I couldn't tell you why I thought it was a good idea for my first ever attempt at pavlova to be on a 100 degree day with 85% humidity, but that's what I did and that's why this meringue is showing some cracks.

Inspiration comes from The Great British Baking Show, where I was first introduced to pavlova. I had never eaten one before, but it was so good I promptly made a second one the next day.


French Toast

Two different French Toast recipes from Allrecipes, the first is French Toast I and is a very good basic recipe. Easily adaptable. I added strawberries and pistachios.

Second recipe, Fluffy French Toast, is a little different because it uses flour. This coats the bread and makes more of a crust. I added raspberries, cherries and powdered sugar. Both recipes are great. Which one will you try first?

1. French Toast I: link here
2. Fluffy French Toast: link here


Chicken Pineapple Curry

Curry is my favorite part of an anti inflammatory diet. Turmeric mixed with a tomato based sauce gives this sauce its bright orange color. I made this recipe with inspiration from Dao Thai Restaurant in downtown Chicago, but with a mixture of curry spices found more commonly in Indian food.

Chicken Pineapple Curry

2 sweet potatoes, cubed
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
1 onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon sugar (or substitute honey for anti inflammatory diets)

for the spice mixture (I used ground spices):
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamon
1 tsp corriander
1/4 cayenne pepper (can be left out or adjusted to taste)
1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp olive oil
2 eight oz cans of tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 eight oz can of coconut milk

1 lb chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1  tsp olive oil

1 - 2 cups chopped pineapple
peanuts for topping

Add the olive oil to a large, deep pan over medium heat, then stir in the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the spice mixture to the onions and continue to cook for about five minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for just a minute before pouring in the tomato sauce, broth, sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Cook for fifteen minutes, stirring to ensure it doesn't stick or burn on the bottom. 

Meanwhile, combine the diced chicken with 1 tsp paprika and turmeric. Heat 1 tsp oil in a skillet and add the chicken, browning on all sides but not cooking all the way through. Chicken could definitely be left out to make this a vegetarian recipe.

Add the chicken to the sauce and vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Continue to cook over low heat for thirty minutes, until chicken is cooked. Add the coconut milk and pineapple. Cook until heated through, then serve with rice or quinoa and garnish with peanuts. Cilantro and greek yogurt would also be great with this.

Serves 4


Zucchini Lasagna

This is a delicious way to eat gluten-free lasagna; you just substitute the pasta with zucchini slices! I used a mandolin to create super thin slices of zucchini but you could slice them by hand as well. Since I've started following the anti-inflammatory diet more closely (helps with endometriosis symptoms) it's been tough going without pasta/bread, but this recipe is just as good as the real thing.

Zucchini Lasagna

for the meat mixture:
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasonings (oregano, basil, etc)
1 jar pasta sauce
5 cloves garlic
1/2 onion

for the cheese mixture:
1 container cottage cheese (ricotta if you're fancy)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt & pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded cheese

3 or 4 medium sized zucchinis
1/4 cup additional shredded cheese for topping

(preheat oven 350 degrees)

Finely dice the onion then saute in a large pan until translucent. Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two, then add the pasta sauce and let simmer until flavors combine.

Slice the zucchini on a mandolin or by hand into long thin slices.

Combine cottage cheese with the other cheese mixture ingredients and set aside.

Alternate layers starting with a spoonful of sauce at the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange zucchini "noodles" on top in a single layer, overlapping is ok. Add the meat mixture followed by the cheese mixture, then repeat the layers. Top the final layer with the remaining cheese. Cover with tin foil.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until edges are golden and bubbly. Wait 10-15 before serving to allow time for the lasagna to set up properly.


Baked Stuffed Butternut Squash

Baked Stuffed Butternut Squash
with seasoned ground turkey, mushrooms, toasted brazil nuts and fresh basil

1 large butternut squash
1 tsp olive oil
pinch salt & pepper 

1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground sage
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic 
2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup water
8 oz mushrooms, sliced or chopped

2 handfuls brazil nuts (or any nuts), toasted & chopped
fresh basil, sliced for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cut the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper before placing face-down on the cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet or cast iron pan. Mix the spices into 1/4 cup water and stir. Place the ground turkey in the pan, then pour the spice water over top. Break up the turkey using a wooden spoon until the water comes to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium low and continue to break apart the turkey as is cooks for 15-20 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and turkey is cooked through. Add mushrooms and cook for five more minutes

When the butternut squash is cooked and cooled for a few minutes, flip it over and fill it with the meat mixture, followed by the toasted nuts and fresh basil. Serve immediately.