Maple-Orange Roasted Fall Vegetables

Maple-orange roasted fall vegetables

While I love maple syrup year-round, something about fall usually has me craving it. And while I like pancakes or waffles slathered with butter and doused with maple syrup, I really love incorporating maple syrup in savory dishes. I think it pairs especially well with squash and other fall vegetables.

I've made ginger-maple baked delicata squash in the past and also some maple-glazed baby vegetables (Brussels sprouts, beets, and turnips). Thinking about these two dishes inspired me to make these maple-orange roasted fall vegetables.


Soup Sundays: Chicken Soup With Dumplings

Chicken soup with dumplings

It's Sunday, and I'm back with another soup review. This time I went with a more complicated recipe. Ever since the day I got Ad Hoc at Home and first flipped through the pages, looking at all the photos and recipes, I have had the chicken soup with dumplings in my head. Chicken soup with dumplings is an ultimate comfort food, and I'm sure you're all picturing a rustic, hearty dish with globs of fluffy Bisquick dumplings floating atop a thick soup. Not so with this version. It's hearty and it's filling, but it's also incredibly classy and elegant. It's the sort of chicken soup with dumplings that you can serve to a tough critic: Picture that scene in Ratatouille when Remy serves the movie's namesake dish to Anton Ego. It will conjure up feelings of comfort and home, but it will also look the part on a dining room table set with fine china. It will fill you up and stick to your ribs, but it won't do so in an in-your-face kind of way.


Soup Sundays: Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower soup

Sometimes I set these crazy goals for myself -- like I'm going to make soup and bake bread every weekend all fall and winter (or I'm going to work out every day or I'm going to come up with a schedule for cleaning the house and stick to it...). As much as I'd like this to be a reality, it's just unrealistic. I'm not even home every weekend. So I downgraded my goal a little to making soup and/or baking bread any weekend that I am actually around all fall and winter long. I still think it might be a tough goal to meet, but I love soup and fresh bread (especially when it's nice and chilly outside), so if I can keep up with it, it will certainly have its rewards.


Six Years

I started this little blog six years ago. Six! Can you believe it? I really can't. It sounds like such a long time. Throughout the past six years, so much has changed. I was single, in grad school, living in a rented apartment, and working as an editor at a technology and marketing research company when I randomly decided to try this whole blogging thing. Now I'm married, have a house and a little yard, and work as a copy editor at a food magazine and do freelance food writing. I like to think my blog has grown and changed with me.

There have been ups and downs over the years with how much attention I've been able to pay to this blog and how much I've been able to write, but I'm glad I've kept it going because it has been incredibly rewarding. I've had amazing networking opportunities, I've had awesome job opportunities, I've gotten to review some incredible restaurants and meet the chefs behind them, I've met some of my best friends, and I've gotten to connect with so many of you. I've also challenged myself to try new recipes and new techniques. I've continued to try new restaurants, both near and far. I've got all of these amazing posts that I can go back to and read to remember our honeymoon in Italy, our experience at a restaurant down the street, the first garden I planted, or a beautiful cake I made.

Sometimes I think about quitting. Those of you who blog know what a commitment it is (especially if you work full time on top of blogging). I think about how my photos aren't always the best or maybe no one cares about what I made for dinner on a particular night (even though I think it's the most delicious thing ever!). And I think about the layout of my blog and how I wish I could do more with it. (I intended to reveal a big blog redesign around now, but they are SO expensive. And when I think about all the work we want to do on our house, I can't justify the expense. But I get it, a redesign is a lot of work. I just wish I could trade baked goods for one. Baked goods are a lot of work too.) But when I think about stopping, I also think about what good has come to me from blogging and how it keeps me cooking, baking, and writing  all the time and I keep going. And I hope that one day I'll have more time to work on my photography skills.

So for now I'm going to keep it going, but you may hear from me a little less frequently from time to time because I'm also trying to find some balance in my life (as it is you've probably noticed I'm only posting about two times a week these days). I really need to make myself get out and exercise more. As much as baking and cooking help relieve stress for me, so does exercise and I really feel myself needing a mix of both these days. I like running and yoga. I just need the time and motivation to get back into them. And I really want to read some books. I can't remember the last time I did -- maybe on a plane ride. I used to read every night. (Got any recommendations?) I also like going out to eat or cooking something and just enjoying it rather than whipping out my camera all the time, hopping on the counter to get the right angle for a photo, or setting up a light box when it's too dark for natural light to do any good. I'll still be here. I'll still share things that I think are amazing with you. And I'll still try to read and comment on your blogs -- that's a big part of blogging. Building community, supporting each other... and I love it, but it does take time. I'll try to keep up with all of it, but I'll be doing some other things too.

I'm going to end this by saying, thank you. Thank you for following along for six years (or as long as you've been here), for your support, your comments, your advice, and your friendship. I hope to keep this thing going -- even if it's changing in some ways.


John Wm. Macy's CheeseSticks, CheeseCrisps, And SweetSticks

What do you keep stocked in your kitchen for those times when you need to throw together some quick snacks? Maybe some guests just stopped by and you want to set out a little plate of something or perhaps dinner's running behind because you attempted a new recipe that's taking way longer than you thought it would (or am I the only one who does that?) and you need to take the edge of your guests' hunger. For times like those, I always like to have cheese and crackers around. Enter John Wm. Macy's CheeseSticks and CheeseCrisps.

John Wm. Macy's CheeseSticks and CheeseCrispsJohn Wm. Macy's CheeseSticks and CheeseCrisps


Easy Weeknight Turkey Enchiladas

Turkey enchiladas

I had to taste some chicken enchiladas at work a couple of weeks ago (yes, had to -- such a tough job), and ever since then I'd been craving more enchiladas. A comforting dish of corn tortillas stuffed with a meaty filling, smothered in sauce, and covered with gooey cheese -- what's not to crave? When a package full of Tortilla Land's corn and flour tortillas showed up at my door, it was like enchiladas were destined to happen.