I'm pretty sure I've stated before that I'm not a fan of the warmer months. Spring is pretty, but here in Tennessee it's mostly just a few weeks of nice weather before it turns into a 90 or 100 degree hell-scape for four months. But there is one thing I like when it gets warm: I can finally drink smoothies again! I know some people drink them all year round, but for some reason I can't bring my
img class="centered" src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8114/86568803_396b5bb305_c.jpg" width="533" height="800" alt="Snickerdoodle Chess Bars" title="Snickerdoodle Chess Bars by Back to the Cutting Board" />
Do you ever get obsessed with a certain food and eat it every single day for weeks or even months? This is not a rhetorical question. I'm genuinely wondering if I'm crazy or not. I do this s
I was recently given my grandmother's box of recipes, most of them handwritten, probably many, many years ago and it's been really fun going through it and seeing what her favorite recipes were. My mother also had a similar recipe box filled with cards and magazine clippings that I look through periodically. Cookbooks are great, but I love taking one of those meticulously written recipe cards ou
After my trip down to the Gulf Coast in February, I came home with a ton of Meyer Lemons from my aunt's own tree. I've been steadily trying to use them up in muffins or any other lemon recipe I could find, but in the end I wound up making lemon curd. I hope everyone reading this has made lemon curd before and if not, get yourself some lemons so you can make it soon! The process is quick and simp
I didn't mean to take so much time away, but after a pretty crazy month I should finally be able to start posting regularly again. It all started with me getting what I thought was food poisoning but turned out to be the stomach flu. It was bad enough that I went to emergency room for the first time in my life. That was an interesting experience! I'm a lifelong cookie dough and brownie batter ea
I don't know about you, but it's pretty cold where I am. And I'm down in Tennessee so if it's cold for me, I know it's lot colder for many others. When the temperatures get down this low all I want to eat are warm and comforting foods. I crave thick soups and stews or pot roast or chicken and dumplings. But it's also January, and while I didn't specifically make a New Year's resolution to go on
I always have grand plans every Christmas. This year I'm going to send homemade Christmas cards! This year I'm going to make peppermint bark and send it to everyone in pretty tins! This year I'm going to make cookies for Brandon's whole office! Over the years, I have actually accomplished all of these things---though rarely all in the same year---but sometimes it doesn't work out. I get too busy
Well, it's that time of year again. The time that I buy bags and bags (and more bags) of cranberries and hoard them in my freezer. I was in Sam's Club last month and they had the biggest bag of cranberries I've ever seen, it had to be at least 5 pounds. Since it was right before Thanksgiving I had absolutely no extra space in my freezer so I didn't buy the giant bag of cranberries (even though I
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. I've already disposed of the turkey because I could not look at that sad carcass one more day. I'm just turkey-ed out. I hope you guys had a nice Thanksgiving day/weekend! We invited a few friends over and I did most of the cooking, making all of my traditional dishes. I've never really hosted a dinner party like that before so it felt very grown up. I thi
November has passed in a flash and here we are, it's almost Thanksgiving! I'm freaking out about this because I just got back from vacation and I'm having a hard time adjusting to normal life again. We spent half the week in a secluded cabin in the Smokey mountains and the other half in Asheville, NC, which is a pretty little town with lots of wonderful restaurants. I had such a good time that
You know that saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away?" Of course you do, everyone does, but I wonder how many people actually eat an apple every day? After eating poorly and---not surprisingly---feeling crappy all summer I've been making an effort to get my diet back on track and eating an apple every day was the first thing I decided to do. But not just apples, I've been making sure I ha
I'm so happy that the weather is cooler because now I can finally make my favorite comfort foods again. The list includes:
Chicken and Dumplings
Beef Stew or Roast Beef
Unfortunately, all of those recipes either heat up the kitchen too much or they're just too hot to eat on a muggy summer day so I haven't made them in what feels like forever. When I was exci
It looks like Fall has finally arrived in Tennessee this past week. The temperature has been dropping as the leaves are starting to change and that has me instinctively heading into my kitchen to bake with my favorite ingredients: pumpkin and apples! This recipe is inspired by the apple fritter bread and pumpkin streusel bread that I've been obsessively buying from Target for the past couple of
I know last week I was all about being healthy, but this week...well, sometimes you just need chocolate! This is my go-to recipe for such times. This is my "It's Saturday night and I need something sweet and chocolatey or I'm gonna lose it" cake. Since time is of the essence in these situations, this recipe is perfect because it's so easy. It only takes about 15 minutes to whip up and 30 minutes
I don't know what it is about bananas but I always feel compelled to buy a huge bunch of them despite the fact that most of the time I eat three or four while the rest sit there and rot. But then I wind up standing in front of the bananas again at the grocery store and telling myself that this time I'll really eat them all. THIS TIME. I'll eat two a day! I swear! Yeah, right.
But now, I finally h
I've said here many times that Fall is my favorite season. Summer can never be over fast enough for me. Usually, I'm ready to declare it Fall as of September 1st despite what the actual weather or calendar says. But this year is different. It's weird. I almost feel like I'm cheating on Fall when I say this, but: I'm not ready for Summer to be over.
