Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Cups

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Cups | jessicagavin.com

Oh boy, I have certainly been on a snack kick lately! Mostly because it’s a little tricky getting a sit down meal with baby James keeping me on my toes all day. I have to tell you, these peanut butter chocolate chip granola cups saved me from starvation the minute we returned home from the epic delivery of our son James. I had made these granola cups a few days before as part of my “baby nesting” phase, I whipped up a bunch of homemade treats like my no-bake snack bites in anticipation for the much needed energy once baby arrived, and I’m sure glad I did!… 

Read More »

Classic Macaroni and Cheese

cooking macaroni pasta | jessicagavin.com #food

Did I ever tell you that I studied cheese for 2 years during my master’s degree? Yep! I researched the flavors of different cheese and how to make them healthier for you. I got a degree in Dairy Science, and I loved it! So when I think about classic macaroni and cheese recipes, I get super excited because my fondness for this nostalgic comfort food goes beyond just pure enjoyment.

My love for macaroni and cheese began like most American kids born in the 80’s, with the classic blue box of Kraft mac n’ cheese that contained 2 essential ingredients: elbow noodles and packet of cheese powder that never completely dissolved. This was probably my first exposure to food science and I didn’t even know it! I used to add a slices of Kraft American cheese singles, you know, the ones you unwrap because I wanted my macaroni even more cheesy, and we didn’t buy the Velveta kind at the time.

I still to this day enjoy that blue box of mac n’ cheese, and always will. Although I wanted to try my own homemade version so I could switch up the cheese varieties because there are so many delicious types of cheeses and toppings out there. For this recipe though, I just want to create a classic macaroni and cheese recipe, because once you nail the béchamel cream sauce base, the possibilities really are endless!… 

Read More »

No Bake Snack Bites

Perfect No-Bake Snack Bites | jessicagavin.com #recipe

Being a new mommy is a life filled with smiles, cuddles, lots of love and diapers! Sooo many diapers! It can also be pretty demanding on the body and sometimes a quick burst of energy is needed to keep up with taking care of baby. These no bake energy bites are perfect for that one handed grab and healthy satisfaction needed to get through the day. If you’re always on the go, these no bake snack bites are a winner!… 

Read More »

Healthy Oat Pancakes with Berry Sauce

healthy-stack-berry-pancakes

Pancakes for breakfast are certainly a morning treat which usually makes its appearance during those lazy weekends. To be honest, I always feel a little guilty because pancakes are undercover golden delicious desserts eaten in the morning, but they are so good! I wanted to create a recipe that would let me have a taste of those devilish cakes, but not have a carbohydrate overload leaving me wanting to crawl back into bed for a nap after breakfast. I decided to make a pancake batter that featured oats instead of flour for extra fiber, very little added sugar, and fit in as much protein as I could so that I would feel satisfied and energized after eating. These healthy oat pancakes with berry compote sauce is just what you need for a healthy and satisfying start to your day!… 

Read More »

Arugula Walnut Pesto Pasta w/ Shrimp

delicious plate of arugula walnut pesto pasta with shrimp | jessicagavin.com

Do you ever reminisce about what made you fall in love with your soul mate? Deep question huh? For my husband Jason and I, our common love for Italian food was just the beginning of our romance, haha. My husband grew up around a big Italian family who would get together and prepare huge homemade suppers (think the Godfather), so he is accustomed to traditions and quality of family meals. Jason may not be the head chef in our kitchen (that’s my job), but he sure has his expectations and opinions when it comes to making Italian food just right, and isn’t shy to tell me!

My first test came when Jason’s mom gave me the most amazing kitchen gift, a pasta maker! She must have been putting me to the ultimate test, to see if I could properly feed her son! It’s a good thing that I got rolling because I got mama’s stamp of approval and Jason and I have been married for 3 years now (and together for 10)! The pasta machine has sure come in handy over the years. I usually like to make a traditional egg pasta dough, however I wanted to create a healthier whole wheat noodle to make an arugula walnut pesto pasta with shrimp recipe…. 

