Vanilla Chia Pudding

chia goodness

chia goodness

Like most 90s kids, I most closely associate chia seeds with this. Spread some chia seeds on this terra cotta animal and violà! Your very own [creepy] grass pet. I happened to be partial to Beanie Babies, but hey, if you’re in to that thing, to each her own.

Chia seeds are the new black in New York right now. I’ve seen them in salads, smoothies, oatmeal, and yoghurt. They boast benefits such as enhanced hydration, lower blood pressure, reduced food cravings, and Omega-3 potency. If they spill on your counter, you might freak out and think they’re little bugs. Generally, though, they are a great enhancement to your everyday snack.

After about a month of living on the chia pudding from Liquiteria, it dawned on me that this was simple enough to create at home and has since become my favorite post-workout snack. It’s a super-easy, one-bowl recipe and could also be a great breakfast (with some granola for the Crunch Factor!) or healthier dessert. Added bonus: the flavor profile will impress the hell out of your friends.

Vanilla Chia Pudding (adapted from Giada)

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 cup plain Greek yoghurt

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4-1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/3 cup berries (optional)

Whisk together almond milk, yoghurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of the kosher salt in a medium bowl until just combined. Whisk in the chia seeds and let the mixture stand for approximately 30 minutes. If seeds have settled, stir to redistribute. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The following day, stir the pudding and taste. If you’d like it to be a bit sweeter, add a tablespoon of maple syrup at a time to reach desired sweetness. Spoon pudding into a bowl and top with your preferred accoutrements – sliced almonds and raspberries are my favorite. Serve and enjoy! Pudding will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.


Summer Street Corn

summer perfection

summer perfection


You get the picture.

Sure, this kind of zeal is probably irritating to people who aren’t intimately involved with the Taylors, but I live for this enthusiasm. It has contributed to the highest highs and lifted me up from the lowest lows in my life. It’s the kind of passion that has the power to permeate a deflated spirit that comes with the most terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day.

The passion shows through in my family’s cooking. Not in a corny way like I cry into a soup and everyone in the restaurant cries too, but I really love watching people eat food I prepare for them especially if it’s a group who makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I spent the weekend cooking up a storm with my mom and we made an awesome menu comprised of this corn, fish tacos, papas fritas, and a banging kale salad. It was, if I do say so myself, the BEST MEAL EVER (or at least, of the summer thus far).

This street corn is a riff off of my sister’s favorite corn from a restaurant in Nantucket. Unfortunately, she missed it this time, but #humblebrag, I think it’s better than the restaurant version. It’s going to become a staple in repertoire and I see myself making it every time I have access to a grill this summer.

Summer Street Corn (adapted from Saveur)

6 large ears corn, with husks still attached

1 cup ricotta salata, grated

for the crema

2 cups mayonnaise

juice of 2 limes

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons vinegar from jalepeños en escabeche

salt & pepper to taste Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

Fill a large bowl or pot with water. With the husks still attached, place ears of corn in water and soak for 30 minutes. While you soak the corn, make the crema. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together mayonnaise, lime juice, ketchup, vinegar from the japeleños en escabeche until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove corn from water. Place corn on the grill for approximately 10 minutes. Remove ears of corn and peel back the husks one layer at a time, keeping the husks intact. Remove the silk and discard. Brush each ear of corn liberally with the crema. Transfer corn to grill to cook, turning occasionally. Grill corn for approximately 20 minutes until charred and cooked through. Sprinkle grated cheese directly on the warm corn and allow to melt. Best served alongside a massive margarita.

{Double Batch} Chocolate Chip Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries + Cream

leaning tower of goodness

leaning tower of goodness

For those keeping score, it is not warm yet in NYC.


As we wait ever so patiently (read: not patiently at all) for the longest winter ever to come to a close, the days of the week are getting curiouser and curiouser. They’ve been plagued with stomach bugs, workdays when you feel like you just can’t win, disappointing conversations, and harsh, reality-busting realizations. Luckily, the days have been conversely peppered with personal productivity, international travel plans, 30 Rock marathons, and insanely late weeknights traipsing around Manhattan because adulthood and #yolo.

After a weekend of both low lows and high highs, I couldn’t think of a better way to start the week than with a sweet and simple cake. The original recipe calls for the addition of cocoa powder to the batter, but I don’t prefer chocolate cake so I eliminated that element and added chocolate chips instead (Molly made the real version!). This cake is a really easy crowd pleaser (ask anyone in my office, they reaped the benefits of my Monday night baking), and is just as good completely plain as it is with strawberries and cream. It also makes for a great dessert, or even breakfast with coffee. AND it’s vegan if you sub the whipped cream for coconut cream.

