Boden’s Birthday Cake

Today’s post is special because it is one cake recipe done two ways. The first way is a traditional Victoria Sandwich cake and the second way is a checkerboard cake with chocolate frosting that I made to celebrate the birth of my nephew. That’s right, I have a nephew!

On Saturday night Aaron and Katy (Ryan’s twin brother and his wife) emailed they were going to the hospital. I was jumping up and down in the street with excitement. Then Sunday Ryan and I woke up with an email and a photo of their son Boden! It’s their first kid, and our first nephew. We are an uncle and aunt for the first time!

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The Return of Chocolate Pasta

DSCN1422So I decided to try chocolate pasta again. If you’re unfamiliar with my horrendous first experience with chocolate pasta, read about it here.

What’s changed since last time? I had a recipe. I found it in my cookbook Melt by Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord. I decided I’d trust them and their recipe because I loved their chorizo macaroni and cheese. Last time I didn’t have a recipe and I was just winging it. But this time, maybe things would be different. Maybe the flavor combinations would be delicious. Maybe the pasta would redeem itself and not taste so nasty. Maybe I could eat a whole bowl.

And I did eat the whole bowl! And it was pretty good! Continue reading

Banoffee Pie

Photo from Bullycomics

Photo from Bullycomics

Have you ever seen Love Actually? I have. Many times.

Do you know that scene when Juliet (Kiera Knightley) goes to Mark’s (Andrew Lincoln) apartment? She goes there looking to see if he has good video footage of her wedding. When Mark opens the door, she offers him banoffee pie. “What the heck is that?” I’ve thought to myself. So I googled it, and I immediately wanted to have some. And simple as that, I decided to make this pie for myself.

Banoffee pie is banana and toffee pie. Get it? Banana+toffee=banoffe. Doesn’t that sound delicious!?! I really liked this pie. The texture is creamy and silky. It’s cool, delicious, and both indulgent and refreshing. Continue reading

Reindeer Noses

noviceThis week is going to be pretzel week! That means you are going to get three pretzel related recipes – and we’re starting with reindeer noses.

I’ll be honest with you, I got this idea and name from Pinterest about 3 years ago and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s my favorite thing to make during the holidays. This time of year, I want to give presents and contribute to parties but it can get really time consuming and expensive. I love this recipe because it’s quick, inexpensive, and always a crowd-pleaser. In grad school I used to make huge batches of these for my doormen and after the holidays they were always asking for more. The recipe is also great for parties because they are crunchy-sweet-salty bite that you just pop in your mouth. It’s easy to make and eat a ton. Continue reading

Chocolate Pasta – A Horrible Disappointment

image (12)A while ago I asked for suggestions for what to do with chocolate pasta. I got a lot of great suggestions, and surprisingly most of them were savory options. I also did a lot of research and came up with one or two other ideas. The idea that stuck was to make a straightforward savory dish. A few people suggested bacon, oil, and crushed red pepper – so that’s what I decided to go with. It seemed simple enough and all of those things make pasta taste so amazing.

Last Saturday I was hanging out with my friends, Mala and Anna, and we decided to try out the chocolate pasta. I’m lucky to have very adventurous friends – although maybe now they’ll be more wary of my cooking. We decided to try the pasta, sans bacon, since I didn’t have any. We were going to go basic: oil, crushed red pepper, maybe a little Parmesan. Continue reading

What to do with Chocolate Pasta?

image (12)Yesterday, I bought chocolate pasta and I don’t know what to do with it. Here’s the story, I was going to a show at Ford’s Theatre and I had almost two hours to burn between the end of work and the start of the show. I decided to spend a little bit of that time browsing through Sapore, a store in Eastern Market, that sells fancy olive oil and vinegar. They also have herbs, salts, and pastas. It was such a pleasant shopping experience. The sales employee at the store was so friendly in such a warm and genuine way, that he didn’t feel like a salesperson, but instead like a favorite family friend giving me cooking and food advice. He also complimented my sweater, and I like flattery, so that was an added bonus. But what is really great about the store is you can taste test all the oil and vinegar. Continue reading

Food in Montreal

A warning at the start, this post is about eating, not about cooking. I promise in the next post I’ll be back with a recipe.

Ryan and I recently went to Montreal for a long weekend. It was a wonderful getaway and the perfect mix of site-seeing, taking in a new place, and also sitting around relaxing. As with most vacations, we ate well and tried to seek out popular and local restaurants. I’m a little crazy about this. I read my guidebook and then I constantly talk about what I want to try, until we get to try it. I took pictures of some of our favorite meals and wanted to share in case you ever find yourself in Montreal. Continue reading