Sweet & Salty Cookies

Sweet and Salty Cookies combine some of my favorite treats – pretzels, chocolate chips, and butterscotch – in one soft and chewy cookie with a ton of flavor!

Sweet and Salty Cookies combine some of my favorite treats - pretzels, chocolate chips, and butterscotch - in one soft and chewy cookie with a ton of flavor!

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE RECIPE

So I feel like I might be able to blame this recipe on a pregnancy craving…but let’s be honest, I would LOVE these Sweet and Salty Cookies whether pregnant or not.  Ross was a big fan too, so there you go.

Actually, I kinda wish I had some weird pregnancy cravings to share with everyone who asks.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had cravings, but they are all entirely normal.  Like, the entire first trimester I craved comfort food: pizza, pasta, tacos…but those are all things I would be happy to eat on any normal day of the week.  The melted cheese fantasies were a bit more extreme than usual, true.  I could have happily swum in a vat of mozzarella.  But who doesn’t love a good melty cheese?

Adding pretzels to cookies seems a bit more like something a pregnant woman would do.  But…not necessarily.  I am ALWAYS a fan of the salty-sweet combination.  (See: Drunk in the Kitchen Brownies.)  And I know I’m not alone in that love.

Sweet and Salty Cookies combine some of my favorite treats - pretzels, chocolate chips, and butterscotch - in one soft and chewy cookie with a ton of flavor! (more…)

Blueberry Muffin Cake

Blueberry Muffin Cake, an easy blueberry-laced confection with a crunchy streusel topping, is delicious served for brunch or dessert!
Blueberry Muffin Cake, an easy blueberry-laced confection with a crunchy streusel topping, is delicious served for brunch or dessert!

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE RECIPE

I can feel it in the air.  Summer is coming.  But here in Houston, that phrase is uttered with more of a “Game of Thrones” style dread than excitement.  Well, for me anyway.  It means the return of suffocating heat and humidity and my personal inability to do anything outside without ending up looking like I jumped in a pool.  But on the bright side of things, it also means that the berries are just getting better and better!  And I do love my berries.  Mixed in smoothies, adorning cereal, out of hand eating, and of course, dessert.  Now, this lovely Blueberry Muffin Cake actually pulls double duty, as while you can definitely serve it for dessert, you can also definitely use it for breakfast or brunch.  Maybe even for Easter?

Blueberry Muffin Cake, an easy blueberry-laced confection with a crunchy streusel topping, is delicious served for brunch or dessert!

(more…)

Nutella Cheesecake Oreo Bars

Nutella Cheesecake Oreo Bars are just as dreamy and decadent as they sound – the perfect dessert for Nutella-lovers!Nutella Cheesecake Oreo Bars are just as dreamy and decadent as they sound - the perfect dessert for Nutella-lovers!

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE RECIPE

Anyone who knows us, knows we tend to plan vacation activities around food.  Or sometimes, I would go so far as to say we find things to do on vacation in between meals.  (Don’t judge – I’m positive at least 38.7% of you do the same thing.)  Of course, it depends on the type of vacation.  For instance, Ross is quite the skier, and on a typical trip to the slopes, food lags slightly behind skiing in importance.

However, our recent vacation (babymoon!) to Jackson Hole was entirely traditional for us, in that food reigned supreme, and even Ross’s ski runs had a foodie link.  Fun fact: there is a cabin serving WAFFLES at the top of the Tetons!  In my preggo condition, I passed on the skiing (I’m not very good anyway), but you can bet I hopped on the tram and met Ross at the summit for a taste of those waffles.  Of course they were fantastic.

Even better than those waffles, however, was an astonishingly decadent dessert we shared at an Italian restaurant (Il Villaggio Osteria) after a snowy day of sight-seeing: a Nutella cheesecake. It had an incredibly rich flavor, silky texture, and the perfect amount of sweetness to balance it all out.  We foolishly ordered just one slice and almost came to blows over the last bite.  We knew we had to recreate it immediately upon returning home.  And with some tinkering and tasting, these Nutella Cheesecake Oreo Bars were born.

Nutella Cheesecake Oreo Bars are just as dreamy and decadent as they sound - the perfect dessert for Nutella-lovers! (more…)

Lavender Grapefruit Martini

This Lavender Grapefruit Martini is a fresh and flavorful cocktail, just right for welcoming spring.

This Lavender Grapefruit Martini is a fresh and flavorful cocktail, just right for welcoming spring.

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE RECIPE

With the approach of spring, my mind has been turning to all the fresh ingredients that come along with it.  Mind you, I have to look at a calendar to know that spring is approaching, as Houston was entirely without winter this year.  Regardless, the jasmine and azaleas blooming made me think of another, more edible flower: lavender.

Back when Liz lived in New York, there was a great bar just down the street from her apartment called Dove Parlour.  Sadly, it has since closed, but we think of it quite fondly.  It had this dark, almost speakeasy feel, and was the sort of place that felt entirely natural to order fancy cocktails and once, even absinthe.  Of course, they don’t make it with hallucinogenic wormwood anymore, so it’s not as fun, but I digress.  One of their signature cocktails was the “French Lavender,” and I might go so far as to call it Liz’s favorite cocktail in all of NYC.  So this is our homage to that drink: a lavender grapefruit martini.

This Lavender Grapefruit Martini is a fresh and flavorful cocktail, just right for welcoming spring.

(more…)

Irish Soda Bread

Our version of Irish soda bread is tender, flavorful, and most of all, EASY!  Whip up a batch in no time and you’ll have your house smelling like home.
Our version of Irish soda bread is tender, flavorful, and most of all, EASY! Whip up a batch in no time and you'll have your house smelling like home.

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE RECIPE

You know how some people are all down on baking mixes?  Like, cake mix is an abomination, and if that’s the only option it’s better to have NO CAKE AT ALL?

Those people be crazy.

Me, I love a good mix.  Sure, some mixes are pretty poor quality, but sometimes you find one that’s a winner, and then guess what?  There are less steps between you and a delicious baked treat.  Sounds like a genius plan to me.

When I was studying abroad in Ireland, we found just such a mix for Irish soda bread, or “brown bread” as I think this particular brand called it.  We were four girls in an apartment with a comically small kitchen, expected to store all of our groceries in a single mini fridge.  Needless to say, our cooking was on the simple side.  Kneading bread?  No counter space for that nonsense.  But a mix for a homemade quick bread?  Now THAT we could manage.  Pro tip: if your kitchen lacks a bread pan, improvise with an inverted, unidentified pyrex lid that doesn’t seem to match up with any actual container!  Small kitchens don’t matter when you get to eat fresh, crusty bread – and everything feels a little more like home.

The recipe I’m sharing today for Irish soda bread doesn’t actually use a mix, but it’s darn close.  In the spirit of those cozy-kitchen days, this is a truly traditional Irish recipe, with five ingredients, no kneading, and way more deliciousness than seems possible for something so easy.

Our version of Irish soda bread is tender, flavorful, and most of all, EASY! Whip up a batch in no time and you'll have your house smelling like home. (more…)