Plum Fruit Leather

DSCN2588I’ve gotten into a show called Sweets Made Simple on BBC Two. It’s a show where a quirky married couple makes candy. I want to make everything on that show. Boozy chocolates, rose flavored turkish delight, salted caramel! They recently made fruit leather and I was so excited. I love fruit leather.

Fruit leather also makes me feel a little nostalgic for back to school and my colleagues at Live It Learn It who are back in the US. My coworker Erica and I were a little crazy for fruit leather at the end of last school year. It was our snack of choice during the many meetings we were having. She’d have a big stash in her backpack and I’d peak through and pull out my favorite flavors. Snacks are always a nice way to pep up the workday.  Continue reading

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Sweet and Tangy Wings

For me, chicken wings have sentimental value. That might sound like a stupid thing to say, but I think most people have at least one food that makes them feel happy, or nostalgic, or something gushy like that. Chicken wings are one of my happy foods.

Wings were a staple of my junior and senior year of college. Every Thursday, my friends and I would race to Cornerstone, our favorite local bar, to take advantage of 25¢ wings. The thing is, you had to arrive before 10pm to get the deal. If you couldn’t get there by 10, we would call in your order to one of our friends who was already there (and if you were first to arrive you usually had to order about half a dozen varieties of wings). But what made wing night so great, is that it was a standing date with my friends. We’d eat a ton, have a vodka cranberry (pretty much all of our drink of choice at the time), and then we’d dance all night. It was a blast, and today wings still remind me of happy times with my college buddies. Below are some college pictures, circa 2007.

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Cheddar Ranch Dip

It’s almost Christmas! I’m sure your menu is set, ingredients are in the fridge, and maybe some desserts are already made. If you need one more item to fill out your snack foods and hors d’oeuvres, might I suggest this dip? I’m kind of crazy about it and sort of have a two-decade long love-affair with it.

photo (3)Years ago, let’s estimate that I was ten-years-old, my Uncle Jose and Titi Lisa lived kind of near a Wegmans. They still live near Wegmans, but when our story begins there weren’t that many Wegmans locations so living kind of near a Wegmans was special. Anyway, one time my family went to visit them, and they served a cheddar ranch dip from Wegmans with some Wheat Thins. It was the best snack ever. I love cheese and crackers, and this just took it up a notch. It’s very cheesy and tangy. It was creamy, but also had a pleasing lumpy texture from the shredded cheese. We devoured it. And every time we visited after that, they bought it. I always looked forward to it. We’d arrive and give our kisses and hugs hello, then go about catching up. All the while, I knew that dip was waiting for us in the door of the fridge. But when would it be taken out?! Continue reading

Soft Pretzels

DSCN0134I’m not going to lie to you, I just ate this for breakfast and it was glorious. The rest of the pretzels are sitting in the kitchen tempting me to eat more.

These pretzels are billowy soft, buttery, with just a touch of salt. They really taste like the pretzels you get at the mall (in the good, indulgent sort of way). What’s great is that this recipe doesn’t take too long (as far as making bread goes), the technique isn’t too difficult, and you’ll already have practically all the ingredients you need in your kitchen.

So here’s the final recipe in my pretzel series. This recipe is easy to double, but as written here you’ll be able to make six 3-4″ soft pretzels. I’ve adapted this recipe from the one here on allrecipes.com. Continue reading

Beet Dip

photo (14)Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. They are sweet, colorful, and tasty. Usually, I’m perfectly happy roasting them and eating them warm out of the oven or cool over salads. But this time, I wanted to try something different. You know, variety is the spice of life and all. I’ve been thinking of borscht, and I’ve even bugged two of my friends for recipes, but I’m intimidated to make a stew I’ve never even eaten before. One day I’m going to make it, but I’m not ready yet.

Then, when I found a recipe for this beet dip I was really excited.  I think dip is wonderful because it’s a great excuse to eat crackers, bread, and cheese. Most importantly, this dip is easy to make and it is pretty. This recipe is just like hummus, only instead of chickpeas it has beets. I was excited for some new twists on old favorites. I served it when my friend Emily and her boyfriend Matt came over and it went over really well. It has the nice, sweet, earthy flavor of beets and the lemon juice gives it a nice bright, citrus flavor. It went even faster than the regular hummus!

Adapted from Food 52. Continue reading

Halloween Themed Rice Crispy Treats

noviceI wanted to make something youthful, sugary, and Halloween themed to help get me in the Halloween spirit. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling excited for Halloween. Maybe it’s because I don’t have plans to dress up and we never get any trick-or-treaters. But that’s never stopped me before. And I know that it sounds ridiculous that I could be out of the holiday spirit. Earlier this month I told you all  about my decorations and my Halloween shaped brown sugar cookies. And I carved pumpkins with my friends at the beginning of October. I’ve had bazillion pumpkin spice lattes and I’ve tested out three different recipes using squash. I’m wearing scarves and boots and sweaters. I’m totally embracing fall, but somehow I still feel like the end of October snuck-up on me.  I wasn’t ready!! So I needed a sugary pick-me-up, so I could feel like an enthusiastic child ready to bound through the neighborhood, in an awesome costume, collecting candy. Continue reading