Favorite Recipe Friday: Dutch Baby

Dutch babies hold a special place in my heart ♥.  My mom used to make them for us as a kid and any day that started with a Dutch baby was a good day.  These fluffy, souffle-like pancakes are so simple to make (kids can do it), require few ingredients, 1 bowl, and a whisk.  That’s it.   These babies are beautiful, delicious and the perfect vehicle for a mound of fresh fruit.

When I started making them for my kids, I initially used this NYTimes Food recipe.  It’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, but I thought it had a bit too much butter and I wanted to add a little more flavor.  The great thing about Dutch babies is they are versatile like that.  Feel free to play around with it yourself.  They’re pretty forgiving.

Here is my version of the amazing, the beautiful…Dutch Baby.  Make it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.  Heck, make it as a snack.  These babies don’t discriminate.

Dutch Baby

Serves 4

Adapted from: NYTimes Food


3 large eggs

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup milk

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch cinnamon

Pinch kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups fresh mixed berries (or any other fresh fruit)

Juice from ¼ lemon

Powdered sugar, for serving


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until light and starting to foam.  Add flour, milk, sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla.  Whisk until just combined.

Place butter in a medium oven-proof skillet or metal pie dish.  Place in oven and allow butter to melt (keep your eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn).  Pour batter into skillet/dish, return to oven and allow to bake for 20 minutes.

Top with fruit and a squeeze of lemon, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Per serving: (1/4 pancake)  Calories: 220  Total Fat: 10.5 g  Saturated Fat: 5.5 g  Cholesterol: 158 mg  Sodium: 85 mg  Carbohydrates: 24 g  Dietary Fiber: 2 g  Total Sugars: 10 g  Protein: 8 g


Sundays with Samantha: Samantha’s Soda

(From left to right: Pineapple, Grape, Cranberry Pomegranate, Orange Mango)

We are big bubbly water (seltzer and club soda) drinkers in our house so it was only a matter of time that Samantha started creating her own “fancy” drinks. AND, she gets SO excited to prepare her sodas for friends when they come over for dinner.

They really AREN’T anything fancy.  They are simple to make and contain only unsweetened, unflavored bubbly water and 100% juice.  The ratio of bubbly water to juice is 3:1. Add a few cubes of ice and stir.  Feel free to add fruit for garnish or a twisty straw for extra pizzazz. Serve them in a fancy glass or a (child-safe) plastic cup.

Bonus: The kids feel fancy and drink much less juice (which is a good thing).

P.s. These aren’t just for kids.  Kids and adults alike are big fans. Cheers!


Favorite Recipe Friday: A crispbread a day keeps the munchies away.


All the recipes I develop are inspired by something, someone, or an experience.  Today’s recipes are inspired by Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Crispbreads AND my love of sandwiches.  Like most of my recipes, I wanted to keep it familiar but unique.

These crispbreads are great as a light lunch (with a side salad or fruit) or as a hearty snack to keep hunger pangs at bay.  They are crunchy and savory with a nuttiness that satisfies even anti-sandwich eaters. Plus, the ingredients in each are different enough to keep it interesting but similar enough that you won’t have to buy tons of ingredients.

So, without further ado…here are your delicious and nutritious crispbread mini-meals:

They all start with these*

*If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby or can’t find them, you can substitute any other whole grain crispbread (such as Wasa or Dr. Kracker).


The directions are simple.  Spread and layer…

Avocado Toast:

1.5 ounces avocado, mashed

1 small tomato, sliced

3 slices cucumber

3 red onion rings

1 lime wedge

Pinch kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Calories: 200  Fat: 12.5 g  Saturated Fat: 2 g  Cholesterol: 0 mg  Sodium: 290 mg  Carbohydrates: 16 g  Fiber: 7 g  Sugar: 5 g  Protein: 6 g 

Apples & Brie:

½ ounce Brie

½ small apple, sliced

½ teaspoon raw honey

1 teaspoon chopped walnuts

Calories: 210  Fat: 11.5 g  Saturated Fat: 3.5 g  Cholesterol: 14 mg  Sodium: 300 mg  Carbohydrates: 18 g  Fiber: 4 g  Sugar: 10 g  Protein: 7 g  


2 teaspoons pesto

1 ounce part-skim mozzarella, sliced

1 small tomato, sliced

2 basil leaves, chopped

Pinch Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon balsamic glaze

Calories: 240  Fat: 15.5 g  Saturated Fat: 5 g  Cholesterol: 20 mg  Sodium: 550 mg  Carbohydrates: 12 g Fiber: 3 g  Protein: 12 g  Sugar: 3 g

