About Courtney Champion

Courtney Champion is a wife and mom who writes at Cook Like a Champion, where she shares accessible recipes focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients and plenty of sweet treats. She thinks good food tells a story and loves sharing that story with her readers. She hopes to inspire others to spend time in the kitchen with the people they love.

Cobb Salad Sandwich

Cobb Salad Sandwich with Avocado Spread

Easter is right around the corner, and, for my family, that means there’s bound to be leftover ham and boiled eggs. I rarely want to eat leftovers as-is, so I always try to find a way to turn them into a different meal. Leftover roasted chicken becomes chicken salad or taquitos, or other favourites.

With ham, the obvious choice is to put it on a sandwich and call it a day. However, I also wanted to make use of the dyed eggs that are sure to fill our refrigerator the day after Easter. Enter the Cobb salad sandwich.

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Apricot Basil Chicken Salad

Apricot Basil Chicken Salad

Chicken salad was once a food I refused to eat. I found it too mayonnaise-y and bland for my tastes, but that at all changed when I ate the chicken salad at a restaurant near my college campus. I still remember the first time I tried it, amazed that something I despised for so long could be so delicious.

That was the changing point that showed me chicken salad didn’t have to be dull. Not only was that chicken salad full of flavor, but it had a pleasing texture thanks to the addition of grapes. Since then, fruit in chicken salad has always been a must for me. I added grapes to this curried chicken salad, and now I’ve got another favorite in this version made with dried apricots.

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infused honey

How to make simple herb-infused honey for edible gifts

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I’ve never been one to make a big deal of the holiday from a romantic standpoint, instead, I use it as a time to show love to my friends and family.

Since food is how I most often show my affection, it should come as no surprise that I like to give my friends homemade treats for Valentine’s Day. Edible gifts are my favorite gifts to give because I can almost always guarantee that they’ll get used. Since there is plenty of chocolate available this time of year, I thought it would be fun to branch out with a different kind of sweet to share.

Infusing honey is something that I’ve wanted to try for a while, and Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect excuse to do it. It’s still bitterly cold here, and chocolate isn’t the best thing to enjoy while sitting in front of the fireplace, you know? A mug of hot tea, though, is great for sipping in front of the fire. Even better when it’s made with a touch of this infused honey.

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Cranberry Orange Scones

Cranberry Orange Scones

With the Christmas holiday just around the corner, I’ve been dreaming up different ways for my little family of three to celebrate.

One thing I’m looking forward to is a leisurely Christmas morning, complete with homemade breakfast. With nowhere to rush off to that day, we have the opportunity to spend time together in the kitchen, and I can’t think of a better way to start the day than by making breakfast with the people I love most.

Scones are a breakfast staple around here. Before Clara was born, I filled my freezer with both chocolate chip and bacon, pepper jack, and jalapeño scones. I wanted to have my sweet and savory bases covered, and those two recipes are still favorites around here. When I was thinking of what I wanted to make for Christmas morning, though, I knew something more seasonally appropriate was in order.

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Oatmeal Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Caramel Sauce

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Caramel Sauce

Fall in Virginia is in full swing, as evidenced by the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground. I’ve been spending my afternoons outside with Clara, watching her toddler feet crunch the leaves as she squeals excitedly.

After burning so much energy playing outside, she’s almost always ready for a snack when we come in. We try to keep our snacks healthy, usually opting for fruit, cheese and crackers, or vegetables and hummus, but after walking in to the fragrant smell of this Bundt cake cooling, I couldn’t resist sharing some of it with her (and having a slice myself).

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Caramel SaucePhoto by Courtney Champion

This was a snack that, while not her typical variety, I still felt good giving Clara. I reduced the amount of sugar in the cake and swapped out raw cane sugar for the granulated sugar called for in the original recipe. This Bundt cake is full of pumpkin flavor that isn’t drowned out by sweetness.

The combination of oats and pumpkin is a new favorite of mine, and, in this recipe, the oats add a delicate texture that differentiates it from other cakes I’ve made.

While powdered sugar is the standard topping for many a Bundt cake, I decided to make a maple caramel sauce to top this one, turning it into a decadent treat. Toasted, salted pumpkin seeds add crunch and just the right amount of saltiness to balance the caramel. [Read more...]