Easy Chocolate Cake with Date-Sweetened Chocolate Frosting

chocolate cake with date frosting-3

I'm going to be honest with you: I stopped feeling inspired in the kitchen sometime last trimester. I'm still into eating, eating is great, but I just don't want to be the one making the food. It takes so much mental energy to think of what to make. A few weeks ago, on a Thursday night when we had friends coming into town for the weekend, I realized with panic, sometime around 6 or 7 p.m., that we hadn't planned ahead for dinner and now we had to think of something fast, and then our friends arrived, and I was starving, so we pulled out the Vitamix and blended up oranges right there with them in the kitchen, when they'd just come from dinner out. So tacky but so necessary. I've been theorizing about what's going on, about how a person who normally loves spending free time in the kitchen become a person who wants all the food all the places as long as she doesn't have to make them, and all I can say is who knows. Maybe Baby's taking my brain power. Maybe all my creative energy is going … [Read more...]

Spicy Peanut Kale Bowls + Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries

spicy kale peanut bowls / food loves writing

Around here lately, while Tim has been replacing stair treads, putting up walls, painting the basement, swapping out bedroom doors and otherwise working on this house we're hoping to finish, I've been in charge of keeping us both fed. This is an unusual arrangement for us, me in the kitchen and him elsewhere, and it's made me realize how thankful I am to usually be working with him at the sink or stove, side by side. It's also made me realize, with not a little surprise and maybe terror, that I have a goooood appetite these days. People keep asking me if I'm having pregnancy cravings, and I guess I don't know. Can I blame the second trimester or should I just be real and admit I've always been a fan of Let's Try This New Recipe, which is much easier to make happen when it's just me alone at the fridge. If you're following along with us on Facebook, you're getting a regular diet of This Was a Good One posts, and I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am, because with the exception of a … [Read more...]

peanut butter chocolate milk

I told Tim the other day, you know, the best things in life really are free. ____ Like sunlight in the morning: And sunsets at night: Parks filled with trees: Views like these: A day at the lake: And the man that I love: I mean, I don't know about you, but I need to be reminded of this. Because, as much as I talk about simplicity here, the truth is: I am easily swept away into opinions and concerns that are anything but. That's why I'm starting a new series here at the blog (in life?) focused on simplicity---starting with a recipe that's so easy, it's honestly ridiculous. Those of you who wanted more Vitamix recipes, here you go! Those of you who don't have a Vitamix, a regular blender still works. Behold: time-tested, always delicious, peanut butter chocolate milk. … [Read more...]

Curried Coconut Chicken & Peanut Butter Noodles

Listen, it's not like I never do adventurous things. I mean, you know: I ride roller coasters. I cut 11 inches off my hair. I launch out into self-employment. And hello, there was that mountain in Maine I won't let anyone forget about. Remember?! But when it comes to my kitchen and new types of cuisine, even I will admit that I stick pretty close to the basics: American, Italian, sometimes Greek, but pretty rarely anything outside that. And if it weren't for my friend Stacey, who came over Tuesday night to, at her suggestion, try making Thai food, that would all be exactly the same. Our plan of attack was simple: pick two recipes, adapt the ingredients to be fully natural, follow the instructions and cook. … [Read more...]

just the ticket

I've been having a lot of bad luck in the kitchen lately. I mean, not that anyone's keeping track, but, in the last few weeks, the handful of times I've found to try a new recipe or carve out an hour to cook, the results were unimpressive (OK, with at least one exception). I made a squash and apple soup that had little flavor. I pureed pumpkin from a little $1.50 pie pumpkin at Meijer, and the three loaves of bread I made with it were barely edible---the one with pecans on top was the best, but even it found an eventual demise in the trash can. My version of candied sweet potatoes wasn't awful, but that's really the best endorsement of it I can give and, since when did making something not awful inspire anyone toward the stove? I decided, sometime this past weekend, that there were a few different conclusions I could draw from this: 1) I've been picking bad recipes (over and over again); 2) I've been eating so well everywhere else that my standards have risen and maybe these OK … [Read more...]