There is something truly special about eating outdoors. Nothing beats the smokey, buttery flavor of fresh barbecued corn, sharing a bottle of wine with a close friend at a park, or simply enjoying a peaceful lunch on a bench under a shady tree. Being outside can transform any meal into a magical occasion. One of Ryan’s favorite childhood memories was going to summer concerts at the Oregon Zoo with his family and enjoying the wonderful picnics that his mom would thoughtfully pack in a woven basket filled with assorted snacks, drinks, and sweet treats. The best part was sitting on a big, comfy blanket with everyone enjoying hot and delicious sandwiches while watching great live music. This mouthwatering recipe inspired by those fond memories, in which savory melted Gruyère cheese blends with sliced scallions, aromatic dill, white wine vinegar, and cubed tofu on a toasty buttered roll, makes a hearty vegetarian sandwich that is light and perfect for a summer day.
Hosting brunch is one of those things that sounds good in theory, but actually can be kind of stressful. If you decide to make something classic like pancakes, you will quickly realize—as you hover over the stove flipping your twentieth pancake while the rest of your guests have already started eating—that perhaps a less labor-intensive meal would have been easier. The secret to a stress-free brunch is simply this: a main dish that is prepped the day before, so all you have to do in the morning is pop it in the oven and get ready for your guests to arrive. The other secret is to make a crowd-pleasing recipe like this baked french toast, in which crusty sourdough bread is layered with smooth cream cheese and fresh blueberries before being immersed in a delicious maple-flavored egg mixture, then baked in the oven to a golden brown perfection and topped with sweet, homemade blueberry syrup with hints of vanilla.
For the past few weeks, it has been bitterly cold here in Los Angeles, dipping to bone-chilling temperatures in the 60’s, and grey overcast skies lasting the entire day. We’ve even had to wear jackets! But thankfully, we have a comforting recipe for a hot cup of ginger tea infused with golden honey and freshly squeezed lemon that warms the soul and soothes the senses, whether you live in LA or somewhere with a more… aggressive climate.
There is nothing that compares to homemade hummus, and this classic recipe is so simple you can make it in less than five minutes. Freshly squeezed lemon and raw garlic combine with the nuttiness of tahini and tender garbanzo beans to give this Middle Eastern spread a sharp, bold flavor that just cannot be found in store-bought hummus. It is extremely addicting and easy to prepare, but since it is so healthy you can enjoy this delicious vegetarian appetizer anytime.
Actually, the full title should be chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough and toasted marshmallow, but that would be too over the top… Kind of like these incredible treats, in which a dark chocolate cupcake is topped with a ball of peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough, before being draped in whipped marshmallow and then toasted to a deep golden perfection.