Simple Blueberry Cake

This blueberry cake is my official summertime dessert. I hope it becomes yours, too. It’s tender, fully loaded with blueberries, and simple to make—no mixer required. It’s…

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blueberry cake recipe

This blueberry cake is my official summertime dessert. I hope it becomes yours, too. It’s tender, fully loaded with blueberries, and simple to make—no mixer required. It’s a dream!

This blueberry cake recipe is naturally sweetened with maple syrup, which makes it extra delicious. Thanks to the blueberries and maple syrup, it’s nicely sweet but not over the top. Some cakes are so sweet that they give me a stomachache, but this one is just right.

blueberry cake ingredients

This cake will absolutely be a hit at your Fourth of July festivities. Serve it as a “snacking cake” or make it celebration-worthy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I’ve even enjoyed a slice with yogurt for breakfast.

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How to Make Buttermilk

Let’s talk about buttermilk for a minute. Buttermilk in baked goods yields wonderfully fluffy, light and tangy results. You’ve seen me use buttermilk in muffin and pancake…

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buttermilk recipe

Let’s talk about buttermilk for a minute. Buttermilk in baked goods yields wonderfully fluffy, light and tangy results. You’ve seen me use buttermilk in muffin and pancake recipes, and I’m super excited to share a simple cake recipe that calls for buttermilk later this week.

So, what is buttermilk? Traditionally, buttermilk was the fermented liquid leftover after churning cream into butter. These days, store-bought buttermilk is typically made from milk with added lactic bacteria, which produce lactic acid.

Contrary to what its name and thickened texture suggest, buttermilk is not buttery and is relatively low in fat. Store-bought options are usually about on par with whole milk, though reduced-fat options exist.

how to make buttermilk

Why do we use buttermilk instead of plain milk? Tangy flavor aside, the acid present in buttermilk helps counteract baking soda, which is basic. Baking soda on its own is quite bitter—it needs both acidity and liquid to taste and function properly.

Buttermilk acts similarly to sour cream or yogurt, which are thicker cultured dairy products. Since buttermilk is thinner, I typically use about two-thirds cup buttermilk in place of one cup sour cream or yogurt.

Today, we’re talking about acidified buttermilk, or milk with added acid (vinegar or lemon juice) so it acts as buttermilk. This is the perfect substitute for your baking projects when you don’t have buttermilk on hand.

I love use this trick because it saves me from buying buttermilk, since I never seem to use up a full bottle in time! This method is also convenient if you follow a dairy-free or vegan diet, because you can make buttermilk with any type of milk.

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Roasted Cauliflower Steak

Tired of regular roasted cauliflower? Try cauliflower “steaks” instead! Cauliflower steak makes a strong presentation at the dinner table. Think of it more as a side dish…

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cauliflower steak with gremolata

Tired of regular roasted cauliflower? Try cauliflower “steaks” instead! Cauliflower steak makes a strong presentation at the dinner table. Think of it more as a side dish or meal component than a protein-rich steak—after all, we’re talking about roasted slabs of cauliflower.

You can serve these cauliflower steaks as a simple side dish topped with gremolata or a sprinkle of parsley. Or, create a restaurant-worthy vegetarian meal out of them. Start with a simple base of whole grains and chickpeas or lentils, then top it with cauliflower steak and a vibrant homemade sauce. Beautiful!

how to slice cauliflower steak

Cauliflower steaks require careful cauliflower selection and slicing. Know that the outer slabs will likely fall apart into large florets, which are still very nice. Cauliflower steaks are a bit more work than simple roasted cauliflower, but they’re worth the effort.

If you follow my recipe while maintaining reasonable expectations, you’ll be plenty satisfied by your results. Keep reading for all of my cauliflower steak tips and tricks!

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Gremolata (Italian Parsley Condiment)

Gremolata is a bold and bright Italian condiment that will liven up your meals. It’s made with three simple ingredients that you might have on hand already—fresh…

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gremolata recipe

Gremolata is a bold and bright Italian condiment that will liven up your meals. It’s made with three simple ingredients that you might have on hand already—fresh parsley, lemon zest and garlic.

Gremolata is the perfect last-minute finishing touch for any dish that seems a little blah, you know what I mean? When guests are on their way over, sprinkle gremolata over store-bought items like hummus to make them seem more fresh and fancy.

gremolata ingredients

When I have the time, there’s nothing better than a bold herbed sauce to complete a meal, like pesto or chimichurri. Gremolata is simpler than a sauce (no blender or food processor required), but more elevated than a basic sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Perhaps gremolata’s most winning feature is that it’s ready in under five minutes. Sprinkle gremolata all over your grilled dishes this summer!

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Easy Caesar Dressing

This Caesar dressing really hits the spot. You know I love vinaigrettes, but sometimes only a creamy dressing will do. I’ve been feeling sentimental lately and decided…

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Caesar dressing recipe

This Caesar dressing really hits the spot. You know I love vinaigrettes, but sometimes only a creamy dressing will do. I’ve been feeling sentimental lately and decided to satisfy my craving for the classic Caesar salad.

This Caesar salad dressing requires just a few pantry ingredients. Stir them together while you bake up some croutons, and you’re ready to enjoy top-notch restaurant-quality Caesar salads at home.

Caesar dressing ingredients

Compared to other Caesar dressing recipes, this dressing is remarkably simple to make. We’ll start with a base of mayonnaise, which is easier than emulsifying oil and egg, not to mention foolproof.

This Caesar dressing is anchovy-free, which makes it suitable for vegetarians like me and anyone with a shellfish allergy. (Technically, anchovies are fish, but they are likely to cause reactions in this with shellfish allergies.) It will also appeal to anyone who is sensitive to anchovy flavor. This dressing offers bold, classic Caesar flavor, without the anchovies!

