Author Archives: Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)

Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved crispy foods. I think I get this from my mom. I love the edges around a brownie pan, pizza crust, extra crispy french fries, and any type of crunchy topping.  So it’s no surprise that when I roast vegetables, I like getting them nice and charred, also.

If you’re like me, keep reading because I’m going to teach you my tips for perfectly crispy roasted vegetables!

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll

How to make perfectly crispy roasted vegetables:

  1. Turn the oven temperature up to 450F.
  2. Preheat a large baking sheet in the oven. This way when the vegetables touch the baking sheet they will immediately start cooking.
  3. Cut your vegetables based on known cooking times. Vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes will take longer to cook than bell peppers and onion pieces, so cut sweet potatoes smaller than bell peppers. That way everything will roast in the same amount of time.
  4. Spread the vegetables in an even layer on the sheet. If they sit on top of each other then they will steam and become soggy, not crispy.
  5. Only flip the vegetables once during the cooking time.

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll

When your veggies are done roasting they’ll look like this. Yes, the baking sheet itself won’t look very pretty, but it’s all for a good cause. 😉

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll

Crispy Roasted Vegetables are the perfect side dish to meal prep for the week. I make a large batch (two baking sheets worth) to last a couple of days. You can eat them with any protein for a quick, healthy meal.

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll


Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper (I like to use coarse Kosher salt)
  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, and onion. Toss with the olive oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the vegetables into an even layer on a baking sheet, ensuring that the pieces are not resting on top of each other.
  4. Roast for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from oven when vegetables are browned and crispy at the edges. Either serve immediately or allow to cool and store in tupperware.

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll

10 Favorite Kitchen Tools Under $10

When I was in college and first starting teaching myself to cook, a lot of the kitchen tools I used were hand-me-downs from my parents. Many of those same tools I still use (and love!) today, but I’ve also upgraded a few things over the years. As with most things I buy, if I know I am going to use something cooking-related over and over again, I like to invest in a good quality product that will last, rather than just buy the cheapest thing. That said, I’ve found that many of the smallest and least expensive items in my kitchen drawers are actually the most useful.

In today’s post I’m sharing my 10 favorite kitchen tools under $10. These tools are useful for both beginner and experienced cooks, and if you’re shopping on a budget, I think you’ll love these affordable items.

The 10 Best Kitchen Tools Under $10 ll Great for everyone from beginner cooks to advanced, and these products are perfect for anyone shopping on a budget! ll


Joseph Joseph Garlic Rocker


What I love about this product: Mincing garlic can be tedious and time consuming, but this garlic rocker allows you to mince a whole clove in just 1 second. It’s especially handy if your recipe requires 2 or more cloves of garlic, so you don’t have to waste time chopping.


Microplane Zester/Grater

What I love about this product: I use this tool multiple times a week to grate or zest fresh garlic, ginger, limes, and lemons. The zest is very fine, which is much better than if you were to use a typical box grater.


KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener

What I love about this product: Cutting with a dull kitchen knife is both frustrating and dangerous. There is no need to send your knives to get professionally sharpened when you have this $5 knife sharpener. It’s extremely easy to use and barely takes up any drawer space. I use it about twice a month to keep my knives extra sharp.


ZYLISS Pizza Cutter Wheel and Slicer

What I love about this product: This pizza wheel is very sharp and easy to roll. While it’s great for slicing homemade pizzas, I’ve found that it’s come in handy for so many other things like cutting granola bars and scoring dough.


OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler

What I love about this product: I’ve had this same vegetable peeler for nine years and it was a hand-me-down from me parents. I can’t believe how long it’s lasted! The sharp stainless steel blades easily cut through tough fruit and vegetable skin, and the cushions on the handle help secure a good grip.


Wrenwane Digital Refrigerator Thermometer

What I love about this product: If your refrigerator does not come with a built-in thermometer, I highly recommend that you get this one. It’s crucial that your raw poultry, beef, and seafood stay at a safe temperature (32F-40F degrees), or else they will go bad. We threw out way too many packages of smelly chicken before we finally ordered this thermometer. After we hung it up, we found that our fridge could not go below 43F degrees, which is why our food went off. We were able to get the fridge repaired, but we continue to keep an eye on the temperature just in case.


