I know I taunted you a few days ago when I posted my Molasses Spice Cookies, by sharing that I was deciding between posting a new Moroccan or Turkish recipe. Well, I opted to present you with the Turkish one first, because how often do I have this kind of recipe for you? Understandably, the soup is a bit out of season since it’s still summer, but this particular recipe is fairly appropriate for eating year-round. It’s a nice, light soup, full of protein-rich ingredients like chicken and chickpeas. The spices give it a bit of a sweet and spicy sensation, primarily as a result of the interaction between the cayenne and mint. And the Greek yogurt provides a basis for a creamy base stock, which compliments the chunkiness of the chicken and chickpeas, nicely. It’s a pleasant, balanced soup, that provides you with a more “ethnic” meal, but without ingredients that are intimidating or stand-offish! It’s simple and satisfying-what more could you ask for in a soup?

My original plan for today’s post was originally a toss-up between a new Moroccan recipe or a new Turkish recipe. But I’ve been working on job applications all morning and found myself snacking on cookies that I made last week. The problem with these cookies is that you can’t eat just one–they disappear within two bites and before you know it, you’ve eaten half a dozen! Since that is precisely what just happened, I took that as a sign that I should blog about them instead of flipping a coin for more exotic recipes (look out for those over the next couple days). Thus, I present to you Molasses Spice Cookies.

Since we tend to cook a lot of foods that are within the same categories (i.e. Indian, Moroccan, etc.), we often come across the same recipe titles, but with slightly altered recipe instructions/ingredients. This dinner menu in particular, is a reflection of that kind of situation. It gives us the opportunity to try “new” recipes, in order to find the one we feel is most successful. In this case, it was a new dhal recipe and a new chapati bread. (You can find our old ones here and here.) These two recipes, along with the potato curry, came from one of our favorite cookbooks, Extending the Table. We weren’t surprised to find these in this particular cookbook, since it specializes in easy/quick/budget foods from around the world, which all three of these recipes reflect. We were particularly excited to try this new chapati because it avoided the use of Crisco, which our other go-to recipe includes. I have to say, that after trying the new version, I don’t think we’ll return to our lard-laden former chapati recipe! And the dhal recipe is slightly different from our other, mainly because of the omittance of tomatoes and the addition of some crucial spices. However, it makes all the difference in the world and we’re not sure which we prefer at this point-both have excellent flavor characteristics! If you’ve made either of the previous recipes (or are intrigued to now), I would give these alternate versions a shot as well. Allow yourself to compare/contrast them and let us know which you prefer!

As I’ve been sitting here trying to pick which recipe to blog about today, it occurred to me that I’m starving. So I figured the most appropriate thing to blog about when you’re hungry and it’s lunchtime, is a new lunch recipe! This one was super quick and easy to make, and was pretty filling too. We opted to eat it with little pitas, so it wasn’t a lot of fun trying to smash the chickpeas into those, but if you got some normal sized pita bread, you’d probably have more success than we did. However, you can eat this by itself too, if you’d prefer to skip out on the bread altogether. Will ultimately took this recipe and turned it into a veggie-induced hummus, after three days of eating it for lunch, which helped extend its life in our fridge even more and made for a yummy snack!

After we made our Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza, we had some leftover fried leeks. We actually had a LOT of leftover fried leeks. We weren’t really sure what to do with them, so figured we’d somehow incorporate them into a meal consisting of leftover random fridge items. In this case, it turned out to be a bunch of kale that had never been used (or only half-used) for another recipe and I came up with an idea for it. Will wanted to make eggs for breakfast and I suggested sauteing the kale and adding the fried leeks on top. He liked the idea and was happy to oblige in making it! As I suspected, it turned out to be a very earthy taste between the kale and fried leeks, combined with a slightly gooey egg. So if you make the asparagus pizza, I definitely suggest making this recipe as a way to use some of your leftover fried leeks!

