We just signed up for a CSA box again and I'm so excited! I've been wanting an excuse to get more adventurous with my cooking, and here it is. I've never liked cooked carrots but I thought that the munchkin might enjoy these. As usual, she completely defied my expectations and spit them right out. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved them! They are like candy and I promptly ate th
I got a new crockpot for Mother's Day! I'm hoping to return to work soon, so in preparation, I'm getting better acquainted with the slow cooker culture. This chicken was right up our alley, with Chinese-takeout-inspired flavors we love. I served it over white rice and broccoli. Munchkin approved!
Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken
Adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff
I picked up some beets at the farmers market last weekend and threw this together for dinner tonight. It was divine. It's the kind of salad that a restaurant around here would charge you $15 for. Besides the beets, I had all of the ingredients on hand, thanks to my beloved Trader Joe's. I'm not one to gush over a salad, but this combination is my very favorite and I'd happily eat it every day.
I'm probably the 10 millionth food blogger to post this recipe. It's a Weight Watchers-friendly recipe gone viral via Pinterest. Cut Pillsbury biscuits (low fat, if you follow the recipe, or regular, if you're me and shop at Trader Joe's) into quarters, toss with enchilada filling, and bake. Super easy. Honestly, I prefer the tortilla version, but this was an easy weeknight meal that I might m
A friend of mine shared this recipe and it went viral among our group of friends. It's on weekly meal plan repeat now for most of us, and for good reason. This tastes amazing, and is so easy. The recipe is written as taco filling, but I love to use it in chicken enchiladas, salads, or rice bowls too. Baby girl loves it on its own. I usually sub a small can of green chiles for the chipotle in a
I finally decided recently that it was time (yup, almost a year later) to ditch the baby/breastfeeding weight I've been carrying around. Thanks to Dietbet and a competitive streak I didn't know I had, it's going really well. I know myself, and in order for my healthy kick to be sustainable, I can't feel deprived. So I've been looking for recipes that are lighter versions of my richer favorites.
I know, it's almost March. These cookies are completely out of season. But I'm catching up on my blogging and these are too good to go unpreserved! I made these back when candy canes and peppermint extract were readily available. If you're a chocolate and peppermint fan, bookmark or pin these for your next round of holiday baking! If you're the impatient type, I bet those round red and white p
Another Pinterest success! That website is a never ending jackpot of great recipe ideas. This was a quick and easy weeknight meal. I served the shrimp over angel hair pasta with broccoli on the side. We haven't introduced shellfish to the little one yet since I'm paranoid about food allergies, but this seems like something she'll really enjoy when the time comes!
Roasted Lemon Gar
I have an obsession with Israeli salad (cucumbers and tomatoes chopped finely with lemon and olive oil), and these chips are perfect crumbled over the top. They're also great as a dip for hummus, baba ganoush, or tzatziki. Za'atar (the green one) and sumac (the red one) are Middle Eastern spices that you may or may not be able to find in a supermarket. I got mine at the Dubai Spice Souk.
I don't know if I dreamed up this idea or saw it on Pinterest. But wherever it came from, it's pure evil genius. I like to keep a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in the fridge for a sometimes weekend treat. Cooking them in the waffle iron didn't make them taste any better necessarily, but it did make for a fun change of pace!
Waffled Cinnamon Rolls
A Playing House Original
This may not look very impressive, but please let me assure you that it tastes like heaven on a plate. I've had a strong aversion to pesto since my pregnancy. It's the only weird quirk remaining from those months when I couldn't eat anything, which are now a blur. Luckily that aversion is specific to basil pesto, because broccoli pesto might be the best thing I've ever eaten. I tossed this wit
This stuff is ridiculous. It's so overpoweringly sweet. I only recommend making it if you're into that kind of thing, which you might be Just don't say I didn't warn you! This really does taste like Funfetti cake, and is a fun addition to a dessert or snack spread.
From Tasty Kitchen
1-½ cup Melted Almond Bark Or White Chocolate
¼ cups Vegetable Sho
These are addictive. So incredibly addictive. I made them one weekend afternoon and it took all of my strength not to eat all of them before our guests arrived that night. I served them with a cheddar cheese sauce that I'm not sharing here because we found it less than impressive, but there are plenty of recipe options floating around the internet if that excites you!
I have a secret to share. Most baked French toast recipes require an overnight soak in the fridge. My secret is that I really believe there's only a marginal improvement if you take the time to do that. So if, on a whim, you decide one cozy Sunday morning that you want baked French toast, don't despair! Just make it anyways. You can't really go wrong with bread, eggs, butter, and sugar. Ever.
I've tried so many pizza dough recipes over the years, and they've all fallen short. The recipes aren't to blame, it's user error. So I was elated to finally find a dough that would let me work with it! Not only was it foolproof, but the texture was perfect, the flavor was divine, and the recipe makes enough for 2 crusts. For this pizza, I used BBQ sauce instead of tomato sauce, topped the pie w
This is not a joke. It is pure evil genius. I don't really have anything else to say about it. I added some meatballs to the recipe since someone in this house (not me, ahem) likes some protein to balance out the carb overload.
