Pop Tarts.

In college, when I didn't really have a full kitchen to myself, but I was so very sick of dining hall food, I'd grab a few things I could microwave in my dorm room to change it up. Not so much a favorite, but a standby, I usually had Hot Pockets around. I also enjoyed pop tarts, but rarely let myself buy them. After all, they're "awful for you". (I conveniently ignored this same reasoning with the Hot Pockets.)

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Zucchini Chocolate Brownies.

This is the time of year where I'm scrambling to find as many recipes as I can to use up the garden's abundance of zucchini. Some I test out, and they end up oily, or dense, or really only passable in their use. Then there are recipes like this one, which are perfect for when you're absolutely sick of eating zucchini, and you couldn't look at another, only there are five more waiting for you to pick them. You can't actually taste the zucchini in these, or even really see them once cooked, but the zucchini helps them to be incredibly rich and moist, letting the chocolate shine through.

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Butterscotch Biscuits.

I have become a collector of cookbooks. I didn't really intend that to happen, and I don't exactly actively seek new books to add to my collection; nevertheless, the two shelves in my kitchen reserved for cookbooks are running very quickly out of space. There are some I rarely use, some that are terribly stained from heavy use, and many in between. My most treasured cookbooks, though, are the ones that have come from my grandmas, Eva and Elsie. There's something about flipping through a cookbook and finding a small note written next to a recipe "Good". Even more treasured are the recipes slipped in between the pages, or bound together in a three ring binder, that they took the time to record.

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Carrot Cake.

Jonathan turned 6 this week. I feel as though I should be reeling at this, shocked that he's grown so much, but he's been "five, almost six" for so long, that it seems time. We'll have a party this weekend with his friends to celebrate, but we wanted to celebrate as a family on his actual birthday. 

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Nepalese Guesthouse Chicken.

Most of the time, when I’m cooking chicken, I’ll be cooking boneless, skinless breasts. It’s not that we don’t like whole chicken, we do, but so many recipes simply default to that standard. In trying to save money, I learned that buying bone-in chicken meat, especially whole birds, is actually more economical than even buying the bag of frozen breasts, if you don’t want the 13% injected ones, anyway. I’ve since learned how to roast a whole bird well, but after that I was sort of stuck. Enter the book Poulet. I’ve found recipes in this book that are a complete departure from what we’re used to, and they’re good.

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The Best Oatmeal.

I have around 30ish recipes for oatmeal on this site. For someone who isn't a huge fan of a lot of breakfast foods, I like oatmeal. Most of those recipes are based off of a formula of one part oatmeal to one part water to one part milk. Guys, its wrong. As much as I can dress up a bowl of oatmeal with just about anything, (Lime wedges? Sure! PB&J? Delicious! Mascarpone cheeseMercy.), the underlying bowl of oats should taste good on its own. Unfortunately, the one to one to one ratio just ends up with goop. Thick, rib-sticking, hearty, but goop, nonetheless.

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Yogurt Biscuits.

I have a thing about buying ingredients I don't regularly use. When I'm reading through a new recipe, if it calls for an ingredient I don't normally have on hand, or regularly buy, I usually skip it. It has to sound really, really good for me to buy something I may not be able to use up. For some reason, one ingredient I've held off on buying for a long time was whole wheat pastry flour. A recipe that called for it was immediately glossed over. I bookmarked a few, just in case, but mostly I just moved on. 

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Kitchen Basics: How to make stock.

Making stock always seemed to me to be one of those things that people did when they had an abundance of time, a greater abundance of skill, and a certain touch of fussiness to their cooking preferences. The first time I made it myself, I was shocked how easy making stock really was. It came out watery and a bit weaker than I expected, but I had made it all by myself, using things I would normally have thrown away. I've learned, since that time, how to make the stock rich and full of flavor.

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Kitchen Basics: How to make Nut Butter.

My son is a peanut butter fiend. His current favorite breakfast is a tortilla rolled up, filled with peanut butter and either sprinkles, honey, or sometimes nothing at all added.  Therefore, we go through a LOT of peanut butter in this house. (And tortillas, consequently.) One morning, while making breakfast, I realized I was out of peanut butter. Thankfully I had a bag of peanuts in the freezer that could work rather well.

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