The Feastie Blog

Feastie Friday: Seafood (And Eat It!)

I'm on the seafood diet. When I see food, I eat it! All joking aside, seafood is a favorite here at Feastie, and there's no shortage of excellent seafood recipes floating around this summer. Swap out the chicken or beef in your favorite dish and try fish or shrimp instead - shrimp burgers, salmon burgers, tuna burgers are all great (and delicious) subsitutes for the traditional ground beef burger. We've rounded up the top 5 seafood recipes on the web this week, and there's no shortage of yummy options in this list. 

Smoked Salmon Nuggets from The Black Peppercorn

photo from The Black Peppercorn

Trending Desserts: Top 10 Popular Desserts

"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." Sound advice if I've ever heard it! And while there's always room for chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream, what about something a little less...vanilla? Avocado, perhaps? There are some interesting desserts trending right now, and we've done some fancy math and calculations and discovered the top 10 up-and-coming dessert trends starting right now. We've chosen our favorite recipe for each trend and shared them with you here - 10 unbelievably delectable and original treats for you to try right now! 

Lavender Honey: An elegant and sophisticated pairing of floral lavender and sweet honey make for a delicious summery treat. 

Lavender Honey Ice Cream from Delectable Musings

photo from Delectable Musings


Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

There are muffins, and then there are muffins. Sometimes I'll get super excited about a muffin, whether it's one I've made or one I'm trying in a bakery or cafe, and I'll take my first anticipated bite, and then......disappointment. Muffins can be dry, dense, crumbly hockey pucks, or they can be magical melt-in-your-mouth tender moist little treats. I've tried making muffins with pumpkin puree, buttermilk, applesauce, butter, oil, yogurt, baby food - you name it, I've tried incorporating it into a muffin in an attempt to achieve a perfectly moist muffin. Some were good, some were "meh" and some were better used as paperweights. And then I tried making a muffin with sour cream. Um, bingo. For some reason, it took me a while to realize that on Planet Jessica, the secret to the perfect muffin is, indeed, sour cream. My favorite blueberry muffin recipe (coming soon!) uses sour cream, and The Mr's favorite chocolate cake uses sour cream, so I don't know why I found it to be such a lightbulb moment, but after I made these chocolate chocolate chip muffins from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice, it finally sunk in. Muffins made with sour cream are where it's at. These muffins are a little bit dense, but not heavy. A little bit sweet, but not tooth-achingly so. They're everything a muffin should be - and for a chocoholic (i.e. The Mr.) these are pretty much the ultimate muffin, as they incorporate cocoa and an entire bag of chocolate chips and are incredibly rich and chocolatey. I made these muffins (along with quiche Lorraine) for a baby shower I hosted recently, and they were a huge hit with the guests, especially with the new-mom-of-honor. In fact, she requested her own batch, to be delivered to her home, and I complied, because that's how much I love her. It had nothing to do with the fact that I wanted to eat more of these myself....


Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

This post is a bit delayed, but better late than never! We enjoyed this watermelon, feta, and mint salad on 4th of July - yeah, almost 2 months ago. Oops! But watermelon is still plentiful in the stores near us, so I've actually made it a few times since then. I always have feta in the fridge, so whenever I find myself with leftover cubed watermelon, this is a perfect way to enjoy it, and it goes great with burgers, grilled chicken or fish, or even a bowl on its own for lunch. It's sweet, salty, minty, fresh, and tangy, a great combination of flavors and textures. So if you're still craving a taste of summer, make this healthy salad and pretend it's the 4th of July!


Feastie Friday: Back To School Lunches

Back to school! For many, school starts next week (or has already started), so it's time to get organized and start packing those lunches! Packing school lunches can be a drag - as can eating them, if you're packing the same old PB&J every day. It takes a little bit of planning and a little bit of time, but you can actually make the process of making and packing lunches efficient and, dare I say it, fun! First off - you need an awesome lunch box. There are so many awesome lunch boxes out there, many with insulation that allow you to keep your lunch hot or cold during the day - some even have separate compartments for salad dressing or dip to prevent a soggy salad. Don't limit yourself to the standard sandwich and apple - try something new and different. We've rounded up the top 5 recipes for back to school lunches - food that you'll look forward to eating come lunchtime. 

Pesto Chicken Roll-Ups from Prevention RD

photo from Prevention RD


Top 10 Most-Pinned Recipes on Pinterest!

Pinterest - it's so hot right now. Pinterest is driving a ton of traffic to food blogs, and pinning your recipes and engaging in the Pinterest community is a great way to get your recipes noticed. So what are the all-time most-pinned recipes on Pinterest, you ask? We've put together the Feastie list of the top 10 most pinned recipes of all time on Pinterest - and you may be surprised by the results! This list just proves that you don't have to have a huge blog with tons of traffic to have a fantastic, popular recipe - some of the most-pinned recipes come from smaller or up-and-coming food blogs. These recipes all have beautiful photos, but they also have a certain special something. What is it? Take a look at the list below and tell us what you think - what makes a recipe go viral on Pinterest?

