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Breakfast + Brunch, Food, Vegetarian

Almond Cherry Oatmeal

Despite my current obsession with cherries, this cozy and belly-warming oatmeal lets the almond shine just as bright — if not brighter!

A few years ago, my sister-in-law introduced me to a signature Pittsburgh cookie that immediately turned me into an almond extract-obsessed monster: the Dusquesne Club Macaroon. If you’re from the Pittsburgh area, you’ve probably heard of it; if not, I can only *try* to explain this sweet treat in all of it’s glory.

With a delicately crisp eggshell texture on the outside and a soft and chewy texture within, the Dusquesne Club Macaroon is made up of a metric shit ton of almond paste, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and eggs. It might sound simple, but the technique behind it is anything but… unless you’re a seasoned baker.

Which I am not.

So I’ve found other ways to indulge in the magical essence of almond paste — like with  Blue Bell’s Bride’s Cake ice cream and with Method’s almond-scented hardwood floor cleaner. (Seriously, every time I clean the house it smells like Dusquesne Club Macaroons. It’s the small victories…)

And now, this toothsome oatmeal that is fit for royalty.

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Food, Main Dishes, Vegetarian

10-Minute Cheese Ravioli With Lemon Basil Butter Sauce

Cheese ravioli: pillows of tender pasta packed with fluffy ricotta. Talk about a thing of beauty.

This is why I have a hard time tossing my cheesy rav in a heavy and overpowering tomato sauce. Don’t get me wrong — I *love* a good tomato sauce — but when it comes to delicate ricotta-stuffed ravioli, it’s all about a light and seasonal butter sauce boasting seasonal flavors. (Dreamy sigh.)

Back in the fall, I was head-over-heels with this Mushroom Ravioli in Brown Butter and Sage Sauce. But that’s a recipe for the darker and cooler months. Basil and lemon put a bright spin on things and it’s JUST what your summer menu needs. Pair it with a glass of your fave white wine, and you’ve got a chic 10-minute weeknight wonder that tastes like a carefully-planned posh Sunday meal.

It is oh-so-delizioso.

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Food, Main Dishes, Vegetarian

Gourmet Vegetarian Taco Hot Dogs

Since changing my diet up and going pescetarian, I’ve managed to find a plethora of ways to “fish-ify” several meaty faves; I’ve turned chicken piccata into tilapia piccata, jerk chicken tacos into jerk fish tacos, and steak salads into substantial shrimp salads.

But you just *can’t* fish-ify a hot dog.

Because of this, us pesces are left to go the vegetarian route — which isn’t uncommon since vegetarian dishes make up a large portion of the pescetarian diet. But having to settle for those mediocre soy wieners leave a lot to be desired.

Unless, of course, you jazz the HELL out of them.

These Gourmet Vegetarian Taco Hot Dogs are brimming with *so* many goodies, you can’t help but enjoy them and feel like your hot dog void has been filled.

(It’s really hard to talk about wieners and hot dogs without things getting weird.)

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Food, Salads, Sides, tapa-tizers + snacks, Vegetarian

Crunchy Cucumber Salad With Mozzarella and Walnuts

Ohhhh my word. Friends. Bid your usual cucumber and tomato salad adieu, because this bad boy is off the charts.

Think crisp and refreshing cucumbers tossed in a homemade balsamic dressing with soft mozzarella balls, juicy tomatoes, roasted red peppers, black olives, and toasted walnuts.

Did I mention the soft mozzarella balls?

This Crunchy Cucumber Salad With Mozzarella and Walnuts has become a go-to at home throughout the summer months. Not only is it substantial, but it’s cooling, rejuvenating, and you don’t have to cook a damn thing. It’s also incredibly versatile; it makes for a fabulous light lunch, healthy snack, and dinner side.

Not big into olives? Read on for alterations. Continue Reading

Food, Sauces, Dressings + Spice Blends, Vegetarian

Garlic Scape Pesto

I went to the Raleigh farmers’ market in hopes to find cucamelons (the hunt continues…), but instead, I brought home garlic scapes.

I’m not even mad.

Up until this point I’d never even *seen* scapes in real life. I’m telling you, moving to Raleigh has opened me up to a whole new world of what I like to call “unicorn produce” and it’s nothing short of amazing. These lovely scapes are from a family-owned farm from Selma, NC, Kidd Farm. They’re automatically a winner in my books because a) they practice sustainable agriculture and b) they specialize in elephant garlic. They’ve been growing the stuff for the last 15 years and are one of very few farms in the area that grow it. Truth be told, the ginormous bulbs of elephant garlic are what caught my attention at the stand in the first place and, as I approached, I noticed the scapes. I was so excited about the scapes that I forgot to buy elephant garlic. (Womp womp.) Until next time.

Given my lack of experience with garlic scapes, I had no plan for them until I was 3/4 of the way home and it hit me: PESTO.

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