Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

I fully intended to make these for Christmas morning.  But then, on Christmas Eve, I started feeling sick, and was freaked that I was coming down with a case of Strep Throat that all of the neighbor kids were spreading around.  So, on Christmas Eve, I sat on the couch with a mug of hot water with lemon, honey, and cinnamon.  And the next morning, I was fantastic without a trace of a soar throat.  Fantastic, but definitely lacking in the cinnamon roll department.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wonderful Christmastime

Rory and me last Christmas Day, playing with a huge pile of dog toys.

Merry Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays, everyone!!

I'm still scrambling to carve out some down time (I fully realize how crazy that sounds), so that I can sit and just soak in the Christmas spirit.  Last night was my first evening off, and I spent it taking Rory for a run, inhaling my dinner, and then going to bed early with a book.  Ahhhhh... Not spectacularly Christmas-y, but it felt amazing and indulgent, nonetheless.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Recipe Rewind: Coconut Macaroons

Happy Friday!  I'm so ready for this week to be over.  Not that it's been a particularly grueling week; it's actually been relatively breezy compared to most.  But I'm just feeling rundown, and I definitely need a couple of days to stare out windows and read books and get my sock drawer organized.  Things to get me feeling centered and right with the world.  Oh, and I may or may not be baking a 3-layer cake tonight for Bo's Mom's birthday.  Shhhh... it's a surprise cake!  Baking surprise birthday cakes definitely gets me feeling right with the world.  And just so that we can all help her celebrate, I'll post the recipe next week (Italian Cream Cake, folks) along with some photos.  Hurrah for birthdays, am I right?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chex Party Mix

Knock, knock!  I'm finally back!

I'm this-close to being finished with my chores-y Christmas tasks, and this-close to a whirlwind of baking treats and making candies.  Hurrahhhh!!  I decided to start with my Gramma's Chex mix recipe because it was a speedy-quick one to throw together last night.  Plus, I hadn't made it in at least seven years, so it was high time I revisit this munchy snack.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recipe Rewind: Homemade Marshmallows

Well, helloooooooo.

I must confess - I've been in a bit of a funk for the past few months.  I could blame it on moving, I suppose.  I love our house, but I'm one of those cranky and OCD Type As who needs everything in its place to feel peace in my own house.  It's getting there, and I'm definitely not putting too much pressure on myself to be an over-achiever with settling in.  But there are moments that I stop in my tracks and just can't wrap my frantic little brain around all the zillion things screaming at me to accomplish.  So it's no shocker that my list-making tendencies are in serious overdrive right now.  Oh, and Christmas is drawing near?  My most favorite  and the dreamiest of holidays?  I've got 3 separate lists going for that.

Lists, lists, lists.  I don't love having them but they definitely help keep my sanity from inching its toe near that crumbling cliff of no return.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Planning Your T-Day Menu

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Happy Friday!

Alright, let's get down to business.  I've been so discombobulated with our move that it feels completely wrong that Thanksgiving is in less than a week.  Like, really?  How on earth?  Compounding that is the fact that I'm not hosting dinner this year (a blessing in disguise considering that our house is still a chaotic mess), so I'm not even thinking about turkey right now.  It's all so very confusing to my addled little brain.

So, I just wanted to drop in and let you know that I've put together a list of all of my Thanksgiving recipes with a handy dandy little tab up top.  Did you look up there and see it?  Once you click on it, you'll see all the pretty pictures and links to all the recipes I make for my dinner every year.  Just wanted to let you know it was there in case it might help you with trying to hunt down ingredient lists for this and that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie

Everyone!  Meet my dear friend, Mischa!  (that's "mi-sha", not "mee-sha" like that one actress)  A few years ago, she introduced me to Sweet Potato Pie*, and I loved it.  It's similar to Pumpkin Pie, but it's different enough to please those not fond of pumpkin or the rest of us who are a little pumpkined out by now.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Sandy Sunrise

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Good Morning!

