Casual Friday: Sesame and Black Pepper Granola

savory-sesame-black-pepper-granolaIt’s the last Friday of February, people. I’m glad you’re here. Let’s get casual.First, we need to talk about this savory granola situation. The inspiration for this oat-based awesomeness actually stemmed from an accident—I mistook a bag of sesame seeds for chia while testing a Dude Diet granola recipe a few months ago. Not wanting to waste a bunch of perfectly good ingredients, I angrily baked off the botched batch anyway, and although the final product was not the sweet breakfast sensation I was going for, it was crazy delicious in its own way. The sesame seeds added a subtle and unexpected savory dimension, thrilling my inner sweet-and-savory fetishist and prompting many more (purposeful) sesame-themed granola experiments.This black pepper version is my favorite to date. The usual suspects (oats, nuts, maple syrup) are taken off the beaten granola path with sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce, and enough ground ginger and...
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Zucchini Noodles with Portobello Bolognese

zucchini-noodles-with-vegan-portobello-bologneseApparently, I’m rather hard to shop for.According to my roommate and most of my family members, they never know what to get me for Christmas/my birthday, and it seems to be a very real source of stress for them. This is ridiculous. As I regularly tell Logan et al., I’m extremely easy to please, and I love any and all presents that I receive!And as Logan regularly tells me, I am a liar. This statement is usually followed by a laundry list of past presents that I have hated (i.e. tickets to Sleep No More, flannel shirts, camera equipment, etc.). Touché, Logan.Sidenote: Hate is a very strong word, and I have never hated a present in my life. That would just be ungrateful (it's the thought that counts, after all). However, I did "intensely dislike" Sleep No More. That shit was weird and...
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Seared Ahi Bowls with Roasted Cauliflower and Red Chimichurri

seared-ahi-bowls-with-roasted-cauliflower-and-red-chimichurriI rarely cook fish.This was initially a personal choice, as it took a very long time to get over my many culinary school fish traumas. To be honest, I feel like all I did at Le Cordon Bleu was cook fish. Roasted fish, grilled fish, poached fish, pan-seared fish, fish stuffed with other fish (WHY?!!). And every single fish cooking experience began with the whole. damn. fish. I get that some chefs love receiving ingredients in their natural state and personally breaking them down, but I am not one of them. (Shocking, I know.) Short of Bear Grylls inviting me to demonstrate on a Lady vs. Wild-type episode, gutting a fish is not something I'll ever willingly do. The scent lingers.Dear God, just give me the filets.My point is, for a good year post LCB graduation, the mere thought of cooking fish made me...
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Fully Loaded Toffee Saltines

Fully-Loaded-Toffee-SaltinesAs I’ve mentioned many times before, I am a lover of Valentine’s Day. Always have been, always will be. I don’t care if it’s a Hallmark Holiday—I think a day dedicated to love is an excellent, albeit touchy-feely, idea. I mean, even if you don’t have a significant other, I assume you have at least one family member, friend, or animal (slight judgment) that you love, and V-Day is an excellent reminder/excuse to celebrate them. I dig it.Personally, I’ve experienced every type of Valentine’s celebration—the solo soirée, the collegiate theme party, the Galentine’s gathering (I’ve attended both the girl power and the crying into a vat of wine varieties), the prix fixe restaurant date, the home-cooked dinner for two—and each one has its specific charms. But I didn’t truly discover my V-Day sweet spot until two years ago. Visit Domesticate...
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Baked Oatmeal with Orange and Almonds

baked-oatmeal-with-blood-orange-and-almondsI'm getting really real today, peeps. That was your fair warning, so if you’re just here for some cozy baked oatmeal, now would be the time to scroll to the recipe.I’ve touched on my anxiety from time to time over the years, but to be perfectly honest, shit majorly hit the fan in 2015 on the stress and overall health front. For the sake of context, I should probably tell you that I’ve always been a pretty serious stress case. I didn’t start having actual panic attacks until I was 22, but looking back, I regularly lost my cool as a kid/teen/young adult. I was what they call a neurotic “high-achieving” youth, and I often cracked under the (self-inflicted) pressure.Just to give you a point of reference, starting in the second grade, I routinely begged my parents to let me stay up...
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The Super Bowl Guide

