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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Swiss Chard Gratin.

I did not grow up loving greens. Collard greens are not comfort food for me. I had no idea what swiss chard was, and I have never really liked kale. Spinach was not worth the chewing. You could get me to eat lettuce then, but it was never something I'd ask for. Now, as an adult, I'm a bit more adventurous in trying new things, (and I actually like salads now!), so when I saw swiss chard at our lovely farmer's market about two years ago, I bought some and asked the farmer what exactly I should do with it.

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Family Recipes.

This Easter, my entire family on my mom's side gathered together to celebrate my parent's 40th anniversary. For one day we rented the town's fire hall, which is basically their community center, but for the rest of the time, we were together in my Grandma Eva's home. Usually while there, I like to look through Grandma's cookbook collection, (It's massive! I discover something new each time I look.) or through her photo albums. 

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Kitchen Basics: How to Roast and Carve a Chicken.

​I used to look at the packaged whole chickens and wonder, 'what in the world do I even do with that?' Never mind that I had no idea how to cook it, they were usually way too much meat for my family, even taking into account that the weight of the bones were factored into total poundage. Anyway, I figured, why pay for bones when I can just buy boneless skinless chicken breasts?

I have since learned that bones lend flavor, and they make wonderful stock. (More on that in another post.) What's more, one chicken doesn't just feed my family for one night, it often lasts through three nights of meals, if I don't make chicken noodle soup, and if I do, it's even more! It's worth the investment, and, frankly, it's just plain tasty.​

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