We just got back from a wedding in Florida (always with the weddings in Florida), and I wanted to share these with you.  I snapped these with my phone at sunrise Sunday morning, after Hurricane Sandy had pelted the Florida coast with crazy rain and strong winds.  The waves were higher on Sunday morning, but much more peaceful.  It was a gorgeous morning, and such a calming way to start this crazy week of mine.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Idea: Ghoulish Banana Pops

You guys.  I just realized that we're moving next week.  Next week!  Pardon me while I run up and down our street, screaming my head off and waving my arms in frantic circles.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal

Anyone else nearly sick of pumpkin by now?  I blame Pinterest.  I haven't actually eaten much pumpkin this Fall, but with the overload of pumpkin eighty-two different ways in my Pinterest feed, I'm ready to move on. At least until Thanksgiving actually arrives.  Then it's all about the pumpkin piiiiiiie.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Idea: Silly Spider Cupcakes

Hello from Syracuse!  Yep, I'm travelling again.  But, this should be my last trip for October, and then..... we move into our new house!  I'm so, so, so excited that I can't even hardly talk about it for fear I'll jinx it all.  We have 22 more days until we get our keys, because we close on our house on HALLOWEEN!  How fun is that?!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Homemade Candy Corn

And without further adieu, I present to you... Homemade Candy Corn!!

This stuff is so fun!  I was prepared for the recipe to take up most of my day, but it actually came together in a couple of hours.  This would be a fantastic recipe to make with kids, because it uses all their amazing playdough snake-rolling skills :)  And if you have a kid-safe plastic knife, they could even do the cutting steps too.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Make it From Scratch: Ranch Dressing Mix

Happy October!!  This is by far my favorite month, so I'm going to apologize up front if my posts over the next few weeks contain a ridiculous amount of exclamation points and a terrible amount of squealing.  That won't stop me from those annoying behaviors, but at least you've been forewarned :)

Ok, so this dressing mix.  I ran out of ranch dressing mix a couple of weeks ago, and rather than make a trip to the grocery store, I searched for a recipe I could whip up at home.  Store bought ranch mix has MSG and a few other creepy ingredients, so this fits right in with my goal to eliminate bad ingredients from our pantry.  I made this dressing two ways - regular and nondairy, so that we can accommodate everybody in one fell swoop.  If you check the photos below, you can see how both versions turned out.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

So, basically, when I found this recipe, I nearly jumped for joy.  While I love drinking my green smoothies for breakfast (they seriously make me more alert than any cup of coffee), the thought of swapping them out for pumpkin that looks like a milkshake wasn't even worth pausing to consider.  Done.  Let's drink them every day through the end of the year, shall we?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

I have about a million pumpkin recipes bookmarked, pinned, and printed that I'm itching to try.  But I thought it would be fun to get Rory in on the pumpkin madness with her own treats to munch on.

I love that these crunchy biscuits are quick to bake up, and that they're made from ingredients I can trust.  Pumpkin and rice are recommended for good digestion in dogs, so what better way to add a little of both to Rory's diet?  The cost per batch is pretty low when compared to the bakery-style biscuits you see at the pet store, even with brown rice flour (which keeps them gluten free for dogs with special diets).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Fun: How to Quick-Chill Wine

photo courtesy of Martha Stewart
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Leave it to Martha to come up with an easy way to quick-chill wine.  (And leave it to Martha to do it using adorable dish towels.)

"Wet and wring out a linen dish towel, wrap it around a bottle, and place it in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Can't wait that long?  Try the freezer for 15 minutes."

We tested this out for you last night with a bottle of room-temp champagne, but it took our bottle a little longer in the fridge.  I'm guessing the glass bottle was thicker than a standard white wine bottle?  Also - why on earth were we drinking champagne on a Thursday night?!  Because our offer was accepted on what we've been calling The Dream House :)  We're super excited!  Let the paperwork mayhem begin!!

Happy Weekend, Lovelies!

{ photo and how-to source }


Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Stint With the CIA

The Culinary Institute of America, that is.

Turns out that the area in New York I traveled to for work was a teeny tiny ten minute drive away from this famously fancy cooking school.  I about fell out of my chair when I found out that there are four student-run restaurants on site that are open to the public.  How fun!!  The buzzkill was finding out that you have to make reservations in advance for the nice restaurants on campus.  So, instead, I drove up for a quick lunch yesterday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Real Estate, Business Travel, and Hypoglycemia

A bit of a jumbly mouthful, no?

But those three things are governing my world right now.  I'm slated to travel once again for my day job, and next week has me in Poughkeepsie, New York.  Which means that I'm not home to make real food :(  Boo! It's fun to see different places and to eat in restaurants on the company dime, but it makes me miss homemade food that tastes so much better (and makes my jeans fit better, too).  Anyway!  I was in Reno two weeks ago, I'll be in Poughkeepsie next week, and who knows what the Fall will bring in terms of more travel.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hollyhock Yeast Dressing

I know.  Another salad dressing.  When will she stop with the salad  dressing  recipes?

