Harissa Chicken with Leeks and Potato


You know you have a good friend when she calls one night and says, "I just prepared an entire dinner but something came up and I can't eat it, will you take it from me?"  Yes, I will take it from you.  Yes, I will do that, I will take it, and I will eat it.  Let that be a lesson to all of you...I will take your unwanted, uneaten dinners (does that ever really happen?).  It actually fell on a night when I wasn't very prepared to cook myself, thus, her hard work preparing everything was much appreciated.  All I had to do was plop everything on a sheet pan and bake it. 

It, by the way, was chicken thighs and breasts, marinated in a spicy harissa sauce, scattered on a sheet pan with leeks, potatoes and fresh herbs.  Once baked, the chicken browned, the leeks caramelized, the potatoes crisped slightly while remaining tender and the flavors blended together perfectly.  Everything was topped with a cooling, garlic yogurt sauce that complimented the heat in the dish beautifully.  This is a great, comforting meal for these cooler (darker) nights.  

Recipe HERE.     

Apple Butter Mini Muffins


I am in the thick, thick, thick of writing my cookbook.  It is nearly done (weee!), but I feel like I'm a walking, talking, eating breathing sleeping thesaurus of descriptive words for tasty.  Delicious, mouth-watering, yummy, drool-evoking, scrumptious, life-altering...and so forth, and so on.  It has felt so good to get back into writing steadily, as life with three kids, a busy husband, a part-time job, a slew of activities and about a thousand other things can sometimes get in the way of that!  But even so, breaks are needed.  Eating is needed.  So over the weekend, my little LoLo and I whipped up these really delicious (see thesaurus above for more) Apple Butter Mini Muffins.  It took NO time, they were perfectly moist and flavorful, and they made so many that snack time is covered for weeks.  Anything to make life easier at this point is welcome, so, thanks muffins!  Recipe below...  

Apple Butter Mini Muffins
Yields: 40 mini muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup apple butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In one bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon).   In another large bowl, combine the wet ingredients (oil, egg, yogurt, vanilla and apple butter).  Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined.  Coat a mini muffin pan with baking spray (or use mini liners).  Fill each about 2/3 full, and bake for approx 10 minutes.     

Spaghetti with Fried Eggs


As I'm in the thick of writing my cookbook, and all day long dealing with descriptive words like "delectable, irresistible, delicious, YUMMY," I can barely think of a single thing to say about this dish.  The thesaurus has been sucked out of me.  So I'm simply going to say this...jaksdjfksdfj.  Oh, you don't understand lazy, keyboard gibberish?  Fine, I'll say this...omg please make this pasta.  It is so good, that I would eat it every night of my life if that were a normal thing to do.  What's not to love about pasta, crispy, runny eggs and crunchy seasoned breadcrumbs??  Nothing, there is nothing not to love.  This dish is simple, requires minimal ingredients, and can be made in very little time.  It's the perfect thing to make when you don't know what to make.    

Spaghetti with Fried Eggs
Yields: 6 servings

6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, divided
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz. spaghetti
4 eggs
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat.  Mince two cloves of garlic, and add to the skillet.  Saute for a minute or so, until garlic starts to brown.  Add breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and stir.  Continue to cook for 6-8 minutes, until breadcrumbs turn golden and crispy.  Remove from heat and set aside.  In the meantime, boil water in a large pot.   Once boiling, add a generous pinch of salt and the pasta.  Cook until al dente and drain.  While pasta is cooking, in the same skillet you used before, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.  Add the remaining two cloves of garlic and cook for a few minutes, stirring around, allowing garlic to season oil.  Remove.  Crack the eggs into the skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the whites start to crisp at the edges and the yolks barely set.  As soon as you drain your pasta, turn the heat off on the skillet and add the pasta and the breadcrumbs to your eggs.  Stir, using tongs, and break up your eggs into the pasta.  The runny yolks will cook some more with your hot pasta.  Serve immediately and sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan.   

Apple Cider Donuts


I've made donuts before (here and here) but Apple Cider Donuts are in a league of their own, especially this time of year.  You see them at every pumpkin patch, every farmer's market, and they are pretty hard to pass up.  The aroma alone is a staple of the season, but that sweet, sugary taste is something else.  I decided to make my own this weekend with my kids, because I like to torture myself.  Just kidding!  It was fun!  They helped!  A mess ensued!  

