Kale, Orange, Avocado salad with ginger lime dressing

I made this salad on a whim in one of the earlier days of quarantine; it wasn’t planned, it just sort of came together. The simple combination quickly became a regular staple as the stay at home order dragged on. I grew to look forward to my zingy and bright lunchtime treat.

To some, it might not feel like an obvious combination – kale, oranges, avocado, ginger, and lime – but after one bite, this juicy salad transports you from a boring lunch at home to a tropical vacation. The citrusy kick of the oranges with the spicy-tart dressing is the perfect counterpoint to the mellow creaminess of the avocado. Served on a bed of kale, it can easily be bulked up with chicken, shrimp, tofu, or your favorite protein or simply served as is.

A word from those in the know – massage your kale! It’s an extra step that actually makes a huge difference. Just trim the leaves off the thick kale stem/rib (or if you’re lazy like me just pull them off), drizzle some olive oil on top along with a pinch of salt. Grab the leaves and rub the oil into them with your fingers until all the leaves appear darker and shiny. Bonus – the salt/EVOO combo will leave your hands feeling silky smooth! This added step isn’t just for appearances, it tenderizes the leaves and helps release the sugars within them to balance their bitter flavor with some sweetness.

A couple of notes:

  • As a reminder I am usually cooking for one so my recipes usually have 1-2 servings but can easily be doubled if you are serving more people!
  • The measurements for the dressing are more than you will need for one serving. I like to make a small batch and keep it in my fridge for the next few salads.


Time: 10 mins
Servings: 1

  • 1-2 cups Kale, ribs removed and leaves massaged with olive oil
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 orange, sectioned (I used cara cara oranges but any will do)


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Minced jalapeño to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Prepare the kale: wash your bunch, remove the stems and massage with olive oil. See above for how to do this! Place into a bowl.
  2. Slice the avocado into thin strips, add to bowl with kale.
  3. Peel and section your orange: slice off citrus tips on both sides using a sharp knife to create two flat surfaces. Setting the citrus on one flat surface, slice off the skin and pith, following the shape of the sphere. Once skins are fully removed, slice each fruit horizontally into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Add to kale and avocado.
  4. In a mason jar or bowl combine dressing ingredients. Dress salad with as much dressing as desired. I usually use 1-2 tablespoons.

Sticky toffee banana cake

If Sticky Toffee Pudding and Bananas Foster had a love child, this cake would be it!

I get most creative in the kitchen when I have odds and ends I want to use up. In this case, it was a couple of very brown bananas and leftover dates from my Apricot + Date Sourdough Bread. The easy option would have been to whip up another batch of Banana Bread, but I was in the mood for something different!

Introducing Sticky Toffee Banana Cake with a Vanilla Glaze. This little treat is rich and moist and oh so good! It gets its deep caramel-like sweetness and signature sticky texture from the Medjool dates, which are jam-packed into this 7-inch wonder! I’ve also added a long steep with Earl Grey tea to add another subtle undercurrent of flavor – you could try a spiced chai for a different taste!

I’ve included oven and instant pot options and a very simple swap to make this vegan! 👌🏽

Since I live alone, I tend to create smaller desserts. This recipe, as written, is intended for a mini bundt pan (7 inches in diameter). It can be doubled and will work in a standard bundt pan baked in the oven for 45-50 minutes.


Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Servings: 8 slices

  • 150 mL Boiling Water
  • 2 Earl Grey tea bags (or spiced chai)
  • 225 g Medjool dates
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice or nutmeg
  • 85 g Butter, room temperature (swap for vegan butter or solid coconut oil)
  • 85 g White sugar
  • 85 g Brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 Very Ripe bananas, mashed
  • 170 g All-Purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1.75 tsp Baking Powder
  1. If baking in the oven preheat to 350F if using the IP disregard.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, or use a tea kettle. Place the dates and tea bags in a heatproof bowl and cover with 150 mL boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags and discard them.
  4. Add the dates to a food processor and puree until smooth, add the cinnamon and allspice.
  5. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Set aside.
  6. Cream the butter and sugars together then add the mashed banana.
  7. Add the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
  8. Gently fold in the date puree.
  9. Pour the batter into the bundt pan, use a spoon to make sure it is even.
  10. If baking in the IP: add 3/4 cup water to the pot, place your trivet, and cover the bundt pan with aluminum foil. Close the IP and set to cook for 50 minutes on high pressure with a 15-minute natural release.
  11. If baking in the oven: bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes.