But, in my defense, this can be used for soooo much more than salad.  For instance: It's amazing when you dunk salad rolls into it (and this time I filled my salad rolls with the Lettuce Wrap chicken).  And I used it to marinate chicken last night and as a sauce for the fried rice we had on the side.  It's pretty much endless what you can do with this savory, slightly zingy sauce that's just jammed with flavor.  When I first read that everyone was proclaiming it their favorite dressing in the whole world, I thought - sure, ok.  But then after I started eating (nay, slurping?) it, I realized that they all spoke the truth.  I. Love. This. Dressing. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chicken Lettuce Wraps


I just want to pause a minute to let you know how over-the-top amazing you are.

The other day, a few of you spotted one of my photos on someone else's site, without mention of where they found those tasty pictures.  And not only did you take the time to find my recipe here and then alert me to the use of my photo, but - and here's what warms my sugary heart - you noticed.  You recognized my photo.  You remembered.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tangy Cucumber and Avocado Salad

Oh, I'd forgotten how yummy this recipe is!  I went digging through my cooking notebook (which is just shy of completely falling apart), and rediscovered this recipe I had saved four years ago.  Whoops!  And now, I'm wondering what other amazing recipes are in there that I'd forgotten about?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Fun: Foodie Holiday Calendar

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Huge thanks to The Kitchn for posting this link!  I was lamenting to Bo (well, he was lamenting, actually) that I'd missed National Cheesecake Day - July 30.  And I'd missed National Ice Cream Sandwich Day - August 2.  And apparently, my birthday is National Cherry Pie Day?!  Odd, considering that cherries don't come in season until the heat of summer!  Anyway, I've always wanted to know what food holidays were coming up, so that I could do something to celebrate.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cookie Dough Bites

And then, there were cookies for her.

That's right.  My turn!  Which means, some funky recipe that's swapped out sugar for something crazy.  You know me by now, yes?

Once again, Pinterest has delivered something fantastic and fun.  It's absolutely my new favorite recipe, and I've made it no fewer than four times over the past ten days.  Oh, yes, I have.  It honest-to-goodness tastes like cookie dough, and the texture is a bit chewy like a granola bar.  It takes 10 minutes to whip up, and doesn't require any oven time.  You may eat the entire batch while you're standing there at the counter.  Or maybe that's just me.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fancy Sandies

Guess who's got a working fridge again?!  Meeeeeeee!!  That's right.  Bo found the horribly expensive part, ordered it, and got it installed on Saturday.  I now have a fridge stocked with perishables.  Hurrah for almond milk and eggs!!  (It's the little things, no?)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blueberry-Peach Crisp

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that at the end of last week, our fridge stopped working (and I was tweeting with excessive exclamation points).  It just wasn't getting cold; the freezer worked perfectly, the fridge not so much.  So while Bo researched ways to fix it, I researched ways to use up ingredients before they went bad.  Enter... Blueberry-Peach Crisp!  I had fresh blueberries and peaches sitting in my fridge drawer, just waiting to get used in something yummy.  I grabbed a stick of butter from the freezer and set to it.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Fun: Peanut Butter Pup-Cakes

(Please bear with my cell phone photos.  My fancy camera's memory card went kaputz.)

You've all met Rory, haven't you?  With all this crazy heat we've got this summer, I decided that she deserved a frozen treat too.  And ohhhhh, how she loves them.  They're quick to make and cost about 1/4 the price of similar frozen dog treats in the grocery store.  Perfection on all fronts.

Monday, July 23, 2012

G'Day! And a Giveaway!

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Now, you totally know where I went, right?

My company sent me to Brisbane, Australia to lead some software training, and I'm almost recovered from the 14-hour time difference and two stints of 24-hour travel to get there and back.  Whew!  But it was a fantastic experience, especially because I spent my one day off taking a river boat tour out to the Lone Pine Koala Preserve to see some furry natives.  It was such a fun - and beautiful day - that it made my whole trip worth it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blink, and You'll Miss Me

image source

Hellooooooooo!!  I just wanted to drop in speedy-quick to let you know that I'm a million miles from my kitchen this week, on a business trip.  Well, not a million.  But a lot.  A whole lot.

I'm off to a client site... on another continent.  Crazy, I know.  And it was a bit of a last-minute, "go book your flight for next week, Sara" kind of trip.  So basically, I wanted to let you know that I'm - unfortunately - not whipping up any new recipes this week.  And I wanted to let you know that I'm going to bring back treats for a giveaway!  Treats from wherever it is that I'm at... :)

Hint?  It's "winter" here.
 (And that feels heavenly after all of the heat going on across the U.S. right now!!)

