Friday, September 19, 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sweet Potato Oven Fries w/ Blue Cheese Fondue

This pile of naturally sweet, cheesy goodness is just one of the excellent memories from last week. I am very recently returned from an amazing week at the Montreat Youth Conference. I bet there are very few people who attended that will tell you that their week was, in fact, NOT amazing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chipotle Black Bean Hummus

I don't think there will be any of this left when Paul gets home tonight...

My mouth is on fire and yet I can't/won't stop. At least I will definitely get my 8 glasses of water today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Berry Mascarpone Filled Cupcakes & Our Wedding

When we were planning our wedding we hired a young and talented photographer whose business has since exploded, which meant we had a really long wait for our photos. On the morning of our one year anniversary, we got our photos - along with a very classy apology. Yes, there is a recipe at the bottom of the page so go ahead and scroll if that's what you came for. I won't be offended.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cold-Brew Iced Coffee

It is really hard to get back into the swing of things after being on vacation. For two weeks I barely sent a text message, hardly looked at e-mail, and didn't make a single phone call. It was truly a break.

We had a wonderful two weeks in England visiting Paul's family, touring the Lake District, and celebrating our wedding with family and friends abroad. I ate crazy amounts of food - market wares, home cooked meals by friends and family, delicious pub fare - and I have several recipes from our travels that I want to share.

But first things first - dealing with jetlag. After dinner the night we got home I made a joke about resting my eyes for a minute and put my head down on the table. Regardless of my intentions, I promptly fell asleep. Awkward.

I was hoping to post about this before I left but I was running around getting ready right up until we left and didn't get the chance. Homemade iced coffee seems even more appropriate now. Appropriate because coffee helps with the tiredness, but even more so because it's iced. It was 73 degrees when we left England and when we landed it was a whopping NINETY-FIVE DEGREES! And it hasn't gotten much better...

90º weather makes me want to grab a glass with some ice...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Berry Cream Ice

I'm not really sure what to call this...

... all I know is that I love it. And it was one of those happy accidents that sometimes happen in the kitchen. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Brown Sugar Shortbread

One of my first posts was about my grandparent's neighbor, Gordon. (There was also a really delicious scone recipe.) Meeting Gordon was an interesting treat. He's in his late 90's, he's a retired CFO who lived in New Jersey, and he wears Adidas track suits. When we sat down to talk, Paul had to fix Gordon's hearing aid for him before we could have a real conversation. When I told him that I am a Sunday School Director, he spoke to me about doing things with meaning in a way that still touches me when I think about it.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Whole Wheat Garlic Crackers

Is there anything better than biting into a crisp garlicky cracker with a giant air bubble when it's still hot from the oven? Okay, so there probably is but I still think it ranks up there in life's pleasures.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

White Bean Blondies

I have been going hard at the gym this week. I did two hours of water classes this morning to the point where my skin screamed a definitive "NO!" to the chlorine and my arms now refuse to function normally. Why am I doing this? It's almost summer and I'm trying not to put ON weight. Why am I gaining weight? Trying to get this recipe just right.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Kale-Tempeh-Lentil Bowl

Earlier this year I got knocked out by a virus, spent two full weeks laying down, and felt weak and shabby by the time I recovered. I hated the way I felt so I made the decision to run. I downloaded the RunKeeper app to my iPhone and started the free Couch to 5K program. I even signed up for an actual run that would be the cap to my training program and my semester.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Grain-Free Protein Bread

I wish I was one of those people who could eat whatever I want without consequence. I'm not talking about my metabolism either. As I've gotten older I've learned more (the hard way) about the connection between what I ingest and the way I feel.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sausage & White Bean Skillet

I was recently faced with the dilemma of an almost empty fridge, a grumbly tummy, and the desire to not leave the house. A totally unique situation, I'm sure. Paul and I were also getting ready to leave on a church camping trip for several days and we didn't want to buy any food to potentially spoil while we were gone.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sweet and Sour Cucumbers

When I started running I was timid about how far I wanted to venture away from home. It got boring zig-zagging the same streets trying to stay inside the town limits. And when running gets boring the temptation to quit early becomes overwhelming.

Late last week I finally ventured outside the town limits and for the first time in my life I ran 3 miles without stopping. Coincidence? I don't think so. I ventured toward another town today and when the running app told me I was done, I wasn't ready to quit. What I was I afraid of? 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The BEST Banana Muffins Ever

I don't use that title lightly. Come grab a muffin and let me tell you about it...

I grew up in a banana bread family. We don't have a lot of family recipes but we definitely do for banana bread. In fact, when my mom passed the recipe on to me she didn't even write instructions. It's just a list of ingredients and an oven temperature. I just know how to make it. 

