Red Velvet Cake

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I love making birthday cakes for my friends and family. Even though making cakes for events can really be stressful when you’re trying to make sure everyone loves the cake and that nothing goes wrong at the last minute (haha), it’s such a joy to be able to make the people you love feel special. I’ve made cakes we’ve enjoyed while camping, made cakes that got sat on (repeatedly), made cakes that were elegant and make cakes that were…..hideous special…

This cake, inspired by an Alton Brown recipe, turned out quite well and was a special treat for my mom’s birthday. I added some berries within the cake layer and on top to break up the thick cream cheese frosting and to contrast the cocoa of the cake. Here’s a fresh twist on a classic cake sure to bring everyone together!

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Big News! My first #MadeWithChobani recipe! Homemade spinach ravioli

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A couple of weeks ago I was inspired by Chobani’s #MadeWithChobani Project to create an original, and healthy, recipe using Chobani Greek yogurt. Naturally, I chatted with my friends, consulted my fiance and mom and spent several days mulling over recipes. I decided that a savory dish would pose more of a challenge and fit the healthy, innovative recipe bill a bit better than a sweet option. I think I may have a couple more options up my sleeve (did someone say Borscht?) but here’s the first, my homemade spinach ravioli made without a pasta maker! With this ravioli’s creamy filling made with three cheeses and Chobani plain Greek yogurt, this recipe is sure to become a favorite family dinner! If you’re interested in other original and delicious recipes using Chobani Greek yogurt, check out the company’s website here: http://www.chobani.com/culture/recipes

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Zucchini Bread Muffins

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I love zucchini bread. No, really; if I see if from afar, I will go out of my way to capture it and consume it as soon as humanly possible. I love the moist center, the holiday spices, the crunch of the squash-but what I love the most about zucchini bread is the memories it brings back to me. When I was little we went to the beach every summer and we always stopped at this one special farm stand. They had the best corn picked only moments before being sold, amazingly sharp white cheddar, incredibly sweet fruits and the world’s best zucchini bread. Even now, zucchini bread reminds me of that stand and lazy summers spent in the salty air. I’ve tried in vain to recreate that stand’s recipe for years, and come to the realization that maybe muffins are the way to go, rather than the traditional bread. I’ve had more success keeping the muffins moist than I have with bread, and it seems that the spices are more aromatic in the smaller form. I really like the contribution of the applesauce in this recipe, it gives the muffins sweet flavor and keeps them moist and the holiday spice blend in this recipe makes your house smell amazing! Give this recipe a shot and let me know what you think!

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Mom’s Banana Bread

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Once upon a time, I hated bananas. Something about the mushy texture and the smell combination. I carried on avoiding these awesome fruits until one fateful night when I had leg cramps so badly that I forced my way through a banana in hopes that the potassium would cure me. Not so surprisingly, the banana saved me from the leg cramps and suddenly bananas were back on the scene. I still avoid the perfectly ripe ones and really only eat mine when they are still just a bit green, but I now try to incorporate bananas into my diet frequently.

In my new-found acceptance of bananas, I’ve tried my fair share of banana breads. Some with nuts, some with dried fruits, some filled versions and some muffins, but I have to say this classic recipe from my mom is my favorite. This delicate and slightly sweet bread showcases the flavor of the bananas and is extremely moist.

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Homemade Lasagna with SunRise Ranch Ground Bison

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A couple of weeks ago, I posted my third cooking video “E03 Buffalo Lasagna” and just now realized that it might be super helpful to have the actual written recipe posted to go along with the video. I am so excited to share this lasagna recipe with you all. This recipe blends together a simple homemade tomato sauce with umptious cheesy goodness and light, flavorful ground bison. I really prefer using bison in place of ground beef for several reasons; bison is not greasy, it has a lower fat content and it is a very healthy protein.  The bison adds the meaty richness that you want in a homemade lasagna without adding the grease and fat that can accompany this dish.

My ground bison for this recipe came from the SunRise Ranch, out of Ramah, Colorado. These folks were selling at the Golden Farmer’s market (you can also find them at the Gilpin and Arvada Farmer’s Markets) and have a variety of bison and poultry products. You can purchase any cut from a bison tenderloin filet to short ribs and various roasts. SunRise Ranch prides themselves on caring for their animals naturally and does not use growth hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products when caring for their animals. Check them out at one of the various farmer’s markets in the area or visit their website at http://www.sunriseranchllc.com/index.htm to learn more about the ranch and order any cuts you desire.

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Cashew “Alfredo” Sauce

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While I love alfredo sauce as much as the next person, I was looking for a healthier alternative. I tried several types of “light” or “low-fat” store-bought alfredos but I was looking for something with fewer chemicals and more flavor. Cue the cashew-based alfredo alternatives. I tried several types of vegan alfredos and came up with a hybrid that has some great rich, nutty flavor but is based in healthy fats and vegetables.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Apple Cinnamon Cake with Maple and Walnut Glaze

As much as I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, I can no longer ignore the fact that fall is coming. The trees are starting to turn, the nights are cold, the Broncos are back every Sunday and pumpkins are showing up everywhere. Sigh…goodbye summer! Time to embrace the fall!

In the spirit of the season, and in an attempt to bring a sweet snack to choir that everyone could eat, I whipped up this cinnamon apple cake. I made the cake twice, tested the first attempt on my gracious coworkers and then make some tweaks to make it more to my own liking. This is a simple, moist cake with great spices and a moderate level of sweetness. I’ve added loads of apples so that every bite has a little bit of the tart crunch from an apple mixed with the moist, spicy undertones from the cake. This is a great recipe for a potluck or Sunday dinner in the fall, enjoy!

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Southwestern Chicken Soup

Well…it happened. The first of the back-to-school colds has made its appearance. Even though we’re not in school anymore, I’m still convinced that we somehow picked it up from some tiny person somewhere. And of course, this couldn’t be worse timing. We have a couple awesome trips coming up, some major deadlines at work and something going on almost every night. Cue the “I-have-to-feel-better-right-now” soup! I can’t call this a full-on chili and it’s not a true chicken tortilla soup, but it falls somewhere right in the middle. This soup uses fresh roasted hatch chilies from the farmer’s market and roasted tomatoes to create a gentle heat with some great, southwestern flavor. 

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