30 Recipes for the Ultimate Easter Brunch

best-easter-brunch-recipesHeyooo, happy SPRING!I hate to interrupt this week’s regularly scheduled Birthday Princess programming, but Easter is coming. And since *a few* more people recognize Easter than my birthday, I thought it was important to address the holiday and your potential feasting needs.If you celebrate Easter, I’m sure you have your own traditions (mine include competitive egg hunting, reckless chocolate consumption, and family naps), but I feel like there’s usually brunch involved, right? So, for those planning to skip the hotel buffets and overcrowded restaurants this year in favor of a spring-y at-home celebration (excellent call!), I’ve rounded up 30 of my favorite foolproof recipes for your brunching pleasure. Personally, I like to do an easy and egg-y "centerpiece," along with a few salads or sides, something sweet, and a crowd-pleasing cocktail, but you should obviously do you. This list has a little something for everyone—I’m hoping you'll...
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Kiwi Kiss Cocktail

kiwi-kiss-rum-cocktailDO YOU KNOW WHAT TODAY IS?!If you answered Thursday or St. Patrick’s day, you would not be wrong, but neither of those things warrants yelling on the Internet. (Unless you're a die-hard St. Paddy’s fan, in which case I assume you are Irish, under the age of 25, or saw a leprechaun in a tree this morning.)Today, friends, marks the start of something I’ve been waiting for since March of 2015.No, I didn’t get a fancy television offer, meet Justin Bieber, or get whisked away on a surprise tropical vacation by my roommate. Maxim did not call about my pictorial, and as far as I know, Gronk has yet to endorse The Dude Diet. It’s so much better than any of those things!Can you handle the suspense? Did you already guess what it is?? Are you having...
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Chocolate Covered Banana Chia Pudding

chocolate-coconut-banana-chia-puddingIf you spend time here on the reg, you already know that I will shamelessly try just about anything that promises to make me smarter, prettier, and/or healthier. (Except for vigorous exercise. Not into it.) I suffer from self-diagnosed "trend ADD," and I'm basically every wellness marketer’s dream girl.As excellent as I am at testing new health and beauty trends, I’m equally terrible at incorporating them into my lifestyle long-term. I find myself perpetually drawn to the latest sexy product or practice promoting glowy skin, shiny hair, and increased overall awesomeness, often leaving a trail of exotic superfoods, powders and tonics in my wake. I’m pretty sure it’s genetic. (My mom left me a very long voicemail last weekend about a new "side effect-free pill that expands creativity!!!" urging me to do some research and get my hands on it ASAP before the masses catch on...) Read More >>

Barbecue Chicken Quinoa Bake

barbecue-chicken-quinoa-casseroleLast winter, I attended a very exclusive hipster concert in Brooklyn. If that seems slightly out of character for me, that’s because it is—my friend Bay tricked me into it. She asked if I was free one Tuesday night, and when I said yes (assuming she wanted to grab dinner or drinks), Bay informed me that we would be spending the evening at someone’s apartment in Brooklyn watching a handful of indie bands do their thing. Blergh. But I obviously couldn’t back out because I’d already said I was free. Tricky, Bay.When I asked for more details, Bay was cagey. (Probably to avoid me coming down with an obscure illness and having to bail.) She simply told me to show up at 8pm at the address she had given me, and that I could bring my own booze and snacks if...
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Golden Bell Pepper Soup

vegan-bell-pepper-soup-with-sweet-potatoTruth be told, I tend to get a little weirded out by strangers who are overly friendly.I’m not proud of this fact, but I blame living in NYC for my shameless cynicism. New Yorkers aren’t exactly known for their warm-fuzziness, and we tend to go about our business as quickly and efficiently as possible, minimizing unnecessary human interaction at all costs. For better or worse, many of us are speed walking, headphone wearing, small talk avoiding people, and although I like to consider myself a super friendly person, I’m definitely not randomly bestowing smiles and compliments upon peeps I don’t know. (I’m very busy listening to Bieber with a poker face and thinking deep blog thoughts!) Even in social scenarios, a lot of New Yorkers have their guard up, keeping things “light and polite” when chatting with someone new.However, every once in...
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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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