Fresh Cranberry Bread.

A thick slice of moist fresh cranberry bread, bursting with tart berries, and slathered with butter.

Moist, sweet, tender bread stuffed full of bright, tart cranberries – this is the most festive little loaf! Who wouldn’t want a slice for breakfast? Or a snack? Or as a bribe to make your children eat fun dinner component? I love holiday baking, but so many of my favorites require individual rolling of cookies (like gingersnaps), or individual rolling plus not-one-but-two powdered sugar dustings (see Russian tea cookies) or individual rolling plus a melted chocolate dunk (see cookie dough truffles) <–all 100%, utterly worth the effort, btw. I’m thrilled to add something to the lineup that you can stir with a whisk and even make ahead and freeze! Fresh cranberry bread would make a great gift for neighbors or friends, too. Continue reading “Fresh Cranberry Bread.”

My Go-To Gifts for Girls Age 1 to 5.

a gift guide for girls age 1-5 with my go-to gifts - things my own girls have and love!

I’ve wanted to do a gift guide every year. I’ve successfully (“successfully”?) done it once – but hey, I still stand by my one-item gift guide of 2015!

This year, I’m focusing on my main area of expertise – gifts for girls! My daughters are 6, 3, and 1.5, and every item on this list instantly delighted my girls, is played with frequently, and has stood the test of time in terms of durability and quality. Woohoo! Continue reading “My Go-To Gifts for Girls Age 1 to 5.”

Salted Caramel Pretzel Sundaes.

Salted caramel pretzel sundaes are the perfect sweet/salty/crunchy ice cream treat! Somehow pretzels + ice cream = waffle cone in your brain.

Y’all. This is definitely one of those times something is much more than the sum of its parts. Because there are only three parts: salted caramel sauce. Vanilla ice cream. And pretzels. But the combination…oh, wow. The pretzels are so crunchy, and something about their flavor and texture whispers “waffle cone” to your brain. And their saltiness just ups the sweet/salty factor from salted caramel. It makes me never want to eat ice cream without pretzels again! Continue reading “Salted Caramel Pretzel Sundaes.”

Veggie-Packed Taco Bowls with Roasted Sweet Potatoes. (Whole30 approved!)

A veggie-packed taco bowl with roasted sweet potatoes and slices of avocado

A couple of weeks ago, I dabbled in the Whole30. (If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free way of eating, and the goal is to help you to understand how different foods make you feel.) I have a ton of respect for people who commit and do it – I’m probably never going there, but I dipped my toes in and at the very least, I’m still doing a weird thing wherein I eat a big salad for breakfast a few times a week, and taco bowls with roasted sweet potatoes were born! Continue reading “Veggie-Packed Taco Bowls with Roasted Sweet Potatoes. (Whole30 approved!)”

Homemade Applesauce.

Homemade applesauce is thick, naturally sweet, and intensely apple-y in a way that grainy, watery, artificially sweetened store-bought sauce can't compete with!

Homemade applesauce has become a hobby an addiction a passion of mine. Every few weeks I buy a 15 lb box of “scratch and dent” apples, and it sits on the counter for 3 days while I squirm and wish it didn’t exist. Why did I saddle myself with all these apples aGAIN? But then…I finally tackle it, and as I wash the apples their gleaming, shiny skins start improving my mood.
Continue reading “Homemade Applesauce.”

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Chip Muffins.

These one-bowl whole wheat cinnamon chip muffins are tender and coffeecake-y, packed full of sweet cinnamon chips - a perfect easy breakfast or lunchbox treat!

I realize it’s only my first month of having a kindergartner, so I’m probably not allowed to whine about packing lunches yet, but let’s just say it’s a Hard Job. Why don’t we have any bread? Why do we have bread but she doesn’t want a sandwich? Why, one of those times when we didn’t have any bread, did I make noodles with parmesan cheese (literally: just noodles and parmesan cheese) and unwittingly set the standard against which all future lunches would be measured and found wanting? Continue reading “Whole Wheat Cinnamon Chip Muffins.”

Food for Thought #14: June & July.

1.// In an awesome head-in-the-sand, I-don’t-need-my-calendar-in-the-summer move, I just found out my oldest daughter starts kindergarten on August 15. In my head her first day was in September, and I kinda feel like I just got cheated out of 2 weeks of summer vacation! She’s over here dancing around the house in her backpack, though, so she’s thrilled. I guess she’s allowed to be this grown up?! Continue reading “Food for Thought #14: June & July.”

Sweet Onion Dressing.

Sweet onion dressing has a mild, sweet onion flavor that goes perfectly with a fresh salad!

Salad is not exactly my love language, so you know when I say love a salad with this beautiful sweet onion dressing, it’s something to get excited about! Sweet with a little vinegary kick and a mellow onion taste, it’s perfect for drizzling on tender greens or crisp lettuce. It adds a ton of flavor without being heavy, and is a fresh, fun change of pace if you’re in a salad rut. I especially love it paired with savory toppings, like grilled chicken, toasted nuts, cheese, bacon (duh), or crispy fried onion strings (or…all of the above?)! Continue reading “Sweet Onion Dressing.”