Lentils With Sausage And Roasted Butternut Squash

Lentils with sausage and roasted butternut squash

Does anyone else think it got cold really fast this year? I don't feel like we eased into it at all. I mean, I've seen snow twice already, and it's only November! (Of course, now we're getting a few days of warm weather, which I will not complain about at all! Yesterday was gorgeous!) The colder temperatures had me developing cravings for hearty, warming dishes like soups or bowlfuls of lentils. I seriously feel like I could eat lentils all late fall and winter long.


Dining Around At The Royal Sonesta

New fireplace wall at the Royal Sonesta Boston

I have such fond memories of staying at the Royal Sonesta Boston in Cambridge and dining at the restaurants there. I've enjoyed meals at ArtBar and Dante. I've had good times staying there with friends as part of a joint bachelorette party. And I had a nice stay there with my mom and sister as well. We were even motivated enough by the proximity to the Charles River to go for a morning run.

Recently, the hotel underwent a huge renovation and I was invited in to see the changes. The event was set up as a dine-around at the hotel, which was a nice opportunity to visit the old restaurants I know there and check out what's new.


Goat Cheese Tart With Pomegranate And Mâche

Goat Cheese Tart With Pomegranate And Mâche

I love cookbooks. If you came to my house and saw my collection, you might even call it an obsession. People see the books I have downstairs in the living room and think I have a lot of books. They don't realize there are so many bins of them in the office and basement too (we're hoping to do built-in bookshelves in the living room in the not-too-distant future so I can finally unpack them all). Even though I already have so many, that doesn't stop me from adding to my collection.

Recently I attended the launch party at Island Creek Oyster Bar for The New England Kitchen: Fresh Takes on Seasonal Recipes, Jeremy Sewall and Erin Byers Murray's new cookbook.


"Butterball It" Plus A Butterball Turkey Gift Check Giveaway

Roast Thanksgiving turkey

We all know that Thanksgiving is coming, and we embrace it in all different ways. Some of us are excited to tackle roasting the bird and fearlessly enter the kitchen. Others are a little more trepidatious and might have questions and concerns along the way. That's where Butterball comes in with their new "Butterball It" technology. When you visit Butterball.com, you'll see a search bar where you can type in any Thanksgiving-related questions you might have.


Hosting Thanksgiving: Menu And Planning

Thanksgiving dinner

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? We always go to Jeff's parents' house for dinner on Thanksgiving day, and last year we started a tradition of hosting my family on the Saturday after. I feel like we get the best of both worlds that way. I make a nice dessert for Thanksgiving day, which is easier with my work schedule (my holiday doesn't start until Wednesday afternoon). And then, along with help from my family, I put together a big dinner for Saturday, with plenty of time from Thursday evening until our early Thanksgiving dinner is served Saturday afternoon.

I've been going over last year's menu and tweaking it and tailoring it for this year. For dinner at Jeff's parents', I'm making an apple tart recipe from work that my mother-in-law requested. I tasted it often during development (it's so good!) and am excited to add it to our Thanksgiving meal. (Last year I made a cheesecake topped with cranberry curd and chocolate.)

Here's what I've got planned for the whole meal on Saturday…


Overkill, A 12-Course Dinner Benefiting No Kid Hungry

Overkill, a 12-course dinner benefiting No Kid Hungry

Last week, I attended Overkill, a 12-course blowout dinner hosted by Brian Mercury (pastry chef, Harvest) and Mary Dumont (chef/partner, Harvest). This year the event benefited No Kid Hungry. No Kid Hungry is Share Our Strength's national campaign to end childhood hunger. Through culinary events such as this one, plus Taste of the Nation, No Kid Hungry dinners, and a series of "Food Fight" events, Share our Strength receives the support it needs to work toward ending childhood hunger.


Mini Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts

Mini baked apple cider doughnuts

These should really be called mini baked apple cider doughnut muffin doughnuts, because I took a doughnut muffin recipe and adapted it to make doughnuts. But that sounded like too much of a tongue twister, so mini baked apple cider doughnuts it is.


