roasted squash wedges with hazelnut dukkah + tahini drizzle

roasted squash with hazelnut dukkah + tahini drizzle | what's cooking good looking
roasted squash with hazelnut dukkah + tahini drizzle | what's cooking good looking

I have this thing for squash. Each season I have one (or three) veggies that I get really excited for, then I binge on them until either I cannot eat it anymore or until I cannot find it anymore. Usually it's the latter. We've had this discussion before. 

Artichokes and ramps in the spring, tomatoes and corn in the summer, SQUASH of all varieties from the fall into the winter.  

Out of all of the squashes out there, I have a  particular love for the smaller varieties that have an edible skin. I like them roasted until caramelized, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Delicata is my all time favorite, followed closely behind by carnival and acorn squash. Sometimes for lunch or for a mid-day snack, I will chop up a squash and roast it with nothing more than olive oil, salt, and pepper, and eat it with my hands ..... like candy. My kind of candy. 

One of the things that I love about squash is that it can totally go from a humble, eat-with-your-hands kind of snack food, to a wow-ing side dish or vegetarian main. Add a little crunch and a little drizzle of something, and it not only instantly looks fancy, it tastes fancy too. 

You know what makes for a really good crunch? Dukkah. Have you heard of dukkah? Have tried dukkah? Have you made dukkah? If you've answered no to any of those questions, it's time to change that. Dukkah is an egyptian spice blend that you can get super creative with and make at home.  It's typically made up of a combination of nuts, spices, and some aromatic seeds, toasted to bring out their flavors, and then blended together with a mortal and pestle or in a spice grinder/food processor. It's like magic fairy dust that transforms veggies or grains ..... I bet it would even be good over ice cream, if you're adventurous like that. But for now, let's just sprinkle this  fall-ish hazelnut version over all the squash until the squash is no more. 

roasted squash with hazelnut dukkah + tahini drizzle | what's cooking good looking
roasted squash with hazelnut dukkah + tahini drizzle | what's cooking good looking
roasted squash with hazelnut dukkah + tahini drizzle | what's cooking good looking
roasted squash with hazelnut dukkah + tahini drizzle | what's cooking good looking
roasted squash with hazelnut dukkah + tahini drizzle | what's cooking good looking

Roasted squash wedges with hazelnut dukkah + tahini drizzle

SERVES 4-6 as an app or side dish 


for the dukkah:
1/2 cup of hazelnuts
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of coriander seeds
2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of peppercorns
1 teaspoon of sumac (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

for the squash:
2 carnival or acorn squashes, sliced into wedges
extra virgin olive oil
salt + pepper

for the tahini drizzle:
2 tablespoons of tahini
2 tablespoons of water
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
a pinch of salt + black pepper


Prepare the homemade dukkah:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350º. 
  • Place the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until the hazelnuts are light brown, fragrant, and the skins are starting to come off. Allow them to cool slightly, and then separate the skins by rubbing the hazelnuts with a towel. Place the peeled hazelnuts into a food processor. 
  • While the hazelnuts are baking, you can toast the seeds. In a cast iron over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds for a couple of minutes until light brown. Keep your eye on them, because this happens very quickly. Remove the sesame seeds and place into the food processor. Then, in the same pan, add the remaining seeds/herbs: coriander, cumin, thyme, fennel, peppercorns, and toast for about two minutes, until fragrant. Add them to the food processor. 
  • Add the salt and sumac to the food processor, and pluse several times until you have a fine, somewhat evenly textured mix. 

Roast the squash:

  • Raise the oven temp to 400º. 
  • Spread the squash wedges out on a baking sheet and generously drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Roast for 20 minutes, then flip the wedges and put them back into the oven for another 20 minutes. They should be brown and crispy on the edges. 

While the squash is roasting, make the tahini:

  • Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and wish to combine. Taste, and adjust any seasoning as you feel necessary. 

