Holiday Shortbread

I know I said I was going to be super busy and probably not have time to post, but as it turns out I have some time. Yup. Plenty, actually. I'm sort of just playing the waiting game right now. I have a temporary apartment in NYC, someone taking my apartment in DC, boxes for packing (but I can't pack yet because most of my stuff is still in use), my aunt in Virginia is taking my extra furniture so I don't have to worry about that...so, yeah, there really isn't really much I can do right now. Except, finish out these last few days at work and say my goodbyes. I've been in DC for 3 years now, and for some odd reason leaving hasn't really made me sad. Maybe it hasn't hit me yet? Of course, I'll be saying bye to people I've become close with here, but I think I am just ready for a new adventure. I'm actually becoming a little worried that I'm one of those people that can't sit still for too long, which wouldn't surprise me much considering that in my 25 years of life I have moved more times than most. I'm about to live in my 8th state. Yes, that's right. Eighth. Obviously, there are plus sides like learning new things, meeting new people, etc. But moving sucks! The actual process, ugh. Way too much planning involved and way too many possible stress-filled moments. When I was little, it was much easier. I just worried about the meeting people part. The planning was my mom's part. Too bad we have to grow up though, because now I have to do it all. (She still helps. I'm not that independent yet. Thanks Mom!)

Luckily, with this move, Christmas falls smack-dab in the middle. So I have a few days for relaxing. And considering my parents moved to Massachusetts when I was in college, I have no friends around. So when I say "relaxing" I mean it. I will literally HAVE TO relax. Which will actually cause boredom. So then I have to find ways to entertain myself. Maybe this is where my love of cooking came into play. I made these a while ago for co-workers. They were a huge hit. I am in love with them, dearly. As I've mentioned before, I tend to lean to the salty side of things as opposed to the sweet. These little shortbread cookies that I found on 101 Cookbooks are amazing - salty, savory and sweet.

I think I'm going to make them for my family for Christmas. Kill two birds with one stone - boredom and baking bliss.

You could even use Christmas cookie cutters. A little more creative than my circles.

Pine Nut Rosemary ShortBread
from 101 Cookbooks

2 cups white whole-wheat flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (natural cane) sugar
zest of one lemon
2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and loosely chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1. Combine flour and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

2. In a separate large bowl or stand mixer cream the butter until light and fluffy.

3. Add the sugar and lemon zest and mix again, then add the flour mixture, nuts, and rosemary and mix until the dough goes just past the crumbly stage, and begins to really clump together (you don't want to over mix, but under mixing will make the dough seem a bit dry, which can make it difficult to handle).

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough just once or twice to bring it together, then divide it into a ball and flatten into a disk 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper of a Silpat mat.

6. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into whatever shapes you desire, and place on the prepared baking sheet.

7. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are beginning to brown on the bottom. The baking time will vary depending on the size of the cookies, taking less time for smaller cookies.

Also...if you're having a hard time with gift ideas this year, my friend, Nadina, provide me with this awesome link. Check it out.


The Big Apple

Remember when I told you I was kind of busy here? Well, I can officially tell you why now. After years and years of dreaming about the bright lights, skyscrapers and crowded streets, I am finally moving to New York City. To the middle of it all. To the heart of the Big Apple. Manhattan. And I have never been more excited in my life. And I'm not just going without a plan...I definitely have a plan. I don't think I have enough balls to move there without one. I'll be working here. Ya know, only the world's largest network of women bloggers. And, ya know, only the world’s largest conference for women in social media that may include guests like The Pioneer Woman on occasion. No biggie. What more could I ask for? Maybe like world peace, but let's not get carried away. Anyway, as you can imagine, my life just got a bit hectic. I don't sleep much and I spend most of my time worrying about moving and housing and leaving DC and housing and things I will need and money and housing. Did I mention housing? Yeah, should be a good time...finding an apartment and all...and being broke. But hey, sometimes you just have to take risks, eat Ramen noodles, and do what you want...right? Life would be boring otherwise. Good thing I like Ramen noodles. So you may not hear from me much for a while. Pretty sure I'll be busy...eating Ramen noodles.

See you in NYC!


Tomato and Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

I just saw a commercial that said Kohl's is opening at 3am on Friday morning. Is it going to be 2am next year? I feel like we've gone to an extreme. The media has really taken the Holidays and run with them...not exactly in the best way. What happened to Christmas trees, and stockings, and spending time with your family, and hot chocolate, and singing Christmas Carols, and watching Holiday movies? Now its just Buy Buy Buy... and Heaven forbid you aren't the FIRST ONE THERE! That would just be devastating. And I am standing my ground on the fact that you should not decorate until at least the day after Thanksgiving. It just doesn't seem right. One holiday at a time, people.

