All posts by nhiberry

Tubby Does Whole30

Guys. I finished Whole30!!!! For those of you who haven’t heard me talk (aka complain about not being able to eat something) about Whole30, it is a jumpstart into paleo eating. For 30 days: no grains, no dairy, no processed foods, no added sugars. Also, no booze. And another kicker, no paleo-versions of your favorite treats. That means if you’re craving pancakes, you can’t make a gluten-free, paleo-ized version of them. There’s also a bunch of other little rules and some minute exceptions – you can read all of them here.

During my 30 days, I was asked a ton of questions–and don’t get me wrong–I love the questions!! But, I followed my answers up with a “I’m going to blog on tubbytuesday about this!” so… here I am!

Pre-Whole30 Shopping Trip = $$$
Pre-Whole30 Shopping Trip = $$$

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?! I thought you were super tubby and loved food. I am super tubby and I do love eating food! Whole30 is all about knowing where your food comes from–no processed foods. Almost everything you eat, you make yourself. You’re held accountable for what you’re consuming, and that was something that definitely appealed to me. I obviously love cooking and my busy schedule this past year “prevented” me from spending time in the kitchen. Aka, I was making excuses and eating out a lot. I think Whole30 could be a little more difficult–but not impossible–for people who don’t enjoy cooking… but alternatively, it could really teach you how to cook. Maybe you’ll even learn to love it! I also started Whole30 because despite loving food, I was loving food a little too much. I had the worst eating habits. AKA I would stress eat all day and then come home from school at 11pm and RAID my kitchen and then promptly fall asleep. And then wake up and do it again the next day. It was out of control and I was gaining a lot of weight which I was completely unhappy with. Whole30 is about changing those habits and trying to prevent food from “controlling” you.

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Whole30: Meal Planning 101

Why can’t you eat that? Before I decided to do this, I read “It Starts with Food” which is a book I would highly recommend to anyone considering paleo/Whole30.  It talks about the biological effects of what you consume and it made sense. For me, Whole30 really came down to one thing: eating nutrient-dense foods. Carbs are great, but they’re just meaningless carbs. GASP. I know. This is coming from the girl who used to eat an everything bagel everyday in college.  I seriously recommend reading the book but if you have quick “why not?” questions, then scope out this manifesto series.

BLAT: Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato
BLAT: Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato

Sooooo… how about them cheat days? No! No cheat days. You can do anything for 30 days, I promise. If I can do it, you can totally do it too. Now, is that to say my Whole30 was the most perfect Whole30 to have ever happened? Hell no. But I tried to stick to it as best as humanly possible. When I cooked, I stayed 100% compliant. However, I went out a total of 7 times during my Whole30 and tried each time to keep it as perfect as possible (except for one time… see below!). I chose foods and restaurants that were the most compliant. You can also make your favorite restaurants compliant. For example, at Chipotle, carnitas are the compliant protein. Get extra guac and cut the beans and rice and you’re all set. You can ask for burgers wrapped in “lettuce-buns” and ask for your sushi to get rolled in cucumber instead of rice.

I bet I slipped here and there (it’s tricky when you’re dealing with compliant oils!), but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Also, I confess: I ate fried bananas at a Brazilian steakhouse. They were definitely covered with some type of batter or grain… but they are my favorite non-meat item there though, and I couldn’t say no. It was my one cognizant cheat. I know. I’m sorry, Whole30. I regret nothing. I love those fried bananas.

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What are you eating? Omg. A lot of delicious food. I discovered my new favorite way to make chicken (Cracklin’ Chicken) and learned that turkey burgers (from Trader Joe’s) sans bread are actually pretty delicious.  I ate A LOT of guacamole (again, thanks TJ’s!) and went through over a dozen avocados (not including the ones in the guac–I went through two and a half packages of Avocado’s Number Guacamole) during my 30 days. Sweet potatoes + my microwave became my new best friend and figured out a way to make easy roasted garlic mashed potatoes (I’ll post these recipes one day, I promise!).  But mostly, I ate a lot of fresh or sautéed produce. I grilled a lot of my proteins–steaks, pork chops, sausage, and burgers. It was great. There are also a lot of packaged (but not exceedingly processed) foods out there! Applegate has compliant deli meat. Their roasted turkey breast is my favorite. There’s also a ton of sausages–I found them at TJ’s, Whole Foods, and BJ’s. I also discovered Larabars. Try the Apple Pie and the Cashew Cookie. You’re welcome.

