• Jul 23, 2012 11:36 am

If you’re searching for simple yet delicious recipes, you need to check out Averie Cooks. Blogger Averie Sunshine fills her blog with decadent desserts as well as healthy dishes including gluten-free and vegan recipes. Recently, Averie answered our BHGfood questions about her tasty recipes.

1) Must-have kitchen accessory: For baking, two things that have really helped my cookie-baking include using a silicone baking mat and a cookie scoop, which ensures all cookies bake evenly. For everyday cooking and meal preparation, a good sharp, high-quality knife and a cutting board are two items I use at least 17 times a day.

2) Favorite ingredient: This is so hard to pick but I’d say either brown sugar, since it makes everything richer, moister, and softer than using granulated sugar, or vanilla extract. Between the flavor and the scent, I adore vanilla. Oh, and of course chocolate, but that goes without saying.

3) Biggest Cooking Inspiration: I read food, cooking, and baking blogs; I look at Pinterest boards, I read food and gourmet cooking magazines, I look at online food and food photography websites, I have an extensive collection of cookbooks and I pull ideas from all of them. I am usually most inspired when I see a dish on a website or in a magazine that just jumps off the screen or page because of the beautiful photography and the way it makes me feel. That drippy, melty chocolate smear, that stray piece of crumble topping in the corner of a photo - I see those things and it makes me want to go bake and play and see what I can create in my own kitchen.

4) Dish you’re most proud of: Figuring out how to make perfect brownies, every time, from scratch, in one bowl and without a mixer, and to do it all in less time that it would take to crack open a boxed mix is one thing I’m happy to check off my baking bucket list. Getting my husband to fall in love with tofu and my 5 year old to ask for more broccoli - I’m just as proud of those things, too.  

5) Salty or sweet: Sweet all the way. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I have a mouthful of sweet teeth. However, I do love the combo of playing with salty and sweet in baking. Pretzels in cookies, salty peanut butter as the filling for the inside of a chocolate truffle; playing with salt and seeing how it compliments sweets like in these Pretzel Peanut Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles or Pink Lemonade Freezer Bars.

6) Favorite person to cook for: My husband and daughter. I sound like my grandma, but all I really want to do is feed them well and see them happy, satiated, content. Food is love.

7) Recipe You’d Recommend: I am a big fan of white chocolate and BHG’s White Chocolate Brownies are great. I like to use brown sugar rather than granulated (white) in them - keeps them even softer and chewier.  

8) Your go-to dinner dish: Big salads with an abundance of seasonal vegetables from heirloom tomatoes to asparagus to corn shaved off the cob and tossed throughout. Topped with tofu, tempeh, fish, or chicken and a simple yet flavor-packed homemade salad dressing or vinaigrette and dinner is served. Fresh fruit on the side, or rice, potatoes, or another side like Orange Ginger Tempeh and Brown Rice Salad with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette or Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango. Nothing fussy or complicated and I try to keep dinners fairly clean and healthy. Because then comes dessert! We always save room for something pretty decadent. As a food blogger and because baking is therapeutic for me, I have an abundance of sweets in the house. One of my summer favorites are these No Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles because they’re no-bake, easy, chocolatey, and I’ll never say no to cake batter.

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