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A mostly healthy cooking blog for people who love to eat

September 30, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Sweet September: Monthly Favorites

Happy Tuesday and welcome to the first (long overdue) collection of monthly favorites, the Sweet September edition.

Lake SunsetBack when I conducted my reader survey, I received requests from many of you to periodically publish some of my favorite finds from around the web. Then, I selfishly ran away to France for a month, got distracted by our move to a new city, and the dog ate my homework.

Moving on from my excuses, I’m excited to (finally!) share a few of my latest favorite things with you. Continue Reading →

September 29, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Weeknight Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

At the end of an epic, 3-hour Target shopping marathon, I found myself exhausted, hungry, and in a dangerous, dangerous place: the frozen pizza aisle. The plastic-wrapped Tombstone Deluxe was calling to me sweetly—until I remembered a formidable, stabilizing force in my life: Weeknight Whole Wheat Pizza Crust.

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. An easy recipe for whole wheat pizza dough that anyone can makeAll that stands between you and the best, easiest homemade pizza crust of your life is 40 minutes and a few ingredients you probably have in your pantry right now. This whole wheat pizza crust recipe requires only 10 minutes knead (100% of which can be done by mixer), 30 minutes to rise, and 5 seconds to devour .

Homemade pizza is one of our most frequent weeknight dinners, and this is my go-to recipe. It yields enough dough for two large pizzas and can be kept in the fridge for up to three days. With only one quick batch of this whole wheat pizza crust, I have enough homemade dough for two generous dinners, with leftovers to spare for lunch the next day.

A few years ago, I became obsessed with making wood oven-style pizza at home, which eventually lead me to this recipe. Although I still love it and think it makes a fabulous pizza, the yield is smaller (Ben and I can polish off a pizza and a half in one night), and the dough needs to rest for a minimum of 24 hours. It’s wonderful crust, but sometimes a hungry girl needs pizza NOW. I went on a quest for a homemade whole wheat pizza crust recipe that was attainable on a weeknight, when my stomach was growling before I’d even begun to cook.

Continue Reading →

September 26, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Homemade Pumpkin Monkey Bread

Growing up, my sisters and I spent every summer weekday watching The Price is Right and fighting over Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. If only we’d had a plate of Homemade Pumpkin Monkey Bread, we could have watched Plinko in peace.

Homemade Pumpkin Monkey Bread (aka Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Bites or Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread) with Cream Cheese GlazeThe day my mom taught us to open a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and bake them in a round pie plate all by ourselves was a great and terrible day. The great part was spending every Monday through Friday in June rotating through the orange, regular, and “grand” varieties. The terrible part was pulling them out of the oven just as the show was starting, then spending the next 20 minutes fighting over who got to eat the most prized roll in the pan: The Middle Cinnamon Roll.

While the seven rolls arranged around the edges of the pie pan would dry slightly at the edges, the coveted middle roll remained perfectly soft, gooey, and fluffy throughout. Additionally, for whatever reason, the very middle of that center roll was indisputably the best bite in the pan. Although the other rolls had middles too, something about eating the middle of the middle roll was an extra special, extra ooey-gooey cinnamon experience. All three of us knew it, so we started calling dibs on the middle roll days in advance. Honestly, we probably could have used a chart.

What we needed to watch Bob Barker in peace was homemade monkey bread, otherwise known as cinnamon roll bites or cinnamon pull-apart bread. Every single bite oozes cinnamon sugar and tastes exactly like the prized middle of the center cinnamon roll. Continue Reading →

September 24, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Roasted Cauliflower Bruschetta

I’m that person who brings vegetables to a party. Thanks to Roasted Cauliflower Bruschetta, I can finally feel cool doing it.

Roasted Cauliflower Brushetta-An easy, healthy party appetizerThe guy who brings the cheese dip is cool. The girl who brings carrots…not so much. Guests flock to Cheese Dip Guy; Carrot Girl obviously didn’t realize that she was attending a party, not a detox spa day. Fortunately, despite my irrefutable celery stick ways, my friends still talk to me at social gatherings. I credit this achievement partly to my charm, but mostly to the big batch of these cookies I bring to supplement the vegetables.

I don’t intend to stop bringing vegetables to parties anytime soon—I maintain that it’s nice to have at least one healthy option to buffer the onslaught of Vel-to the-veeta—and thanks to Roasted Cauliflower Bruschetta, I now have a recipe that both pleases my fellow guests and provides a lighter appetizer alternative.
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September 22, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole

Is there anything in life quite so beautiful as a gooey, cheesy casserole? Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole says, “I think not.”

Cheesy Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole. Healthy, easy and tastes just like a Chipotle burrito bowl!Now, ocean sunsets, the Grand Canyon, and every Tim McGraw song ever recorded might argue for the title and tiara, but I maintain that the casserole deserves recognition in the beauty department.  Oh sure they are ultra oozy, lose their shape immediately when cut, and are generally a food photographer’s worst nightmare, but their inherent value as a one-dish meal that’s comforting enough to cure a broken heart is worthy of respect. The casserole’s allure is of a deeper level—and I don’t simply mean that it has a good personality.
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September 19, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Pumpkin Parfaits with Coconut Whipped Cream

It’s Friday! Let’s go for the donut, treat ourselves to a manicure, and dig our spoons into Pumpkin Parfaits with Coconut Whipped Cream.

Pumpkin Parfaits with Coconut Whipped Cream and Gingersnap CookiesOn Friday, we’ve spent five consecutive days battling the traffic/printer/guy who microwaves his tuna melt at lunch and lived to see another weekend. Maybe we’ve fed our toddlers/hungry teens/spouses/ravaging canines three square meals a day for-approximately-ever. Whatever your reason to celebrate, today is Friday, and you deserve a pumpkin parfait party!

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September 17, 2014
by Erin Clarke

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon

Time for introductions! I’d like you to meet one of the oldest, dearest dishes in my weeknight dinner arsenal, Avocado Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon.

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon. Use avocado instead of mayo for a healthy egg salad that's loaded with fresh flavor!These glorious green sammies were one of the earlier meals I cooked for Ben after we were married, back when my blog was still a casual hobby, and Ben was not yet used to me asking him questions such as, “should I do tonight’s stir fry with farro or quinoa?” I believe his exact words when he saw me mixing hard-boiled eggs and bright avocado were, “Why are you doing that to my avocado?”

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