OXO Good Grips Bottle Brush

What I love about this product: I’ve always thought I was never sufficiently cleaning my wine and champagne glasses because it’s impossible to get a sponge all the way to the bottom of the glass. I love this brush because it’s flexible enough to get inside a narrow champagne flute and thoroughly clean down at the bottom. Plus, the bristles are soft and won’t scratch your fancy glasses.


Spring Chef Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Metal Measuring Spoons

What I love about this product: The narrow design of these measuring spoons means that the larger spoons can actually fit inside your spice jars. Hallelujah! I also love that a 1/8 teaspoon and 3/4 teaspoon are included in this set because I often divide recipes in half and need these measurements.


Cooper-Atkins Stainless Steel Bi-Metal Oven Thermometer

What I love about this product: We live in a rental apartment, so the appliances that come with it are far from perfect. Just like our refrigerator, when we first moved in, I noticed that our oven temperature was off because none of my baked goods were cooking correctly. After purchasing this $5 oven thermometer, we discovered that our oven temperature was off by a whole 75 degrees compared to what was listed on the dial! Now we know the actual temperature inside our oven and go by the thermometer, rather than the dial.


Joseph Joseph Slotted Turner

What I love about this product: This is my longest surviving spatula! It’s dishwasher safe and extremely heat resistant, so the ends haven’t peeled or disintegrated away like so many of my other spatulas. My favorite part is that it has a built in rest at the bottom, that keeps the top part of the spatula from touching a dirty countertop.




This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these product I may earn a small commission. That money goes directly towards new recipe and blog post development. Also note that pricing on Amazon can fluctuate, but at the time of this post, all items listed are under $10. Thank you for your support!

My Experience with the Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test: Part 2, The Results

Two weeks ago I took the Pinnertest food intolerance test, hoping that the results would help put an end to some of my skin struggles. If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can read about how to take the test in this post.

My Experience with the Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test: Part 1 ll

After mailing my blood sample, I waited a little over a week to receive my test results via email. I check my email on my phone first thing in the morning (I know, it’s terrible. I shouldn’t do this), and when I saw the email from Pinnertest, I immediately sat up in bed. One part of me was so excited to read the results and the other part of me was nervous. For months I was convinced that I was intolerant to a food I was eating daily because every morning I woke up with tiny pimples in the middle of my chin. I was worried that maybe I was intolerant to eggs, peanuts, or coffee — all foods I love and eat on a daily basis. I really didn’t want to give them up.

As a reminder, the Pinnertest tests your intolerance to over 200 foods, including everything from poultry to spices.  Your results are split into two columns: red and green. Anything in the green column indicates no reaction/no intolerance. These foods can be eaten without restriction, unless of course, you know that one of these foods causes you discomfort. Anything in the red column indicates a food intolerance, and you should avoid these foods as much as possible. The foods in the red column are also marked with a degree level: +1 (low intolerance), +2 (moderate intolerance), or +3 (high intolerance).

Here is a snapshot of my results:

As you can see from the above, my results indicated that I am highly intolerant to soybeans (the degree level is +3). The additional results pages showed that I am also intolerant to broccoli (+2), mushrooms (+2), and cocoa beans (+3).

The Pinnertest suggests you should eliminate all foods in your red column and see how your body reacts. I have no problem eliminating broccoli and mushrooms, but soybeans and cocoa beans are much harder. Soybeans are found in a lot of foods. I cook with soy sauce often, and even my cooking spray contains soy lecithin (albeit a small amount). For me, avoiding cocoa beans will be the most challenging. I LOVE chocolate. Brownies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate croissants, I crave them all! But to be honest, I know cutting back on these sugary treats can’t hurt. 😉

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Raisins Recipe

My plan is to eliminate all four foods (broccoli, mushrooms, soybeans, and cocoa beans) for three weeks, and then see how I’m doing. The clearest indicator for me will be how my skin looks. I am already one week in and I can honestly tell you that my skin looks SO much better! When Travis and I were in Europe, I woke up every morning with tiny pimples on my chin, and now I think it was probably due to all the chocolate croissants I was eating (because #yolo). For the last four days, I haven’t had a single pimple or redness on my skin (knock on wood!), isn’t that crazy? So needless to say, I’m really excited to see where I am two weeks from now.

