A cobbler, unlike all others, this Chocolate Cobbler is the ultimate dessert for chocolate lovers everywhere. A brownie-like top with a decadent, gooey layer of melted chocolate below ready to be served up hot alongside a scoop of your favorite ice cream!

I think we can all agree that a typical cobbler is made with a fruit base that is topped with a buttery dough/crumble topping then baked to golden perfection and served alongside a scoop of ice cream, right? Well, my friends, this chocolate cobbler is nothing like that and in all the best ways possible. If you are a chocolate lover like myself then there is no doubt that this chocolate cobbler will make you do the dessert dance! 

Well, my friends, this chocolate cobbler is nothing like that and in all the best ways possible. If you are a chocolate lover like myself then there is no doubt that this chocolate cobbler will make you do the dessert dance! 

As of late, cobbler for dessert has been a frequent thing in my household. Why? Well, #1. it’s a super easy, crowd-pleasing dessert (seriously, it can be whipped up in 10 minutes) &  #2. (the main reason) my husband had been demanding requesting cobblers! I don’t know what got him on a cobbler kick, but I didn’t really care; I love to bake and he loves to eat.

The first cobbler I made was a real crowd pleaser. I used blueberries for the fruit and made a topping that baked to be the most perfectly crunchy, yet soft, buttery topping that baked right down into the blueberries. A bowl of that with a scoop of ice cream and my husband was in dessert heaven! 

The kind of heaven that leaves him asking for that same cobbler 2 days later.

It wasn’t until he discovered this chocolate cobbler that the fruit cobbler requests stopped. This chocolate cobbler was truly unlike any “cobbler” I had made and we were both happy to forego what we had once deemed the dessert of dessert heaven. 

This dessert was truly heaven sent. The intense chocolate flavor was only a small part of what made this dessert incredible. Once baked, this cobbler creates a crunchy topping that very much resembles a brownie, but whats beneath that topping is where the magic is. Once your spoon cracks through the top layer you will find textures of cake surrounded by a gooey, hot fudge sauce!  

To paint a better picture, imagine a brownie marrying a molten lava cake. Got it? That is THIS dessert & it is beautiful!

I love the different textures and layers of this cobbler because it satisfies all cravings and because the cobbler makes its own hot fudge sauce, so there is no need to buy any to top your ice cream with! I advise URGE you to make this Chocolate Cobbler for your next date night, girls night, or just because you want gooey, ooey, chocolate! 

Crave-able Chocolate Cobbler
The perfect chocolate dessert! A brownie-like top with a pudding cake and decadent, gooey layer of melted chocolate below ready to be served up hot alongside a scoop of your favorite ice cream!


Serving Size: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes 
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:
1 C AP flour
3/4 C sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 C cocoa powder, unsweetened (divided)
1/4 t. salt
2 t. vanilla extract
1/3 C butter, melted
1/2 C whole milk
1/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C brown sugar
1 1/4 C boiling water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish, set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mix together flour, sugar, 1/4 C cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir until wet and dry are combined. 
5. Stir in chocolate chips and spread batter into greased baking dish. 
6. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and remaining 1/4 C cocoa powder. 
7. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the batter. Do not mix. 
8. Pour boiling on top, covering the whole casserole dish. Do not mix!
9. Bake for 35-40 minutes until center is almost set. (center will still be fudgy, so be sure to not overbake)
10. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Serve.

Soft, chewy chocolate chips cookies made perfectly with a buttery, unique cookie dough chock full of melty, gooey chocolate chip morsels ready to be gobbled up and washed down with a glass of milk.

Can you smell that? Fresh baked chewy chocolate chip cookies in the oven, minutes away from being taken out and only seconds after that being devoured! 

I once heard about a study that stated that losing your sense of smell may aid in weight loss. While this did prove to be true (in rats), there is not necessarily enough research to fully support this statement, but I personally believe it to be true. 

Would you really have had that extra slice, or even the first slice at that, had you not been able to smell the freshly baked dough, melty cheesy and delicious pepperonis? Let’s go ahead and blame our senses for the over indulgence. 

As humans, we associate smells with experiences and emotions, which is why I think so many people LOVE chocolate chip cookies! It reminds them of baking with their mom or grandmother, having a girl friend over and making a huge mess just because you wanted to bake some cookies! The smell is familiar and comforting and is undoubtedly crave-worthy! 

