As I sit down to write this recipe I am having the realization that these Maple Bourbon Glazed Chicken Wings in a nutshell are basically a food representation of my marriage and just 9 days before our 10 year wedding anniversary, at that. I would love to act as if this was 100% purposeful in it’s intent, but nope, kinda just a happy accident. But you guys, chicken wings inspired by the Kentucky Derby – it’s like Buffalo meets Louisville. I a Buffalo girl, my husband Mark from Louisville. Nifty. Totally planned (not really).
Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby and while I could care less about horse racing, in fact I actually have some inherent issues with it from a moral and ethical standpoint, I do have a husband that grew up in Louisville, surrounded by the culture of this 2-minute long historic sport. They party for 2 weeks prior to the Derby in Louisville, there are boat races, fireworks, fancy hats and a plethora of foods and cocktails exclusively served for the Derby. They don’t mess around.
These Grain-free Spicy Cauliflower Fritters are an amazing way to embrace the cauliflower love, taking the cauli-rice trend to a whole new level. These versatile patties can be adapted to whatever flavor and spice blend you’d like and served with your favorite sauce, we like Chipotle Lime Aioli.
Veg based fritters have always been a favorite of mine, either as a quick bite appetizer or snack, or atop a large bed of greens as a main dish, I find them to be quick, simple, cheap and versatile. Since I have removed both grains and beans from my diet, due to my autoimmune conditions and my digestive issues, I haven’t really messed with too many veggie-based fritters, cakes and patties in recent years. But, after a recent exploration with cauliflower, which is one of my favorite, versatile, low carb, starch-like veggies – these fritters were born and they have quickly become a new fav.
When it comes to entertaining, boards are the ultimate in wow factor without a ton of fuss. More specifically I am a HUGE fan of cheese and meat boards. Selfishly when entertaining, since I prefer to avoid grains and greasy chips and snacks, cheese and charcuterie boards offer a great, pretty low maintenance way for me to have everything that I want, while still making all of my guests happy.
My cheese and charcuterie boards are generally focused around being totally grain-free and then depending on my guests, I will often have a generous pile of toasted crostini, that I serve to the side, separately for the non gluten-free or grain-free folks. I simple arrange sliced crostini in a single layer on a cookie sheet, brush both sides with olive oil and toss under the broiler for a few minutes on each side. Add a sprinkle of sea salt. It’s the fastest way to lots of toast.
Follow along for all of my tips on How-to Build an Epic Grain-free Cheese and Charcuterie Board.
You may have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet over here. I have been working on a few bigger projects that are taking up most of my time, but given the current state of the world, I have also needed to just take a big step back, where I can.
It’s strange to feel that I simultaneously have so very much to say, so so much, yet I am constantly finding myself at a loss for words. Dumbfounded. Instead of being glued to my computer and my phone, rather than refreshing my social media feeds minute after minute, I have instead chosen self care and comfort. I’ve chosen to march and to focus on action. I have surrounded myself with others feeling equally as devastated and at a loss, but also very fueled to do something about it. I have been volunteering my time and donating my dollars. I have been cooking for comfort and love rather than just for work. Serving others and nourishing myself. These are the things I can control and while the world is feeling increasingly more out of control, I find myself wanting to focus inward first, to take care of myself, then find ways I can use my voice, my power and my passion in my local community to help how there I can, as well.
Truth me told, the loaded fries and the chicken wings, those are more my husband’s football food. He begs and pleads for junk food on football Sundays, so I have always caved by simply recreating the classics for him, but in a healthier way. It’s a good deal for both of us. Me, I am a bit more uppity when it comes to what I want in a party spread. Give me an epic charcuterie or crudités platter, a little homemade roasted red pepper and feta dip, some tasty, fresh homemade salsa and chips (I reach for the plantain chips these days), a simple, but flavorful chili, the best darn gluten-free soft pretzel bites or these…tasty, crispy salmon cakes!