It's not so much that this has been a great s
Has this ever happened to you: you see someone eating something on TV or in the movies and all of sudden you just have a huge craving for what they're eating? This summer I've been rewatching one of my favorite TV shows, Gilmore Girls -- Remember? Lauren Graham? Rory? Stars Hallow? The dear, departed WB? -- and this has become a major problem for me. If you don't remember or never watched the sh
The mousse is very simple mixture of lemon curd (which only takes about 15 minutes to make and can be made up to a week in advance) and whipped cream. So simple! I make a big batch of lemon curd at the beginning of the week, then when dessert time rolls around I whip up a little cream and mix in a few heaping spoonfuls of curd. In 5 minutes you have a smooth-silky-light-fluffy-sweet-tart lemony
I've been making an effort to eat breakfast every morning. This is pretty difficult for several reasons: I'm not a morning person and even pouring a bowl of cereal can be too much to handle some days. Also, I'm just not very hungry in the mornings. A cup of coffee is more than enough to fill me up. For these reasons I have to cheat by making myself a "dessert" in the mornings. Basically, somethi
If you couldn't tell from previous posts I have quite a long list of store-bought-food-I-want-to-learn-to-make-at-home. After I cleared off Spaghetti-Os, Soft Batch cookies were next on the list. They're probably my second favorite kind of store-bought cookie (because nothing is better than Oreos). I like them so that I can only ever buy the small packs that you get from gas stations because I c
When it comes to dinner, Mexican food is my big weakness. I don't go out to eat too much anymore, especially compared to five plus years ago when Brandon and I dined out more days than we ate at home, but I can't give up my Mexican food. I go to my favorite Mexican restaurant at least every other week, sometimes more often. Whenever we move to a new town, finding a Mexican restaurant with a dece
I was hoping to get a new recipe up here this week but several work deadlines haven't left me with much free time. So with Easter coming up I thought it would be a good time to post a round up of my favorite Spring recipes. At the end I also included a few links to fun looking Spring/Easter recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers. Check them out!
I'll be back next week with a new recipe.
Spring is officially here! And in the spirit of spring cleaning I've started going through my packed freezer to finally use up the last of the fruit that I froze last year. I got a ton of blueberries and blackberries from my CSA and have been using them in muffins all winter but after last week's Pop Tart adventure I didn't really want muffins or anything too carb-y. I've been craving a lemon de
Just like Spaghetti-os and Oatmeal Cream Pies, Pop Tarts are one of those things I loved when I was kid but have tried to stay away from as an adult. But since I had so much fun learning to make those other favorites at home, I figured it was time I finally attempted a Pop Tart. With the other recipes I was trying to make a homemade version that was close to the taste and texture of the origina
We've already established that I love those crispy, chewy granola bars and I'm always on the look out for snacks like that so when I found this recipe I was almost angry with myself for not coming up with it on my own. Granola...with Rice Krispies in it. It's so simple and obvious! It's basically those granola bars without the extra step of making bars. I've always liked granola but it turns out
I enjoy cooking but since I only taught myself to cook through sheer force of will, a bookshelf full of cookbooks and lots of food blogs some of my technical cooking skills are pretty lacking. Baking comes to me pretty naturally but I still struggle a lot with cooking. I think it's because baking is mostly linear: you mix all the dry ingredients, then you mix all the wet ingredients, then you mi
I mentioned last week that I had a lot of egg whites left over after making my king cakes. I wanted to make a cake since I was still in birthday mode, but after a fairly indulgent month eating chocolate cookies and cream cheese filled cakes, an angel food cake seemed like a nice alternative. A sweet treat without any of the guilt!