Everyone’s chocolate chip cookie preference differs. Some people love the straight out of the oven, hot, gooey (partially undercooked) cookies, while others prefer a crunchy, slightly over baked cookie. Me? Just give me the damn cookie!

If you are partial to a crunchy chocolate chip cookie, I advise you stop reading at this point, because this cookie is for those ooey, gooey lovers out there! 

I first stumbled across this chocolate chip cookie recipe while on the hunt for the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie that would satisfy all my husband’s cookie desires. I searched until I finally came across a cookie recipe on The Little Kitchen that was titled Doubletree Chocolate Chip Cookie. I have never had a Doubletree Cookie so that’s not what drew me in, it was the ingredients. I did not want a normal, everyday cookie so after reading these ingredients I knew this was the one! 

Lemon juice? Oats? (and no, this is not an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie). Intriguing. I was sold!

I have to admit, I did tweak this recipe ever so slightly by eliminating the walnuts. Why? Well, mainly because of mine and my husband’s preferences. We like walnuts, but I also like a good ole’ nothing added but chocolate chips, chocolate chip cookie. Also, I did not want to make a grocery store run for walnuts. 

Ultimately, I am glad I eliminated the walnuts because these chocolate chip cookies were so divine and extra-chocolatey without them! The addition of oats to the flour is genius because of how they added body and fullness! My husband was addicted; he had two hot out of the oven then saved room for more later. I even shared with people at the gym (how dare I?) and they were just as addicted and asked for more! 

I have to say, if you are on the hunt for a crowd-pleasing, better than basic, gooey, chocolatey chip cookie then this is a winner! Make, bake and share, or don’t, I won’t say a thing!

CHEWY Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chewy, soft, and decadent- these chocolate chip cookies are made with a buttery, unique cookie dough base that is full of gooey chocolate chips!  


Serving Size: 28- 30 large cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:
1/2 C rolled oats
2 1/4 C AP Flour
1.5 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C packed light brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 t pure vanilla extract
1/2 t lemon juice
2 large eggs
3 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (original calls for mini, I used regular-sized)

Directions:
1. Pulse oats in a food processor until semi-fine. 
2. In a small mixing bowl, add the oats, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. 
3. To a medium-sized mixing bowl, add butter, both sugars. Cream together with hand mixers or stand mixer (I used my KitchenAid). Add eggs one at a time, scrape down sides. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Mix until you have a smooth mixture. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula at least once. 
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula, being careful not to over mix. Drop in the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough. Again, be careful not to over mix or they will have a cake-like texture. Using a large cookie scoop or spoon equivalent to 3 T, scoop cookie dough onto a lined baking sheet. Freeze or refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 2 to 4 hours or overnight. 
To Bake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cookie dough portions onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat at least 1.5 to 2 inches apart. Bake for 13 to 14 minutes or until desired doneness (cook 2 minutes less for smaller cookies). Cool on a cooling rack if storing. 

Notes: You can freeze this dough and use when ready. Be sure to store in an airtight container or thoroughly wrapped. 

This Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing is bursting with flavor from sauteed sweet Vidalia onions and a hint of maple syrup that is complimented perfectly with tangy Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar! Perfect for any salad or as a creamy dip! 

I LOVE sauces, dressings, and dips! I am that annoying dinner guest who always asks the waiter what kind of in-house dressings & sauces they make then proceeds to ask for one of each. However, one thing I do not love is finding that so many of my beloved store bought sauces/dressings are made with ingredients that I can not pronounce! Luckily, I have a simple solution for a catastrophe of this sort and that is to stop buying store bought sauces/dressings and instead, make my own!

For some, that may seem like a daunting time-consuming task, but recreating store bought items can sometimes be easier than it sounds, take as little as 10 minutes and not to mention, you will be able to pronounce all the ingredients! You will taste the freshness and feel good about eating something that was made with REAL ingredients!

One of my favorite dressings to recreate is my Sweet Vidalia Onion dressing; it is seriously perfection! (and it’s vegan!)