We have acquired a new habit on our Saturday evenings of doing appetizers and drinks, for dinner! We’ve done wine and cheese nights for a few weekends, so last night we decided to mix it up a bit and do Mexican appetizers and drinks. We turned to our standard go-to Mexican appetizers: Carlos O’Kelly’s Chili con Queso and guacamole. We tried a new guacamole recipe that excluded tomatoes, but unfortunately it’s hard to find ripe avocados to buy on the same day you want to eat them, so it was kind of ugly and not quite the right consistency. However, the recipe definitely seemed like an improvement on a normal guacamole recipe and we would definitely try it again. We also tried a homemade margarita recipe that is to die for–we’re definitely having another round tonight and recommend that everyone try it at least once. It’s so much more satisfying than the overly sugary frozen slushies you’ll find in restaurants.

We had the opportunity to have some of our new neighbors over a week or so ago, for dinner together. Naturally, Will decided this was the perfect opportunity to try a new recipe that he had seen on Budget Bytes. He enlisted my help in the preparation of sauces and monitoring of cooking, as well as being in charge of ice cream. However, what he didn’t really think about until after he started cooking was that he had way more chicken than was necessary for this dish! As a result, there was a bit more scrambling than anticipated, to get the sauce to turn out correctly and it still never really achieved the glazed look we were hoping for. Nevertheless, the flavor of the chicken was like a gourmet version of take-out sesame chicken and satisfied our guests. The stir fried baby bok choy was also a hit, although it shrunk more than expected so there was not as much to eat as I would have liked! Overall, the dinner was a big hit and we thoroughly enjoyed the company of our new neighbors, in addition to all gorging on this tasty Asian dish.

I have a new favorite blog and it revolves around baking! It’s called Sally’s Baking Addiction and it has the most wonderful dessert recipes. I’ve tried a couple, including a mint cheesecake brownie that turned out tasty but not pretty enough to blog about, and these cake batter cookies. Well needless to say, these cake batter cookies were a hit! I’ve been dying to try making some of our own cake batter ice cream, but didn’t really want any cake batter left sitting around, so when I saw one of my neighbor’s birthdays pop up on Facebook, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try this cookie recipe AND make my ice cream. With one box of yellow cake mix, I was armed and ready to try both recipes, ultimately making some of the most enticing-smelling desserts that have ever been in my kitchen (and not just the new one).

This is a special recipe, y’all. We snagged this one from a local Blue Ridge Mountain publication called Edible Blue Ridge when we went to do our wedding tasting at our caterer’s. This recipe in particular, was a feature of our caterer’s, in the publication! Currey (our caterer) is an awesome person to work with, so I’ve been excited at the prospect of giving this recipe a shot. Plus, it features things that aren’t even close to what will be on our wedding menu! And needless to say, we were nothing but impressed with the result of these pizzas. If you’re hesitant to try it because it’s a little time-consuming, go ahead and plan it for a night where you know you’ll have the time to set aside to cook it, because this recipe is 100% worth every second of time invested in it! There’s nothing quite like fresh asparagus in the summertime, so to enjoy them over a bed of dough, potatoes, and goat cheese, is as close to heavenly as you can get (admittedly, goat cheese is one of my top three favorite cheese). It’s a savory flavor combination between the slightly sweet cheese, fried leeks, and the doughy bread. I just can’t brag about this recipe enough and I implore you to try it!

What a dreary day today! We were supposed to be heading out in a couple hours to run the CDR Vineyards of Williamsburg 5K, but now it’s been postponed due to severe thunderstorm warnings. What a bummer, especially since at the moment, the sun is trying to peak out! Ah well. Such is life. In non-weather news (has anyone noticed that’s all I’ve been talking about recently?), Will came up with this uber-veggie recipe a little while back, after we went nutso at the farmer’s market one Saturday. As a result, we had a bunch of random veggies leftover from other dishes and he decided to toss them all in a pan with some fresh herbs and call it a dinner! As always, super-fresh veggies and herbs make everything you put into your mouth taste extra healthy, and this dish was no exception. We had picked up a box of Wegman’s Golden Jewel Blend while housesitting for my mom and this worked out wonderfully to use it with-a few grains mixed together, served with the fresh veggies over top, ended up being delightful! This dish would also be easily adaptable to any veggie combination that you want, so feel free to use it as a basis to be creative!