I’ll plan to check back in with you guys in about a month to give you an update. I am so thrilled that I was able to take this test and (hopefully!!) fix my skin issues from within, rather than with expensive (and potentially excessive) topical medications.

So many people struggle with food intolerances, but most people don’t even know it! Food intolerances can show up in so many other ways, such as eczema and weight gain. If you’re interested in trying the Pinnertest for yourself, you can use the code LITTLECHEF for $60 off. I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to email me.



I was provided the Pinnertest for the purpose of this post, but all opinions and words are 100% my own. 

Healthy Pad Thai with Chicken

Am I allowed to say that this healthy pad thai recipe is the freaking best? Because it is.

Healthy Pad Thai with Chicken ll Can easily be made vegetarian by substituting tofu! ll

I’ve always loved pad thai, I just don’t eat it that often because most restaurant versions aren’t great for you. I’m not sure what took me so long to make my own healthy pad thai recipe because it’s so easy! You just need to use authentic ingredients, like fish sauce and sriracha, to get that true pad thai flavor. I made this recipe healthier by cutting way down on the sugar and oil. I also used unrefined coconut sugar in place of cane sugar and olive oil instead of canola.

Healthy Pad Thai with Chicken ll Can easily be made vegetarian by substituting tofu! ll

This recipe uses chicken, but you’re welcome to use organic tofu instead for a vegetarian version. I don’t recommend leaving out the peanuts or the Thai basil at the end, but if you need to, you can substitute regular basil.

Healthy Pad Thai with Chicken ll Can easily be made vegetarian by substituting tofu! ll

This is one of those recipes that is really easy to make in bulk, so if you’re cooking for a large family or guests, you can easily double all of the ingredients.

Healthy Pad Thai with Chicken ll Can easily be made vegetarian by substituting tofu! ll

I think leftovers are delicious, so feel free to make extra for lunches throughout the week. Your coworkers will be jealous when they start to smell your leftovers heating up in the office kitchen!


Healthy Pad Thai with Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 8 oz. uncooked flat rice noodles (pad thai noodles)*
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1.5 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1.5 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 oz. chicken thighs (or breasts), trimmed of excess fat, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup green onions, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup peanuts, chopped
  • ⅛ cup Thai basil, thinly sliced
  • additional limes for serving
  1. Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the coconut sugar and next five ingredients (through sesame oil). Set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil. When hot, add the chicken. Allow to sear on one side for 1 minute, then toss to fully cook. When cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and place in a bowl. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the egg to the pan, stirring constantly. When just slightly set, remove the egg and place it in the bowl with the chicken.
  4. Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil to the pan and return the heat to medium-high. Add the green onions and bell pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Return the chicken and egg to the pan. Then add the sauce and the rice noodles and toss so the sauce thoroughly coats all ingredients. Remove from heat and add the bean sprouts.
  5. Portion into bowls and top each bowl with peanuts and sliced Thai basil. Serve with additional lime wedges if desired.
* You can find these in the Asian section of the grocery store.

Healthy Pad Thai with Chicken ll Can easily be made vegetarian by substituting tofu! ll



Four Days in Copenhagen Through Photos

It’s Friday, woohoo! Hopefully you have some fun plans this weekend, whether it’s out and about or staying in and binging your favorite TV show. My weekend is looking pretty low-key, but I am excited for brunch with my girlfriends tomorrow!

I’m popping in today to share the final recap from our Europe trip we took earlier this year. I’m going to switch things up from my previous posts, though, and show you our four days in Copenhagen through photos. Here goes!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Copenhagen was the sixth and final city we visited before heading back to the United States. We stayed at the Ibsens Hotel, which was perfectly located in Indre By, walkable from everything we wanted to do during our four days in the city.

At this point in our trip we were pretty exhausted, and I remember one afternoon we skipped sightseeing and took a three hour nap because we were just wiped. Luckily, we saved the best for last, and the bed and pillows at the Ibsens Hotel were by far the most comfortable of our trip. After weeks of sleeping on lumpy Airbnb mattresses, it was like a dream falling asleep in that bed every night.

