Saturday, September 28

Furry Companions

Ran across this poster on Pinterest (original source here) and had to share. Read it, then go hug your furry companion - whatever kind you have - and take a moment to be thankful that in the midst of our busy, often distracted lives, God blesses us with furry angels to remind us what's important and to teach us how to love well.

Friday, September 27

Leave it to Dilbert

 If you search for the Myers-Briggs personality profile on Pinterest, you'll quickly notice that of all the personality types, ISTJ's consistently turn up the least positive memes. We're viewed as being boring, predictable and otherwise uninspiring because we're dependable and get things done. (How's that for gratitude for keeping the world running?)

And then - Dilbert! 

Dilbert discovers that the government is illegally copying all of his company's data. When the company computer system crashes, he restores it by hacking the government database. Government agents are dispatched to his mother's house, and this is what ensues:

Clearly, Mombert is an ISTJ. We may seem predictable, but we are also fiercely loyal. Start with our loved ones and the only thing you'll be able to predict is that it will end badly for you!

Thank you, Scott Adams, for finally and succinctly coming up with something ISTJ's can pin to show off our true colors in a positive light!

Thursday, September 26


I have always considered biscuits the standard go-to option when I need a starch based side dish in a short time frame. They're easy, I can pretty much make them from memory, and they're on the table in about 15 minutes.

But biscuits may have a run for their money in the near future, as I've started experimenting with making my own spaetzle. So far, the best recipe/instructions I've found are from The Wishful Chef (photo hers, of course).

There's a fantastic German restaurant out near my brother-in-law, which is what got me thinking about making spaetzle in the first place. It seemed like it shouldn't be that hard to make something that is variation on a noodle so I started researching recipes and finally gave it a try.

As it turns out, spaetzle are rather like bread. It's all about consistency. I need a little more practice, and am leaning towards a slightly less sticky dough, but overall the test batch came out well and I'm pretty sure a few more practice sessions are all it will take to get this yummy goodness added to my cookbook and on the regular menu rotation. Like biscuits, it takes almost no time to whip up a batch and it's versatile enough to go with a lot of different things. I'll be sure to post my thoughts and tips when I've got the recipe tweaked and completely nailed down, but for now I wanted to share about the experimenting process and my happiness and playing in my kitchen again!

Wednesday, September 25

Concentrated Sin... aka Plum Chutney

After years of lamenting the lack of decent farmers' markets around here, I am delighted to have found one that meets my (admittedly high) standards. It's not big, but it's got good prices, great variety, and nice vendors. While picking up some green beans to pickle a couple weeks ago, we unexpectedly stumbled upon some gorgeous plums for an incredible price. So we snagged a few pounds and I got to try something I've been thinking about tackling for a couple years now: Plum Chutney.

I used this recipe from Chow (photo also theirs), and canned it up in pint jars. The house smelled incredible while it was cooking, and when we slathered it on top of pork chops (which we expertly grilled, because my husband is awesome like that), we agreed that the best description for this new recipe was "concentrated sin". This is somewhat misleading, because there's nothing bad for you in it at all. But it tastes so good you'll swear it must be horrible for you!

I imagine it would be equally good over chicken or duck, and actually would be perfectly happy to scoop it onto chips or bruschetta or to just eat it with a spoon. I literally rough diced the plums, dropped everything in the pan and just stirred every once in a while when I walked by - there was nothing else to it!

We've officially added this to my list of make-every-year goodies (like pickled green beans), and next year I'll plan to make enough to share. If you see a good deal on plums near you, give this a shot!

Tuesday, September 24

Double Chocolate Biscotti

I know, three recipes in a row. Bear with me, though! I didn't have a lot of time to play in the kitchen lately, but almost everything I tried when I was able to get in there with spare time enough to experiment turned out fabulously and I want to share!

Up today: Double Chocolate Biscotti from Crunchy Creamy Sweet! (Photo hers, of course.)

This experiment was inspired by the fact that I have started making my chocolate chips and had just finished a new batch. (If I'd realized how simple and delectable homemade chocolate chips were, I'd have started making my own years ago!) I use Chocolate Covered Katie's recipe except that I use honey instead of stevia.

Anyway, I'd never made biscotti but felt like it probably shouldn't be that hard. Turns out it's super simple, and the results are amazing! They weren't brick hard like so many of the ones you buy at coffee shops. They were just crispy enough to have an engaging texture, and they were insanely rich. I made very small slices and you only needed one at a time. Plus, the batch made a lot - so much that both my husband and I took some into work to share (to rave reviews). I will definitely be checking out Crunchy Creamy Sweet's other recipes soon!

Monday, September 23

Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash

Squash is one of those things that I never had growing up and didn't have any idea how to cook when I got out on my own. I started with butternut squash and yellow squash, but this is the first year I've really tried to do anything with spaghetti squash.

That being the case, I opted to go with Stupid Easy Paleo Spaghetti Squash, in which you essentially cut your squash in half and drop it in a crock pot with some pasta sauce and walk away. The results? Pretty good, but I'll use some minor tweaks next time.

First, sauce tends to get a little runny in the crock pot, so I'll plan to heat up a little extra sauce on the side so I don't feel like it's quite as soupy when served.

Second, I will not use this for a one-pot meal next time. It tasted great, but the squash didn't yield as much as I expected for it's size. Considering that my crock pot only fits one squash, I'll need to plan to make something filling to go with it and be all set.

I'm very happy to have found this recipe, because it's extremely easy and healthy. I'm also pleased to have discovered the site it came from - What's not to like about a site full of crock pot recipes that aren't full of imitation food-like product (such as cream of goop soup), the way so many crock-pot sites are? Hopefully it will yield many more great new recipes as the fall progresses!

Sunday, September 22

Raspberry Swirl Rolls

So... I've been MIA around this blog for nearly the entire summer. Life got a little crazy (more on that later), and there just wasn't any time to sit and blog.

Now that fall has officially hit, I'm hoping to carve out a little more time to get back to doing fun things like blogging. I thought I'd start with some recipes!

Up first: Raspberry Swirl Rolls from the Shopgirl blog. (Photo below obviously hers - no photo I could ever take would be that gorgeous!)

The dough on these was flawless and a half batch was exactly the right size to make six decadent rolls in my jumbo muffin tin pan. This culinary escapade was inspired by the need to use up some delicious raspberry jam a friend gave me that was not going to last long, but I am convinced it would turn out just as magically with any fruit or jam you wanted to use.

This one is decidedly a keeper!