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Roasted Garlic, Pear and Pork Ravioli

October 17, 2017

Switch things up this holiday season with a hearty pear and pork ravioli filled with rustic autumn flavors!

Thanks to Nugget Markets for sponsoring this post!

Roasted Garlic, Pear and Pork Ravioli Recipe | Sponsored Post |

Sometimes I feel bad for pears.

They are the underdog of fall ingredients. As soon as temperatures begin to dip, apples are all the rage. The leaves start turning and we simply cannot hide our affection for winter squash. 

Meanwhile, there sit the pears. Beautiful in their green, reddish-brown, and tan fall colors, but second place to the front row attention-seekers. 

I’m not sure why I turn to apples and pumpkins over pears, but more often than not, I do. Guilty. 

So when Nugget Markets gave me the opportunity to do a fall-inspired post, an alternative to the traditional holiday meal, I set my sights on pears. At the very least, I owe the fruit some time in the spotlight. 

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Shawarma Spiced Fava Bean Vegetarian Burger

July 6, 2017

This post is sponsored by Sahadi’s

Shawarma Spiced Fava Bean Vegetarian Burger | Vegan and Vegetarian Recipe | | Sponsored

Food access is important in my line of work. Well, if you love food, regardless of the type of work you do, it’s important. But when you are tasked to make specific foods or need to photograph a certain ingredient, you have to find it. 

I’m the first one to admit that regularly accessing what I need isn’t always easy around here. Of course, this comes after spending 10 years in the surprisingly excellent local food scene of Central Kentucky, and then a few more years in the Bay Area. Which, I mean, come on. What can’t you find in the Bay Area? 

Internet shopping for groceries is not only a fun pastime these days, it’s often a necessity. 

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Dry-Rubbed Grilled Whole Chicken with Chili-Lager Barbecue Sauce

June 13, 2017

This juicy grilled whole chicken is brushed with a rich and tangy barbecue sauce made of dried chilies and beer. It’s the perfect recipe to ring in a season of grilling. 

This post is sponsored by Petaluma Poultry – Home of ROCKY® and ROSIE® Chicken.


Dry-Rubbed Grilled Whole Chicken with Chili-Lager Barbecue Sauce Recipe | Fake Food Free | Sponsored Post

This probably sounds silly, but the first time I grilled a whole chicken, I considered it a huge culinary accomplishment. I say it sounds silly now because it is really not that difficult at all.

It looks fancy, sure. But it’s one of the most hands-off forms of grilling you can do. Once you rub down the bird with the herbs and seasonings of your choice, you simply place it on the grill and let it cook while all that flavor gets sealed inside. 

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California Ripe Olive Grilled Flatbread with Basil Ricotta, Provolone, Lemon Greens, and Edible Flowers

June 6, 2017

Thank you to the California Olive Committee for sponsoring this post. Although I was compensated to write this post, all opinions are my own.


I drive by olive trees on a regular basis here in the South Central Valley.

I’m a little obsessed with them.

One, they are some of the prettiest trees out there, all willowy with draping branches and a color that can turn from deep green to steel blue depending on how the wind blows. Two, I am a heavy consumer of both extra virgin olive oil and ripe, or table, olives. 

I was informed of a small fact soon after my identification of the olive tree, though. The olives that make these two products are not one in the same. Basically, there are oil olives and ripe olives. Their varieties, oil content, color, and culinary use is different. 

I’ve learned quite a bit about oil olives over the past few years, but my knowledge of ripe olives was minimal. So, when I received an invitation from the California Olive Committee for a trip to St. Helena at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Greystone to fill my gap in knowledge, as you would expect, I quickly accepted. I soon hit the road for a lovely four hour drive from California’s Central Valley to the Napa Valley. 

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Chicken Herb Soup with Bone Broth Recipe

March 9, 2017

This hearty chicken soup is simmered with a bone broth recipe. It’s full of fresh herb flavor and ideal for cool spring days. 

This post is sponsored by Petaluma Poultry – Home of ROCKY® and ROSIE® Chicken.

Chicken Herb Soup with Bone Broth Recipe | Fake Food Free | Sponsored Post

I’m not trying to be overly dramatic, but homemade soup is life changing.

Once you have a bowl that has been simmered long enough to blend flavors and infuse broths, the thought of going back to canned feels like a death sentence to your taste buds. 

If you’ve eaten a lot of canned soups in your lifetime, like I have (hello, diet food!), then you know they simply taste salty. And if you buy any type labeled diet or healthy, then you are in for even worse of a treat. Bland with a capital B.

Make it at home, though, and put in little effort, but a lot of time. Consider your soup world rocked. 


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Citrus Roasted Whole Chicken

December 8, 2016

Perfect for the holiday season, this citrus roasted whole chicken is packed with the flavor of oranges, grapefruits, rosemary, and thyme.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma Poultry – Home of ROCKY® and ROSIE® Chicken.

Recipe for Citrus Roasted Whole Chicken | Fake Food Free #sponsored

Chicken has saved our family holidays on more than one occasion. While most of us lean towards turkey or ham during this season, if there is a mishap, guess who is there to bail you out of an emergency dinner party situation.

Yep, the chicken. 

I was just talking to my mom about this last week. I didn’t make it back home for Thanksgiving this year, but apparently the turkey had some problems. The solution, run to the store and grab a chicken. And I know that shredded chicken has made its way into my grandmother’s stuffing recipe instead of turkey more than once in the past.

Whole chickens are easier to find fresh, thaw faster if they are frozen, and take little effort to turn out tender, juicy, and full of flavor. To be honest, I’m a bigger fan of chicken myself. 

So I say it’s about time we stop treating the chicken as the understudy in the holiday dinner play and go ahead and give it the leading the role. I’m starting with this recipe. 

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Autumn Spiced Slow Cooker Chicken with Apples and Onions

September 15, 2016

This simple slow cooker chicken is coated in savory spices and served with sweet apples and onions for the perfect fall meal.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma Poultry – Home of ROCKY® and ROSIE® Chicken.

Autumn Spiced Slow Cooker Chicken with Apples and Onions Recipe | Fake Food Free | Sponsored Post

Like many people, my introduction to poultry was in the form of the boneless, skinless chicken breast. Now, I have nothing against these chicken breasts. They still serve a purpose in my kitchen. Since I started this blog over eight years ago and got much more adventurous in my cooking, things have changed.

I’ve become more open to the versatility and the full flavor of other parts of the chicken.

I also didn’t mess around with graduating up to bone-in, skin-on parts. Nope. I jumped right into using the whole bird.

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Grilled Bone In Chicken Breasts with Garlic Sweet Onion Barbecue Sauce

May 25, 2016

These bone in chicken breasts are glazed in a barbecue sauce made of grilled garlic and sweet onions and cooked over the fire until tender and juicy. This post is sponsored by Petaluma Poultry. 

Grilled Bone In Chicken Breasts with Homemade Garlic Sweet Onion Barbecue Sauce Recipe | Fake Food Free #sponsored

It took me a long time to get comfortable around a grill. I’m not sure if it was the dancing flames or maybe it was our society’s perception that grilling is a guy thing. For whatever reason, I could most often be found on the sidelines watching others flip the patties, chops and legs on the grill. 

Then I found myself at a point where I had no choice but to start grilling.  More of the recipes I was developing for clients needed to be grilled and I also got some print writing assignments on best grilling practices. This all led to a lot of research about the craft. I also could no longer wait for the weekend or evenings to have my husband around to fire up our kamado-style grill.

I had to jump in, tongs first. 

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