Read More »

Mini Nectarine Almond Frangipane Tart

nectarine almond frangipane tart | jessicagavin.com #sweets

The best thing about dessert is when you don’t have to share! I know, that may sound a little greedy, but sometimes you just want your very own pie. With that in mind, I thought that making individually portioned mini nectarine almond frangipane tarts would be a great way to indulge without going over board. It’s nice not having to give others a nibble of the good stuff, since everyone will have their very own tart…. 

Read More »

Rustic Peach and Berry Crostata

yummy peach and berry crostata | jessicagavin.com

Do you love crust? I love it! Who knew that combining butter and flour could be so magical, giving you tender pieces of pastry that melts in your mouth with each bite of fruit filling. Being that it’s still summer why not celebrate the last few days by using ripe stone fruit and berries in a delicious dessert?  My local market has super sweet yellow and white peaches and plump blueberries and blackberries available, so I thought that the combination of sweet and tangy fruit would be perfect for a crostata.

I originally found this recipe in Hedy Goldsmith’s incredible dessert cookbook, Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors. Chef Goldsmith is the executive pastry chef at Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in Miami Florida, where she creates whimsical and fun nostalgic desserts. I was lucky enough to meet her during her book release a few years back and I was so excited to try her recipes and now was the right time! I had brought this rustic peach and berry crostata to our friends fourth of July celebration, and it was a big hit!… 

Read More »

Lemon Herb Fingerling Potato Salad

Lemon Herb Fingerling Potato Salad | jessicagavin.com

Everyone loves a classic potato salad made with the traditional mayonnaise and relish base. However if you are looking for a lighter potato salad recipe, preparing a flavorful vinaigrette is a great option! For a fast side dish that won’t leave you in eater’s remorse, try this lemon herb fingerling potato salad recipe…. 

Read More »

Fig and Prosciutto Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

fig and prosciutto pizza | jessicagavin.com

When I think of figs, I find it funny to imagine the times of Greek gods and goddesses spending the afternoon eating these delicate and luxurious fruit gems. These perfect ripe figs are like eating concentrated honey bites and are perfect for pairing with salty and savory ingredients like prosciutto and cheese. Of course honey and figs go together like milk and cookies. It’s exciting to see when figs pop up in the grocery store or at farmer’s markets, it’s like a a special treat because it’s not something you have everyday.

I was recently dining with some of my favorite coworkers at a nearby pizzeria called Fuoco in Fullerton, CA and they had a special pie on the menu featuring you guessed it, figs! For some reason all of our eyes lit up around the table and we all ordered a whole fig pizza to ourselves! Greedy you say? No way, just indulgent and who doesn’t like a leftover pizza the next day? I hadn’t noticed figs in the market yet, so that got me thinking and inspired me to make my own version of fig pizza at home, if I could find some figs at my local market. And guess what, success! Whole Foods had the figs in cute little green baskets, ready for the taking. I hope you enjoy this recipe for fig and prosciutto pizza with sweet honey balsamic glaze, it’s a little bite of heaven if you ask me…. 

Read More »

Salmon Burgers with Lemon Dill Sauce

salmon burgers with lemon dill sauce | jessicagavin.com

It’s hard not to enjoy a nice and juicy Angus half pound burger with hickory smoked bacon and thick cut cheddar cheese (okay maybe that’s just what I’m craving), however sometimes it’s nice to try something a little lighter yet still satisfying. I’ve often grilled portioned salmon fillets for burgers, but I wanted to incorporate more flavor into the actual fish itself this time. The best way to do that is to create your own homemade salmon patties! It’s so simple and holds together very nicely on the grill.

I was actually surprised on how easy it is to create salmon patties, I’ve seen them sold at Costco and Trader Joe’s thinking that they were a great idea, yet looked a little boring. So to bump up the flavor of the salmon patties, I incorporated some common ingredients that compliment this fish very nicely; lemon and dill. I hope you give my salmon burgers with lemon dill sauce a try, it’s a great healthier meal option!… 

Read More »