Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cranberry Coffee Cake

Before I go any further, please learn this one thing from my blog: It's a good sign when recipes for cakes/cookies have sour cream in the ingredients list. It just really is! Moving on...

I told you I like cranberries — and I suspect that this won't be the last cranberry post of the season! Once again I found myself with a couple bags of Jersey cranberries and thought I might use them to try a new recipe. I also thought that the folks in my department would appreciate it at the staff meeting the next morning.

A lovely cup of tea — thanks for the mugs, Ash!

How would I describe the end result? Well, as Brad and his two brothers might have said when they were little boys, it was a big, hurkin' cake! It looked huge as it puffed up well beyond the side of my 9x13" pan, and this thing was heavy to carry too! But somehow the cake was still light, moist, and delicious! 

Restaurant Review: Pru Thai

Last weekend my mom and I went shopping for bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses in Clinton, New Jersey on a cold and windy fall day. After walking around the cute little town along the Delaware River, we needed some sustenance and warmth! 

We stumbled across Pru Thai (6 East Main Street, Clinton, NJ), and we were happy to see their menu of tea that you could buy by the cup or pot. We ordered a pot of Orange Spice tea and decided on a few menu items to share for lunch.

We started with a combo appetizer that included one serving on beef and chicken satay, steamed dumplings, vegetable spring rolls, and a delicious pickled salad for garnish (and yummy dipping sauces!).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Best Sugar Cookies (Ever)

I always thought of sugar cookies as a fun way to make cookies into shapes, but I was rarely impressed by their taste. They can be dry and flavorless — just nothing to write home about in general. This recipe, however, makes delicious cookies and has served me well for many years! If you're willing to spend the time to roll the dough out and cut the shapes, I think you'll be very pleased with the results!

I recently made these cookies for the dessert table at my cousin's baby shower (they are expecting baby Joey in February — congrats Kate and John!).

The cookies have a nice citrus flavor, but you could also experiment and use other flavors if you'd like.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brown Butter Cranberry Lime Muffins

Cranberries are a major commercial crop of New Jersey, which means that I can buy them fresh by the pound at the market — you may not find this to be exciting, but I really do.

Around this time of year I try to find at least 14 (give or take a few) ways use cranberries, and here's a distinctly fabulous (and interesting) muffin recipe that I adapted from Joy the Baker's lovely site.

This muffin isn't overly sweet thanks to the tartness of the cranberries — a tartness I very much appreciate. Then you have the browned butter, which creates a different flavor than you may be used to in an average muffin. And finally the scent of lime emanating from the container these were stored in — heavenly! I added some turbinado (raw, natural) sugar to the top for a sweet crunch.

Updated! Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Growing up, a staple in my mom's dinner repertoire for school/work nights was roasted chicken — and it also happened to be my best friend Jen's favorite night to come over for dinner! Even though it's a simple meal to put together, it looks and tastes impressive! And it's a healthy dinner option.

If you have about 15 minutes to put it together and about an hour to let it cook, you're in for a great dinner!

This post isn't so much a recipe but a concept. You can choose from a variety of herbs (I used rosemary and thyme, but you can also use tarragon) and citrus fruits (lemon is my favorite, but oranges give a more delicate citrus flavor and pair nicely with rosemary). Experiment and see what your favorite combination is! Here's my attempt at putting this "concept" into a recipe format.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ode to PW

I've been so busy lately that I haven't been doing much blogging. Even though it seems like I make an effort each night to sit down and post something, I never end up clicking the "Publish" button.

I've been browsing my favorite blogs for a suitable cranberry sauce recipe to make for Thanksgiving, and I stumbled across The Pioneer Woman. Now, I've enjoyed her website in the past, but I had never really spent a lot of time there beyond reading a recipe or two. Today I decided to poke around a little more, and I realize that I definitely have a blog crush on PW. There, I said it.

One part of her website really spoke to me today. On the Ten Important Things I’ve Learned About Blogging page, #2 really resonated with me. PW says:
Blog often.
Whether you write a sixteen-paragraph essay about the cosmic implications of a free market system, a one-paragraph description of what happens to your soul when you walk into your godforsaken laundry room, or a simple photo and caption, consider your blog a precious bloom that requires daily nurturing.
And watering.
If you water a plant once every two weeks, it will shrivel.
Unless that plant is a cactus, and then it would thrive.
And to tell you the truth, I really can’t figure out how a cactus fits into this analogy, so forget I brought it up.

