Quinoa Con Leche

My mom’s arroz con leche is pretty much perfect… served fresh and warm from the stove or icy cold from the fridge the next day, this rice pudding sweetened with condensed milk and spiced with cinnamon is Mexican coziness at its best. The only thing is… I really don’t like to eat rice.

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Mom’s Albondigas Soup

My mom’s albondigas soup recipe is probably different from your mom’s recipe, which is probably different from your friend’s mom’s recipe and so on… As I learn more about traditional Mexican recipes, I have found that they vary wildly from family to family — but that is precisely the beauty of it. Sometimes I feel that people have such a personal, intimate connection to their own family recipes that they neglect to see how wonderful it is that we all take so much pride in our own family’s traditions and culture.

And so, here I present my mom’s albondigas soup recipe. Not your mom’s, not your friend’s mom’s, but my mom’s. Which is now mine. And, just like that, another generation gets to enjoy this cozy, comforting and flavorful Mexican meatball soup.

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Quinoa Crust Quiche with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Okay is it just me or do you ALWAYS seem to have a bowl of leftover quinoa taking up prime real estate in your fridge???

I usually only cook one cup of dry quinoa at a time, but this grain-like seed expands so much that after a handful of meals using half cup serving sizes, there are still leftovers! And a girl can only eat so many grain bowls a week, #amiright?

Anyway, don’t worry. I found the solution.

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Pumpkin Chai Muffins

Pumpkin Chai Muffins by cocinadecella.com

To me, fall is all about spices. The season calls for us to retire hot weather foods–like refreshing summer salads and smoky grilled meats–and welcome the arrival of hearty stews, fall-off-the-bone roasts and spiced desserts that warm the soul.

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Sweet Potato Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage and Spinach

This one time in LA, it rained. The rainfall didn’t last long (couldn’t have been more than an hour) but that didn’t stop me and my fellow Angelenos from donning Ugg boots and scarves while we listened to Jack Johnson and made what was likely the only pot of soup we would make all year.

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Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn)

With fall equinox around the corner, this is our last official weekend of summer! I thought I should share this recipe for elote (Mexican grilled corn) with you in case you are saying goodbye to summer with a bang — errr, I mean, a barbecue.  Continue reading

My Guide to Catalina Island

My family has vacationed in Catalina Island almost every summer since before I can remember. Just an hour boat ride from the San Pedro Harbor, it is the perfect escape for Angelenos or anyone in SoCal who needs a quick getaway.

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Classic Strawberry Pie

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love fruit pies and those who can never be my friend.

Really though, I’m convinced that fruit pies are the most perfect dessert to ever exist. First there is the flaky, buttery pastry (if you’re lucky, the pastry is on the top AND bottom), then there is the warm, gooey, not-too-sweet and not-too-tart filling, and last, there is the massive scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or homemade whipped cream that any sane person plops on top of their slice. The only thing missing is chocolate! But, hey, you can’t have it all…

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Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust

I usually hate baking from mixes or boxes but this gluten-free pie crust mix by Bob’s Red Mill* is a total game changer.  It is hands down the best pie crust I have ever made, gluten or no gluten.

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How Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” Changed My Life

Lean In Sheryl Sandberg

Before I read Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In,” I wholeheartedly believed that my reason for existence was to raise children.

So, like, up until last week.

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Baking Essentials

When I first developed an interest in baking, I remember scanning the ingredients list in recipes and thinking, “But I don’t have that! Guess I’m making brownies again.” In hindsight, I realize that I missed countless opportunities to improve my baking simply because I didn’t know how to stock my pantry. Over the years, I’ve learned which ingredients are worth a special trip to the store and which ingredients are necessary to have on hand at all times, you know, for “baking emergencies” ;)

Wondering what my list of baking essentials includes?

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Corn-Free Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread has always been one of my family’s favorite comfort foods. Served alongside a piping hot bowl of chili, an intoxicating stew made from Indian-spiced lentils, or used to sop up juices from a hearty holiday plate, I’m pretty sure everybody has warm associations with this cozy side dish.