On that note, Thanksgiving comes first. Two days, actually. I am so ready. Not only do I absolutely love everything about Thanksgiving food, but I'm going to see my family. And on top of it all, I get to drive there. Yup, I am renting a car and heading to Pittsburgh, PA tomorrow afternoon. I haven't driven a car in a while, but I like to believe that it's like riding a bike - you never forget. I'm just hoping I don't get lost. Cross your fingers for me.

Today at work, we were talking about Thanksgiving food you can not live without. My list: Turkey (of course), mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, corn, and rolls. And wine. That's an important one. Those things are essential. If they aren't there, it just wouldn't seem right. I know my grandma will stick to the plan. She won't forget anything. She'll probably go above and beyond. I plan to eat my heart out. No one's counting calories that day.

Another item that tends to be essential for most - pumpkin. I love pumpkin, I do. But to be honest, my favorite pie is Banana pudding pie, not pumpkin. My brother, Andrew, would disagree.

This isn't exactly too Thanksgiving-ish, as most pasta dishes aren't, but this is a little something I made recently with pumpkin. It's just that time of season...squash is inevitable. I was feeling savory (and chilled), not sweet, so I threw together a Mac and Cheese. It's very similar to my Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese - both delicious and comforting. I obviously love Mac and Cheese.

Tomato and Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

1 box of Fusilli pasta
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups Tomato soup
1 16 oz. can pumpkin
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Hot Paprika powder
Panko Crumbs
salt and pepper

1. Prepare pasta

2. Make a roux using the EVOO, butter and flour.

3. Make sure to keep the heat low as to not burn the roux, and then add the tomato soup, pumpkin, cheese and spices (only half of the Paprika). Salt and Pepper to your liking.

4. Mix the pasta in with the sauce.

5. Put mixture in a greased baking dish. (I used EVOO to grease.)

6. Top dish with Panko Crumbs and rest of the Paprika.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

8. Top with extra Cheese is you want and enjoy!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Simple Cilantro Dressing

I've been busy lately. I'll tell you why later, but for now, I'll just share a simple salad dressing. Because sometimes you just want a salad - a simple, easy-to-throw-together salad when you don't have time to cook. And the most important part of salad - the dressing. So wouldn't it be great to have a dressing that you love just sitting around so you could just grab it, throw it on, and go. I just made dressing sound like a jacket. But, seriously, if you don't have good dressing, then your salad probably just sucks. Pardon my French.

This dressing requires that you love cilantro, like myself. I would put it on just about everything if I could, right there next to my hot sauce and ranch dressing. But, Cilantro is quite possibly the strangest herb ever (and the most popular around the globe). You're probably wondering why. Well, apparently there are like communities of people that call themselves "cilantro haters," like so. Even some scientists believe that there is some gene that causes people to describe the aroma of cilantro as "soapy." Read this. I can't think of another food that people have actually joined together to hate (because of it's taste). And to think about how much I love it, I can't imagine how someone could hate it so much. But then again, I love brussels sprouts too, but that's besides the point. There are actually websites strictly devoted to hating Cilantro. And, there are websites devoted to loving it, like this gem.

Well, too bad for the haters. Cilantro, of course considering it's green-ness, is really good for you. Full of antioxidants, obviously. But if eating Cilantro is like eating soap to you, I advise you just skip this post.

Sometimes I just combine Cilantro leaves with lettuce, but then you don't get that Cilantro taste in every bite. So, if you turn it into liquid form, you can rest assured you'll have a very Cilantro-y salad.

Simple Cilantro Dressing

1 bunch Cilantro
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Small amounts of Cold Water for thinning out

(This blender is my best friend. No joke.)

Blend all of those together, adjusting ingredients to your likings and making it as thick or thin as you want (you can add cold water to make it thinner), and you get this...

A bowl of Cilantro goodness. Toss a little on your choice of salad, and love every minute of it. And the glory of it...a little goes a long way.


Happy Anniversary/Birthday

Today is Chips and Cottage Cheese's Birthday. And I guess it's "our" 1 year anniversary.

Thanks to the few of you out there that read it!!

(I love these cards. The pictures are weird, but the cards make me laugh)

Happy Anniversary!


What's in your cupboard?

Not the world's greatest picture, but that's my cupboard. Beautiful, eh? I go to the grocery store way too much. My bank account hates me. I have things that normal 25 year old girls probably don't. I do blog about food though, so I guess that makes sense.

