Brussels Sprouts Pizza with Balsamic Red Onions

Brussels sprouts pizza - cookieandkate.com

Today, we’re celebrating Erin with pizza! Yep, the same Erin from last Friday’s panzanella salad. Like I said, we’re pals. She’s having a baby boy soon! I found out last fall when our Napa visit last fall turned into a tour of San Francisco instead. Just wait until Erin and Mike take you to the San Francisco Ferry Building for the farmers’ market, little guy.

red onion and brussels sprouts

This pizza has been exasperating me for the past week. I knew I wanted to put Brussels sprouts on it, but what else? After several prototypes, including red onions on top, pesto on bottom and a failure of a creamy spinach sauce, it finally occurred to me to use balsamic, caramelized red onions as the base. That’s the ticket!

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Erin’s Spring Panzanella with Fresh Peas and Fennel

Healthy spring panzanella - cookieandkate.com

I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoy live music. Isn’t that terrible? I just don’t keep up with shows that come through town because I don’t have a default music buddy to go with me. Last night, Jordan texted me as I was photographing this salad with a super last-minute, free ticket to see Ok Go. Since I’m “the friend who’s up for anything!” I drove right there to meet them. And it was AWESOME.

Few sights fill me with more glee than watching others jam out in their own element, and Ok Go really jammed out. The visuals! The dancing! The brilliant, unique, goofy determination and talent behind it all! That’s self-actualization at its finest, not to mention most entertaining. I loved every minute of it.

spring panzanella ingredients

I experience the same tizzy awe every time I crack open a book created by a friend. The newest arrival is The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen by Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella. It’s a cookbook that offers fifty base recipes, each with four seasonal variations, for a total of two hundred. Erin is a recipe-creating machine and I love having a tangible copy of her hard work.

Erin asked me to help her test out the recipes for this book last year and this salad was one of them. Now that I can share it with the world, I just couldn’t resist. This spring panzanella features fresh greens, raw peas (which are really good!) and pea shoots (found at Trader Joe’s), thinly sliced fennel and freshly baked, whole grain croutons tossed in a lemony dressing. Her final recipe calls for minced garlic scapes, which are green onion-like shoots that grow out of garlic if you let them. I used pressed garlic instead. Congrats on a job well done, Erin!

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Fresh Mango Salsa

Fresh mango salsa recipe, perfect for tacos, potlucks and more! cookieandkate.com

Today marks five years since my first post on Cookie and Kate. This date usually passes by without much fanfare, but five years! My baby’s in kindergarten now. Sniffle. This blog really is my baby. I’ve written every post and designed every square inch of it myself, all with Cookie by my side. (She says hello, and would you please pass the mango?)

I bought all the ingredients to bake a cake to celebrate, then my dishwasher broke down. I was not about to wash all those dishes by hand. So, let’s shout happy birthday with this mango salsa recipe that I made for a potluck last weekend. It’s colorful, right?! Almost looks like confetti up close.

mango salsa ingredients

Come to think of it, salsa is actually the perfect anniversary recipe since my first recipe was for salsa. That post broke records for this blog back then. Three comments in one day! Those kind words made me giddy and made me think, hey, I could post more recipes. Here we are—1826 days, countless late nights, three jobs, four apartments and nearly 400 recipes later—with a dedicated food blog.

I owe each of you a giant thank you. Thank you for visiting, commenting and sharing my recipes with your friends and family. I literally wouldn’t have posted more recipes if it weren’t for those comments way back when. Your comments, emails and Instagrams keep me motivated even when the going gets tough and your visits let me do what I love for a living. Thank you.

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20 Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes

Find 20 hearty, gluten-free and vegetarian recipes! cookieandkate.com

Good morning! I’m sipping from a giant mug of coffee with Cookie curled up on my feet, so we’re off to a good start. Today, I thought I’d share a collection of my favorite recipes that are both vegetarian (as always) and gluten free. These are the kinds of dinners that we make at girls’ night, since two of us follow gluten-free diets and I complicate matters by being a vegetarian.

The more restrictions, the more difficult menu planning can be, but I hope you’ll find plenty of inspiration below! You’ll see rice-based dishes, like risotto and Mexican meals, some creative quinoa dinners, hearty salads, quiche and more.

I had a hard time narrowing down the options to an even twenty, so click here for my complete gluten-free category. You can always access it by hovering over ALL RECIPES in the header menu, then mousing down to DIET > GLUTEN FREE. Enjoy!

Simple, vegetarian Thai green curry recipe featuring asparagus, carrots and spinach! cookieandkate.com

No. 1: Thai Green Curry with Spring Vegetables

“This was great!! Super easy and yet it also had depth of flavor. I enjoyed it very much. Served it with quinoa instead of rice!” – Sara

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Migas with Black Beans & Austin Restaurant Guide

Tex-Mex migas with crispy baked tortilla chips, like they make in Austin! Plus, a list of restaurants you can't miss on your next trip to Austin, Texas. cookieandkate.com

Well, it’s about time! It’s been six weeks since I got back from my month of endless tacos and margaritas in Austin, Texas. Full credit goes to Ali for coming up with the idea to head south with our pups for the coldest month of the year, and I’m so glad we did.

We drove down separately with our dogs as our co-pilots and our trunks rattling with kitchen supplies. I caught up with her on I-35 near Oklahoma City and flailed my arm out the window with a stupid grin on my face. After a few months of talking about going to Austin for a month, we were doing it!

migas ingredients

Ali got there first, then I showed up and popped a bottle of Champagne, which we poured over ice like thirsty ladies do. We’re both independent, single introverts who are accustomed to living alone, so I think we were both mildly apprehensive about sharing a roof for a whole month.

Fortunately, Ali is a great roommate and our only heated discussions revolved around food. Ali is the salsa queen (don’t bring jarred salsa into her house!) and she was surprised to hear me wax poetic about ketchup. It’s true, I love ketchup, but don’t get me started on baby carrots. Ali insists on lemon in her water and unabashedly adores frozen margaritas. I rank tortilla chips based on their air-pocket-to-flat-surface ratio. This is the stuff we learned about each other during fourteen happy hour sessions together.

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Tropical Mango Spring Rolls with Avocado-Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Tropical mango spring rolls with avocado cilantro sauce, a fresh appetizer to serve at your spring/summer parties! Gluten free and vegan. - cookieandkate.com

Finally! My friends and I resurrected our long-lost girls’ night last week. It was glorious. We have a few tiny people under our care now, so scheduling has become more challenging. I had all but given up hope on our weekly meet-ups until Alissa proposed a get-together last Monday. I offered to host, naturally, so we could have a whole place to ourselves.

mango spring roll ingredients

Six months had passed since our last ladies-only dinner, but we all remembered the drill. I’ll tell you how we do it in case you would like to start up your own, which I highly recommend!

Basically, we coordinate plans in our little five-person Facebook group. In the past, we stuck to Wednesdays, which made scheduling easier. Everyone shows up roughly around our standard girls’ night dinner time (6:30-ish).

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