Spaghetti and Meatball Stuffed Garlic Bread
From Rhodes Bread (click on the link for helpful step-by-step photos)
1 Loaf Rhodes Bread Dough or 12 Rh
I'm obsessive about trying new recipes, so for a recipe to come into regular rotation in our house is a pretty big deal. This soup is in regular rotation, and it's even approved by my little picky eater.
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Makes 4-6 servings
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
½ whole Small Onion, Minced (about 1/4 Cup)
Hello hello hello! I'm so excited to be back here in my happy place! I've been cooking a lot lately with the help of my little sous chef (who'll be one year old next month, what??). I don't have the brain space to set up photo sessions and write thoughtful posts about each recipe, though, so I've been away from blogging.
But I was remembering tonight why I started this blog: to keep a journ
I've been wanting to make this recipe for years, ever since the silly name caught my eye. It was worth the wait. I'm usually all about seasonal recipes, and blueberries aren't exactly in season right now, but I couldn't possibly deny you the chance to make this goodness!
This is an old-timey recipe from the 1950s Pillsbury baking contest. The 15-year-old contestant named her cake after
In my ongoing quest to become a master balabusta, I made noodle kugel for the first time today. Tonight marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and the celebratory feast I envisioned wouldn't have been complete without this traditional noodle pudding.
If you're not familiar with kugel, it's like rice pudding or bread pudding, but with noodles. It's custardy, sw
Finding time to bake these days is like finding a little hidden treasure. Those moments when the stars align and I have the killer combo of time, a recipe in mind, and ingredients on hand are priceless. Today, I had all 3, and it was magical.
These cookies definitely win for their convenience. The best thing about them was that they didn't require an electric mixer, so no extra cleanup. T
These brownies were a disaster. I almost didn't blog about them, but was convinced by my friends who ate them that it would be a crime to withhold the recipe from you. They tasted great and even looked okay-ish, but I was bummed with the mistakes I made along the way and with the hasty way I photographed them.
See, they're supposed to be all pretty and swirly and stunning. But
I've been all about simple pleasures lately. The days of spending all weekend poring over a recipe are over. My leisurely time in the kitchen has been replaced by food that can be made during naptime or in the short window of happy baby time between eating, sleeping, changing, and errands. This banana bread is the ultimate simple pleasure.
Miss M and I have been visiting my mo
Getting things done while my 4 month old daughter naps is like a giant game of roulette. I never know whether I'll have 20 minutes or 3 hours to get things done. This morning, I won at the baby casino. Not only did I get to shower, fold laundry, and do dishes while Miss M slept, I got to bake cookies too!
I've had success with cake mix cookies before and this was no different. If you'r
Three years ago, I made an ugly chocolate chip cookie cake for Andy's birthday. It tasted great; it was the perfect ratio of soft to chewy and had the sweet richness that every chocolate chip cookie should aspire to. Sadly, the frosting I used last time left everything to be desired, and since then I've been itching to remake it with frosting that really does the cookie justice. Luckily, he requ
Last year, Andy and I went on a "babymoon" to Sedona, Arizona as a last hurrah before Miss M came around. It was a blissfully relaxing trip full of good food, lots of sleep, and spa time. I have a lot of good memories of the food in Sedona, but our dinner at Elote stands out as one of my top 3 meals of all time.
My sister had been there recently (we missed each other by just a few days
Like many social media fans these days, I've been playing a lot on Pinterest. This recipe has been catching my eye there for weeks, and I finally got around to making it for a 4th of July BBQ. Post-baby weight loss efforts be damned, these things are pure evil genius!
Besides being even more delicious than they look, these were insanely easy to make. Not counting baking time, it p
Now that I'm a full-time mom, I'm having an interesting time trying to figure out my identity. This is obviously a topic that's more appropriate for a therapy session than a blog post. But let's just say it's an interesting challenge and I'm rolling with the punches (which, luckily, seem to be few and far between so far). I swear I have a point.
As part of this evolving identity situati
The savory recipes I've been making lately all seem to have something in common: they're all highly customizable. I love having an arsenal of basic recipes like this quiche that I can change up based on which veggies look good at the farmers market or what I'm craving that day. It's a time-saving way to cook and goodness knows I need that these days!
This Parmesan Pasta Salad is
I've been playing in the kitchen more lately, and it's no coincidence that I'm feeling more alive lately too. Part of that has to do with how amazing motherhood is, but this isn't a mommy blog, so I'll stick to the food for now. The reason I've been hesitating to post more here is that I'm self conscious about my how my writing skills have gone south. I feel like I've lost my mojo and an
Roasting is hands down my favorite way to prepare vegetables. I usually head straight for the asparagus. It's like my safety net, I always nail it. But I'm on a mission to branch out and try new things lately, so that's how brussels sprouts found their way into my oven!