The staff at the hotel were all so incredibly kind and accommodating. They went out of their way to make sure we were happy and had everything we needed. Even housekeeping left cute notes underneath the bed ;-)…

We started each morning with a delicious organic breakfast buffet in the hotel lobby. I loved that the hotel placed an emphasis on quality, local ingredients — just the way we like to eat! Every morning there was an abundance of freshly baked breads (including many whole grain varieties), gluten-free crackers, pastries, cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, homemade jams (even a sugar-free jam!), fresh fruits, deli meats, porridge, healthy granola, fresh-pressed juices, a tea bar, and more!

We went back for seconds each morning. I mean, can you blame us?

In the evening the hotel has “cozy hour” where you can enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or beer downstairs in the lobby. There is also a game room with many different board games that you can play while sipping on your drinks. Such a great way to relax!

The boats and colorful facades in Nyhavn were just as beautiful as I’d seen in pictures (even in the dead of winter). We loved wandering throughout the side streets and little shops in this area.

Copenhagen Street Food was SO much fun! It’s basically a big warehouse with all different style food vendors (Asian, Mediterranean, pizza, beer, etc.) This falafel and eggplant salad was one of my favorite dishes I tried.

If you visit Copenhagen Street Food at night, you can enjoy this view overlooking the river. I’m sure in the warmer months this is a fun place to sit outside and eat, but it was much too cold to do that when we visited.

Travis was really excited to try the beers at Mikkeller. They have locations all over the world, and they recently opened one near us in Downtown Los Angeles.

We made an obligatory stop at Christiania. If you’ve never heard of it, you can read about it here. It wasn’t exactly our scene, so we were in and out in under 5 minutes.

(And yes, I am wearing every layer possible under that coat. Did I mention that it was freezing!?)

Kalaset is a vegetarian-friendly restaurant that was located across the street from our hotel. We loved it so much that we went twice during our four days in Copenhagen.

Their chickpea burger is the best veggie burger I’ve ever had, hands down. It’s served with roasted vegetables and a delicious salsa on a seeded whole grain bun. I’ve tried recreating this burger at home, and I just can’t seem to master the texture. Guess I’ll have to go back to Copenhagen for another one!

The Rosenborg Castle was one of the many old castles we visited throughout our trip.

My favorite room was the Knights Hall, which had the most intricate tiling and decor. If you visit the Rosenborg Castle, make sure you go downstairs to the basement and see the Treasury. It contains marvelous old jewels, crowns, and weaponry.

We had our final meal in Copenhagen at The Union Kitchen. They’re known for their creative meatballs, and it is actually the same restaurant that inspired this Green Curry Chicken Meatballs recipe.

For brunch that afternoon we shared the shakshuka and this grain bowl with lentils, shaved broccoli, onion chutney, pistachios, and a poached egg. Both were delicious! I highly recommend this spot for both brunch and dinner.

We loved our time in Copenhagen, but by the end of our trip we were definitely ready to head back home, see Bessie, and sleep in our own bed. I definitely want to visit again when the weather is warmer so we can check out Tivoli Gardens, rent bikes, and go on a canal cruise. There is so much more to do there!


I received a discounted stay at the Ibsens Hotel, but all opinions are 100% my own. We would immediately return here on our next trip to Copenhagen.

Natural Cleaning Products That Really Work

I used to think that all-natural cleaning products were just hippy nonsense. I assumed these products were 2x the price of my regular stand-bys, but only did half the job. Boy was I wrong! I don’t remember what started our switch to natural cleaning products around the house, but we must have read something that scared us. Over the last couple of years we’ve started transitioning away from many of your average cleaning products and substituting them with more natural ones.

We didn’t make the switch in one fell swoop. Instead, when we finished a bottle of one of our old cleaning products (like dishwasher detergent) we researched a reasonably priced, safer alternative, and switched to that. Over the years we’ve discovered many natural, toxin-free products that we love, and I’m excited to share them with you today. If you use a natural cleaning product that’s not on this list, please let me know! I’m always looking for great new finds.

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll

Vinegar + Baking Soda

There is nothing these bad boys can’t do. Seriously.