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Homemade Croutons

Who doesn’t love homemade croutons? They’re wonderfully golden and crisp, and infinitely superior to dry, store-bought croutons. The best part about homemade croutons is that you can…

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croutons on Aaesar salad

Who doesn’t love homemade croutons? They’re wonderfully golden and crisp, and infinitely superior to dry, store-bought croutons.

The best part about homemade croutons is that you can use your favorite bread, even if it’s gone stale, and your croutons are ready in under 15 minutes.

sliced bread for croutons

Most salads benefit from a crisp, crunchy element, which could be anything from toasted nuts, tortilla strips, ice water-soaked red onion, or of course, the classic crouton.

I’ve been perfecting my homemade Caesar salad recipe lately, so I thought we’d start with the croutons. Off we go!

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Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Are you familiar with esquites? Also known as elote en vaso, esquites are an experience you’ll remember. Esquites are Mexican street corn (elote) cut off the cob,…

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esquites recipe

Are you familiar with esquites? Also known as elote en vaso, esquites are an experience you’ll remember. Esquites are Mexican street corn (elote) cut off the cob, served in salad form.

Esquites are creamy, tangy, spicy, sweet and savory all at once. In other words, they’re completely irresistible. This elote recipe was the best recipe to come off our grill last summer, and I’m excited to share this stovetop variation with you.

how to make esquites

Esquites share the same ingredients with elote: fresh corn, mayonnaise, cilantro, chili powder, lime and crumbled Cotija cheese. The combination is sublime, and this variation is much easier to eat. I’ve enjoyed both options in Mexico City and love making them at home. I’m going to cook this simple salad all summer and through the rest of the year.

Esquites have one strong cooking advantage over elote—you can start with frozen corn kernels, which really cuts down on preparation time! We’ll just cook the frozen corn in a hot skillet until it’s seared and delicious. If you’re using frozen corn, you can prepare this dish in about twenty minutes, from start to finish.

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Buckwheat Pancakes

Ever tried buckwheat pancakes? Sure, they aren’t the prettiest pancakes around, but they make up for their humble appearance with wonderful flavor and texture. Buckwheat, a gluten-free…

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buckwheat pancakes recipe

Ever tried buckwheat pancakes? Sure, they aren’t the prettiest pancakes around, but they make up for their humble appearance with wonderful flavor and texture. Buckwheat, a gluten-free relative of rhubarb, has a delicate, almost nutty flavor all its own.

Thanks to the buckwheat flour, these pancakes are naturally gluten free! These pancakes possess a light and airy consistency that quietly surrenders to the pressure of a fork and soaks up maple syrup like a sponge. I just love them.

buckwheat pancake ingredients

This recipe was originally adapted from a fun cookbook called Pancakes, by fellow food blogger Adrianna Adarme of A Cozy Kitchen. I visit Adrianna’s blog any time I need some creative recipe inspiration or a laugh, which is often.

It’s been eight years, so I’m revisiting this recipe to update the photos. I also tweaked the recipe a bit to work even better with 100 percent buckwheat flour. I added another egg and a smidge more flour. Hope you’ll give them a try soon!

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Simple Strawberry Smoothie

You’re going to love this strawberry smoothie. This recipe is cold, creamy and satisfying, and the nutty strawberry flavor is truly crave-worthy. In their most basic form,…

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simple strawberry smoothie recipe

You’re going to love this strawberry smoothie. This recipe is cold, creamy and satisfying, and the nutty strawberry flavor is truly crave-worthy.

In their most basic form, these strawberry smoothies require just four ingredients—frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, almond milk and almond butter.

This smoothie recipe tastes like a strawberry milkshake, and you can make it for breakfast! I’ll be sipping on these pink drinks all summer, and I hope the recipe becomes a staple in your home as well.

strawberry smoothie ingredients

If you ask me, smoothies should be super simple. I don’t want to pull a bunch of ingredients out of my fridge and pantry every morning just for a smoothie. I am not a morning person! Plus, these smoothies are easy to whip up in the afternoon or after dinner if you get a craving for a sweet treat.

You can change up the recipe by adding flax or oats for a nutrition boost, or a light drizzle of maple syrup to make them taste even more dessert-like. I’m plenty satisfied with the four-ingredient formula, though, and I think you will be, too!

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Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Green Olives

Broccoli, pesto, and green olives—believe it! This pasta recipe tastes so fresh. It’s perfectly suited for springtime dinners, though I think you’ll want to keep it in…

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broccoli pesto pasta recipe

Broccoli, pesto, and green olives—believe it! This pasta recipe tastes so fresh. It’s perfectly suited for springtime dinners, though I think you’ll want to keep it in your repertoire for the rest of the year.

I wouldn’t have come up with this pasta combination myself, so I’m glad I found the recipe in my friend Kelly Senyei’s new cookbook, The Secret Ingredient Cookbook. You might know Kelly from her blog, Just a Taste. Kelly is a delightful person, a professionally trained chef and a hard-working mom to three boys, all under the age of five.

broccoli pesto pasta ingredients

Kelly’s new cookbook offers 125 family-friendly recipes with fun secret ingredient twists. I don’t want to spoil all the surprises, but I’m looking forward to trying the Caesar pasta salad (with avocado), Greek chopped salad (with halloumi cheese), 30-minute mac and cheese (with pumpkin) and mushroom ravioli with brown butter sauce (with goat cheese, and made entirely from scratch). And good gracious, wait until you see the desserts.

This broccoli pesto pasta recipe includes green olives as the secret ingredient. They offer a delicious briny olive flavor and cover up the flavor of the broccoli. She says her boys absolutely love this dish, so this dish is designed for the whole family. I found some ricotta in my fridge and really enjoyed a few dollops over my bowl. Serve it as you please!

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