I'm sorry mom but this post does not contain your recipe.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easy Faux-Fried Chicken Tenders

Have you ever had one of those days? You think you're trotting along getting things done and then... your car won't start. It worked fine yesterday, you didn't leave your lights on, it clearly wants to turn on but it just won't.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Pasta

I am finally at a point where I can really come back to my hobbies and side projects. There are times in my life, and I'm sure in yours, when I have to evaluate what I need to do, what's really vital, and make decisions accordingly. Even though I love doing this blog it's just a passion project, and when sh!t got real, it had to go on the back burner.

But now life is fairly calm again. I'm in a good place with school, I've got a good handle on work, and I have a backlog of recipes I want to make. Another thing I'm doing is running. I've talked before about how Paul is a runner and I am not, though I'm sure it would do me some good. I also made delicious breakfast cookies when I talked about that... After being sick in early March and laying on a couch for almost two weeks, I decided I needed to get moving. I started a couch to 5K program on the RunKeeper app on my phone. Paul suggested that instead of just trying to become a runner I should sign up for a race to work for. So I did!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

So I think the moral of the story is to try not to overthink and psych yourself out of something awesome.  Maybe I should back up...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Rosemary Parmesan Olive Oil Bread

I'm trying to get back in the swing of things. It has been a long time since I posted a recipe - about a month, which in the blog world is probably more like a year. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rich Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

I don't know about you but I think bananas are pretty much the greatest ever.  When bananas are ripe, they are just phenomenal.  They give smoothies the best creamy texture without adding dairy.  You can sub half a banana for an egg in so many recipes.  Do I even need to mention peanut butter banana sandwiches?

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Easiest Homemade Donuts Ever

Honestly?  Valentine's Day stunk.  Hard.  Paul and I both had plans to do something for each other but the weather didn't cooperate.  What did we do?  Well, not really anything, which was horribly disappointing for both of us.  Living in the social media age means that we're surrounded by pictures of the meals people made for their partner, the flowers, the cards, the chocolate, the [insert annoyingly romantic/gushy thing here].  It hurts.

How do we fix this?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lentil-Walnut Burgers

In this installment of Adventures in Housesitting...

I keep getting locked in the bathroom.  Seriously.  It's kind of embarrassing but there it is.  Every night after I wash my face and brush my teeth I have to call to Paul to help free me from the outside.  One of these days...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chocolate Covered Gingerbread

Housesitting is an interesting business.  There are varying levels of comfort depending on whose house you are temporarily living in.  I often get to stay in the houses of friends and look after their dogs when they go away for a weekend or longer, but this time I'm in the house of people I don't know all too well.  With their cat.  I don't know much about cats but we're getting along pretty well so far.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Make Your Own Naan

I love curry.  I love to make curry popcorn, curry noodles, curry beans and potatoes...  I really love the curry dish that I posted back in early December and I still make it all the time.  It's really inexpensive, it's healthy, delicious, and it's quick to make.

I made curry the other night and I knew I would really want some hot naan to go with it.  I love swirling pieces of naan in the curry and sopping up the flavorful sauce.  The problem?  Paul and I can never agree on store bought naan.  I love super fragrant garlic naan and he want's his plain so it doesn't interfere with the flavor of the curry.

Why not try making it at home?  How hard could it really be?  As it turns out, not hard at all.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

There are two questions you get all the time as a newly married couple:

1) How's married life?
2) When are you having kids?

Well I can tell you that married life is great.  I feel incredibly blessed that things are going so well for us.  All of the things you hear about being the biggest challenges in the first year of marriage haven't hurt us.  And with that I just showed you that there isn't a truthful way to give a non-boring answer to that question.

My answer to the second question is that I have 104 kids and counting and am not ready to add any of my own.

A mystical classmate of ours told us that we would have twins by the end of 2014.  (I think he was messing with us...)  Today one of my coworkers told me my hair was looking full and fantastic, was I pregnant?  (She was teasing and I ended up selling her the Pantene Thickening Treatment I'm in love with... She better have been teasing...)  And then there is my recent repeated strong need for a cookie.  It all makes me nervous.

I got home from work today and I HAD to have a cookie.  We have almost nothing with which to make cookies and my car is buried in ice.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  I whipped up these bad boys and my cookie craving has been quashed.  I would like to say that I waited for them to cool even a little bit before digging in, but I did not...

These incredibly simple cookies have very little sugar and no flour.  You could easily make them 100% sugar free by leaving out the chocolate chips, but don't because chocolate is wonderful.  

This recipe is a blend of two great recipes - one is from Shauna Niequist's book "Bread & Wine" and the other is from blogger Shannon Lim.

Peanut Butter Banana Cookies
by New to the Table
Yield: 12 cookies / Total Time: less than 20 minutes

  • 2/3 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large very ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350º and line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking mat.

In a medium bowl, mash the banana with a fork.  Add peanut butter and stir until well combined.  Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine oats and baking soda.

