Back when I was a teenager and ate whatever fit my fancy, I drank a lot of hot chocolate. I’d fill a huge mug with milk and then stir in a tad too much Ghirardelli “Double Chocolate” hot chocolate mix. It was divine.
You can put pumpkin in anything (just ask Pinterest), but for me the classic pumpkin pie reigns supreme. This has nothing to do with the fact that it’s the “healthiest” of the pies – that’s just a lucky break. Now I can go on about the fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C this dessert provides but there’s no getting around the crust. Great news – we don’t need it!
Cataloging my kitchen endeavors with a blog definitely keeps me out of any ruts, but no ruts also means no traditions. I think if you asked my husband what his favorite dinner is, he wouldn’t have an answer – that’s because rarely will I make the same exact meal. Now there are plenty of flops in there, trust me, but generally a total lack of routine (i.e. we don’t do taco Tuesday). There are a few exceptions, which I usually note in here, of recipes that are so fabulously tried and true that my search has come to an end.
A seasonal hybrid! If this monkey bread recipe and these pumpkin cinnamon rolls had a baby, this is what it would be. “Pull-aparts” are wonderful because it’s nearly impossible to gauge how much you’re eating, which means you can’t feel guilty. Hey that’s my theory and I’m going with it.
I read an article recently that says the reasons diets fail is because the dieter returns to his or her original patterns after losing the weight. I definitely weighed about 15 pounds more in college than I do now and no, I haven’t spent the last ten years on a diet. The only way to lose the weight and keep it off is to actually overhaul the way you eat.
These bars were the “practical final” for my level 1 class. This basically meant that I didn’t give my “tips, tricks, and explanations” introduction. Since high school students don’t really listen anyways, it was pretty much just a normal cooking day but worth more points. These bars consistently turned out fab – which essentially means that it’s nearly impossible to mess up this recipe.
So we’ve been watching The Voice lately. Good stuff. I have a major girl crush on Gwen. We keep hearing over and over again that “if you’re prepared, there’s nothing to be nervous about!” (says the coaches to the singers). I want to chat about dinner preparedness for a second.
This recipe was originally put on homebeccanomics in 2012. Not only were the pics pretty bad but I noticed I’d made it in three small loaf pans. Not very many people have three small loaf pans. I wanted to make it again to get new photos and to check the timing for a standard 9 x 5 loaf pan. What I did NOT need to touch was the recipe itself, because it is by far my favorite pumpkin bread of all time. We (Rich and myself) ate the entire loaf in under 48 hours. I feel shame.
Have you heard of “monster cookies”? They contain oats peanut butter, m&ms, and chocolate chips. They’re delicious. They’re also “kid cookies”. Brightly colored and exactly what a kid would want to snack on. When I gave this thumbprint cookie to my 3 year old she said, “I don’t like that”. I asked her why and she said “I like chocolate chip cookies”. This made me frown-y so I taste tested the cookies on LOTS of people.
I used to crush pasta. I’d come home from high school sports practice and devour platefuls of rotini. Seconds, thirds, forget about it. Pesto has always been a favorite of mine, flavor-wise, but I don’t make it so often.
What do I bake the most? These cookies. These exact cookies. They are a general crowd pleaser and can be ready to go in the oven in the time it takes your oven to preheat. These have been on my site for years but deserve a re-do with careful explanations and this is why…
Creamy without cream alert! Pureed white beans makes this soup rich, creamy, and HEALTHY. I know I talk about beans a little too much but they are SO good for you, SO cheap, and I daresay so delicious. This soup is exactly what I’d want to come home to if I coached football and someone else cooked dinner for me every night (you’re welcome very much, husband).
If you’ve read this blog before you’ll see that items like cool whip, jello pudding mix, ranch seasoning packets and dried lipton soup packs are quite the rarity. No judgment. We all buy, cook, and eat our own items that suit our own tastes. Perhaps it’s my mother’s fault – pretty sure she wishes she lived in colonial days.
Was tempted to call it cilantro “crema” because every time I see that on a menu I go, “yummm crema I’ll have that”, when in reality I think it’s pretty much the same thing. Regardless, these burgers are tasty and a nice balance of healthy and indulgent, which is how I like all my meals to be.
Now that I’m avoiding dairy I keep coming up with delicious ingredients where dairy is the star. Some sort of masochism? Super annoying. Though Rich gave this two thumbs up I wasn’t about to post it until my sometimes-judgy-about-food mom tried it. She asked for the recipe and made sure to tell me ten times how much she loved it (this could be because I sport dark circles under my eyes and perma-scratchy morning voice from baby-induced lack of sleep and she feels sad for my life).
You’ll notice this is two posts in a row with quinoa – I wanted to finish the bag. AND it’s really good for you. The thing is, I don’t love the taste of quinoa. Sometimes flavors can be camouflaged in the name of health – like this granola! Let me explain.
Meatballs are making a comeback if you didn’t know. Apparently there are food trucks that just make all kind of meat balls. “Meat” and “balls” together is almost as bad as “meat” and “loaf” together, but like this proscuitto-wrapped loaf, meat balls can get a healthy, tasty makeover, too.
I’ve found there are two desserts that seem to impress people (but are actually pretty easy to make): biscotti and cream puffs. Though I have a cream puff recipe on here that I love, I’ve never made a chocolate version. By nature of choux pastry, these puffs aren’t SUPER chocolat-y but they are brown, and when filled a chocolate-bff like strawberry, they’re different enough from the original that the end result is fun and unique.
A few reasons I love biscotti. 1 – you can eat them for breakfast and the world (especially Europe) deems it totally acceptable. 2 – you can slice them thin or thick, long or short, etc, depending on how you like them. 3 – they last for two weeks. 4 – they bake all at once (no switching cookie sheets). 5 – they taste really really good.