Fail-proof Instant Pot polenta grits

Polentagrits

Let me preface this post by admitting this: I am not from the southern United States. According to my Ancestry DNA, I am less than 7 percent Italian. But hey, I have this piece of paper (from a UC-accredited culinary school) hanging up on the wall of my bedroom that says that I am a pretty decent cook. I crave cheesy polenta grits, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to stand in front of my stove constantly stirring.

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Chocolate sherbet


I am obsessed with ice cream. Lately I have been really into making my own home made concoctions, because I can get my ice cream fix using quality ingredients…for a fraction of the price.

This recipe is a bit of a sorbet/ice cream hybrid, as it uses almond milk for a bit of creaminess…but it has all the intense, deep flavor of a sorbet. Bonus: it’s lactose-free!
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Soft honey white bread

Milk And Madeleines white bread

This week something very rare happened: we ran out of sandwich bread. I know, I know, this sounds unbelievable coming from a bread-a-holic. I’ve been busy working on my latest A&E story for the Weekly, and I needed a fairly easy homemade white bread recipe that not only tasted better than store-bought bread, but could be made with my KitchenAid stand mixer with very little hands-on time. I adapted this recipe from Fun Cheap or Free:

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Toffee crumble brownie bites

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Have you ever read a brownie recipe and rolled your eyes upon reading, “Wait one hour before cutting?”

I’m sorry, but when I crave brownies, I want them now. (Cue Veruca Salt voice.)

Generally speaking, muffins cool much faster than brownies, so I decided to make three-bite brownies baked in muffin cups. More specifically, I baked them using a six-cup muffin tin and silicone baking cups.

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Mastering the Art of “Everything” Vegetable Soup

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This is called using whatever you’ve got.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s pretty common to subscribe to some kind of produce delivery service. For us, it’s Imperfect Produce and Farmstead.

Although these delivery services make healthy eating a lot easier, occasionally we wind up with a bit of surplus near the end of the month.

Even if you don’t use one of these delivery services, you’ve got to admit that this is the season when vegetables shine. Corn, green beans and tomatoes are at their peak in the summer. It’s hard not to overdo it and buy too much when the prices on produce are so low.

In my freezer, I had about a cup of veggies on the verge of freezer burn, and a blob of tomato paste leftover from making pasta sauce so I threw those into this dish as well. Why not clean out the fridge and the freezer?

Other great substitutes or add-ins could be celery, cooked beans, sweet potatoes, or again, whatever you have!

Soup isn’t typically the first thing people crave in summer, but just trust me. This recipe walks the line of being light enough for summer and hearty enough to satisfy. It would pair awesomely with a salad, pasta dish or sandwich. Although my version is vegetarian, it could easily be vegan if you skip the sour cream garnish.

Let’s just be honest — this is the easiest (and most cost effective) way to make sure none of that summer veg goes to waste. Extra points if you save the root ends of your carrot, leek, garlic cloves and shallot in the freezer to make a homemade stock later!

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Get $10 off your first Imperfect Produce order!

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I find beauty in all vegetables and fruits. This is why I get excited every Friday morning when I receive my Imperfect Produce box!

America wastes 40% of our food. 20% of America’s produce never makes it off the farm due to small cosmetic imperfections. This is a company I support, because it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Everything tastes just as good as what I find in markets, if not better, and it is equally as nutritious! I have made carrot cake, fajitas, frittatas, sheet pans full of roasted vegetables, stir-fries and numerous other recipes using Imperfect Produce and I can personally vouch: it’s all delicious. Check out their FAQ page if you’d like to find out more.

For the past month, I have been posting photos of my roasted Imperfect vegetables, and decided to share the love: I have decided to post a promo code so that my readers can try a box and receive $10 off!

It’s easy! Just sign up at Imperfect Produce, select which box you’d like to try and customize your box to suit your tastes — my favorite Imperfect items are the carrots and sweet potatoes. They are a fraction of the price I have paid in stores.

At checkout, there will be a box labeled, “Friend’s name.” Input my name as MILKANDMADELEINES and you will be credited $10.

Currently, Imperfect Produce delivers to areas throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Customers can also pick up their produce free of delivery charge from their Emeryville location. Check your zip code to see if they can deliver to your area. Let’s “go ugly!”

No-knead English muffins

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This past spring, I took a trip to Napa Valley and experienced the most incredible English muffins from a local bakery in the area. I’m serious about my bread. This English muffin made all other English muffins look silly. The outside was slightly crisp and the inside was fluffy and full of nooks and crannies. It’s all about that texture. If you know me, you know that I love any bread full of nooks and crannies.

Nooks and crannies = little pockets to hold butter!

When I got home, I was inspired to re-create my English muffin experience at home using the same recipe as my no-knead herb slab ciabatta, sans the herbs.

This recipe is just as easy as the ciabatta recipe…and there’s no need to even turn on your oven! I’ll show you how to make your own English muffins, full of nooks and crannies…

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