Pan-Seared Fish with Lime & Basil.

Pan-seared mahi-mahi with lime and basil in a cast iron skillet

You guyssss! I have been a fish-cooking failure for YEARS. I would get all, “We need to eat more fish around here!” and then I would make terrible, sad fish (I mean, once it managed to be both dry and mushy?! #how), and feel like I wasted all the dollars, and be afraid to try again for a long time. But I’ve been making this pan-seared fish with lime and basil for the last few months and it’s one of the fastest things I make, AND ALL MY KIDS LIKE IT. (They ask for seconds!! I think the only other protein my people ask for seconds of is hotdogs…and, I’m sorry, but you’re 3 and I’m cutting you off at one hotdog. But you can have as much fish as you want!) So in a way, it feels miraculous, but it’s also tender and flaky fish with a crispy top and little puddles of melted, nutty butter with tangy lime and basil, so maybe that’s not really such a surprise after all. Continue reading “Pan-Seared Fish with Lime & Basil.”

Beef Vegetable Soup.

a large pot of beef vegetable soup with carrots, potatoes, green beans, peas, and corn

This is my mom’s beef vegetable soup recipe, and it’s The Best. It’s cozy and hearty, with tender beef and tons of vegetables. And you know how soups can be kind of same-y? I love all the different textures here, and that you can really taste the sweetness of the carrots and corn in the savory broth. I love making soup on a weekend so Jay and I can eat the leftovers for lunch the next week (this is one of those the-leftovers-are-even-better meals), but I also make it during the week since I can get it started in peace when my kids are napping and let it gently simmer until dinnertime. It’s also great if you only cook it long enough for the veggies to be tender! Continue reading “Beef Vegetable Soup.”

Easy Lemon Vinaigrette.

A big bowl of salad with a jar of golden lemon vinaigrette dressing

Jay and I are attempting a Whole30(ish)/paleo/just say no to bread and sugar life (in exchange for a life that included a lot of ice cream). We started the day after Christmas so we could be ahead of all y’all with your resolutions. 😉 I’m an admitted salad non-enthusiast (except possibly as a vehicle for lots of croutons #caesarforlife)…but every once in awhile I meet one that I crave instead of just tolerate. It’s a short list: citrus kale salad, this yummy sweet onion dressing, and now we can add easy lemon vinaigrette to the lineup. It has a little garlic and a little heat, and a lot of light fresh lemon flavor. So, so good! Continue reading “Easy Lemon Vinaigrette.”

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.”