This dressing offers a subtle sweetness complimented by a tanginess that will keep you wanting more! This dressing pairs well with fresh salads, like my Not Your Average Kale Salad, or for drizzling over some grilled vegetables to make the most addicting side dish. I can assure you that you will begin to make dishes only so that you can douse it in this dressing! 

The best part about this dressing (especially for those of you pressed for time), is that it takes very little time to make and includes only a short list of ingredients!

Seriously though, I whipped up this dressing within 10 minutes (while doing 5 other things) then stuck it in the fridge while I prepared the rest of our dinner. It is so great that this can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge so that you can always have some ready to use or take to a party to impress your friends with your how domestic you are! 

Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing 
Perfect for drizzling, dipping and dressing- A creamy, sweet, and tangy dressing made with sweet Vidalia onions, a hint of maple syrup, and dijon mustard! 


Serving Size: 14 oz. mason jar
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 
1 C sweet Vidialia onion, chopped
1/4 C maple syrup
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
2 T dijon mustard
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Heat 1 T olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add in chopped Vidalia onions and cook until soft and transparent. Remove from heat. 

2. In a blender (or food processor) add the sauteed Vidalia onions, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and seasonings. Puree the ingredients until completely blended and the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed.

3. With the blender on low, begin to drizzle in the olive oil. Process until thoroughly combined and the dressing has a creamy appearance. If warm, place in containers and store in the fridge before using. 

This kale salad is far from average! This Not Your Average Kale Salad is full of fresh kale leaves dressed up with a Creamy Vidalia Onion Dressing tossed with nutty quinoa, salty parmesan, sweet grapes and crunchy sunflower seeds! 

I absolutely love this salad because it offers an amazing combination of textures and flavors PLUS is chock full of nutrient dense ingredients!

I first had this at a summertime BBQ when the weather was hot and anything cold, crunchy and fresh had me salivating. I piled my plate high with the greens and dressed it generously; I wasn’t holding back on something that looked so delicious. It wasn’t but 5 minutes later that I had devoured my salad and was back in line grabbing more; it is seriously that satisfying & addicting! 

There are many types of kale to choose from, all of which are packed with vitamins and minerals, but for today’s salad, I will be using curly kale. I prefer this type of kale for raw salads because the tightly curled leaves give fullness to a salad and they trap all the salad’s flavors in their tight curls. TIP: Curly kale tends to have a bitter taste. After thoroughly washing (to remove any remaining dirt/grit) and drying the kale, massage the leaves with olive oil. This will not only take away some of its bitterness but will also help in making the texture softer and more enjoyable!  

 

Quinoa is a superfood that is full of nutrients and packs a punch of protein! This ingredient paired with kale creates the perfect picture of health. Feel free to use any variety of quinoa you prefer–I like to use white quinoa because it contrasts beautifully with the green kale leaves! Just be sure you give your quinoa a quick rinse before cooking. 

To give this salad a little punch of saltiness, parmesan cheese is sprinkled throughout! I love the texture and saltiness the shredded/grated parmesan (you know, the kind that looks like little sticks and comes in a plastic container) brings to this salad.  You’ll find the parmesan sticks hidden in the curls of the kale and without knowing, you get this explosion of flavor with your bite! 

Now, we have given the salty taste buds something to cheer about, so that can only mean one thing…adding a layer of SWEET! Introducing grapes. Adding grapes to this salad may seem a little odd, but trust me.

Not Your Average Kale Salad

Remember those clumps of parmesan throughout the salad? Well, imagine the flavor combination of the saltiness from the parmesan paired with the creaminess from the dressing and the perfect little pop of sweet from the grapes. It’s divine and it will make you go back for more (why else would I have finished two huge plates within 10 minutes?) I prefer the purple grapes because they add a beautiful new color to the mix!

Last but not least, sunflower seeds. Talk about texture, these bad boys lend the perfect crunch and nutty flavor to this salad! The sunflower seeds can also be substituted with walnuts, pepitas, or pine nuts!

My creamy Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing is the icing on the cake for this salad. (Did I really just use a cake idiom for a HEALTHY SALAD?! sorry)

I prefer using this homemade dressing because it doesn’t have all the fillers and additives that store bought dressing has. The bonus: it is super easy to whip up and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients! (If you chose not to make your own dressing, don’t be ashamed, just get a dressing with a sweet kick)

Not Your Average Kale Salad
A crisp, refreshing kale salad mixed with quinoa, parmesan, grapes and sunflower seeds all tossed in a creamy, cool vegan Vidalia onion dressing. 