These Grain-free Salmon Cakes with Old Bay Aioli may seem a more fancy option at your Super Bowl spread, compared to the chips, fries or wings, but don’t let these fool you. They are whipped up in a mere minutes and they are the perfect small bite, party food. A little crispy on the outside with a soft, fluffy, perfect interior. Do not, I repeat do not skip out on the Old Bay Aioli. It’s a must here.
Though salmon cakes aren’t a food I grew up eating, these are comfort food to me. They are totally fuss-free, so they actually make for a very simple weeknight meal or a quick lunch or brunch, even. We almost always have canned salmon on hand, but this recipe is also great for leftover cooked salmon, as well. I love these served over a mixed baby greens salad, but they make an amazing appetizer, as well. Make the patties even bigger and go for more of a burger vibe, if you’d like.
Today is a special one, I decided to create a second version of the Spicy Orange Sriracha Chicken Wings that I am also sharing here today, but swapping in veggies for the meat. Let it be known that I hate putting food words in quotes. It’s stupid. I will acknowledge this. But… sometimes it’s the only option. Cauliflower does in fact NOT have wings. I’m aware of this. Maybe if you fed it Red Bull, but otherwise no. OK. Not funny. Sorry. I digress, there really isn’t a good name for these. “Cauli-wings” is tempting, but let’s just be real, I don’t think this is a good choice if we’re talking SEO, google and keywords, do people even use that term? Blah blah. So here we are, another blog post with quotes. I’m rolling with it.
It may seem odd to be sharing, on the same day, a chicken wing recipe, along with a matching cauliflower “wing” recipe. But here’s the reality, I freakin’ LOVE vegetables you guys. They make my soul happy, they make my belly sing and if you are asking me, they are just always the best choice. I’ll eat the heck out of a chicken wing, don’t get me wrong, but if I can have a real-food veggie option, I want that,
tooinstead! Read the rest of this entry »
It’s Super Bowl week and according to my hubby, it’s illegal to celebrate the big game without chicken wings! I grew up in Buffalo, spent more than 30 years there and Mark spent the better part of 10 years living there, so we know a thing or two about good chicken wings. In those parts, they make their appearance at nearly every gathering, party, get together and special occasion. That said, traditional Buffalo-Style chicken wings, while always good, we’ve been there, done that. It was time to mix things up a bit. I know what my husband likes so I created this recipe with him in mind, while for me and my love of veggies, I made a second, even less traditional version, with cauliflower, which you can grab here: Spicy Orange Sriracha Cauliflower “Wings”.
After making several batches of my honey-sweetened orange marmalade this past week, I was inspired to continue creating with it, we have more than enough of it and it’s so delicious I want to put it on everything! This sticky, finger-licking good wing sauce, combines the sweet, tartness of the homemade orange marmalade with the heat from Sriracha! Now that’s a winning team. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s been a tad quiet here on the website and my social media outlets while I enjoyed the magic of the holidays with my family in NY. I took a little break from the constant posting and checking all the social channels, while allowing myself to be fully submerged in the short time I had with my family. Those trips back home are never long enough, they fly by in the blink of an eye and I find myself packing my bags up to come back to our home in California, in what feels like mere hours after we had just left.
I know I am repeating myself when I share this thought, but whether traveling and visiting family or in my own home entertaining guests, I very much subscribe to the notion that just like the rest of the year, the holidays should be about balance. Making mindful choices, but also not limiting yourself to such an unhealthy degree that you wander through the season feeling deprived, left out, unhappy or unable to relax and enjoy your loved ones. A few extra starchy carbs or a little extra unrefined sugar, by way of those tasty homemade gluten-free cookies or maybe a little extra dairy than normal in those traditional homemade meals your family makes, I can promise you that it won’t kill you (this is all outside of any existing allergies, of course). If you eat a little off your usual plan, doing so knowing it’s a treat, it won’t derail your hard work from the rest of the year. It’s not only about the balance but also, the energy and the emotions you harbor when eating. Dropping the guilt and the feelings of “doing wrong”, this matters and it certainly affects how your body chooses to respond to the treats, as well.
