July 1, 2008

Fried Pasta

Have you ever heard of such a thing?  I mean, I know you can fry pretty much anything, but fried pasta?  I’ve never heard of that before.  Well, I’m here to say fried pasta = yum!

A few weeks ago my boyfriend, Brandon, and I went to Copelands and we were basically blindsided with this item.  We had ordered spinach and artichoke dip as an appetizer and assumed that it would come with tortilla chips like every other restaurant we’ve ever eaten spinach and artichoke dip at (which is A LOT).  But Copeland’s is not every other restaurant.  The dip comes out with a plate of fried bow-tie pasta.  At first we just looked at it in astonishment and even a little disgust, but neither of us are ones to turn away fried food so we tried one.  Oh.  My.  God.  I could eat them all day long.  I would say pasta and fried food are my two biggest weaknesses, so to combine them is just ungodly.

The worst part is that the portion was ginormous.  It was like 5 parts pasta to 1 part dip.  AND WE COULDN’T STOP EATING THE PASTA EVEN WHEN WE FINISHED THE DIP.  It was horrible …

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January 4, 2012

Butternut Squash Cakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Glaze

Butternut Squash Cakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Glaze

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

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February 7, 2012

Cherry Chocolate Malt Cookie Sandwiches

Cherry Chocolate Malt Cookie Sandwiches

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.

September 14, 2010

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusal Buns

So I know the actual first day of Fall isn’t for a few weeks, but as far as I’m concerned Labor Day is the end of summer. After that it’s Fall. Even when it’s still 90 degrees outside. A year ago Brandon had just gotten a job here and we were preparing to make the move from Florida to Virginia. I cannot tell you how much happier I am in Virginia and the main reason for that is because of Fall (and Winter, Spring and even Summer). There are actual seasons here! Maybe I’m strange for being so affected by the weather, but I found the static-ness of Florida’s temperature and landscape to be utterly depressing (I probably would’ve felt differently if we had lived closer to the ocean, which I love, but unfortunately we were right in the middle of the state). Since I wasn’t here this time last year it’s nice to go out and see the beginnings of Fall; leaves are already starting to change color and fall off. In short, I’m really excited about Fall. Probably more excited than …

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August 4, 2010

Caramelized French Toast (Plus Homemade Raisin Bread!)

Caramelized French Toast

I’m not 100% happy with the name of this recipe. Caramelized Cinnamon Toast might be better, but calling it French Toast is more descriptive of how it’s made. I would say this is a combination of French Toast and Cinnamon Toast, but Caramelized Cinnamon French Toast is way too long, so we’ll just keep it simple. Everyone knows what French Toast is, right?

I’ve never been a big fan of French Toast. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never disliked it, but in the world of breakfast foods, I’d usually rather have pancakes or pastries. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever even made it at home before. I remember my mom used to make it when I was a kid (though not as much as pancakes or waffles) and of course I’ve had it at restaurants, but I guess it’s never occurred to me to actually make French Toast myself. But Cinnamon Toast? Well, that is one of my most favorite things in the whole world. I make that all the time. So much so that I have a bottle just to store my …

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August 28, 2012

What I did on my Summer Vacation…plus Lemon Mousse with Strawberry Compote

Lemon Mousse with Strawberry Compote

The mousse is very simple mixture of lemon curd (which only takes about 15 minutes to make and can be made up to a week in advance) and whipped cream. So simple! I make a big batch of lemon curd at the beginning of the week, then when dessert time rolls around I whip up a little cream and mix in a few heaping spoonfuls of curd. In 5 minutes you have a smooth-silky-light-fluffy-sweet-tart lemony treat. Bonus: the extra lemon curd is fantastic in yogurt, slathered on cake or muffins or just eaten by the spoonful!

And be sure to try this with Meyer Lemons when they’re in season again next year. I was lucky enough to find Meyer lemons very late in the season and this was one of the first things I made with them.

July 20, 2010

Homemade Buttery Croissants

I’m always up for a baking challenge so when Julie over at Willow Bird Baking challenged her readers to make croissants, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. I love croissants, but like donuts, I rarely eat them because of how bad they are for you. But there’s just something about making something from scratch that makes it seem less bad for you. I guess because you have to put actual time and effort into making it instead of just going into a store and buying it. Plus, it’s Brandon’s birthday this week and that is one of the 4 times of the year (along with my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas) that I let myself eat whatever I want without feeling guilty about it.

And these croissants? Are absolutely worthy of much guilt, but they’re just way too delicious and way too much work to feel guilty about. I mean, I made these croissants. From scratch. All by myself. That is an accomplishment, not something to feel bad about. These croissants taste better than any that I’ve had from a bakery or store. It could just be because …

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September 19, 2012

Caramel & Cinnamon Banana Oat Bars

I don’t know what it is about bananas but I always feel compelled to buy a huge bunch of them despite the fact that most of the time I eat three or four while the rest sit there and rot. But then I wind up standing in front of the bananas again at the grocery store and telling myself that this time I’ll really eat them all. THIS TIME. I’ll eat two a day! I swear! Yeah, right.

But now, I finally have a good excuse for letting those bananas blacken and it’s all thanks to this recipe. I’d been looking for something with oats that was healthy but still, you know, actually tasted good so when I saw a recipe that had oats and used up all my overripe bananas it seemed perfect. But I still wanted it to be healthier so I did some tests. Can I use whole wheat flour? Can I use less butter? Luckily, the answer to both of those was yes. In fact, it turns out you can completely substitute coconut oil for butter and it tastes just as good while giving you lots more health benefits.