I was once asked what one thing I could not go a week without. Most people would answer “a shower,” or “the Internet,” but I decided to be a little more honest. In my heart of hearts, I know that I could never to a week without carbs. My parents once tried the Atkins diet… I would make it one hour. And the tragic irony is that I cannot bake. I just cannot handle the yeast and the raising and the temperature and the patience. Thank goodness for my fiancé. He tries not to buy bread and instead bakes it himself. Without a bread machine. What is this sorcery?1_bagel
My fiancé and I make this recipe together whenever we can and play with the additional ingredients. (TRANSLATION: I gave this recipe to my fiancé and he makes them while I suggest delicious flavors.) This cheese came from the magazine where I work, and it made these bagels as good as they’ve ever been. I would like to say, though, that a nice black-pepper or rosemary-parmesan bagel is often just as amazing. Continue reading


Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Everyone has grown up with mac ‘n’ cheese. The blue box with the orange dinosaur, or maybe your family was fancy and used that yellow block of self-proclaimed “processed cheese product.” Either way, there comes a moment when you realize that there is so much more to this dish. It’s like a rite of passage into adulthood—when you are finally able to serve your favorite childhood meal to your adult friends with no sense of shame.
I recently started working at a cheese magazine. Yeah, there is such a thing. And it’s exactly what you would think: boxes of cheese arriving at our door daily, cheese tastings as a required part of your job, extra cheese being handed out to everyone. And now with more cheese than I know what to do with (just kidding, I know exactly what to do with it), I have been perfecting my family’s mac ‘n’ cheese recipe. Seriously, this recipe is the culmination of years of family tradition, hours of free-time, and over $200 of cheese in my refrigerator. Continue reading

Strawberry Shortcake

When you’re walking through the grocery store, the shortcake that you see, wrapped in plastic, closely resembles a sponge. At least that’s what I’ve always thought.
I suppose it does make sense that these shortcakes are portioned for you. After all, I have a tendency to take tiny servings of things… until I have eaten much more than one portion. My family only indulges in this habit; in my dad’s family, the shortcake has always been made in one giant piece that is cut to your chosen size. So if you make one small slice, you can easily make another. And another. Continue reading

Cut-Out Cookies

This morning, I woke up feeling a little homesick. Articles need to be edited, laundry needs to be washed, and run needs to be run. Instead I was drinking tea and flipping through my grandma’s handwritten recipes. I was on the last page when I found the perfect Sunday-morning recipe. Cut-out cookies. Trust me, it is the breakfast of champions. And the lunch of champions. And probably the dinner too, but I’ll let you know.DSC00156My younger brother loves these cookies. He asks for them every few weeks and my mother (most of the time) begrudgingly humors him. They take a little more time than regular cookies since they need to be rolled out. And you have to keep a careful eye on the baking time. Things can go from buttery and soft to burnt and crispy in a matter of 30 seconds. Continue reading

Apple Pie Crumble

Yes, I know the time for apple pie has come and gone. The crunchy snow seems to discourage the fruit from growing. Either way, the other day I rustled up the ingredients for the fall dessert and set the oven to bake. I wasn’t actually the one craving this treat. Far from it. Cookies are all I need to make it through the winter. However, my dad does not feel the same.IMG_7994I don’t know how it started-I probably asked a favor or borrowed some money and needed a way to pay back my dad-but about a year ago I became the designated pie-maker in the family. And since my parents occasionally do me favors, I am constantly in their debt. For this reason, my dad reserves the right to look at me from across the room and just say “pie.” Meaning that I should go make pie. It really doesn’t matter what type; I’m sure cherry or pecan would be just as good as apple. We just happened to have apples. Continue reading