Strawberry Nutella Puff Pastry

Strawberry Nutella Puff Pastry

This 3-ingredient Strawberry Nutella Puff Pastry is quick and easy to prepare for a simple dessert.

Besides the fact that puff pastry is glorious simply because it is flaky, buttery heaven, puff pastry is a fantastic food to have stocked in the freezer because it’s a quick ticket to numerous easy desserts.

Today’s recipe only uses 3 ingredients: puff pastry, chocolate hazelnut spread such as Nutella, and fresh strawberries. Anyone can make it. Yes, anyone!

Carrot Raisin Salad with Pine Nuts

This gorgeously vibrant Fresh Carrot Raisin Salad is full of flavor but light on calories!

This gorgeously vibrant Carrot Raisin Salad is full of flavor and simple to prepare. It’s a great make-ahead dish too, as it only gets better as it sits.

I absolutely adore picnics.

I love the marriage of eating a meal with spending time outside, and I think there is something so restorative about it for the body and soul.

Does it sound a bit romantic? Maybe. But if you ask me, picnicking is totally underrated as an activity. It’s free (!!) but still manages to feel so special.

Lately I’ve been making a personal effort to come up with more fresh salad and vegetable ideas, and this Fresh Carrot Raisin Salad is one of my new favorite dishes. It’s perfect picnic food, as it keeps really well, but is also really refreshing to eat in warm weather.

Lean Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle: An easy big-batch recipe to make for dinner!

Short ribs aren’t the default cut of beef for shredding anymore! Flank steak is a lot leaner and shreds beautifully for this ragu, cooked low and slow for 8 hours and tossed with fresh pappardelle pasta.

Shredded beef has always been one of my favorite things to eat, and for most of my life, I always thought of short ribs as the default shredded beef, like these slow cooker short ribs. They fall apart with the prod of a fork so beautifully and become really tender after several hours of cooking.

A while back I discovered via my friend Gina’s cookbook that there was a leaner alternative that still shreds beautifully, and the magical cut is…flank steak!

This surprised me, because flank steak in my head was always something you grilled and enjoyed rare, cut again the grain. Not something you cooked in the slow cooker for 8 hours and shredded with pasta.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are my *go-to* and are really easy to make!

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are my go-to cupcake recipe! They’re rich, dark, and insanely moist. The Peanut Butter Buttercream on top is the perfect pairing, and only has 4 ingredients.

[Post updated with new photos, writing, and a video. Originally published October 2011]

Even though I’m not solely a baker, I would totally go to that Cupcake Wars show with these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes. They’ve become my go-to when I need cupcakes for something, whether it’s for a party, to give to a neighbor, or to satisfy a chocolate cupcake craving.

The bonus to this recipe is it’s pretty easy to make, and you can use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour. The Chocolate Cupcake batter doesn’t have anything out of the ordinary in it, and the peanut butter buttercream only has 4 ingredients that you whip together in a bowl.

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Dietary restriction friendly Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread is wonderful as toast in the morning and is adaptable to suit various dietary restrictions.

Cinnamon Raisin was my toast of choice when I was a kid, and it still is today. I love that swirl of sweet cinnamon and brown sugar all throughout each slice, and the juicy raisins dotted into the dough.

I’ve experimented with all sorts of homemade breads over the years, but truthfully, after making everything from homemade baguettes to ciabatta to paesano, I usually leave the fancier breads to the bakery and stick to making simpler things like sandwich bread at home.

There are a few reasons I like making my own cinnamon raisin bread at home.

First, a lot of sandwich breads at the store have a lot of preservatives and additives, and generally speaking, I prefer not to eat those.

Second, I get to load the bread up with as many raisins as I’d like, and I also get to use my fancy cinnamon (not all cinnamon is created equal).

And third, it’s fun and easy to make. Really. There’s something so satisfying about making your own bread, and it makes your house smell dreamy.

The recipe I’m sharing today is adaptable to suit different dietary needs, so it can be enjoyed by many. It can be made with dairy (mmm, butter), or it can be made without it.

I’ll share different substitutions you can use throughout the recipe.

Click here to continue reading this Adaptable Cinnamon Raisin Bread post on The Pioneer Woman’s site.

Kung Pao Chicken

Chinese Takeout at Home, in 20 minutes! Kung Pao Chicken is an easy stir fry with marinated chicken, bell pepper, peanuts, and other great flavors.

Make your own Chinese takeout at home, using quality meat and your favorite vegetables! This Kung Pao Chicken is quick and easy to make, perfect for a weeknight meal.

Making Chinese food at home for myself came out of necessity. As crazy as it may sound, I have found very few Chinese restaurants (even in New York City!) that I find worth going to. The ones I do, Red Farm, and Cafe China, are both a bit $$$.

So when a craving strikes, I often end up making the dish at home. At worst case, maybe it involves breaking out the fryer for something like Honey Walnut Shrimp or Orange Chicken, but it’s always worth it.

I’ve posted quite a few Chinese takeout recipes on this site and they all pretty much say the same thing:

Chinese food has always been one of my favorite cuisines Chinese takeout is often of questionable quality (fatty, gristly meat) Chinese food is usually pretty easy and quick to make, provided you have the ingredients.

When you add all of that up, you end up with a convincing argument to make Chinese food at home too!