• rustic bread on the happy list

    4 Bread Recipes I Make On Repeat

    We eat a fair amount of bread in our house. Life’s too short not to enjoy carbs, right? All. the. carbs. However, I don’t regularly buy bread from the grocery store unless my kids are going through a bagel phase or we are having burgers for dinner. If we’re eating bread it is usually because I’ve baked it. Yes, I’m one of those people. It’s not that I enjoy the act of baking bread particularly, but I do enjoy eating it. Here are 4 bread recipes I make on repeat around here. They never fail me. I’m also using the word bread loosely here. If it is dough-based, it’s bread…

  • in praise of blates pasta bowls low bowls blates replace dinner plates
    decorating,  Food

    In Praise of Blates (Pasta Bowls)

    Have you heard the term blates? A blate is a cross between a plate and a bowl. You might also know them as pasta bowls, low bowls, or dinner bowls. I feel silly typing the word blate, so you know I didn’t make the word up. I read about it on Food52. It seems like a very English language thing to make up a new word, doesn’t it? However, using the term blate instead of pasta bowl does imply that things other than pasta can be eaten in these dishes with shallow sides. Now here’s where the story gets really wild. We eat almost all of our meals on blates…

  • remembered the bag funny reusable shopping bags glamlicious tutus shop via etsy
    Food,  gift and learning

    In Praise of Funny Reusable Shopping Bags

    Is there a plastic bag ban where you live? New Jersey’s plastic bag ban kicked in a few weeks ago and it’s broader than most because it includes paper bags and foam polystyrene. There are some exceptions for some stores, but the rules are still fuzzy to me. All in all, I’m in support of this change. It makes me feel like we’re all working together in this small way to help the planet. I was already in the habit of bringing my own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. I do have to remember now to bring a bag when I’m going to a place like Target or…

  • blueberry freezer jam easy freezer jam

    Making Jam Doesn’t Have To Be Hard

    Making jam doesn’t have to be hard, time consuming, or require a bunch of fancy equipment. Oh, don’t get me wrong. You can make it that way! I won’t stop you from creating an ordeal, but making jam doesn’t have to suck the life out of you. What sort of jam voodoo is this? No voodoo, I promise. Just make freezer jam instead of cooked jam. Cooked jam is usually preserved by water bath canning so that you can store the jam on your shelf, which is handy. Freezer jam doesn’t require canning because the jam is preserved in the freezer. To me, freezer jam tastes much fresher than cooked jam…

  • collapsible storage I've used for years laundry basket with sheets
    Food,  gift and learning

    Collapsible Bags and Baskets I’ve Used for Years

    Just because bags and baskets serve a useful function does not mean we always have space to store all of those bags and baskets. Especially the ones that help us manage the more tedious aspects of our life. That’s why I’ve become a fan of collapsible bags and baskets for chores such as laundry and grocery shopping. They are available in all their full-size glory when I need them, but I can easily fold them up and tuck them out-of-sight when I don’t need them. Here are the collapsible bags and baskets I’ve used for years. Years, folks. If I’ve used something for years and it still works great, you…

  • in praise of the ceramic colander

    In Praise of the Ceramic Colander

    Ceramic colanders might seem like a funny blog topic. Are you wondering if I’ve run out of things to write about? Is this my ‘jump the shark’ moment? No, I have not and I certainly hope not. I just really, really like my ceramic colander. And I almost threw it away. The ceramic colander was in a box of jumbled junk in our garage. (In case you are new, we bought a house and the seller left a ton of belongings behind.)  I remember picking through the box and finding a bunch of planters for houseplants and then the ceramic colander. I didn’t know what the “bowl with the holes”…

  • The Granola I Make Once a Week

    The Granola I Make Once a Week

    Ready yourself. I’m about to ask a presumptuous question. Have you ever wondered how I decide what to write about? See? Presumptuous of me to think you might wonder. I’m cringing too, but I needed a jumping off point for this post. Today I decided to write about the granola I make once a week because of sunlight. Yep, sunlight. As I was cleaning the table up after lunch I realized the outside light was streaming in on my jar of granola so beautifully. Pretty light on a jar of granola sitting on a messy table. The lens through which I view my surroundings might be a little…unconventional. Then I…

  • Food,  Uncategorized

    Would I Make It Again: Homemade Ginger Ale with Fresh Ginger

    Ginger ale is one beverage that I never, ever considered making at home. It didn’t even dawn on me that you could. Or should. Or would! But I did. The idea started on a somewhat typical Friday night. I had cooked a package of bacon. Why bacon on a Friday night? Why not?! We had company visiting us for the weekend. Handy Husband was on bartender duty. The adult beverage of choice that evening was a Moscow Mule. This drink is made with ginger beer, lime and vodka. I had purchased a few different varieties of ginger beer and ginger ale for Handy Husband to use to mix these drinks.…

  • Almond and Anise Biscotti

    Almond and Anise Biscotti

    Have you ever baked something so mouth-wateringly delicious that you realize you should probably NEVER EVER EVER bake it again? Hear me out. If you bake it again it means you’ve thrown caution to the wind. You’ve chucked your self-control out the window. You may end up binge-eating that baked good just to get it out of the house. And it’s worth every bite. That’s how I feel about this Almond and Anise Biscotti recipe. In fact, I had to move to a foreign country where one of the ingredients wasn’t readily available just so I wouldn’t be able to bake this biscotti. That’s not exactly true, but it was…

  • Food

    Would I Make It Again: Sweet Potato Cranberry Doughnuts

    I’d like to say this recipe had me at ‘doughnuts.’ Then this could be the shortest post ever! Hahahahaha. Actually, this recipe had me at ‘sweet potato cranberry.’ That’s an epic Thanksgiving flavor mashup, isn’t it? I thought so. The doughnut part was just an added perk. Doughnuts are always an added perk. In a series of Internet search twists and turns, I landed on a recipe I didn’t know I needed for Sweet Potato Cranberry Doughnuts from Taste of Home. The recipe concept made me go hmmm. And mmmm. And, yes, I said that all out loud. I know you talk to your screen too. Right now you’re probably saying,…