But I didn't want a plain angel food cake and I already made a c
Even though I haven't lived anywhere that celebrates Mardi Gras for a very long time, I grew up on the Gulf Coast and still have lots of fond memories of going to the parade every year. And since my birthday is in late February, Mardi Gras has fallen on or near the same day---the date changes every year, along with Easter---a bunch of times so I would usually have some kind of Mardi Gras themed
I've never made a big deal about Valentine's Day. It's nice to get some flowers but I don't expect anything else. We don't even bother going out to eat on Valentine's Day anymore because the restaurants are always so crowded. Besides, my birthday is less than a week later so it's easier to celebrate both occasions then. But there is one thing I love about Valentine's day, especially since I star
I know oranges are available year round but for some reason the only time I actually want to eat a whole orange is in the early months of year when my two favorite varieties are available: Cara Cara and Blood Oranges. When they show up at my grocery store I start hording them so I'll be able to eat as many as possible before they disappear again. I haven't been to the grocery in a few weeks, so
Ok, it's confession time. While my eating habits have improved a lot over the past couple of years, I still have a lot of weaknesses for the unhealthy processed food I used to eat all the time. Things like corn dogs and snack cakes and store bought cookies. But the good thing about learning to cook is that you can learn to make all the "bad" stuff you love. Yes, it may still be unhealthy, but at
Hello January, we meet again. I used to try to make resolutions, the usual ones about going on a diet, exercising more, etc. but after years of pretty much not ever following through I'm officially giving up resolutions. I know it's the New Year and that seems like a great time to "start over" but January just never works for me. The cold weather makes it hard for to get motivated to go walking
I almost didn't think I'd make it, but it looks like I'll be able to squeeze in one final post in 2011. I was in crazy work deadline mode the week before Christmas and barely had time to cook anything much less photograph and post it here. After I got all my work done, I went a little cooking crazy figuring something I make over the weekend would be worth posting but it turns out everything has
If you couldn't tell from many of the recipes on this blog, I love to bake and I struggle throughout the year trying to balance the sweet treats with savory and/or healthier recipes. But from Thanksgiving to New Years Day all that falls away and I embrace what I like to call "baking season". I don't put restrictions on myself, I don't worry about calories, I just let loose and make whatever I wa
It's finally December! Not only is it my favorite month with my favorite holiday, but it's my favorite time of the year to bake since there are always so many fun recipes to try. I love gingerbread so this recipe has been on my "To Make" list for while and it finally seemed like the perfect time for it. I already have a gingerbread muffin recipe that I love, but this gingerbread cake turned out t
I hope all my American readers had a nice Thanksgiving. The past couple of years Brandon and I have had a guest to help us eat all that food, but this year was a simple Thanksgiving with just the two of us. Unfortunately, my brain kinda went on autopilot as I was preparing all my traditional dishes and I wound up making enough food for probably 5 or 6 people! Suffice it to say we had lots of lef
Hey look, it's more apple recipes! Have you had enough yet? I promise to cool it with the apples after this, but I just had to share these easy and delicious recipes since apple season is almost over. Thankfully apples are available year round, but they don't seem to taste quite as good as they do in the fall.
The great thing about this is that it's two recipes in one. Start with 5 pounds of a
It's nearing the end of the year which means that I only have a few more deliveries from my CSA and I'm starting to get sad when I think about not getting that box every Wednesday. But I'll definitely be signing up for another year and, thankfully, I only have to wait about two months since they pick back up in March.
I started this blog several years ago to become a better cook and put more
I went to high school in a teeny-tiny mountaintop town in Tennessee. At the time it only had two options for fast food: Hardees and a rundown Dairy Queen (it later got a McDonald's because even teeny-tiny towns on a mountain need a McDonald's) I don't even like Hardees, but when you're in boarding school and the only other option is cafeteria food, you'll eat pretty much anywhere else when you g
Looking back through my archives I realized I've posted at least one chocolate-pumpkin dessert before Halloween for the past few years, so I figured it was past time to post a recipe like this, especially after all the apple recipes I've posted lately. Fruit is great, but for me at least, chocolate will always be better.
I've actually been working on this recipe for a while. I made some pumpki
Recipe inspiration can come from some funny places. I decided to make these muffins after buying some cute red cupcake liners from Target. I just knew I had to put something with apple in them (and it helped that I had basket full of apples waiting for me at home). I promise I'll move on to something else besides apples after this, but I had to share this recipe because I was so happy with how t
I hope you guys like pumpkin and apples because those are pretty much the only two ingredients I'm interested in baking with for at least another month (ok, that's probably not true...I may have to use chocolate at some point). In fact, I've been going back and forth since last week about whether I should post another apple recipe or another pumpkin recipe and finally the idea came to me to put
I've been learning to cook for several years now and I finally feel like I'm getting a handle on adapting recipes and improvising to suit my needs, but since I never went to culinary school or anything like that some of the science behind making food still alludes me. Baking can be especially tricky since I've been trying to use more whole grain flours and they don't have quite the same properti
It's finally here! Friday is the first day of Fall and I'm ready for it. The weather has even been cooperating with temps in the 60s this past week. I've been baking like mad since the beginning of September but these pumpkin muffins were my inaugural Fall treat and they did not disappoint. I got inspired to make them after cleaning out my kitchen and finding that I still had 4 cans of pumpkin p
I love graham crackers, so I've been wanting to make these for a long time. Graham crackers are just about the only packaged "cookie" that I buy because they're the only ones that I don't totally lose control around. I can eat a couple of graham crackers and be totally satisfied, unlike Oreos where I want to eat about 20 of them at a time. Graham crackers are in that perfect spot between healthy
I know what you're thinking. Seriously. Because I thought it, too. Cantaloupe pie?? That sounds weird and kinda gross. But you're just going to have to trust me on this one. I would never share something gross and honestly? This recipe...it's kind of amazing.
But let's start at the beginning. You see, I got two big cantaloupes in my CSA box a few weeks ago. I knew Brandon and I wouldn't be able
Remember when I said I was excited about making soup this fall? Well, the prospect of soup sounded so good that I may have jumped the gun a little. But that's ok because this might as well be called "Summer's Almost Over Soup." It's full of fresh and bright summer produce but it's warm and hearty and creamy and perfect for those late summer evenings when the temperatures are finally starting to
I am officially putting summer on notice. Seriously. Start packing up. Time to go. There's only a week and half left in August and then it'll finally be September. Even though fall doesn't technically start for a full month, I consider September 1st the first unofficial day of fall. It's like how they start putting out all the Christmas stuff right after Halloween. I am ready for fall and I don'