Eating healthy and choosing real food is so incredibly important and generally at the forefront for most of us, but allowing it to take a backseat to family and friends, love, laughter and memories, in my mind, this is certainly as it should be, especially during the holidays. This season I have been on a mission to create dishes that celebrate the holidays with my loved ones, yet still fall within my idea of healthy, real food. Read the rest of this entry »
This might seem like a beast of a tutorial, but if you grew up Greek, as I did, you will know just how exciting this is the first time you make them yourself. For the past few years, every trip my parents have taken out here to California to visit us, we have planned a day and made a huge Greek feast. Each time we have made the time to use the beautiful grape leaves growing in my yard that are always perfectly in season and we spend the afternoon making homemade dolmades AKA dolmas AKA stuffed grape leaves. These are just like my Yia Yia and my dad’s Yia Yia, had made when we were growing up.
The beautiful thing about this stuffed grape leaves tutorial/recipe is how versatile it is. I have made these both vegan and with meat and most recently I have even experimented with cauliflower rice for a grain-free version. I have also made them both with jarred grape leaves and the fresh grape leaves growing in my yard.
My dad has stories of his YiaYia (my great grandmother) driving along very specific country roads that she knew had grape vines, all the kids in the car would be instructed to get out and pick the freshest leaves, they would then take them home and she would tie them up to dry out in the attic, so she’d always have them on hand for homemade dolmades.
Thankfully, I have several grape vines growing behind my house, so I don’t have to stalk any local vineyards. In the late spring and early summer as they are just starting to sprout new leaves, I can head behind the house pick the prettiest and most perfect ones, just for making dolmades. If you don’t have access to grapevines, simply buy jarred grape leaves, a little less work but still so delicious.
This tutorial shares options for the filling to be made with or without meat, with rice or with cauliflower rice. Throughout the instructions you will see notes that pertain to the various options. Be sure to read carefully.
Stuffed grape leaves make a great meze (mezethes or mezze) an appetizer or a small dish to share, meant to be served with wine or ouzo. Imagine a plate of these with some homemade hummus, feta cheese and olives, a big bowl of avgolemeno soup, falafel, a big ‘ol Greek salad, the list could go on and on. Whatever you serve these with and however you serve these, hot, warm or cool, you will love them, especially if you make and share them with people you love. This I can very much attest to.
As we officially kick off the summer season this weekend, I can’t help but think of all the wonderful parties, BBQs, picnics and other celebrations that lie ahead. After my trip to Mexico this week, I also cannot get mango and avocado off my mind. This simple-to-make appetizer is the perfect fresh and light, nourishing bite for any late spring or summer celebration. You’ll find a bright and slightly sweet flavor from the mango, a wonderful crispy crunch from the cucumber and a creamy, richness from the avocado. The red pepper flakes bring a gentle heat that you can control and the fresh mint compliments it all beautifully with a cooling finish.
This one-bite snack is a great treat for your casual Memorial Day backyard BBQ or it can be the perfect elegant appetizer for a more formal event. No matter the occasion, these Mango Avocado Cucumber Mint Bites will brighten up any celebration. Read the rest of this entry »
Guess what today is? Today is baby shower day! A bunch of us food bloggers got together and we are throwing a surprise virtual baby shower for our friend Emily of The Pig & Quill, who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first little piglet in the next month.
First off, I want to talk about how jealous I am of their new addition. I am pretty sure this is going to be the most well-fed little one, ever! That Emily sure knows her way around a kitchen and she doesn’t mess around when it comes to combining flavors and creativity in her recipes. When it came time to create a dish to bring to our little virtual gathering, I quickly realized that couldn’t just bring any ‘ol pink cupcake or some chips and dip, I had to step up, bring my A-game and get serious with my offerings. But, as you guys know I am still smack in the middle of an elimination diet (it was 10 weeks this past Friday, but who is counting) – so with lots of restrictions and true to the real life, selfishly I also wanted to bring something to this party that I could eat.
