Zucchini Pizza Salad

Zucchini Pizza Salad - zucchini, tomato, red bell pepper, fresh mozzarella, salami, pepperoni, homemade vinaigrette, olives, croutons

“This is the best salad you’ve ever made for me.”

Say wha??

Shaved zucchini? Tomato puree in the dressing? Shallots and fancy tiny mozzarella balls?

Again I say, shaved zucchini?!

And it’s my husband’s favorite salad I’ve ever given him. Ever. Continue reading

Summer Tomato Flatbread Pizza with Savory Cashew Cream and Quick Fresh Pesto

Summer Tomato Flatbread Pizza with Savory Cashew Cream

Let’s just say it.

Longest title ever.

But If you need to know, in one sentence or less, what this post is about – well, there it is.

Before this flatbread, if anyone had told me they were going to feed me cheese-less pizza I would have slapped them.

Continue reading

Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream - a simple and delicious vegan alternative to dairy creams and cheeses

Oooooooo – check out these fat cashews!

They’re BIG!

And whole, and sweet, and delicious.

Raw cashews, dried bing cherries, candied orange slices from OhNuts.comA whole pound of them arrived on our porch, along with two more pounds of dried fruit (Bing cherries and candied orange slices), after a brief email exchange between yours truly and the people at Oh Nuts.

It took me roughly two seconds to accept their offer of free food in exchange for um, cooking with the aforementioned free food and telling you about it.

It wasn’t a difficult decision.

My husband reached into the cashew bag and pulled one out.

“Who eats unsalted nuts?!”


That’s who. I actually requested the unsalted, raw nuts.

Because raw nuts are good for you, and because I heard about cashew cream once-upon-a-vegan-dream, and I’ve been curious about it ever since.

Because I’ve heard that some people use cashew cream in place of cheese on top of enchiladas and nachos, or to make creamy alfredo sauce for pasta, and that vegans might eat pumpkin pie topped with whipped maple cashew cream.

Yes please, to all of the above.

And because my parents are on a funky strict diet that says cheese is bad, but cashews are good.

So me, them, and vegans. That’s who eats raw cashews.

Cashew cream has a smooth texture and a super mild nutty flavor.

You can make it taste like almost anything you want – its main purpose is to serve as a vehicle for fat.

Fat vehicles are our friends.

If you want it sweet, Sweet Cashew Cream with honey and lemon zestadd a sweet component – honey, agave, sugar, maple syrup.

(I went with honey, fresh ground nutmeg, and lemon zest to top the berries).

You want it savory? Add some salt, spice, and herbs.

You can even make a whipped cashew cream by blending it with some coconut oil.

I’m just sayin’ – fat is good. So are nuts. So are pie and nachos and sugar and salt and summer berries with honey-lemon cream sauce.

Tomorrow we’re looking at heirloom tomato flatbread with fresh pesto and yup, you guessed it, savory cashew cream. . . .

See you then.

Cashew Cream

Cashew cream is the perfect vegan alternative to cream and cheese. With versatility that lends itself to both sweet and savory flavors, it's a healthy option for anyone up for a creamy, dairy-free sauce. Even if you're not typically vegan or dairy-free, give it a try - you might be surprised!


  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • water
  • For Sweet Cashew Cream:
  • 1 cup prepared basic cashew cream
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) fresh grated lemon zest


Rinse cashews with very cold water.

Put the drained nuts in a bowl with enough cold water that the nust are fully covered by about an inch.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate over night.

The next day, drain the cashewsr , reserving the cold soaking water.

Place the nuts in a blender with some of the reserved water. You can determine the thickness of the cream by how much water you add. It's up to you. Start small and add more as you go. I found that the more water I added, the smoother the cream became - which is what I prefered.

Blend on high speed until desired consistency.

Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days.

For the Sweet Cashew Cream

Add in honey and lemon zest and whir in the blender until mixed evenly.


