Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Garlic, Goat Cheese and Pepitas

Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Roasted-Garlic-Goat-Cheese-and-PepitasLately, I’ve been feeling like I don’t have enough hours in the day. This is partially because of my Smash duties, some extra writing gigs, and devoting time to a few other fun projects I have in the pipeline, but it’s primarily due to the fact that I have so much TV to watch. I realize I’ve never really mentioned it before, but I love television. I grew up in a family of TV aficionados, and my appreciation for the small screen blossomed at a very young age. In retrospect, I'm pretty sure it positively impacted my development, as my parents’ “no TV until homework is done” rule encouraged high levels of academic efficiency. There was a lot of studying to do, and extreme focus/productivity was the only way to make sure I didn’t miss Dawson’s Creek. (REMEMBER WHEN...
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Roasted Butternut Squash Quesadillas with Goat Cheese and Crispy Sage

Roasted-Butternut-Squash-Quesadillas-with-Goat-Cheese-and-Crispy-Sage-3It’s football season! The above statement is obviously exclaimed in horror rather than excitement, because as far as I’m concerned, football is just a bunch of dudes chasing each other on a lawn, and unless Beyoncé comes out at some point, I have zero interest in observing the mayhem. As some of you may know, I did actively try to like football for a brief (and random) period circa 2011. Since I very much enjoy beer, Tom Brady, and Victor Cruz’s salsa dancing, I figured maybe I could get on board with other aspects of the sport as well. I had every intention of learning the rules (and some choice lingo to drop at parties) and even toyed with the idea of starting my own fantasy league. I was going to be a football fan, dammit! Unfortunately, my plans to hop on the...
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No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites with Dark Chocolate Chunks

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-FreeI am an excellent flyer and travel buddy. I recognize the boldness of that statement, but after years of traveling with my roommate, I’m convinced that it’s true. Through his horribleness in airports/on planes, I have come to realize my gift, and for that I am very grateful. (Thank you, Logan!) Being an awesome flyer involves many things. First and foremost, I am extremely chill. I do not panic or scream obscenities in traffic on the way to the airport, nor do I freak out and sweat through my shirt in long check-in/security lines. I never argue with TSA when they have to inspect my hand luggage (even when they break the zipper on my bag and confiscate my shampoo), and I do not lose my shit and/or ask if the gate agent is “fisting me” when told that my...
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The Best Roast Chicken Ever aka Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk

Jamie-Oliver's-Braised-Chicken-In-MilkI write down potential recipes for this site in a Word document labeled “Badass Blog Ideas,” and over the years, the extensive list has come to resemble my closet. Basically, it’s an overstuffed hoarder’s paradise, and half of the things will never see the light of day because I don’t actually like them, or they’ve gone out of style. Sad, but true. In an effort to do some fall organizing, I decided to streamline the aforementioned document and make it slightly more manageable. I started by dividing the recipes into helpful categories: “Moneymakers” for foolproof recipes that need to be shared stat, “No-Calorie Sunday” for my fat kid ideas, “Scary” for stuff that upsets me like soufflés and canning, “Reader Suggestions” (yes, I hear you), and “Experiments” for weird things with the potential for delicious upside (or disgusting failure). Because...
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Three Cheese Cauliflower Gratin (and a Giveaway!)

three-cheese-cauliflower-gratinAbout a month ago, I received an email invite to a September 30th dinner party at Dana Cowin’s apartment. In case you live under a rock, Dana is the editor-in-chief of Food & Wine Magazine, and she is the Beyoncé of the food world. Like Queen B, I am Queen D’s biggest fangirl, and I was therefore convinced that I had received the invitation in error. I hadn’t. (OHMAHGOD.) The dinner was in honor of Dana’s new cookbook Mastering My Mistakes in The Kitchen, which is an absolutely beautiful compilation of recipes, stories, and tips for overcoming kitchen conundrums of all kinds (many of which come from some of the world’s most talented chefs). The book is informative, hilarious and heartwarming, and I was pee-my-pants excited appropriately thrilled to celebrate it. Duh. In keeping with the book's theme, Dana asked that everyone...
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Herbed Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs in Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

