Mocha Granola

½ cup butter, melted
½ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup chocolate-covered coffee beans

Heat oven to 300 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together butter, syrup, espresso powder, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla until combined. Stir in oats and almonds.

Pour onto prepared baking sheet and bake 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Let cool and stir in coffee beans. Store in an airtight container and serve with yogurt or milk.

Apple Butter Waffle Topped with Stewed Apples (A is for Apple)


Start to finish: 35 minutes
Impresses: 4; 2 waffles each

For the stewed apples:

1 pound golden delicious apples
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

For the apple butter waffle:
1½ cups water
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
½ cup apple butter
2⅓ cups No-fail Waffle Mix

For the stewed apples:

Peel and core apples, then cut into ¼-inch slices.

Bring a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven to medium heat and add butter to melt. Toss in sliced apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook, stirring constantly, until apples soften, about 20 minutes.

While apples cook, prepare waffles.

For the apple butter waffle:
Bring a waffle iron to medium-high heat.

Combine water, butter, eggs and apple butter in a large bowl. Add in waffle mix and whisk until just combined; a few lumps are OK.

Spritz waffle iron with cooking spray then ladle in ¼–½ cup batter, depending on the size of the iron.

Let cook until crispy and browned on the outside — about 4–5 minutes depending on the iron.

Remove with a fork and serve immediately, or place on a baking sheet topped with a cooling rack and keep warm in a 250 F oven.

Fig Pop Tarts

For the pop tarts:
1 package prepared pie dough
4 ounces whipped cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons fig jam

For the glaze:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar

For the pop tarts:
Heat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unroll each sheet of pie dough and trim the edges to make a rectangle. Using a sharp knife, slice each sheet into 6 equal rectangles. (Tip: Cut in half lengthwise and then into thirds.)

Combine cream cheese and jam in a small bowl.

Dollop 1–2 teaspoons of cream cheese mixture in the center of 6 of the pie dough rectangles.

Using your finger, brush the edges with a little bit of water before topping each rectangle with another piece of pie dough. 

Using a fork, crimp the edges to seal. Cut a few lines in the top to vent.

Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart and bake 12–15 minutes or until golden.

For the glaze:
While pop tarts bake, combine lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl by whisking together.

Once pop tarts are done, transfer to a cooling rack and drizzle with a good amount of glaze before serving.

Pomberry Smoothie

Start to finish: 5 minutes
Impresses: 2

1 cup frozen berry mix (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries)
½ cup 2-percent cottage cheese
¾ cup 100-percent pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon hemp hearts
4–5 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to blender. 

Pulse on high until ice is fully blended and a smooth consistency is reached. 

Transfer the mixture to a glass and serve immediately. 

Crescent Cinnamon Rolls

Start to finish: 40 minutes
Makes: 8 rolls

For the cinnamon rolls:
1 can crescent rolls
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed

For the frosting:
1 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2–3 tablespoons milk

For the cinnamon rolls:
Heat oven to 350 F and butter a round cake pan.

Unroll crescent roll dough onto a lightly floured surface. Layer each triangle slightly over the other in a two-by-four rectangle. Press to seal all edges together.

In a small bowl, mash together butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Spread over crescent roll dough — edge to edge. 

Starting on the long edge, tightly roll dough into a log and press to seal the edge. Using a serrated knife, slice into eight equal rounds. 

Place in prepared cake pan, rolls touching, and bake 18–20 minutes or until golden.

For the frosting:
While the rolls bake, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until fluffy, about 3 minutes. 

Add in milk as needed to slightly thin the mixture. 

Once rolls are baked, let cool 5 minutes before coating in frosting.

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Energy Bars

Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes
Makes: 12 

2 cups quick oats
1 cup wheat germ
½ cup flaked or shredded coconut, unsweetened
½ cup flax meal
1½ cups peanut butter
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter

Line a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir quick oats, wheat germ, coconut, flax meal, peanut butter, honey and vanilla until evenly distributed and mixture becomes thick. If you’re noticing that the mix isn’t holding together, add another ¼ cup of peanut butter and pour in a little more honey. Or, if it seems to be too gooey to hold together, add more oats. Once you’ve mixed the ingredients, press evenly into prepared dish and refrigerate for 1 hour. Once set, cut into bars.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt together chocolate chips and butter, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. Using a fork, drizzle chocolate over bars and place in the fridge until chocolate has hardened — about 15 minutes.

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Oven Baked Eggs

Start to finish: 15 minutes
Impresses: 4

8 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese,
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 375 F.

Place a medium-size, high-sided, oven-proof skillet over medium heat.

Beat together eggs, half and half, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Add butter to the skillet and let melt. Pour in egg mixture.

Using a rubber spatula, gently scrape down edges and lift edges to let unset eggs flow into the bottom of the skillet.

Once the bottom is set, place in the oven.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until set.

Slice and serve.