I think you can actually tell a lot about someone by what's in their cupboards and refrigerators. For starters, are they a boy or girl. I am clearly a girl. If a guy had all of this, and this does not include people like Bobby Flay or Jose Garcias, then I'd be super impressed. You can tell how healthy someone's lifestyle is. You can probably tell if they live in a city or not. If you're in a city, you probably don't have a ton of food because you're always eating out. (I am an exception. I also still eat out pretty often. More often than I should.) You can tell if they host people often - do they have a a lot of oils, flour, wines, fancy spices? Are they exotic and like to try new things, or are they comfortable with a chicken breast or burger? Are they a meat-eater or a vegetarian? If they don't eat meat, maybe they're very green and environmentally conscious? Maybe this is reading into it all too much, but interesting to think about nonetheless. So what's in your cupboard?

There are a few standards in here. Things that if not there, I get a little panicky. Some things you may have heard me mention. Examples: wheat flour, pasta, panko break crumbs, rice, quinoa, some type of carboard-tasting like cracker (lame, I know), chickpeas or black beans, oil, Srirracha, Oatmeal, all kinds of different nuts (almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are all-the-time basics), honey, raisins or craisins, and usually Hidden Valley Ranch Dip packets. Oh, and I've had vanilla Jello in there for a while. And I believe there have been food colorings in there for a long time. That's a lot of stuff. Food blogging is a lot of work, and kinda pricey. but I love it. It's almost been 1 year since I started Chips and Cottage Cheese. Kinda crazy!

Happy Tuesday! Three more days.


Sometimes it's the simple things

Dots. Yes, Dots make me happy. Seasonal Dots make me even happier. I wonder if they have Christmas Dots.

And friends. And simple Halloween costumes.

And helpful tips. And simple blogs.

Smart Pretty and Awkward

And good quotes.

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be” — Shel Silverstein

And good views.

And good books.

The Glass Castle

And Michigan Football in the Fall.

And classic movies.

When Harry Met Sally

And fashion blogs.

Camp Comfort

And of course, a good food blog.

One Perfect Bite


Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

Just a typical conversation I had with my friend Jackie, who at the time was vacationing in Seattle.

Jackie: bacon chocolate chip cookies
make them
blog them
let me know how it goes

me: haha
i have always wanted to make them
ive tried them
they are amazing

Jackie: i had a maple bacon doughnut last week

me: i made wasabi mashed potatoes last night

Jackie: it was awesome

me: they were the greatest thing ive ever made

Jackie: haha
that sounds good
i don't know if mark likes wasabi
this is something i will learn
and perhaps make them

me: um i love wasabi
and they were healthy
no butter

Jackie: could i make sriracha mashed potatoes?

me: YES!
and they would be amazing

Jackie: well, i'm glad we had this conversation

me: haha

Jackie: mark <3s mashed potatoes
maybe this will be my inspiration for his birthday party
"mashed potatoes"

me: just add some greek yogurt
and hummus

Jackie: interesting!

me: and they are healthy..but smooth

Jackie: that does sound awesome

me: it is
and then you can flavor them however
you could have garlicky hummus mashed potatoes
or wasabi

Jackie: ha ha ha

me: omg..the things you could do are endless

Jackie: mashed potato party!
you should come!

me: um ok
maybe i'll invent a mashed potatoe brand of some sort
or a restuaurant!
like frozen yogurt places
BUT mashed potatoes

Jackie: "make your own mashed potato" bars have been popular at weddings

me: im doing it

Jackie: i think a restaurant would do well

me: not even a restaurant
a chain thing

Jackie: haha like the frozen yogurt places where you add your own toppings and
then weight it at the end

who doesn't love mashed potatoes

Jackie: i don't want to know them.


Jackie: ok i suppose i need to go look at the space needle now
but good luck with the mashed potato

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

(this recipe does not need measurements, because it's all up to you!)

Greek Yogurt
Hummus (any type you want)
Garlic cloves
Wasabi Powder
salt & pepper
Sriracha Sauce

1. Boil Potatoes

2. Mash everything together

3. Be creative!


Delicious Focaccia

I made bread. A while ago. But I can still share it with you now. My co-worker, Kathryn, shared this recipe with me, and it's so easy. I never knew bread could be this easy. Which reminds me, I need to make it again sometime soon.

Part of the reason I really wanted to make it at the time was because I got this...