I loved it. And felt a little guilty for neglecting my beloved blog! So, PW, thank you for the tip and for inspiring me to post anything — even this:

It's a blurry photograph (wrong lens setting on the old camera) of me and my questionable Sunday morning hair holding a giant red pepper in RTM last weekend. The produce place there had a whole bin of them — they were practically the size of my head!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Best Coconut Macaroons

My apologies if I've been a little M.I.A. these days. Brad and I are in the process of planning a wedding and buying a home, which means that a lot of my free time has been spent between and faxing financial documents to the mortgage lender. Fun times!

While I've been cooking dinner in the evenings after work, I haven't been trying too many new recipes or baking much lately. But somewhere along the way I volunteered to deliver baked goods for a fundraiser that my friend Shannon was hosting on Saturday night. I wanted to bring a variety of bite-sized items, so I ended up making Chocolate Chocolate (Chocolate) Chip Cookies, White Chocolate Walnut Toffee Blondies (I used the recipe on my blog as the base and switched up the add-ins — and yes, they taste as phenomenal as they sound!), and Coconut Macaroons.

I've tried several recipes over the years for coconut macaroons and have never been too wowed. Ina Garten's recipe, however, is the best I've tried — they are light, airy, sweet, and coconutty (is that even a word?). And the recipe is super easy, especially if you're using a stand mixer for the egg whites!

Monday, October 25, 2010

PB Chocolate Crispy Bars

A Christmas or two ago, my mom gave me a beautiful cookbook that I loved as much for its unique recipes as I did for its design and aesthetic. Baked: New Frontiers in Baking is gorgeous from cover to cover and makes you want to break out your candy thermometer! I decided to try my hand at a no-bake recipe for a layered bar of rice cereal, milk chocolate peanut butter, and dark chocolate. Yeah, I said it.

These were very rich and delicious, and I was sure to get them out of the house ASAP so people at work could enjoy them. I believe these would have been dangerous to keep in the house!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Restaurant Review: Philadelphia Chutney Company

 Philadelphia Chutney Company on Urbanspoon

Working in Center City Philly means that I have plenty of lunch options within walking distance. The other day I grabbed lunch with a couple co-workers, and we tried the Philadelphia Chutney Company (PCC). It's a bit hidden at 1638 Sansom Street, but definitely a great new option for a quick, authentic Indian bite!

Their website describes their food as organic, natural, health-conscious, and 100% vegetarian. I had the #11, one of the dosas (a "light sourdough crepe made from rice"), which was curry Chutney veggie chicken with spinach and balsamic roasted onion. When the dosa came out, it was about two feet long! It was very tasty (once I figured out how I was supposed to eat it).

As the name would imply, they serve various chutneys with each menu item. With my dosa, I had the mango chutney (I asked for a recommendation from the guy taking my order, and he thought that a sweet chutney would pair nicely with the spicy curry "chicken"). It complemented the dosa nicely!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

If you like oatmeal, I really hope that every now and then you treat yourself to real, homemade oatmeal — it's so much better than packet oatmeal! Packets have their place (e.g., in my desk drawer at work), but be sure to try this if you have a few minutes at home one morning.

I stayed home from work on Monday and decided to make this recipe for breakfast. It's easy, fast, and delicious...but better than that, it's health-conscious too! In your breakfast you have calcium from the milk, veg and fiber from the pumpkin, and whole grain from the oats! And it's low fat and sugar. And under 200 calories per serving. Not a bad way to start the day...just saying!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (makes one 1-cup serving)

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 heaping tbsp. pumpkin
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp. brown sugar (or one Splenda if you prefer a sugar-free option)

  • Put the milk and water into a saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Add oats and pinch of salt and continue to stir. 
  • Cook for about 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed and oats are soft. Be sure to stir constantly, especially towards the end, so your oatmeal doesn't stick to the bottom of your pot.
  • Remove from stove and stir in the pumpkin, spices, and brown sugar (or Splenda). Pour into a bowl and add any desired toppings (e.g., cinnamon, dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped pecans). 
  • A Grandma Mitt inspired note: If you're adding dried fruit, I recommend that you first put the fruit in a small bowl, add a little water, and microwave it for about 30 seconds. This steams the dried fruit so it's softer and meshes better in your oatmeal. That Grandma Mitt — what a woman!
My friend Lesia often makes pumpkin oatmeal for her breakfast, so I have to thank her for the idea for this post (thanks, Lesia!). She would often throw all of the ingredients into a container, bring it to work, and then throw it in the microwave for a minute or two until the liquid is absorbed. Genius!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Split Pea Rosemary Soup

Let me start by saying that I don't really like peas. It's just one of the few foods that I've never really cared for (but Dad, thanks for making me sit at the table until every last one was gone anyway! I'm sure you did it out of love...). So for the first 26 years of my life I just didn't eat split pea soup, even when my mom made it annually using the ham bone from Easter dinner. This recipe, however, changed my mind!