#10 with 384,000 pins: No Bake Nutella Cheesecakes from My Baking Addiction 

No one can deny the popularity of Nutella, so incorporating it into a delicious no-bake dessert? Brilliant.


Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti with Arugula

Last week I fell off a horse. I've fallen before, but this time was not graceful, to put things lightly. I vaguely remember landing on my butt and doing a somersault. All I know is that I came home filthy dirty (even dirtier than usual) and really, really sore. And hungry. And not wanting to make dinner. But not willing to order pizza or eat cereal for dinner - one of those nights where you just want dinner to make itself, because the thought of actually doing it yourself makes you want to throw a tantrum. Enter this lemon ricotta spaghetti with arugula from Food 52! This pasta is so easy, so delicious, so fresh and summery and light and filling all at the same time - and when the recipe promises you'll be out of the kitchen in the time it takes for the pasta to cook, this is not a lie. Everything happens while the pasta cooks and then voila! Dump the pasta into the saucepan with the goodies and there's dinner. I served this with a "tomato salad" (i.e. quartered tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper) and a bottle of white wine. A much needed, much enjoyed bottle of sauvignon blanc. 


Light(er) Salted Caramel Ice Cream {Eggless}

I like ice cream. I'm not one of those people that's obsessed with ice cream, but I wouldn't turn down a good scoop. But if I'm going to enjoy ice cream, it has to be really, really good. Which means that most store-bought brands just don't cut it. Best ice cream ever? Salted caramel ice cream from Bi-Rite. OMG. Holy shnikes. It's so good that I stood outside in not-so-warm weather in a 15 minute line wearing a not-quite-warm-enough jacket just to get that ice cream. It's an indulgence, to be sure - not to mention that I live 3,000 miles away from their only location. I'm not attempting to recreate that ice cream here - I'm really not - but I thought I'd try to make something reminiscent of that ice cream with maybe a bit less fat and that didn't require me to take 2 trains and a 5 hour plane flight. So I decided to put my trusty Kitchenaid ice cream maker to work. But choosing an ice cream recipe - that was difficult. Many require a custard base with egg yolks, and the ones I've attempted in the past without a custard base were kinda "meh". But I knew there had to be something out there that didn't require such a rich, eggy base that would still taste delish. Aaaaaaand then I found Mark Bittman's cornstarch ice cream recipe. It's nothing new - that recipe was published in 2007 - but I'd never heard of it before, so it was new to me. It just sounds so...flexible. And easy. Too good to be true. But it's so good - so very, very good. I split the recipe 50/50 between half & half and 1% milk, but it still came out creamy and rich. And as far as the caramel situation goes, since this was my first crack at this recipe I decided to cut a few corners and use Trader Joe's fleur de sel caramel sauce instead of making my own - hey, why mess with perfection? This cornstarch recipe is my new go-to for ice cream - quick, easy, flexible, and delicious. 

Feastie Friday: Top 6 Zucchini Recipes

The largest zucchini on record weighed 65 lbs and was 69.5" long. Now I know that's not what you'll find in your typical grocery store, but I've seen some huge zucchini this summer! Not only is zucchini incredibly good for you, it's so versatile it'll make your head spin. Zucchini can go sweet, savory, and anywhere in between! It can feature in baked goods, pizzas, stand in as pasta - even the flowers are delicious. You can hide it in brownies, or highlight it in an elegant dish - if you've got a large zucchini harvest there are endless ways to enjoy it! We've rounded up the top 6 zucchini recipes on the web this week. If you've got zucchini, we've got a recipe for you. 

Zucchini Noodle Salad from Guilty Kitchen

photo from Guilty Kitchen


Super Soft Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies {Vegan}

What's up with me and all the vegan baking lately? I used to scoff at the idea of baking without eggs and butter - how can desserts and sweets be good without the good stuff?! But lately I've been experimenting with vegan baking and I wish I hadn't been so resistant to it in the first place. Vegan baked goods are awesome! You know what started all of this? Coconut oil. I remember when I was a kid that coconut oil was the incarnation of evil - all of a sudden it's THE oil to be cooking/baking with. I bought a jar on a whim from Trader Joe's and the first thing I made with it (can't remember exactly what it was - I think cookies) was SO GOOD. And once I realized that you could eat unbaked vegan cookie dough without the whole "no eating raw egg" guilt that I sometimes felt, I was officially convinced. You can eat the raw dough!! The Mr. is not too keen on eating raw dough (although sometimes I make him taste something for me), but he'll dig into the vegan dough with me. I've tried quite a few vegan cookies recently and these soft chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies from Chocolate Covered Katie are our current favorite. As in I make a batch probably once a week - they're that good. Huge plus - all you need is one bowl and a wooden spoon to make these guys (I love my Kitchenaid mixer, but sometimes I'm not in the mood to clean up all the paraphernalia). So if you're craving cookies, give these a try - you'll be eating them in a half hour! could just eat the dough....




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Will blog for food.
The Founder of Feastie.