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 large bunch kale
1 C quinoa, cooked
1 C grapes
1/2 C parmesan, shredded (or the pre-packaged sticks)
1/4 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing

Directions:
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. (If bought in bulk, be sure to rinse the quinoa before cooking.) Once fully cooked, set aside to cool.
2. With stems still intact, rinse kale leaves carefully to be sure all dirt is removed. With a towel, remove as much water as possible then set on a towel and let leaves dry completely. Once dry, remove the leaves from the stems and tear the kale leaves into pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle kale with olive oil and massage making sure you cover all pieces and crevices. Place in fridge.
3. Cut grapes in half lengthwise, set aside. If using a block of parmesan, shred 1/2 cup and set aside.
4. In a large bowl combine the massaged kale and cooled quinoa. Add grapes, cheese, and sunflower seeds. Toss gently to combine all ingredients thoroughly,  then add the dressing (if serving immediately) and mix gently until the dressing coats each piece of kale. Feel free to garnish the top with some of the ingredients! Serve immediately, or place in the fridge to keep cold. 

Tuna noodle casserole, an American classic made with egg noodles, canned tuna, mushrooms, and peas all tossed in a creamy sauce that gets topped with cheese and breadcrumbs then baked to golden perfection!

 

Though delicious, this casserole tends to be loaded with unhealthy fats and carbs when in all reality this dish actually has the potential to be healthy! How might you ask? If you take a look at the key ingredients that make up this dish then you will see how balanced this dish can be! It is packed with high-protein tuna, mixed with filling carbs (keeping in mind your serving size) and complimented by fats.

Having a solid foundation to start with, I decided I would put myself to the challenge and create my version of a lighter, healthier tuna noodle casserole.

Creating healthier versions of classic dishes is always a challenge. There is something comforting and familiar to American classics and switching out the ingredients for healthier, lighter ones could be a recipe for disaster, literally. Knowing that, I had to think long and hard on I would use as the substitute ingredients; ones that were very similar to a traditional tuna noodle casserole’s main ingredients so I would not compromise its creamy consistency and delicious breadcrumb topping. Ingredients like the peas, mushrooms, and tuna did not need to be replaced, so revamping the creamy sauce was my main focus! Off to the drawing boards…

One look in my fridge and I was onto something. Low and behold my trusty 0% Greek yogurt was staring me in the face.

This is a food product I love to use as a replacement for a “creamy” ingredients because of its high protein content, 0g of fat and its…can you guess? Creaminess! This time was no different and Greek yogurt seemed to be a great start for creating a creamy sauce. The rest began to fall into place as I scoured my pantry for ingredients! 

Nutritional yeast was a key ingredient in making this dish resemble the real deal. If you have never tried or even heard of nutritional yeast, then you are in for a real treat! Its texture and appearance are nothing like cheese (it’s actually comparable to fish food), but its flavor profile is nutty, cheesy and salty; just the thing we need to make this sauce! Because nutritional yeast is dairy free, many vegans and nondairy eaters use it to replace the taste of cheese in a dish. Using nutritional yeast also helps replace all those unwanted grams of fat & calories without comprising the flavor! 

You better believe I was not taking those veggies out of the mix; not only for keeping their health benefits but can you imagine finding substitute ingredients for peas and mushrooms? Now that would be a challenge! 

After fiddling, mixing and creating for a while, I was excited to try my creation! I must admit, this dish turned out fantastic! Aside from swapping the traditional, unhealthy ingredients to one’s much lighter and nutritious, the flavor and consistency between these two casseroles were very similar! Give this revamped tuna noodle casserole a try and feel good about what you are serving and eating! 

Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole 
A healthy twist on the traditional tuna noodle casserole. Canned tuna, noodles, peas and mushrooms in a (healthy) creamy sauce with topped a delicious bread crumb topping. Feel good about eating this casserole! 