Chocolate Chip Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries + Cream (adapted from Shutterbean)

for the cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cup olive oil*

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 cups cold water

1 1/2-2 cups mini chocolate chips

for the filling

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups strawberries, sliced

*I enjoy the depth olive oil brings to a cake. For a more subtle flavor, sub in vegetable oil. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 cake pans and set aside. If you don’t have a cake pans (like me for some odd reason), a square, rimmed pan works as well, and you can slice out individual cake squares that way.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and sir until mixed thoroughly. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add olive oil, vanilla extract, vinegar, and water. Using a whisk or a wooden spoon (guess who doesn’t have a whisk in their apartment?! This girl. #amateurhour), mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients until a smooth batter is formed. Fold in chocolate chips until consistent throughout.

Pour the batter into the cake pans or square pan and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, whip heavy cream into soft peaks in a medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and vanilla until incorporated and slightly stiff.

If your cakes are round, slice the domed top off one of the cakes to make a flat surface and place on a serving tray. Top with whipped cream and place a layer of strawberries on top. Top these layers with the second cake round, add whipped cream and strawberries. Slice and serve.

If your cake was baked in a square pan, slice the cake like you would a lasagna. Split the square in half, add whipped cream and strawberries, top with other half. Add extra strawberries and whipped cream to the top. Proceed to inhale.

handful. it's a technical term.

handful. it’s a technical term.

{Double Batch} Garlic Flatbread with Spicy Spinach Pesto + Leeks

garlicky flatbread

springy, garlicky flatbread

Last week, I traveled to Antigua with my family and basked in the 85 degree sunshine, splashed in the sparkling blue Caribbean, and drank the water straight from freshly-fallen coconuts. It was beautiful and restorative and just what I needed after a crazy couple of months. As they would say in Australia, not soz.

Reentry, however, especially reentry to New York City, is always tough. The 35-degree winds and grey skies smacked me back into reality quite quickly. Look, I know Phil saw his shadow and all, but it has been six weeks since Groundhog Day and I’d like to know where the heck spring is hiding. In an effort to coax the spring out of said hiding place, Molly and I made this springy flatbread for you!

Garlic Flatbread with Spicy Spinach Pesto + Leeks (adapted from Dolly and Oatmeal)

for the flatbread

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

for the pesto

2 cups spinach

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon thyme (fresh or dried)

1/2 cup pine nuts

juice from half a lemon

a few cranks of ground pepper

for the leeks

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch of leeks, sliced

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda and mix with a fork. Add egg, olive oil, and garlic and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Oil a rimmed baking sheet and press the dough until flattened — don’t worry about an oblong shape, it will still taste delicious! Cook for 15-20 minutes.

While the flatbread is in the oven, make the pesto. Put spinach, red pepper flakes, salt, thyme, pine nuts, lemon juice, and pepper in a blender or a food processor and pulse a few times. Taste the pesto and add salt, pepper, or lemon to taste if you feel like something is missing.

Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and pinch of salt, stirring occasionally until brown and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes.

Take the flatbread out of the oven and layer the pesto on top, leaving a bit of an edge. Put back in the oven for 5 minutes. When done, top the flatbread with the caramelized leeks. Serve immediately.

super green pesto

super green pesto

Almond-Pistachio Granola

topped with berries and a splash of coconut almond milk

topped with berries and a splash of coconut almond milk

I’m lucky enough to live four blocks away from two of my closest friends. We try to see each other as much as possible, whether it’s to walk in Central Park, try a new restaurant, attend book club, celebrate a birthday, or binge watch House of Cards. We went to their apartment last weekend to watch the Oscars and knowing they were planning to host upwards of ten people, I asked what I could bring. They protested and told me not to be silly, so I threw together a big batch of this Almond-Pistachio Granola and brought it anyway. The Nutty Maple Cinnamon Granola I made last year remains my favorite, but I had all of these ingredients on hand the time to let it get all golden and good while I caught up on Dallas Buyer’s Club before the awards.

If you’re stuck inside for the umpteenth freezing day in a row this weekend and want to taunt your neighbors with the smell of roasting oats and nuts, throw this in the oven on low and be the envy of your entire neighborhood.

Almond-Pistachio Granola

4 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped

3/4 cup pistachios, shelled & roughly chopped

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

splash of vanilla extract

2 tablespoon flax seeds

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Lightly spray two edged, glass dishes with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix oats, almonds, pistachios, pecans, coconut, olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until ingredients glisten from the oil. Add flax seeds, sesame seeds, ground cinnamon, and salt, toss until fully combined.

