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!

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!

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.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Five: Training favorites

We made it!  The first Friday in April... and I couldn't even manage to show up for work.  Way to start the month off on the right foot, huh?

Lest you think I'm some kind of delinquent, I actually requested today off nearly two months ago.  My mom's turning 65 (!) on Sunday, and I've planned an entire day of fun surprises for her around the city.  The first arrived at my parents' house last night -- my grandma! -- who will be celebrating with us all weekend.  I hear my mom was quite surprised, which we consider a major victory since she's easily the most observant (and hard to surprise) member of our family.  No more details since she reads this (hi, Mom!), so I'll just say we're going to have a fabulous day! :)

Speaking of long-term planning, you know what else is just around the corner?  (One month from today to be exact.)  The Pittsburgh half marathon!  It will be my second half, and I feel so much more prepared this time.  The biggest lesson I learned during training was that one size doesn't fit all, so I tweaked and adjusted my plan until I found the magic formula for me.

If you're considering signing up for a half marathon, lacing up for your first 5K, or just psyched to start running outside as the weather gets nicer, today's Friday Five list is right up your alley.  Here are some of my favorite training essentials.  Happy trails & happy weekend, friends!

1. Really good socks - I'm normally a cotton-wearing gal, but longer runs require fabrics with more bells and whistles.  I was looking for socks that kept my feet (relatively) dry and blister-free.  It's mind-boggling (wrote "blogging") how advanced sock technology is these days!  Thankfully, I found socks made of moisture-wicking wool blends with elastic support bands around the arches and no-slip tabs on the back of the heels... and they are a dream!  Happy feet at last.  I recommend Ballega and Smart Wool for serious running socks.  Target's C9 brand also makes great performance socks at a smaller price tag.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Peeps doughnuts!

Do you believe in miracles?  If you didn't before, surely you will at the sight of the posters of Peeps doughnuts!

Brightly colored frosted doughnuts with sweet little chicks on top.  Walk Run Hop to Dunkin' Donuts to get some before they're gone.

(Somehow, I think this is one seasonal treat Matt won't oppose.)

What's your favorite springtime/Easter treat?   You know I can't resist Whoppers Robin Eggs, though I do love Peeps, too.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Panko peanut salmon

When you buy/cook/eat salmon as much as I do, sometimes you think you've given it every possible treatment.  You start to go through the catalog of delicious recipes in your head (and online, thanks to one very handy resource, ahem) in order to pin down that night's dinner.

The old recipes are good, even great, but I really wanted something new.  I got a new iron, new pair of kicks, and newly-inspected car all in time for a new month -- hello, April!  Oh, and don't forget a new cookie recipe.  New is the name of the game this week.

"Spring cleaning" has also been the name of the game.  Clearing out and cleaning (I first typing "clearning"), I've found things I forgot I had in the first place.  My coworker calls this "closet shopping."  In this instance, I call it "pantry shopping."