Roasted Winter Squash With Cranberry-Sage Butter

Roasted winter squash with cranberry-sage butter

Morning Glory's Farm Food: Stories from the Fields, Recipes from the Kitchen by Gabrielle Redner, a cookbook I recently received to review, is more than just a cookbook. Sure, it has recipes, but it's also filled with information and stories about the Martha's Vineyard farm, the farmers, the crops they grow, and even other farms on the island. For someone who cares about farms and farmers' markets, as I do, the book sends a great message about getting to know your food and where it comes from. It's all about respecting vegetables and taking the time to notice how much better local food tastes.


Farrotto With Butternut Squash, Sage, And Goat Cheese

Farro risotto with butternut squash, sage, and goat cheese

If you couldn't tell from my Farro "Risotto" with Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese and my Roasted Tomato Farro Bake, I love farro. I'd choose it over rice any day. Its nutty texture goes with so many different ingredients and flavors. It works well warm, as in a baked dish, or cold, as in a salad. It's even nice in soup. And if you desire a little creaminess to complement the nuttiness, you simply need to cook it risotto-style to make a farrotto. I love its versatility.


Dinner At Gibbet Hill Grill, Groton, Mass.

Menu at Gibbet Hill Grill, Groton, Mass.

Jeff and I are celebrating our two-year anniversary today. We got married at The Estate at Moraine Farm. It's part of the same restaurant group as Gibbet Hill Grill, so for our one-year anniversary, my sister sent us a gift card to the restaurant (thank you, Lindsay!). Over Labor Day weekend we finally journeyed out to Groton to check it out (waiting was a little strategic on my part -- I wanted to go when tomatoes and corn were in season).


Date Night: Burgers And Brews At Del Frisco's Grille

Burgers and Brews Combo at Del Frisco's Grille

We're pretty spoiled having The Street just a short drive down the road from us. It's given us more restaurant options, plus the ability to make regular stops into Pottery Barn and Lululemon. One of the restaurants I love over there (that I've written about before) is Del Frisco's Grille. Unlike Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse down at the Seaport, a spot I find best suited for celebrating special occasions, Del Frisco's Grille has a more casual vibe and atmosphere. It's the kind of place you can stop into just to grab a bite to eat, no advance planning or special occasion needed (well, maybe a little advance planning to get a reservation on a weekend).

After work last Wednesday, Jeff and I headed over to check out the new Burgers and Brews Combo. When you order the combo, you get your choice of any draft beer, the Grille Prime Cheeseburger, and fries for $17.50.


Pumpkin-Cranberry Yogurt Parfaits

Pumpkin-cranberry yogurt parfaits from Delicious Dishings

You know how when you're playing Hearts, you have to wait until hearts have been "broken" before you can start using them? That's kind of how it went with me and pumpkin this year. I kept thinking maybe it was time to crack open my cans of pumpkin, but I was hesitant to kick off the season until one day recently when pumpkin was broken for me, in the form of a delightful pumpkin truffle from a chocolate shop near my work. The truffles were a new item, so the woman at the shop was offering samples of them. It took that one little bite (and the purchase of a second one) to throw me into pumpkin season. All bets are off now. Oh, and since pumpkin is in, naturally cranberry is too.


Grilled Chicken And Corn Salad With Feta And Jalapeño-Lime Dressing

Grilled chicken and corn salad with feta and jalapeño-lime dressing

With fall weather just creeping in, it's a perfect time for being outside and continuing to fire up the grill. I was inspired to head out to the grill by a recipe for Grilled Chicken and Corn with Jalapeño-Lime Dressing in the August issue of Food & Wine. Something about the photo kept drawing me in each time I flipped through the issue, and a quick scan of the ingredient list convinced me this was a recipe I needed to try. Of course, I couldn't just make it as written; I tweaked it a little to include my garden bounty and some other ingredients I thought would work well with the jalapeño-lime dressing.