Divide granola between the two dishes and spread evenly. Bake at 250 degrees for 1.5-2 hours, tossing every 20-30 minutes until granola is deeply golden and you can smell it from a mile away. Let cool completely on cooling rack or top of stove before enjoying. Use for party favors, make for a host gift, eat for weekday breakfasts, or have handy for hangover snacks.

{Double Batch} Brussels Sprouts Salad

blubs of beaty

bulbs of beauty

Growing up, our after-school dinners were always well-balanced: protein, salad or vegetable, starch, and fruit for dessert (or black & white milkshakes for special occasions). While I don’t necessarily recall the details of each of those meals, I do remember that the solitary instance in which my mom made brussels sprouts was not that well-received. The four (at the time) little Taylor girls were not keen on eating bright green globes that grow on weird looking stalks. Also, the name just sounds weird.

Today, brussels sprouts are the new kale. They’re popping up on menus everywhere, and I’ve recently taken to ordering a side of them every time I go out to eat. I like when they’re slightly charred, filled with crispy parts (the leaves turn into crispy chips, kind of like kale), and drenched in balsamic vinegar. As much as I enjoy them, I always find myself wanting for a bit more or less of just one aspect of these little green bulbs — more crispy pieces, less balsamic, not cooked as long.

Enter this salad and behold the power of raw brussels sprouts. Prior to talking to Molly about this salad, I hadn’t given much thought to making a salad made entirely of brussels sprouts, but I’m a convert. I almost prefer this way of eating them — who knew! It’s simple and packs a deeply flavorful punch. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

Brussels Sprouts Salad (adapted from Shutterbean)

12-15 brussels sprouts, shredded

1/2 cup Parmigano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1/4 cup whole almonds, toasted + roughly chopped

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

salt & pepper to taste

Fill a large mixing bowl with water. Chop ends off of the brussels sprouts and put them in bowl, allow to soak for a few minutes. In a small pan, toast almonds until they’re slightly darker and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Allow almonds to cool for 1-2 minutes, then roughly chop.

Drain brussels sprouts and dry on a clean dish towel. Using a large knife (or food processor if you’re fancy like that), chop/shred brussels sprouts. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar,whole grain mustard, and salt & pepper. Mix with a whisk or fork until combined.

Toss brussels sprouts, grated cheese, and almonds in a bowl. Add dressing and stir thoroughly. Enjoy immediately!

my new go-to salad

my new go-to salad

Tuscan Fig Spread

baked brie bites with tuscan fig spread

baked brie bites with tuscan fig spread

It’s no secret that I love food — I was raised to relish in delicious dishes, family dinners, and milkshakes — but I was a pretty unadventurous eater until I went to Florence seven years ago. In my favorite restaurants, I was hesitant to deviate from my standard order for fear of being disappointed the one time I decided to be brave and order something different.  Sure, I was used to Hungarian dishes like kocsonya (jellied pigs feet, which we Magyar descendants affectionally call ‘choke on ya’), but that was because it was the norm.  No one had ever put pears and cheese in pasta or prosciutto on top of melon and offered it to me as a meal, and so I saw those combinations as downright strange. (But jellied pigs feet is ok?  What’s wrong with me?)

Then I spent eight weeks in Florence and everything changed. My Florentine host parents, Carla and Maurizio, had a garden from which they sourced all of the product we ate, and so the dishes they prepared every day opened me to a whole new world of foods. My favorite of these was a fig jam that was served with breakfast, even though I didn’t know a fig from a pickle. The first time I tried it on Italian toast crackers, Carla watched me carefully with baited breath, patiently waiting for my approval. I fell in love instantly, and crave it (and Florence) all the time. I kick myself every day for not asking Carla for the recipe, but I think this adaptation would make her proud.

This recipe is really the best when you have access to fresh figs (Sophia, I’m coming to Sonoma to harvest your trees), but dried figs will suffice. This spread is so easy to put together, it’s worth always having on hand.

Tuscan Fig Spread

Adapted from Carla’s Kitchen in Florence, Italy + The Kitchn

20-22 whole figs (dried or fresh), stems removed

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine figs, sugar, water, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer until the liquid has thickened and changes color — it should be almost golden.

Stir in vanilla extract and mix well. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a food processor. Pulse until you reach the desired consistency (I like it to be a bit heartier with chunks of fig). Serve on a cheese plate, with butter on sourdough toast , slather on a brick of pecorino, or stuff it into baked brie bites.