And this might seem silly to you, but I love this little piece of cooking equipment. With a Silpat nothing sticks! It's pretty awesome, especially after a few times working with dough and you end up using a ton of flour just so that the dough doesn't stick all over your counter and then you have to scrape off the last of it and ultimately scratch your counters. Clearly, I've had some difficulties. Not anymore!

Alright, well grab your Silpat and make some bread. This is Kathryn's recipe, verbatim.


· 1/2 c water, "baby bath" warm
· 2 1/4 tsp or 1 package yeast
· 1 tsp sugar
Mix sugar into water and sprinkle yeast on top. Stir gently, then let sit for about five minutes, until yeast activates (gets poofy).
· 2 cups flour
· 1 tsp salt
· More water, 1 tb at a time
· Splash of olive oil

Dump flour and salt in a bowl. Pour yeast mixture into middle and stir gently with a wooden spoon. Add water 1 tb at a time until you can pull the dough together; usually about 5 or 6 tbs. Pull dough onto counter and knead for 7-10 minutes, adding water or flour if you need to. It should start looking smooth on the outside. The "done kneading" test is to poke the dough; if the hole fills itself in again, it's good and springy. Cover and let rise for at least 30 minutes.
· Preheated oven to 450 degrees F.
· Salt/herbs/toppings to taste
Dough should have doubled in size. Punch in the middle, then pull out and knead 1-2 minutes. Flatten into a rectangle (or star, or trapezoid) about 1 inch thick. Put on pan (cookie sheet is fine). Brush olive oil over top and sprinkle with salt, herbs, parmesan cheese, etc. Put in oven for 8-10 minutes; it'll be done when the top is golden brown.


Ramen Noodle Coleslaw

I have no idea why it has taken so long for me to post this recipe. It's a favorite, for sure. I have been harassed by my lovely friends a few times for not posting it earlier. And everyone I have ever introduced to it, absolutely loves it. You can actually make people love you using this recipe. I swear. And it's so easy, so what the hell? Why not test it out.

This is particularly great for picnics. So, of course, I have chosen to post it during Fall. That was my sarcasm. I'm actually just exceptionally slow.

By the way, I'm loving Fall weather. Not right now, as in today, because it's raining cats and dogs outside, but in general. It's below 90 degrees. That's good news for me. In fact, it's even below 80...even better. And at night, it sometimes goes below 60. I love nothing more than sleeping in the cold.

So in light of loving Fall weather, why not make food that you love...or, I suppose, could potentially love in the future?

Oh, and side note: I love everything Asian. Have I mentioned that yet? Regardless, I do. I lived there for a few years, Singapore specifically, and am now a sucker for anything Asian. Mind you, this is no where near real Asian cuisine...but it has a few hints of the Orient nestled in there!

However, it does use Ramen Noodles, which is totally a Faux Pas.

Ramen Noodle Coleslaw


1 small head of finely chopped cabbage or 1 pkg. coleslaw mix
1 pkg. Ramen Noodles (Chicken flavor), crumbled
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup almonds slivers
1/4 cup chopped scallions (green and white parts)


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/3 cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 Ramen Noodle Chicken flavor packet


Spicy Ranch Dressing

Continuing with my Sriracha obsession...

I literally put it on everything. One of my favorite snacks lately is a piece of Wasa with cottage cheese topped with a little honey and Sriracha. Maybe even throw some cucumber slices on there. Whatever tickles your fancy. It's the perfect snack. Maybe I'll email Wasa and let them in on my creation.

I also put it on sandwiches, chicken, fish, soups, nuts, pizza, rice, french fries, burgers...you name it, and I'll put it on there!

Since I make a lot of salads at home for myself, I have, of course, found a way to incorporate it which does not involve just squirting some all over the lettuce. I added it to my favorite ranch dressing. The easiest dressing in the world. The tastiest ranch dressing (not made from mayo). It's amazing. Have I said enough? I think I've told you about my ranch obsession before. No? Maybe briefly here? Anyway, ranch is my favorite condiment. I love it dearly and could never part with it.

Spicy Ranch Dressing

1 packet of Original Ranch Dips Mix
Instead of the suggested amount of Sour Cream, use Greek Yogurt (2% Fage works best)
As much Sriracha sauce as you want. Be careful, it IS spicy.

Mix it all together, throw it on top of any salad you want, and voilĂ ...you have deliciously addicting, yet healthy, spicy ranch dressing!


Sriracha and Asparagus Israeli Couscous

One of my favorite food blogs is by far 101 Cookbooks. Heidi Swanson, the writer of 101 Cookbooks, pretty much does what I wish I could do, and what I think my original intentions for this blog were. She creates these original recipes made with all natural foods. Things you would never think of. And they are really great. I have experimented with a few, usually adapting them a bit...usually only because I don't always have everything. The day this recipe appeared on her blog, I had to try it...me and a few others that I know!

