Salted Caramel Rice Crisp Treats

There’s something about rice krispy treats that make them so darn irresistible. The best part is that you can dress ’em up or eat them plain. Salted peanut butter ones are fabulous, as are the salted caramel. Just depends on your mood. The trick to making addicting rice krispies, which may/may not be a good thing, is to pack it down so that it’s a nice and dense. Think rice krispy brick! Also, I prefer using Trader Joe’s Rice Crisp cereal more than the traditional brand because it has a heftier crunch to it.

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Butter Prawns + Fava Bean Pasta

I love farmer’s markets. Not only can you get delicious produce from it but it provides an amazing sense of community no matter how small the market is. It gathers people who support the local economy. It brings people together to celebrate food. And that’s exactly what happened last week while I was picking out fava beans at a stall. Standing next to me was a guy explaining to a woman how to prepare fava beans, you have to remove the beans from the pods AND THEN remove the waxy shell from the bean.  It is a lot of work but fresh fava beans taste amazing to its frozen counterparts. When the guy turns the conversation to me and shares how he had this amazing meal in Pasadena made by this Asian chef of lobster and fava beans with pasta. (I am perplexed, why doesn’t this chef still have this restaurant in Pasadena as the restaurant scene in Pasadena is rather dismal!) He goes on to share how mind-blowing this dish was and then asks, what are you going to make with yours?

So, I decide after contemplating what to do with the bowl of fava beans I kindly wrangled my daughter to shell, to attempt to take on my own approach of this supposed mind-blowing pasta dish. Unfortunately, lobster isn’t a staple in my fridge so I substitute frozen wild prawns and throw in a handful of kale for good measure.  I can’t wait to tell the guy this week how he has inspired me to make this dish.

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Rice Krispies Valentines

This year, we were able to find things around the house again, for the annual homemade valentine project.  We created an easy valentine using potato stamps and classic rice krispies. I always am baffled how people go straight for rice krispies at bake sales so why mess with what the people want. I took the basic recipe and just replaced butter with coconut oil and a tsp of milk (because I realized that coconut oil and marshmallows do not mix), then adding a tsp of vanilla and a dash of salt.

I think I have always enjoyed Valentine’s Day because of the fine tradition of trading hand written greetings among friends and classmates. Who doesn’t appreciate receiving a sweet card? I just loved going through each card. The store bought ones were cute but I always marveled at the hand made greetings. And to this day, I still cherish a hand written card in the mail.

Happy card day, folks.

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Chocolate Fruit + Nut Oatmeal Cookies

I have always enjoyed the Cadbury Fruit and Nut chocolate bars. Oh wait… I loved the crispy rice chocolate bars while my brother always got the fruit n’ nut ones.  It’s more in recent years, that I have grown to enjoy the fruit and nut version because it convinces me that I’m being healthy with the fruit. So, here’s a cookie version with the addition of oatmeal. Bonus, right? I like the blueberry because it really adds a nice fruity flavor to the mix. What’s even better is my recent discovery that coconut oil can indeed create some crispy cookies while staying soft in the inside. Love me some of that coconut oil!

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Butter Mochi

One of my resolutions for this year is to welcome more joy in all parts of my daily life. This is a perfect recipe to do so. This is something that people need to make more often because it just brings me such great happiness eating it and it’s easy pretty straight forward to make. Since the Japanese enjoy their mochi on New Year’s Day, I figure I can’t go wrong with celebrating sweet ’16 with these!

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Coconut Cacao Oatmeal

I’m trying my hardest to come up with more healthy breakfast options than my typical avocado toast. Lately, I’ve been enjoying oatmeal with coconut milk, preferring the canned variety than the cartons because it has a creamier taste, when I realized WHY have I never made chocolate oatmeal before?! Hello? So here is my first attempt I at making a delicious but still healthy combination.  It was so hard to resist throwing in a handful of vahlrona chocolate into the pot… or a spoonful of nutella. But for what I was hoping to accomplish, I’m quite happy with these results. I mean, who doesn’t want a delicious dose of antioxidants if we can’t have wine at breakfast?

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Raise your hand if your parents prepared brussels sprouts by steaming/boiling them… <raises hand>. Luckily, we have all learned that method is the way to sabotage perfectly delicious cruciferous vegetables. You just gotta roast ’em.  The key to delicious brussels sprouts are ensuring there is enough oil to coat them, and cooking them long enough for them to become tender inside yet crispy on the outside… with a healthy dose of sprinkled salt.

I’ve had them fried, shredded raw in salads, boiled, and even the Momofuku way, but this is still my favorite way to prepare them. And better yet, I’ve received many compliments on the way I prepare them!

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Vegan Nutella Brownies

These brownies are like JEM. They are truly truly outrageous. Especially for being egg-less and butter-less. But don’t shy away from these vegan brownies because you can be eating baby orangutans… slight exaggeration about #nutellagate- you know, the crisis over the  orangutans and the deforestation caused by palm oil harvesting. Well the good thing is that Nutella is using only palm oil that has been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and uses only .3% of the world-wide palm oil production. Phew. I was getting worried because the alternate Nutellas out on the market is much less to be desired. So these brownies are truly guilt-free!

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Oat Flour Waffles

Weekday breakfasts are a challenge. I am always combing through the grocery store looking for quick, healthy, and delicious options. For someone who loves a fabulous weekend brunch, it’s not easy finding something that fits the bill. Enter these magnificent oat flour waffles using organic sprouted oats, and gluten free flour (not necessary). You can buy oat flour pre-grinded or easily make it at home with a food processor. These have now become a staple in our freezer. Originally, I used a belgian waffle iron but really missed the thinner style waffles for the alternate flour waffles so I purchased your basic waffle iron. These work great for freezing, too because you just pop them into the toaster for a few minutes and have perfectly toasty waffles, crispy around the edges yet soft in the inside. Exactly what’s needed for weekday breakfasts. When I have time, I just prep some stewed fruit or sliced fresh fruit. But even a slather of butter followed by a gentle drizzle of maple syrup ain’t too shabby.

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Chocolate Pudding

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill chocolate pudding This magical chocolate pudding has converted me to become a chocolate pudding luvah. It has yolks, cream, milk, and straight dark chocolate. This is serious stuff.  That means  you can claim that you are making this for the kids but be perfectly content that they’ll just get a little ramekin of it while you reserve the rest for yourself. You deserve it. You survived summer. And let’s celebrate with these cups of divine chocolate pudding, shall we?

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