Brussels Sprouts And Bacon Dumplings From Dumplings All Day Wong

Brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings from Dumplings All Day Wong

I have a really fun cookbook to share with you guys today. It's called Dumplings All Day Wong: A Cookbook of Asian Delights from a Top Chef, and it's written by former Top Chef contestant Lee Anne Wong. As the title would suggest, the book is full of dumpling recipes.


My Go-To Summer Pasta Dish

Pasta with summer vegetables, garlic, and basil

It's been a good summer, hasn't it? As much as I like to hold on to summer forever, fall is my favorite season so I'm not upset it's coming. But before embracing the new season, I want to take a little time to reflect on this one.


Scenes From Sugar Rush 2014 At Harvest

Starting with pain perdu; continuing with a summer composition of peaches, blueberries, and cornmeal crepes; Turkish ice cream and blackberries; and a new spin on childhood cereal favorites; and ending with a rich, decadent chocolate tart, Sugar Rush is a dessert lover's dream come true.

The five-course dessert tasting was held last Wednesday evening at Harvest in Harvard Square. Harvest's pastry chef Brian Mercury organized the event and invited other local pastry chefs to participate. Everyone prepped at their own restaurants and then helped each other plate in Harvest's kitchen.

Hazelnut Pain Perdu by Brian Mercury of Harvest
Hazelnut Pain Perdu by Brian Mercury of Harvest
with house-made ricotta fro-yo, honey mousse, and fennel jam
paired with Villa des Anges, Rose of Cinsault, Old Vines, Vin de Pays d'Oc, France


Pairing Chocolate And Wine At Chocolate Therapy, Dedham, Mass.

Chocolate Therapy, Dedham, Mass.

The other night I attended a wine and chocolate pairing at Chocolate Therapy at Legacy Place in Dedham. I've been to Chocolate Therapy several times before -- it makes a great pit stop during an afternoon of shopping, whether for a bite of chocolate or a coffee -- and was excited to see how the chocolates paired with wine (let's be honest… wine and chocolate are two of my favorite things).


Mini Profiteroles With Tomatoes And Basil

Mini profiteroles with tomatoes and basil

Can you guys believe it's almost Labor Day? I know we still have a few weeks of summer left, but for some reason, Labor Day always feels like a symbol of the end of summer. To keep the summer going strong, I made these mini profiteroles and filled them with a mixture of ripe, fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and basil, plus olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a little salt and pepper. These mini profiteroles would be perfect to serve at any Labor Day party or barbecue or just as a dinner-party hors d'oeuvre.


Classic And Creative Brioche Pastries With Joanne Chang

Preparing to make brioche dough following Craftsy class

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a long time know that I spent a little over a year working at Flour Bakery. It was at a time in my life when I was seriously considering culinary school. I was unhappy in my editing job at the time (to the point that I was in tears pretty much every Sunday evening stressing about and dreading the week ahead), and I wanted to do something I felt passionate about. As I was searching job postings, I came across one for a baker position at Flour. I had a lightbulb moment and thought maybe I could work at the bakery and learn on the job as opposed to paying for culinary school. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made.


Roasted Tomato Farro Bake

Roasted tomato farro bake

I am getting tons of gorgeous, colorful tomatoes from my garden, and while I love eating them as is, I've also been trying to find new ways to use them. They're great in salads and in pasta dishes, but I was searching for something a little different.


My Garden, 2014

Megan from Delicious Dishings' garden, August 3, 2014

Last year I tried planting a vegetable garden for the first time, and while it was a learning experience and a lot of work, overall I was happy with the results and enjoyed getting outside, maintaining it, and reaping the benefits. I got a decent amount of plum tomatoes and peppers, handfuls of herbs, and some zucchini and pattypan squash. This year, I was inspired to plant a garden again and went to nearby Volante Farms toward the end of May to get the best selection of tomatoes (by the time I'd decided to plant last year, plum tomatoes were just about the only variety left). I kept the tomatoes inside until June just in case of too-low overnight temperatures.