Lox & Cream Cheese:

2 tablespoons whipped or light cream cheese

2 ounces smoked salmon (lox)

1 small tomato, sliced

3 cucumber slices

3 red onion rings

½ teaspoon capers

Calories: 240  Fat: 12 g  Saturated Fat: 3.5  Cholesterol: 24 mg  Sodium: 838 mg  Carbohydrates: 14 g Fiber: 4 g  Protein: 17 g  Sugar: 5 g


2 tablespoons hummus

1 tablespoons chopped tomato

1 tablespoon chopped cucumber

3 red onion rings

2 Greek olives, sliced

½ ounce crumbled Feta cheese

Calories: 250  Fat: 14.5  Saturated Fat: 4 g  Cholesterol: 13 g  Sodium: 710 mg  Carbohydrates: 19 g  Fiber: 6 g  Protein: 9 g  Sugar: 4 g

Tuna & White Bean:

2 tablespoon White Bean Spread (recipe follows)

2 ounces good quality tuna in olive oil (I like Tonnino)

2 Greek olives, sliced

Pinch Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon fresh herbs (basil, oregano, or chives)

Calories: 320  Fat: 11.5 g  Saturated Fat: 2.5 g Cholesterol: 25 mg  Sodium: 760 mg  Carbohydrates: 25 g  Fiber: 8 g  Protein: 25 g  Sugar: 1 g
For White Bean Spread: Drain and rinse 1 (15-ounce can) of cannelini beans.  Mash with a fork and add 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons minced shallot, juice from 1/2 a lemon, a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste.  Makes about 2 cups.




Favorite Recipe Friday: Korean Grilled Chicken Breasts


Spring has sprung which means grilling season is around the corner.  This Korean Grilled Chicken is one of my all-time favorite grilled chicken recipes.  It’s got it all: a hint of sweetness from apple sauce (traditionally, pureed pear, which also acts as a tenderizer), nuttiness from sesame oil, saltiness of soy sauce and spiciness of ginger, garlic and onion.  Even better, it’s healthy, incredibly easy, kid-friendly and it comes together in no time!

Click here for full recipe and nutrition facts (from Skinnytaste.com).

Serving suggestion: Serve over brown rice with grilled or roasted veggies. Also, great as leftovers to serve cold over salad greens.

Favorite Recipe Friday: Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies


I really am a firm believer in moderation and for those of you who know me or follow me on Instagram, know I love to bake.  Life would not be complete without dessert.  Don’t get me wrong, I can’t have baked goods around all the time or I WILL eat them. I generally bake a few times a month for dinner with friends, birthdays, parties or fundraisers.  That being said, I’ve created a collection of recipes that I want to share with you so when you need to make something sweet, you know it’s gonna be good.

Enter, Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies.

These cookies are to die for.  They are all beloved cookies rolled into one single cookie.  They have oatmeal. They have peanut butter. They have chocolate chips.  They are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and they truly are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  So let’s take a moment of silence to thank “Joan” from All Recipes for THIS heavenly cookie.  Thank you, Joan.  Thank you.

Wild Card Wednesday: Instead of eating less, cook more–New York Times Food


I know, I know. I sound like a broken record but seriously, cooking at home is arguably the best thing you can do for you and your family’s health.  And, it doesn’t need to be fancy shmancy meals that take an hour to prepare.  It can be as simple as adding your own toppings to a pre-made pizza dough or flat bread, scrambling some eggs or building your own burritos. (Just don’t forget to serve some veggies or fruit on the side.)  If you choose to go out to eat more often than not, you are without-a-doubt getting far more calories, fat, and salt than you’d get in a homemade version of the same thing.  Not to mention, you are spending a lot more money.

Here are some easy, quick meal ideas, beyond pasta, to remind you that cooking at home doesn’t have to be complicated:

Burritos or burrito bowls: Canned beans, cheese, seasoned brown rice, salsa (or fresh tomatoes and onions), avocado or guacamole.  Feel free to add roasted veggies, chicken or steak. Or, go breakfast and make eggs, uncured bacon or sausage, potatoes, cheese, avocado and salsa.  Serve with fresh fruit or raw veggies.

