savory sweet potatoes with lemon, feta & parsley

you should feel really bad for me.
i live in a house with a spouse who does not like sweet potatoes. in any form.

if you’ve been following us for a bit, you know he did whole30 a month or so ago. (technically he did the whole40 because #OVERACHIEVER.) not using sweet potatoes in his “cleanse” was super hard because that’s one of the heartier veggies he was allowed to have, and the poor guy was starving. i thought for sure whole30 would send him over the edge, he being so hungry and all, and that he’d finally give in and give them another chance. didn’t happen. sorry sweet potatoes, don’t take it personally. (i still like you.)

this recipe originally came from one of our blue apron deliveries as a side, and it has become my new favorite way to eat sweet potatoes. they are prepared in a way that i had never tried – savory instead of sweet all the time – and i am a HUGE fan now. it’s like i’m seeing another side of an already awesome vegetable, one that has usually been pigeonholed as the thanksgiving side dish with brown sugar and marshmallows. OH I SEE YOU, sweet potatoes. [and i love this new, healthier side of you.]

(to make whole30 friendly, simply omit the feta cheese.)

savory sweet potatoes with lemon, feta, and parsley
serves 2-4 as a side dish


3 large sweet potatoes, cut into spears and then halved

1 lemon, quartered & de-seeded

1/3 cup italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup walnuts

salt + pepper


  1. preheat oven to 450. drizzle a rimmed cookie sheet with olive oil and rub around with your finger to coat it evenly. arrange sweet potato spears in a single layer on the sheet, skin sides up. drizzle tops with more olive oil and season with salt & pepper. roast for 20-22 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. while potatoes are roasting, heat a small skillet over medium-high until hot. add the walnuts and toast them, stirring occasionally, until they are fragrant, about 2-4 minutes. transfer to a large bowl.
  3. when the potatoes are done, allow them to cool for a few minutes, then add them to the large bowl with the toasted walnuts. squeeze in the juice from the lemon, and add the feta and chopped parsley. drizzle in a little more olive oil and season with salt & pepper. gently toss to combine.

coconut jasmine rice


we love us some asian dishes around here..
this past month, i have been adapting all all of our go-to recipes for my better half’s whole30 challenge (which we have loved and highly recommend). i edited so many good ones from the blog and made the cinnamon bun muffins as a reward when he was halfway through. i even made this hearty baked potato soup whole30 approved! (check out the “whole30 friendly” category on the right side of the home page to check them all out.)
our favorites that we pretty much kept on repeat were these asian turkey meatballs and these chicken lettuce cups. now that the husband is about to cross the finish line on his challenge (which by the way he did wholeFORTY :| overachiever), i am excited to re-introduce a few things into our diet at home, including rice!

this recipe – IT’S AMAZING Y’ALL. it is not just your average side dish that comes to you in the chinese restaurant.. it’s super creamy and tons of flavor comes from the coconut milk. and i will tell you, i am not a huge fan of coconut itself, but cooking with coconut milk is totally different and i love the flavor of it. this is a super simple recipe and one that is sure to become a kitchen staple in your house too.

coconut jasmine rice
makes about 3 cups


1 1/4 cups jasmine rice (uncooked)

1 14-oz can coconut milk (unsweetened; not “lite”), shake well before opening

3/4 cup water

a very generous pinch of coarse sea salt


  1. in a medium sized saucepan, combine all ingredients. heat to boiling over moderate high heat. once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. cook rice for 12-14 minutes until all water has been absorbed. fluff with a fork and serve along with your favorite asian main dish.

almond butter + oat + chia protein bites


there are often days when i am dragging like crazy in the afternoon. days when i did not get that second cup of coffee in the morning and by 2 pm all i want to do is go crawl back in bed and go to sleep. usually i try to snack on something packed with protein for a pick me up, whether it’s a hearty homemade granola with loads of chia and flaxseed (on a good day) or a huge spoonful of peanut butter with an apple (on a normal day).

for a few years now, i have been a huge fan of juice plus complete protein powder. it is a staple in our home and we go through it super fast. it’s one snack that i can get in my kids’ tummies that is easy AND good for them (how rare is that?! well with MY kids it is…). we make shakes daily and i add it to a lot of things, including smoothies and snack recipes, like this one. use your JP complete, or if your family uses a different brand of protein powder, you can sub it in this recipe (as long as it’s vanilla). the egg white is optional, if you want to make the bites vegan – but they add an extra punch of protein (and i like the glossy finish it gives the bites🙂

almond butter + oat + chia protein bites
makes 12-14 balls


1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup almond meal (or we love guiltless superfoods’ new flour)