  • 1/3 cup milk of choice (or heavy cream for a thicker option)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (or vegan butter)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp bourbon or rum (optional)

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the sugar until dissolved, then add the milk/cream. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla and bourbon/rum.

Cinnamon apple bread pudding

Bread pudding always reminds me of my Grandpa. He loved big buffet dinners and would always finish his meal with a generous square of bread pudding. As a kid, I did everything he and Grandma did, so even though I thought bread pudding sounded weird, I too piled up my plate. Well, thank goodness I did because it was love at first bite!

To say that I bake a lot is an understatement, and now, I’ve been cooking even more with the extra time at home. I had a few different loaves knocking around from testing for my Milk and Honey Braided Bread Recipe. I decided to use them up while simultaneously taking a trip down memory lane. I hate wasting food and love that this sweet treat helps me use up leftovers really easily. It’s a cinch to throw together and can be served as a very decadent breakfast or delicious post-dinner treat.



Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10

  • 250 g leftover bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • 285g milk (cow, milk or almond)
  • 85g Apple Cider or 110g Apple Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 100g brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 85g golden raisins
  • 215g chopped apple
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Prep a 9 inch baking dish with butter.
  2. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl add the eggs, milk, cider or apple sauce, vanilla, brown sugar and spice. Whisk to combine.
  4. Pour over the cubed bread.
  5. Add the raisins and chopped apple, stir to combine.
  6. Pour into prepped baking dish.
  7. Drizzle the melted butter over the top.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes. Most/all of the liquid should be absorbed. If there is a tiny bit left it will continue to solidify as it cools.
  9. Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, sauce (below) or all of the above!


  • 1/3 cup milk of choice (or heavy cream for a thicker option)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp bourbon or rum

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the sugar until dissolved then add the milk/cream. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla and bourbon/rum.


  • You can add 85g chopped walnuts for an added crunch! I prefer it without the nuts though 🙂

on the quest for the perfect at home pizza

When I was growing up, every Friday was pizza night in our house. Honestly, every Friday without fail. Even though my mom is the Italian one, it was actually my dad’s borderline addiction to melty cheese and crispy crust that allowed us to indulge in our favorite weekly tradition — no complaints from me! Now that I live on my own, I do my best to keep family rituals alive, albeit with my own little twist.

I may live in NYC where some of the best pizza outside of Italy can be found. Still, I couldn’t resist tackling the challenge of creating the perfect better-than-takeout-at-home pizza. Because, let’s face it, unless you’re eating your pie seconds out of the oven, it really just isn’t the same. I tried quite a few crust recipes but kept my toppings minimal and simple (an ode to my Neapolitan roots – hi mama!). My goal was to create a crust that would cook well in my little gas stove that reaches a max of 550F (though the dial SAYS 600F…). I was aiming for a crispy exterior, chewy interior, and the characteristic air bubbles on pizza in Naples.

First, I researched. I cracked open my cookbooks, I read countless online recipes, I watched SO MANY YouTube videos of pizzaioli sharing their secrets. Then I got to work and started testing a few different dough recipes until I came up with the one I thought was perfect.

When it came to baking the pizza, I knew I would need to do my best to get the oven as hot as possible – I borrowed some tips from my sourdough bread baking. I preheated the oven for 30 minutes, 15 minutes with the pan inside. The goal was to get the pizza base cooking as soon as the dough hit the pan to mimic the conditions in a professional oven as much as I could.

Instead of using a pizza stone, I opted to use my cast iron skillet. Why? Well, mainly because I don’t own a pizza stone and adding another pot, pan or gadget to my Tiny Kitchen is really not an option. I’m bursting at the seems! I already use my oven as additional storage, which gets really fun whenever I’m baking — more on that in another post!

Back to the pizza — even though I don’t own a pizza stone, I HAVE used them before, and I really think the cast iron skillet cooked the pizza more efficiently. I think it has to do with metal conducting heat better and the higher sides of the skillet helping to enclose the pizza, BUT those are just my theories. The good news is you can buy a quality cast iron skillet for a fraction of the cost of a pizza stone, and the applications are virtually endless. For me, a multi-use appliance/pan is always going to win out over a single-use option. Don’t forget this blog IS called Tiny Kitchen Confidential.