Split peas can be found in the market either in bulk bins (as at Whole Foods) or in bags like other dried morsels (e.g., Goya). They are peas that are dried and split in half (as you may have guessed), and they're a great source of fiber and protein!

A sea of split green peas. By they time they're done cooking, they look much different!

My recipe is adapted from one that I found on, although it's quite different from the original. And the ingredients, including rosemary and leeks, make for a wonderfully aromatic soup!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Extreme Makeover

Do not adjust your monitor. Cooking With Zest is now Consumed! Rest assured that I still plan to cook with zest under the new moniker, but I thought the new name would do a better job of capturing the topics that I'd like to cover.

While the old URL will still work, you can now get to my blog at Fancy, right? Tell your friends! Or maybe your mom. Or your mom's friends? Or just read for yourself. Whatever you feel comfortable with, really.

Happy cooking/eating!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Oatmeal Toffee Birthday Cookies

I'm writing today to assure you that there's no shame in a recipe from the back of a bag. If a manufacturer thinks something is fab enough to make it to the bag, it's probably been tested and perfected (especially when that manufacturer is Hershey)! Which brings me to my next recipe.

This cookie recipe was one I got from a bag of Hershey's Heath Bits O' Brickle (I swear that's what they're called), which are basically just toffee bits. Back in the day when Brad was still living in Kansas City and I was in Philly, I would make these cookies and ship them out his way — and at some point, they were deemed his favorite. So, in honor of his 31st birthday (happy birthday, Brad!) I threw a batch together.

These cookies have a very unique and deliciously chewy texture from the marriage of the toffee and oatmeal. (Speaking of marriage, happy 36th anniversary to my awesome parents! But I digress.) And they're delicious with a little milk.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tasty, Healthy Shrimp Cakes

I'm going to cut to the chase, skip the story, and tell you that this recipe was excellent — please try it! It was easy to make, healthy, very fresh, and so so (so) good. My recipe is adapted from Cooking Light (but I promise it doesn't taste like diet food).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thai Beef Rolls

In an effort to use up my basil before the weather turns cooler for the season, I found a recipe for Thai Basil Rolls on Serious Eats. These rolls have a great Thai flavor — made tastier by a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.

We had these for a light dinner, but they would make a great appetizer!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tasty Turkey Chili

In honor of the first day of fall, I decided to make a pot of turkey chili. It has a slightly different flavor than traditional chili and is a nice, healthy option for lunch or dinner! Like most soups and chili, it's actually tastier after being in the fridge overnight.

I'm not sure where I got this recipe, but I acquired it about 5 years ago when I was counting Points (it's 4 points for a cup, by the way!).

When possible, I try to buy "no salt added" products so I can season everything on my own. I used no salt tomatoes and corn in this recipe.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Homemade Pizza

All summer I said I was going to try grilled pizza. We got a sweet new grill at our engagement party, and I was set to use it Saturday night — until I was informed that the grill christianing would be reserved for a juicy steak. Um, yeah. Anyway...

Plan B? Homemade pizzas in the oven! Same ingredients, still delicious, and a lot of fun to put together! The key to making delicious pizza is definitely in the dough and toppings — fresh-picked, if possible!

Here's the list of ingredients that you'll need from start to finish:
  • Active dry yeast
  • Sugar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Course salt and ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Garlic
  • Whole peeled tomatoes (1 can)
  • Lots of fresh herbs (I used basil)
  • Whatever you want for toppings  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Read Me! Like Me!

Too desparate? Duly noted. 

Ever since I discovered the "Stats" section of Blogger, I've become obsessed with fond of looking at how people find my humble blog, where they're from, and which posts are most popular. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked when I saw the range of countries that my blog has reached! Among those listed...

So I want to give an international shout out if any of you are reading — guten tag, bonjour, buenos dias, g'day, ni hao, and privyet friends! And if you got to my page in error and quickly hit the back button, that's cool too (although, Nicaragua, you visited my page 16 times this week, so it doesn't seem like a fluke to me).