I decided to plant along the side of the house this year instead of in the backyard (because we had visions of trying to get our backyard into some kind of shape), so I had a little more room to work with but wanted to keep things simple. I picked out a variety of tomato plants, all of which would yield bite-size tomatoes (my love of mini foods extends to vegetables as well!) -- Sun Gold, Yellow Pear, Red Pear, Sweet 100, Sweet Gold, and Golden Sweet -- some cubanelle pepper plants, and some basil and thyme.


Small Plates And Pizza At Pastoral

Wood-fired knot with fennel sausage and ricotta at Pastoral, Boston, Mass.

Pastoral is one of the many new additions to the Fort Point area, and seeing that the menu featured primarily pizza and lots of small plates, as well as wine and interesting-sounding cocktails, my friend and I made plans to meet there for dinner. I got down to the area a little earlier than she did and sat by the water for a few minutes soaking up some sun before heading into the restaurant. We were seated at a two-top near the open front windows -- perfect for people watching -- in the dining room area, where we could see most of the restaurant and even catch a glimpse of the action in the open kitchen.


Scenes From Dinner In The Field At Volante Farms, Needham, Mass.

Dinner in the Field at Volante Farms, Needham, Mass.

On July 10, guests gathered at Volante Farms for their first Dinner in the Field of 2014. Below are scenes from the dinner, with dishes prepared by chef Todd Heberlein and staff using farm-grown produce.


Pasta With Summer Squash, Garlic, And Basil

Pasta with summer squash, garlic, and basil

I am in full-on summer vegetable mode now. I run over to my tomato garden every day after work to see if my assortment of cherry and pear tomatoes are ripe enough to pick. I spy on my cubanelle peppers, hoping that they'll finally be big enough to pick and grill. I imagine stockpiling corn on the cob, giving it a quick dip in some boiling water, and slathering it with butter. And I crave summer squash, as much summer squash as I can get my hands on.


Orzo Salad With Chicken Sausage, Spinach, And Feta

Orzo salad with chicken sausage, spinach, and feta

It's hot out these days! When it's so hot outside, turning on the oven isn't high on anyone's priority list. That's where this simple orzo salad comes in. After boiling some pasta and browning a couple of chicken sausages, you can turn off the stove, stir in the other components, and sit down to a cool summer meal.


Dinner At La Brasa, Somerville, Mass.

Bar at La Brasa, Somerville, Mass.

I've been making some great progress on my must-try restaurant list lately -- with visits to Sycamore, Parla, Bronwyn, Sarma, and Bondir, among others -- which is a good thing because I seem to keep adding to the list faster than I can check things off. One restaurant to recently hit the list that I have already made my way over to is La Brasa. From former L'Espalier chef Daniel Bojorquez and L'Espalier chef and owner Frank McClelland, La Brasa is a stunning new restaurant in an unexpected location -- on Broadway in Somerville.

The space has an industrial feel to it, with lots of metal and wood and exposed duct work. An open bar and kitchen sit side by side and provide plenty of activity to watch throughout dinner.

Some friends and I recently got together there for drinks and food.


Israeli Couscous With Roasted Squash And Eggplant

Israeli couscous with roasted squash and eggplant and Parmesan

Summer is finally here! Can you feel it? I've been enjoying the long days and warm rays and trying to get outside as much as possible. I'm sure you've noticed that I haven't been blogging as much -- I just haven't really wanted to spend my time sitting in front of the computer (after sitting in front of one for 8 hours at work every day) when I could be outside taking Gunner for a walk, tending to my tomatoes, or just sitting on the deck listening to Pandora and sipping coffee with Jeff (usually while we stare at our tiny backyard and think how amazing it could be if money were no object).