I was pleasantly surprised how simple this recipe was.  Other than allowing a few hours for the dough to rise, they didn't take much time at all, and my kids loved cutting out the circles (I have this set).  My donuts fried up much quicker than the recipe called for, however, so keep an eye on them because they can easily burn.  Once you're done, you will be enjoying these delicious, cake-like donuts for days.  Seriously, someone come eat the rest of mine please.   

Recipe HERE.  

Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie Oatmeal


I should admit something: I've never loved oatmeal.  Other than being more of a savory breakfast person, I think it's a texture thing... oatmeal is so warm and mushy.  The words "warm and mushy" put together cause me to make a face.  I would demonstrate but you can't see me.  However, I recently came across a recipe for Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie Oatmeal and those words put together perked me right up.  And guess what?  I'm a convert.  This oatmeal tastes like a warm, gooey, slightly under-baked chocolate chip cookie, straight from the oven.  Yet, it's not overly sweet or sugary and still looks/feels like a traditional baked breakfast oatmeal.  In short, it's amazing.  

With minimal steps and ingredients you could easily make this any given morning, but it's special enough to serve for a breakfast gathering.  I'm highly recommending it... you should see my face.  

Recipe here.

Georgia's 'Nola Bars


You guys, I just realized that the last recipe I posted was...yes...a granola bar recipe.  So after careful consideration, I've decided to turn this blog into a granola bar blog.  I'm changing the name to Granolously Delicious.  I will post 365 granola bar creations each year.  All of this is fake news.

Ok but real talk...I don't typically like to post similar recipes back to back (and by that I mean with almost a month in between each), but under these circumstances I have no choice.  What circumstances, you ask?  The ones where my sister Georgia sent me delightful, homemade granola bars in a care package with a recipe attached.  Now, I must share them with you. 

You see, her granola bars, or 'Nola Bars as she refers to them, are sort of famous amongst her friends and our family.  They are downright delicious.  Full of nutritious, wholesome ingredients, easy to make and no baking required.  I highly recommend you try them out!

Next up?  Filet Mignon Granola Bars (no, just no).  

Georgia's 'Nola Bars
Yields: 24

1 cup honey
2 cups nut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cups "add-ins" (nuts, mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc)
2 1/2-3 cups quick cooking oats

Line 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.  Combine first 5 ingredients a large bowl.  Stir in "add-ins" until evenly distributed.  Add oats 1/2 cup at a time until mixture is crumbly but still forms ball when pressed together (add more honey if it's too crumbly).  Press mixture firmly into pan and refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting into bars.  

*Georgia recommends keeping them stored in the refrigerator.  

Pumpkin Granola Bars


As much as I'm always sad to see summer go, there is something about this time of year that is so magical.  The air, crisp and cool, smells of new beginnings, of transitions and fresh starts.  Orrrrrr it's still humid AF and your kids miss their friends from last year, but you know what I mean.  I'm trying to be poetic about fall, because to me it's simply lovely.  Since moving to New York, I've found I appreciate it even more.  The change in temperature and scenery is dramatic, and matches the change in lifestyle.  Even when I lived in California where the difference in weather was more subtle, I've always loved embracing a new season.  Usually, I do so with food.  Aaand decorating my house with splurges from the dollar(s) bin at Target.  But mostly food.     

Of course, it's now time for everything pumpkin!  With my love of pumpkin flavored foods (except for pie, gross), and my need to pack school lunches and snacks every day, I created these Pumpkin Granola Bars.  They taste just like you want them to: soft and chewy, just sweet enough and bursting with the flavors of the season.    

Pumpkin Granola Bars
Serves: 10 rectangle granola bars, 20 square granola bars

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of allspice
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup creamy almond butter
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
Optional: 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper so that it's hanging off two of the sides, and spray with baking spray.  Combine pumpkin, brown sugar, egg, almond butter, honey and vanilla in a small bowl and stir until smooth.  In a large bowl, stir together oats and all spices.  Add pumpkin mixture to the oat mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Using a rubber spatula, add mixture to baking pan and press down to flatten.  Bake for 20 minutes or until sides start to golden.  Let cool, and then slice into squares or rectangles.

*I added a small amount of almond butter, but if you have nut allergies you can definitely omit that and add some applesauce or melted butter instead.  


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