My sweet Susanna turned 2 years old a couple of weeks ago! It seemed like yesterday she was born.
We celebrated with her friends at her favorite neighborhood park. There was a lot of climbing, sliding, swinging, running, and hill rolling. There were balloons, bubbles, and pinwheels. Susanna's second cousin and favorite buddy, Evey, came all the way from Nebraska! And her Aunt Laurel and Uncle Jimbo surprised her by driving back early from Oregon. What a loved lady
I have a little confession to make. Chris and I have never really been into Valentine's Day. We don't like to go out to restaurants on the busy holidays because you end up paying a lot for less attention from the service staff and what is often an abbreviated menu created for efficiency in the kitchen (I know because I worked the pastry station on Valentine's Day for years.) We also don't do a whole lot of presents. We are both minimalists who don't like to accumulate a bunch of stuff. I realize this probably makes me a party pooper in the eyes of many, but I'm okay with that. We're perfectly happy with our heartfelt cards and a nice dinner on a night a couple of weeks away from the holiday.
I was reluctant at first to post this recipe and here's the silly reason: I didn't make it entirely from scratch. It's true. But as we were practically licking the last of the sauce from our bowls the other night I realized something.
"What I need are more time-consuming recipes requiring special equipment," said no one ever [...]
Stuffed cabbage rolls can be described with all the requisite adjectives of a classic comfort food: they're warm, hearty, smothered in sauce, and baked in a casserole. But instead of leaving you with the gut bomb that a lot of casseroles do, these beauties don't weigh you down. Have I hooked you yet? [...]
This recipe is a favorite side dish in our family and perfect for this time of year. If you've never had brussels sprouts the way I've described, this is a great introduction to what I'm sure will become your new favorite vegetable. Let's get started [...]
If you'd like to host a get-together this holiday season but you're worried about the time and energy it would take to put out a spread, this post is for you.
Cheese boards are the best kept secret of the cocktail party catering world. When done right, these platters are more impressive than any array of painstakingly cooked appetizers and take a fraction of the time to put together [...]
Pecan tassies are present at Christmas every year when we visit my mom's side of the family in Iowa. Aunt Kris, who makes a mean cookie and brings countless varieties, makes this favorite of mine. While the classic can hardly be improved upon, I couldn't help but test out a variation. I'm an unabashed lover of chocolate, especially in Dixie Pie. If you're not familiar with this paragon of pie, it's a southern classic that combines traditional pecan pie with chocolate.
In this bite-sized version, I used the recipe I developed for pecan tassies and kicked it up with bittersweet chocolate and bourbon. Oh, yes [...]
The holidays are upon us, everyone! With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, I'm sure that holiday gift shopping is moving to the forefront of your thoughts. I think handmade gifts are the most fun to give and receive, so today I'm sharing the recipe for an easy homemade scone mix. In one afternoon you can whip up several bags of this delicious mix and they'll be ready to go for the duration of the season. They're perfect for taking along to holiday parties as host gifts or as stocking stuffers for any of your loved ones who enjoy baking. They'll also come in handy for yourself when you have weekend guests and need to throw together a homemade treat [...]
Green tomatoes have become a favorite ingredient of mine. I've made it known that I happen to love sour foods and this is no exception. What's really neat about the green tomato, though, is its versatility. It can function as a tart, vegetal component when fried or made into pickles, relishes, and sandwich spreads, all of which I can't stop craving. But it shines the brightest and earns the most praise from me when combined with sugar and traditional fall spices and baked into something bubbling and jammy with a flavor not unlike apple pie but a tartness and texture uniquely its own [...]
It's a mouthful of a recipe title, I know, but I wanted to make sure to get all of the pertinent information in there. Amazing apple and spice fall flavors? Check. Delicious whole grain steel cut oats? Check. Easy, low maintenance, slow-cooker cooking? Oh, yes [...]
No matter how well we plan ahead to make weeknight meals easier, there are still going to be those evenings when nothing has been prepared in advance and dinner time is imminent. Long simmering sauces, roasts, and multi-component plates are not in order on nights like these. Instead, I turn to a quick, easy supper that comes together in a pan or two in a half an hour [...]
Thick, chewy, buttery, delightfully charred naan flatbread is, in my humble opinion, the best thing about Indian food. It is the perfect accompaniment to all of the saucy, spicy dishes its cuisine has to offer and it's also an awesome bread totally on its own. I've tried several different recipes at home, some authentic and some far from it, but this one that I've put together is my favorite yet [...]
