No-knead deep dish sourdough pizza crust

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Like many people, I have recently acquired a sourdough starter while in quarantine. I promise it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. If you haven’t started one, Zero Waste Chef has all of the resources for you.

This is an easy way to use up the discard, with a little additional “lift” from commercial yeast. The result is a flavorful, not-too-sour crust that has all of the characteristics of your favorite restaurant deep dish: the shatteringly crisp, nearly fried bottom and caramelized cheese edges with an abundance of air bubbles throughout.

Let’s get to it!

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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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Foolproof French Macarons

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French macarons are delightfully crispy-yet-chewy almond meringue sandwich cookies, not to be confused with coconut macaroons. Anyone who is fond of macarons knows that these little delectable cookies can cost up to $5 per cookie. WHY?! Because they can. And they’re adorable.

It has taken me THREE YEARS to fine-tune the process of making my own. I am now boldly calling my vanilla French macaron recipe foolproof, because every single cookie in this batch was perfect. I’ve decided to share this batch with one of my very best friends when we get together today to swap gifts. Read on for the recipe!

P.S. They’re gluten 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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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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Double chocolate brownie cookies for two

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Sometimes I just want the taste of a fudgy brownie without having to make a whole pan of brownies. Recently I featured a recipe for chocolate chip cookies for two, and thought — why don’t I turn this into brownie cookies?

This recipe gives me the brownie flavor I crave, in a much more portable cookie form. Feel free to play around with the add-ins. Walnuts would be awesome in these. Better yet, roll the chilled dough in powdered sugar and they’re chocolate crinkles! Comment below with your favorite brownie add-ins.

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Herb slab ciabatta

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Ciabatta is basically the most perfect bread ever. Why? It has a crispy wispy crust, hearty chew and BIG air bubbles.

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Why do I love the air bubbles? They are basically pockets to hold butter, mashed avocado spread…or whatever you love to slather onto your bread.

My herb slab ciabatta recipe has all of the characteristics of a great ciabatta loaf, the subtle flavor of rosemary and most importantly…it is SO EASY. There is no kneading required.

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Chocolate chip cookies for two

Cookies for two

I fully realize that I have been completely lazy about this whole keeping-up-with-my-blog thing. I am back to tell you about one of my favorite things: giant cookies!

*cue Buddy from Elf voice* I LOVE FAVORITE THINGS!

I have been completely obsessed with this Budget Bytes recipe for snickerdoodles for two, which yields two cafe-style (meaning, HUGE 4 inch diameter) soft cookies.

I am not sure I have ever met a cookie I didn’t like. The snickerdoodles wound up costing 42 cents per cookie, which makes it really hard for me to justify buying cookies for myself at any bakery or cafe ever again.

I thought…maybe I could riff on this recipe and create a chocolate chip cookie dough recipe for two. I tried it, and it definitely hits the spot when I need to exercise just a bit of self-control.

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Bread Baking – Whoops!

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Part of being a food blogger and writer is admitting when something went wrong. Today, I ate my last slice of last week’s 90 Minute Whole Wheat Bread. I am definitely on a whole wheat bread kick, and I knew I wanted to bake more.

I decided to modify the recipe for this week’s batch: no seeds, and no oats. I just wanted some sweet honey wheat bread. I will be seeing a lot of people this week, and I don’t want a smile full of flax and sunflower seeds.

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Latest Obsession – Avocado Toast

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This is not a health food blog. I love butter. I also love chocolate, as proven by yesterday’s post on how to create easy no-bake chocolate peanut butter candy. But to me, breakfast feels like a new beginning. It feels like the meal that will either send me into the day feeling energized and awake, grumpy and hungry, or heavy and sleepy. For me to feel good about a breakfast, I know it needs to have enough calories to make me feel full, have enough flavor for me to feel satisfied, and have few enough calories that I can still enjoy foods other than salads for lunch and dinner. My answer is to fill myself up on healthy fats and fiber at breakfast.

Courtesy of California Avocados Direct

I realize that avocado toast isn’t a new thing to foodie folks who regularly skim through healthy eating Instagram photos, but I think that it’ll be a food trend that will stick around for a while.

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