Assemble the dish and serve:

  • Place the squash wedges on a serving platter. Drizzle with the tahini and generously sprinkle the dukkah to evenly coat the wedges. Enjoy!

quinoa and potato hash + ratatouille

ratatouille + skillet quinoa and potato hash | what's cooking good looking

I've been in Europe for almost three weeks, probably my longest and most adventurous trip to date. 2 weeks ago I was in Lisbon (my new favorite city), 8 days ago I was driving across Italy by myself, 6 days ago I met up with my husband, and 2 days ago we checked into an airbnb in a small town in Provence. It's been quite an adventure with a lot of spontaneous exploring, however, I was so excited to finally check into a house instead of a hotel. A house with a cute little kitchen so that I could make us breakfast, and dinner, and lots and lots of tea. 

Right now we have a fire going with some sticks of dried lavender burning along with it, and a variation of this ratatouille cooking on the stove. Ratatouille is one of my go-to's for when the weather is in-between cold and warm, and the veggies are in the middle of turning from summer into fall. It’s also a classic Provencal dish, so very appropriate for where we are right now. It’s easy to make, and if you cook up a big batch you can eat it over a few days. We plan on having the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow before we hit the road and head to the coast, stopping at a few more villages along the way.

Before I go devour this ratatouille, we need to discuss this quinoa, potato hash. If you’ve noticed, I’ve been on a little potato kick since the crispy potatoes. This hash falls into the same category as the crispy potatoes since it’s got the whole salty, crunchy, potato-y thing going on ……. but this is one that can cross over from breakfast into dinner, and has lots of different ways it can be served. Here I am keeping it in the skillet from stovetop to table, and making it part of the main event by serving it with the ratatouille right on top, but if you are in the mood for making this more of a side dish and serving this for breakfast, then by all means. Both the hash and ratatouille are addictingly delish on they’re own, but put them together and it makes a filling and impressive vegetarian main dish.  

quinoa and potato hash + ratatouille | what's cooking good looking
ratatouille + skillet quinoa and potato hash | what's cooking good looking
quinoa and potato hash + ratatouille | what's cooking good looking
quinoa and potato hash + ratatouille | what's cooking good looking
quinoa and potato hash + ratatouille | what's cooking good looking

quinoa and potato hash + ratatouill 



for the ratatouille:
a couple of tbsp of sunflower oil (or another high-heat oil)
1 medium sized eggplant, large dice (cut in half lengthwise, then cut in half again, and diced 1/2″)
1 large red onion, large dice
5 cloves of garlic, smashed and thinly sliced
a pinch or two of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 yellow zucchini, large dice
1 green zucchini, large dice
about 15 grape tomatoes (the larger ones), cut in half
1/4 cup of white wine, or mirin
a few basil leaves, finely chopped

for the quinoa hash:
2 cups of potato, peeled and shredded (on a cheese grater)
2 cups of cooked quinoa
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
black pepper
extra virgin olive oil


Mix together the ingredients for the quinoa potato hash:

  • First, you want to squeeze out all of the excess water from the potato by placing the shredded potato into a nut milk bag, cheese cloth, or paper towel, and squeezing tight until all of the excess water is removed. Also, make sure you strain the quinoa once it's been cooked to remove any excess water. This is a key step for both, to make sure that the hash is extra crispy. 
  • Then, place the potato, quinoa, egg, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl, and mix to combine. Set it aside while you prepare the ratatouille. 

Then, make the ratatouille:


  • Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large, deep pan  over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook for about 10 minutes until light brown and tender. If the eggplant has absorbed all the oil, add more so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant and set aside. 
  • In the same pan, add a little more oil and the red onion. Cook for several minutes until the onion is soft and starting to brown. Then add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for two minutes. 
  • Then add the yellow and green zucchini, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, until soft, and then add in the tomatoes. Cook for another 7 or so minutes, then add back the eggplant and stir to mix everything. 
  • Add the wine and cook for a few minutes until most of the wine has evaporated, and all of the vegetables are tender and cooked through. You should have a little bit of  ”sauce” from the vegetables and wine left at the bottom of the pan. At this point, remove it from the heat and start the hash brown. 