Cracklin' Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Cracklin’ Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Also, I discovered bulletproof coffee. That in itself deserves a post.

Bulletproof Coffee & Breakfast
Bulletproof Coffee & Breakfast

Okay, but how do you feeeeeel? Does it “work”? I felt great, honestly! I thought everyone was out of their minds when they were saying that Whole30 did such magical things to you. I shouldn’t be, but I am genuinely surprised by how great I feel when I’m eating better. Tiger blood is real, y’all. No seriously. I am sleeping WAY better. Meaning I don’t wake up during the night and I feel way more refreshed in the morning. I have a Jawbone Up that tracks my sleep–and the difference is actually noticeable when I go back and compare to pre-Whole30. As a result of my improved sleep, I have way more energy and feel better as a whole. And my skin has cleared up–which is aweeeesome. And, I can actually manage my cravings now. I’m far from perfect, but I’m definitely better about eating when I’m actually hungry. I’m more cognizant of the difference between satiety and satiation.

As for the whole losing weight thing, I’m honestly not sure how to answer this. I started going to the gym (a place I affectionally call the “James” because I used to be so unfamiliar with it) part of the way through Whole30… so, yes, I lost some weight, but I don’t think 100% of my weight loss can be attributed to eating alone. I lost 8 pounds (although most of that is probably water weight), but what’s most exciting is I’ve lost a total of 8 inches from my hip, waist, and thighs combined! My clothes fit better and any excuse to go shopping is great in my book!

Are you going to continue? I would like to. I’m still deciding. I know I said carbs are meaningless but I love bougie pizza and I KNOW I couldn’t go without Vietnamese food for forever. HOWEVER, I’ve also figured out that carbs (??) make me feel sluggish and bloated. I’m trying to figure out how to continue paleo because I think it’s fantastic, but I also don’t think it’s sustainable for me at this point in my life.  And I’m really not ready to part with donuts, despite the after-effects. I’m going to continue with the “reintroduction” phase to try to figure out what effects various foods have on me. We’ll see! Suggestions are always welcome if you’ve done this before/are doing it now!


I don’t know if I’ve covered every question I’ve been asked but I’m always happy to answer more. I’m far from a paleo expert, but I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned. Quick cheesy shout out to my really awesome friends who were supportive about my cavegirl eating habits and were especially wonderful about telling me that I didn’t aaaaaaactually want to eat that carb-y, (not) delicious-smelling pizza.



I made bacon jam.

What is bacon jam, you ask? It is heaven. It is delicious, smoky, salty spreadable bacon in a bath of caramelized onion and garlic goodness. My roommates say the end product smells like barbecue sauce, but this is way better than barbecue sauce. 

Bacon Jam
Bacon Jam

The last time I made bacon jam, I had no idea how to eat/use it. I served it with cheese and crackers at a dinner party and it was gone in minutes. I’m not joking; this stuff is like crack. That was in November, and friends have been bugging me for months to make it again. So you’ve been warned: make this jam and you (or your fam/friends) might turn into an addict.

Bacon Jam
Bacon Jam

Anyway, eating crackers with bacon jam is fine and dandy, but I don’t think that simplicity allows the jam to live up to it’s full potential. When I made the jam this time around, I used it in three different recipes–and ohmigod this shit is good. I totally blindly subscribe to the foodie bacon craze but even sometimes I can admit that bacon doesn’t make everything better. Bacon JAM, however… this really does make everything so much better. Below are the three ways I used the jam (yanno, besides eating it straight off a spoon).

Breakfast: So easy but insanely tasty. I toasted a slice of oatmeal bread, spread bacon jam on top, and topped it with a fried egg. The runny yolk and the little bits of bacon… okay … I can’t even talk about this anymore because I’m salivating all over my keyboard. Just do it. Trust me.

Toast with Fried Egg and Bacon Jam
Toast with Fried Egg and Bacon Jam

Lunch: Grilled Cheese with Bacon Jam. Self explanatory, no? Very good, very delicious, very cheesy. I used smoked gouda and fontina cheese. I would eat this for every meal if I didn’t have to squeeze into a bridesmaid dress in a few weeks! Well, also, I’m lactose-intolerant, but whatever, this is too good to give up. The tubby life is both a blessing and a curse.

