Spinach Dip

Spinach Dip

When I go to a Superbowl party, I like to camp out by the food table. I mean, I’ve said it before and I will say it again…I hate football. The only interesting thing on the TV all night will be the commercials. And with the exception of some creative and hilarious Snickers commercials a few years ago, they have also been going seriously downhill.

So it’s really important that the food table be stocked with some amazing appetizers. Like this spinach dip!

It’s so delicious, and a lot less gluttonous than you might imagine. (Not that it’s good for you…let’s not get carried away here.)

The best part about this dip is that you can make it in 5 minutes. Which is about how long it will take until it is gone. Maybe we should make a double batch.

Continue reading

Sweet and Salty Arugula Salad

Sweet and Salty Arugula Salad

Do you ever go to a restaurant and order exactly the right thing? It sounds like a small detail (duh, who intentionally orders badly?), but if you’ve ever agonized over a decision about what to order and come away unhappy with your choice, then you are probably also familiar with the sheer bliss of ordering the best dish on the menu, the one thing that can truly satisfy you, for that particular meal.

A few weeks ago I went to brunch at a pub in DC, the Drafting Table. I fretted over what I should order, and ultimately decided to ignore the waitress, who recommended a different dish, and go for this salad. And literally every bite made my taste buds sing! This salad was more delicious than I could have imagined, and it turned out to be exactly what I wanted.

True, it’s a bit decadent for a salad. And a bit involved to make. But I swear it will be worth the effort! A perfect blending of sweet, salty, fresh, tangy, creamy, crunchy, chewy…I am overflowing with adjectives, just like this salad is overflowing with flavor and amazingness.

Continue reading

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Am I the only one around here whose entire refrigerator door is filled with salad dressings?

I think not. It is, after all, still January—we are still squarely in that brief season of keeping our resolutions to avoid cookies like the plague and eat nothing but salad and wheat bran day in and day out.

Anyway. My door full of salad dressings makes me feel quite safe and comforted. At a moment’s notice, I can always whip out exactly the right flavor to complement my greens and match the genre of whatever else I might be eating. So imagine my complete horror when this week I ran out of FOUR, count ’em, four, different flavors.

Heavens to Betsy. Did I ever have a meltdown.

But really, there is no reason to panic here. Making your own salad dressing is basically the easiest thing in the entire world. It’s easier than 1-2-3. Because there is only one step: stir.

And the best part? Once you get the hang of making you own vinaigrettes, you don’t even really need to measure—you can just add ingredients by feel and adjust to taste. Amazing.

Let’s make a great, sharp vinaigrette. Let’s drizzle (or pour) it on some very veggie-laden plates, all week long. Yum!

Continue reading

Chai Spiced Pancakes

Chai Spiced Pancakes

It’s gloomy. And cold.

What you need is for your kitchen to smell warm, and your stomach to be filled with sweet spices to keep you cozy from the inside out.

So let’s break open our spice cabinets and make chai pancakes! We could maybe even pretend that all those healthy anti-inflammatory and blood sugar–lowering spices make these pancakes somewhat healthy.

But however you choose to rationalize making pancakes and whipped cream in the middle of January (hey, we can’t restrict ourselves too much based on all those healthy eating resolutions!…otherwise we will crash and burn), you should definitely add these pancakes into your weekend breakfast rotation.

Continue reading

Buttermilk Pie Bars

Buttermilk Pie Bars

Let me tell you about my darling baby boy. He is the sweetest, most contented baby any mommy could ever wish for. That is, until I step into the kitchen.

I swear that child has a sixth sense for when I’m getting ready to make dinner or whip up a batch of cookies. As soon as I put on my apron or get out my measuring cups, his happy coos turn into screams. As you may imagine, this makes it a little challenging to enjoy (or complete) making a meal.

That’s why I have really come to appreciate the simpler side of cooking and baking. If a recipe has several built in pauses, or better yet, just two or three quick steps, it is perfect for me during this slightly chaotic time of new motherhood!

So I was very interested in making these pie bars when I saw them on my assigned blog, Everything in the Kitchen Sink, for this month’s Secret Recipe Club swap. I had made buttermilk pie before and loved the sweet, tart flavor of the custard filling. Sarah’s recipe included Nutella in the filling, which sounded delicious. But, as I had just eaten the last spoonful of Nutella in my house (and you know I’m in trouble if I buy a whole container of the stuff just to use a few tablespoons in a recipe!), I decided to go for the simple, classic buttermilk custard for my filling. And, as an added bonus, this recipe uses only ingredients that I have on hand all the time, which makes life with baby even easier!

Try these pie bars! Share them with a friend. They taste just like an Entenmann’s filled coffee cake, complete with a crumbly crust and a creamy custard—in short, delightful.

Continue reading

Quinoa with Butternut and Broccolini

Quinoa with Butternut and Broccolini

It’s the middle of January! I am already flagging on my New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy. Is that just me?

It’s time for a delicious pick-me-up.

And what is more delicious than a glut of hearty, colorful veggies, stirred into some slightly chewy, nutty quinoa? My good friend Sarah over at Well Dined agreed with me, so this week we tucked in and made ourselves this amazing lunch! You should, too.

Continue reading

Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans

So…it’s football season. Probably my least favorite thing of all time. The only redeeming quality football season boasts is that it tends to be full of delicious appetizers.

As you accept invitations and visit with friends and their big screen TVs (which you may or may not be interested in actually watching), consider whipping up a batch of candied pecans to bring with you! They are easy and impressive.

Okay, so my recipe does require a candy thermometer, though if absolutely necessary you could forgo the fancy equipment and wing it. But I promise, you will only need to do about 5 minutes of work to make these nuts, and you will definitely not regret it when you pop a hot, melty, sugary candied pecan in your mouth.

Continue reading