They’re great together and on their own. Baking soda is incredible at removing the tough stains inside coffee mugs, and just a simple cloth dampened with vinegar can remove hard water spots on drinking glasses. You can use baking soda and vinegar together to remove pet stains from carpets, and it works like a charm! I love these two so much, and they’re as natural as they come.

Pro tip: Buy them in bulk at Costco (or another big box store) and save A LOT of money!


Puracy Natural All Purpose Cleaner

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll

This Puracy multi-surface spray is awesome. Admittedly, we really only use it on our kitchen countertops and in the bathroom, but it works fantastically. Since I cook a lot, I’m constantly wiping down the counters (especially if there was raw fish or meat nearby), and this spray is great at cleaning everything right up. Countertops are left streak-free and shiny, and the scent is subtle, but fresh. The best part is that this spray is non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable.


Method Naturally Derived All-Purpose Cleaner Spray

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll

I find that this Method spray is interchangeable with the Puracy spray above. I usually just buy whichever is less expensive on Amazon when we run out. The Method sprays come in a wide range of scents, but the Clementine is my favorite. Again, this spray is non-toxic and biodegradable, plus the bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic.


Ecover Naturally Derived Automatic Dishwasher Tablets

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll

We discovered these tablets after our Cascade dishwashing gel was NOT working and kept leaving a gross build-up on the inside of our dishwasher. After reading countless positive reviews, we ordered these tablets and will never go back. I think they clean dishes much better than Cascade, and I love that they contain no weird scents or dyes. Plus, the box is made from recycled materials! There shouldn’t be weird dyes or chemicals in the detergent you use to clean the dishes you EAT off of. Period.

Pro tip: We have a small dishwasher, so we break these tablets in half, which makes the box last twice as long. Works like a charm!


Ecover Naturally Derived Rinse Aid

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll

After loving Ecover’s dishwasher tablets, we moved onto their dishwasher rinse aid. Again it’s biodegradable and plant-based, and it’s very effective at removing hard water spots from dishes and glasses.


Method Squirt + Mop Wood Floor Cleaner Refill

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll

After using this Method Wood Floor Cleaner, our floors are incredibly shiny and the apartment smells so good. This cleaner is plant-based and non-toxic, so it’s perfectly safe for your pets and kids. It’s also very easy to use, you just squirt and mop. There is no rinsing required (which is great because mopping is one task I hate doing!).


The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll

I love having hand sanitzer around when there isn’t a sink to wash your hands, and after receiving a sample of this Honest Company Hand Sanitzer Spray a few months ago, I’m never going back to Purell. I immediately feel cleaner after I spray this on my hands. It smells like an orange creamsicle, and I just want to spray it on everything! And just like all of the Honest Company products, there are no harsh chemicals in this spray, making it safe for you and your kids.


Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll

Let’s face it: no matter how trained they are, all dogs have the occasional accident in the house. If you catch it early, it’s usually pretty easy to clean up, but sometimes pet stains seep into the carpet and are impossible to get out. The other problem is that if the odor isn’t completely removed, your pet may continue to pee there because they smell their own scent. Ugh! Gross and frustrating.

This spray by Rocco and Roxie is awesome because it eliminates stains, odors, and residue safely and gently. We’ve used it on two carpets, our couch, and hardwood floor (we dog-sit a lot!), and it works everywhere to both eliminate the stain and get the dog to stop going in the same spot.


Earth Rated Dog Waste Bags

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll

Alright, I guess this one isn’t technically a cleaning product, so let’s just call it an added bonus. We love these dog waste bags. They’re really thick, so they don’t rip when you’re picking up dog poop (ew), and the bags release a very mild lavender scent when you open them. I feel much better using these bags over cheaper varieties that don’t break down and constantly rip. Earth Rated even goes a step further and uses recycled content in their packaging.




This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these product I may earn a small commission. That money goes directly towards new recipe and blog post development. Thank you for your support!

My Experience with the Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test: Part 1

Today’s blog topic is a little different than usual. Instead of talking about a healthy recipe or new grocery store find, we’re going to discuss food intolerances. But before you run away for fear that this sounds boring, I urge you to stick around because I really think this is going to interest you.

