Category Archives: Food

Filling my days with…

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With maternity leave officially a week in, and no baby, I’ve been more productive than I can remember in a long time. I cannot sit still. I guess this is partially what they call “nesting?”

Things I have done in the last week:

1. Cooking and baking like a champion… So I’ve made this – very good, super easy, but extremely cheesy and rich – beware! And these – which appear in photos as if I’ve created some very fancy holiday candies – but really are the easiest thing I’ve made so far, and if you look, I seem to state that everything I’ve made recently is easy (at 39 weeks pregnant, I’m sticking to straightforward recipes lately).

Mint oreo cookie candies

And OMG – these mushrooms – which are life changing. Jake wants them all the time now. So delicious and, you guessed it, super easy as well. Now yesterday I decided I needed to try to make rice pudding – which is a relatively newfound love for me. I can’t say I had ever tried/eaten rice pudding before maybe a year or so ago, because, let’s face it, the name itself is pretty unappealing. My brain conjures up an image of porridge – some mucky, sticky stew based desert that has a starchy grain as its main ingredient. But damn, I was missing out. I love me some rice pudding now. Especially the vanilla coconut one I made!!!! Thank you Molly Wizenberg of Orangette and Delancey fame! I got the recipe straight from her very entertaining book which I finished yesterday as well. Also from Ms Wizenberg’s book is a pork shoulder percolating in the fridge – to be slow roasted later today – it bathed overnight in a sweet-hot thyme/garlic infused rub. We will see how that turns out tonight.

And lastly, these cookies – which, in all fairness, I made like 2 weeks ago right before Thanksgiving, but I had to share because if you love pumpkin and soft cookies and chocolate (who doesn’t) then you must make these. They are the SOFTEST cookies I’ve ever made. I guess due to the oil rather than butter in the recipe. I’m learning things over here!

2. Cleaning… Oh my gosh, my house is spotless. I guess it’s good to start out that way before kids come and it’ll all go to hell.

3. Online shopping… In my defense, only for Christmas presents for others. Ok, so maybe a purchase or two for me, but mostly for others!!! Amazon Prime will be the death of me. How did I ever get by without this highly enabling, highly dangerous membership?!

4. Christmas decorating… The moment we told my parents we were house hunting last year, long before we even closed or moved in to our humble abode that I love so much, they had already started packing up all of my old things which were still taking up space in their basement. This included many things I had long since forgotten about (high school yearbooks, random souvenirs I bought abroad in college, old CDs), but also, it included the set of Christmas ornaments my grandmother has been giving me every year since I was born. I’ve amassed quite a collection in my 33 years. Along with the ornaments came a nativity set that I have vivid memories of incessantly re-arrainging in our old house in Bath, New York. I was (ok; am) a bit obsessive about organizing/arranging things. My parents used to have to punish me for changing my room around because they would come home to find my bed on the opposite wall; and I was an 80lbs, 12 year old girl. “You’ll give yourself a hernia,” they said. What a weirdo I was. So I was also obsessive about this nativity set. My brother (or sister, let’s face it, who knows) would move 1 of the pieces and the moment I noticed, I would have to move everything around again. So now that I’m the co-boss in this house, I can put anything wherever I like.

Christmas tree

 5. Labor inducing walks around the neighborhood… No further description necessary. Except that, it hasn’t worked yet. But I’ve gotten to capture some beautiful unfiltered/unedited sky colors on my iPhone. Labor inducing walks around the neighborhood

Ok, so I think it’s time for this baby to make an appearance before a) I gain 20lbs from all this food I’m making, b) I spend all of my money on more and more christmas presents, and c) my house becomes a gaudy christmas fiasco mess.

Valentine’s Day sweets!

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Sweet scripts:  Brownie Cookies with Salted Caramel Creme

Wow.  I was pretty sure there was no need to ever make homemade brownies, because, let’s face it: betty crocker’s boxed mixes are perfection.  

But these brownie cookies are just the right amount of dense chocolatey inside with a cracked, just a bit crunchy outside.  I just used a jar of caramel I found at the store for the buttercream frosting, but next time, I’ll try making my own.

With salted caramel buttercream filling.  Yes.And the best part of baking?Licking the bowl of course.  I’m pretty sure that is why I bake.  Well, that, and it makes me happy.  Make these.  Totally worth it.

Mexican vegetable soup and HOMINY.

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So I have a confession.  I don’t tend to eat the most healthy of foods.  Anyone who knows me understands this to be true.  I would eat bacon everyday if someone handed it to me.  And chocolate should be a mandatory part of anyone’s daily diet.  

But, 2013 is going to be a big year for me.  For many reasons; the least of which is I’m going to try to eat a *tad* more healthy.  And this soup is probably the healthiest thing I’ve ever made.  It’s not half bad; for being healthy that is.  It made me eat lots of vegetables.  Even carrots, which I hate.  And let’s face it: I’ll eat anything with avocados.And in my quest to be more healthy, and make this soup, i discovered a new love:  hominy.

What is hominy you ask?  It’s basically dried corn kernels that have undergone a process called nixtamalization.  Whatever, it’s good.  The taste conjures up some Mexican street food from my past, but I can’t quite put my finger on how to describe it exactly.  It’s delicious.  Just try it.   It would probably go great in salads, other soups, mixed in with grilled chicken as a topping with some garlic.  Just go crazy.

Lime cupcakes, Vermont trips, and SKI WAFFLES!!!

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Sweet scripts:  Lime cupcakes with strawberry frosting, spontaneous trips to vermont, and “ski waffles!”

Cold, brisk, snowy January days (on which I am lucky enough to be home and not working!) deserve these bright lime cupcakes.  The cream cheese frosting was an interesting mixture…. half of the sugar ended up on me/the ground/the wall.  Bear was VERY happy about that.  Didn’t catch that part on film.  But said frosting was creamy and sweet anyway!

And those same cool days are perfect for a rather spontaneous trip up to Vermont for snowboarding, b&bs with private hot tubs, catching up with old friends, and some doggie playtime in the snow!  Bear finally got to meet his counterpart…. FEMALE Bear!  Honey Bear, that is.  After a stressful introduction (Jake has the puncture wounds to prove it), the doggies warmed up to each other and then couldn’t be pulled apart.  The Bears, as I like to call them, became fast friends and soon forgot the fight they started off the night with.  Dogs are funny.

Ok, and seriously, why are the chocolate covered sugar waffles they sell ONLY at Vermont ski resorts so freaking delicious?  Why?  And why are they at every ski resort in Vermont and NOWHERE else?  And lastly, but most importantly, how can I make them?

Apple pecan sticky buns.

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Happy New Year 2013!

A little sad to return to Boston after spending a few days with the family in Philadelphia and Florida.  I miss them all so much!

I have to say, I’m a tad bit obsessed with my niece, Perry.  She’s got the sweetest little smile.  And is there anything better than a child’s laugh??

Only spent a few hours in the kitchen this past week, as I got to enjoy my mom’s cooking. Beef stew with flour dumplings, christmas egg casserole, prime rib, evil potatoes, red velvet cake…  I never realized how lucky I was growing up to have a mother who made amazingly delicious homemade meals every night of the week!

The only thing I made was apple pecan sticky buns.  They were pretty good, but more of a biscuit texture than doughy which was my only complaint.

Looking forward to an exciting year – it’s going to be filled with many changes!  New job, new city, new life!