Balsamic Strawberry Jam

I’ve always been a fan of weird food combos. Watermelon and Purple Onion? Yum! Popcorn and Soy Sauce? Duh. Cheez-Its and Vanilla Ice Cream? PLEASE BELIEVE IT.

So, when I first read about a no-pectin strawberry jam made with balsamic vinegar, my first thought was …………

I didn’t actually have a first thought, because I was too busy conjuring up images of all the baked goods I’d be slathering this jam all over. 

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Restaurant Style Salsa

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I’m a California girl, so naturally I have a deeply ingrained love for salsa. I’d go so far as to say that when I go out for Mexican food, I look forward more to having chips and salsa than the actual entree. Although I’ve noticed since moving to Oregon that free chips and salsa isn’t really a thing here– what’s up with that?

Sometimes jarred salsa can hit the spot in a weird “Maybe I just wanted some Taco Bell” kind of way, but I never really think of it as salsa so much as a topping for my rice and beans. Jarred salsa isn’t something I just sit down and eat with chips on its own, feeling completely satisfied afterward.

Plus, you know that gooey consistency a lot of store-bought salsa has? Kinda ew. Salsa shouldn’t be viscous, if anything it should be watery– a tell tale sign of all the delicious tomato and lime juices mingling around together.

And if it ain’t got tons of fresh cilantro, lime juice and onion in it, then it ain’t salsa.

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Salted Chocolate Syrup

When I decided to start making my own syrups, one of the first flavors that came to mind was chocolate, because, duh. I have to admit, I didn’t get too excited when I put this in my coffee the other morning, which had been my original intention. If I had the capabilities to brew espresso at home, it would’ve been an outrageously good d.i.y. mocha– but since I just have my French press, the combination doesn’t really do it for me.

However, I did get excited when I put it in some warm milk for the most delicious cup of hot cocoa I’ve ever had. And then drizzled all the heck over some Banans that were lying around. Perhaps a little too excited. There were, like, at least five OMGs within the span of AH minute. 

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Gluten-Free Mac ‘n’ Cheese

If there’s one guilty pleasure I have (I know – just one? So cute.) it’s mac ‘n’ cheese. Back when I entertained a gluten-free partner it was hard to justify buying it in boxes for three reasons:

  1. Finishing an entire box on my own, while filling, also makes me feel like a little oinker.
  2. Leftover mac ‘n’ cheese never tastes the same. In fact, it usually tastes like nothing at all. What’s the deal with that?!
  3. Rice mac is just too expensive and not that good.

It seemed like every recipe I came across for cheese sauce was way too complicated. I entertained the idea of casseroles or other baked pasta dishes, but it wasn’t the same.

Finally, I found a recipe– an easy one– and altered it a bit, coming out with the creamiest, cheesiest, gluten-free-y-ist mac ‘n’ cheese ever.

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Vegan Thai Pizza

Ever since school started back up I had to take a bit of a break from any serious cooking. My pantry full of canned soups, pastas and rice is proof of what a busy semester I’m having. But a canceled class at the start of the weekend meant I had extra time to make something worth blogging about. I had been eyeing the recipe for Thai pizza in Vegan World Fusion Cuisine for a long time, but just reading the directions made me tired, and the very idea of this recipe kind of embodied everything I hate about being in the kitchen, so I wasn’t quick to give it a try.

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