Mediterranean chick pea salad

My mother always says I’m like my grandmother because I have a sweet tooth and a knack for making killer salads. She was known for eating a pack of kitkat bars for dinner, but could seriously jazz up any entrée with an amazing salad.

Sure, salads aren’t a difficult thing to make. Many of them don’t even require cooking of any sort. But when one is composed of the perfect combination of veggies, a tangy dressing, and spices that brighten up the dish – it can truly be something wonderful.

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Dark cherry wheat bread

This time of year is the end of cherry season – so I’ve been trying to load up on them before I can’t find them at the grocery store anymore. This summer’s harvest has been as fresh and delicious as ever. I usually just eat mine as is, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach when I bought quite a few pounds of them recently. I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to snack on my cherries before they started to go bad, so I had to start incorporating them into some pies, tarts, and breads.

This was the perfect opportunity to have fun with my bread machine (some of you know how obsessed I am with my bread machine). This bread has a wonderful balance of components and flavors – a bit of fruity sweetness from the cherries, a bit of dense chewiness from the whole wheat flour, and just a tad of spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg. This loaf is perfect sliced up and eaten as toast with butter and jam, in the bread basket at dinnertime, or as a killer PB&J.

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Backyard BBQ coleslaw

As the month of August approaches its end, I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much outdoor time and BBQ fun as I possibly can.

A typical American BBQ usually has the same side salads over and over again – potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, etc. – all of which are dressed in mayonnaise. Unfortunately, mayo is one of the only foods that I really hate. So when I go to BBQ’s, I end up eating burgers and wings with no side dish, except for maybe corn on the cob. Lame!

I love those classic BBQ sides when they are dressed in a vinaigrette rather than all that mayonnaise goop. It’s just so much lighter and more refreshing – not to mention much healthier and fewer calories. This coleslaw recipe is definitely one of my go-to’s when I’m having a BBQ.

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Fresh herb pasta salad

As of late, the heat and humidity in New York has been unbearable. I usually eat hot food for dinner, but over the past two weeks I’ve been making a lot of different side salads to avoid heating up my house with the oven on. This version of pasta salad uses fresh basil and lemon thyme from the garden, which is a complete game changer. You just don’t get the same punch of flavor from dried herbs as you do with fresh ones.

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Coconut sandwich bread

A bread machine is a pretty awesome kitchen tool – you can have a loaf of freshly baked bread with VERY little effort. The machine does almost everything for you – it mixes, kneads, forms a dough, rises, bakes, AND keeps the loaf warm. The only real work you need to put in is the order in which you layer your ingredients, and to adjust the amount of liquid in your dough depending on if it’s too dry or too sticky.

So far I have made quite a few loaves of bread, and I have been thoroughly impressed with the bread machine each time. It always manages to turn out a perfect loaf. If you are thinking about getting one or you’re on the fence, I highly recommend an Oster. My model can be found here.

Coconut sandwich bread is one of the first loaves I’ve baked in the bread machine. It is dairy and egg-free with a slightly sweet coconut taste. It’s absolutely perfect for making toast with a bit of butter and jam, or a nutella sandwich (my favorite).

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German sausage stuffing

OK. I’ve been a shitty food blogger. I haven’t updated in almost an entire month.

Life gets busy. Work gets in the way. Thanksgiving happened. You get it.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I hosted the holiday at my home this year. German sausage stuffing is always a big hit. This is my mom’s recipe – but it’s so easy, quick, and delicious.

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Oma’s german potato salad

School has totally been kicking my ass. So far this year is great, just the beginning of the school year is always so stressful. Getting settled in, and settling in the students (and getting back into the groove of planning and grading) isn’t easy – it’s a labor of love. And it takes up a LOT of free time.

With that being said, I haven’t had the opportunity to post in a while. Luckily, this past weekend was 4 days due to Rosh Hashana – so here’s my opportunity!

Yesterday my husband asked me to make potato salad for one of his lodge meetings (he is a free mason). Neither of us enjoy mayonnaise, so whenever I make salads, they are always vinegar-based instead. NOBODY makes a better potato salad than Oma, my 90-year-old grandmother from Germany.

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Lemony black bean salad

Cilantro has been growing like a weed lately out in the backyard. Since I don’t use it too often in my cooking, I tried giving some of it away. A friend of mine agreed to take some, but then forgot to grab it on her way out the door. Now I have handfuls of cilantro that I need to use.

The humidity has been so overwhelming. I still don’t want to have to turn on the oven, or stand over a hot stove. So this cilantro needed to find its way into a salad.

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