Thursday, April 30, 2020

Things I Love Thursday // 4.30.20

  • Sweets and Baking - There is no good reason to avoid copious amounts of sweets and baked goods during this emotionally trying time (or any time IMO, unless you're just not a fan of happiness). To ensure small delights around here, whenever we run out of homemade chocolate chip cookies, it's become Piper's "job" to remedy the situation and promptly bake 60+ more. She divides them into 3-4 portions, leaving one container on the counter while the rest live (briefly) in the freezer --until they're needed on the counter. As you know, I've also taken up the often disappointing hobby of baking sourdough bread. Even when loaves are less spectacular than a 24+ hour effort should produce, they always taste great toasted and smothered in butter. Additionally, we've been making cakes, banana breads, and homemade ice cream. THIS recipe for Lemon Yogurt Cake from Odette Williams was a home-run! She offers three toppings in the recipe and we chose Nana's Simple Glaze but the Berry Crumble or the Yogurt Whipped Cream would be phenomenal next time! What has been your best new dessert recipe?

    Odette Williams Lemon Yogurt Cake
  • Peonies (always) - Finding moments of joy inside our homes has become more important than ever. For me, this is easily achieved with (*whisper shouts, "baked SWEETS!"*) a simple vase of fresh-cut flowers. Peonies have long been my favorite and this not-so-little 3-stem bunch (added to my online order of local produce from Your Mom's Donuts) is doing the trick! With Mother's Day around the corner, I'm wondering: are you a fan of fresh flowers --or are you of the opinion that they're an actively-dying-visual-expamle of wasted money?

  • 20-Minute Carbonara - Perhaps the way to your heart (like mine, clearly) is through the stomach. If so, your kids (with some help from an adult who is not you, depending on their abilities) could put this on the menu for next Sunday: Half-Baked Harvest's 20-Minute Carbonara. This recipe is super easy and so delicious. We found it to be a lighter, "healthier" version of the typical, cream-heavy carbonara you find in many restaurants and recipes. This one calls for fresh spinach, subs baked prosciutto for the bacon, and can be made with your favorite cut of pasta. The finishing cheese is flexible too; you can use burrata, soft mozzarella, or creamy ricotta. This is an easy weeknight dinner that will be going into our regular rotation. 

    Half-Baked Harvest 20-Minute Carbonara
    Subbed for Burrata --So delicious!
  • Our Container Garden (again) - I hope you like hearing garden updates here on the blog. Our backyard gardening hobby has taken over a big part of our daily routine and we all delight in seeing the progress and (finally, this week) tasting some of our efforts. I think I've figured out that the birds are getting the strawberries. For the time being, the furry critters have stopped digging/burying things, and the radishes continue to abound. The squash and zucchini are blossoming, the beans are climbing, and the tomatoes seem to burst forth new fruit almost daily (all of them still quite green and firm). We have a small herb garden in a couple pots by the back door --but I'm reluctant to harvest any because I feel like one recipe that calls for "half a cup" of chopped basil is going to wipe out my crop. Haha! Are you attempting to grow food this spring? What's been your most successful crop?

    Fresh Radish with Sweet Cream Butter and Flaky Sea Salt
  • Ranch Water - Loving this lighter and less-sweet-than-a-margarita cocktail these days. Texans have long been familiar with Ranch Water. For the rest of us, here's a "new" and simple recipe that features tequila and fresh lime juice --just in time for Cinco de Mayo! 

    Ranch Water Fixins
    Ranch Water: A simple and light tequila cocktail
  • Target Outdoor Lantern - I bought this outdoor candle lantern from Target about a year ago and I still love it so much. I think it's super versatile, as it has always lived indoors at our house. It comes in two sizes (mine is the larger) and is currently on sale at 20% off (candle not included). I love the natural, textured elements and feel like the design is very on-trend for the moment. I'm tempted to pick up the smaller version for our outdoor dining table... 

    Candle Lantern, Plant Stand, and Wall Shelf --all from Target

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