Cook the quinoa hash:

  • Pre-heat the broiler. Make sure the rack is at the center of the oven. 
  • In a 9" cast iron skillet, heat a generous amount of olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) over medium-high heat. Then, place the quinoa hash mixture into the pan and press it so it forms evenly to the skillet, reaching the sides. Use a spatula to make sure the top is even and flat. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the bottom is brown. You can take a peak by using a spatula and lifting up one of the edges. It might need a minute or two more. 
  • Once the bottom is cooked, drizzle the top with a little more olive oil, and then place the hash (in the skillet) into the oven. Cook for about 5 minutes, checking often. Broiler cook very differently. Mine had a nice, golden crispy top after about 5 minutes .... but some might take less, or longer. Just keep and eye on it, and remove when the top is evenly golden brown, and the edges are pulling away. 

Assemble and serve:

  • If you want, you can place the ratatouille over low heat while your hash is in the broiler to heat it up. 
  • Then, finish with the chopped basil. 
  • To serve, I like to keep the quinoa hash in the skillet. If you want, you can remove the hash from the skillet and place it onto a large, round serving plate. It should slide out of pan easily.
  • Then, using a slotted spoon, spoon the ratatouille on top of the quinoa hash. Serve by cutting slices (like a pie) of the hash with the ratatouille on top. 

matcha latte + lavender almond milk

matcha latte + lavender almond milk | what's cooking good looking
matcha latte + lavender almond milk | what's cooking good looking

I am a creature of habit. I am sure you are too. Aren't most humans?

Coffee in the morning is one of my favorite rituals, but it's also one of my only rituals that causes some slight guilt. Coffee is good for you one day, and bad for you the next. I really don't believe that a cup a day is bad for you, especially when I am drinking it with homemade almond milk, however, for some reason I just feel like downing a cup of coffee after I had a super healthy green smoothie and a workout, is helping much. Maybe it's not bad, maybe someday someone will come out with some research that the combo of a green smoothie and a coffee is super good for you. It's doesn't matter to me, the combo of the two just feels kinda wrong.

Towards the end of this summer, I was trying to switch up my coffee habit with something a little different, and maybe slightly healthier. I still wanted to enjoy the ritual of something warm in the morning, and I also wanted to keep my ritual of making something with homemade almond milk, and  matcha seemed like a good antioxidant kick to start the day. I made it once, and I was hooked. It was the perfect warm beverage, and even better accompaniment to the creamy almond milk.  

Fast forward to about a week into my new matcha latte ritual. I was making a batch of almond milk, and there is a  jar of dried lavender was sits on my windowsill that was begging to be added to the almond milk. It was a good move. It turns out that lavender + almond milk is a really delicious combo. Also, for some reason, the subtle floral taste of the lavender seems to lessen the bitterness from the matcha (and coffee too, if you're curious). Coffee was no longer in the back of my mind. I craved these matcha lattes with homemade lavender almond milk for my morning ritual. (oh, and I also think there's probably a million other uses for lavender almond milk which we both should experiment with!)

Ironically, I am writing this post from a three week trip I am on across Europe, where there has been no rituals, and no almond milk in sight. I am missing my rituals (and my almond milk) but I also find it is so refreshing to break free of them once in a while for the sake of exploring. Every since I was a little girl, I loved exploring ....... even if it was just in the woods in my backyard, and the desire has only gotten stronger over the years. I hope you're following along on instagram, and in the meantime, go and make this matcha latte with homemade lavender almond milk, for me, since I cannot have one ;))  It will be one of the first things I make when I return. 

matcha latte + lavender almond milk | what's cooking good looking
matcha latte + lavender almond milk | what's cooking good looking

matcha latte + lavender almond milk

enough almond milk for about 3 days, but this recipe is for 1 matcha latte 

a nut milk bag
a high-powered blender (vitamix)
a mason jar with lid
a matcha wisk (optional)


for the lavender almond milk:
1 cup of almonds **soaked overnight
4 cups of filtered water
a pinch (or two) of dried lavender
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of coconut oil  (optional)

for the matcha latte:
1 teaspoon of matcha


**The night before, soak the almonds. It is best to soak the almonds for a minimum of 3 hours, but overnight is best. It makes them more digestible and creamier. 

