Dinner Party Delectables, Part 2

I don’t know a lot of ways to start a week off that are better than dessert!  So with that, let’s dive right into these Peanut Butter Crispy Bars that are making another appearance from their Dinner Party debut.Every so often when I have spare reading time (which is NEVER now that I’m in graduate school) I get a cookbook out of the library, just to peruse even while I’m watching tv.  One of my favorites is the book that Food & Wine Magazine puts out every year, Best of the Best Cookbook RecipesContinue reading

Dinner Party Delectables, Part 1

I’m going to keep this brief, mostly because I’m smack in the middle of midterms for grad school, and also mostly because I wrote up this post around 9:00 this morning and it somehow deleted itself…Anyway, let us rejoice, because it is Thursday, and Thursday is a good friend of Friday.  And let us rejoice by checking out an awesome recipe for Spanish Manchego Stuffed Pork Burgers, which I made for my Dinner Party last weekend and which were requested to appear on the blog in recipe form! Continue reading

DIY Tartan and Lace Infinity Scarf Tutorial: Two Ways!

While browsing Pinterest recently I came across this lovely little jersey and lace infinity scarf, which (of course) linked directly to one of those subscription-only shopping sites. Boo.

That scarf (even without a direct link to buy) appeared to be extremely popular with my fellow pinners: it has been repinned 47 times since I pinned it myself!  I wanted one, but I thought that I could easily come up with a tutorial for something similar… and I have!Below, you can see that I came up with two different styles based on mixing jersey and lace (mine was actually rayon, oh well), which you could easily make up with some scrap fabric or some old t-shirts. I put both of them together this morning, and they didn’t take much fabric. Keep reading for a full tutorial on how to make each one, complete with pictures.   Continue reading

Adventures in Upstate New York (or “My Favorite Place on Earth”)

Note: This is a very picture-heavy post, so apologies for the slow load time!
My husband’s family has had a “Great Camp” in Upstate New York since the late 1800’s, tucked away in the Adirondack Park. It’s a gorgeous, isolated place with a lake, myriad hiking trails, and the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. We have been extremely blessed to spend a lot of time there over the years, and even more blessed to have had our wedding there in July of 2011.Most recently, we had the opportunity to make a spur-of-the-moment trip to Camp with my graduate school friends (whom I’ve missed dearly ever since moving back to Virginia). The driveway alone is a 30 minute drive, so we hardly ever leave once we’re up there. It was a lovely, lazy weekend, and I can’t wait to head back up that way for Thanksgiving.The weekend started off with the obligatory jump in the lake…   Continue reading

A Little Dinner Party

Good morning to all! Bringing you a different kind of post on this dreary October Monday.  My husband and I had another couple over for dinner on Saturday night, and I thought I’d highlight a few items from our evening and share some tips on hosting, cooking, and making a lovely little tablescape that is NOT fussy, NOT obnoxious, and not hard at all to do!First of all, try to do as much of the prepping, cooking, table-setting as early in the day as you can.  You might think this goes without saying, but not for me.  I am often guilty of making several things that have to be done right before serving, or having two separate dishes that have to have the finishing touches at the same time, right before they hit the table.  Soon I’m a sweating, stressed mess.  Why do this to yourself if you don’t have to??  Same goes with setting a pretty little table. Continue reading

Chicken Stew with Herbed Dumplings

Talk about some comfort food!Okay, so comfort food is something we all crave when the weather turns.  I don’t know if it’s from childhood memories or it’s more primal than that, but something in our bellies wants stick-to-your-ribs goodness this time of year.  Unfortunately, that goodness comes at the price of pants buttons popping and food-induced comas.  So I wondered to myself, does comfort food have to give us that feeling that we never want to even look at food again?That being said, I decided to tackle the classic Southern American dish, chicken and dumplings, and make it a little less heavy.  By creating a broth-based soup, instead of a thick gravy, and by adding tons of veggies and fresh herbs, I think I may have done just that! Continue reading

French Bacon and Onion Tart

My husband and I recently spent a long weekend in Quebec, and of course a lot of their food is French-inspired.  We didn’t have a meal that wasn’t completely delicious while we were there (but that’s a different blog post!) and as soon as we returned home I was hankering to bring French cuisine into my kitchen.  Which brings me to the French bacon and onion tart.The savory, mouth-watering, transcendant, tart…  This dish is honestly one of the best I’ve cooked in a while.  It is absolutely fantastic, and while it does take a little time, you will be HIGHLY rewarded for your efforts!  This recipe is brought to you, via me, via America’s Test KitchenContinue reading

Curried Chickpeas with Swiss Chard

This is an easy, filling recipe that has been a go-to for Jay and myself for the past few years. It’s also a great meatless meal or side, depending on what you need!I’m not feeling super great today, so instead of rambling on, I’m going to go ahead and jump right into the recipe. Enjoy!  Continue reading