Israeli couscous with roasted squash and eggplant and ricotta salata

My heart also hasn't really been into blogging, and there's nothing worse than trying to write something when you just don't feel like writing it. You guys would see right through that. So the posts I have been sharing with you -- though they're few and far between -- are the ones that make me feel that spending some time at the computer (albeit in the late evening) is worth it. These are the posts I really care about and hope you do too! I'm not writing just to write; I'm writing to share things with you, like this Israeli couscous dish that's chock-full of summer vegetables.


Farm To Post At Post 390 With Ward's Berry Farm

Pacific halibut at Post 390, Boston, Mass.

The Farm to Post series at Post 390 offers guests a way to learn about the restaurant's purveyors through a dinner featuring ingredients from that purveyor. I recently attended a Farm to Post dinner showcasing the produce from Ward's Berry Farm, a family farm in Sharon, Massachusetts. My husband, Jeff, grew up in Sharon, so we've been to Ward's plenty of times. I have trouble staying away during strawberry and corn seasons! Already being a fan of Ward's and Post 390, I was excited to see what Post 390 chef Eric Brennan could do with Ward's fresh produce.


Pasta And Rosé At Parla

Parla, North End, Boston

A recent girls' night brought me to the North End to check out Parla. I arrived in the area a little early and walked around, listening to cheers and cries as seemingly everyone watched a World Cup game. I stopped into neighborhood favorites, Cocoanuts and Salumeria Italiana, and then I headed over to the Wine Bottega to meet my friends for a pre-dinner rosé tasting. After we sipped and sampled about 15 rosés, and purchased a couple of bottles each to bring home, we headed down Hanover Street to Parla.


Kicking Off Farmers' Market Season With Some Farmers' Market Finds

Roslindale Village Main Street Farmers' Market

This post was sponsored by Welch's. All opinions are my own.

You guys should know by now that I loooooove farmers' markets. When we lived in Somerville, I used to be able to plan it so I could go to a different one each day of the week. Now that we're out in West Roxbury, I don't have markets close enough to swing by one every day, but the Roslindale Village Main Street Farmers' Market is my go-to on Saturday mornings. Last year, when I was new to the Roslindale farmers' market scene, I didn't have high expectations but my very first visit proved that I totally should have. The Roslindale Village Main Street Farmers' Market is huge and has tons of great vendors showcasing all sorts of awesome products. There's produce from farms including Allandale and Brookwood, specialty products like Heirloom Kitchen's prepared meals, and even things like soaps and ceramics.

This past Saturday, in addition to scoping out the market on opening day and visiting the usual vendors, I had the opportunity to sample the new Farmer's Pick by Welch's® juices.


Pierogi, Spaetzle, And More At Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

Mini wurst plate at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

Sometimes, as a food blogger, you can lose sight of what going out to dinner is all about. You pull out your camera as every dish arrives from the kitchen; you concentrate on getting a good photo and then you focus on the flavors, the presentation, the creativity of the dish. You get so wrapped up that the whole dinner becomes about the intricate details of the food -- not that there's anything wrong with that. But there's another piece to going out to dinner, and that's the company.

When I recently went to Bronwyn, enticed by a menu of German favorites from schnitzel to spaetzle, I wasn't even sure if I was going to blog about the meal. I was more excited about catching up with friends, and so while I did snap some quick pictures (I can't seem to get over that fear of "What if I ate the best thing ever and never got a photo of it?"), I relaxed a little and let this be just a dinner, rather than a job. What I got was a laid-back evening with a nice balance of good conversation mixed with good drinks and good bites. It was just what I needed.


Dinner At Chopps American Bar And Grill, Burlington, Mass.

I love venturing to Burlington to go to shopping. There's a freestanding Crate & Barrel, a West Elm, a Barnes & Noble, and tons of other favorite stores of mine in the Burlington Mall. With all that shopping, I usually end up wanting to grab a bite to eat too. For something a bit nicer and more substantial than a slice of pizza at the food court, down the road from the mall, now there's Chopps American Bar and Grill.

