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Author: Dana Renée

{Netflix & Chill} Mediterranean Street Fries

{Netflix & Chill} Mediterranean Street Fries

When I was in Mykonos, I ordered my fries with feta on top and the woman at the table next to me leaned over with a sign of approval and said, “That’s how we do it in Greece.” I was stoked. Like, you mean to […]

{Guilty Pleasures} Highly Addictive Cinnamon Rolls

{Guilty Pleasures} Highly Addictive Cinnamon Rolls

‘Binge Watching 3 Seasons of Narcos While Simultaneously Stuffing My Face with a Whole Pan of Cinnamon Rolls’ has officially been added to the ‘Interests’ section of my resume. And I’m not ashamed at all. I think.  I’ve finally mastered the art of (sort of […]

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Lately, my family coined a new name for me—”the Replicator.” My mother and I were Christmas shopping in Nordstrom’s and she stopped into the store’s café for a snack. To no surprise, she chose a lemon ricotta cookie with a lemony icing. I tasted it, and I had to admit they were pretty good (although my mom is much more obsessed with lemony desserts than I am). Just a few days later, the homemade version of those cookies appeared before her own eyes in our very own kitchen. Viola, replication at its finest.

People ask me all the time, “What do you cook?” And as many times as I’ve been asked that same question, I still don’t have a perfect answer. I love trying new recipes and making them my own. I also love to revisit family recipes and recreate them or upgrade them into something even better. At some point, I’m sure I will develop a niche of some sort, but for now I enjoy the ‘test kitchen’ method while I am still learning new recipes and techniques everyday. This is the most empowering part about being in the kitchen. Every dish is a challenge whether it’s an old or new recipe. And the challenge is always accepted. If it’s something I don’t know how to make, I’ll learn. And, if it turns out horribly . . . then I’ll just try it again later with a new mindset and a new technique. Julia Child once said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” No truer words have ever been spoken. [short inspiring plug: Take out the word “cooking” and insert whatever goal you’re working towards, whether it’s career related or just a hobby. Set your own boundaries. Create your own successes and define your own “failures.”]

Back to the cookies. These cookies are very “cakey,” they even rise a little in the oven creating a soft and fluffy texture. And, of course, super lemony. If you’re in a last minute gift giving bind, place them in a cookie box and tie a bow around them. They present well and work perfectly as a gift. Don’t worry, you won’t have to give away too many, as the recipe makes two dozen at the very least. So there will be plenty left for you.

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Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s a holiday without classic chocolate chip cookies? There isn’t one in my family. No matter how many time I try to switch it up. I’ve made Butterscotch Blondies, Pumpkin Ginger Cookies, Lemon Squares, Oreo Truffles, White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies . . . I could […]

Spinach + Artichoke Egg Soufflé

Spinach + Artichoke Egg Soufflé

Christmas Day Brunch is becoming a thing at my house. Don’t ask me why. We’ve done it for the past few holidays and it stuck. I mean it’s absolutely wonderful to have a feast before a feast—you won’t catch me complaining. But, my trainer might […]