Optional step, after soaking the almonds, peel them:

  • I only recently started peeling my almonds. It's time consuming, and I am not convinced there is much benefit (since you are straining the almond milk after you blend it), however, both Michael and I notice a difference in taste and creaminess when the almonds have been peeled. So, maybe try and see what you think. The skins pop off very easily once the almonds have been soaking. 

Blend the almond milk:

  • Place the almonds, peeled or unpeeled, into a high-powered blender with the filtered water and the lavender. Blend on high for about 2 minutes. There should be no chunks of almond left behind. 
  • Strain the milk through a nut milk bag into a medium sized bowl. Squeeze the milk through the bag, to make sure you get all of the almond milk through. 
  • Pour the strained milk back into the blender (save the pulp for other uses, such as cookies or bread). Add in the remaining ingredients: salt, vanilla, and coconut oil. Blend quickly to combine everything. Transfer the milk to a storage container with a tight-fitting lid. 

Make the latte:

  • Heat some water in a tea kettle. Place the matcha into a mug. Fill the mug up about 2/3 with the hot water, 1/3 milk, it depends on the size of your mug. Wisk until the matcha is dissolved. If you don't have a whisk, you can pour the matcha and the hot water and the milk into a mason jar, cover very tightly with the lid, and shake shake shake until it's combined / dissolved. This method also help make it frothy. Be careful because the jar will be hot, so you'll need to shake it with a towel or something similar. Enjoy immediately. 
  • The almond milk can be kept in an air-tight container in the fridge, and usually lasts about 3 days. 

the best crispy smashed potatoes + shishitos and chives

the best crispy smashed potatoes | what's cooking good looking
the best crispy smashed potatoes | what's cooking good looking

Isn't it strange that summer (here in the U.S.) has an end date? Once Labor Day has past, everyone talks about summer being "over". Done. That's it. No more beach days or white pants or bbq-ing for you! It's so bizarre. No other season has the same kinda finality surrounding it (although I wish winter did .... Oh hey! Winter is over! No more snow storms and big puffy coats for you!)

Despite the talk right now about summer being "over", it's actually still quite summery around here, and September is one of my favorite months. It's still hot outside, the ocean is the warmest it's been all year, and the nights are beyond perfect for outdoor eating. And, I will be eating outside, until I can eat outside no more. 

We did a lot of bbq-ing this summer with friends and family, and these crispy potatoes were hands down the biggest hit at every meal. Earlier this spring, a good friend who's also an awesome cook made these crispy potatoes for us. Being the potato lover that I am, I was totally smitten with these guys. I HAD to make them. 

Well, I made them ....... about 100 times since this spring. They are a win every single time. So much so, that I think people would be disappinted if they came over for dinner and didn't get these crispy potatoes. They are an awesome dinner party food because you can make them a day in advance, and finish them in the oven about 30 minutes before you sit down to eat. They are kind of like eating a big crunchy potato chip with a soft center. Ummmm .... yes, please. 

The recipe is not challenging by any means, but there are a few tricks to getting them jussssssssst right every time. Such as, starting the potatoes out in cold water, and adding a splash of vinegar to hold the skins on, and adding a good amount of olive oil and chunky salt before roasting for flavor and all-around yum. Since potatoes are an all-seaon kind of food, you can enjoy these now, for your indian summer bbqs, but also into the colder winter months (when a hearty potato will be that much more welcome). 

the best crispy smashed potatoes | what's cooking good looking
the best crispy smashed potatoes | what's cooking good looking
the best crispy smashed potatoes | what's cooking good looking
the best crispy smashed potatoes | what's cooking good looking

the best crispy smashed potatoes + shishitos and chives

If you cannot find shishitos near you, feel free to make these potatoes sans topping, or go ahead and experiment with different topping or with one of the ones I suggest below. I'd love to hear if you do!

