So my mom randomly gave us salt pork about a month ago, for no particular reason. Not typically knowing what to do with salt pork, we kept it in the freezer until we figured out what to do with it. With all the cold weather we’d been having recently, we decided to crack open our soup book and tackle a new recipe from there. Well lo’ and behold, we came across a salt pork recipe! And it involved lentils, which have basically become our favorite thing that we ever cook with. What could be better than making a recipe where we had everything except the herbs on hand for? The answer: nothing. Now, since I was not super familiar with the whole salt pork thing, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when this turned out. The first night it was okay, but we had to rush to eat it and it practically burned our mouths off our faces! However, the second night and the ones that followed greeted us with an incredibly flavorful, filling soup that got thicker and better with time. We got a nice crusty bread to have with it and even topped it with some shredded cheddar cheese that we had left over from another recipe. Both of these additions made the soup even more appealing and for four days, we enjoyed this for dinner! A simple, straightforward very filling soup recipe that I recommend trying, if you want to eat a meat that’s a little more “out of the box.”

Recently Will and I have decided that instead of Sunday nights, Wednesday evenings should be my night to cook. For the most part, I can come home right after work (but I just got promoted, so we’ll see) and can cook dinner for Will before he needs to sneak off to class. When I say cook him dinner, I actually do mean that he expects me to get in the kitchen, all by myself, and make him a meal. What a concept! So far, I’ve been fairly successful but have been sticking to tried and true recipes to play it safe. This recipe was my first venture outside of the “tried” box and was quite the hit with both of us! I love love love Real Simple magazine and joyfully tear recipes out of the magazine each month. This recipe was ripped from the pages last weekend and was promptly served on our dinner table within days. It’s the perfect addition to our recipe collection because it’s everything we love – a simple lentil recipe with a bit of a kick (depending on how spicy your curry is), that doesn’t take too long to cook. It’s one of those recipes we can return to because we typically have everything on hand to make it, with the exception of probably just carrots. But if your kitchen is anything like ours (and it doesn’t have to be!) then you will understand how this is a budget-friendly, easy to make, tasty new recipe to try!

There are few recipes that I look forward to more than this one! This is a Will original and one of the many reasons I married the man. This recipe is one that he has been making for me since we first started dating and it’s still as special now as it was almost six years ago. His homemade spice mixture was a mystery to me until he finally decided to make it for the blog, so now it can be known to everyone! The perfect blend of spicy and salty without being overdone, this recipe is a favorite you will return to over and over again. It can be made with chicken or pork and can be adapted with a teeny bit of cornstarch, if you want more of a battered chicken than a juicy chicken. It’s worth the effort to make the pico de gallo in addition to the chicken because you won’t get the same flavor from a store-bought pico, no matter how fresh it may be. And if you run out of meat, this recipe is still good with just the beans, pico and sour cream on the toasted corn tortillas! I’m so excited to finally share one of our best-kept secrets 🙂

These are super dee duper rich. Almost too much. You really can only eat them one at a time. They’re amazingly delicious, but definitely not an “eat a ton at once” type of dessert. These were one of the other treats that went along on the boys bachelor party weekend along with the Caramel Surprise Snickerdoodles. These brownies were the only thing that had a couple come home (all two of them, plus a muffin) and my guess is because after a weekend of eating cookies and muffins, then drinking bourbon, the boys didn’t have much room (or tolerance) left to finish off these brownies. It was fine by me, because it meant I got to enjoy them! I promptly scarfed them down, chugged some milk and then had a stomach ache from all the richness. Whatever you do, please head my warning that while they are some of the fudgiest, most delicious brownies you’ll ever eat, they will knock you on your butt if you try to over-consume them! However, that doesn’t mean you should be afraid to try them – I’d imagine they’d be at their best fresh out of the oven with some vanilla ice cream and a little drizzle of butterscotch sauce. Now doesn’t that just sound divine?

I realized it’s been awhile since I shared a really good cookie recipe with you all and this one is the perfect thing to introduce! I made these cookies as part of a “care package” I sent along with Will and his friends as they embarked on his bachelor party weekend to Louisville for a bunch of bourbon drinking! Since it’s a bit of a drive from all the parts of Virginia they came from to get to Louisville, I baked them a series of snacks for the ride. I made one of my favorite recipes, Chocolate Chip Muffins, these cookies, and a new brownie recipe (be on the lookout!) and all but a couple brownies were eaten that weekend. When you stick six hungry young men in cars, desserts are the remedy to a long drive. Needless to say, these were a huge hit for the guys and I heard they were the favorite baked good of the weekend and didn’t even make it all the way to Kentucky. I was just happy that they reinstated my “Sinfonia Sweetheart” status and lived up to my past as a weekly baking goddess for their fraternity. If you’re looking to bake something a little out-of-the-box and a little more involved, definitely give these a try!

Soooooo here we are. In February. And I’m writing the New Years Eve post. Can we all just have a good chuckle over that? I just pulled a fresh batch of Sally’s cookies out of the oven to celebrate our one-“monthiversary” of being married and as I was taking tons of pictures, it occurred to me that I perhaps should blog about the **15** other recipes that are backlogged, before sharing the one I just made. You know, because that would make sense. I’ve realized that despite starting the blog while in graduate school, I actually have less time to keep up with it as a “real person” which fascinates me. This has been bothering me for the last several months, but it occurred to me that the reason I may not have the time to blog on a daily basis anymore is because CWW isn’t a vice to relax me and get me out of my day-to-day craziness anymore. Instead, it’s more of a hobby that I fit into my life like everything else. I have less of that desperate “I need to come home and work on the blog” after a long day of class/teaching/work. Now, I come home from a long day of work/teaching and I just want to have a glass of wine, peruse Pinterest and work on the various home projects Will and I have going on at this moment. And that is okay, because it means CWW is turning a new chapter in its life and like with all things, we have to learn to go with the flow of it. We’re still cooking and sharing, but with less of the daily intensity the blog used to have. However, we hope to always keep improving on recipes, pictures, and everything else that goes into keeping up with a blog!

Are you poor or on a budget? This is a great lunch for you, then. This is one of those lunches that Will came up with based on what was in our cupboards, but it’s probably one of my favorites that we’ve had in a long time. But then again, I’m a total sucker for cashews, sun-dried tomatoes, and lentils, so that’s probably why I enjoy it so much. No matter how little money you may have, this is a recipe where if you don’t already have everything on hand, it won’t hurt to buy the few ingredients it takes to make this, and then just hold onto them for other recipes. Generally speaking, the majority of these ingredients are probably in your cupboards already (especially if you are a regular follower of this blog, I’d imagine you probably have a similarly stocked kitchen to us), which makes throwing it together easy. Probably the biggest pain is to remember to cook the quinoa and lentils, before you actually want to eat it. There have been several nights where this has been intended to be made and Will realizes it’s 11 PM and the quinoa and lentils haven’t been cooked! (This always results in sadfaces all around). So give this recipe a shot for a flavorful new way to have a grain lunch salad!