For the last two years or so, I’ve struggled with adult acne. In high school and college I had pimples just like everyone else, and they especially popped up around “that time of the month.” At the time I figured it was all hormones and eventually everything would clear up. But unfortunately, now in my mid-twenties, I continue to struggle with pimples on my chin, and I have tried just about everything to fix it. I’ve seen three different dermatologists, tried countless topical acne creams, religiously care for my skin, always remove my makeup before bed, change my pillow case every two days, don’t touch my face, watch what I eat, etc. Although despite all of these efforts, those pesky little pimples have not given up. Of course, there’s makeup to cover it up, but I’m desperate to figure out the ROOT of the problem and STOP the pimples from forming, rather than just hide them.

I recently read that acne on the chin is likely related to your hormones or caused by a food intolerance. Dairy and added sugars can be big culprits, so I eliminated those for awhile, but even that didn’t work. Then I read about the Pinnertest, which tests for over 200 food intolerances with just one little finger prick. After reading countless reviews from people who took the test and since have cleared up their acne, got rid of eczema, and even lost 20+ pounds I knew I had to try it.

It’s important to note that a food intolerance is different from a food allergy. Some foods which are perfectly healthy to others (like kale or parsley) can make you feel sick or cause weight gain if you are intolerant to them. Pretty nuts, right!?

This week I took the Pinnertest for myself, and the whole process couldn’t have been easier. The test is mailed to your house, which is helpful so you don’t have to drive to the doctor’s office or sit around in a waiting room.

The small box contains the following items:

A directions form / signed agreement

Alcohol swab

Finger prick

Blood collection patch

Small band-aid

Prepaid shipping label for sending back the blood sample

The test takes less than three minutes to complete. You first wipe your finger with the alcohol swab. Then you use the finger prick (which contains a small needle) to make a tiny prick on your finger. A teensy amount of blood will form on your fingertip, and you allow 2-3 blood droplets to fall onto the collection patch. Next, clean your finger and adhere the band-aid.

To be honest, I was terrified to prick myself because I loathe needles and blood, but in the end I barely felt the needle. It didn’t hurt at all.

Lastly, just fold up the blood collection patch, place it in the pre-paid shipping envelope, and drop it off at your local USPS mailbox.

My Experience with the Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test: Part 1 ll

I should receive an email with my results in about one week, and I am really looking forward to reading it. The Pinnertest tests for 200 foods including a variety of fish, meat, dairy, grains, herbs and spices. Here’s an example of what the results look like:

My Experience with the Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test: Part 1 ll

Anything in the red column is a food that you are intolerant to and the “+1, +2, and +3” are the degree to which you are intolerant. It’s suggested that you eliminate all of the foods in the red column and see how your body reacts.

I promise to check back and share my results with you after I receive them. If you’re interested in trying the Pinnertest for yourself you can use the code LITTLECHEF for $60 off.



I was provided the Pinnertest for the purpose of this post, but all opinions and words are 100% my own. 

What I’m Loving Lately – May 2017

I can’t believe that it’s been months since I’ve done a Loving Lately post! I always love writing these because it forces me to look around my apartment and appreciate the little things that are currently making me happy. I also enjoy sharing new-to-me products in hopes that they benefit you as well.

Feel free to comment along in the comment section and let me know one thing that you’re loving lately, too!



What I'm Loving Lately - May 2017 ll

For years I’ve used a small Hamilton Beach blender to make smoothies and protein shakes. It’s done the job, but there have been times when I wished the blades were sharper and there was more power to be able to grind nuts and other things. I hate pulling out the big old food processor when I have to grind a small amount of something (like the walnuts in this recipe).

I’d heard so many good things about the Nutribullet, so I decided to put one on our wedding registry a couple of months ago. Well lucky for us, it was the first gift we received, and I couldn’t wait to open the box!

I’ve probably made 25+ smoothies and sauces in it since receiving it a month ago, and I love it so far! It’s incredibly powerful and purées everything in no time. I also like that my set came with three cups, so I can make one smoothie for Travis and another for me. If you’re in the market for a REALLY good mini blender, I highly recommend the Nutribullet!


Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning Blend

What I'm Loving Lately - May 2017 ll

I LOVE everything bagels, but I only have one every once in a blue moon. I saw this new Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning all over Instagram for about a week before I finally got my hands on it. (On a side note, I walked into TJ’s for just this one item and undoubtedly walked out with a cart full of things I didn’t know I needed… #typical).

I sprinkle this seasoning on eggs and avocado toast and it’s SO good. During Passover I even put it on matzoh to give it some flavor. I’ve seen other people sprinkle it on potatoes and cod, so I am going to try those next.


Hay Maker Sauvignon Blanc

What I'm Loving Lately - May 2017 ll

If you know me in person, you likely know that sauvignon blanc is my go-to drink, and I especially love the sauv blancs from Malborough, NZ. I recently grabbed a bottle of this Hay Maker New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc at our local grocery store when I saw it was on sale, and Travis and I both immediately said “Mmmm!” after we had our first sip.

It’s dry, crisp, refreshing, and it pairs great with fish and spicy foods. Even better that I can usually find it for under $10!


Me & My Big Ideas 18 Month Planner

What I'm Loving Lately - May 2017 ll

I am one of those people who has checklists everywhere. One for groceries, one for the drugstore, one for wedding planning, another for meal planning, and so on. Earlier this year I decided to invest in a quality planner to help keep me and all of my lists organized.

I found this 18 month planner on Amazon, and after reading all of the positive reviews, decided to order it. I’ve never owned an Erin Condren Life Planner, but it seems like this version is very similar (but much cheaper!).

I like that each day is split into three blocks: morning, afternoon, and evening. Seeing my week (and month) visually has really helped me keep all of my wedding and blog-related tasks organized. For just under $18, you really can’t go wrong with this planner.


Good Lovin’ Cilantro Lime Dip

What I'm Loving Lately - May 2017 ll

You guys. This dip. AHHH!

Recently a representative from Good Lovin’ was sampling this dip at our local Whole Foods. Travis tried it first, and then ran over to tell me to go try it.  Oh man, was it good! The dip is completely dairy-free and vegan, and it gets its light creamy consistency from ground almonds, cashews, and pepitas.

We’ve been putting pouring this dip on fish tacos, but it’s also great just with chips. After browsing their website, it looks like their products are currently only distributed on the west coast, but I have high hopes for this brand and look forward to see them nationwide soon!


This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these items I may earn a small commission. That money goes directly towards making this blog possible. Thank you!

A Passover Recap and $100 Milk and Eggs GIVEAWAY!

Thank you Milk and Eggs for sponsoring this post! All content and opinions are my own.

Make sure you read all the way to the bottom to enter the giveaway for a $100 Milk and Eggs gift card!


Do you remember my review of Milk and Eggs from last year? A quick reminder: Milk and Eggs delivers farm-fresh groceries directly to your door, saving you time and money. Their selections, which all can be found on their website, include everything from fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat, dairy, seafood, and local artisanal products. You can read my full review about how it all works in this post.

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll

Milk and Eggs recently expanded their delivery radius, so if you live in the San Fernando Valley or Orange County, CA, you’re in luck! They’re continuing to grow, so stay tuned.

Two weeks ago I planned a Passover seder at our apartment. I’ve always gone home to Boston for Passover, so this was my first year cooking the traditional holiday meal on my own. For those of you familiar with the holiday, you’ll likely know that preparing for Passover is a lot of work! Many people begin making certain dishes a few days in advance, so that there is less to do on the day of.

I knew I had my work cut out for me, so I decided to save a little time by ordering a majority of our groceries from Milk and Eggs. The process couldn’t have been easier. Aside from a few Kosher for Passover items (e.g. brisket, matzoh, matzoh ball soup), I was able to find everything I needed right on the Milk and Eggs website.

Here’s what I ordered:


1 package fresh thyme

1 bunch curly parsley

1 sleeve garlic

3 large sweet potatoes

1 large organic yellow onion

2 organic red bell peppers

2 large bunches whole carrots

1 lb. strawberries

6 oz. raspberries

6 oz. blackberries

6 oz. blueberries

2 lbs. seedless red grapes

6 large granny smith apples

3 large fuji apples

1 bunch celery

1 bag baby peeled carrots

Meat and Fish

2 lbs. free-range chicken drumsticks

8 oz. wild halibut


Califia Farms unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Brothers hummus

Brothers sundried tomato and feta dip

Brothee chicken broth

To give you a sense of pricing, all of this food was only $99, which I think is really good for farm-fresh fruits and veggies, wild seafood, and free-range poultry. By comparison, I believe the same items at our local grocery store would have cost us at least $160.

