Cookies cookies cookies. I love cookies. It’s becoming a problem! When I visit cooking/baking websites, I go straight for the cookies. I’m pretty sure making cookies can be considered one of my hobbies. I just love cookies! I love trying new recipes, I love making old recipes, and occasionally, I can be creative enough to come up with my own recipes. This particular recipe was one I contrived a few years ago, based on a request from Will. I believe we were shopping for semisweet chips for regular chocolate chip cookies (or maybe mint), when Will spotted the Heath toffee crunch bits. Apparently he really likes toffee and requested that I buy a bag and make something with it. I was picking up a bunch of other chips that day and by the time I got around to first trying the Heath, I only had dark chocolate chips left to go with them. The union of the Heath toffee and the dark chocolate chips was created and it’s been a hit ever since!

We got to escape to the farmer’s market a couple Saturday’s ago, and for once, went in with an “if we see it and want it, we’ll buy it” attitude. Usually we are extremely careful about planning our meals and only shop with a prepared list. However, sometimes you can’t rely on the farmer’s market to have what you want, by the time you get there! This ended up being the case for some things (we never got our peaches), but allowed us to pick out a little more “out of the box” foods, like eggplant. We had only attempted to make something with eggplant once before, which was an unsuccessful Baba Ganoush. We decided that if we bought eggplants at the market, that we would find more creative uses for them. And that we did!

Dulce de Leche is really obnoxious to make. Like, really out-of-control obnoxious. When you google how to make dulce de leche and the instructions are to simply heat it over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick and caramel-colored, you might think this sounds simple. You would probably be a tiny bit wrong. Because while that sounds great in theory, at least for me, this “constant stirring” business went on for at least an hour. An hour of stirring sweetened condensed milk, hoping that it would thicken up! Somewhere in that hour, the battle became whether or not to just turn the heat way up and hope my stirring would outdo any burning that may occur, or to just continue stirring on low until dulce de leche formed. I opted for somewhere in between, eventually pumping the heat up to medium and amping up my stirring so that way things would move faster.

I subscribe to Runner’s World magazine and occasionally they have some good looking recipes in there. In particular, the last issue was promoting the new Runner’s World Cookbook, so there was a special feature on a bunch of different things to eat! This recipe was one of them and I have to say, when I saw the name of it, I knew it was an immediate “must” for us. We usually have kale on hand, obviously we have plenty of basil from our herb garden, and we make hummus all the time. So to combine all of these ingredients into one recipe? I was amazed we hadn’t thought of it before!

What beautiful fall weather we have been having recently! I really hope this extends through the rest of the season and doesn’t suddenly heat back up. After living in Florida for the last two years, I’ve really missed the cool mornings and the warmer days. As I’ve been telling Will all week, this weather feels like February in Florida–and I’m certainly not complaining! What also comes with the fall weather are fall foods and this recipe is a good example of something warm and hearty to eat on a chilly evening. We’ve recently taken a liking to mushrooms, so when Beth at Budget Bytes posted this recipe, there was an unspoken “yes, we need to make this” that we both immediately recognized.

Filipino Pancit

Posted by Megan | Asian, Dinner, Global
Well, I’m about to re-enter the workforce next week which is simultaneously thrilling (a schedule! earning money!) and a little bit sad. Even though I haven’t enjoyed not earning any income or having a reason to shower each day, I have enjoyed the freedom of being able to dedicate more concentrated time to blogging, photography, and cooking/baking. My “desk” is the kitchen table and I get to sit here most of the day, with the screen door open, letting the breeze come in and watching the birds hang out on our back deck while typing/editing–it’s pretty ideal. And I get to practice staging food in prettier ways and taking advantage of mid-day lighting options. I have more time to do photo-editing, which is the hardest part of keeping up a food blog: not finding the recipes, not making the food, and definitely not the writing, but the photography! It’s going to be bittersweet to say good-bye to the flexible days that made me feel like I was a “professional” blogger, since that was usually one of the few things on my to-do list!

The best description of this recipe I can come up with, is this: it’s super duper crazy filling, for just a bunch of chickpeas! Honestly, for such a straightforward, simple lunch salad, this packs a punch. The chickpeas are crazy filling and the red onion/sumac/chili powder mixture, give it a crazy strong flavor. So much so that you may (read: will) have some potent flavors lingering over your tongue and in your mouth after enjoying! But don’t let that dissuade you from trying this, particularly because a little bit goes a really long way. Practically every day I packed this for Will for lunch this week, he brought a little bit home. That could’ve also had something to do with the fact that he also got some other snacks including Coffeehouse Stout Cupcakes, but I think it’s because the salad is so filling. And having that cupcake around was useful–from all the strong tart/salty flavors, you really will want to bite into something sweet after you finish your lunch. Besides being used for a lunch salad, I would also recommend taking this as a side dish to a summer shindig, because it’s simple to make and has extremely fragrant flavors. Overall, it was a hit for us!

Ladies and gentlemen, happy Friday! You made it through another week! And what better way to reward yourself than a nice ice cream treat. With fall creeping into the air, we begin to transition into some of the prettiest parts of the year here in Virginia. There’s not much better than a cool fall breeze, some time in the camping in the mountains with friends, and quintessential fires, either in your fireplace or at a campsite. And there’s nothing more exciting than having a s’more by the fire. But if you don’t have a fireplace (or don’t like dealing with fire), I have the perfect solution for you: S’more Ice Cream!

So I know I’ve posted about the spiced salmon before. And actually, the pictures of the recipe were decent, plus the cabbage recipe has been a big hit on Pinterest, so I didn’t want to tamper with that particular post. However, this go-round, we paired the salmon with these beautiful purple potatoes, so I figured I would share about those while re-sharing the salmon recipe. Plus, both are just really good, simple recipes that you can make in no time! And don’t be fooled by the name–this is not actually spicy as in mouth-burning flavors. Instead, it is a more balanced, fragrant, anti-spicy flavor. It’s like having a specialty fall drink between the flavors of clove and nutmeg. Either way, grab either some fresh or frozen salmon, prep it with the spices, throw it on a pan, and enjoy!

I really need to stop eating these for breakfast. And lunch. And after dinner. We’re actually almost out of 24 cupcakes and I made them on Sunday. Oops? I can’t help that they’re dense because of the beer in them, so it makes them seem a little bit more life muffins than cupcakes. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. What can I say? I’m really enjoying eating the first batch of cupcakes that I’ve ever made. What’s that, you say? I’ve never made cupcakes before? But that seems impossible. Improbable. And in reality, that’s probably true. But if my memory serves me correctly (which I have bad memory, so it may not), I have not ever made cupcakes before, or at least not a batch all by myself. Please correct me if I’m wrong. The fact that I’ve never made cupcakes before goes hand in hand with the fact that I’ve never enjoyed beer before. But alas, Will has harangued me into actually giving beer a shot and apparently, if it’s good quality craft beer, I like it. Particularly, I like Alewerks, here in Williamsburg. And I really enjoy their coffeehouse stout and their pumpkin ale (among many other really good beers they have). So I figured why not try two new things at once, by putting beer in my cupcakes?