Back Soon!



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Strawberry Lime Granitas

Yum, yum, yum, yum, YUM!  This little recipe is just way too easy and delicious to skip!

It's a bit like an amazing strawberry-lime slushy popsicle you eat with a spoon.  And with only 3 ingredients, and no need for an ice cream maker, it's seriously your new favorite thing.  You can mix this up with other fruits (watermelon, anyone?!) and citrus; just follow the same basic steps.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shrimp and Pasta Salad

'Morning!  I did some whirlwind cooking over the weekend, and came up with a couple of great summertime recipes.  Hurrah!

This one is a gussied-up version of a basic shrimp salad.  It was tasty straight from the recipe, but I amped it up by adding pasta and capers.  The pasta adds some carbs to balance things out, and is an inexpensive way to make the salad go further.  It would definitely be great with a whole wheat or gluten free pasta, so use whatever you like best!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Coffee Blackout

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Let’s talk about the color of that coffee up there.  What color would you call it – Taupe?  Beige?  A nice creamy caramel?  Certainly not the color of coffee straight out of the pot. 

Which brings me to the point of today’s post: I need your help.  I’m now resolutely on a mission to wean myself off coffee creamer, and I’d love all the help I can get.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lime & Salt Popcorn

Know what they say about the best laid plans?  Exactly.

I had planned to make granitas yesterday, but instead of 90+ degree sunshine, we got cool and glorious rain.  Couple that with a free HBO weekend, and my Sunday suddenly became all about movies on the couch.  And what better snack than some jazzed up popcorn?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Meal Planning

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Happy Friday!!  What have you all got planned for the weekend?  Anything fun for me to be jealous of?  We're talking about going downtown to watch some crazy Redbull Soapbox races, but other than that, we don't have much going on in the way of fun.  Chores are a given :)

I just wanted to drop in and let you know that I've added a new Tab up top there.  Yeah, "Meal Planning."  Sounds tremendously exciting, I know.  But when a friend recently asked me for menu ideas, it got me to thinking.  See, every Saturday morning, I sit down with a trusty notepad, the grocery ads, some cookbooks, and a steaming cup of coffee.  Preferably, on our back patio, if the mosquitoes are off attacking someone else in the neighborhood.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sugar Cookie Bars

Oh boy.

So this is what I threw in the trash on Sunday.

I know.  It doesn't look half bad.  So let me explain...

Let's first talk about pan sizes and baking times.  We all can pretty much bet that if you spread a bowl of cake batter into a 9x13" pan it's going to take longer to bake and bake up taller than if you spread that exact same bowl of cake batter in a 13x18" pan.  Right?  A wider pan means the batter will spread more thinly, turn out shorter, and take less time to bake.  Ok.  So now that we're on the same page -

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lemon Brownies

(aka Lemon Poundcake Bars)
Because sometimes, I really just want to bake.  With super-processed white flour and boatloads of sugar and a few sticks of butter thrown in for good measure.  I've missed my normal baking, so yesterday, I decided to just embrace it and have some fun in my kitchen.

I came across these bars on Pinterest and thought they sounded perfectly summery.  In all honesty, the recipe is pretty much my Vanilla Poundcake recipe, using lemon zest and juice instead of vanilla.  Which, of course, means it's soooo good.  A fantastically moist lemon poundcake bar that's both buttery and light, with a zesty glaze that ties it all up with a bow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sparkling Strawberry-Mint Limeade

A few things about this recipe:

1.  YUM!  I mean, I kinda knew I would love this recipe because, hello?  Champagne + strawberries + lime + mint!  That combo is just so yummy and perfect for sipping on a patio.

Monday, May 21, 2012

No Sugar Coconut Pecan Cookies

Hi!  My name is Sara!  I used to post fairly regularly on this little blog here and then a bunch of life happened, and I straight-up disappeared on you.  Whoops.

Every have one of those months?  Where everything extra you've been successfully juggling for forever suddenly seems like way too much, and you sit down and say "WHOA" and put the brakes on everything except for the most essential?  Yeah, I'm just now recovering from one of those.  My house is still a crazy mess, but my laundry is all caught up!  And I grocery shopped this weekend!  Baby steps, people, baby steps.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Hey, Lovelies -

I've been on business travel this week (back in San Diego, yay!), but I've been putting in crazy long days and... I got sick!!  So, no interesting posts from me this week :(  I just wanted to check in and let you know that I'm still around, albeit on the periphery and with a nasty sore throat.


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