creamy chicken florentine soup

we spent the second to last weekend in september at barktoberfest, an annual fundraiser for lollypop farm, the humane society of greater rochester. we have gone the last four or five years, watching our team grow from four of us raising a couple hundred dollars to our friend susie raising thousands and gathering up a team of more than thirty! this year was especially fun since we brought baby winn with us.


eggless caesar salad dressing

soon after jason and i moved in together five and a half years ago, i started planning our meals for the week each sunday. it was a life saver. no more wondering what's for dinner, scrambling to make something out of nothing, or even worse, making multiple trips to the store in a week. ever since, sunday has become our meal planning day.


pork and tomato skillet saute

did you plant tomatoes this year? did something eat yours down to stumps, or was that just me? or are yours bursting with so many tomatoes you don't know what to do with, or was that just my parents? if you can't pick your own tomatoes, there are still farmers around here practically giving them away. pick some up, saute them with shallot, balsamic, garlic, and use it to top your protein of choice. i used pork, as the original recipe called for, but this tomato mixture would be amazing on top of a plain old chicken breast or baked fish.


sweet corn pasta

a couple noteworthy things have happened in the last couple days -
for updates and other tidbits you won't find here, like kitchen trial and error on facebook
the huffington post and spry living featured my creamy barley with tomatoes, chicken and spinach. click the links to get other recipes featuring whole grains and barley.

and now, the pasta. this pasta fits in perfectly during two times of the year: the end of summer when sweet corn is at it's peak and the dead of winter. i think we can all agree tossing pasta with lemon, fresh basil, and fresh sweet corn at the end of summer is perfect, but it would also be a great reminder of better weather to come in the dead of winter, once the holidays are over, and we're sick of digging out our cars every day. it took me a total of 20 minutes to whip this together, making it a perfect weeknight meal.


pearl couscous with roasted tomatoes & onions

remember this spring when i made this outrageously good chicken and pearl couscous with tomato and lemon? i haven't made a single thing with pearl couscous since then. not a single, solitary thing. so this week, as i was planning dinner, i was in the mood for something just a little bit different but also really quick and easy. i did what any other person would do: googled.

in my quest for a good pearl couscous recipe, i finally came to this one from running to the kitchen. i knew the flavors would be good - roasted tomatoes and onions, bright lemons, fresh mint and basil, and salty feta - as a side with baked fish. this was beyond delicious and deceptively simple. this couscous would be perfect for an end of summer picnic, since it can be served warm or at room temperature. leftovers reheat well and are equally delicious served with two poached eggs on top. 


wegmans chocolate chip cookies

you know how people love trader joes? and by love, i mean, blog their cart full of groceries and profess their undying love for trader joes products. it's funny, of all the people i've heard go on and on about grocery stores - there are others that admire whole foods - i've never once seen someone online talk about wegmans. what's up with that? it's the reason alec baldwin's mom won't move away from the syracuse area (and yes, alec & his mom did a few commercials for them too).

if you live along the east coast, and especially rochester, since wegmans was started and is still headquartered here, wegmans is probably your neighborhood grocery store. i've been to a few trader joes and a handful of whole foods, and let me tell you what: they don't even come close to wegmans. the stores are clean, they carry anything and everything you'd ever want, their prepared foods section is insane (sushi, burrito bar, & fish fry among others), their staff is super nice, and they've been in the top 5 "best companies to work for" for the last eight years. this place is no joke. (somewhere, my mom and dad are laughing, saying my wegmans radar is going crazy!) long story short, if you ever get the chance, go to wegmans. if you're in the rochester area, go to the pittsford wegmans. i believe they still offer guided tours.


cheesy potato soup with ham

i made this soup last month, when we had an abnormally rainy and cold day smack in the middle of the summer. now that fall has shown up with rain and cooler temperatures, it's a great time to bring soup back in the regular rotation. this soup is rich and creamy from the potatoes and cheese and perfectly salty with the ham. if you want a meatless meal, simply omit the ham. the only thing i will do differently next time: top with crispy bacon.


welcome baby winn

beyonce said the best part about being pregnant is "knowing that my favorite person in the world, I haven’t met them yet." now i know exactly what she means and how right she is. 

baby winn, as he was affectionately known throughout my pregnancy, was born june 21. he weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces and was 22.5 inches long. if you know his dad, you know where the long legs came from!


banana cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting

this is the first thing i baked after baby winn was born back in june. it was the week of july fourth, the baby was about a week and a half old, and i needed something to get me back in the swing of baking and some semblance of normalcy. and since my sister and her husband were on their way to meet the baby for a few days, i figured it would be a good time to bake a cake. this cake was perfect. perfectly light and moist. and the frosting is to die for. so much so that my sister emailed me asking for the recipe a couple weeks later.


secret recipe club: lemon lime meltaways

i'm starting to get too comfortable with this whole secret recipe club thing. you see, i joined as a way to find other great bloggers, get inspired by their recipes and photographs, and try something new every month. while i've definitely discovered new bloggers and been inspired by their photographs and food, i've become a slacker in the "try something new" department. lately i've chosen recipes that looked good, sounded good, appear relatively easy, and are foods that i know i would enjoy. no shame in that, but no real learning either. so watch out october, it's new foods all the way!

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