update and site re-vamp.

I don’t want to throw around the words “abandoned” or “gave up” so… I won’t. So there.

That being said, I figured it was high time that I brought this blog back from the depths that I had sunk it into all those years ago. Keep an eye on this space and hopefully, things will start to happen here again!


roasted pumpkin seeds & sweet and spicy pecans

Yesterday, I found myself in that awkward position where something unexpected happens and you suddenly have a few hours of free time on your hands. It’s not like those times where you purposely set some open time for yourself. No. It’s more like you’ve got plans to get some serious work done and then you lose the internet.

Which is what happened.

I was kind of at a loss as to what to do after I had showered and caught up on Wednesday night’s episode of American Horror Story. But then I remembered that we still had a pan of pumpkin seeds lingering in the kitchen and a recipe for sweet and spicy pecans that I’ve been waiting for a reason to try. And “having nothing better to do” seemed like a good enough reason.

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Sometimes, you just have one of those weekends that go exactly as you had planned and nothing goes wrong. I’m so used to having these perfect plans, deciding where we’re going, in what order, how it’s going to feel and then have there be a sudden injury or illness or unpredictable change in weather and be required to make alternate decisions. But last weekend was a glorious exception to our friend, Murphy’s Law.

The rest of the week before had been rather bland and, I must admit, rather sad. The weather had been cold and grey and rainy and left me feeling closed-off and upset. I had to decline an invitation to a close friend’s birthday dinner in November and was feeling slightly alone. But I had the plans for the weekend looming constantly in the back of my mind and the wait for them made the week just a little more bearable.

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molasses cake

Before I started to commit myself to making this cake, I did a quick Google search for “cake made with sprinkles”. Yeah, it’s been that kind of week. Not exactly a good week emotionally (the weather hasn’t really allowed for that), but a week where I’ve painted my nails bright pink and am looking at aprons with ribbons and flowers and polka-dots and trying to figure out what I can put rainbow sprinkles in other than the frozen yogurt we have in the freezer. Turns out though – as it always does – that I don’t really have any of the right ingredients to make a proper frosting. So I kind of had to put the kaibosh on that idea (for now!). So, here I am, with a molasses cake.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love molasses. It’s one of my favorite cookie/cake flavors, next to cinnamon, ginger and pumpkin. When I discovered the two bottles of molasses in the back of our pantry a few weeks ago, I’d bring up the fact that I should “do something with them” at least every other couple of days. I just didn’t really get around to it until now.

I should have just made cookies.

Yes, I’m admitting it right now, for all the world to see. I, your humble food blogger, screwed up. I failed.

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sage and white cheddar scones

There are very few foods out there that conjure up such clear and wonderful memories as scones do for me.

When I was much younger, every Saturday morning, my father and I would wake up early and go grocery shopping. It was the only time during the week that we could find to make these trips and I never quite understood why I wasn’t allowed to sleep in, but I always went along. The supermarket would be quiet and nearly empty, all food and vegetables fresh as we’d make our way up and down the aisles. Our last stop would always be the bakery section – as it still is today – where we would carefully select three scones, sometimes all different, sometimes all the same.

Upon returning home – after unpacking – the three of us (my father, my mother, and myself) would gather in the living room with our scones, butter, and raspberry jam and watch the new episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the SyFy Channel (back when it was still the SciFi Channel).

I was really nervous about making these. There’s something different about baking something rather than throwing a pasta dish together or roasting chicken. If you get one thing wrong with pasta, you can usually add something to fix it. You screw up with baking? You don’t know until after you pull it out of the oven and by then there’s nothing you can do.

And I don’t trust myself to do anything right.

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pasta with broccoli rabe

Broccoli rabe and I have an interesting relationship. Growing up, I would only grudgingly consume it when prepared with thin slices of garlic and red pepper flakes as a side to accompany the rest of the meal. I wasn’t a huge fan of the bitter taste and I’m still kind of on the fence about it today but I didn’t dislike it (I dare not use the word “hate”. I save that word for the vegetables that I actually, well, hate such as zucchini, lima beans and red & green bell peppers). Progress!

I saved this recipe until Sunday because my mother would be home for dinner and I know how much she loves broccoli rabe (who do you think made me eat it all those nights when I was younger?). Everybody, besides myself, was content with the meal.

Hold up, you say. Hold. Up. What do you mean you weren’t content? Well…

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oatmeal pecan cookies

This weekend has not been one of my better couple of days. The weather has changed like a curtain slamming down at the end of a lively performance and, with it, my body has decided to feel like it has been hit by a small bus, just on the edges of possibly being sick but… not quite. All I’ve wanted to do was hibernate for the past two days, like an angry, exhausted bear. But I couldn’t.

So I made cookies instead.

The idea initially sprang forth because of half a cup or so of Scott’s Porage Oats left in the bottom of the box that we couldn’t quite squeeze into the jar it was being transferred over to that morning. What do you do with leftover oats? Cookies, obviously.

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