Anyway (and this one's for you Kristine!), there's another fun feature in Stats that lets you see the search terms that people typed into Google to find the blog. Now Kristine has posted her very entertaining finds in her recent blog post and has challenged her readers to do the same. However, much to my chagrin (yeah, I said chagrin), mine aren't funny. Anything funny about someone Googling "cruffin recipe"? No. Not so much. Unless you think it's funny that Brad and I thought we made the word cruffin up. Sad trombone.

The only one that's worth mentioning is:

"how to make school meatloaf"

Now, maybe it's been too long since I've been in school, but is the meatloaf so memorable that you'd try to Google the recipe? And is there one singular recipe for all school meatloaf? I have so many questions for this Googler. All I know is that fate brought us together.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Summer Squash Cake

I know, I know. You're probably thinking, "Enough of your veggie-filled sweet treats!"

But I need you to trust me that this "loaf cake" (as Martha calls it) is freakin amazing delicious. It has a very unique flavor, as most of the breads/cakes that I've made with veg tend to have a spicy flavor (i.e. cinnamon, nutmeg). However this cake's flavor is sweet and moist and has a hint of pistachio and fennel seed.

And can I just put it out there that I yellow squash. Can't eat the stuff. Don't like the taste; can't stand the smell.

The recipe comes from Martha, one of my favs, and is called Two-Colored Squash Loaf Cake. Martha, darling, please don't be offended, but the name of your recipe leaves something to be desired. You're already messing with people by throwing a whole lot of squash into a cake. Perhaps a friendlier name (i.e., one that doesn't have the word "loaf" in it) is more suitable? That's my only complaint — and I've taken it upon myself to rename the recipe.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Restaurant Review: Fat Salmon

Fat Salmon on Urbanspoon

If there's one thing Brad and I love, it's going out for sushi! This weekend, we made our second trip to Fat Salmon, located in the Washington Square West neighborhood (719 Walnut Street). The first time we went, Fat Salmon was a BYO that had applied for a liquor license but was waiting for it to be approved. To our disappointment, this weekend was the first weekend that they were no longer a BYO — boo! We knew it was inevitable though.

We started with the shrimp tempura appetizer — B ate the shrimp, and I ate the veggies! Perfect! It was very tasty, and I was very pleased with the variety, including a red and green pepper ring, sweet potato slices, zucchini, broccoli, and green beans.

We ordered five rolls to share for dinner (what can I say — he's a hungry guy):
  • Rock 'N Roll: Tuna, salmon, cucumber inside; crunchy and eel sauce on top.
  • Rolling Fire: Shrimp tempura, cucumber inside; broiled spicy scallop sauce with crab stick and scallion on top — spicy spicy!
  • Mr. French Kiss: Spicy crab stick with scallion, masago, and crunchy inside; shrimp, bacon — yes you read that right — and onion tempura on top.
  • Lobster Tail Tempura: See the picture below — that mother had to be 2 inches in diameter!
  • Nami: Salmon, cucumber, spicy sauce inside; avocado on top.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Apricot-Swirled Cheesecake Bars

This recipe came from Everyday Food (Martha's magazine, of course), which has a lot of great ideas for...well...everyday food. Not only was the recipe simple, but it was also beautiful and delicious!

I made very few changes to the original recipe — as usual, my version is below. I received pretty high remarks when I brought these into work. Considering how easy the recipe was to make, it's definitely a keeper!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Restaurant Review: Silk City

Silk City Diner on Urbanspoon

This one's for you, Dad! This past Father's Day, my dad drove down to Philly for a little lunch with his favorite (only) daughter and future son-in-law. We went to Silk City at his request, as he'd heard about it on what he calls "Triple D" — Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Silk City is an eclectic diner-slash-nightclub (and as of this year, it's also a beer garden!). If you turn left upon entering, you're in a bar. Turn right, and you head up the stairs to a gourmet diner! Keep walking through the diner, and you end up in an outdoor beer garden. Somewhat disjointed? Yes. Does it work? Definitely!

The specials menu changes often, and I recommend ordering from it! On Father's Day, my dad ordered a braised pork belly over lentils (pictured on left below). He concluded that it was the "best Father's Day lunch" he's ever had — whatever that means!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Food of the Gods

The second sidedish that I know you've been waiting in suspense for (relax, the wait is over!) is ambrosia, which literally translates to "food of the gods." If you've ever had it, you know that it's a sweet, light, and fruity side — not to mention a little unusual looking and old school. But delicious nonetheless!

