First thing’s first! A batch of hot chocolate made in the slow cooker. ♥
And next up, I have a new photography post for you. I haven’t been able to get out much with my camera the past few months because of my current living-in-a-hole-with-my-manuscript situation. BUT, I’ve been photographing nonstop inside and I wanted to let you in on a few new photography styles I’ve been testing out. Breaking out of my photography comfort zone has been invigorating, challenging, and inspiring. If you’re a food photographer and you feel like you’re in a rut, I encourage you to test out new lighting and angles! Read more right this way.
The poconos trip this past weekend was just what we all needed. We went with a couple friends and while it wasn’t the snowy winter weekend we had hoped, we basked in the sunshine. Kevin and his buddy went snowboarding while my friend and I sat outside the lodge, ate lunch, caught up on life, and soaked up the sun.
New Dinners I’ve Tried Lately
We’ve talked about the dinner rut before. So continuing with the goal of trying one completely new dinner recipe each week, here are a couple recent favorites that will be sure to stick on our permanent rotation.
- Rainbow pad thai – this easy recipe comes from Pinch of Yum. We doubled it so that we could have leftovers for lunch all week. I cooked 1 lb of shrimp right before I started with the recipe, then added it back in at the very end. For the fresh herbs, I used cilantro. LOVED this meal and can’t wait to make it again.
- MD crab cakes – outstanding. Followed the recipe to a T and they were incredible. We had them with baked sweet potatoes + salad.
- Lightened-up potato gratin – we had this alongside grilled chicken last week. I used 1 sweet potato and 2 white potatoes. 1/2 cup chicken broth + 2 cups milk, instead of 2 and 1/2 cups milk. I also used almond milk instead of skim milk and gouda instead of gorgonzola because that’s all I had on hand and couldn’t get to the store until the next day. Despite these changes, it was so so so flavorful. Kevin absolutely loved this!
- Thai peanut lettuce wraps – making this tonight! Instead of tofu, I’m going to use 1 lb ground chicken. I can’t see us each only eating 2 lettuce wraps so I’m sure we’ll polish the whole recipe off. I’ll report back!
- Baked mac & cheese – I put this one on my blog! Have you tried it yet?
Exploring new-to-us dinner options has made cooking exciting again. More often than not, I’m sooo done with the kitchen after working in it all day– but cooking these new and exciting meals together doesn’t feel like a chore. And they’re all massively delicious!
Adorable new cupcake plate alert! PS: the set of 4 is on sale.
High quality, absolutely beautiful. I love the shimmery sparkle at the top!
Happy Birthday Franklin!
My little hamburger Franklin is 1 year old this weekend! We adopted him last spring when he was only about 2 months old. I can’t believe he’s one already!! He’s 56 lbs and still very much a puppy at heart. He’s as tall as he’ll get, but he may bulk up a little. He’s the funniest little thing. He still chases his tail, barks at the wind, and snores as loud as a helicopter. He had this lobster squeaky toy for a few weeks– was totally obsessed. Brought it everywhere he went in the house. Slept next to it, played with it all day long. Then he massacred it. And now he plays with the empty lobster. Such a little weirdo! We’ll celebrate his birthday this weekend with a long walk and some homemade dog treats. Jude will L-O-V-E those homemade treats too!
Jude’s 9th birthday is next month! 🙂
The pups both had a blast in the mountains this weekend!
Speaking of healthy muffins, I made a batch of these chocolate banana muffins yesterday morning. Not sure if you’ve tried these yet, but I’m BEGGING you to give them a whirl. They taste like dessert, especially warm out of the oven or after 10 quick seconds in the microwave. Every time I make them, I can’t believe how it’s possible that bananas, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, and coconut oil make such a fudgy and indulgent tasting treat. Love these.
New recipe video for cake batter chocolate chip cookies!
We’re nearing the end of the month which means… new baking challenge soon! Get ready for March’s baking challenge recipe which will be posted on March 1st– next week! The day before, we will review February’s baking challenge. If you have any questions about the monthly baking challenge, here is the post to read. Thank you to everyone who participated and if you haven’t yet, there’s still time!
One more thing. Have you heard of brown sugar bears? I hadn’t until Kevin found them on Amazon a month or two ago. YOU NEED THESE. Simply soak the terra-cotta bears in water, then add to your container of brown sugar. Even if your brown sugar is hard to begin with, the bears will soften it back up again within 24 hours. I used bread in the past, but bread can obviously spoil. These bears do the trick and they’re so cute– a fun bonus! 🙂 Pair the bears with these flour/sugar/brown sugar containers and you’re all set. My exact set-up for baking supplies storage!
Currently working on a couple of my final cookbook recipes: maple cookies and linzer cookies! I’ll be in the kitchen for a few days testing each, but let me know what YOU’VE been baking lately. Talk soon!