October 23, 2014

Fall Spritzer Cookies + OXO Cookie Press Giveaway!

OXO Cookie Press

I am so happy that I finally have a reason to make spritzer cookies year-round. I am not sure why, but to me they’ve always been exclusively for my Christmas cookie platter. All the disks I have are in Christmas shapes so that is the only time I’ve ever made them. However, now OXO has gone and improved upon the everyday cookie press, as only they can, and they’ve made a whole suite of disks with fall shapes. Triumph! Spritzer cookies for every season!

October 21, 2014

Spiced Roasted Carrots

Roasted Spiced Carrots

Sometimes I need a break from salad. I know that is not a popular thing to say. Somehow salads have become the ubiquitous side dish that it seems we all should be serving nightly. The more creatively flavored, the better. I always like to serve a good Harvest Salad each fall. But I also love to take my vegetables in different forms. For example, basic carrots roasted to sweet, soft perfection. They are almost easier to make than a salad and come together in a snap. Plus, my kids are more inclined to eat carrots than a salad, so why not take advantage?

October 16, 2014

Dana Cowin on Mastering Mistakes & Perfect Carrot Soup {Giveaway}

MasteringMistakes hc c

I am no stranger to mistakes in the kitchen. The stories are almost too numerous to count. Dried out roast chicken? Check. Burnt cookies? Done. Forgotten ingredients in soup? Yup, been there. Obviously, I don’t write about all of the mistakes I make in this space. Instead I learn from them and try again before I consider a recipe completed and ready for publication. Sure, I know you’ll all make your own mistakes, too. And that is okay. Even the best chefs and food writers make them! Don’t believe me, you need to read Dana Cowin’s new book, Mastering my Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Different Recipes.

In it she shares delicious recipes she has worked on mastering over time, and the tips she got from the worlds best chefs on how to make them foolproof. Not only are the recipes perfect for home cooks, the mistakes she’s made over the years are sooo relatable. It is hard to imagine that someone in her line of work doesn’t have some kind of culinary omniscience we all strive for. But she doesn’t and, frankly, it is a bit of relief to know. She works to perfect her recipes just like the next person, and she’s written a book to help us all get a little more confident and excited about cooking at home.

October 15, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Fries with Ease

Ore-Ida Garlic Parmesan Fries

Looking for new ways to enjoy old favorites is an ongoing challenge for me. Sometimes it really isn’t about the food, but the way it is presented. This is true for my family for everything from vegetables to pasta to even your basic French fry. I rarely fry at home so when I make them I often turn to a simple bag of frozen ones. With minimal ingredients they are just as good as fresh ones I’d make at home, plus, they can be served so many different ways.

October 14, 2014

Chocolate Almond Scones

Chocolate Almond Scones

I’ve been on a scone kick lately. They are the easiest special treat I know how to make. The dough easily comes together in one bowl during naptime and I chill it until I am ready to bake. This usually happens on Saturday or Sunday morning when the aroma of them baking up fresh puts us all in the mood for a happy, lazy Sunday. Having the dough already set in the freezer makes it so easy to do! I’ve made lots of scone recipes before and this newer one came from the recent goop newsletter that highlighted Huckleberry. I’ve never been to L.A. to try the bakery, but I have the cookbook and am loving it.

October 9, 2014

Pear, Pecan & Gouda Harvest Salad

Harvest Salad with Overlay

Fall salads are my favorite because I can load them up with strong flavors to match our favorite roast chicken or soups. To give mine a little kick, I use slices of fresh pear, thin slices of red onion,¬†chunks of Arla Dofino Gouda,¬†sweet caramelized pecans and a mix of dark green lettuces and spinach. I toss it all with a homemade vinaigrette and serve it up in big heaping bowlfuls. To show you just how easy it is to prepare this gorgeous salad I’ve prepared a little video for you!

October 7, 2014

The Secret to the Silkiest Tomato Sauce Ever

Silky Tomato Sauce

I make lots of homemade tomato sauce, especially in the cooler months. Pasta is one of my family’s favorites and I prefer to make tasteful, healthy sauce from scratch since we eat it so frequently. There are several ways to make tomato sauce and I’ve highlighted my favorite recipes here in the past. But recently I’ve discovered this cool trick to making the sauce super duper silky.