Ambrosia is something I equate with family poolside BBQs at my grandparents' house — a dish that my late Aunt Patti always brought. When I was asked to bring it to our annual August birthdays party this past weekend, I knew I had to do her proud! There are many variations, but I started with a recipe from Alton Brown and made my own adjustments from there.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Asian-Inspired Coleslaw

Sure the main dish is important, but the sides should be just as interesting! Recently I've made a couple side/salad recipes that were colorful and tasty additions to summer meals.

The first side was Asian-inspired coleslaw, a recipe that I got from my good friend Melissa (shout out, yo!). It's very fresh and has a little more flavor than your average coleslaw. The original recipe calls for ground ginger, but using fresh ginger makes it smell and taste amazing! And if your coleslaw (store-bought or self-chopped) has a lot of red cabbage in the mix, it's a pretty attractive dish as well!

Asian Coleslaw (about 6 servings)

1 lb. pre-shredded coleslaw mix (Whole Foods makes a great one!)
1/2 cup reduced fat mayo
2-3 tbsp. lime juice (2 limes for me)
2 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger (or 1/4 tsp. ground ginger)
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro (optional)

  • Blend all ingredients except coleslaw mix in a small bowl and thin with a splash of milk. 
  • Pour over coleslaw mix and stir well. Refrigerate coleslaw for at least an hour before serving and garnish with a little chopped cilantro if that's up your alley!

Stay tuned for side #2...

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Restaurant Review: Taco Riendo

    Taco Riendo on Urbanspoon

    Taco Riendo (or "laughing taco") is a small (but mighty) taqueria in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philly (1301 N. 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122). A few years ago, Brad and I were craving authentic Mexican and found a listing for this little place. Now it's one of our favorite places for a quick, cheap bite!

    Now that we've been going for a few years, we each have our "standard" orders. My staples include: elote asado, grilled corn on the cob with Mexican mayo, lime, chile powder, and Oaxaca cheese; a fish taco, which has Mexican rice, grilled fish, and lime wedges; and a choriqueso taco — their homemade, spicy chorizo and Oaxaca cheese grilled in corn tortillas.

    Jello for Adults

    This past Saturday I was a Parrot Head at the Jimmy Buffett concert. If you've ever been to one, you know that the tailgating scene before the concert is actually the event...the concert itself is just icing on the cake!

    For the occasion, I was in charge of making jello shots. So that I didn't feel like I was in college again, I decided to jazz them up a bit — and I must say they tasted pretty awesome! My kitchen was like a jello shot science lab, complete with intoxicating fumes...

    Even though it's not "cooking" by definition, I thought I would include the recipes (if you can call them that) on here. For the most part, I simplified them to 1 box of jello — obviously you can multiply the amounts by the number of boxes you're making. Just keep in mind the basic principle behind making jello shots — for every box of jello, you want 2 cups liquid total. You can use sugar-free jello for a lot of these, but the fancier flavors of jello (e.g., Melon Fusion) don't usually come in sugar-free varieties.

    Sunday, August 1, 2010

    Healthful Zucchini Bread

    Living in Philly, it's easy to find fresh New Jersey (i.e., the Garden State) produce all summer long. This time of year, zucchini is especially plentiful, as it grows like a weed in these parts! Wondering how I'd use the zucchini I bought, I came across a recipe for zucchini bread on Whole Foods' website.

    I was happy to see that the recipe incorporated substitutions to make it lower-fat and higher-fiber. And despite this fact, it is one tasty treat! If you find yourself elbow-deep in zucchini, here's a good way to use up some of it. It's also a great way to sneak some veg into a delicious snack!

    Sunday, July 25, 2010

    Restaurant Reviews

    I've decided to start logging our experiences dining out. We eat such delicious food here in Philadelphia! And since this blog was inspired by just that, what better place to write about it?

    Just wanted to let you know... :)

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Spicy Grilled Shrimp or Chicken

    This is a great marinade that I've been using a lot lately! It has nice heat to it and is great with shrimp or chicken. It's also a rather attractive marinade...

    As I often do, I started with someone else's recipe and adjusted it to my liking (as follows).

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Easy-as-Pie Apple Cake

    This recipe is as easy as it gets, and it's quite delicious! We're not quite into apple season yet, but the granny smiths (my apple of choice for this recipe) were cheap and I couldn't resist.