So without further delay, here is the recipe — pizza night just got upgraded!

Please note I only tested this method using thinner, Neapolitan style dough. If you try with a thicker, chewier crust, you might have to adjust the cook times.


Time: 4 Hours
Servings: 2 pizzas in a 10 – 12 inch skillet

Dough Ingredients:

  • 500 g Italian 00 Flour (You can use All Purpose if 00 is not available)
  • 350 mL lukewarm water
  • 2 g dried yeast
  • 8 gr salt
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil


  • 8 tbsp Fresh or canned San Marzano tomato puree (4 per pizza, or more to taste)
  • Olive Oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • 300 g Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced and drained
  • Fresh basil leaves
  1. Dissolve the yeast in 150 grams of lukewarm water, stir to combine.
  2. Place the flower in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer with dough hook.
  3. Add the yeast and water mixture to the bowl with flour and mix gently.
  4. Add the remaining water little by little until it is incorporated and no dry flour remains.
  5. Knead the dough until smooth, then sprinkle the salt and knead again until full incorporated.
  6. Form the dough into a ball and place into a large bowl prepped with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rise in the warmest place in your kitchen for 1/5 – 3 hours.
  7. Toward the end of the rise preheat your oven to the broil setting for 30 minutes (mine says 600F but my in-oven thermometer says 550). Just go as hot as you can!
  8. Meanwhile, divide the to into two equal balls and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  9. For the final 15 minutes of the preheat place your cast iron skillet in the oven.
  10. After the dough’s final rest start to stretch and push the dough into a 10-12 inch round. Tip – hold your hands out, have your thumbs touch and your pointer and middle fingers over lap, it should look like a triangle. Use this hand position to push the dough out starting from the center of the ball. Rotate as you go.
  11. Remove the VERY HOT skillet from the oven and place on a heat safe surface.
  12. Gently place your stretched dough into the pan. Mind your fingers! Remember, the dough starts cooking immediately!
  13. Place your sauce on the dough spreading evenly from the center outward, leaving space for an outer crust.
  14. Then sprinkle your cheese, place a few basil leaves and drizzle the entire pie with high quality olive oil.
  15. Carefully place into the oven under the broiler for 3-6 minutes depending on your oven. You want the crust to bubble!
  16. Remove from the oven and serve immediately!

Milk and honey braided bread

I am so excited about this bread! It has a beautiful golden crust and an extra fluffy interior, thanks to the Tangzhong method (don’t be scared, it only sounds difficult). Its beautiful braid makes it a very impressive addition to your table that looks way more complicated than it actually is – which I LOVE.

So what is the Tangzhong method? If you’ve ever had Japanese Milk Bread or Hokkaido Milk Bread, then you’re already somewhat familiar with this technique and the super fluffy interior that it creates. It actually originated in China and was later adopted and popularized in Japan. It is a method of bread making that uses a roux as the dough starter, which involves cooking a portion of the flour with milk and/or water before adding it to the remaining ingredients. By doing this, the starches in the flour can absorb more water. Well, why does that matter? Since they retained more water during the baking process, the final result will be moister, fluffier, and will stay softer and fresher longer.

The other thing I love about this bread? It looks completely different every time I make it. I have definitely not perfected my braiding technique, and even though I have watched quite a few six-strand braiding tutorials online when it comes time for me to actually do it, I just wing it and make up a design. You could easily do a standard three-strand braid or create a twisted design instead. If you wanted to bake this as pull-apart rolls, you could do so as well or a sliceable loaf in your bread pan! I love creating recipes that you can easily adapt!

Want to be let in on a little secret? You can use the Tangzhong method on virtually any soft yeasted bread recipe. Just replace a portion of the flour and liquid using the quantities below. Try it and watch your old standbys be transformed!