Which is why my sister’s recent development of a corn allergy breaks my heart. Unable to think of a worthy substitute for years, I confess to planning “cornbread nights” for times that she could not make it to our family dinners. While I couldn’t exactly bake it in front of her (that would be torture!), it was one of those dishes my family and I just refused to go without.

With this recipe, though, I believe I’ve found the solution.

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13 Recipes You Donut Want to Miss

Easy Cake Mix Donuts

I never make donuts but, like… one day I will… I just know it. If I’m being honest, I spent the entire summer bookmarking these recipes and have just been biding my time until bikini season ends (am I the only one???). After Labor Day Weekend though, donut season begins.

In the event that you, too, enjoy preparing for obesity weeks in advance, here are 13 recipes you donut want to miss…

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9 Ways to Ruin a Job Interview

The job search is tough, y’all… Let’s not make it harder for ourselves by displaying poor interview skills. I have administered many interviews over the years and am always surprised to see the candidates committing the same errors over and over again. Because my heart can’t stand to see another seemingly promising candidate throw away their interview on a rookie mistake, here is my list of 9 ways to ruin a job interview– so that you don’t!

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Guide to Cooking Grains

Although there are many obvious downsides to having medical dietary restrictions, one perk is the sudden exposure to a world of foods you never even knew existed. For example, when my sister developed severe food allergies several years ago (to dietary staples like wheat, rice, corn and oats), we quickly learned about the versatility and nutritional value of quinoa, and have since embraced it as part of our daily diet. Inspired and excited to learn more, I’ve recently begun experimenting with more grains, like farro, and am eager to try others, like wheat berries and millet. In case you are grain-curious like me, keep reading to see a simple guide to cooking grains.
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21 Ways to Cook Shrimp According to Bubba

Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp

I’ve always preferred seafood to meat or poultry, likely because of its subtle sweetness and undeniable tenderness. That said, I admit to preparing my seafood the exact same way every single time. Salmon is drizzled in honey, broiled for 5 minutes; shrimp is boiled for 2-3 minutes and then sauteed with butter, lemon and garlic; tuna is seared lightly or scraped straight out of the can and sandwiched between two slices of bread with more melted cheddar cheese than is socially acceptable.

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Strawberry Basil Agua Fresca

When the weather reached triple digits this past weekend, I literally could do nothing but sit in my air-conditioned living room and cradle a glass bowl of strawberries to my chest. You think I’m being dramatic but I really can’t with that kind of heat. On a whim, I decided to put the berries to good use and make a refreshing drink for the lazy summer afternoon.

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10 Genius Ways to Hide Vegetables in Your Dessert

Purple Sweet Potato Pie (Vegan)

Don’t look at me like that. I know this blog post makes you think I am your worst enemy but, the truth is, I am actually your best friend. Allow me to explain… Experts recommend 2.5 servings of vegetables a day. This is all great and good for freaks (like me) that put kale in everything, but the truth is, eating vegetables everyday is no one’s idea of fun. Know what is? Eating PIE every day!**

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German Chocolate Brownies

Although my dad literally refuses gifts on his birthday, Father’s Day and Christmas (and returns/donates the gifts we do get him) he has never been shy about requesting a Baker’s German Chocolate Cake. Yeah, a brand name chocolate cake — and my dad HATES brands! The thing is, Baker’s is THE classic recipe and my dad hates when you mess with a classic. So yeah, he probably hates me right now.

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Camp Like a Queen: 12 Gourmet Skillet Recipes

Giant Cinnamon Roll Skillet because heaven really does exist

I have a confession to make. All summer long, as plans of adventurous backpacking trips and epic camping weekends circulated amongst my friends, all I could think of was how I excited I was to bring my cast iron skillet with me. You see, these sturdy, heat-retaining vessels were actually designed to be used in hearths and fireplaces, making them the ideal campfire companion. Also, I would rather jump into a bottomless ravine than eat limp, rubbery hotdogs or *gasp* dehydrated trail food. And so, here are 12 gourmet skillet recipes for anyone who, like myself, prefers to camp in style:

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