Chopps American Bar and Grill is located inside the Marriott and features a menu devised by chef David Verdo and consulting chef Daniel Bruce. Verdo has cooked at various restaurants in the Boston area and I've experienced Bruce's cooking before at Meritage. The background of these two chefs gave me high hopes for a meal at Chopps, and I was not disappointed.


10 Tips For Editing A Recipe

I edit recipes for a living. Well, really that's oversimplifying my job. But a huge part of what I do each day involves scrutinizing recipes -- making sure that all the parts are there, that what's on paper translates to what actually needs to happen, that they are consistent with any accompanying text/explanation, and that they adhere to house style and have no errors in content and grammar.

And I kind of love it. I get to read and think about food all day (not to mention eat it when there are recipe testings going on in the kitchen). I think that paying attention to all the little details when I'm editing has made me a better recipe writer, so I thought I'd share some of my tips for how to edit or review a recipe after you've written it. If you read through your recipe using the checklist below, you'll be in pretty good shape and your readers should be able to re-create your dish.


Dinner at Orta, Pembroke, Mass.

Orta, Pembroke, Mass.

Orta Ristorante, Pizzeria & Bar, which takes its name from Italy's Lake Orta, features northern Italian cuisine crafted by chef Brett Williams, who spent time traveling in Italy, working as an apprentice to chef Jimmy Burke, and honing his skills at Stella before purchasing the restaurant in 2012.

Admittedly, Orta is a bit off the beaten track for me, but I always love trying new restaurants and couldn't pass up an opportunity to attend a media dinner at the restaurant. Williams ended up being called away to a last-minute event in New Jersey the night of our dinner, but his wife and co-owner of the restaurant, Cara, and Orta's sous chef were there to showcase what Orta has to offer.


Farro "Risotto" With Mushrooms, Asparagus, And Goat Cheese

Farro "risotto" with mushrooms, asparagus, and goat cheese

Before we start talking about this farro "risotto" with mushrooms, asparagus, and goat cheese, I realized there are some things some of you probably don't know about me. And it's time to come clean. First, I am obsessed with micro pigs -- mini pigs, teacup pigs, all of them. Seriously. Whenever I'm having a bad day, I just do a Google image search for them, and I instantly feel better. (Try it. The cuteness is almost unbearable.) If only Jeff would agree to getting one for a pet. I'm sure Gunner, our 90-pound chocolate lab, would love a micro pig for a companion.


Dinner At Sarma, Somerville, Mass.

Green garlic and zucchini keftedes at Sarma, Somerville, Mass.

I love Oleana. It is one of my favorite places to sit outside and share small plates with friends. The food is incredible. Sofra makes my favorite chocolate chip cookies. And they both make one of my absolute favorite desserts: chocolate-hazelnut baklava. So when Sarma (a joint venture from Cassie Piuma and Ana Sortun) opened, I couldn't wait to go and I had really high expectations.

It actually took me longer than I thought to get over to the restaurant, and I finally ended up having dinner there a couple of weeks ago with Emily and Daisy. The restaurant is not really close to anything, so I was surprised at how crowded it was when we walked in. (I've also read that parking is hard to find, and I did drive around a little bit but didn't have much trouble finding a spot on a nearby street.)

The concept is similar to a tapas restaurant, with Sarma offering small, seasonal plates that are meant to be shared (meze). I am always up for sharing lots of little plates!


Chunky Turtle Ice Cream From Scoop Adventures

Chunky turtle ice cream

The rule when making caramel, especially when starting with just sugar, is never walk away from the stove. But my washing machine was singing and my sugar wasn't melting yet, so I ran downstairs to switch the laundry in the middle of making caramel. When I got back upstairs and looked in the pan, there was a small puddle of deeply browned caramel in the middle and I thought I'd lost it, but as I mixed that caramel into the rest of the sugar, the whole mixture turned a lovely deep amber, and it actually came out just perfect.