1 scoop (1/4 cup) juice plus vanilla complete powder

1/2 cup nut butter (almond or peanut butter are our favorites)

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 heaping tsp vanilla bean paste)

1 tbsp local honey

1 egg white (optional)


  1. mix all ingredients well in a bowl with a spatula or your hands. roll into 1-inch diameter balls (packing them as you roll so they hold their shape). place on a small plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before eating so they can firm up. transfer to an airtight container – will keep for about a week in the fridge.

cinnamon roll palmiers


ah what loveliness can happen when you get distracted.
the other day i was supposed to be making a healthy, well-rounded meal for my good friend who just had a baby, but i was a bit distracted by cinnamon and sugar. palmiers had been on my mind for quite sometime and i was itching to play with an idea.

about a month ago, while nursing a sick little one on the couch, we were watching the barefoot contessa make these savory palmiers, which had goat cheese, pesto, and pine nuts in them. (SWOON) i jotted down a note to make them asap, but then i began to play with the palmier in my head… what if i made them sweet instead of savory? (i know this has actually been done before and i am not the first to come up with this genius idea, but up until recently i had not made a palmier… but ooohhhoo i have eaten my share though!) and what could i do with them?…

i finally got the chance to test out these palmiers i had been dreaming about and come up with a recipe for them. they were barely out of the oven before i was drooling and googly-eyed and talking to them and telling them how pretty they were. then the icing happened…

let’s just say there weren’t many left to take to my friend.

[frozen puff pastry generally comes in a box with 2 sheets – if you want to defrost & use the whole box, just simply double this recipe. *ALSO make sure you follow the box’s instructions to thaw the pastry.]

cinnamon roll palmiers
makes 12


1 sheet (1/2 box) frozen puff pastry, thawed*

2 tbsp softened/room temp butter

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

for icing:
2 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp milk (plus a tsp or so, to thin the icing)

2 tbsp melted butter, slightly cooled

1 tbsp brewed coffee

1/2 tsp maple syrup

pinch of salt


1. preheat oven to 400. line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. on a clean work surface or a large cutting board, unfold and lay out the thawed puff pastry. gently spread the softened butter evenly over the entire pastry. in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon to combine, then sprinkle evenly over buttered pastry. use your fingers to spread out and press in just a tiny bit.

3. starting with the left side of the pastry, fold over 1/4 of the sheet. next fold over 1/4 of the right side. repeat, so that the left and right side are now just touching in the center. now, fold the left side over the right side, forming a roll. using a sharp knife, cut the roll into slices – you should get 12 slices out of one rolled pastry. lay flat on prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart (they will spread). bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges of each palmier are just beginning to golden. remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes.

4. while the palmiers are cooling, make the icing: combine all icing ingredients and stir with a small spatula to combine. add a little milk if the mixture is too thick. it should not be too runny – you want to be able to easily drizzle it. (use icing pretty soon after you make it. the top will harden up after a bit and you won’t get that perfect consistency for long.)


carrot almond cake


so i have to admit, i don’t go bonkers over the traditional carrot cake. i know i know, sorry, i’m totally un-american. the one with pineapple in it and all the rich, thick cream cheese frosting – it’s way too much for me. i much prefer something simpler, not too much topping, and if it just happens to be healthy, well then i am IN.

last week for a gathering of friends, i chose to bring this for our dessert. it’s lightly adapted from one of alice medrich’s cookbooks and i think it IS DIVINE. i made some fresh whipped cream to go on top and it was the perfect thing – light and cool and not too sweet. it is made with almond meal, so this lovely just happens to be gluten free, if you are cooking for someone who doesn’t eat gluten. and let’s be serious – this could totally double as breakfast if you were so inclined..

carrot almond cake


1 1/4 cup almond meal

3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar

2 cups cleaned & finely grated carrots, lightly packed (about 3 medium-large carrots)