Epic-Recipes-For-Super-Bowl-50Even if you hate football (no judgment, obviously), I feel like pretty much everyone can get on board with a good Super Bowl party. After all, there’s something about the general lack of pretension on Game Day that just screams, “Let’s get weird!” and you have to respect that sentiment. Want to get sloppy drunk, eat your weight in nachos, and scream profanities at a television screen while wearing a hot sauce-stained jersey? Totally cool! As a wise man once said, “Get down girl, go ‘head get down.”Since some of you may be hosting the festivities this Sunday, I’ve put together a handy little Game Day entertaining guide to help you out. Below, you’ll find my top tips for keeping your extravaganza as streamlined and stress-free as possible, followed by an exhaustive list of crowd-pleasing Super Bowl snacks. As per usual, feel free...
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Casual Friday: Chicken Jalapeño Popper Dip

chicken-jalapeno-popper-dip-7It’s the last Friday of January, peeps. You know the deal. Let’s talk Chicken Jalapeño Popper Dip and then mess around on the internet, shall we?Super Bowl Sunday is almost upon us, and although I give zero fucks am not overly concerned with fooseball, I'm obviously very excited about the food element. After all, the Super Bowl is the mother of all No-Calorie Sundays, and I, for one, plan to get Logan-style weird with my favorite finger foods while waiting for Beyoncé. My fancy Game Day menu is still under construction (I imagine the Dude will want to weigh in), but this creamy, cheesy jalapeño dip has already earned a spot on what I’m sure will be a delightfully overcrowded table. I thought you might like to add it to yours.This simple dip is pretty much a giant deconstructed jalapeño popper—peppers, toasted spices, cream cheese, and lots of sharp cheddar—plus shredded...
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Asian Turkey Burgers with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Asian-Turkey-Quinoa-Burgers-with-Coconut-Peanut-SauceWhen I think about it, each stage of my life can be marked by a specific turkey burger.I’m weirdly proud of this fact.In the 90s/early 2000s, my babysitter made super basic, fuss-free turkey burgers for my siblings and me at least once a week. No fillers, no toppings, just ground turkey, salt and pepper. These sound sad, but I was the pickiest eater alive and preferred primarily white/beige foods and ketchup, so a plain patty on a chewy Kaiser roll with half a bottle of Heinz was basically my fantasy meal. On particularly thrilling occasions, there were frozen French fries involved (more beige!), and—if I could choke down some broccoli—maybe a Tofutti Cutie for dessert. Joy of JOYS.Those were simpler times, and while I now realize that the t-burgers of my youth were 100% on the dry, boring side of the...
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Just The Tip: Perfect Pork Tenderloin

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TGIJust The Tip day, right?Yours truly is currently on set for day 6 of The Dude Diet’s glamour shots, and I have to say, it’s pretty unreal. As a cookbook virgin, I obviously had no idea what to expect, but (un?)surprisingly, the photo shoot for your own book RULES. My team is amazing and hilarious, I’ve learned more in a week about food styling and photography than I have in the past 4 years, and everyone appears to love 90s jams, oversharing, and La Croix as much as I do. It’s professional heaven. Plus, the dress code is casual—great news, since I didn’t have time to find the perfect power suit.God knows I’ll recap all the dirty details of this experience at some point soonish, but if you’re feeling antsy, I’ve been doing my best to share the day-to-day highlights on Snapchat (@serenagwolf). Feel free to come hang. I only joined...
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Grilled Salmon Tacos with Pomegranate-Jalapeño Salsa

Grilled-Salmon-Tacos-with-Pomegranate-Jalapeno-Salsa-with-Brussels-Sprouts-and-Goat-CheeseHappy Friday from LA, friends! Today is the first day of The Dude Diet photo shoot and honestly, I feel like I’m going to throw up. That might be because being awake at 6am makes me nauseous, but it’s more likely a combo of excitement and anticipatory anxiety. I take comfort in the fact that Logan is stopping by this afternoon for his glamour shots—if there’s any ice left to break with my photo team, the dude is guaranteed to plunge through it like a very enthusiastic, chicken wing-loving polar bear. (p.s. If you’re interested in following the behind-the-scenes action, I’m going to do my best to Snapchat the highlights: serenagwolf.)Anyhoo, today I’m finally emptying the nets from 2015. I know I’m a little late, and it already feels like the holidays were forever ago, but I needed a little time to...
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