    The recipe came from my mom who got it from someone named Donna — and that's all the information I have about its origins. I did, however, come up with the name all by myself...I'm just sayin. This cake is a tasty treat to follow a meal (maybe with a cup of tea or coffee). And this morning at work, I passed it off as breakfast food — so it's versatile too!

    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    Indonesian Grilled Swordfish

    We were looking to make something "of the sea" and found beautiful swordfish steaks at John Yi's in Reading Terminal Market. I was a little unsure since I'd never made swordfish and had no recipe in mind yet.

    I remembered seeing Ina Garten making swordfish on one of her episodes of Barefoot Contessa, so I decided to start off with her recipe. It happened to use several of my favorite ingredients — fresh ginger, lemon zest, and garlic — and seemed promising! The smell of the ginger alone was enough to make me enjoy the recipe!

    As usual, I made a few changes to her recipe. My version is below.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Blondies Are More Fun

    I have nothing against the brownie, but it's just not my dream sweet treat to bake. Maybe I'm biased, having been a blond my whole life?

    The blondie takes all of the best properties of the brownie and chocolate chip cookie and melds them together into a yummy bar treat. (Note that the recipe is different than regular cookie dough — the primary ingredient is brown sugar, which makes them deliciously chewy. Oh man.)

    I was looking for something quick, transportable, and delicious (of course) to bring into work, so I started with a blondie recipe that I found on I modified the recipe slightly and also doubled it (as written below). And let me just add my two cents  about the walnuts: I'm not necessarily a put-nuts-in-baked-goods kind of gal, but they go really nicely with the chocolate and brown sugar. It works.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    Old School Meatloaf

    A few years ago, a very hungry (and handsome!) man came into my life...and he loved to eat. And while he loves to dine on fine foods and ethnic delights, there is also a special place in his heart for hearty meals of meat and potatoes.

    Thus, I set out to find a delicious meatloaf recipe — one that even I could enjoy despite the fact that I've never craved meat in loaf form. It just doesn't sound tasty to me. I promise, however, that this recipe will not disappoint! And better yet, the recipe makes about 6 servings, so I split it into two loaves and pop one or both in the freezer...which means easy and delicious weeknight dinner!

    This recipe is from Sara Moulten (she used to be on the Food Network) — I tried to find the recipe online but couldn't find the same one. I made some adjustments to the original recipe and included them in my version below.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Blueberry Cruffins

    What's a cruffin? A word that Brad created for this recipe, which is for blueberry "crumb muffins." It works. This treat started with an Ina Garten recipe for Blueberry Crumb Cake, which I decided to make into individual servings — hence the cruffin. It's a lovely recipe for this time of year when berry season is inching closer (although you can use frozen blueberries as well).

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Chocolate Chocolate (Chocolate) Chip Cookies

    I was looking for something sweet to bring to work tomorrow, taking into account that I was limited on ingredients and time tonight. I decided on these cookies, which would feed a lot of people and hopefully be a crowd-pleaser.

    I'm pretty sure that they are one of the reasons that Brad and I are together today...I'm just sayin. I used to send him "care packages" with Ziploc bags full of them!

    Side note: You know how sometimes you're making cookies and you eat some of the dough because it's so delicious? And you feel a little sick by the time you're done baking, and you don't want to eat a single baked cookie? Yeah, me neither. Just a heads up that, for this recipe, the baked cookies are a lot tastier than the dough for some reason. Maybe it's just too much chocolate for me to handle pre-bake.

    Friday, April 30, 2010

    Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

    I have to be honest. Homemade chicken pot pie is really the driving force that made me want to start blogging. You tell people that you're having delicious chicken pot pie for dinner, and they "ooh" and "aah" and say you're fab and very Martha-like.

    But really, what's so incredible about going home, pulling a pot pie out of the freezer, and popping it in the oven for an hour? One hour, and you've got this waiting for you.

    And this. Oh baby.

    If you have a couple of hours one weekend to make these, you're in for about 10 scrumptious, individually-packaged servings of chicken pot pie. Just a few simple ingredients will get you there. I got the original recipe from my parents, but I'm not sure where it originated. 

    Thursday, April 29, 2010

    The Hardest Part

    I've been thinking about starting a cooking blog for months now...I even came up with a name and a fancy banner!

    So what has stopped me from posting for so long? I didn't know what to write in my first post. Lame, right? Sometimes starting is the hardest part...

    As a result, I've made a decision to not care what my first post says — to just get it over with so I can start telling you about all of the tasty, wholesome food that I love to make. In the end, that's my primary motivation for starting this blog anyway!

    Here goes nothing.
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