Serving size: 6 servings   
Prep time: 15 minutes   
Cook time: 25 minutes    
Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
6 oz Egg Noodles (Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Rotini, for gluten free)
.5 T oil, for sauteing ( I use grapeseed because of its high cooking point)
1 medium onion, minced fine
1 tsp. garlic, minced fine
.5 T sherry (optional)
10 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
1 cup Greek yogurt, 0%
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
2 (5 oz) cans tuna in water, drained (I used albacore)
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
Non-dairy milk of your choice 
3 tbsp sprinkle parmesan cheese (1 T. for creamy sauce, 2 T. for topping)
2 tbsp whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs

Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray an 8×8 casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Add the oil to a large deep skillet. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms cook on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add sherry vinegar to deglaze the pan. Set aside to cool.
4. In a separate bowl, combine Greek yogurt, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese, and tuna. Add nondairy milk 1 tablespoon at a time until consistency is that of a creamy dressing. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
5. Once cooled, combine the sauteed onion mixture with the peas and add to the Greek yogurt cream sauce.
6. For the breadcrumb topping, combine breadcrumbs with remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Set aside. 
7. Combine the creamy tuna mixture with the cooked noodles and stir until all noodles are covered with sauce. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle breadcrumb topping evenly over the top of the noodles. Bake for about 20 minutes. For an extra crispy topping, briefly, place the casserole under the broiler–watch carefully not to burn!

Enjoy!

A fresh farmers market tart made with layers of phyllo covered in a creamy vegan cashew cheese topped with fresh, juicy heirloom tomatoes, herbs and onions then baked to flaky, golden perfection! Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt!

After your first bite, you won’t believe this tomato tart is vegan! I replace the traditional ricotta cheese spread with a 100% homemade vegan cashew cheese that gives this tart just as much creaminess and flavor and will have you hankering for another bit!

A flaky, crispy phyllo crust is the perfect base for spreading my creamy cashew cheese topped with slices of ripe, juicy heirloom tomatoes picked fresh from the garden! Fresh basil and parsley are chopped and added to compliment the flavor of the tomatoes and to make this dish a true taste of summer!

One thing I love about summer besides the longer days and sun-kissed skin is the produce! Summer offers an abundance of fresh produce that is full of flavor, vibrant in color and very nutritious. If you pass through a farmers market you will find crunchy cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, peppers, and beautiful fruits. Most of this produce can either enhance a dish with its unbelievable flavor or be used by itself and become the star of the dish.

How lucky are we to have a summer that gives us such amazing food!?

Anytime I get my hands on fresh-picked produce I am sure to create dishes that make them the main ingredient and that enhance their natural flavors, just like I did in this tomato tart!

The textural contrast of the flaky phyllo dough with the juicy tomatoes makes this dish a go-to anytime fresh tomatoes are in abundance! 

Serve this tart as an appetizer the next time you grill or make this your main dish with a few fresh sides to accompany it! 

Vegan Tomato Tart
w/ Cashew Cheese & Heirloom tomatoes


Serving Size: 8-10 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes 
Cook time: 30 minutes   
Total: 60 minutes

Ingredients: 
package (about 21 sheets) Athens Fillo dough sheets, thawed
Olive oil cooking spray
1.5 cups cashew cheese spread
1 t. garlic, minced
3 medium to large heirloom tomatoes
5 basil leaves, chopped
2 T parsley, chopped
1 T sea salt
1 t black pepper
Olive oil to drizzle (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet that is larger than the phyllo dough sheets. 
2. Lay the first sheet of phyllo dough on parchment paper and spray with olive oil (you can also use a pastry brush & olive oil). Lay next sheet on top and continue the process until all 10 sheets are evenly layered on top of one another on the cookie sheet. 
3. Carefully, spread the cashew cheese onto the phyllo dough leaving a 1/4 inch of phyllo dough around edges. Sprinkle the minced garlic, half the basil and parsley evenly across the cashew cheese spread. Begin to lay the sliced tomatoes across the cashew spread alternately the different colored tomatoes. You can evenly lay the tomato slices in rows, or you can scatter them in no particular pattern. Once all tomatoes have been placed on the tart, sprinkle the remaining parsley and basil followed by the pepper and sea salt. 
4. Place tart in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until phyllo dough is flaky and golden brown. (Optional: Drizzle finished tart with olive oil) Cut into desired pieces and serve hot or room temp. Enjoy!