Gooey Vanilla Bean Tea Cakes

Gooey Vanilla Bean Tea Cakes

I don’t know about you, but I love a good gooey dessert. Especially a good gooey cookie or a good gooey butter cake.

And these tea cakes are the best of both of those!

Soft and slightly underbaked, richly vanilla, with a sweet tangy glaze.


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Grilled Mediterranean Flatbread with Pesto and Feta

Mediterranean Grilled Flatbread

Sarah and I have been meaning to grill together for ages. Inevitably, we gather all of the ingredients and our courage to cook with charcoal, and then it pours rain.

But this week we were determined, rain or shine, to grill some veggies and some flatbreads! Naturally, on the big morning, the rain clouds rolled in. But for once, we decided not to be deterred.

And I am so glad we stuck to our guns! This flatbread “pizza” was simple and tasty. Bright, fresh summer veggies were so easy to throw on the grill, and we even made a quickie no-rise flatbread dough and threw that on the grill as well!

With a little bit of chopping and stirring, and a few quick minutes on the grill, we turned out an absolutely delicious lunch!

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Double Pretzel Brownies

Double Pretzel Brownies

Do you remember when pretzel m&ms came out? They were comically marketed as the perfect solution to crazy pregnancy cravings: sweet and salty all in one bite!

As if sweet and salty isn’t something I love every day of the year. The flavor combination has become much more mainstream in recent years. And as for me, my palate has become more developed (thank you, food blogging), which means I now sometimes actually find desserts too sweet, and find myself wishing for some spice, some salt, some crunch for balance.

Light bulb! Pretzels brownies.

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Homemade Gnocchi with Summer Squash and Basil

Homemade Gnocchi with Summer Squash, Basil, and Feta

I’m having a problem. Maybe I can blame this on motherhood (is mommy-brain a real thing?), or maybe old age (eek! turning 30 in 3 weeks!), maybe on the plethora of technologies ever at my fingertips…

I can’t ever remember where anything is anymore. That used to be my superpower. I always knew where everything was! I could always remember where I saw something first, where I left it, where Dave left it, how to find it again.

But now? I keep finding recipes in magazines and cookbooks and dog-earing them to make later, and then never seeing them again.

To be honest, I am really not sure how this recipe escaped that fate. It’s such an odd choice for my family, as Dave hates both gnocchi and cooked squash. Gnocchi is the opposite of a quick and easy meal, so it’s really not what I need in my life right now. And yet, from the instant I saw it, I was smitten.

Dave walked in the door exclaiming how good dinner smelled (good start), enthused about eating it (even better), and ended the meal with a clean plate, saying the flavors and textures were perfect and we should eat this again soon.

Guess it was fate that I remembered this recipe!

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Rainbow Swirl Sugar Cookies

Rainbow Swirl Sugar Cookies

When I was a kid, the local grocery store was famous for their rainbow sugar cookies. Everyone I knew loved them.

Everyone except me. I thought they tasted funny. These cookies were probably the only dessert I would actually decline as a kid. They just didn’t wow me. The bright colors didn’t fool me (I had also figured out that sprinkles didn’t actually make ice cream taste more delicious…go figure), and I just wasn’t going for them.

For years, I eschewed food coloring. (This may also have had something to do with the fact that I was afraid of pink foods actually tasting like strawberries…either way, no good.)

But now my oldest is nearly 3 (!!), and I have realized that for him, color does make something more awesome. He literally likes to go around naming all his favorite colors of Legos, crayons, Play-Doh (news flash, it’s every color in the rainbow), sometimes spending more time talking about the colors than actually playing with his toys. Sprinkles are beautiful and food coloring is delicious.

Of course, I still have a rule that food should be primarily yummy and secondarily pretty, but when I spotted a recipe for rainbow swirled cookies on The PinterTest Kitchen, my Secret Recipe Club blog for August, I knew immediately that Jake would love them! Food crafts for kids!

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Buttermilk Syrup

Buttermilk Syrup

Our family has started a weekend breakfast tradition.

It’s fairly surprising, actually, given my husband’s general apathy toward keeping traditions AND his venomous hatred for the morning…but on Saturdays, bright and early, when I holler up the stairs that pancakes or French toast are ready, he immediately appears and we have a special family breakfast!

Jake likes to help me cook. And set the table. And fetch Daddy. He’s a wonderful kitchen helper!

The only trouble with this delicious tradition is that I don’t actually care for maple syrup on my pancakes. For a while, this really made me resistant to Saturday morning breakfast tradition, until I realized that I had a grand opportunity to try all kinds of delicious syrups and spreads. What a great excuse to eat sugar for breakfast!

This buttermilk syrup is absolutely amazing. Don’t let the weird name (or the fact that it essentially looks like melted butter) throw you off: it is actually the simplest, most delicious liquid caramel you will ever make. The flavor is light and the syrup is thick and creamy. Pour it over your French toast with some butter and dig in! I dare you not to run your finger around the plate to lick up the excess when breakfast is over.

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