Happy Holidays, everyone! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, Winter Solstice, or just another successful (?) trip around the Sun, you have to admit that this has been a year that challenged everyone’s concept of time. Some days seem to crawl by, and others feel like a time warp (including a jump to the left. And then a step to the right 🕺💃). One day we were trying to figure out how to exist on Zoom, and the next thing you knew it was Merry Hallowthanksmas! (Scene: Turkeys, wearing big-buckled shoes, sitting on pumpkins, while sporting Santa hats.)
No matter what day I think it is or isn’t, it’s apparently that time of the year where I spend four entire days baking, packing, and shipping holiday treats to family and friends. And since the Holidays crept up on us all (rude) I’m pulling out all my quick and easy recipes that are a cinch to pack and ship safely. Such as:
Making their debut on the list this year are my Brown Butter Cookies and Cream Blondies. Honestly, anything I don’t have to scoop and bake every 10-12 minutes is a winner in my book, but these new treats are a dream! Filled with chunks of cookies ‘n cream chocolate bars and oh-so-many Oreo cookies, they mix, bake, cool, and slice in no time, ready for shipping to all of your sweet-starved loved ones! (Read more…)
Pizza is a beloved food in America, and each region of this country has their own take on it. In Chicago, deep dish is King. With its tall walls of crust and a sauce-first architecture, one might argue that it is more of a pizza casserole (though I wouldn’t say that in Chicago 😳). In New York (and New Jersey, if we’re being honest) it’s more of a thin triangle of sauce and cheese (maybe a topping or eight) that can be easily folded and eaten on the go, like a pepperoni taco (don’t repeat that on Mulberry Street NYC 🥺). And Detroiters prefer a thick crust pan pizza that’s all flipped around, with the sauce on top. No matter where you come from in America, you think your pizza is the best. Well, you’re wrong.
Being married to The Boy means eating a lot of pizza. For any newbies here, The Boy is an Italian-American, born on Staten Island, raised in New Jersey. His first teething ring was a stale slice of cheese pizza. Learning to make my own pizza was as much an economic decision as a culinary choice. For my Pizza al Taglio (literally translated to “pizza slice”), I take the best of thick, cheesy Sicilian pizza, merge it, just a bit, with Detroit Pizza, and serve it Roman-style on a slice of focaccia-like crust. This pizza is King in my house. Ask The Boy. (Read more…)
Before I get to the delicious reason for today’s post, I’d like to take just a moment of your time to tell you how this year’s celebration will look a little different in our house. I know that we all want to be with our friends and family during the holidays, but that just isn’t a good idea for those of us living in the ol’ U.S. of A. at the moment. I have family members that I want to see (and hug) as well, so I know how you feel, but we’re all keeping this Thanksgiving small, in the hopes that I can spend many more Holidays with my extended family in the future, and I hope you will do the same. It’s not a lot to ask, and it’s nothing that hasn’t been asked of essential healthcare workers and military families most every Holiday. That being said, since I am apparently incapable of cooking for less than a crowd, I will be offering curbside takeout to those loved ones outside of my immediate bubble!
Anyway, if you are anything like me, Thanksgiving has kind of snuck up behind you and yelled “BOO!” I mean, I understand that 2020 has bent any and all rules of time, but I just didn’t expect to suddenly find myself facing both a turkey and a Christmas tree quite yet. (BTW, my tree is up. Is yours?) Well, my last-minute planning friends, I have a quick and easy Thanksgiving dessert recipe for you! Rarely straying far from my Southern roots, I’m bringing you yet another pecan treat. My Pecan Turtle Shortbread Bars are absolutely out of this world! Chocolate shortbread, topped with a rich caramel pecan layer, and finished with chocolate ganache and pecans, they’re unbelievably easy to make, feed a crowd, and pack beautifully for takeout or shipping! Just because our Thanksgivings have to be smaller, doesn’t mean they have to be any less delicious! (Read more…)
Hello biscuit fans and biscuit fans-to-be! I have created a variation on my Buttermilk Biscuit recipe that will get even those on the biscuit fence excited. Being a Southern Girl at heart (and by birth in Chattahoochee County, Georgia), it’s in my DNA to love biscuits, but it was the work of most-of-a-lifetime to get the recipe just right. And what do I do when I think I’ve mastered something? Mess with it, of course. Like most of my pandemic-era recipes, this new biscuit was developed when I wanted to make something for my family, in this case for breakfast, without having to go to the store. I looked in the refrigerator that morning and saw just a bit of leftover ham and Swiss cheese (not enough for even one sandwich) and that was all it took. These beauties were born. (By the way, no one understands how my brain works. Not even me. Science is baffled.)
These Ham and Swiss Buttermilk Biscuits are amazing on their own, or slathered in Sausage Gravy (hey, we all need more protein after 8 months indoors). Don’t let the idea of biscuit making intimidate you. With simple ingredients and simple directions, you’re going to make something amazing! (Read more…)
At the time of this writing, it’s a few days after Halloween 2020. It’s also the day after Election Day 2020. The true All Hallows Eve. Oh, and I almost forgot, it’s also the Year of the Pandemic 2020. You know, THAT year. Yeah. Lots going on here. It’s all a bit overwhelming, so let’s escape for a moment. Let’s pretend that none of this is happening. It’s a peaceful November day. In this version of the world, Election Day was just the regular amount of stressful. In this version of the world, old people freely mouth-breathe on your neck in line at the Mega Mart. And in this version of the world, the interweb did a “which candy is your favorite?” contest and the loser was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The world said, “peanut butter and chocolate? I’ll pass.” In this world, all you find at the bottom of your kid’s orange plastic pumpkin, two days after Halloween, is a bunch of unwanted Peanut Butter Cups. In fact, there are so many Peanut Butter Cups that you are now looking for things to do with all your Peanut Butter Cups. In that unlikely scenario, I’ve got you covered. (Read more…)
Hi friends! It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with you, and for that I apologize. I don’t know about you, but it has been pretty darn stressful around here. There are some days that I just want to hole up with my family and then there are some days that I hate absolutely everyone and I just want to lay in bed and binge an entire season of The Real Housewives of Anywhere Else. That being said, I’m still cooking most days and you can usually find my current creations on my Instagram Story, but actually writing up a recipe and posting it can be more than my brain can handle. I’m sure you all understand. I will try to do better.
One thing I haven’t slacked on is making some kind of treat for the Emergency Room staff who work with The Boy day in and day out. No matter what is going on with me, no matter how I’m feeling, whether I like The Boy that day or not, I still push myself to make them something every Saturday to say “THANK YOU” for everything they do. It doesn’t matter how you feel politically, if you are an intelligent human being existing in 2020, you know that we are facing a serious health crisis, and these people put themselves on the line every damn day. Some days are worse than others, for sure, but they never know what is going to walk through those doors from one minute to the next. So if I can make them the best damn Dark Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Rye Bars they’ll ever taste, by golly I will!!
You should go make some for someone you want to thank, even if that person is you. Especially if that person is you (Read more…)