February 7, 2012
I’ve never made a big deal about Valentine’s Day. It’s nice to get some flowers but I don’t expect anything else. We don’t even bother going out to eat on Valentine’s Day anymore because the restaurants are always so crowded. Besides, my birthday is less than a week later so it’s easier to celebrate both occasions then. But there is one thing I love about Valentine’s day, especially since I started this blog: it’s a great excuse to make chocolate desserts!
I decided to make some cookies because Brandon’s coworkers have been asking for more cookies from me ever since my epic cookie testing project last December. It’s definitely flattering that they liked my cookies so much, so it seemed like a good idea to keep them happy and to find a great recipe to post for Valentine’s Day at the same time! I found these chocolate malt cookies in one of my Martha Stewart cookbooks and thought they would be really nice paired with a cherry-white chocolate filling.
February 1, 2012
I know oranges are available year round but for some reason the only time I actually want to eat a whole orange is in the early months of year when my two favorite varieties are available: Cara Cara and Blood Oranges. When they show up at my grocery store I start hording them so I’ll be able to eat as many as possible before they disappear again. I haven’t been to the grocery in a few weeks, so when I went on Monday and saw they finally had blood oranges I grabbed a bunch and decided it was a sign that I had to make something delicious out of them. I was so energized by the idea that I found myself in the kitchen at 11pm later that night making these scones. If I had any regrets about staying up too late I forgot them as soon as I took a bite of one the next morning.
As I said last fall, cream scones are the only way to go. All the scones I’ve tried to make without cream were dry and dense and almost inedible. After some searching I think I …
January 25, 2012
Ok, it’s confession time. While my eating habits have improved a lot over the past couple of years, I still have a lot of weaknesses for the unhealthy processed food I used to eat all the time. Things like corn dogs and snack cakes and store bought cookies. But the good thing about learning to cook is that you can learn to make all the “bad” stuff you love. Yes, it may still be unhealthy, but at least you know every single ingredient that went into it and you aren’t consuming any weird chemicals or preservatives. I’ve learned to make Oatmeal Cream Pies and Oreos and chewy Granola Bars and while I can’t say I totally gave up the processed versions of those things, more often than not when I really want them I’ll make them at home.
Spaghetti-Os are another one of my weaknesses. I’m calling them Spaghetti-Os because I think that’s how they are best known, but those are actually made by Campbells. The kind I grew up on was from Chef Boyardee and they were called …
January 4, 2012
Hello January, we meet again. I used to try to make resolutions, the usual ones about going on a diet, exercising more, etc. but after years of pretty much not ever following through I’m officially giving up resolutions. I know it’s the New Year and that seems like a great time to “start over” but January just never works for me. The cold weather makes it hard for to get motivated to go walking (the only form of exercise I enjoy) and I crave lots of warm and hearty foods that are rarely low-calorie. And even if I do make some progress in January, February comes along and there’s Valentine’s Day and my birthday and I lose all my motivation.
So I’m not going to bother going on a diet this year or maybe ever again. I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been working on since I started this blog: eat more real food like fruits and vegetables and a little less carb, sugar and processed crap. That’s why I was really happy to get this new cookbook for Christmas, Green Market Baking Book…
December 29, 2011
I almost didn’t think I’d make it, but it looks like I’ll be able to squeeze in one final post in 2011. I was in crazy work deadline mode the week before Christmas and barely had time to cook anything much less photograph and post it here. After I got all my work done, I went a little cooking crazy figuring something I make over the weekend would be worth posting but it turns out everything has already been posted! I made Chicken and Dumplings and Honey Cornbread on Christmas Eve. The next day, we had our traditional Christmas dinner of glazed ham and my mom’s famous “Pineapple Stuff.” For dessert I made mini Oreo and Peppermint Bark cheesecakes and we snacked on my favorite Mint-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies all weekend long.
It was definitely a satisfying Christmas, food and gift-wise, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit panicked on Monday morning when I realized I didn’t have any new recipes. And after cooking and baking so much over the weekend I was feeling too lazy to make much else, especially anything else with …
December 12, 2011
If you couldn’t tell from many of the recipes on this blog, I love to bake and I struggle throughout the year trying to balance the sweet treats with savory and/or healthier recipes. But from Thanksgiving to New Years Day all that falls away and I embrace what I like to call “baking season”. I don’t put restrictions on myself, I don’t worry about calories, I just let loose and make whatever I want and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about anything I eat. It’s my yearly Christmas present to myself.
Cookies are my favorite thing to make during the holiday season and I think I’ve been mentally saving up because I haven’t posted any cookie recipes here since May. So when I heard about the Food Blogger Cookie Swap I immediately signed up. I’d be making cookies anyway so why not share some of them with others?
The thing I didn’t factor in was how difficult it would be to find a good cookie recipe! The main issue was finding cookies that could travel well and that would keep for at least a week. Maybe others didn’t have any trouble with …
December 6, 2011
It’s finally December! Not only is it my favorite month with my favorite holiday, but it’s my favorite time of the year to bake since there are always so many fun recipes to try. I love gingerbread so this recipe has been on my “To Make” list for while and it finally seemed like the perfect time for it. I already have a gingerbread muffin recipe that I love, but this gingerbread cake turned out to be quite different and I love the twist of making it an upside-down cake, too.
The big difference from most gingerbread recipes I’ve made is that this recipe uses fresh ginger instead of ground. I was a little weary about this because I haven’t always been a huge fan of fresh ginger. It’s ok in small doses, but in a lot of recipes I find it really overpowering. Luckily, it turned out to be pretty great in this cake. My guess is that the molasses and all the other spices help to tone down the ginger just enough so it’s not overpowering. Despite that, you can clearly taste a difference between gingerbread …