devil dog cupcakes {thankful thursdays 02.10.2016}

In the quiet of my house, the words for what I want to share come naturally. They wait, ever so patiently, at the threshold between my mind and reality, the moment when they can spill from my fingertips to the keyboard. But I’m not in the quiet of my house at the moment. I’m in a half-crowded cafe in D.C., and while the noise isn’t unbearable, it’s the background chitter chatter that makes writing feel too disjointed. Oh, and the fact the the top of my tea pot just dropped into my mug, splashing dots of chai all over the table, well, yeah, that didn’t help. Speaking of the chai, the one they serve at Tryst is a good substitute when I’m not making it at home (recipe is in the new issue of City Girl. Country Kitchen).

See what I’m talking about…such lack of focus when I work in cafes or coffeeshops. I applaud people who do this on a daily basis. I much prefer the peace of my house upstate. I felt more productive this past weekend than I’ve felt in a while. Last fall, a renter from Airbnb left me the kindest note, and commented that my house had wonderful energy. He and his girlfriend felt it from the moment they walked in. I knew exactly what he meant. I feel it every time I’m there. Even in the loneliest of moments, usually at night, when darkness falls all around, leaving you feeling isolated from the world, I know what joy daybreak brings.  Continue reading »

7-minute marshmallow frosting

Remember those birthday cupcakes I mentioned in my last post? Well, I’m going to start by sharing my recipe for the best marshmallow frosting ever. Even better? It only takes seven minutes to make (no joke). Think of this as a cupcake cliffhanger.

Six years ago when creating that ring ding cake for Mikey, I made a seven-minute icing to use as the filling. What I loved most about the recipe is that it was no-cook. Most seven-minute icing recipes call for making a simple syrup of water and sugar, then drizzling it into the egg whites while beating them. I don’t like extra, unnecessary steps, and this is one case when it’s really wasteful from a time perspective. Cleaning dishes is also one of my least favorite chores, so if I can save time and have one less pot to wash, then it’s a double win. Continue reading »

city girl, country kitchen

Happy Monday! This is going to be a quickie, so please forgive me. At the moment, I’m readying to make my way back to Maryland (again!). We came upstate for a Bar Mitzvah this weekend, and let me tell you something—I’m beginning to run on empty. Or maybe fumes, at this point. Coming up three weekends in a row means 2,000 miles of driving.  Continue reading »

hummus, four ways

Last week someone posted news of last year’s hummus recall from the popular brand Sabra’s. It also brought judgment from every food blogger about how hummus is the easiest thing to make, and why would you ever buy the stuff. Guess what? I buy Sabra. My kids love it, and I do, too. I immediately dumped the unopened container in my fridge out, figuring better to be safe. Of course, had I paid better attention to the date of the article she shared, I would’ve realized it was a recall from last August.  Continue reading »

tangerine tea cakes | the weekend baker

I’ve got to keep reminding myself it’s only Tuesday. After 10 days home with the kids, yesterday felt like the longest Monday on record. The snowpocalypse here resulted in school being cancelled for an entire week. There’s much speculation about the ineptitude of the D.C. area to handle snow removal, and as a lifelong New Yorker who’s weathered many storms, I can’t help but let out a few harrumphs myself. In my 20s I believed a native New Yorker could survive anywhere. I mean, growing up in a rough, rugged city (or at least it used to be), any place else would be a cake walk. I’ve been proven wrong. It’s harder because the bar is set so high, but I’m going off on a tangent here. Let’s get back to the real reason I’m popping in today. Continue reading »

cacio e pepe, italian comfort food

Day 5. No School. All family members are safe, but not very sound. The walls of our three-room apartment feel like they’re closing in, but that is really just our sanity slipping away. That is what my journal entry would like, were I keeping a blizzard journal. Suburban life has been an adjustment, and one that doesn’t always feel like the right fit. Weathering suburban life after a blizzard is enough to make me scrawl redrum on the walls.

Montgomery County encompasses a large area (more than 500 square miles), so while things seem relatively okay on the main roads where we live, parts further west and north, are still dealing with snow removal issues (we had 27 inches here in North Bethesda). And then there’s the schools—as of Tuesday afternoon they only them 60% cleared. I’ve almost lost hope on there being any school this week, but we shall see what tomorrow brings. Continue reading »

clementine, honey & olive oil cake

I’ve lost my mojo—remember that line from one of the Austin Power’s movies? This never used to be a problem, and it frustrates me to no end when it happens now. I’ve yet to find a steady footing these last few years. The kitchen has provided much solace, especially during the more challenging moments in life. It was a place I could always count on to find a sense of self, and control. Right now, something is amiss, my circuits a little frazzled, and wires crossed. Some nights, I have to dig deeper than I ever thought just to put dinner on the table, to shake the numbness away from my core. Continue reading »

Baked Potato Bar

Remember those Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes I shared with you yesterday? Well, this was my grand plan all along: a Baked Potato Bar for dinner. I’m vegetarian leaning in my eating habits, and while I love a perfectly cooked steak, I could also be quite happy never eating meat again (okay, maybe mostly happy). This is not the case for my carnivorous kids. Factor in that one of them doesn’t like soup, vegetables, and most beans, except for the ones I make on taco night and use in chili, and well, some nights dinner feels like the BIGGEST chore, ever.

DIY Baked Potato Bar, a quick & easy weeknight dinner. | get the recipe at Continue reading »

slow cooker baked potatoes

Hello, hello! I’m popping in for a quick tease to tomorrow’s recipe. So, let’s say today is a cliff hanger of sorts. You’ve probably already been putting your slow cooker to good use this winter, but in case you haven’t, now is the time to pull it out from whatever closet you’ve tucked it away in (mine lives on the top shelf of the coat closet due to a severe lack of storage space). Continue reading »

snow day survival recipes

It seems we may finally be in for our first storm of the season. I’m kind of okay with that, though I wish we could be upstate where the girls can frolic freely in the snow in our backyard. Still, I’m preparing myself for them to be home on Friday, which also means my work week will be cut by one day, leaving my sanity surely hanging by a thread.

I’d planned to share my recipe for a lovely lentil salad, but cannot find it anywhere. I’ve scoured my recipe books and notes, and all that seemed to survive from my work on it six months ago is a photo. So, while I go back to the drawing board on this one, and get the next issue of Simple Scratch Cooking ready to ship, I figured a collection of snow day recipes would be a nice substitute to help us prepare for weathering the (possible) storm later this week! I’ve also gathered all of these recipes in one handy place, so click here if you use Pinterest.

Leisurely Breakfast Ideas

Crispy Vanilla Waffles (dairy-free)

Sunday Best Waffles

French Toast Waffles

Chocolate Malted Waffles

Hot Chocolate, A Snow Day MUST!

Homemade Hot Cocoa

Gingerbread Hot Cocoa (is enjoying gingerbread in January like wearing white after Labor Day?)

Chocolate Chip Cookies, anyone?

My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (nice & chewy, like those Entenmann’s  ones I grew up eatng!)

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brownies, Brownies, and More Brownies!

Peppermint Brownies

Milk Chocolate Brownies

Chewy, Bittersweet Brownies

Grain-Free Brownies

Dairy-Free Fudge Brownies