varies .... these get devoured, but you can generally feed around 6 people with this recipe


2 lbs of small potatoes (fingerlings work great), I also like to use a mix of red and purple potatoes (if available)
a splash of white wine vinegar

1/4++ cup of extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt

for the toppings:
a handful of shishitos, sliced into rounds
1-2 tablespoons of grapeseed (or another high-heat neutral) oil
a handful of chives, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

other toppings + combination ideas:
sauteed onions or shallots + rosemary
garlic + thyme
tossed in a green harissa ---> recipe here
or any kind of pesto


Boil and then smash the potatoes:

  • Wash the potatoes well. Place the potatoes in a large pot, and fill with cold water and a splash of vinegar. 
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-high heat and simmer for about 7-10 minutes, until fork tender, but still slightly firm. 
  • Strain the potatoes, and rinse with cold water to cool them down. Transfer them to a large baking sheet, and smash / flatten the potatoes using the back of a spatula. At this point, you can allow the potatoes to sit and come to room temperature before roasting, or keep them in the fridge until about 30-40 min before you're ready to serve. **There are theories that a chilled potato will make a crisper potato, but I haven't found it makes much of a difference than if they are still warm going into the oven. 

Roast the potatoes, and satuée the shishitos (if using):

  • Pre-heat the oven to 450º. 
  • Drizzle (drench) the potatoes in olive oil. Really make sure that they have a good coating on them. This will keep them moist and make the outside nice and crispy. Season well with salt and pepper. 
  • Roast the potatoes for about 30 minutes. Keep checking on them from time to time. They may need more or less depending on your oven. I like them to have a golden brown crispness to the edges. 
  • While the potatoes are roasting, sautee the shishitos. Heat the oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Sauté the shishitos for about 5 minutes until they are soft. Set aside until the potatoes are done. 

Assemble and serve:

  • Once the potatoes are done roasting, transfer them to a large bowl (shallow is best so the ones on the bottom don't get crowded and soggy). Drizzle with a little more olive oil (if you like) and sprinkle the chives and the shishitos on top. Serve immediately. 

peach + honey ice cream cake | toasted cashew crust (df+gf)

peach + honey ice cream cake | what's cooking good looking
peach + honey ice cream cake | what's cooking good looking

I have a summer birthday, which means I've requested my fair share of ice cream cakes to celebrate. Carvel ice cream cakes, to be exact, with vanilla and chocolate and some chocolatey crunchy bits dividing the two flavors, and then topped with super sweet, fake-tasting (but delicious) frosting. I loved that cake. I would eat the chocolate parts first, and save the vanilla for second to last and the frosting for  very last. The best part was that any leftovers from my bday would live in the freezer, and I would retrieve a slice when the mood striked (or when my mom wasn't looking). 

There was also the watermelon cake from Friendly's that only was available in the summer. Remember that cake?? SO good. Those chocolate chuncks that were supposed to be the watermelon "pits", made it so much better than REAL watermelon. 

It's not a secret that I have a summer love affair with ice cream in any form, but nowadays it's the dairy-free kind. In the grocery store,  I can usually find myself a carton of dairy-free ice cream in any flavor I could ever want or dream up, however, I have yet to find a dairy-free ice cream cake. This is probably better for a few reasons. First,  I would buy it and eat it ALL THE TIME, and second, homemade is always best. 

With a strong craving for ice cream cake coming over me,  it was time to experiment with a homemade version. Guess what? Homemade ice cream cake is so much easier and foolproof that you might think. The real effort comes into planning ahead. You need a full 1-2 days of chilling and freezing, but it actually takes very little effort putting it all together. If you know you want the cake for the weekend, you can start on Friday morning, and you'll be eating ice cream cake all into this long weekend we have coming up. 