Caprese Avocado Toast

Start to finish: 5 minutes
Impresses: 1

1 slice sourdough bread
1 ounce fresh mozzarella pearls, halved
½ small avocado
fresh basil
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon balsamic glaze

Lightly toast the sourdough bread if desired. 

Arrange a layer of fresh basil on top. 

After slicing the avocado in half and removing the pit, use a paring knife to carefully score the avocado into small cubes. Use a spoon to gently scoop the avocado onto the toast and arrange evenly on top. 

Add the halved mozzarella pearls and cherry tomatoes.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately. 

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Hollandaise

Start to finish: 25 minutes
Impresses: 6

For the asparagus:
1 pound asparagus
1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced

For the hollandaise:
2 egg yolks
1 lemon, juiced
Dash of cayenne
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

For the asparagus:
Heat oven to 400 F.

Trim the flat ends of the asparagus and slice prosciutto in half lengthwise.

Starting at the tip of the asparagus, wrap one slice of ham around the three stalks to bundle. Repeat until all asparagus is wrapped and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. 

Roast 15 minutes until slightly crispy. 

For the hollandaise:
Combine egg yolks, lemon juice and cayenne in a blender and blend on high until frothy.

With the blender set to low, slowly pour in melted butter until emulsified. 

To serve, drizzle over asparagus.

Easy Chia Pudding

Start to finish: 6 hours | Active: 10 minutes | Inactive: 5 hours, 50 minutes
Impresses: 4

2 cups milk
½ cup chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups chopped fruit or berries

Whisk together milk, chia seeds, honey and vanilla in a large measuring cup. Cover and seal, then store 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to build your parfaits, gently stir the chia pudding mixture to break up any large clumps of seeds.

Spoon ¼ cup of the fruit mixture into the bottom of each jar. Top with ¼ of the chia pudding mixture, then garnish with additional fruit.

Note: Chia pudding can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days, but taste and quality is best when consumed within two to three days. If you prefer a thicker texture, add an additional tablespoon of chia seeds.

No-Fail Waffle Mix

Start to finish: 10 minutes
Makes: 10 cups (enough for 30, 4-inch waffles)

1½ cups buttermilk powder
6 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups cornstarch
6 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt

Sift all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Use a funnel to pour into an airtight container and store until ready to use.

To use:
Bring a waffle iron to medium-high heat.

Combine 2⅓ cups waffle mix with 1½ cups water, 7 tablespoons melted butter and 2 eggs. Whisk until just combined; a few lumps are OK.

Spritz waffle iron with cooking spray then ladle in ¼–½ cup batter, depending on the size of the iron.

Let cook until crispy and browned on the outside — about 4–5 minutes depending on the iron.

Remove with a fork and serve immediately, or place on a baking sheet topped with a cooling rack and keep warm in a 250 F oven.

Perfect Fried Egg

Rice cereal isn’t the only breakfast food distinguishable by a “snap,” “crackle” and “pop.” When a fresh egg meets hot butter, the spatter crisps the edges for the best fried egg — just like grandma used to make.

Start to finish: 5 minutes 
Impresses: 1

2 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
Salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in butter to melt and swirl to coat pan. 

Carefully crack egg into pan. Let bubble and cook about 45 seconds before using a spoon to baste edges of egg with hot butter. Continue to cook 1–2 minutes until whites are set and yolk is soft.

Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage Hash

Start to finish: 25 minutes
Impresses: 6

2 tablespoons butter
¼ yellow onion, diced
1 pound sweet potatoes,
baked and diced
½ pound chicken apple sausage, diced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Chives (optional)

Melt butter in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add in onions and sauté until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. 

Add in sweet potatoes and chicken sausage. Toss to coat with onions and butter and raise heat to medium-high. Let hash brown for 3–4 minutes before turning to repeat and brown evenly.

Season with salt and pepper and top with chives.

The Salty-Sweet

Start to finish: 10 minutes | Impresses: 1

1 tablespoon cream cheese
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 slices white bread
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons grape jelly
¼ cup wavy chips, crumbled

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and peanut butter. Set aside.

Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Spread peanut butter mixture on the opposite side of one slice and the jelly on the opposite side of the other slice.

Place slice with peanut butter in skillet, buttered side down, and toast until browned, about 3–4 minutes. Sprinkle with crumbled wavy chips and top with other slice of bread, jelly side down. Flip and grill an additional 3–4 minutes. Slice and serve immediately.

The Fig & The Pig

Start to finish: 10 minutes
Impresses: 1

2 slices wheat bread
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons fig jam
2 ounces Brie cheese
2 slices bacon, cooked

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.

Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Spread one tablespoon fig jam on the opposite side of each slice.

Cut Brie lengthwise and remove rind. Layer cheese on top of one side with jam. Add bacon and top with other slice of bread, jam-side down.

Place sandwich in skillet and toast until browned and cheese is melted, about 3–4 minutes per side. Slice and serve immediately.

