Thursday, April 24, 2014

(mini) PSA

Hey, readers, friends, and food enthusiasts!  How are things?

Just wanted to pop in and let you know that I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth or forgotten about you, despite the radio silence around here for the past week.  Life's been busy and full of good stuff, limiting my time in the kitchen and at the computer.

Rather than phone in some posts just for the sake of it, I'm taking a little break from blogging.  I'll still be checking emails and responding to comments, so keep your questions comin'.

Until then, thank you for your understanding!  :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

51 Easter Recipes for Brunch, Dinner & Dessert

Easter Sunday is just around the corner!  I can barely believe we're halfway into April, so this holiday definitely snuck up on me.  Some of the surprise may be due to the fact that spring seems like a pipe dream, thanks to the snowflakes currently falling from the sky.  Ahem.

Luckily, it seems there will be no accumulation and we'll be enjoying sunshine and daffodil blooms in a few days, as well as wicker baskets overflowing with sugary treats.  Hooray treats!  With dinner (spiral cut ham with the works) and dessert (all the candy!) taken care of thanks to my mom, I was put in charge of breakfast for the family.  My initial suggestion to subsist on candy alone was vetoed, so I've been combing through the archives to find a breakfast using real food to satisfy the fam.

After days of longing (and drooling, oops) over all of these recipes, I still can't decide what to make.  But, the silver lining is that I was reminded just how many breakfast options I've shared with you.  To help you in your quest to decide what to make this weekend,  here are 51 recipes perfect for Easter Sunday, including breakfast/brunch, desserts that use leftover candy, and a even a few recipes to use some of the oodles of leftover ham you may have in the fridge.

Enjoy and happy Easter!

(And, to my Jewish friends, happy Passover!  Try to ignore the leavened items for a few days; in the meantime, check out this post with recipes fit for Passover.)

Eggs & meats

Pancakes & waffles

Baked breads, casseroles, doughnuts & muffins

Granola --> make a serve-yourself buffet with assorted fruits, nuts, and yogurts

Desserts to use leftover candy

Recipes to use leftover ham

Monday, April 14, 2014

Small cake, big news!

To locals, this comes as no surprise at all.  To those of you who aren't in the know, pay attention -- this Pittsburgh cake is a big deal!

[image via Huffington Post]

What you see is the famed and fabulous-tasting burnt almond torte from local bakery Prantl's.  It's one of those cakes that e'eryone -- and I do mean everyone -- who has tried it simply loves it.  Matt surprised me with one at work on my birthday when we first started dating.  We had one at the dessert bar at our wedding reception.  And, heck, we even had one last weekend for my mom's surprise birthday party!

Check out the full Huffington Post article here.  And, if you're within traveling/shipping distance, get yourself one of these cakes.  Now!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Recipes I'm loving from around the web

While I frequently try to come up with new recipes on my own, sometimes it's nice to enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor and bake as a spectator.  There are so many talented chefs, cooks, and bloggers whose dishes (and gorgeous photos!) are too enticing to resist.

Rather than tweak their recipes -- that happen to be perfect just the way they are -- and write about them, I've decided to simply link back to the original sources.  This way the creators get the credit they deserve and you get a bunch of delicious recipes to enjoy with my seal of approval ;)  Enjoy!

  • Baked Oatmeal with Bananas & Blueberries by Skinnytaste - I first made this for breakfast on New Year's Day and have made it three times since then for lazy weekends and even a potluck brunch at work.  Healthy and mega-filling, this baked oatmeal is tasty and will stick to your ribs in the best way possible!

  • Tuna & Hummus Melts by Perfecting the Pairing - I love tuna melts.  I've only ever had them at a kosher dairy restaurant in LA -- where they are to die for, btw -- and loved them so much I resisted ordering them elsewhere and making them at home.  In an effort to change things up for Friday dinners during Lent, I gave salmon a break and turned to tuna for a quick and simple meal a few weeks ago.  Who knew that replacing mayonnaise with hummus could yield such a flavorful tuna salad?  Delicious!  If you can't find the cheese specified (sadly, I could not), Swiss worked well.

  • Zucchini spaghetti noodles - A little late (and out of season) to the party, but I could no longer resist the oodles (see what I did there?) of recipes using zucchini to make spaghetti-shaped noodles.  This has become a go-to lunch on the weekends for me.  I add some ground turkey or beef meatballs with a little sauce and parmesan for an irresistible meal that always makes me a member of the clean plate club.  If you have a mandoline cutter, check out Gina's post.  If you would prefer to use a box grated to make the noodles, visit Top with Cinnamon for instructions.

  • Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread by Girl Versus Dough - Inspired by this book and my friend Pat, I decided to try my hand at making whole wheat bread from scratch.  I've made sweet and savory breads but never sandwich bread.  I'd also never worked with whole wheat flour.  Who knows why neither occurred to me, but the reason is irrelevant.  Making sandwich bread is incredibly easy, inexpensive, and so rewarding.  But I know you want to know about the only thing that matters -- the taste.  Out of this world good, you guys!  Hearty, too.  One bite and Matt and I both swore we'd never go back to the spongy wimpy store-bought stuff again if we could help it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Haluski (cabbage & egg noodles) with bacon

Almost 4 years ago, I skipped town on vacation and temporarily handed over the reigns to my blog.  My then-boyfriend offered to cook, photograph, and write about one of his favorite recipes to share  with all of you.  How sweet of him!

So much has changed since then, like the fact that I no longer have a boyfriend but a husband.  An awesome husband who insisted upon cooking dinner every single night (!) last week.  We had tacos, sausage with peppers and onions, huevos rancheros, chicken Caesar salads, and -- Matt's specialty -- haluski with bacon!  Despite having eaten many versions of haluski, we both agree this is the best version, thanks to the bacon.

Here's the updated recipe with some new pictures and the original post written by Matt:

I have to start by applauding Katy for her skills and organization in the kitchen.  My attempt to prepare a meal, take pictures, and make mental notes about what I was doing can best be described as a maelstrom of chaos (this description brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department).  Bear with me, as this is my foray into the food blogging world.