Grilled Cheese with Bacon Jam
Grilled Cheese with Bacon Jam

Dinner: I roasted vegetables and chicken thighs and stuffed bacon jam under the skin. SALTY SWEET, people. If you haven’t figured it out… I love salty-sweet flavor combinations.  The jam also does a killer job at keeping the thighs moist–not that they need much help anyway.

Roasted Chicken with Bacon Jam
Roasted Chicken with Bacon Jam

Okay, without further ado, the recipe! Also, I promise my next tubbytuesday post will not have bacon in it. Actually, I can’t promise that, but I will try my hardest. Maybe.

And for your food porn viewing pleasure, this is what two pounds of cooked bacon looks like. YUM. I can hear your arteries clogging from all the way over here!


Bacon Jam (adapted from thekitchn and theperfectpantry)
recipe makes ~1 pint of jam
2 lbs of bacon
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
3/4 c coffee
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp ground pepper (I eyeballed this)

1. Chop bacon into 1 inch strips. Cook the bacon over medium-high heat until bacon is browned. I did this step in two batches, draining the bacon fat in between. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
2. Drain all but one tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan and add onions and garlic. Turn the heat down to low-medium and cook until the onions are soft–around 5-10 minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients: coffee, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, brown sugar, mustard, and ground pepper. Turn the heat back up to high and let this mixture come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, let it boil for about two minutes.
4. Add the bacon and let this simmer for an hour.  Feel free to add more coffee or water if it looks like it’s drying out. When the onions have become essentially mush and the liquid becomes more viscous–think more like cold syrup–then it’s done!
5. Let it cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a food processor or blender. Pulse and check frequently–you want it to be spreadable but you still want little bits of bacon-y goodness. Don’t blend it so much that it becomes a thick paste! Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
6. Enjoy! Eat it on everything! It is amazing.

Bacon Sugar Cookies

I’m back! I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to post on my blog. Actually, that’s a total and complete lie. I’ve been busy moving back to Philly and finishing up a summer class. But now I’m back and I’m never leaving (that’s another lie, I will most likely forget to blog again).

But ANYWAY. I made bacon sugar cookies. I saw them on @tworedbowls’ instagram and decided I had to make them.  She makes hers with sweet corn ice cream, which sounds wickedly delicious. But alas, I have no ice cream maker, so I couldn’t completely replicate her genius ideas.

… I really need to get an ice cream maker.

Bacon Sugar Cookies
Bacon Sugar Cookies

If I’m being honest, the bacon-brittle mixture was a pain in my tubby butt. It was delicious and wonderful, but I’m not sure that I’ll make these again. I don’t think I got the sugar to melt at the perfect temperature, so I had problems when it cooled and had to re-melt the entire bacon-y concoction. PLUS do you guys know how hard it is to have bacon (that you can’t eat because it’s covered in a hot caramel that will burn your tastebuds off) in front of you? Meh. No fun.

I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe – one I found at AllRecipes years ago – and subbed out some butter for cooked bacon grease (Yum! And totally great for your arteries!).

Bacon Sugar Cookies
Bacon Sugar Cookies

Look, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but these cookies are pretty delicious. They’re salty and sweet. The cookies are soft, but the sugary bacon bits provide a nice texture contrast. I’m a fan. Enjoy!

Bacon Sugar Cookies
bacon coating (from mynameisyeh)
1/2 lb bacon, I used a thick-cut applewood
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c water
1/2 tsp baking soda

sugar cookies (adapted from allrecipes)
2 3/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c butter, softened
1/4 c bacon fat, reserved from above
1 1/2 c white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

bacon coating
1. Cook bacon until crispy. Reserve fat and coarsely chop bacon. Set aside.
2. Combine chopped bacon, sugar, and water in a small nonstick pan. Cook until caramel brown. Stir often so the sugar does not burn.
3. Once desired color is reached, remove from heat and add baking soda. Pour onto lined (with parchment paper) cookie pan and left to cool.
4. Once cooled, break into pieces and pulse in a blender or food processor until it reaches a grainy, sugary consistency. Set aside.

sugar cookies
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
2. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl.
3. In a second bowl, cream butter, reserved bacon fat, and sugar until smooth.
4. Add egg and vanilla to butter mixture.
5. Slowly add dry ingredients.
6. Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls, cover in bacon coating, and then place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden. Move to a wire rack to cool (or the sugar might solidify and you’ll have cookies stuck on your cookie sheet! I’m not speaking from experience or anything, though…..).