I'm a sucker for a flaky, buttery crust. I especially love it when said crust is used to compose a rustic, free-form tart. Sweeten the deal with some fillings full of flavor and texture and I'm definitely in. This tart delivers on all levels, my friends [...]
Today's post is a two-fer: One recipe that excels in both the appetizer/snack category and the hearty lunch field. This recipe came about on a scorching day when I wanted something both cool and fresh yet filling and satisfying for lunch. I started tinkering and was thrilled to find that the result could pull double-duty. In under thirty minutes and with absolutely no cooking, you can whip up a few days' worth of lunches for the family or a platter of snacks for the neighbor's BBQ [...]
The most valuable piece of information I learned about flavor profiles in culinary school was this little tidbit: If it grows together, it goes together. Two items in season at the same time will almost always taste amazing in combination. Strawberry and rhubarb is a great example of such a Spring combination. What I want to talk about today, though, is this absolutely transcendent salad I put together using the best of late Summer's bounty [...]
Of all the recipes people ask me for, the request I get most often is salad dressing. It seems to mystify a lot of people whenever I talk about salads and how easy they are to prepare from scratch. But, my friends, it's true [...]
During the summer months I relish the chance to visit the farmer's market in search of local produce with fleeting seasons. I always plan my weekly menu before heading to the grocery store, but when the market is open, I buy what looks irresistible and then plan my menu around that [...]
I love making massive quantities of pesto this time of year. Herbs and greens are in abundance, whether in your own garden or at the farmer's market, and because pesto freezes so well, making big batches is a great way to preserve the freshness of summer to enjoy throughout the year [...]
I'm excited to share a recipe today for some really scrumptious treats. The idea for this recipe came from a little boutique bakery where I did a short stint years ago. The ladies there made a key lime-coconut cake and I loved the sunny flavor combination. The recipe I make today, though, is entirely my own [...]
I hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend as much as we did! We celebrated in our favorite ways, with family time and fresh food. There were boats, swimming, fishing, collaborative meals, a parade, a family picnic in the park, and fireworks over the lake [...]
The heat of summer has arrived, way past schedule in this part of the country. While May and early June are typically steamy here in KC, this year we had lots of rain and cool temperatures. On Saturday the thermometer climbed to 97 degrees and even though I knew it was time, I still went forth kicking and screaming [...]
I love toast and this bread is, in my humble opinion, the best bread for toast-making.
Lately I've really been into baking free-form loaves, the kind that get crusty all around the exterior and develop all sorts of irregular holes in the chewy interior. In fact, most of the experts say there's no longer a place for pan loaves. I must disagree. When it comes to classic sandwiches (BLT, anyone?) and buttered toast, nothing beats a pan loaf [...]
Asking me to pick a favorite salad is like asking me to pick a favorite song. I'll start asking qualifiers like, "What style?" "From what era?" and "With what components?" There are too many greats to narrow it down to just one.
Here's one, though, that's been at the top of my list for about a year now. It has the right mix of different textures and rich components of nuts and cheese balanced by a good citrus punch [...]
Is there anything more glorious than juicy, flavorful, buttery-tender braised meat? Who wouldn't want it atop mashed potatoes or pulled apart and served with buttered egg noodles? And who could resist it shredded and stuffed into a warm tortilla or stirred into homemade macaroni and cheese [...]
These beauties are among my favorite bar cookies. And since bar cookies are among my favorite things, that's really saying something.
This is what would happen if a pecan pie met the icing from a German chocolate cake and had a chocolatey shortbread baby [...]
n the four months since I first received chorizo in my butcher box from Local Pig, I've made this dish no less than five times. It's that good. That's why I was so thrilled this was the winner of the Breakfast Reader Poll [...]
We eat a lot of yogurt around here. Just the good, plain stuff, sometimes with a little homemade applesauce or other fruit puree mixed in. When I saw instructions on how to make it at home without a machine, and from one of my favorite cookbook authors, I just had to try it [...]
I love so many things about Spring. Everything turns from brown to green, from dull to vibrant. For our family it's basically a season-long celebration with all of the birthdays, anniversaries, and occasions. Perhaps the best part for me, though, is that we get to spend more time outside than in. This is even true for the time I spend cooking, since it's the beginning of grilling season [...]
It has warmed up considerably here in KC over the last couple of weeks. We couldn't be happier about this in my family. Living in Portland, OR meant mild temperatures and rain instead of snow, so this was our first harsh winter in a couple of years. Even though the existence of four real seasons was one of the driving factors behind our decision to move back last May, let's just say we've been reacclimated by now [...]