tricks to share today. This method yields substantial hunks of potatoes that are beautifully golden on the outside and pillowy-tender on the inside.

sliced potatoes

These roasted potatoes are lovely on weeknights and perfect for the holidays, especially when you add the optional rosemary. Sometimes, I load them up with some sour cream, chives, dill, flaky salt and pepper for a variation we could call ranch potatoes. They’re also great with a drizzle of Easy Green Goddess Dressing.

Bottom line, you can’t go wrong with these roasted potatoes. Serve them up!

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The New Old Fashioned Cocktail

Who wants a drink? It’s been a long week. Let’s relax with an Old Fashioned, one of the oldest cocktails around. The Old Fashioned is for whiskey…

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old fashioned cocktail with maple syrup

Who wants a drink? It’s been a long week. Let’s relax with an Old Fashioned, one of the oldest cocktails around. The Old Fashioned is for whiskey lovers, certainly, but it also might convince naysayers to become whiskey cocktail drinkers after all.

Like mulled wine, the Old Fashioned is perfect during the holidays, on chilly evenings, and basically any time you find yourself sitting around a fire. It’s a bold, dynamic drink that’s a little citrusy and a little sweet.

I came up with one delicious twist on the classic recipe, which also happens to be a shortcut. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, I bet you can guess what it is.

old fashioned ingredients

That’s right, I used maple syrup instead of simple syrup. Historically, Old Fashioned cocktails are made with a sugar cube or simple syrup. I’m here to tell you that they taste better with maple syrup, which complements bourbon’s caramel notes and stirs in like a dream.

Back when the Old Fashioned gained popularity, maple syrup was not readily accessible. Lucky for us, it is now. I hope you’ll give it a try!

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Crispy Baked Tostones

I’m so excited to share these crispy baked tostones with you! I discovered tostones a few years ago when I visited Costa Rica with my grandmother. Traditional…

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tostones recipe

I’m so excited to share these crispy baked tostones with you! I discovered tostones a few years ago when I visited Costa Rica with my grandmother. Traditional tostones are fried green plantains, flattened and fried again until they’re golden and crispy. You could almost call them Caribbean French fries, and I couldn’t get enough on that trip.

I got a hankering for some tostones a few months ago and decided to learn how to make them. As I was typing up my perfected skillet-fried tostones technique to share with you, a little voice in my head asked, “Why didn’t you try baking them?”

green plantains for tostones

I hit pause on my post and fired up the oven. As it turns out, baked tostones are great. Compared to fried tostones, they’re easier to make, use less oil, and yield a crisp result that tastes more like plantains and less like oil. Hooray!

These baked tostones are a fun little project. Make them for game days, afternoon snacks, or of course, serve them as a side dish with Caribbean meals. They’re especially wonderful with a bold and creamy dipping sauce. Please try them and let me know what you think.

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Classic Mulled Wine

Let’s cozy up with some mulled wine. Turn on some music, build a fire or light some candles, throw some spices and wine in a pot, and…

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classic mulled wine recipe

Let’s cozy up with some mulled wine. Turn on some music, build a fire or light some candles, throw some spices and wine in a pot, and embrace the holiday season. It’s really that simple.

I’ve always associated mulled wine with holiday parties, but a single batch is perfect for two to four people. Mulled wine is unbelievably easy to make, even on a weeknight, and fills your home with holiday fragrance.

mulled wine ingredients

This mulled wine is for wine lovers. I’ve encountered a few mulled wines over the years that tasted like sweet potpourri, but not this recipe. It’s fruity and spiced, but the wine still shines through.

You just might even have all of the ingredients at home! If so, you’re just fifteen minutes away from mulled wine. Let’s make some.

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Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole

This sweet potato casserole is for everyone, even the people who don’t like sweet potato casserole. I’m serious! If you enjoy sweet potato casserole, I’m confident you’ll…

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best sweet potato casserole recipe

This sweet potato casserole is for everyone, even the people who don’t like sweet potato casserole. I’m serious! If you enjoy sweet potato casserole, I’m confident you’ll love this marshmallow-free version.

If you don’t like sweet potato casserole, this recipe will change your mind. I know it will, because it changed mine. I’ve sworn for years that I only like savory sweet potatoes, but I’m officially eating my words. I love this recipe.

baked sweet potatoes for baked sweet potato casserole

This sweet potato casserole features an ultra creamy, pillowy interior with deep sweet potato flavor. The buttery pecan topping is crunchy-tender and lightly sweet, with optional fresh rosemary.

Overall, this dish is entirely irresistible. I hope it’s a big hit at your Thanksgiving table.

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Healthy Breakfast Casserole

Sometimes, you need a healthy make-ahead breakfast. Whether you’re serving a crowd or trying to ease busy weekday mornings, this breakfast casserole is just the ticket. Typically,…

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healthy breakfast casserole recipe

Sometimes, you need a healthy make-ahead breakfast. Whether you’re serving a crowd or trying to ease busy weekday mornings, this breakfast casserole is just the ticket.

Typically, breakfast casseroles includes sausage and potatoes. I loaded this one up with fresh veggies and greens instead, including red bell pepper, green onion and spinach.

Creamy feta or goat cheese rounds it all out. You don’t need a ton of dairy to achieve a lovely, luxurious texture. This is a lightened-up dish that seems more indulgent than it really is.

healthy breakfast casserole ingredients

This healthy breakfast casserole is the perfect addition to a holiday breakfast spread. Since it offers some protein and vegetables, it’s a great way to help balance those delicious carb-heavy treats, like muffins and pancakes. I’d be thrilled to find this option alongside bagels and cream cheese. Leftovers are good for lunch, too.

To develop this recipe, I followed my foolproof frittata formula. It’s easy to make, colorful and delicious!

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