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting Topped with Toasted Coconuts and Almonds

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting Topped with Toasted Coconuts and Almonds! Phew! What a mouthful. I’ve gotta start making less complicated cupcakes… just kidding.

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

I don’t think I use coconut enough in baking and I really should! Toasted coconut is one of the simplest cupcake toppings (way easier than candied bacon) but it looks beautiful and tastes delicious! But more importantly, coconut tricks you into thinking you’re kind of sort of eating something healthy. Because it’s technically fruit… No? Just me?

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

For the crazed chocolate lovers out there, you can also make this cupcake with a chocolate cake… but one of the greatest chocophiles I know told me that these vanilla bean ones are “gems of confectionarianism” so you can’t lose either way!

The recipe calls for cake flour. If you’re anything like me, you probably won’t want to run out to the store just to buy cake flour when you have good old all-purpose flour at home. In that case, substitute your flours. All-purpose flour is denser than cake flour.  For every cup of cake flour you need, measure out the same amount of all-purpose flour BUT remove 2 tablespoons of flour before adding it to your mixing bowl. By removing the 2 tablespoons, you’ve decreased the density of the cake flour. Or if you hate doing math/measuring/being lazy, you could just go to the store and spend extra money on the cake flour…

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

Recipes for the individual components are below. Be sure to let the cupcakes completely cool before stuffing/frosting.  To assemble, start by either piping Nutella into each cupcake–I use a #230 piping tip. Be sure to warm up the Nutella a little bit before piping! Alternatively, you can cut out the center of each cupcake and spoon the Nutella into each center.  Bonus: extra vanilla cake crumbs! Top with frosting: I literally took a spoon and just plopped the icing on top of each cupcake. It was way easier than piping the icing on! Don’t worry if it looks ugly–the toasted coconut and almonds cover everything up!

Vanilla Bean Nutella Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups)
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 eggs
1 cup milk
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake pan with liners.
2. Sift together the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt).
3. With mixer on low, slowly add butter a few cubes at a time continuing until all butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse sand.
4. Add eggs one at a time on low speed.
5. Measure out milk and add the vanilla beans and extract.  Add this mixture until fully combined.
6. Fill liners (about 2/3 full) and bake for 15-20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Whipped Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp gelatin
1 tbsp water
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
~1/2 to 1 cups powdered sugar
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

1. Skip this step if you plan on using your frosting the same day. Gelatin stabilizes the whipped cream so you won’t have to deal with a wilted, watery frosting. Add gelatin and water to a small container. After it sets, melt the mixture using the microwave in 5 second intervals until it is a liquid. Set aside to cool.
2. Using a mixer, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form.  While mixing, slowly add gelatin mixture.
3. Add powdered sugar until desired sweetness is reached. I usually add around 1/4 cup.  Keep in mind that you’ll end up folding this into a sweetened cream-cheese frosting mixture.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the cream cheese and butter until uniform. Again, add powdered sugar until desired sweetness is reached.
5. Using a spatula, gently fold the whipped cream and coconut into the cream cheese mixture.

Toasted Coconut and Almond Topping
1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. Spread 1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut and 1/3 cup sliced almonds out on a cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted. Be careful, it can go from toasted to burnt very quickly!

Homemade Donuts


I’ve never had a bad donut. It’s fried dough dipped in sugar. You can’t really mess that up. This could be foodie sacrilege to say, but my favorite yeast donuts come from Krispy Kreme. Yeeees, I know there’s probably some bougie donut place that makes them fifty times better without half the preservatives/chemicals/whatever, but just pause for a second: have you ever had one? Have you had one WARM out of the fryer and freshly glazed? Are you drooling? I am. 

Glazed & Cinnamon-Sugar Donuts
Glazed & Cinnamon-Sugar Donuts

I set out to replicate my beloved donuts, but the ones I made just aren’t a Krispy Kreme donut. Sigh. Maybe it’s because I used butter instead of shortening? Or maybe I didn’t perfect the glaze? I’m not positive. Don’t get me wrong: the donuts I made are GREAT. They’re light and they’re beautifully glazed and they are best when served hot out of the fryer.

Unglazed and Unsugared!
Unglazed and Unsugared!

I won’t stop until I find the perfect recipe that makes the perfect Krispy Kreme-esque donut. Maybe I just have to have a multiple recipe and store bought side-by-side taste test comparison. Yanno. For science. I’ll report back if/when I do find that recipe, but in the meantime, these will still hit the spot!