Ordering from Milk and Eggs saved me a lot of time and effort. I placed the order on a Thursday afternoon and everything arrived on my doorstep at 6AM that Saturday morning.

Here’s what I made:

A traditional seder plate

Charoset (a mixture of apples, honey and walnuts)

Matzoh Ball Soup with carrots and celery, garnished with parsley

Beef Brisket in a chili-BBQ sauce with carrots

Apple-Matzoh Kugel

Roasted Vegetables with sweet potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, onions, and eggplant

Fruit Salad (to go alongside another Passover dessert)

I am a huge fan of Milk and Eggs. Everything arrives quickly and accurately, and I have peace of mind knowing that ordering this way is good for locals farmers and helping to reduce transportation emissions.

If you want to try Milk and Eggs for yourself, you can use the code LITTLECHEF for $15 off any order of $35 or more. Note: this code applies to both new and existing users!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Milk and Eggs is also offering a $100 gift card to one lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, please choose one of the options below:

  1. Comment on this blog post below, stating what item(s) you would order from Milk and Eggs.
  2. Sign up for the Milk and Eggs Newsletter using this link.
  3. Double your chances and complete both #1 and #2!

I will randomly select one winner on Wednesday, 5/3 at 6PM PT. Good luck!

Note: Currently Milk and Eggs only services the greater Los Angeles area, but they’re expanding! Feel free to enter the giveaway on the behalf of a California-based friend or family member. 😉

Delicious Gluten-Free Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes

Hey, hey! Hope you guys are having a great week.

I couldn’t wait to share these Gluten-Free Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes with you!

The Most Delicious Gluten-Free Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes! ll Fluffy and packed with fresh lemon-blueberry flavor in every bite! ll

When it comes to breakfast, we usually eat the same two things over and over again, just because it’s easy and efficient. Although on weekends I am more inclined to try a new recipe because we generally have a bit more time in the morning.

The Most Delicious Gluten-Free Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes! ll Fluffy and packed with fresh lemon-blueberry flavor in every bite! ll

I made these Gluten-Free Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes with my favorite GF flour: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (which I also talked about in this post). I love this flour because it bakes just like regular all-purpose flour, and you would never know that it’s gluten-free just by tasting it.

The Most Delicious Gluten-Free Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes! ll Fluffy and packed with fresh lemon-blueberry flavor in every bite! ll

Lemons and blueberries pair so well together, and the flavor combination always reminds me of summer when blueberries are in peak season. I wouldn’t recommend using frozen blueberries in this recipe because you won’t get the same juicy blueberry taste in each bite.

The Most Delicious Gluten-Free Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes! ll Fluffy and packed with fresh lemon-blueberry flavor in every bite! ll

The recipe calls for coconut sugar to make these pancakes refined sugar-free, but feel free to substitute it with brown sugar if that’s all you have on hand.

The Most Delicious Gluten-Free Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes! ll Fluffy and packed with fresh lemon-blueberry flavor in every bite! ll

I’ve made this recipe 5-6 times now and tested it out on a few different people. Everyone has had rave reviews, so I have no doubt that you’ll love it, too!


Gluten-Free Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3-4 servings
  • 1.5 cups Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Flour*
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup non-fat or low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Pure maple syrup for serving
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined and large clumps are gone. Fold in the blueberries.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray. Pour the pancake batter onto the skillet into 4 inch rounds. Once the top begins to bubble and the edges look cooked (about 2 minutes), flip and cook on the other side, an additional 2 minutes. Keep warm in an oven preheated to 200F until ready to serve.
  4. Serve with pure maple syrup.
* This flour bakes just like regular all-purpose flour. I tried this recipe with other gluten-free flours and the pancakes came out very thin, like crepes. If you are using a different GF flour for this recipe, I would suggest adding a thickening agent such as xanthan gum.

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