Every year when the weather gets cold, and I have my first cranberry sighting in the supermarket, I buy a bag. I think it’s their limited availability that makes me utterly obsessed from that first day I see them stocked on store shelves, until I use up my very last bag at the end of the season. I really love cranberries, and use them in a lot of ways. I love cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving — whether it’s the canned jelly kind, fresh cranberry relish, or a cooked version studded with dried fruit or nuts — I add them to my morning oatmeal, I bake them into delicious desserts, I make syrups out of them and craft cranberry cocktails, and I even tried using them fresh in cookies recently! (more…)
Today is a special day. Today is the day we all pause to consider the things we’re grateful for, the bits and pieces of our lives that make each day worth living, and each moment special. With all of this top of mind, I wanted to take a moment to share my thanks for those things and people I am so very, very grateful for this year.
Today marks two full weeks since I started my new job. Somehow, I’ve survived! To be honest, I absolutely love it, and I can’t even put into words how thrilled I am about the opportunity. I haven’t been so exhausted from learning and information absorption in years, but it’s a pretty awesome thing. I’ve finally started contributing, too, and that feels so good. I’ve got a massive learning curve still ahead, but I think I can do it!
The older I get, the more I come to realize the way memories take shape as they fade into the canvas of our lives. Moments of deep loss and suffering lose their heightened pain — a dull ache slowly replaces them — and those more perfect, luminescent moments soften too, so when you think back on them they’re simply shrouded in a warm glow. It’s the way we humans survive, I think, because those insane peaks and valleys would be all too much to bear if their strength and intensity never softened, making room for those that come next. Life is all about the ebb and flow — the good and the bad moments, the successes and failures — they all somehow work together to create a unique set of circumstances that paint the picture of each individual life. (more…)
I apologize for the lack of frequent posts lately. I miss blogging regularly, but planning a wedding is a job in itself, and unfortunately with our wedding timeline it takes priority right now! We’re getting married this fall, and so most big details (and even some of the smaller ones) need to get ironed out now. I’m trying to take it all slowly and in stride, so I enjoy it instead of letting it overwhelm me – and so far, so good! I can see it coming together, and I get giddier by the day just thinking about it. (more…)
Cookies are a great dessert. Simple to make, entirely portable, perfectly sized, and always delicious. I’ve been making cookies for as long as I can remember – in fact, they were probably the first thing I ever made. I’ve always had a soft sport for chewy oatmeal cookies, and plain old chocolate chip cookies. Individually they are always fantastic, but putting them together makes pretty much the most perfect cookie combination I can imagine. There’s just something about the way it feels to bite into an oatmeal cookie that is crispy and crunchy and chewy all at the same time, studded with bittersweet chocolate and sweet dried fruit. It’s a euphoric experience! (more…)
Happy New Year! Welcome to the first post of 2012… probably should’ve been posted in 2011, but I got a little excited in the kitchen, and a little lazy on the blog, so I’m still working through holiday posts. Not to fear – there are only a few left, and I have so many fun and exciting ideas for the new year! In the meantime, this recipe would be great for using up any leftover eggnog you’ve still got lying around from the holidays. It’s not heavy on the eggnog flavor, but is still extremely flavorful. (more…)
Welcome to bread post #2 today! In an attempt to get
all most of my holiday posts up before the New Year, I’m doubling up on posts today, and the both happen to be on my favorite subject: carbs. I love them in every way – for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, as a snack; savory or sweet, and anywhere in between. I like muffins and cookies and cakes and breads and biscuits and EVERYTHING else your mind could imagine. These biscuits are a more healthful carb option, because they use some wheat flour and pureed pumpkin, plus fresh cranberries for some extra flavor. They are moist, moist, moist, and a great accompaniment to any meal. (more…)
This year for Thanksgiving, we had the biggest crowd that we’ve ever hosted. I have a very small immediate and extended family, and most of my extended family lives in other parts of the country (and world), so holidays are usually just my mom and dad, brother, one uncle, and one set of grandparents. What little family I have is great, and I always love spending time with them on the holidays and otherwise, but it was really fun to have such a big group this year. (more…)
Two weekends ago, a couple of friends I hadn’t seen since our college graduation came over to my new apartment for a visit. We’d all three originally met on the equestrian team, and spent many early mornings and late evenings together throughout our collegiate riding careers, but went on do to different things in different places after college. Fortunately though, two weekends ago we all happened to be in the same place at the same time, and finally got to catch up! (more…)
A couple of weeks ago I attended my very first baby shower for one of my coworkers at the office. It seems that at my age, I should’ve attended at least one or two baby showers in my time, but somehow I’ve missed out until now, so going to my first one was exciting. What would happen? Would we play games? Did I need to get her a gift or would we get an office gift? What’s even an appropriate gift for a coworker’s unborn baby?! All I really know how to do is bake things for people that make them happy, so for this occasion that’s exactly what I did. And these bars came out great!
To me, there’s little better than a hot latte and a fresh pastry to go with it for a weekend breakfast. During the week I am diligent about how much exercise I get and what types of food I put into my body, but on the weekends I let it slide a little, and love having a muffin or a scone for breakfast, sometimes even two days in a row! It’s always such a treat for me, and part of being a baker is that I can often create pastries that are as good as, if not better than those you can buy at a bakery. (more…)