The one clear downside to making donuts vs. buying donuts is the time commitment.  These are a yeast donut, so from start (I am craving a donut) to end (yum!), it took about 3 hours–bleh. Alternatively, I could have driven out to the nearest Krispy Kreme (and devoured half a dozen donuts) and returned home in the time it took me to just make the donut dough.

A note on yeast doughs: you always need a warm, draft-free place to allow your dough to rise. My favorite place is my oven! Preheat your oven to it’s lowest setting–mine is 170º.  Once it’s heated, turn the oven off and start making the dough. A nice warm, draft-free space for your dough to happily rise. And most importantly to me: it’s a place my puppies can’t get into! Be sure to use an oven-proof (no plastic!) container… and make sure your container is large enough for the rising process, or else you’ll go from this…


To this….



Homemade Donuts (Recipe is from Immaculate Bites.)
ingredients – for donuts
– 2 (1/4 ounce) packages yeast or 4-½ teaspoon yeast
– ⅓ cup water
– 1½ cup milk
– ½ cup sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
– 2 eggs
– ⅓ cup butter
– 5 cups all-purpose flour
– Oil for frying
ingredients – for glaze
– ½ cup butter (melted)
– 2 cups powdered sugar
– 2 teaspoons vanilla
– 5-7 tablespoons evaporated milk

  1. I used my KitchenAid mixer. In the mixer bowl, combine warm (it should be on the hotter side, but not scalding) water and yeast. Let it dissolve for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat milk for about 2 minutes in the microwave. Remove and let it cool.
  3. Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and 2 cups of flour to the bowl of yeast.
  4. Mix for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour and continue mixing dough. Continually scrape down the sides.
  5. Place dough in a large greased bowl. Cover loosely with a clean clothe and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 to 2 hours or until doubled.
  6. Roll dough out on a floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness. Cut into doughnuts using a donut cutter or cookie cutter about one 1-inch and one 3 or 4-inch. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
  7. Heat oil until it reaches 375º.  I used a deep fryer.  If pan frying, make sure you have around 3 inches of oil in your pan.
  8. Carefully drop doughnuts into hot oil, only a few at a time. Fry, turning once, for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on prepared paper towels.
  9. For the glaze: melt butter and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla extract until everything comes together.  Add milk until you have reached the desired consistency. Dip doughnuts in glaze and let it drip on the rack.
  10. Alternatively, you could dip your donuts in a mixture of cinnamon-sugar (1 teaspoon of cinnamon for 1/2 cup of sugar).

Red Velvet Chocolate Stuffed Pancakes with Strawberry Mascarpone

I love Sunday brunches in Philly.  Even though I try to visit a new place every time I go out to brunch, there’s something about Green Eggs Cafe that keeps me coming back. It’s probably because of their red velvet pancakes.  If you’ve ever gone to Green Eggs, you know that their pancake portions are GINORMOUS. I could never finish an entire plate, so whenever I go, I usually split the kids size version with friends as a brunch “appetizer” in true tubby fashion.  And more importantly, my favorite brunch food is Eggs Benedict and I can never turn down Green Eggs’ extensive eggs benny menu (seriously, what kind of tubby would I be to say no to Pork Belly or Chicken & Waffles Eggs Benedict?! Mmm…) so all the more reason to get the kiddie size!

Red Velvet Pancakes

Red Velvet Pancakes

These pancakes are surprisingly easy to make.  The batter is fairly simple and although I’m guilty of using Bisquick every now and then making these from scratch is totally worth it! 

The only tricky part is “stuffing” the pancakes with chocolate.  After pouring half the pancake batter onto a hot skillet, I quickly put a handful of mini chocolate chips before pouring on the remaining pancake batter. You have to work fairly quickly so the pancake cooks evenly.  Another note: generally, the rule is to wait until you see bubbles appearing on the pancake’s surface before flipping. I didn’t want the pretty red pancakes to burn, so I flipped it a little earlier. Give it around two minutes!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet CupcakesWhen all the pancakes were done, I layered them with a strawberry mascarpone and topped off the stack with fresh strawberries and some whipped cream. Green Eggs serves theirs with maple syrup but I don’t think they need the extra sugar! 

