Salad art

I'm thrilled by the inherent beauty in freshly picked herbs, shimmering with dew; cracked pomegranates with glowing crimson seeds; rustic french bread, steam billowing from an airy interior; and the list goes on---I could wax poetic about edible inspirations (did I borrow that from a fruit bouquet company tagline?) for hours. And capturing this beauty in a photo is almost as satisfying as devouring the finished product. So imagine my delight ...

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Pickled pink (or blue?)

Hello my wonderful readers, are you still there? I've been MIA for a couple months, but I think I have the best excuse of them all: I've got a bun in the oven ... and it ain't sourdough : ) We're over the moon! But the nausea, food aversions and fatigue wreaked havoc on my blog activity---not to mention Dave's dinner. In the first trimester, most of the time I could barely ...

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Greens on greens on greens

My garden is filling in nicely, and all this green has me inspired. This pasta salad is a little taste of spring---exploding with nutritional superstars. There are enough greens to make it healthy, but enough pasta and cheese to make it a treat. Dave devoured it, so you can trust that it's delicious in spite of itself. Don't skimp on the lemon---it brings the taste to the next level. Go green pasta salad You'll ...

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Ravishing radishes

Spring has not quite sprung here in Chicago, and the natives are restless. We're all ready for it, and the husband is ready for the plants to go outside. My seedlings---now more like full-fledged plants---are spilling out of their containers, straining toward the windows and begging for fresh air. Despite less-than-balmy temps, I'm willing the warmth to arrive---and maybe some fresh seasonal recipes will help. I don't ever cook with them, but ...

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moody lighting tutorial

Getting in the mood

One of my biggest blog goals for 2013 was to step up my photography. It's one of my absolute favorite parts of food blogging---sometimes even more than the actual cooking---so it's been a fun, exciting and inspiring journey. I've also been insatiable when it comes to finding new resources that can help me take my blog to the next level, and I love that there are so many great bloggers out ...

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Take me back to Tuscany

The weather in Chicago is seriously wearing on me. These days, I'm checking the 10-day forecast obsessively, waiting for the day that breaks 50 degrees. Come on 50. Fifty and sunny. And I'm dreaming about travelling, far, far away ... ... back to Tuscany and its rolling hills, dotted with grape vines, olive trees and medieval castles. Alas, a European vacation is nowhere in the foreseeable future, so I'll have to settle on giving my mouth ...

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Cheeseburger poppers

I can't always come up with witty post titles. Fortunately, this one should catch your attention in spite of itself. You really can't go wrong when you stuff fresh, fiery jalapeños with ground beef and melty cheese, drench them in beer batter and fry them to golden-brown perfection. The homemade ranch is the icing on the cake. They're big and gooey, which makes them a little tricky as a finger food. Still, the ...

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Gourmet game day

The best thing about game-day parties is the excuse to stuff your face and guzzle beer with zero guilt. Don't show up to your Super Bowl party empty-handed. Seriously, don't be that guy/gal. I've even taken you half of the way there, with this handy-dandy Super Bowl recipe list: You can thank me in free game-day betting squares. Dips Jalapeno popper dip Greek 7-layer dip Loaded bake potato dip Hot spinach dip White queso dip Sliders and sammies Spicy whiskey ...

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Tortilla soup and tostadas, part dos

It's the end of the month and I'm falling off the paleo wagon. Still committed to a healthier diet, but God help me, I'm having some damn grains already. Corn and flour specifically. So here we go ... The best kinds of recipes are highly adaptable. Take my tortilla soup. It's a thick, blended, stew-style concoction that's not for traditionalists, but delicious all the same. Beans, tortilla chips, vegetables, spices and ...

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A little nutty

This diet that is. And how I begin to feel after a day of forcing down handfuls of baby carrots, hard-boiled eggs, oranges and boatloads of bacon. OK, so that last one isn't so bad. Still, it's nice to come home and grab for a handful of these sweet little nut clusters. It seems to put a band-aid on almost every Paleo-induced side effect. Carb cravings. Candy cravings. That unpleasant, heartburn-y, ...

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