Culinary Cousins: Lemon Cheesecake

A couple of weekends ago, we celebrated my aunt Taffy’s birthday. Since I’m known as the baker of the family, I attempted a decadent, Southern Living-inspired lemon cheesecake.

Read all about it:

Lemon cheesecake at www.culinarycousins.com

Lemon Cheesecake, Part I

lemon curd

Homemade Lemon Curd Candied Lemons at www.culinarycousins.com Candied Lemons

Lemon cheesecake at www.culinarycousins.com

Lemon Cheesecake, Part II

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Monday Musings: On decor, dog-shaming and old wives’ tales.

Good Monday to you.

beach_decor

My family is refurbishing our beach house, albeit a bit late in the season. I don’t consider myself especially good at decorating — I don’t have the patience or vision to pick out knick-knacks and accessories, all those little items that make a room look finished. But I learned one important thing about myself: I’m much better at it when it’s someone else’s money. When I’m not grimacing at the $80 pillow or the $200 difference in a panel vs. sleigh bed, I can bring fabrics and colors and textures together like nobody’s business. My house though? Still an embarrassing “work in progress,” after five years.

I joined Instagram this week. As if I needed another social media site to monitor. I’m way over Facebook, am sporadic on Twitter but can Pinterest like a champ. Apparently Instagram is the wave of the future, though. All I know is that I have no idea what I’m doing. But, come. Be my friend. I can promise you way too many dog-shaming pictures of Ollie, like this one. Continue reading

Catching up on Culinary Cousins.

I’ve been cooking and baking and eating — even growing — and posting over at Culinary Cousins, I just haven’t had a spare second to tell you about it. So let’s play a little catch up:

I can’t explain how, but I grew some romaine lettuce. 

Read all about it: Tuesday Refreshment…
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Culinary Cousins: Vegetarian Moussaka

I’ve been on a cooking spree as of late, which accounts for two — yes, two! — posts this week from me on Culinary Cousins. Plus, Jessica and family were on vacation, so I had to keep the fires burning over there.

Even though I’ve been cheating on my vegetarianism with beef lately, I found a great recipe for vegetarian moussaka that satisfied my tummy and my insatiable need for Greek food.

Read all about it: Vegetarian Moussaka

veg_moussaka

Culinary Cousins: Chia Seed Pudding

Over on Culinary Cousins today, I’m talking up my new obsession.

Yes, chia seeds. You will tease me mercilessly forever, I know. You will call me things like “Chia Head” and sing that “Ch-ch-ch-ch-chia!” ditty over and over until I want to harm you.

But I’m okay with it, because chia seeds are delicious. Especially in pudding.

So, there.

Read all about it: Chia Seed Pudding

chiapudding_bananas

Monday Musings: On chia, grammar and globalization.

Good Monday to you. I’m back on schedule with some of the random, wacky things on my mind this week. Even though it’s April Fool’s Day (Happy Birthday, Prink!), this is not a joke, promise.

I do have some levity for you, though. About seven months ago, my cousin posted this picture on Pinterest. It’s supposed to be just a picture of a creepy house. But then. I have it saved in my Joy board, because every single time I see it I laugh uncontrollably for at least 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes. Even after seven months.

I have found a new obsession. It’s been awhile, but the familiar grip has taken over. I just can’t get enough of … chia seeds. Say what, now? But stay tuned over at Culinary Cousins, since I’ll be waxing philosophic about those soon. Like, maybe tomorrow.

I could write a whole book on my grammar pet peeves, but inappropriate use of apostrophes tops the list. You don’t make something plural by adding an apostrophe! I see it everywhere — like 1980’s instead of 1980s — but the one in the NY Times this week was the last straw. Apparently we “don’t have a history of dynasty’s in the U.S.” That sound you hear is my skin crawling.

I was eating a mango last week when something occurred to me. It’s sort of a miracle that I can drive to my local grocery store, buy a (pretty cheap) mango — a fruit native to South Asia —  and eat it at home in North Carolina. It felt so special and exotic. Score one for globalization, I guess.

Have a good week, all.

Culinary Cousins: Mushroom Bolognese

I’ve just posted a new recipe over at Culinary Cousins.

I’m happy to report that I’m still living the vegetable-centric life, and it’s going pretty well. Recipes like this mushroom bolognese make it especially easy. It’s rib-sticking enough to satisfy but also pretty healthy. Plus, when I make it from scratch, I know exactly what I put into it. 

Read all about it: Mushroom Bolognese

Monday Musings: On Springing forward, Nutellagate and Gatsby.

Good Monday to you. Here are some of the random, wacky things on my mind this week:

nutella

Whew. I missed last week’s Monday Musings, something I swore to myself I wouldn’t do. But I was getting our new blog, Culinary Cousins, off the ground. If you haven’t, come visit us over there. I’d love to know what you think.

The time change last weekend wasn’t as painful as others I remember, though I dread any moment that wrests precious sleep from my cold, tired, weary hands. But with added sunlight comes the prospect of warmer weather — it was even in the upper 70s this weekend in North Carolina! Nothing like turning on both your heat and your air conditioning in the same week.

Did you hear about Nutellagate at Columbia University? Those student hoarders are after my own heart. Nutella is just about the best thing ever invented, so I don’t blame them one bit.

When I was in high school, I hated English class. That may be surprising given my love of words and reading. Mostly I hated the way we had to analyze and dissect everything to death. It totally took the fun out of it. One book to fall victim to that was The Great Gatsby. How I hated that book, with a passion. I thought the characters were annoying, and I couldn’t relate at all. Plus, my teacher insisted everything had to mean something — those eyeglasses on the billboard were looking down on everyone, or whatever. Can’t they just be eyeglasses on a billboard? Can’t I just read it to enjoy the story? Sheesh. Well, I read Gatsby again for one of my book clubs in anticipation of the movie’s release in May. This time, I couldn’t put it down and was captivated, especially since I didn’t remember what happened. My, what changes with age and experience.

You know, I often stare at my rasceta. And sometimes I use a zarf. I try to avoid snollygosters whenever possible. I bet you do too

Have a good week, all.

A new venture.

Today is an important day. The birth of a new venture.

My cousins are as obsessed with food and cooking as I am. Maybe it’s in the genes, or maybe it’s because we were raised at the same hearth of good, southern food. And we’ve traveled the world to taste everything else that’s out there.

I’m pleased to tell you that we’re combining our interests and talents to launch a new food blog, called Culinary Cousins. The most interesting part, I think, is not in our shared interests but in our differences. We are in our 20s and 30s. We’re newly out of school, we’re married, we’re single, we have kids, we spoil our dogs. Some of us eat healthy, some of us (ahem) are addicted to chocolate, and some of us have to obey dietary restrictions. I think that runs the gamut, and I’m excited to see what we have to say and share.

You’ll find us all over at www.culinarycousins.com, so come. Check us out. We’re a work in progress, but growing slowly.

My first post is up today: the best. ever. macaroni and cheese. Promise.