These delicious little bites are so simple to put together, they are so fresh and light and they are absolutely beautiful to top it off. Perfect for any party. I’ll be honest, the concept of this recipe came straight from me looking for a savory dish I could incorporate the color pink, given that Emily and Chris are expecting a girl! Though salmon isn’t exactly that pale baby girl pink color we all know, I still think I should get major bonus points on sticking with a theme! Thank you.
I am so excited to be guest posting on Better Home and Garden’s Delish Dish today sharing an updated version of their classic recipe for Crab Cakes – adapted to be gluten-free!
When looking through the archives of BHG recipes, looking for the perfect one to recreate for their Week of Gluten-free, I was instantly excited when I saw the crab cakes recipe. Crab cakes are something that I really only get to have if I make them myself, which means in 10 years, I have probably had crab cakes a total of 3 times. At most restaurants they add flour or breadcrumbs or some sort of gluten-containing binding agent, which means this is always a big fat NO WAY, for me.
With all the chatter of Super Bowl parties and finger foods and my new meat-free diet, I had near instant cravings for crab cakes while planning the menu for our Super Bowl shindig. Whether they make the cut for the final menu or not, I had to make a batch to test out this updated recipe (DARN!).
For me one of the hardest things about blogging has been deciding how much of my personal life to share with my readers. As someone who seemingly only shares gluten-free recipes and the food I am eating, it is quite hard between this site and the various social media outlets, to not let my personal life seep in now and again. How could it not?
While having your life on display can be challenging at times, the incredible trade-off that I have found, both as a blogger and a regular reader of many blogs myself, are the many wonderful positive connections I have made with amazing people – all over the world. Especially through these bits of our personal lives being “out there”. Reading the words and stories of my fellow bloggers and the thoughtful comments of my own readers, have created so many beautiful and meaningful friendships – many with people whom I have never even met.
I met Danielle of Against All Grain several years ago through our blogs, after she had been commenting on my blog and vice versa. She has such a delightful, comforting and nurturing soul. I have always greatly admired the passion she has for sharing her story and her desire to help others gain control of their life and their health through eating.
When Danielle so bravely shared on her blog, her family’s news and journey with her recent pregnancy and then the loss of their daughter Aila Jane Walker, I wanted to reach through the screen, hold her in the tightest hug and cry with her. I wanted to help anyway I could, to show up at their doorstep with food, to comfort them and take care of them, the way Danielle has done for so many people, herself.
I can say that in more ways than one – I truly am my father’s daughter. My love for food, eating and talking about both (or in general) – most definitely all come from my dad! Though I may not always like to admit it, I can be his clone in many ways!
As a Greek girl, (also from my dad) who has been gluten-free for nearly 10 years, one of the saddest things I have had to endure is saying good-bye to sooo many of my favorite classic Greek dishes – spanokopita, taramasalata, baklava, pita, gyro wraps, moussaka, pastitsio, melomakarono, loukamathes – oh my gosh I could go on and on and on (and now I am super hungry). Thankfully, a couple of these dishes can be made gluten-free, so I haven’t had to let go completely.
This dip isn’t something I grew up, like many of those aforementioned dishes, but rather it was a dish my dad had somewhere along the line at a restaurant and became obsessed with recreating. Since he perfected his recipe a few years ago, he has pretty much brought this dip to nearly every get-together and everyone that has ever tasted it – soon becomes obsessed, too! I myself am one of those people and I’ve taken to altering his recipe slightly and making it for my own dinner parties and other get-togethers. Since we moved out west last year, this dip has been a nice way to savor some of those flavors of home.
One of my favorite things about blogging has been connecting and making friends with people who I not only have so much in common with but who I also adore, so much, too. Who knew it was possible to have, what some people would consider to be “perfect strangers”, as some of your most favorite people and some of your closest friends.
