Cheese Board 101


Cheese boards have been quite the craze recently, but I think they’re a classic addition to any party. Here are some of my tips and tricks for making a delicious (and beautiful!) cheese board.

1. Buy soft and hard cheeses
Make sure to get a selection of soft and hard cheeses so that the board has variation. Some of my favorites include: Saint Andre, Toscana Black Pepper, Mt Tam, Aged Gouda, Port Salut, Goat Cheese with Honey, and Humbolt Fog.

2. Cut as much as you can
One of the great things about a cheese board is that it’s easy to grab a bite size piece quickly. Try to cut the cheeses into pieces as much as possible so that this is doable. You will need to keep some of the soft cheeses as is (a log of goat cheese, for example).

3. Color, color, color!
I’m normally not into much color, but this is essential when it comes to a beautiful cheese board. Depending on the time of year, I like to add pomegranates, whole oranges with leaves, grapes, figs, dried orange slices, strawberries, the list goes on…

4. Mix in fruits, nuts and olives
This one goes without saying! Try to mix in delicious fruits to both pair with your cheeses and to eat on their own. I often will slice up a pear or a green apple, or cut figs in half so that guests can create their own bites with different cheeses. Don’t forget to have small piles or containers of nuts (I love marcona almonds) and olives.

5. Add some toppings
This one isn’t a necessity, but it’s nice to have some small containers of a relish, jam, or honey to spread onto your bite of choice.

6. Keep the bread on the side
You’ll see in my photo that I don’t have a ton of crackers shown. This is because it would have taken too much room on the board! Just don’t forget to not skimp on various crackers and sliced bread so that there are a lot of options for your guests.

Cheers! xx

Saltine Cracker Toffee

’tis the season for saltine cracker toffee! My family has been making this every holiday season since before I can remember. It’s always a hit and it’s so, so simple to make!


saltine crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 bag dark chocolate chips
sea salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil, and lay saltine crackers over the entire pan. Melt butter and brown sugar together over medium heat and stir until it boils.  Let boil for 3 minutes, and then pour mixture over the saltine crackers. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool for 3 minutes and then pour chocolate chips over the crackers and toffee. Let sit for a minute or so, and then start spreading the chocolate lightly with the back of a spoon. The chocolate should start to melt and become easy to spread. Once the chocolate is spread smoothly, top with sea salt (and/or crushed peppermint candies, nuts – anything goes here!) Cool in refrigerator or freezer. Once hardened, peel off the tin foil from the bottom and cut or break into pieces. I recommend keeping these in the freezer until you are going to serve them.

Merry Christmas!

Winter Salad


‘Tis the season for persimmons and pomegranate seeds! I love these fruits this time of year, not only for their flavor but also because they add such vibrant color to salads. This salad is hearty, colorful and delicious. A perfect lunch on it’s own, or make as a side salad with your holiday dinner.

green leaf lettuce
pomegranate seeds
toasted almonds
crispy quinoa
balsamic dressing

To make the crispy quinoa, prepare quinoa as you normally would on the stovetop. Refrigerate overnight so the quinoa gets dry enough to crisp up. Place a thin layer on a baking sheet, spray lightly with olive oil and add a dash of salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees until quinoa gets crispy.


Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies


I’m generally a very healthy eater, but I definitely have a sweet tooth. So, I made up this recipe for “healthy” chocolate chip cookies to satisfy that craving for something sweet. It has minimal sugar, lots of protein and good fat, is free of gluten, and is vegan! Plus, they’re incredibly easy to make. If you don’t compare these to cookies to ones from Levain Bakery, then I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised (and won’t feel guilty afterwards)!

1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar (you can use more if you want yours sweeter)
1 scoop vanilla collagen *optional
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup nut butter (I usually use almond butter, but used TJ’s mixed nut butter for these)
1/2 cup lily’s dark chocolate chips

Mix together the almond flour, coconut sugar, collagen, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Add the vanilla and nut butter and mix until well incorporated. If it’s still too dry, mix in a tablespoon of water (or an egg white). Stir in chocolate chips. Use a cookie scoop to drop rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet. Flatten the balls with your fingers (these won’t spread like normal cookies) and sprinkle some more sea salt on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Makes 12 cookies.

I store mine in the freezer (I’m odd and think all cookies with chocolate in them taste better frozen!)






Easy Banana Ice Cream




This easy Vitamix banana ice cream recipe is my go-to for a quick healthy sweet treat. I always have frozen bananas on hand which are much better than regular, as they will give you a frozen treat straight from the Vitamix without having to freeze. You can play around with additions, as well. I usually keep it simple:

About 2 frozen bananas
1/2 cup almond milk
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of sea salt
Teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (this one is my favorite!)
Heaping spoonful of almond butter
Top with chocolate chips (I used these)

Other ingredients to try mixed-in: peanut butter, dates, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, honey, coconut milk, shredded coconut







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