The first time I tried a traditional Middle Eastern lentil soup was from a little Mediterranean restaurant in Oakville Canada called Montfort. I was immediately obsessed. I have never quite tasted a soup so rich and creamy without using any cream. I guess the creaminess comes from the starch from the lentils!
Cheesecake has always been one of my favorite desserts. I love pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, and caramel cheesecake, but my favorite cheesecake has to be the apple crisp cheesecake. It’s a perfect combination of flavors and textures.
I love a good chocolate chip cookie. They are probably my favorite kind of cookie. I am not too fussy when it comes to them. I pretty much like them all. Flat and chewy. Crispy and chewy. Puffy and soft. Sweet and salty. Melty and gooey.
This year we took the kids to Coates Christmas Tree Farm in Auburn Washington. It’s now become a family tradition to go out and cut our own Christmas tree, the Sunday following Thanksgiving. This year we opted for the majestic Noble Fir. I love the way they look, with a slight blue tinge. It was fun to go out and make a day of it, with our new family of four.
I’ve been experimenting with new ways to use Brussel sprouts and have stumbled upon this very season appropriate salad with apples, cranberries, peppers, goat cheese, and pecans. It’s the perfect use of Brussel sprouts for a Thanksgiving side. I’m usually not big on salad for Thanksgiving, but this one is just so perfect. It’s festive and has all the the Flavors we know to associate with the holiday.
This soup is a mix of some of my favorite ingredients - pasta, cheese, and tomatoes. It’s hearty and rich, but still feels healthy. Pair it with a nice loaf of fresh bread, and now we’re talking about the prefect meal.
If you've ever been to Seattle and visited Trophy Cupcakes, one of my favorite cupcakes on the menu is the salted caramel. Without having ever tried to recreate their recipe, I was delightfully surprised when these cupcakes came out almost exactly the same.
Meet Emmett Francis Hands born June 8, 2018, measuring 8 pounds 11 ounces and 21 inches. We're having fun getting to know Emmett. He is changing every day and proving to be the happiest baby I've ever seen. He's constantly smiling at everything and it makes my heart burst. He is now a little over two months, and I have no idea where the time has gone. I am trying so hard to savor every moment.
When peaches are in season, I try to use them in cooking wherever I can. They are so incredibly juicy and sweet during the summer months, I just can't help from buying a few pounds every week. I think the key to pulling off a salad with lots of fruit is by also adding some sort of cheese, a bold green, and an acidic dressing.
We had tossed up the idea of either hiring contractors to remodel the kitchen versus doing it ourselves. At first, I was like - where do you want me to sign? - but then after careful consideration and a look at our budget, we decided to tackle the project ourselves.
I am all for quick simple meals at the moment. It's a tricky time of year for one-pot meals though. No one wants to make a batch of chili or pot of soup when the weather is beginning to warm and we are all craving salads and fresh produce. I like this pasta salad recipe because it's filling with a relative hardiness, but also fulfills my needs for fresh veggies!
Asparagus is so beautiful this time of year, so I wanted to create a recipe around it. I made some basil and pumpkin seed pesto, and drizzled it on toasted bread with asparagus, avocado, and shaved Parmesan.
Do you ever get on a kick where you make something so delicious you want to eat it for every meal until you get completely sick of it? Welcome to my life, and to this pasta. Currently, I can't get enough, and all I want to eat is this pasta.
In the mean time, I will leave you with my favorite spring salad. It's fresh and colorful and the perfect pop of color for this time of year. I got this crazy awesome mandolin at Christmas, and it slices the radishes into such perfectly beautiful thin strips.
My intentions with this dish were somewhere along the lines of light and summery, crisp and fresh. The addition of the mascarpone cheese adds a nice creaminess and pairs well with the citrus from the lemon. Brent added a touch of green pepper sauce and said that it worked well.
This taco salad is a result of my rummaging through the fridge and pantry throwing together some of my favorite ingredients. I love this salad because it's light yet filling. It's super healthy with a whole lot of crunch.
Since that evening in Milan, I vowed to learn how to make a risotto as good as the one we shared. In the beginning, I started off by making small servings. Not confident in my ability to pull it off, I figured that I wouldn't feel as bad if it didn't turn out and I only made enough for two. Now when I'm making risotto, I'll make enough for a family of 8 - I can't help myself.
I've made this recipe with both dark and milk chocolate. Each is unique in flavor, and really, it's up to you to choose your favorite. Once you've rolled out the dough into a tight tube, and carefully sliced it into perfectly beautiful rounds, your natural instinct is going to be to place them neatly and tightly into a large pan, where they can rise and puff into each other.
Now lets talk about this soup and all of the delicious bits that is encompasses. I made this lemony, white bean, kale, and pasta soup for the first time over the Christmas holidays, after a trip to the grocery store, a handful of my favorite ingredients thrown into a basket. I had just received the book Jerusalem as a gift, and was busy bookmarking the dishes I was most eager to try.
Lately, I've been thinking about my travels. Recreating scenes, flavors, moments in my mind. Last week, I saw two tiny plastic chairs on the sidewalk, and I was overwhelmed with a certain feeling of nostalgia. Some days I just crave the chaos and unpredictability of travel, and today that craving was particularly strong.
This post is long overdue, what with all of my talk about relaxing in Mexico. Margaritas by the pool with guacamole and chips, frozen bananas in chocolate, fish tacos - where are my manners!? I can't believe it has taken me this long to write about lime margaritas on the rocks.
I love the smell of fresh grated ginger and cloves, and I'll use any excuse to bake with these spices. Yes, the thought has crossed my mind to fill the bathtub with holiday spices, but the logical side of my brain tells me that this won't end well.
I wake up in the morning, pick an ingredient that inspires me that day, and go from there. This morning it was strawberries and salad. I decided on some soft buttery spinach, creamy avocado, crunchy almonds, with a sweet citrus dressing. It was a beautiful salad, one that I will gladly create again.