Sara | Home is Where The Cookies Are


Homemade Sweet Potato Chips with Creamy Avocado Lime Dip

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips and Creamy Avocado Lime Dip These chips take a lot of effort.

Just sayin’.

Not totally sure they’re worth it.

They were worth it for me.

They took a long time to make, but they also anchored me in the kitchen while the kids played.

I stared mindlessly out the window, massaging each little chip with olive oil, relishing the quiet new game of Fishy-flop-flop the two Littles had just invented.

Thank the Lord for quiet pretend games.Homemade Sweet Potato Chips with Creamy Avocado Lime Dip

Deep breath. Long blink.


And homemade sweet potato chips.

We’ll call them “artisanal” – because they’re inconsistent in texture and crispness.

But artisanal gives us all kinds room for interpretation of how something may or may not be deemed acceptable.

Some parts will be crunchy crisp and smoky sweet. Some parts will be bright orange and still a little bit chewy.

It’s the avocado dip that makes it all.

Tangy with lime, creamy with sour cream, aromatic with cilantro, and spicy with cayenne.

Maybe you aren’t in need of therapeutic potato slice massaging.

Maybe you’d rather just pick up a bag of frozen sweet potato fries next time you’re at the super market.Homemade Sweet Potato Chips with Creamy Avocado and Lime Dip

It’s all good. . . because the dip takes mere minutes to whir together in a blender.


Healthy irresistible dip.

And all together – “artisanal” chips and creamy dip – they make one fine specimen of a healthy snack.

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips with Creamy Avocado and Lime Dip

Yield: 4 - 6 snack portions

These baked, homemade sweet potato chips as a mix of spicy and sweet, and paired with the creamy avocado dip, make a healthy and irresistible snack. If you want to forgo the effort of making your own sweet potato chips, the dip would go well with sweet potato fries, pretzels, corn chips, or even veggie sticks.


    For the Sweet Potato Chips:
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and washed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • taco seasoning here's a recipe for one you can make yourself
  • For the Avocado Dip:
  • 1 Hass Avocado, peeled and seeded, cut into chunks
  • 1 - 1 1/2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh, chopped, Cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • dash of caayenne pepper
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


For the Chips:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice sweet potatoes super thin - I used the #1 (even thinner might be better for crispier chips) setting on my Mandoline slicer. Using clean fingers, coat both sides of each slice with olive oil. (It would probably be more efficient here to lay your slices out on the baking sheet, then coat with olive oil cooking spray - I was, however, trying to measure just how much olive oil was necessary to coat the chips). Arrange slices on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with desired seasoning to taste. If you want seasoning on both sides, flip the slices and sprinkle the other side. Bake for 15 minutes, then check. You will need to decide how brown you like them to be. I found the darkest brown parts to be the crunchiest, with a pleasant sweet and smoky flavor to compliment the spice, too dark though, and they tasted burnt. If you want them crisper, bake for 15 minutes, check, then bake them longer, at 2 minute incriments, until desired doneness is accomplished. You may need to periodically remove the smaller, thinner slices as you are checking to prevent them from burning. You will need to bake these in batches, so use multiple trays, and repeat as many times as necessary.

For the Creamy Avocado and Lime Dip:

In a blender, food processor, or Magic Bullet, add the avocado chunks, the juice of one lime, chopped cilantro, sour cream, milk, salt, pepper, cayenne. Puree. Taste, adjust lime juice, milk, cilantro, and spices accordingly until you find your preffered flavor, heat, and consistency.


Sara | Home is Where The Cookies Are


Chinese Chicken & Broccoli Salad with Fresh Ginger Sesame Dressing

Chinese Chicken and Broccoli Salad with Fresh Ginger Sesame Dressing

So. . . .

I’ve officially done an unofficial study on what happens if you eat a half a piece of apple pie for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day at home.

You eat.

Stupid stuff.

Like Cheez-It snack mix and mini dark chocolate Hershey’s bars. Continue reading