1 orange

4 large eggs, separated (at room temperature)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon (slightly heaping)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

fresh whipped cream, for serving


  1. position a rack in the lower third of the oven. preheat to 325. butter or grease the bottom and sides of an 8″ springform pan.
  2. whisk together the almond meal and 2 tbsp of the sugar; set aside.
  3. lay out about 4 paper towels on the counter. grate carrots onto paper towels in 2 batches. for each batch, gather up the towel corners and squeeze as much of the carrot juice as you can out of the grated carrots into a cup or small bowl. (drink or discard the juice.) set aside.
  4. zest the orange into a separate large bowl. add egg yolks, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and 1/2 cup plus tbsp sugar and mix with a spatula until all are incorporated. sprinkle grated carrots on top and then set aside.
  5. in a cold metal mixing bowl with a mixer (hand or standing) beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at medium-high speed until the mixture holds a soft shape. slowly sprinkle in the 2 remaining tbsp of sugar, beating at high speed until the egg whites are stiff.
  6. scrape 1/4 of the egg whites on top of the grated carrots and fold in with a spatula. add the remaining egg whites to the bowl, pour in the almond meal mixture, and fold them in.
  7. pour batter evenly into prepared springform pan. bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sides are beginning to separate from the pan. cool completely on a rack. (to remove from the springform pan: slide a thin knife around the sides of the cake and underneath and transfer onto a serving platter.) serve with fresh whipped cream. will keep for about 4-5 days in a sealed container or tight plastic wrap.


buttermilk cheddar cheese biscuits

buttermilk cheddar cheese biscuits via she likes to eat

in the winter when it’s freezing outside, i am always craving a spicy pot of chili or a hot bowl of hearty soup. with the weather and as cold as it has been lately, i prolly don’t have to tell you just how much soup we’ve been eating lately. (this texan is pretty annoyed with how cold it is – UM IT WAS 9 DEGREES THIS MORNING – and the fact that is hasn’t even snowed yet. i mean if it’s going to be this cold, we should at least get to go out and play in it! but i digress…) honestly, i am truly loving the stay-in-and-get-cozy-and-consume-lots-of-chili weather.. and my budget conscious husband is too, because the leftovers carry us for multiple days after.

of course in order to properly consume said chili or soup one must, MUST, have a bread or toast or biscuit to go on the side. (it’s just wrong not to.) my husband’s m.o. is to crumble or tear up the bread or biscuit and mix it into the soup or stew. these biscuits have become our favorite side for winter meals. they are the perfect cheddar biscuit.. fluffy yet perfectly dense, the pepper maybe being my favorite part. they keep well for about 4-5 days, sealed in an airtight container.

happy winter, y’all!

recipe adapted via house & home magazine

buttermilk cheddar cheese biscuits
makes 12-18 biscuits (depending on what size cutter you use)


2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into small cubes

1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup cold buttermilk

1 egg

1 tsp 2% or whole milk


  1. preheat oven to 400. in a large bowl combine dry ingredients and whisk to incorporate. add cold butter and, using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in until a fine meal forms. mix in grated cheese. add buttermilk to bind the dough.
  2. turn out on to a floured surface and fully combine dough. pat out to about 3/4″ thickness. using a cookie cutter (i used a 3″ square), cut out the biscuits and place on a large, ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. brush mixture over the tops of the biscuits. bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 16-18 minutes.

popcorn cookies with chocolate chips

popcorn + chocolate chip cookies

ok, so imma be real with you.
i burn popcorn.

like pretty much every time i make it.
no matter how closely i listen to the microwave as it’s popping, i still burn it.
i follow the directions – i swear – and then stand patiently by the microwave as it pops, listening for the break in the popping… i pull it out as soon as i AM SURE i got it at just the right moment and without fail, i open the door to a slightly burnt smell. and see the little black flecks inside the popped kernels. poor things…
then i deliver the sad attempt to my husband, head hung low. every friggin time.
he can vouch for this. and yet he continues to ask me to make it for him. #smh #sorryhoney

so until i can learn to pop popcorn correctly – and this is not a paid ad – i will remain a HUGE fan of angie’s boom chicka pop. a friend and a client introduced me to it a couple years ago and i have kept it stocked in our pantry ever since. naturally when i came across the idea to put popcorn into a cookie – and it called for popping your own in the microwave for the recipe – i was all, SHYAH RIGHT, i got this.

i adapted a recipe from my favorite design magazine, canada’s house and home (like these maple pudding cakes) and these have quickly become a favorite in my house. the savory, salty element in these cookies is awesome.. and the combination of it with the melty chocolate chips is THE JAM.

popcorn cookies with chocolate chips
makes 28 cookies


5 cups popcorn (pick through + remove any unpopped kernels)

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

1 stick butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup chocolate chips


  1. preheat oven to 325. place top rack in lower third of the oven. line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. in a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until smooth. add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. with a spatula, stir in dry ingredients. then mix in the popcorn, and then the chocolate chips, until evenly distributed.
  3. with a 2-tbsp cookie scoop or large spoon, drop cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. with clean fingers or a fork, smash them down a bit. bake for 12-13 minutes, until cookies are browning around the edges.