Rigatoni with Crumbled Sausage & Tomato Cream

If I had to choose three foods I couldn’t live without, I’d choose pasta, bread, and cheese. Talk about health foods, right? Throw chocolate in there, and I’d be a happy camper. I LOVE pasta. The weekend has almost arrived, and I’m practically and literally drooling on my keyboard over the idea that I will be making myself a giant bowl of this pasta dish. Rigatoni is a perfectly-shaped pasta…
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Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon

Salmon doesn’t have to be dry. It really doesn’t! This salmon is literally (my favorite word LOL) melt in your mouth. Contrasting salty and slightly sweet flavors from soy and maple syrup create the perfect flavor profile to compliment a warm, buttery piece of perfectly cooked salmon. The brininess of mustard cuts the richness of salmon while freshly chopped thyme adds a brightness. Whether you’re looking to make this glaze,…
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R-Rated Meatloaf (Hot or Chilled)

This meatloaf is fantastic served both hot and cold. It’s moist and earthy from a mushroom purée that’s mixed into the meat mixture, it’s bright from parsley yet homey from baking spices. If you love wine as much as I do, this dish is wine pairing heaven. Served hot, it is a perfect match with pinot noir which has allspice and clove notes. Served cold, it is a perfect match…
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Vanilla Bean White Russian

Before this post, I’d never tasted a White Russian. I’m not sure why, given my love affair with coffee. But what’s so special about this recipe compared to the millions of other White Russian recipes out there? Instead of simply adding cream to the mix, I use a 50/50 ratio of cream and ice cream. The slight sweetness and depth of vanilla beans make a relatively one-dimensional drink come alive!  …
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Authentic Tagliatelle alla Bolognese

First: could food get any sexier than this? Second: Bolognese is not what you think! Americans have screwed this one up. The typical Americanized Bolognese is smothered in tomato sauce. This is a big no, no, no in Italy! This dish originated in Bologna as a meat stew mixed throughout a generous helping of pasta. Emphasizing slow-cooked veal, pork, and beef – and intensified by the rich flavors of wine,…
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Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad

A stressful last week yielded a crazy weekend of pizza, pasta, and wine. It was a well-deserved splurge, but now it’s time to reset my body with Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad. One of my favorite parts of this dish is you can easily make a big batch of this fabulous goodness and keep it in Tupperware for the perfect lunches for the week. Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad is loaded with briny Kalamata…
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Blood Orange Cranberry Margarita

Monday blues. Anyone feeling the same way? Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m counting down the moments until I have an excuse to stuff myself with more stuffing than I should rightly consume. And obviously, whipping up a fantastic complimentary cocktail makes all the Turkey Day fixings that much better! Planning on making a classic cranberry sauce to accompany your turkey this year? This Blood Orange Cranberry Margarita…
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Dark Chocolate Avocado Brownies

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. I’m drooling! I’m often tempted to make an entire pan of brownies for myself and dig in. But then the stomach ache settles in, and I wish to myself, “why can’t brownies be healthier!” Well if you want brownies to taste like heaven and be healthier, read on. The addition of avocados and the subtraction of unhealthy fats not only much improves the nutritional value of brownies but…
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Apple Cider Margarita

Fall is here! The weather is finally getting cooler, and now I have an incredible itch to eat and drink everything-fall! Native apples and apple cider are now staples in my fridge. In the spirit of my apple cider guzzling, I created a festive Apple Cider Margarita. The sweetness of the apple cider, offset by a squeeze of fresh lime and triple sec create a refreshing combo for a fall…
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Roast Chicken and Toasted Bread Salad

I’m still reminiscing about the amazing culinary experience I had in San Francisco when I visited. What’s an amazing restaurant in San Francisco? Zuni Café, a James Beard Foundation Winner for “Outstanding Restaurant.” Zuni Café is known for its roast chicken, and indeed, it is oh-so outstanding. When I went to Zuni Café, my sister and I shared a salad with roast chicken and hunks of Tuscan bread. It was…
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