Build your own pizzas: Top pre-made pizza dough, English muffins, bagels or baguettes with your favorite toppings.  I recommend upgrading your pizza base to a whole grain version.  Serve with a green salad or veggies and dip.

Burgers (turkey, veggie, chicken, or beef): Throw your patties (if you’re making beef, opt for 93% lean) on the grill or in a skillet.  Put them on a whole grain bun, top with red onion, lettuce, and tomatoes.  Serve a salad, corn on the cob, grilled veggies or baked sweet potato fries on the side.

Breakfast for dinner:  Scramble some eggs with veggies, mix up some whole grain pancake batter (I like this Kodiak Cakes variety), or make your own french toast with whole wheat bread.  Serve a bowl of fresh fruit alongside.

Soup and grilled cheese:  Make your own soup, get some fresh from your local grocery store, or check out the lower sodium varieties in a box.  Serve it alongside grilled cheese made with whole grain bread and raw veggies (with dip, if desired).

Chicken and veggies on the barbie: Before you head off for the day, put boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs in a large Ziploc bag and let ‘er marinade all day.  When you’re ready to cook, toss some chopped veggies with a little olive oil, salt and fresh pepper, put both the chicken and veggies on a BBQ-safe grill pan and dinner is ready in less than 20 minutes.  Not grill season?  Roast it in the oven or use an indoor grill pan.

Fish or shellfish (stove-top or oven): Fish and shellfish cook super fast and if you get a fresh piece of fish, it doesn’t need much in the way of seasoning.  And shrimp is awesome because you buy it frozen, it defrosts in about 10 minutes and cooks in less time than that (an average fish fillet cooks in about 6-10 minutes). This Teriyaki Salmon from the Skinnytaste blog is one of my favorite fish recipes.  And if you are craving sushi, you MUST try this Spicy California Shrimp Stack.

Don’t fret. I will continually post my recipes or recipes I love that fall into these “quick meal” categories.  So stay tuned and come back often!

Favorite Recipe Friday: California Burrito Bowl


It doesn’t have to be breakfast time to eat breakfast food.  We often make breakfast for dinner because it’s quick, easy and kid-friendly.

This burrito bowl was inspired by a burrito native to Southern California: the California Burrito.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s typically a big, fat burrito stuffed with beef, cheese, and fries (or fried potatoes).  Yep, french fries INSIDE the burrito.  Instead, I opted for sweet potato fries, which are a healthier alternative and chicken apple sausage because it’s delicious and breakfast-y. Together, they provide a complimentary sweetness to the savory ingredients.

And, instead of the big guacamole bomb that often accompanies a typical massive burrito, I created a fresh, chunky avocado salsa sure to satisfy your guacamole craving.  Is your mouth watering yet?  Here’s the recipe:


Cooking spray

10 ounces (about 3 cups) frozen sweet potato fries (I like Alexia brand)

2 green onions, chopped (white and green parts separated)

1 small tomato, diced

1 small (4 ounce) avocado, diced

Juice from ½ lime

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces fully-cooked, uncured chicken apple sausage, chopped

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Hot sauce (optional)


Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray and bake sweet potatoes according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine onion greens, tomato, avocado, lime juice, cilantro, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Mix gently and set aside.

Spray a small skillet with cooking spray.  Add sausage and cook until warmed and crisp on the edges.  Remove from skillet and keep warm.

In another small bowl combine eggs, onion whites, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Beat with a fork to combine. Add butter to skillet and scramble eggs.

Build your bowl: Chop the fries and sausage.  Layer ¼ of the eggs, sausage, fries, cheese and salsa in each of 4 bowls. Top with hot sauce (if desired). Makes 4 bowls.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories:   370
Protein:   16 g
Carbohydrate:   27 g
Dietary Fiber:   5 g
Total Sugars:   8 g
Total Fat:   21.5 g
Saturated Fat:   5.5 g
Cholesterol:   225 mg
Sodium:   580 mg

Nutrition Note: Looking to lighten it up?  Substitute egg whites for all or part of the egg, use reduced fat cheese and/or omit the butter and scramble eggs in a non-stick pan with cooking spray.

Miss the tortilla? Wrapping it up in a 10-inch tortilla adds roughly 200 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 500 milligrams of sodium. Alternatively, you can serve it (as show above) with a piece of lightly buttered whole grain toast for an extra (roughly) 100 calories, 4 grams of fat and 100 mg of sodium.

Serving suggestion: Serve with fruit salad.