Sugar for caramelCaramel

Why was I making caramel?


Aruba Restaurant Highlights


My mom and my two sisters and I recently spent a week in Aruba for research. No, you didn't misread that. We went to hot, sunshine-filled Aruba and spent days working on our tans, reading books for fun, playing cards, and filling up on grouper for research.


Things I'm Lovin'

Just wanted to share some things that are making me happy lately…

Image from Crate & Barrel website

Colorful Zuma Trays at Crate & Barrel. I'd been eyeing these trays every time I went into Crate & Barrel and finally decided I needed one. I went with dark green, and I love it! I think it will be such a fun piece to incorporate in summer table settings.


Dinner At Bondir, Concord, Mass.

Bondir, Concord, Mass.

Hi, friends! You may have noticed that I was kind of quiet this past week. That's because I was in Aruba, finally getting some warmth and sunshine and spending quality time with my mom and sisters (posts to come on some great restaurants there)! Before I left, though, Jeff and I made a last-minute decision to go out to dinner, and after looking over lots of menus from various restaurants I want to try, we decided to see if we could get a table at Bondir in Concord. There was a spot available at 8:45, and even though that's a bit later than we'd normally go out, we took it. Concord is about a half-hour drive from us, so the late reservation gave us plenty of time to get ready (and time for me to do some last-minute packing) and to make the drive out there.

We parked on Walden Street, where Bondir is located, and I looked around at all the stores (closed because it was after hours) lining the street and was confused as to where Bondir might be in the midst of them. We walked a little ways down the street, and at the end of the row of stores, set back a little, was the restaurant.


Whole Grain Sampling Day

Whole Grain Sampling Kit

Today is Whole Grain Sampling Day! You may remember that last year I was a whole grain ambassador, and I am happy to be a whole grain ambassador again this year. What does that mean? It means I get to tell you all the great things about whole grains!

Whole grains contain the three edible parts of a grain: the outer bran layers, which are rich in fiber and B vitamins; the germ, which is full of antioxidants; and the starchy endosperm. Because refined grains have the bran and germ removed, they are missing a lot of essential nutrients. So if you're trying to get the biggest bang for your buck healthwise, whole grains are the way to go.


Making Mini Momofuku Milk Bar Blueberry And Cream Cookies

Momofuku Milk Bar blueberry and cream cookies

I told you it's an obsession. I made those two Momofuku Milk Bar cakes and now I'm sharing some mini Blueberry and Cream Cookies, also from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. The recipe for the full-size cookies is right online on the Momofuku Milk Bar website, so I won't retype it here, but I do want to take you through the cookie-making process, in case you find it a little intimidating. (I swear it's not intimidating at all!)

Momofuku Milk Bar blueberry and cream cookies

Unlike the cakes I made, which had multiple components, the cookies just have two components: milk crumb and cookie dough.


Learning The Secrets Behind EHChocolatier's Chocolates

Cocoa pod and cacao nibs

I've been a fan of EHChocolatier since I first tried their chocolate about two years ago. They are my go-to when I want to send gifts (ordering online is so easy) or indulge in some really delicious chocolate.

EHChocolatier chocolates

I got to see the secrets behind their chocolates when I recently took their Beyond the Bar chocolate demo class.


Greek Chicken And Orzo Bowls

Greek chicken and orzo bowls

I've been seeing dinner bowls -- basically a dish with its distinct parts artfully arranged rather than mixed together in a bowl -- a lot lately. The concept is pretty cool, and the final result is usually more aesthetically pleasing than your basic tossed salad or pasta dish.


Soup Sundays: The Recap

Soba noodle soup with ginger-scallion broth

Way back in October,  I set a goal for myself to make a soup every weekend I was around all fall and winter. That didn't happen. But I did share 11 soups with you during that time (and made some others that were repeats of old soups so I didn't post about them), and I think that's pretty darn good! While I may not have hit my overall goal, I hit the underlying one, which was to make more soups.