Happy Halloween!!

October 31st, 2012

Hello friends!  I just got home after spending a long weekend in New York to visit my brother and friends- which turned into a very long weekend thanks to Hurricane Sandy.  That being said, I’m whooped and I dont feel like making anything today. Instead,  here are some great recipes from around the web:

Caramel Apple Jello Shots (looks way better than it sounds)

Cheddar Witches Fingers

Black Velvet Whoopie Pies

Best Halloween Cocktails (including the Brain Hemorage and Candy Corn Martini)


And lastly, my favorite dog costume this year: Cone of shame + olives = Martini of Shame.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Photo source: one, two



Rosemary Carrots

October 24th, 2012

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

8 carrots washed and peeled, or 2 cups baby carrots (if carrots are large, cut into 2-inch sticks like this)
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp rosemary (fresh or dried)
salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven 375 degrees. Line deep-sided pan with aluminum foil and place carrots in the center.

2.  Thinly slice butter and distribute evenly across the top. Sprinkle rosemary over butter and carrots. Fold the aluminum foil over so it is almost completely covered.

3. Take them out after 20 minutes to turn carrots over and add salt and pepper.  Bake for another 10 minutes and check carrots with a fork to see if they are soft. Let cool for 5 minutes, and serve!



I’m definitely not blazing any trails here with a pasta-tomato-basil dish, but this one is worth posting. Here’s why:

I don’t know about you, but I tend to  add cheese to/”cheese-hance” nearly everything I eat. Yes, cheese makes several things immensely better, but I overdo it sometimes (“you know what this salad needs? a big-ass block of feta”).   Also, nothing is cuter than making the “keep going” gesture to a waitress who has just blanketed my parmesan-encrusted fish  with a formidable mound of grated cheese as my boyfriend looks on amazed/horrified.

So while I was making this, I had the full tub of romano out–ready to flip that bitch directly over the pot. But at the first pre-cheesehance taste, it was perfect. No cheese needed!  The pasta is fantastic in its pure, unpolluted simplicity. It’s very fresh but has substance, so you’re satisfied-  a ”meet me in the middle” when you’re torn between eating a garden salad or fried mac & cheese balls.


1 lb spaghetti
2-3 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves (remove from sprigs)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice


Boil pasta in a large pot for however long the directions on the box dictate. Drain.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir for a 5 minutes on low heat. Serve. Sprinkle a little parm over it if you want. I did it anyway just out of habit.


apple ginger bourbon

October 14th, 2012


This is perfect after a long, arduous day of frolicking at the farmers market, cooing at the toddlers in their little sweaters and boots, and stuffing your face with maple candy and caramel apples.  Take a load off, friend.


3 oz. bourbon
6 oz. apple cider
6 oz. ginger beer

Serves 2


Pour over ice in the above order.  Stir and serve.

Source: tampopo press

There are diet ginger beers available if, like me,  you prefer your drink sweet-but-not-too sweet.


This reminds me of long drives in the fall:

Homer at Millsite Lake last weekend::

Hot Damn, Hot Turkey! Sandwich

October 8th, 2012

“Can I share with you my worldview? All of humankind has one thing in common: the sandwich. I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.”

-Tina Fey/Liz Lemon

People tend to neglect the healing power of a hot sandwich and solitude.  With that in mind, adding jalapeño peppers and sweet pickles to an otherwise unimpressive turkey sandwich, followed by salty kettle chips for a monstrous crunch, that will reverberate off the walls of your cubicle/workspace, seems like an ideal way to eat in peace… sweet, delicious peace.


2 slices of 10-grain bread
4-5 slices of deli turkey
1 slice provolone cheese
2 tsp honey mustard, best quality (see exhibit A, B, and C)
2 tsp mayo
3-4 pickled jalapeño slices, finely diced
6 slices of sweet bread and butter pickles
a handful of regular kettle-cooked potato chips


At Home:
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Spread honey mustard and mayo on the top slice of bread and the diced jalapeños on the bottom slice.  Add turkey and cheese. Wrap in tin foil and throw in the oven for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from oven, take off the bottom slice and add pickles and kettle chips. Eat immediately.

At Work:
Make sandwich with all ingredients except for pickles and kettle chips (pack separately) that morning.  Microwave sandwich for 30 seconds, add pickles and chips. Eat immediately.

I’ve made this sandwich both ways and it is equally amazing.  Love the sweet and spicy.  Hot Damn!

Pumpkin Bars

October 2nd, 2012

This right here is my favorite dessert of all time.   So good, that I asked my mom to make them for my 2nd grade class for my birthday in May, unaware that pumpkin products are generally restricted for another time of year- even more odd that I’d suggest a vegetable based dessert as the #1 choice out of EVERY treat in my sugar-addled kid brain.

These bars are adapted from the cookbook Applehood Motherpie and they are the most deliciously moist, fantastic cake bars with cream cheese frosting you will ever have. ever.


1 (15 oz.) can of pureed pumpkin
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda


4 oz. (half of the package) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar


1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a medium bowl.  Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda and beat until smooth and thoroughly blended.

2.  Spread mixture evenly onto an ungreased pan. And based on the size, you can bake accordingly:

  • 10 x 15 x 1 inch pan- bake for 20-25 minutes
  • 9 x 13 x 2 inch or 10 x 13 x 2 inch pan- bake for 25-30 minutes

3.  For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in vanilla.  Slowly add confectioners sugar a little at a time, beating until mixture is smooth. Spread evenly on top of the cooled bars. Cut into squares.