Time: Approx 4 Hours
Servings: 16 slices


  • 3 tablespoons (43g) water
  • 3 tablespoons (43g) almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons (14g) All Purpose-Flour


  • 50g lukewarm almond milk
  • 6 tablespoons (74g) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 468g All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast


  • Egg
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. To make the tangzhong: combine the water, almond milk, and flour in a small saucepan. Mix it well before applying heat.
  2. Place the saucepan over low heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens up and the whisk leaves tracks on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Remove from heat immediately.
  4. Combine all of the dough ingredients including the tangzhong and mix and knead them, by hand or stand mixer until you have a soft, smooth dough.
  5. Allow the dough to rise in a plastic wrap-covered bowl for about 2 hours. It will look puffy.
  6. Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
  7. Divide the dough into pieces, the number dependent on what kind of braid you want to make. Once divided let the pieces rest covered for 10 minutes. I’m not a braiding expert so I sort of make it up as I go but you do you!
  8. Roll the pieces into ropes, I recommend rolling each piece about 20″ long.* Then cover the ropes and let them rest for 10 more minutes.
  9. Braid the loaf. 
  10. Gently pick up the braided loaf, and place it on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  11. Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise until it’s very puffy, about 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  12. Whisk together the egg and water. Brush the glaze over the risen loaf.
  13. Put the baking pan in the lower third of the oven, and bake it for 30-40 minutes and its interior reads at least 190°F. If it’s getting dark too fast, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. 
  14. Remove the bread from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool.


  • *If the dough is resistant to rolling into logs, cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes. This will allow the gluten to relax.

Chocolate and Espresso Marbled Sourdough Banana Bread

I know, I know — everyone is baking banana bread during quarantine and everyone is baking sourdough during quarantine but I still wanted to add my own spin on the phenomenon by combining the two!

If you hopped on the sourdough bandwagon and you are in need of discard recipes here is another to add to your repertoire! This loaf packs SO MUCH flavor and will easily become your new favorite banana bread recipe. It combines so many things that I love: chocolate, banana, coffee, and sourdough all swirled to perfection! Trust me, this is not your basic banana bread.

I was inspired to create this recipe the way most people are inspired to make banana bread: they had too many overripe bananas sitting on the counter but I waned to do something a little different. After my recent experiment with Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies, I realized that I loved the way chocolate and sourdough came together. I wanted to find another way to use this awesome pairing. So when I spied the dark bananas on the counter as I was feeding Bread Pitt, my sourdough starter, I knew what I had to do!


Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Servings: 8 slices


  • 240g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 113g lite olive oil or refined coconut oil
  • 100g brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 ripe bananas, chopped or mashed
  • 125g  sourdough starter (discard/unfed)
  • 4 oz dark or semi-sweet bakers chocolate
  • 1 oz/1 shot of espresso
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray your 9×5 loaf pan with oil, butter or non-stick spray.
  2. Set the chocolate pieces in a microwave safe bowl or mug. Add the espresso (preferably hot just out of the machine). If the coffee is not hot enough to melt the chocolate you can microwave it in 15 second bursts, stirring each time until smooth. Set aside while you prepare the batter.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine ingredients.
  4. In a separate large bowl add the oil and sugars. Mix on medium-high with a mixer until ingredients are fully incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Mix well until fully incorporated.
  6. Fold in the sourdough starter and then gradually add in the flour mixture gently by hand.
  7. Scoop 8oz (approx 1 cup) of the batter into a clean bowl and gently fold in the melted chocolate. 
  8. Pour batters into prepared pan. Place one-third (just eyeball it) of the plain banana bread batter on the bottom. Then scoop one-third of the chocolate banana bread batter on top of the plain batter – I do three separate blobs. Repeat two more times until all the batter is added. Use a butter knife or chopstick to gently swirl the two batters.
  9. Bake at 350°F for 55-65 minutes. Do not over bake!
  10. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.


Do you like ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies? Then you have come to the right spot. These cookies are intensely flavorful, perfectly textured, and addictive for vegans and non-vegans alike! Make these and thank me later !

No, I’m not a vegan, but I recently had to go on a doctor prescribed low-iodine diet (don’t worry, it’s only temporary), which means no eggs or dairy among a litany of other no-nos. Of course, the second you are told you can’t have something, the cravings hit, and they hit HARD.

I started researching vegan desserts, but I felt overwhelmed by the long ingredient lists. I really wanted something that I could make with what I had at home (no funny egg replacers, please) without compromising on flavor and texture. 

Since I have recently been on a sourdough baking binge, I usually have a fair amount of discard starter on hand. I thought it could be interesting to see how the tang paired with a traditional chocolate chip cookie – it was a gamble, but it worked!

Don’t worry! If you don’t have sourdough discard I have included two easy changes so you can still enjoy these outrageous cookies.