I've made dairy-free ice cream many times, but I usually keep it totally vegan by omitting the egg. This time I decided to try something a little different. Traditional ice cream is made by making a custard with milk, cream, and egg yolks, so I decided to take my dairy-free version one step closer to that by adding in some egg yolks this time, but keeping the coconut milk base. The result was definitely more creamy and more luscious than without the egg yolk, so if you are cool with yolks and luscious dairy-free ice cream, then you MUST try making it this way. 

Of course, if you like, you can just make this peach ice cream and not go all the way with the cake ....... but it's nearing the end of summer, the end of peaches, the end of super hot days, so I think we should all have some ice cream in a CAKE form to celebrate these winding down days of summer. 

peach + honey ice cream cake | what's cooking good looking
peach + honey ice cream cake | what's cooking good looking
peach + honey ice cream cake | what's cooking good looking
peach + honey ice cream cake | what's cooking good looking
peach + honey ice cream cake | what's cooking good looking

peach + honey ice cream cake | toasted cashew crust

a 9" cake

start at least 1 day before serving / less than 1 hour of actual prep/cook

an ice cream maker (with bowl attachment, pre-frozen) 
9" springform pan 


for the peach + honey ice cream:
5 ripe yellow peaches, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup of honey (I used raw, but you can use whatever kind you have handy)
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
the juice of 1/2 a small lemon
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 can of organic full-fat coconut milk
2 egg yolks

for the cashew crush:
1 cup of cashews
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
3/4 cup of brown rice flour
3 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil (+ extra for greasing)
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla

optional topping for the cake: some additional sliced peaches, herbs, or edible flowers


At least 1 full day before you wish to have the cake, start making the ice cream:

  • In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, cook the peaches over medium-low heat with the salt, honey, vanilla and lemon juice until the peaches are soft. Add in the coconut milk and cook for about 5 more minutes. 
  • Transfer the mixture to a blender, and blend until the mixture is smooth. 
  • Transfer the mixture back to the same pot. Add the egg yolks, stir until they are incorporated, and then place the pot over medium-low heat. Cook while stirring often until the mixture has thickened, forming a custard-like consistency. 
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool on the stove-top for about 20 minutes (min) before transferring to the fridge. Either place a lid on the pot or transfer to a glass container, cover, and place in the fridge overnight, or for a minimum of 4 hours. (*It's important that this mixture is fully chilled before you churn your ice cream.)

Before you churn the ice cream, make the pie crust:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350º, and grease all side of your 9" springform pan with coconut oil.
  • Place the cashews onto a baking sheet, and bake for 4 minutes, until toasted and light brown. 
  • Transfer them to a food processor and add the oats and salt. Pulse until you have a fine crumbled texture, then transfer than mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the brown rice flour, and stir to combine. Add in the coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla, and mix until it's all incorporated. 
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool slightly, and then place the crust in the freezer while you churn the ice cream. 

Churn the ice cream, and allow cake to set:

  • Pour the ice cream into the pre-frozen ice cream bowl attachment. Check your ice cream maker for specific churning instructions (each vary), but typically you're going to churn on a low speed for about 10-15 minutes. 
  • When your ice cream is done churning, remove the crust from the freezer and pour it into the pan, over the crust, evenly (by smoothing and shaking while you are your pouring it in). 
  • Smooth the top off with a butter knife, and place a piece of parchment (that's cut to size) on top of the cake. 
  • Freeze for a minimum of 5 hours, or overnight. 


  • Feel free to add some sliced peaches, herbs, or edible flowers to the cake before serving. 
  • Remove the cake from the freezer about 5-10 minutes before you are ready to serve. Run a sharp knife around the outer edge of the pan, before releasing the springform. Remove the outer circular part of the pan, and then very carefully remove the base and place the cake on a cake stand or a flat serving surface. Run a sharp knife under hot water first before cutting into the cake to make it easier to slice. 
  • You can store this cake in the freezer for a couple of weeks, just make sure you transfer it to an air-tight contain for longer term storage.