Month: May 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Rotel Cups

Happy Memorial Day weekend, friends! We’ve got guests in town for the weekend, and I have big plans to spend every minute I possibly can outside in the sunshine. I’ve got pancake goals and a date with the grill on Saturday afternoon, but I know we’ll need snacks to keep us occupied while we play lawn games and sip fruity beverages. I haven’t seen these friends since our wedding, so I can’t wait to spend time with them. I’ve got guacamole and homemade Chex mix on our snack menu (plus burgers and hot dogs for the grill), and I think these one-bite Rotel cups may just make an appearance as well.

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Slow Cooker Ribs

I’ve had some serious recipe fails lately. I’ll never claim to be perfect, but I seriously don’t know what the heck has been going on. Pie crust has been eluding me after working perfectly for years, and I’ve dumped at least 6 loaves of sourdough sandwich bread into the trash in the last month. They rise beautifully, brown perfectly, and taste like garbage. There’s something about the texture that I just can’t nail. Never fear, though. I’m getting closer, and I’m determined to get it right. But these slow cooker ribs? They came out perfectly on the first try. Ribs are one of my all-time favorite foods, and I don’t eat them often enough. It’s hard when the only grill we’ve got is a tiny little charcoal number that’s less than 2 feet square. So we bring the ribs inside and let the slow cooker do all the work for us.

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Strawberry Freezer Jam

This strawberry freezer jam tastes like my childhood. I didn’t grow up in a house full of foodies, so the familiar tastes I know and love are simple. My mom’s lasagna, pork steaks on the grill, chicken Rice-a-Roni. My dad’s barbecue chicken and pretzel salad (and yes, it has Jell-o in it: I’m from the Midwest, after all). This jam is right up there with the most vivid tastes of all. I remember prying the lids off the sticky square containers my grandma always stored it in and slathering it on my toast. I’d stand at her kitchen counter as we carefully mashed the strawberries to just the right consistency before mixing in the sugar. At the end of the day, I’d carry those prized containers home and hide them in the freezer. I never wanted to share.

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Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Cupcakes

These peanut butter hot fudge cupcakes and I go way back. They were one of the first “fancy” cupcakes I’d ever made, and I fell in love. I know cupcakes aren’t really in fashion anymore. (What even is? Are we over cronuts? I know the internet has a thing for rainbow bagels right now…) I don’t care, though. I will always have a place in my heart for cupcakes. They’re easy to customize and transport, and they will always be popular. Plus they’re so much easier to eat than a whole cake. As much as I love layer cakes, they’re far from practical when you’re taking dessert on the go. So when my mom asked if I’d make cupcakes for my brother’s graduation last weekend, I jumped at the chance to make these little beauties again.

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Roasted Cauliflower Pasta Salad

Yesterday afternoon, Ben and I took a long walk to one of the parks near our house. It wasn’t very warm (wtf’s up with that, May??), but it was so nice to get out of the house and get some steps in. Since we both work from home, it’s too easy to fall into a routine of waking up and moving from my bed to my desk, working 8 hours, then moving to the couch. Sure, we get out and do things every now and then, but the lack of commute means I spend a lot more time on the couch than I would like. Even on the weekends I spent a little too much time staring at a computer screen, usually editing photos and writing recipes for this space. So we grabbed the pup and walked to Lafayette Park (and I drooled over some of the seriously gorgeous houses in the surrounding neighborhood). We saw more than one group of picnickers, which inspired me to share today’s recipe for roasted cauliflower pasta salad.

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