Marinated Goat Cheese with Fresh Herbs

Marinated Goat Cheese with Fresh Herbs #recipe

Cheese, herbs, olive oil. What more could you need to get your next party started? This three-ingredient stroke of appetizer genius was another key takeaway from the cooking program I recently attended in Paris.

Marinated Goat Cheese with Fresh Herbs gives simple flavors the chance to shine, which means the better quality ingredients you use, the better this easy appetizer will taste. So feel free to splurge on your favorite fresh goat cheese, and go ahead and reach a tad higher for that top-shelf EVOO.

Read on for the recipe, plus a few snapshots of some of my favorite Parisian sights and snacks… 

Honey Balsamic Baked Chicken Thighs

Honey Balsamic Baked Chicken Thighs #recipe

Ah, chicken thighs. One of the most underrated ingredients, if you ask me. They’re cost effective, full of flavor and pretty darn hard to mess up when it comes to achieving a fall-off-the-bone feast. Add a marinade-turned-glaze to the mix and this recipe for Honey Balsamic Baked Chicken Thighs is the newest addition to my weeknight recipe repertoire.

Sweet meets tangy in this flavor-packed entrée, which begins with an overnight marinade starring fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, honey, balsamic vinegar and sliced scallions. After a long soak, the chicken thighs head into the oven for the secret one-two punch when it comes to perfectly cooking poultry: You bake, and then you broil. Finish it all off with a sticky glaze, and all this easy make-ahead meal is missing is a fork and your favorite side dish

Honey Balsamic Baked Chicken Thighs #recipe

Honey Balsamic Baked Chicken Thighs #recipe

Pineapple Carrot Cake with
Cream Cheese Frosting

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

You can now enjoy both your fruits and your veggies all in one serving … of cake. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure that information falls under the win-win category. And that is exactly where this easy recipe for Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting should be filed.

If you hate really moist cakes, then we should probably part ways at this point. Because this cake has mastered a moist crumb with a dense texture and the full flavor of pineapple and carrots. And did I mention there’s no butter involved? That is, until we get to the tangy bowl-licking-worthy cream cheese frosting. But I couldn’t stop there. Someone cue the kitchen twine, candy melts, piping bags and pastry tips!

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

As it turns out, cutting a 9-by-13-inch cake into carrot-shaped pieces requires a strong understanding of geometry. Either that, or Tetris. So rather than start slicing away until you reach that “oh crud” moment, I’ve devised a nifty trick: Use kitchen twine to outline and adjust your cuts prior to slicing.

You can follow the pattern I’ve outlined above to get 10 carrot-shaped slices with a few scraps left over for your favorite taste tester. What’s that? Your favorite taste tester is you? Hey! We’re twins! Now go preheat your oven and get ready to flex those mental muscles for Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s a workout for the mind and the body. 

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

Creamy Edamame and Pea Hummus

Creamy Edamame and Pea Hummus #recipe

Quick site update! In my constant quest to better serve your cooking and entertaining needs,  I’ll now be posting on Mondays and Thursdays, rather than Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s my hope that sharing content earlier in the week will give you added time to plan for the week and weekend ahead. And now that the boring stuff is out of the way, we can move on to that creamy, healthy, hearty bowl of deliciousness above…

I’m a big fan of a edamame when they’re served hot and topped with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of fresh citrus, which got me thinking, “Why not turn those flavors into a dippable, dunkable, spreadable snack?” And thus Creamy Edamame and Pea Hummus was born.

Edamame and peas join forces with fresh garlic and a pinch of cumin, while a drizzle of tahini lends a smooth finish to this quick and creamy snack. Serve the hummus alongside your choice of fresh veggies or crispy crackers, or spread it on a sandwich for a hearty, healthy condiment with a kick.

Creamy Edamame and Pea Hummus #recipe

Creamy Edamame and Pea Hummus #recipe

Thai Chicken Pasta Salad

Thai Chicken Pasta Salad #recipe

Ramen noodles? Check. Homemade peanut sauce? Check. Fresh veggies and diced chicken? Double check. Thai Chicken Pasta Salad gets my vote for a dish that does double duty by delivering maximum flavor on minimum budget.

If you’re ready to take ramen noodles beyond the soup bowl, head on over to the Better Homes and Gardens Delish Dish blog, where I’m serving up this quick and easy recipe for Thai Chicken Pasta Salad with a few flavor-packed twists (hello, crushed red pepper flakes!). And if you’re ready to keep cruising on the Thai food train, don’t miss my recipe for Easy Pad Thai with Chicken.