Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cookbook Crush: Homemade Decadence

So I bit the bullet and bought Joy the Baker's new cookbook, Homemade Decadence on Amazon pre-order.  Yes, I couldn't even wait until it's actual release.  OMG you guys, this cookbook is awesome.  I love reading a cookbook like an actual book, cover to cover, reading the food "chapters," in sequence in addition to the little blurbs and notations that give you insight into the baker/chef's vision.  

This cookbook is seriously mouth-water inducing.  Some favorites from my first reading: for brunch: whole wheat, peach, and fresh sage scones, sour cream coffee cake with brown butter glaze, and roasted-potato breakfast nachos (hello, yum!)…Sweets: chocolate-malted oatmeal cookies with salted peanuts; dark chocolate, pistachio, and smoked sea salt cookies….Pies and Cakes: apple pie with cheddar-bacon crust, and of course, the cookbook cover's chocolate-peanut butter pretzel layer cake.  YUM!

 I might have to cook and bake my way through this Julie & Julia style. For real.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Favorites: Pumpkick Beer

In honor of my favorite season, I'm starting a new series to document all of my favorite fall recipes, products, and such.  First up - New Belgium Pumpkick Beer.  This was an impulse buy at the grocery store, and boy am I glad!  This beer tastes like fall…for real!  Or to quote the website, "an unexpected kick of cranberry juice brightens this spiced season ale…plenty of pumpkin juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, a touch of lemongrass that send your taste buds sailing."  Enough said.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dinner Last Night: Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Yes to easy, but still delicious weeknight meals.  In the mood for Mexican, I saw this little ditty and it caught my eye, Quinoa Enchilada Bake.  Quinoa is the healthier alternative to tortillas in this dish, but packs the protein and fiber, so a win-win all around.  Even my husband who hasn't enthusiastically jumped on the quinoa bandwagon was a fan.  This also made for spectacular leftovers.

image and recipe via damn delicious

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What's Right In the World

Truth.  It's been a stressful week at work.  Deadlines.  Politics and policy.  Accountability.  Sigh.  We've all been there.  So when I took a moment to watch this amazing time-lapse video I found on a friend's feed, I felt myself exhale audibly.  And I remembered, this is what's right with the world.  That places like this exist.  That beauty like this exists.  After another contented breath, I remind myself that my silly little problems at work are just that - silly little problems.  During the duration of this video, I felt my little stresses slowly float away as I remember what's truly important in my life, and the beauty around me.

P.S. Doesn't this make you want to go to Norway?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy." 
~ Anne Frank

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Weekend Baking: Coconut Oil Pumpkin Bread

Hello fall!  The season of pumpkin everything is upon us - hooray!  I generally stock up on canned pumpkin puree this time of year, so when the inclination to whip up a pumpkin inspired dish hits, I'm ready!  I came across this recipe for coconut oil pumpkin bread while perusing my blogs and it caught my eye, as coconut oil is maj these days.  It.  Is. Awesome.  Hands down the best pumpkin bread I've ever made, and possibly the best I've ever tasted.  Moist, flavorful, baked perfectly.  Boom.  

image and recipe via gimme some oven

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dinner Last Night: Chipotle Chicken Chili

Fall is in full swing, though it still feels like Indian summer around these parts.  Just in time to kick off a new season, I've found my new favorite chili recipe - Chipotle Chicken Chili a la the the Pioneer Woman.  It is phenomenal - pretty amazing what a little chipotle pepper can do. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quote of the Week

Saw this on another blog and think it's a pretty great motto.  
Going to try and subscribe to this wholeheartedly.  Who's with me?  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Announcing Your Move

As you know, I'm ever a believer in the art of old-fashioned correspondence, though I refuse to use the term "snail mail."  I love the act of walking to the mailbox, sifting through the contents, and discovering an invitation, a birth announcement, or best of all, a handwritten note from a friend.

As such, you know I did my research when it came to forwarding our new address to family and friends.  "We've Moved!" cards are so much cuter than they used to be?  Here are a few of my favorites over at Tiny Prints.

If you're not in the market for cards to send out, here's an alternative, return address labels that announce your relocation, while providing said recipient with your new address.  Brilliant!

Love these!
~ Labels ℅ Tiny Prints ~

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Meal Planning 101

I'm on a meal planning kick, and I want to keep the momentum going!  After investing in this handy dandy little kickstarter cookbook (worth every penny), researching meal planning, finding templates that work for our family, implementing said system, and spending Sunday nights mapping out the week - our meal planning adventure is off and running!

Some of our tips and tricks:

+ Prior to kicking off our meal planning, I spent a few weeks bookmarking our favorite (easy) weeknight dinners.  I perused my favorite cookbooks that had been collecting dust, pinned my favorite recipes on Pinterest, and saved all the links in a google drive spreadsheet, categorizing them by their main ingredient; i.e. fish, pork, veggie, etc.

+ On Sunday mornings/afternoons, my husband and I plan out of meals for the coming week.  We take into account nights out (i.e. curriculum night for me, dinner out with the boys for him, etc.).  We take into account everything: not only dinners, lunches, breakfast, snacks, and food for our baby, and create our portions accordingly to add to our shopping list.  This also helps us stick to our budget as we're not making multiple trips to the store for ingredients throughout the week.

+ We plan for certain foods.  For example, fish goes earlier in the week, as it doesn't have as long a shelf life in the fridge.  Apply this wisdom to other finicky ingredients that may not hold up 5+ days without wilting to the point of inedible.  If we for some reason need to do fish on a Friday, we add a note that this requires a separate trip to the grocery store to pick up said ingredient.

+ Before we make the shopping list, we scour the pantry to ensure we don't buy duplicates of any ingredients.  No one needs 2 more cans of chicken broth when we already have 6 chilling on the shelf.  

+ Take turns.  We alternate who does the cooking.  My husband prefers to grill over bake.  I prefer to bake and saute over grill.  We trade off, we share the load.  It works.

+ Make and plan enough for leftovers.  This ensures lunch is taken care of for our work day, one less meal to plan lightens the stress significantly.  

So now that I've wet your appetite, I'd love to hear - what are your favorite weeknight recipes?  Or "go-to" recipes.  As two full time working parents, we want to provide the staple of a consistent weeknight dinner for our daughter as she grows up, but we recognize we're not Julia Child, nor will we ever be whipping up coq au vin Monday nights like it ain't no thang.   

So...tell me.  What are your favorite weeknight recipes?



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