No Recipe Required: Berry Crumble

If I’m going to bring dessert to a party, I want to make it – I don’t get to do a ton of baking (since if I bake without occasion the two of us just…eat it all), so I always jump at the opportunity. Sometimes, however, there come those events that are timed just such that you don’t have time to hit the grocery store or prep a pie crust with enough time to let it chill. Enter: Crumble.

Berry Crumble

Crumble is a simple but extremely effective dessert – cooked, jammy fruit topped with crunchy, sweet, crispy, buttery goodness. With the help of The Kitchn’s recipe, I’ll walk you through it, but it’s pretty flexible once you’ve got the basics. Continue reading


(Almost) No Recipe Required: Cilantro Lime Burrito Bowls

You know when you know something is gonna be good? Like, tasty? Like, you’re excited to eat it before you’ve even started cooking it? That’s how I felt about these burrito bowls, courtesy of Fork Knife Swoon. I knew they were going to be hearty and savory and something I wanted to take big fat bites of. (Also, I love lime. And carbs. So, easy sell?)

Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Plus, look at all that GREEN. They look so healthy! But enough mooning over them – here’s the basic situation. Continue reading

No Recipe Required: Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

We went to a party recently where the potluck theme was “elevated food from childhood.” The Boy immediately decided he wanted to make elevated tuna salad (with homemade bread – delicious!) and we also brought along this cake, which may not be fully elevated but certainly makes use of one beloved childhood food – ice cream sandwiches!

Layering Ice Cream Sandwiches

This cake, courtesy of Katherine Sacks and Epicurious, turned out to be a brilliant choice because not only is it super easy to make, it gets made in advance! Pretty much all I want out of party food. The only tricky part was keeping it cold on the way to the party, but a few ice packs made pretty quick work of that. Continue reading

(Almost) No Recipe Required: Berry Cheesecake Tart

Happy 4th of July! It wouldn’t be the Fourth without some kind of gratuitous red, white, and blue recipe, now would it? Of course not. Best of all, the particular patriotic recipe I’m about to show you is so simple it totally fills all the “oops, I was supposed to bring something to that cookout this afternoon” requirements. Which are really the only requirements that matter if you’re still looking up recipes today.

Berry Cheesecake Tart

I call this “Almost” No Recipe Required, because of course this dessert is quite closely based off of a recipe by the fantastic Laura of Fork Knife Swoon, with a few modifications to (1) save even more time and (2) because sometimes I charge full speed ahead and forget ingredients. BUT it is so wonderfully simple that after you’ve made it once, I think you could probably go without the recipe in a pinch (and, as Laura notes, it’s easily altered for whatever fruits you have on hand, throwing the recipe even further to the winds). Continue reading

No Recipe Required: Yogurt Bowl with Broiled Citrus

So, apparently I enjoy broiling citrus. It makes whatever you’re ending up with seem fancy, especially if you call it bruleéd, plus I like cooked sugar (so sue me). Also, in the winter, there’s not a lot of fruit around besides citrus for a lot of people, so this is a way to fancy it up a little (ok, admittedly not for me in Los Angeles…).

Yogurt Bowl with Broiled Citrus

This particular rendition of broiled citrus, which fancies up a yogurt bowl, was inspired by the infinitely brilliant Deb of Smitten Kitchen. Of course, her citrus is all fancy and lovely and multicolored, which mine is straight minneolas from my latest CSA box, but the general broiled citrus + yogurt idea still stands. Continue reading

No Recipe Required: Smoked Salmon Toast

We were lucky enough, a little while ago, to be the recipient of some items from a fancy fancy gift basket originally gifted to my father. Amongst these items was a small packet of smoked salmon, which I delightedly nabbed as usually smoked salmon is quite pricey (though I think good old Trader Joe’s has some decent deals on it). Anyway, one Sunday morning I was hemming and hawing about what to make for breakfast when I remembered this delicious recipe from The Kitchy Kitchen and decided to use what I had to put my own spin on it.

Smoked Salmon Toast

In addition to being a great lover of things in bowls, I am an equally big fan of things on toast. Continue reading

No Recipe Required: Whipped Ricotta Dip

First off, Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you all are off relaxing and eating well with those you love.

A prologue: one of my favorite easy breakfasts is toasted bread spread with ricotta cheese and drizzled with honey. In fact, since I’ve had leftover ricotta from this very recipe, that’s what I’ve been eating for breakfast for the past three days.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about this gloriously simple dip (so simple you could still make it to precede Thanksgiving dinner, if you’re in need of something last-minute), inspired by Joy the Baker’s Whipped Ricotta with Honey and Ghost Pepper Salt.

Whipped Ricotta Dip

Continue reading

No Recipe Required: Fruit & Veggies with Chili & Lime

Summer brings with it a lot of potluck-style outdoor events – barbecues, beach days, outdoor movies, and the like. All excellent, wonderful things that I thoroughly enjoy, but sometime you have the time and willingness to cook an elaborate dish and sometimes you don’t. I’ve found that in the latter case, it’s best to default to one of two things: alcohol (let’s be honest, no one is gonna be sad over an extra case of beer) or simple veggies, since few people think to bring them (the excitement sort of pales in comparison to fried chicken) but everyone feels good about eating them on a hot summer day (as a nice complement to said fried chicken).

Now, you can go with your basic veggies and dip, but Design Love Fest alerted my to an alternative for when you want something that’s along those same lines but a little more off the beaten path: fruit and veggies (namely cucumber, mango, and jicama) with chili and lime.

My real word of wisdom to you about this non-recipe recipe is this: if you can, buy your jicama pre-cut. It is a b***h to peel and cut, and it looks like a big warped coconut in its full form. See? Continue reading

No Recipe Required: Spaghetti (Squash) and Meat Sauce

I’ve always found spaghetti squash to be a rather magical vegetable. I mean, you throw it in the oven and when it comes out, it shreds into these perfect edible strands. The hardest part of the whole shebang is cutting the darn thing in half.

I’ve used spaghetti squash a number of times before, but for some reason I always thought it had to be a vegetarian preparation – something about it being a healthy alternative to pasta made it say “vegetarian,” I guess? Then, my coworker brought in spaghetti squash and meatballs one day for lunch – and my mind was blown. The healthy “pasta” of squash and the savory protein of meat? WHY HAD I NOT THOUGHT OF THIS. And so, the next time I picked up a squash at the grocery store, I also picked up some ground turkey.

Continue reading

In Which We Don’t Do South Beach

My mother throws a good party. By which I mean, there are plenty of people, plenty of drinks, and way too much food. At her last party, there were six boxes of pizza, a tray roughly the size of Texas covered in sushi, cheese and bread, homemade chicken wings, two thousand pounds of baked ziti, and seven million dessert options. Oh, and salad. My father narrowly talked her down off the ledge of making five hundred tons of shrimp scampi, meaning that along with half a lemon cake and a barrel full of brownies, the Boy and I left with a Ziploc of peeled, deveined shrimp, a stick of butter, a jar of minced garlic, and this recipe.


This recipe comes from the South Beach Diet. It is quick, it is easy, and it is yummy. However, this yumminess comes with a caveat – the Boy and I are not on the South Beach Diet. Continue reading