gluten-free-chicken-and-ricotta-meatballs-with-sun-dried-tomato-sauce-21I’ve been pretty tightly wound this past week, which is mostly due to starting my latest private chef gig. (For the sake of simplicity and my Friday Night Lights theme, we’ll call this client “Smash” going forward.) The truth is, cooking for a new dude is pretty terrifying. I don’t know his personality, preferences, or dealbreakers. I’m not sure how much food he’s going to need, whether he wants to have heart-to-hearts while I cook, or if he actually cares about respecting certain mild food allergies he may have. Does he own the basic kitchen essentials, or will I have to get creative until they can be purchased? (The first time I cooked for TR, I used a plate as a cutting board and stabbed open a can of tomatoes in the presence of his assistant, who was both...
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Super Smooth Chipotle Hummus with Chili-Lime Pita Chips

Chipotle-Hummus-with-Homemade-Chili-Lime-Pita-ChipsUntil yesterday, I HATED hummus. To be honest, I’ve probably only consumed hummus three times in my entire life, and I have no explanation for why I disliked it with such terrifying intensity. I think it had something to do with the texture (you know when hummus is sort of coarse and grainy?), and maybe the muted beige color. Whatever. Over the years, avoiding hummus has become second nature, and I’ve refused to touch the stuff. Funnily enough, hating hummus is somewhat socially awkward. I mean, it's pretty much everywhere, and people are weirdly offended when you don’t want to eat it. They’ll often try to entice me by preaching the wondrous health benefits of chickpea puree, and I’m just like, “Yes, I understand. No, I still don’t want it. I had kale earlier, relax.” Unfortunately for me, my roommate loves to contribute...
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15 Foolproof Recipes For Fall

15-Best-Fall-RecipesHappy second day of fall, friends! Not gonna lie, I thought today was the first official day of fall, and I had obviously planned this post to coincide with the occasion. So you can imagine how upset I was after seeing people shout “Happy Fall!!!” and throw autumnal celebrations all over the interwebs yesterday. Initially, I was like, “How embarrassing for them!” Then I realized that the chances of hundreds of individuals being mistaken, while yours truly was the sole blogger aware of the season’s actual start date, were slim to none. Dammit. Anyhoo, I’m all kinds of fired up that it’s finally fall, and I’m feeling really good about the next few months. I’ve got a killer stew recipe in my back pocket, my sassy sweaters have come out of storage, and girlfriend is starting a new private chef...
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Spiced Cider Margaritas

Spiced-Apple-Cider-Margaritas-2I was all fired up to share some badass chipotle hummus and fancy pita chips with you yesterday. In fact, I was so excited that when I distractedly took a sip of water and went to set the glass back down, I didn’t pay attention to where I was putting it. The bottom of the glass caught the edge of a pair of sunglasses that were cluttering my desk, and before I knew what was happening, my computer was flooded with high quality H2O. Shockingly, my reflexes in that moment were catlike and efficient. I immediately flipped the computer, ran to get paper towels, and sopped up most of the water within 30 seconds of the spill. By some miracle, the screen and keyboard were still working, and for a few blissful minutes, I thought maybe I had avoided a devastating...
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Smoky Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Kale

Healthy-Chicken-Stew-with-Butternut-Squash-and-KaleIt’s finally starting to feel a little bit like fall in NYC, and I am Logan-style PSYCHED. You know I love summer for its crop tops, thong bikinis, and festive cocktails, but as of this week, I’m officially over it. I’m worried about my freckles, I’m sick of corn (sacrilege, I know), and one more wedding might actually kill me. Bring on the sweater weather and weekend Instagram photos of everyone picking apples! This kid’s ready. What I appreciate most about fall (barring decorative gourds, duh) is the sense of new beginnings. September has always been my January, and I tend to feel more motivated, organized, and generally badass this time of year. I’m particularly pumped about this month, as my horoscope promises “exciting opportunities on the horizon.” (FYI, I only believe in astrology when the...
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