Add oats to peanut butter and combine well.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Use cookie scoop or soup spoon to drop large rounds of dough onto prepared sheet.  Do not flatten dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.  Transfer immediately from cookie sheet to rack to cool.

I hope you enjoy these!  I certainly have a much happier tum and am ready to dive head first into more homework.  

If you're a newlywed (or not so newly), what is/was your best response to the frequently asked question "How's married life?"  (One of my pastors suggested "We're just exhausted...")  (;

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Turkey Sausage and Spinach Pasta

I love Saturday mornings.

I get to enjoy the sunshine that is finally shining through our living room window.
Paul is making breakfast. There is a big pot of freshly brewed Costa Rican coffee in the corner making the room smell amazing. We're watching football. You know, real football.
(Did I mention Paul is English? I've willingly been converted.  Go Spurs!) After the football we're going to go for a hike in our favorite park where we got engaged. It's total marital harmony.

You know what doesn't make for marital harmony?  Figuring out what to eat that will make both of us happy. Paul is a meat and potatoes man. I want veggies in pretty much everything and eat meat sparingly. I know that after a week of black beans, white beans, split peas, and lentils for dinner I need to work harder to compromise.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Lemon Vanilla Drop Cookies

Exciting things are happening...

Did you look up?  Up there.  In the big bar that tells you where you are.  Yes!  There!  I'm a .com!  I don't know what I'm more excited about, that I've got some website legitimacy or that I managed to make the transition without yelling at my computer, walking away and asking Paul for help.  Not that I ever do that...

Thank you for your seriously awesome response to the Black Bean Brownie post earlier this week.  I'm excited that you're excited!  The only sad thing about now being a .com is that I lost all of the comments I once had from people who read and left their thoughts.

With all the changes plus the actual job I have plus the start of a new semester plus the leftovers from the January term, it's been a crazy week.  I came home the other night and I just wanted a cookie.  Specifically a lemon cookie.  I don't think I've ever made a lemon cookie before and the internet is full of "use boxed cake mix"recipes for lemon cookies.  No thank you, not today.

I want real lemon flavor from actual lemons!  What's a girl to do?

Do it herself, that's what.

Enter Lemon Vanilla Drop Cookies:

Friday, January 24, 2014

One-Pan Pasta

Every once in a while I get the privilege of staying with a youth from my church when their parents need to be out of town.  (We also house-sit like it's our job, but that's another story...)

Last night I was with a young woman named Lily.  She plays basketball and volleyball, and we learned that we like a lot of the same TV shows and both dream of going to Paris.  Lily feels like a rare kid in the world of Middle School.  I never had to ask her to do anything.  She cleaned up after herself, did her homework, and even got herself to bed on time.  

I knew it would be a little bit weird for her to have me there but I wanted to at least start off our time together with a good meal.  I also wanted that meal to be simple because the point was not to impress her with fancy food but to have some quality time at the table.

Enter one-pan pasta.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lemony-Oat Breakfast Cookies

Paul loves to run.  He loves running gadgets, phone apps, articles, etc.  Naturally, he has a subscription to Runner's World Magazine.  Not particularly fond of running myself (though I'm sure it would do me some good) I was surprised to find how much I enjoy the magazine.  I like the uplifting stories and fitness tips.  The recipes have also been surprisingly wonderful.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Eggless "Egg Salad"

Back when I worked in retail everyone was reading the book "Skinny Bitch" and afraid of eating anything, myself included and maybe especially.  It was the most miserable 5 pounds I ever lost.

Many good things came from that era, friends topping the list, and I still eat a lot of the foods I learned to prepare while living in fear of death by ingesting what I previously thought of as "nutrients."

One food I really wanted while doing the "Skinny Bitch" thing was a sandwich (sounds like a joke but it's true), but I was still too scared to eat one.  Out of my desperation came this recipe.

You can put this sandwich salad in a wrap, on freshly baked bread, eat it with a fork, scoop it with chips, the world is your oyster!  It takes less than 10 minutes to make and will yield enough to give you two large sandwiches.

It's been a while since I've read "Skinny Bitch" so I can't tell you if this dish is something the authors would approve of, but I can tell you that it's delicious and husband-approved.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Soy Nut Bark

When I was in college I loved going to Wegmans.  If you don't know about Wegmans... well, it's basically the Disneyland of grocery stores.  And it's affordable.

I used to go to the natural foods bulk section and buy soy nut bark.  It was heavenly.  I went back to visit friends not long after graduation and popped by Wegmans to get some bark.  It was gone.  I asked about it but they didn't know what I was talking about.

Years later a Wegmans in the Philadelphia area.  (It's totally awesome, by the way.)  No soy nut bark there either.

After eight years of wondering whether or not soy nut bark is a figment of my imagination I have finally come to the realization that I can make it myself.