Roasted brussels on their own are flavorful in a mellow, creamy kind of way, but this recipe is special becaus
I've had this quiche bookmarked forever but have always been sort of scared and anxious about making it. The truth is, though, that it's so much less intimidating than I had feared. That's usually the case with with me for most things in life, whether it's trying a new recipe or giving birth! My blogger friend Kate swears by this recipe, and now I understand why. It's the kind of recipe that's s
There's no denying it, I've crossed over to the dark side. I'm a mom now, and it appears that I'm now willing to post personal details about my body on the internet. Something no one prepared me for when I was pregnant was how hard breastfeeding would be. 6 weeks in, I'm still fighting like mad to make it work and I'm still not sure it will. In the meantime, I'm holding onto hope and copin
I'm so happy to share that Maya Ruth I. was born on March 25th at 7:40 am. She was 7 lbs, 12 oz and 20 3/4 inches of pure sweetness. We're so in love and can't believe how much she's grown already in her 6 short weeks! Having her around brings a whole new meaning to "playing house."
Still here, still pregnant! This little one seems to lack her mom's chronic neurotic punctuality. I know that she'll show her face when she's ready, but that doesn't mean I'm not going a little stir-crazy as the overdue days tick by. Luckily, we have cake. Lots of cake.I've done plenty of Googling for tricks to induce labor, and "labor cake" was one of the things I found. While I find the prospect
Is there anything better than chocolate and raspberry together? I dare say there is, and it's called Dark Chocolate Frosting. I've never had a go-to chocolate frosting before now, but I guarantee I'll never be making another recipe again.To make the base for these cupcakes, I used an old stand-by, the classic One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe, and filled them with a generous dollop of raspberry ja
I'm a firm believer that homemade baked goods say more than almost any other gift. It's sort of selfish, really. It's so much fun for me to bake for other people, that it hardly feels like I'm doing it in an act of generosity. But usually it winds up being a win/win situation since the recipient tends to appreciate those efforts too (no shocker there!).I wanted to bake to thank some friends for a
Hello out there! It's only been 6 months away from blogging, but it feels like years. If there's anyone still reading, I'd love to explain why I've been away, and why I chose to come back now.During the first trimester of my pregnancy, I was really, really sick. It went beyond feeling nauseous all the time; I developed a complete aversion to anything edible. Along with that came the inability to b
Oh hello there! It's been a while! A lot has happened since last time I wrote. We're back on US soil, grateful for our ridiculously amazing time abroad but so happy to be home. It turns out that I had a kitchen of my own again just in time to make a grand dessert feast for Andy's 30th birthday this weekend. We had a combined birthday/housewarming celebration and I obviously couldn't pass up the op
Over the years, I've collected no fewer than five outstanding brownie recipes that I've made, adored, and would use again in a heartbeat. Yet I find myself on a never ending quest to try new variations on a beloved theme. This quest recently led me to Chocolate Truffle Brownies.These are a basic brownie with walnuts topped off with a layer of beautiful, rich ganache. This particular recipe is an i
When we started our adventure in Dubai, I pictured myself cooking and baking to my heart's content all day, every day. As you may have noticed, that hasn't exactly been the case. Being half a world away from my wealth of beloved equipment and the constant desire to explore/eat out are just a few of the things keeping me away. But I have been taking a cooking class each week (more on that soon!) an
Please allow me to introduce you to my new best friend, Cookies & Cream Cupcakes. In case you need any convincing about how amazing these cupcakes are (which you probably don't), they received numerous compliments along the lines of "this is the best dessert I've ever eaten." These were actually just an afterthought for me since I had so many oreos left over after stuffing chocolate chip cookies w
Please allow me to introduce you to my new best friend, Cookies & Cream Cupcakes. In case you need any convincing about how amazing these cupcakes are (which you probably don't), they received numerous compliments along the lines of "this is the best dessert I've ever eaten." These were actually just an afterthought for me since I had so many oreos left over after stuffing chocolate chip cooki
There is just one word to describe these cookies: ridiculous. In the best way possible, of course. A cookie within a cookie is just pure genius. Like, a "why didn't I think of that?" kind of genius. Luckily for all of us, Jenny at Picky Palate did think of it, and I'm here to vouch for her recipe. If you want to make something completely over-the-top and indulgent that is sure to impress your frie
I experienced my very first grape cake at the little French bakery stand at the Dubai Farmers Market last month. It looked so interesting and novel that I had to buy one. It enjoyed it so much that I made it my mission to get hands on the recipe. It took a bit of research, but I finally found it. The Winemaker's Grape Cake.I never would have thought to use grapes in baking. I love them for snackin
Hi everyone! Sorry for the delay in announcing the 500th post giveaway winners. I got a little sidetracked by some last-minute Greece.I'm back in Dubai now, and ready to play! I want to send my sincerest thanks to everyone who entered the spice giveaway. Your comments validated all of the reasons that I love blogging, especially the part about community. I'm so grateful for your support.Winners, p