lemon garlic spaghetti with basil, parmesan, + pine nuts

lemon garlic spaghetti with basil, parmesan, and pine nuts | via she likes to eat

after stuffing my face with this, i am convinced it is THE best way to eat spaghetti.
at least it’s become my personal favorite way.
it’s got a wonderful combination of tartness – from the lemon – and flavorful warmth – from the sautéed garlic and bright basil. the parmesan cheese rounds it all out with rich nutty and butter flavors. light & fresh mixed with a hint of comfort food.

(this pasta is gently adapted from the barefoot contessa, and is perfectly paired with this lemon garlic chicken.)

lemon garlic spaghetti with basil & pine nuts
(makes 4 large servings)


8 oz. uncooked spaghetti (spinach fettuccine also works wonderfully)

1 tbsp olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

juice of 1 lemon

2 heaping tbsp pine nuts

5-7 basil leaves, chiffonaded (*see note below*)


1. in a dry skillet over medium high heat, toss the pine nuts, to brown. watch carefully and don’t burn them, just brown them a bit. pour them into a separate bowl and set aside.

2. in the same skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil. add the garlic and saute about 2 minutes; being careful not to burn. once it’s just beginning to brown on the edges, remove from heat and set aside.

3. cook pasta according to package directions, drain and place in serving bowl. drizzle pasta with a bit of olive oil to moisten and stir. add lemon juice, sautéed garlic, pine nuts, basil, and parmesan cheese. toss well.

**if you want to learn how to chiffonade, here’s a great little tutorial**

fluffy healthy banana oat pancakes

fluffy healthy banana oat pancakes
it’s saturday, so i figured i’d post about everyone’s favorite weekend morning breakfast… PANCAKES.

there isn’t always time to make them on weekdays and we’ve kind of made it a saturday morning tradition around our house. this morning was the first time the little she helped me make them. i pulled up a chair for her to stand on and she helped me mash the bananas and stir the batter. i have now hopefully started her own little obsession with The Spatula. just like mommy.

not only are these pancakes the fluffiest i have ever made, they are also healthy. they’re made with whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, honey, yogurt… lotso good stuff. it’s so great to be able to give these delicious pancakes to my family (as the little she chants “pancakes! pancakes!”) and know that they are good for her.

WIN for mommy.

note: this recipe makes a lot of pancakes, so i finished off all of the batter and froze the leftovers. see below for instructions.

fluffy banana oat pancakes
recipe adapted from simple bites
(makes about 25-30 small pancakes)


1 cup oat flour (or old-fashioned oats)

3 cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tbsp wheat germ

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups milk (you can use low-fat or whole milk)

1 cup vanilla yogurt

3 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil

1/3 cup honey

1 1/3 cups ripe, mashed or pureed bananas (3-4 medium sized)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1. if you’re using oats and not oat flour, put the oats into a food processor and process until the mixture is very fine. in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, ground oats, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. set aside.
2. in a second large bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, oil, honey, mashed bananas, and eggs. hand whisk until thoroughly combined, but do not beat.
3. make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated. again, do not beat mixture. just stir until moist & combined.
4. turn your griddle or pan up to medium-low. grease with cooking spray, oil or butter (the flavor that the butter adds is amazing & it makes the edges a little crispy) – this is key, otherwise the pancakes will blacken on the outside. add batter to the griddle using a 1/4 cup scoops (don’t make them too big or they can blacken easier). cook until they are browning on the bottom and the tops have just begun to bubble before flipping.
5. pancakes can be kept warm in a 150 degree oven on a cookie sheet while you are making the rest. serve with your favorite maple syrup or honey (but these pancakes are so gloriously delicious, i think they can be eaten with no syrup at all).
*to freeze leftovers:
cool completely. place pancakes in freezer bags (i like to use the freezer press-n-seal wrap) in twos. to reheat, warm in a toaster, toaster oven, or microwave.

