The Local Ladle

Spicy Garlic Hummus Wontons with Tzatziki

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Whenever I make a stop back home,  I can always expect to leave with an assortment of mismatched groceries from my parent’s fridge.  “Maddie do you want hummus… raspberries… wonton wrappers… or zucchini to take with you…?”  My mom yells upstairs.  Of course I agree to taking everything with me. Sunday grocery shopping in the city might just be the WORST.  I’m then left with the misleading challenge of creating meals from my Chopped mystery ingredient basket…

I will say, one of my greatest talents has to be creating dishes from nothing, this recipe being the aftermath of one of those situations. I was left with hummus, wonton wrappers, and craved something fried. Voila! The spicy garlic wontons came to life!

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French Macarons

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I am not going to lie, the macarons pictured are definitely my 2nd attempt! This French dessert is incredibly easy to prep, but very tricky when it comes to the baking process! The first batch I had made with my roommate, the batter looked beautiful, but cracked in the oven at 325 degrees.

My 2nd try I lowered the heat to 300 degrees while rotating the pan and they came out great, so I will spare you the head ache and two eggs!

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Chicken Caprese Pull-Apart Bread

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Looking for the perfect appetizer?  This pull apart bread takes just a few minutes to throw together and is definitely a crowd pleaser!

Each bite is a great combination of creamy yet fresh flavors, which are all brought by the addicting basil dipping sauce!  Read more

Miso Soup with Bok Choy & Tofu

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I work with a restaurant group in Chicago, that has an amazing Asian restaurant called Sunda with a “Build Your Own Ramen” option for lunch.  I’m telling you I eat it about twice a week it’s so delicious and perfect for the chilly weather!

These beautiful ramen dishes really inspired me to dive into Asian flavors and fusion.  Not only was the ramen in general addicting, but to me it was the miso broth that really stole the show.

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Sriracha Honey Shrimp Tacos

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Nothing is better than a dinner that takes less than 25 minutes to make and eat!  You’ll honestly probably spend more time peeling the shrimp than it actually takes to make this recipe.  Not only simple to make, but the combination of these fresh flavors create a hearty but healthy meal.

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Coffee Roasted Carrots

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The talented Daniel Patterson, Chef owner of Coi, in San Francisco’s North Beach brought to life the idea of “Carrots/Coffee.”  Daniel’s “Coffee Roated Carrots with Chicory Granola” dish has meat lovers even leaving his restaurant saying that the carrot course was the standout favorite.  Experimenting with these two unique ingredients brought together a genius combination of sweet, smoky, and earthy flavors.

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Purple Gnocchi with Asparagus & Blue Cheese

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Gnocchi, like perogies, have been a staple comfort dish in my family since I can remember.  My mom would prepare it with a basic red sauce or simply tossed in melted butter.  When it comes to delicious fresh gnocchi, it is always better to keep it simple!

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Guinness Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting & Candied Bacon

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Happy St. Pattys Day!  Coming from a girl who isn’t even a little bit Irish, but has a great love for the beautiful country of Ireland and all it’s amazing people!  Everyday I cannot believe it’s been 3 years already out of Ballymaloe Cookery School… how time flies!

These cupcakes are not only delicious, but a little nod to my favorite beer… Guinness!  Cupcakes and beer, you can’t go wrong! Sláinte!

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Eggs Baked In Avocado

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Avocados are hands down one of my favorite snacks and a great addition to just about anything!  When I am getting ready in the morning, I will crack eggs into my halved avocado and toss them in the oven.  In 20 minutes, I have a vitamin packed breakfast that is great to spread on bread or simply to enjoy with a spoon!

One big tip I have is to scoop out about 1-1.5 tablespoons of avocado (wide not deep) to create enough room for your egg. Otherwise it will overflow!

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Soba Salad with Seaweed & Miso-Ginger Dressing

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When I went to school in Ireland, I was lucky enough to live walking distance from the ocean.  It was the first time in my life I could ever say I lived by the smell of sea salt in the air.

At least 3 times a week, I would either walk or run to the water to escape the chaos of class and also at the same time do a little “grocery shopping.”  My favorite things to pick up along the way were blackberries that lined the streets and also my favorite… seaweed.  I was fascinated by the health benefits and also all the variety of uses it had in the kitchen!

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