Sage & Brown Butter Ravioli

Start to finish: 30 minutes
Impresses: 6

1 package cubed butternut squash
½ cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh sage
½ cup water
1 package wonton wrappers*
½ cup salted butter
¼ cup fresh sage, chopped

Steam butternut squash to package instructions, then place into bowl of a food processor with ricotta, salt, pepper, red pepper and sage. Pulse until smooth.

Pour water into a small bowl and lay out wonton wrappers.

Place 1 teaspoon filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Dip your finger in water to wet all four edges of the wrapper. Place another wrapper on top and press to seal. Repeat until all filling and wrappers are used.

Heat a pan over medium heat. Add in half of butter and melt until it begins to brown. Add in half of prepared ravioli and sage and sauté 2–3 minutes until translucent and edges have crisped. Place in a serving bowl, then repeat with other half. Serve immediately.

*Available in the refrigerated section near produce

Sourdough Bread

Start to finish: 11 hours
Makes: 1 loaf

1½ cups filtered water
½ cup sourdough starter
3 cups unbleached bread flour
1¼ teaspoons sea salt
1/8 cup filtered water

If you don't have a starter, use 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast and follow the yeast method. Steps that differ from the original are denoted with numbers.

In a large bowl, mix together water, starter and flour just to combine. Let rest 15–30 minutes.

Add sea salt and additional water and mix again, just to combine. Cover with a towel and let rest for 1 hour. (1)

Transfer dough to a floured surface and lift four corners of the dough one at a time into its center to shape a tight round. Let rest for 15 minutes or directly move into a well-floured basket or colander lined with a cloth napkin. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. (2)

With an hour remaining in the fridge, heat oven to 500 F. Place a cast iron pot with a lid on the center rack and let it come to temperature in the oven for one hour.

Remove sourdough loaf seam-side down from the basket onto a well-floured piece of parchment paper. Score the loaf with a double-edge razor or sharp knife. 

Place parchment and loaf into the preheated pot, cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cut warm into slices and serve with butter or let cool and slice for sandwiches.

Yeast Method
1: Allow dough to fermet for 12–18 hours.

2: After the fermentation time, shape and let rest on well-floured parchment paper for 20 minutes before following baking instructions.

Thanksgiving Mac

Start to finish: 1 hour
Impresses: 6

16-ounce box spiral pasta noodles
1 pound smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup milk
6 tablespoons butter, plus more for dish
1 box cornbread stuffing mix

Heat oven to 375 F.

Cook pasta to just one minute shy of box instructions so the noodle still has a slight bite to it.

Drain pasta, pour back into pot and return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Add in shredded cheeses, milk and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir until fully combined and cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

Liberally butter a casserole dish. Pour noodles and cheese into the dish and set aside.

In a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, about 30 seconds. Stir in cornbread stuffing mix and toss to coat.

Sprinkle mixture atop noodles and cheese, then bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Ginger & Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

Start to finish: 40 minutes
Makes: 12 muffins

1½ cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup sugar
½ cup dried cranberries (plus more for topping)
½ cup pumpkin seeds (plus more for topping)
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1⅔ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin or spray with nonstick oil.

Add the dry ingredients (oats, sugar, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, ginger, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt) to a large mixing bowl. Stir gently to combine, then spoon the pureed pumpkin into the mixing bowl.

Prepare wet ingredients by combining eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour over the pumpkin-oat mixture and stir to combine. The batter should appear orange in color and very wet.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, distributing evenly. Top each muffin with additional cranberries and pumpkin seeds, if desired, and place on the middle rack of the oven. 

Bake 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Try it unbaked
To convert to an overnight oats recipe, omit the eggs. Instead of baking, transfer to clean, dry mason jars or other sealable containers. Chill overnight to enjoy the following day.

White Chocolate-Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Start to finish: 4 hours
Impresses: 6: about 10-12 pretzels each

5.3-ounce container vanilla yogurt
2½ cups powdered sugar
½ cup white chocolate chips
4 cups mini salted pretzels

Combine prepared pretzels with other snacks, like cereal, dried fruit and nuts, for a DIY trail mix.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then place a cooling rack on top of each one. Heat the oven to 250 F. 

Combine the yogurt and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl by whisking vigorously until smooth. Next, melt the white chocolate chips by placing them in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 10-20 second intervals until soft enough to stir to a smooth consistency. Use a soft silicone spatula to add the melted white chocolate chips into the yogurt mixture. Whisk to combine. 

Use tongs to dip individual pretzels into the white chocolate-yogurt mix. Tap to shake excess coating from the pretzels before placing on prepared baking sheets topped with a cooling rack. Repeat until all of the coating has been used (approximately 65-70 mini pretzels). 

Turn the oven off and open the door to vent. Place the baking sheets inside the oven to allow the heat to help harden and dry the coating. Leave for several hours (2–3) before transferring to an airtight, sealed storage container for up to three days.