mixed berries with mascarpone whipped cream

this just might be the perfect spring dessert. but we had some friends over this weekend, and it was just what the doctor ordered… even thought it’s the dead of winter. and it’s really simple, requiring only berries and a few more ingredients.

the berries are sweetened with sugar and then the tartness from the juice of a lemon makes them perfectly sweet and sour. mixed with the perfection of fluffy homemade whipped cream and the thick, creaminess of the mascarpone cheese…
i don’t need to tell you i had seconds.

mixed berries with whipped cream & mascarpone cheese
(makes 4-6 desserts)


4 cups total of berries (i used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, & blackberries)
1 lemon
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 tsp vanilla (overflowing, but not quite 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup (4 oz.) mascarpone cheese, at room temp


1. take mascarpone out of the fridge to let it sit on the counter while you prep the berries.

2. place the berries in a medium-sized bowl. add 2 tbsp sugar. roll the lemon to soften, cut it in half, and squeeze both halves over the berries. gently toss with a small spatula. refrigerate up to 1 hour to let the berries soak up the sugar & lemon juice.

3. just before serving, pour the heavy whipping cream into a large bowl. add remaining 2 tbsp sugar and vanilla and beat with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. add softened mascarpone cheese and gently fold into the whipped cream.

4. scoop berry mixture into individual serving dishes (i used small, stemless wine glasses) and top with whipped cream & mascarpone.

recipe & photos are mine.

mediterranean bruschetta

i love bruschetta. LOVE. (yes, even though i am usually a tomato-hater. odd, isn’t it? )
and who doesn’t love a good, salty kalamata olive?
and possibly no (normal) human can turn down feta cheese.

i have this recipe that i jotted down years ago for mediterranean bruschetta (no clue where it came from). it involved canned tomatoes and a cup of mayonnaise. i so could NOT go there.
and it just didn’t sound that appetizing. but the name and most of the ingredients did.
i consider myself a big mediterranean food fan, so i figured i could tweak it a bit and make it awesome.

and i did, if i say so myself.
the first experience is the crunch of the bread, with it’s cheesy, garlicky flavor. then the topping floods your mouth with mediterranean flavors. it’s super fresh and light, then the saltiness of the feta and the kalamatas hits you. and the flavor in your mouth rounds out and finishes with the parsley.
quite likely one of the most perfect appetizers.
or snacks.
or dinners.
bruschetta for breakfast, anyone?

*recipe updated 7.10.13*

mediterranean bruschetta


3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

4 large roma tomatoes, seeded & chopped (*see tip below)

1 tsp italian seasoning

1/4 tsp pepper

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 skinny french or italian baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick

parmesan cheese, freshly shredded


1. in a medium-sized bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, feta, olive oil, oregano (or italian seasoning), pepper, and parsley. mix well. place in refrigerator to chill.

2. set the oven on broil.

3. place flatbread or baguette slices on a cookie sheet in a single layer. spread about 1/8 tsp of minced garlic on each slice and top with parmesan, about 1/2 tbsp or so. place under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes – watch them carefully – until the cheese is melted and the crusts of the bread are just starting to turn golden brown.

4. remove toasts from the oven and place on a serving platter. put bruschetta mixture into a serving bowl and serve alongside the toasts.

*tip on seeding the tomatoes:
use a grapefruit spoon! it makes it super easy – after you have cut the tomatoes in half, just scoop out all of the insides with the jagged spoon.

*note on ingredients:
if you are out of italian seasoning, you can sub dried oregano.

homemade pedialyte

it seems like everyone around town is getting sick these days.
and it’s a bug that’s super dehydrating, especially for the little ones.
i just passed this recipe, from my toddler 411 book, on to a dear friend who has a sick little guy who can’t keep anything down and doesn’t have any of the hydrating solution on-hand.

when you have a sick little one, the last thing you want to do is go to the store, so hopefully this comes in handy for you and your family this winter season!

homemade pedialyte


4 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp jell-o powder


mix all ingredients well.
pour into sippy cup.
get well.