Red Velvet Pancakes

Red Velvet Pancakes

red velvet chocolate stuffed pancakes (adapted from Cooking Classy)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
5 teaspoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons butter, unsalted and melted
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

10 large strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).
2. In a separate bowl, add milk and vinegar. Let this mixture sit for three minutes before adding the remaining ingredients: sugar, eggs, red food coloring, vanilla, and butter.
3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture until fully incorporated.
4. Heat a non-stick skillet at medium-high heat.  While the skillet warms up, mix the chopped strawberries, mascarpone cheese, and powdered sugar in a small bowl.
5. Pour about half of a 1/3 measuring cup of batter onto a hot, non-stick skillet.  Add chocolate chips if desired and add the remaining batter, covering the chocolate chips.
6. Cook for about 2 minutes before flipping and finishing the opposite side! Done!
7. Spread strawberry-mascarpone mixture in between pancake layers. Top with chopped strawberries, whipped cream, and powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!

lamb and butternut squash

I’m fairly certain that lamb and rosemary are food BFFs. Well, okay, that’s a lie–rosemary and garlic are the real best friends and sometimes they like to hang out with lamb and when that happens, IT IS MAGICAL. Guys, I’m being serious.

For whatever tubby-induced reason (ok it was mostly because lamb is always delicious), I decided to make lamb chops for dinner.  Shout out to Zach for fueling my lamb cravings and sending me the original recipe!

I’m just going to shut up now and let you begin drooling on your keyboards. Start with rosemary, thyme, garlic, cayenne, and salt in a food processor.

Herbs in food processor

Mix until coarsely chopped and add olive oil. Rub marinade on both sides of lamb chops. Giada’s original recipe says you should let this marinate for about an hour.  I didn’t have an hour (read: I was impatient AKA really hungry) and only waited 30 minutes. It was still aaaaamazing.


While the lamb chops marinated, I cubed up a butternut squash and sprinkled some light brown sugar, salt, and pepper over it with a little bit of olive oil.  This went into a 425º oven for 25 minutes.


After 30-60 minutes (or until you’re so hungry you can’t wait any longer, like me), heat a grill pan. Get. It. Really. Hot. Like Ryan Gosling smokin’ hot.  Add the lamb chops and sear for ~3 minutes until they look like these babies below.  Flip and sear the other side for another 3 minutes. At this point, your kitchen smells like what I imagine heaven smells like… try not to drool all over your beautiful lamb chops.  If you MUST eat something due to your uncontrollable starvation, eat the slightly burnt, super crispy garlicy marinade bits that end up at the bottom of the pan… and you must.


All done!


Lamb chops and butternut squash… uggggghhhhhh so tubby, so good. My siblings won’t eat butternut squash and I had a little bit of garlic-rosemary-thyme marinade leftover, so I used it to coat some fingerling potatoes and threw those in the oven at 425º for 50 minutes. You can see a baby potato peeking out in the picture below.


Aaaaand. If you have potatoes/butternut squash leftovers (I intentionally made extra!), make soup! Recipes are below.

Here’s the part where I leave a caveat regarding the accuracy of these recipes. When I’m cooking, I’m not really measuring.  I like to guestimate if I’m using a recipe and if I’m making up the recipe on the spot, I’m usually just tasting while I cook… so whoops, it’s not suuuuper precise. You’ve been warned!

lamb lollipops (original recipe)
1/2 rack of lamb, cut into 8 lamb chops
6  garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, and salt to a food processor. Blend until coarsely chopped.  Add olive oil and pulse until fully mixed.
2. Salt/pepper lamb chops before rubbing marinade onto both sides of lamb chops.  Allow to marinate for ~30 minutes.
3. Heat a grill pan over high heat.  Sear each side of lamb chop for 3 minutes.
4. Devour.

roasted butternut squash
1 medium sized butternut squash, chopped into 1-2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt, pepper
olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 425º.
2. Drizzle olive oil over chopped butternut squash. Sprinkle brown sugar, salt, and pepper.
3. Mix and bake for 25 minutes.

roasted butternut squash soup
roasted butternut squash (I used leftovers from the above recipe)
4 cups chicken broth
1 pear (I used a Bosc pear)
1 medium potato
1/4 cup of coconut cream
1. Add the butternut squash, pear, and potato to a large pot. Cover with chicken broth.
2. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Carefully pour into a blender and blend until smooth.
4. Return blended soup back to pot and add coconut cream. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Enjoy! AKA my lunch leftovers for days!