5 Must-Haves for Star Bakers

5 Must Haves for Star Bakers

The weekend is a perfect time to do a little baking. After watching the Great British Bake Off on Wednesday, I’m also inspired to do some weekend baking. Sometimes, I even want to try the difficult and obscure technical challenges.

Today we’re also pretty much half way between last Wednesday’s Bake Off semin-finals and next Wednesday’s finale. Last week I was sad to see Flora go, but I think the final three are the best choices. Tamal has been pretty good and I think a little under appreciated. Ian has been interesting and consistent and won a lot. And then Nadiya is just my absolute favorite. She’s creative, endearing, hilarious, and passionate about her work. I’m team Nadiya all the way. Who are you rooting for? (more…)

Tourist Tuesday: A Wedding in Baltimore

Wedding Ceremony

Ok, so I know I’m posting this on a Wednesday not a Tuesday, but I have my reasons. Or excuses… I was jet lagged, I had to work, and then I left my phone at work so I was missing some pictures. Anyway, better late than never right? Today’s post is a different kind of Tourist Tuesday anyway. It’s not really about Baltimore, it’s about being back in my home town and attending my friend Emily’s wedding in Baltimore. Emily got married to Matt, whom she met in business school.

And I gotta tell you, I was so excited for this trip. Sure it was going to be a short trip, but I was dying to see my childhood friends Lisa, Emily (bride), Emily (not the bride), Rachel, and Kelly. I love them! I’ve known them for over twenty years and when we get together it’s always a blast and always feels like a home coming.  (more…)

How to Roast & Prepare a Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash with Sage and Pecans

Beginner ButtonToday I’m back in my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland to be a bridesmaid in my friend Emily’s wedding. Emily is one of my oldest and best friends, and she’s also a big reason I became interested in cooking. When I moved to New York, Emily was already living there. She participated in a CSA (community supported agriculture) and every week would get big bag fulls of vegetables. We’d get together once a week and have a family dinner together using whatever vegetables she had. Together we stir fried, roasted, and boiled all kinds of veggies and sometimes our creations came out well and sometimes they didn’t. Those weekly dinners got me more interested in cooking (and also in vegetables), so today’s post about how to roast and prepare a butternut squash is dedicated to Emily.  (more…)

Pumpkin Puppy Chow

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow

Beginner ButtonNo, not dog food – it’s puppy chow! And it’s seasonally on trend – it’s pumpkin puppy chow. Or muddy buddies. It’s not so important to me what you call it. And if you’ve never had it before it’s a delicious sweet snack. Plus, it’s beyond easy to make and when it’s done you’ll want to eat it by the fistful.  (more…)

Tourist Tuesday: Creating a Happier World Event

Creating a Happier World Event

Yesterday Ryan and I went on a date. Yeah, we went on a date on a Monday and in the middle of the day! I took the day off and he took a half day and we went to Action for Happiness‘ Creating a Happier World event. Action for Happiness is an organization that works to create and encourage a happier and more caring society. The Creating a Happier World Event was about ways to put that mission into practice. It was a full afternoon event and featured a number of different speakers, but mostly notably we heard from the Dalai Lama.   (more…)

Domestic Chic Cookbook Review + Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

I have a new addition to my cookbook collection that I want to tell you about. It’s Domestic Chíc by Kristin Sollenne. The book came out earlier this month and it’s lovely. Kristin Sollenne has been on a few Food Network TV shows as a judge or mentor and she’s oversees the three kitchens of New York City Restaurant Group’s Bocca Di Bacco. Her style is lightened Italian-American fare that aligns with what’s in season.  (more…)

Banana Chai Muffins

Vegan Chai Banana Muffins

I’ll just come out and say it. Last week when Ryan and I were on the way to the airport to go to Oslo I ate four of these banana chai muffins. They were small, human sized muffins, not store-bought gargantuan muffins – but still I ate four. The thing is, I have to eat breakfast in the morning. Have to, or I’ll get hangry (hungry+angry). I love breakfast. It gets the day started off right and there’s so many good options.  (more…)

Carrot and Coriander Soup

Carrot and Coriander Soup

We’re over a week into September, which means autumn is right around the corner. I love fall, it’s my favorite season. I love the crisp in the air, wearing cozy sweaters, and drinking too many pumpkin spice lattes. But this year, I don’t feel ready yet for crunchy leaves and hot apple cider. I want more sun, more time outside, more frolicking on the beach. Time marches on though, the sun is setting earlier, it’s started getting chillier and I’ve been craving warm comforting foods. This is where the carrot and coriander soup comes it. I find it to be a perfect transitional summer-to-autumn meal. (more…)

Tourist Tuesday: Olso, Norway

Oslo, Norway

Today Ryan and I are celebrating our third wedding anniversary! YAY! But the real celebration happened over the weekend when we went to Oslo, Norway.

A while ago we had taken the days off for a long weekend, but we hadn’t planned on what to do or where to go. After lots of brainstorming, we decided to go on Skyscanner and choose a cheap option. We decided on Oslo in part because we spent only £65 for two round trip flights. The other reasons we chose Oslo is because we wanted to see some Viking ships, but more on that later. The thing though about cheap flights is you have to go through secondary airports which are always farther away, and so add a little more time and expensive to the trip. But really, it’s not a bad thing. The original cheap fare got us to visit a place we hadn’t ever considered before. (more…)

Orzo with Sausage and Tomatoes

Orzo with sausage, tomatoes, and spinach

Beginner ButtonWeeknights after work are the least desirable times to start cooking. Work is tiring, commutes can be unpleasant, and by the time I get home I want to eat right now. I could order take out (and sometimes I do) but then I still have to wait for the food to arrive. And I could heat up something pre-made, but I rarely do that because I don’t find refrigerator section foods to have that much personality. So I cook at home, even when I don’t want to. This recipe for orzo with sausage and tomatoes (and some other vegetables), will be a meal you’ll be happy to cook and eat after work.  (more…)

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