Homemade Baklava

I love most desserts (yes, I know, sugar isn’t good for you, but I love it), but especially baklava. It is one of my absolute favorites (along with red velvet cake, key lime pie, blueberry crisps….so many), and yet I have never made it myself. So during a heat wave in Oregon, I decided IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN, and made my first homemade baklava, and let me tell you, it is delicious and I plan to make it again! It is that good!

 

Ingredients:

 

 

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Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

One of my favorite activities in the Pacific Northwest is to go fruit picking in the summer. Raspberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries and peaches. Yesterday, I went blueberry picking (the season is almost over) and within an hour we had over 7 pounds of fresh, delicious, beautiful, organic and inexpensive berries ($19 for 7 pounds).

 

I love this one blueberry picking spot — right near one of my favorite hikes — but there are so many different places you can go and get the berries.

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Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

The other day when shopping at a bakery, I bought the most delicious sesame tahini chocolate chip cookie. And so of course, I became obsessed with finding best recipe to recreate my own version of this deliciousness. Sure enough, the NYTimes had the best reviews — and aw man, are they beyond! Run to get the ingredients and make these stat! I just ate TWO in half a second.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Edible Cookie Do

One of my downfalls is that if I go in to a gourmet grocery store searching for one specific item, I leave with a huge bag. Especially if I am hungry. So the other day when I was on the way to my daughter’s school pick up and I went in to a get a watermelon lime juice (yes very specific), I walked out with every new sweet item I could find. My favorite was edible cookie dough, Do! I had heard about this phenomenon, and actually seen the lines at their downtown location, but I had never tried it. And of course, once I tried it, I fell madly in love, and have since returned to buy various flavors. The most recent purchase was their seasonal flavors of Pumpkin and Apple Pie.

 

Seasonal Flavors

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Synful Eats

At the very start of the summer, I was at a friend’s house where she served a plate of the most delicious cookies I had ever eaten. The cookies were all broken in to pieces which made it very easy to eat and sample all the different flavors. Each cookie was better than the last and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Or eating them. They were BEYOND. Thankfully, these cookies, Synful Eats, can be bought in NYC / Hamptons — and hopefully soon nationally. They are the next Levain Cookies — top quality, incredible combinations, the best ingredients. I can’t wait to see what this company does next — and until then, I will continue to support (and eat!) these unbelievably tasty cookies.

 

Since it is local delivery, the cookies arrive in the most beautiful pink box and bag. Even the box is perfection.

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Frozen Key Lime Pie

Hands down my favorite dessert is key lime pie –(remember last year when I ordered 13 pounds of key lime pies by accident). And so I decided to start off the week on a sweet note by making key lime pie — but not just any key lime pie, but FROZEN key lime pie. The recipe is from Barefoot Contessa and is so stinking easy that I hope I dont start making it every week just to have in the kitchen…..

 

(Pre frozen — I couldn’t stop myself, it is that good)

 

Ingredients:

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Made-In-The-Pan Chocolate Cake

I have had the tab with this NY Times recipe open for months, so finally I decided to make it (COVID 19—- 19 pounds over normal weight here weeeeeeeee commmmmmmeeeeeee). Super easy, fun to make, and delicious. Randomly, it is vegan too (which just means no eggs in this cake recipe) so my dairy free friends can make this and love it. It is a great cake to make with kids and when you are sick of dishes.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Key Lime Pie

In the ultimate grocery ordering fail, I ended up with 13 pounds of key limes. Granted, this would be a win if I were having a tequila and taco party (oh please, doesn’t that sound so dreamy????) but since there is no party to be had, I have LOTS AND LOTS of key limes to use! So I went searching on the good ‘ol internet and found this recipe for a key lime pie — thank you Bon Appetit!!!

 

HAPPY!!!!

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Gjelina Warm Date Cake

A month ago when I was in Los Angeles to run the marathon, I dined at Gjelina not once but twice. It quickly became my favorite restaurant with the most scrumptious veggies, pizzas, sides and desserts. Immediately upon returning to NYC, I bought the Gjelina cookbook. This past weekend, I decided to make the warm date cake and HOLY SHMOLY HOT DAMN this cake is amazing. It is sweet, moist, and oh so delicious. I highly recommend this cake and can’t wait to eat it all up (and to make it again shortly thereafter).

 

Ingredients:

 

 

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Coolhaus Ice Cream

Hands down, my favorite ice cream of all time is Coolhaus Banana Foster. Decadent, rich, creamy and oh so delicious — it tastes exactly like Banana Foster (my all time favorite dessert) but in ice cream form. Then I found out, *ALL* of the flavors Coolhaus makes are incredible, and that you can’t go wrong. Right now, I am especially fond of their ice cream sandwiches aka “sammies“. And believe it or not, they have dairy free sandwich options so vegans and lactose-intolerant people can still enjoy these scrumptious desserts.