Vegan Sourdough Discard Chocolate Chip Cookies

Time: 30 min – 12 hours
Servings: 10 cookies


  • 5g All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (non iodized if following a Low Iodine Diet)
  • 100g chocolate chips (make sure they’re dairy free if vegan)
  • 45g granulated sugar 
  • 50g brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 35g coconut oil melted (or your favorite neutral tasting oil)**
  • 70g sourdough discard/unfed*
  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together including the chocolate chips.
  2. In a second bowl whisk together the sugars and the oil then add the sourdough discard.
  3. Once the wet ingredients are combined add in the dry ingredients until no dry flour is visible but try not to over mix!
  4. Put in a Tupperware and chill for as long as you can — at least 12 hours! You want this dough to be really cold (to prevent oven spread) and you also want the sourdough flavor to develop.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. While the oven is preheating shape your cookies into balls and then pop them in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the edges are just golden. They might look underdone but they will keep firming up as they cool on the pan. 


  • *If you don’t have sourdough discard increase the flour to 120g and add 35g of your favorite non-dairy milk.
  • ** I have made these with olive oil before and they came out great so use what you have!
  • Tip – If you want cookies at a moments notice make a larger batch of dough, shape into balls and keep in your freezer. Bake from frozen whenever the craving strikes!

Apricot and Date Sourdough

This simple sourdough has a fruity twist and is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite cheese!

I love this bread for it’s simplicity and versatility! Don’t like dates? Replace them! Don’t like apricots? Replace them! The sourdough flavor is the perfect complement to the subtle sweetness provided by the dried fruit. It works equally well with both sweet and savory toppings. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this loaf is to thinly slice it, toast it, and top it with goat cheese and honey but that’s just me! This is a choose your own adventure loaf so change it up.

As with all sourdoughs the most important ingredient here is time! I like to start this dough in the afternoon, let it rise/ferment in the fridge overnight, and bake it the next day but you can play with the timing to work best for your schedule.

Tip: You can change the filling to suit your mood or the season. Be sure to stick with dried fruits and nuts otherwise your hydration levels and baking times will be altered.


Time: Approx 12 Hours


  • 283g (1 1/4 cups) fed sourdough starter
  • 227g (1 cup) water
  • 361g (3 cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 85g (1/2 cup) roughly chopped dried dates
  • 85g (1/2 cup) roughly chopped dried apricots
  1. Combine your starter, water, and flour in the bowl of your mixer (if you have one) just until smooth. It won’t look like a cohesive dough yet but you want to make sure no dry flour remains. Then leave it covered for 1 hour for the flour to hydrate.
  2. After an hour, sprinkle the salt on top and knead the dough with your mixer’s dough hook on a medium speed. The dough will start to look more elastic, this can take about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped dried fruit and let the mixer do a few more turns.
  3. Cover the bowl again and let the dough rise at room temperature for an hour.
  4. Now it’s time to get your hands in the dough! With wet hands tip the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. It will still feel a little sticky but wet hands will make it easier to handle.
  5. We want to shape the loaf and also build tension in the dough so it has structure. Take the edge of the dough with your dough scraper or fingers, gently lift and stretch it, then press it into the center. Folding the dough in on itself. Rotate the dough and repeat the process until you have gone all the way around. About 4 times.
  6. Put the dough to bed. Flour your bread basket (banneton if you’re fancy). I just use a clean, floured dish towel inside a mixing bowl. Place the rounded dough into the bowl, bottom side up (the pinched side from the folding in step 5), cover well with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  7. The next morning, preheat the oven to 450°F with a dutch oven inside for 30 minutes. While the oven is preheating take the dough out of the fridge. Note: the dough might not look like it has risen much due to the temperature of the fridge and the mix-ins but it’s ready!
  8. Grab a piece of parchment and place it on a flat surface, make sure it is large enough so that you can use it to lift your dough into the HOT dutch oven.
  9. Turn the loaf out of the bowl onto the parchment paper. Slash the top of the loaf, and lift the dough and paper into the dutch oven. I like to place two ice cubes inside the dutch oven to create a steamy environment for the bread to bake in. Cover and bake for with the lid on for 20. Then with gloves on, remove the lid and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the internal temperature reads at least 200°F.
  10. LET IT COOL! Your sourdough continues to cook even after it is out of the oven. Cutting into it too early releases the precious steam inside the loaf resulting in a tough crust and under done interior. Resist the urge to cut into it too soon — it’s worth it!