I am so excited to say that I have reached my one year blogiversary! I never could have guessed a year ago that instead of posting what I was supposedly going to learn daily in the kitchen with Will mostly for myself, that I would instead have a blog with some regular followers and a huge archive of recipes we’ve tried! I’ve been looking back and finishing up on some editing of blog posts from a time before I used to type the recipes, to make the blog as uniform as possible. I’ve made a few discoveries along the way:

When we got back from our mini-vacation to the beach yesterday, we really wanted to eat something healthy, light, and quick for dinner. We didn’t exactly feel like cooking, but we definitely did not want to eat out again, since we had spent the last few days indulging on fresh seafood from the coast. I was really craving kale (which is weird, right?) and remembered that I had pulled out a listing of ten kale recipes from Real Simple a couple months ago. So I turned to those pages to see what I could come up with that would hopefully require only purchasing kale. I lucked out and found an enticing recipe that called for kale, lentils, and tahini, which are all things we like. Plus, I knew that the lentils would make the meal seem more filling than it otherwise might.

I realized after several days of vacation that I had never finished typing up my second post from our Christmas Eve feast! I’ve been sitting around enjoying Christmas gifts and ordering new fitness clothes via Christmas gifts, just la-de-daing on my computer a lot more than usual, yet somehow have neglected my blog! However, despite not posting anything for a couple days, I have been reading up on how to become a better blogger from this fantastic book Will Write for Food that should help the blog be more productive and hopefully expand readership.

Merry Christmas Eve friends! We just sat down and enjoyed a delicious meal together on this rainy Christmas Eve here in Tallahassee. The smell in our kitchen is heavenly right now as rosemary continues to linger in the air. We are not stuffed, but instead happily full and anticipating our desserts and cocktails that we are about to imbibe. Our meal this evening was primarily based off of one major ingredient: a bottle of The Williamsburg Winery Raspberry Dessert wine that we have had for too long. Having purchased it back in summer of 2011, though we kept it refrigerated (in a real refrigerator, not a wine refrigerator-a girl can only dream!), we knew it probably was no longer that good to drink. We have held onto it specifically for a special occasion and we decided now was as good a time as any to use it. Since we were already planning to have some sort of pork for Christmas Eve dinner, we decided it would be perfect to use in a marinade, as well as in one of our desserts.

This is another Pinterest lunch recipe! I had pinned this picture way long ago and have rediscovered it several times without really feeling the urge to make it. This past week Will and I wanted something that would be plentiful and would hold us over until his parents arrived for the holidays. Since the recipe called for 2 cups of quinoa, we knew it would create a large quantity and we already had everything on hand, so we decided to make it. Plus the picture with the little pops of yellow and green just looked so cute!

Tis the season for houseguests! Will and I had to amp up our kitchen repertoire while his parents are in town for Christmas and we kicked off with this extremely satisfying dish. As my faithful readers know, we try to eat as healthy as possible and we usually do a pretty good job of avoiding things that might be considered…gluttonous.  But occasionally, you have to give in to some of the delectable pictures you see on your Pinterest boards and actually make one of those unhealthy recipes. This was one of those pretty-Pinterest not-so-healthy meals that I pinned once upon a time and probably thought we would never make. I will defend this mac ‘n cheese by saying it does not look anything like the processed yellow mac ‘n cheese that comes out of a blue box and it certainly tasted a lot healthier than that stuff too. That being said, I know it is not healthy, but white cheddar and kale with wheat macaroni noodles can give it the allusion of being better for you.

Candy Cane Cookies

Posted by Megan | Dessert

It’s not a huge tradition in either mine or Will’s family to make lots of cookies for Christmas, however that does not mean I do not increase my cooking baking at this time of year. It’s primarily because you can only get mint chocolate chips at Christmastime (unlike when I was a kid and you could get them all the time) and thus, once I buy them, I want to eat them. This year, my chip purchases have increased due to the Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips (and I made Creme de Menthe Cookies) and their candy cane peppermint baking chips. I wasn’t exactly enthralled with the cookie recipe on the back of the bag, so when I saw this recipe in my weekly People magazine, I knew this was exactly what I wanted to make! It turned out to be a successful recipe and I would even make it again with mint chocolate chips and the candy cane baking chips. Also, using the baking chips was much more enjoyable than crushing up candy canes, which I have had to do for cookie recipes before-that’s never a fun experience.

I chose the easiest recipe humanly possible, since Will put me in charge of making this set of lobster tails. Courtney was kind enough to loan us her steamer over break, specifically for making this recipe. Again, this was one of those EarthFare text deals where we got lobster tails 2/$9. So off I went to the internet to try to find something easy-luckily my first hit was about as easy as it gets. Very rarely do recipes only have three ingredients, especially when you’re dealing with some kind of meat or seafood product. But often, it does seem that melted butter with seafood is the best way to go, as it was in this instance. Because the lobster part was fairly simple, I decided to make a new kale recipe that was trickier than others we do, just to challenge myself a little more. I think we were surprised when we both enjoyed it because we thought it would be a soggy, stewed-tasting kale. Instead, it was just flavorful from the garlic, pepper, and vinegar and offered some variety to our pallet. Overall, an excellent meal!

Even though I technically grabbed this recipe off of Pinterest, I had seen it already in Real Simple magazine. I must say, I just started subscribing to that magazine this year and it is one of my favorite things to get in the mail each month! So many good recipe ideas, as well as home tips and tricks-it’s the best. Anyways, both Will and I noticed this recipe in the magazine and then I ended up independently pinning it on Pinterest forgetting that I had already seen it in the magazine, so we knew it was a must-try and needed to be made soon.You may have noticed that we like to try lots of different curry recipes and making some kind of red curry lentils always seems to catch our eye. To see a different kind of red curry lentils, check out this recipe we tried a few months ago: Cooking With Willis: Red Curry Lentils. The two recipes offer different results and have very different flavor profiles. despite sharing some of the classic curry ingredients. The new recipe listed below was a little more soup-like in its consistency, but had more vegetables in it. The old red curry lentils we made was a little thicker, but a bit sweeter because it used coconut milk. To each his own; try all the recipes!

This has been a longtime, easy, favorite recipe in my family. I decided to pull this one out to make during our “cheap week” where we had Kale Pasta 2.0Brown Rice and Lentil Casserole, and Lentil Tacos. We needed something that wasn’t made from lentils and we had everything except the chicken on hand. So I figured we could splurge for some chicken since everything else that week was pretty much already in our fridge and cupboard. It had been so long since we had this that I had forgotten just how simple it was to make and how filling of a meal it was. I must say, I did also enjoy that we ate it with a succulent chicken breast from the fresh case at EarthFare, so I think that may have enhanced the flavor some more than usual. This is also one of those recipes that you pretty much don’t need to know the ingredients for it, just need to check the recipe for the baking time, once you’ve made it once. Couldn’t be easier!!