 

You should see my freezer — I like to hoard ice cream. But we also eat a lot of it — 4 pints, 2 boxes of Ice Cream bars, and multiple sandwiches PER WEEK.

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Root Beer Float

OK, this might be the stupidest and most obvious post ever (or genius, depending on who you ask), but I recently became reacquainted with root beer floats, and I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. Seriously, two ingredients lead to the most refreshing and delicious snack slash dinner. It truly tastes like heaven, especially if you use high quality ice cream and root beer.

 

TWO — just two — ingredients!

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Black Rice Pudding

I always love Gwyneth Paltrow cookbooks as they are simple, easy, healthy, and delicious. So when she came out with her newest book, The Clean Plate, a couple weeks ago, I was so excited to try out all the different recipes. And sure enough, everything I make from it is a WIN and I love them all. Randomly this past weekend when it was Arctic temperatures outside and there was nothing to do besides be cooped up and freezing, I decided to make the black rice pudding from her book. It was suuuuuper easy and extremely tasty. I plan to eat it as a dessert or as a hearty winter breakfast or both.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Banana Date Shake

I am always looking for something sweet that doesn’t have much sugar, so when I found this recipe in my new favorite cookbook, Healthyish, I made it right away. And since last Friday, I have made it officially seven times (#obsessed). It is super easy, delicious, vegan, and curbs my sugar craving without involving sugar! Win win win!

 

This is not the banana date smoothie. This is a vanilla milkshake — which is what it is supposed to be similar to. Kinda. Sorta. Similar. Maybe not. Ish. Still great.

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Chocolate Buttons

My favorite chocolate bar is the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate bar. It reminds me of childhood trips to Europe. So this past week, I was craving a fruit and nut chocolate bar, but didn’t know where to get one. So instead, I made little chocolate buttons with fruit and nuts in them. While you can’t go wrong with your fruit/nut choices, I used cranberries, raisins, almonds, and hazelnuts.

 

A new and improved version of the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bar.

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Royce’ Chocolate

In the past month, we have been gifted Royce’ Chocolate by two different couples. I had never heard about it before and now I am a fan. Made in Japan, this chocolate is unique, beautiful, and delicious. Definitely different than a normal chocolate bar — more special and rich, making it a great hostess gift.

 

This one is one of their specialties: Ghana bitter.

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Tony’s Chocolonely

I love chocolate almost as much as I love my kids (I joke, I joke….eeks!). And this chocolate, Tony’s Chocolonely, is the best chocolate in the whole wide world. It tastes like gold (if gold tasted good) — just so rich and pure and holy chocolateness. And to top it off, it is from the coolest place in the world, YUP, Oregon. But of course, right? If I were you, I would buy as much of this chocolate as possible and give it out to people as their Holiday presents — it is that good.

 

My favorite three bars: Milk, Milk Caramel Sea Salt, and Dark Almond Sea Salt.

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Nut Butter Chocolate Truffles With Sea Salt

I always crave sweets right after Halloween, but instead of grabbing a Snickers (which are so delicious), I decided to make nut butter chocolate truffles with no sugar. They turned out absolutely delicious and I highly recommend making them. SO GOOD. Plus, once you make them, you put them in your freezer so you can have a stash for a long time!

 

TRUFFLES! Healthy ones!

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Raspberry Crisp

This summer, we have gone to lots of local Oregon farms to pick our own fruit. The best trip was to the raspberry farm, when we came home with 9 pounds.  I wanted to make a raspberry crisp but couldn’t find a recipe anywhere, so I improvised and made my own! It was so good that I made not one, not two, but THREE!  This recipe is low sugar, tart, but oh-so-good.

 

First, you pick.

 

Toosh is officially my picking partner and could stay all day picking the fruit. She never wants to leave when we decide we are done.

Toosh is officially my picking partner.  She never wants to leave.

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Ellenos Greek Yogurt

Last week when I was at the grocery store (my favorite hobby –> grocery shopping), I came across a new-t0-me product, Ellenos Greek Yogurt. It looked delicious and I liked the packaging, so I decided to buy one to try. At checkout, the clerk said to me “This stuff is crack. I have never done crack, but this stuff is what I imagine crack to be like, and once you start, you cannot stop.” I giggled and moved on.

 

Well what do you know, this stuff REALLY IS CRACK AND I CANT STOP EATING IT.  Addictive, rich, amazing, delicious, and smooth. Currently, it is only sold at Whole Foods and random locations on the West Coast, but mark my word, this stuff will soon be sold everywhere in the United States — guaranteed. It is unlike any other yogurt I have ever tasted and really feels like a dessert more than anything.

 

Why buy one flavor when you can buy four?

Why buy one flavor when you can buy four?

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