Since most of us bloggers are scattered all over the
countryworld, it would be nearly impossible to get everyone together to throw a party in someone’s honor – so the next best thing is a virtual party and today a bunch of us teamed up to do just that! In honor of our lovely friend Ella, of Pure Ella today we are hosting a virtual baby shower for and you are all invited. Ella is one of the most sweet and inspiring people I have met, Ella’s energy, happiness and positivity makes me smile every day and I am so proud to call her a friend, despite the fact that we haven’t even met in the real life. Ella’s beautiful site is filled with delectable, swoon-worthy recipes, that are always so perfectly photographed. Plus, besides all of the yummy goodness, she is always sharing fun creative ideas for healthy living, beauty, home, crafts and more.
I am so happy to be able to get together with some friends today, albeit virtually, to celebrate Ella and her family’s pending new addition.
Whether you have an upcoming baby shower you are attending or you are planning a baby shower, a bridal shower or even your mother’s day brunch – there are tons of incredible ideas here for you to knock your guests socks off. The best part is, every single recipe is both gluten-free and vegan, too!
I am so honored to be sharing my recipe amongst this amazing group of talented bloggers, so please after you check out this recipe, head over to each of their sites and check out their amazing recipes, too. Of course, be sure to pin them, share them, print them out, memorize them or whatever you’ve gotta do – these recipes are all so perfect for entertaining, so I know they will all come in handy at some time or another, whether for an upcoming baby shower, bridal shower or another occasion.
Besides all of the many obvious things that we love about living here in California, one of my favorite things is the fact that we get to entertain so often. Our house here in Long Beach was meant for having guests. We have a really open living room, with tons of windows and great light and great fireplace for the cool nights, plus when the weather warms up we can host cookouts and dinner parties like crazy on our large deck. I am certain we have entertained far more in the first year of living in this home, than all 9+ years living in our home in New York.
I love well planned dinner parties with a theme, where everything matches and has a purpose. But just as much – I love a good thrown-together spur of the moment get-together where we just toss some burgers on the grill, pop open some bubbly wine or beers and enjoy the company of our wonderful friends. A few weeks back we did just that with our friends Dan and Debbie. We decided to get together and just grill some burgers and catch up. Nothing fancy. Just easy and simple. I swore I wasn’t going to fuss, it was going to be simple as can be and just about spending time together. Read the rest of this entry »
This month of guest-bloggers just keeps on going and bringing more and more of my favorite foodie ladies here to share amazing treats with you guys. Today, we have the amazingly talented Cara, of Fork & Beans, with us, sharing an incredible recipe that would be perfect for your Super Bowl party this weekend or heck for any occasion really and they are a super creative way to use up some of your leftover juice pulp!
Beth. Oh Beth. My love story goes way back with this girl from almost the beginning of Fork & Beans. I adore her personality from behind the computer and in person–she is the kind of girl you want fighting on your team. It is of my upmost pleasure to be here with all her loyal readers–YOU–sharing this recipe today!
Over the past couple years I have become a huge lover of juicing. I even bought an Omega (which I LOVE) and I now make a tradition of going to the farmer’s market every Sunday to buy fresh produce to juice at home for the entire week. The thing about juicing, however, is that there is a ton of pulp left over from the vegetables. I always feel guilty about throwing it all away because there is still food to be eaten despite the fact that it is the leftover fiber of the vegetables and fruit. I just never really have known what to do with it (translation: I never put that much thought into it) That is, until now.
Now I am starting to get creative with all that extra fiber and beginning to throw it into everything I can think of. About a year ago I made these Italian Quinoa Bites which were a HUGE hit (and unbelievably good!) and it immediately hit me that the pulp would pair perfectly with a new-and-improved flavor. And trust, it so is! These make the perfect appetizers or even meal in and of itself. Read the rest of this entry »