This Tabasco and Asparagus Quinoa is really right up my alley. Mostly because I love hot sauce. All kinds of hot sauce. Sriracha may be my favorite at the moment. But I love Tabasco and Frank's Red Hot and anything else you've got. Asparagus, while in season, is not necessarily the first thing I would have thought to combine with hot sauce, of any type really, but it really worked well. Mind you, I made this when Asparagus were in season. I realize I am a bit late posting this one.

Below is my adapted version. I, obviously, used Sriracha sauce instead of Tabasco. I also replaced some of the butter with Greek yogurt to make it healthier. And a big change I incorporated was the use of Israeli Couscous. I did not have quinoa. But the Israeli Couscous was a really nice substitution because it made it seem creamier and more of a pasta-like dish. However, I am sure that quinoa would have been just as tasty! Oh, and I added tomato and onion because 1. I had them and they needed to be used and 2. I find myself adding them to almost everything! They were definitely a nice touch, adding just a bit more flavor.

Sriracha and Asparagus Couscous

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup 2% Fage Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Sriracha sauce (as much as your heart desires!)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch segments
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
4 cups cooked Israeli Couscous
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
scant 1/4 cup 2% Fage Greek Yogurt - optional
more Sriracha sauce to taste

1. Prepare Israeli Couscous per the instructions on the box.

2. Make the sauce first melting the butter. Then combine melted butter, Greek yogurt, Sriracha sauce, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and salt. Set aside.

3. Boil asparagus. Only for a 2-3 minutes, keeping it firm. Cut into 1-inch segments and set aside.

4. Saute onion in olive oil, with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add asparagus right before onion starts to turn translucent. Saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add diced tomato. Set aside to let cool.

5. Combine Couscous with vegetable mixture and sauce. Stir in pine nuts. Serve cooled or warm. Top with extra sriracha sauce and extra Greek yogurt for serving.

And then....when you're done...and you're obviously left room for dessert...you can make yourself some of these awesomely easy Nutella brownies that I came upon while reading Savory Sweet Life.


Quick Cake in a Cup

If you haven't seen this yet, I don't know what to tell you...other than...keep reading.

Ever want chocolate cake, but not really much of a baker? Now you are. Get ready for this.

Five Minute Chocolate Cake...made in the microwave.

It's true. I tried it. And it was not too bad! Obviously it is no gourmet, Top Chef worthy Chocolate Cake, but it will definitely satisfy a craving. Also, there are probably many possible opportunities for innovations. You could whip up a quick frosting, or use some peanut butter, add chocolate chips (which I did), use part applesauce/oil, cut the recipe in half and make even mini-er cakes, add fruit, add nuts, etc. So get creative. Or don't, and just make some really easy, super fast Chocolate Cake and eat it.

Five Minute Microwave Chocolate Cake

4 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons oil
Pinch salt
Cooking spray
1 Mug

1. Spray inside of mug with cooking spray. Mix flour, sugar, salt and cocoa. Stir in egg. Pour in milk and oil and combine thoroughly.

2. Put in microwave for 3 minutes. Let it sit for five or so minutes before spooning the cake onto a plate.


My Chip Obsession

I have been meaning to post this much earlier! But, have you seen these? I had the privilege of enjoying them recently. They are really tasty. Chips in general are tasty, but these are really great. After scarfing down a bag with some friends, I wondered, how many different flavors of chips are there that I don't know about? Feeding into my chip obsession, I, of course, had to google it. There are so many. I already knew about Ketchup Chips in Canada and have to say...I have a serious problem with the fact that they are only sold in Canada. WHY? Bring them here, to me, in the US of A! It's not fair! I did recently come upon Dill Pickle chips in Maryland. I thought those were only sold in Canada too. So maybe there's hope that Ketchup Chips are here too...just hidden...in a some remote, unheard of place probably.

So, when googling flavors of chips, I think I stumbled upon a new favorite website....it's Chip Heaven, really. There's just so many I've never even heard of...Balsamic Sweet Onion, Maui Onion, Pepper Relish, Parmesan and Tuscan Herb. Those are just the Lays. There are still the Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Fritos, and SunChips. I feel like FritoLay has been holding out on me. If you have some downtime...I highly suggest checking out their website. A new mission in life for myself: Find all of these flavors. And probably enjoy them with some Cottage Cheese. Don't judge.


My Caramelized Onion Hummus

I tried this hummus at Whole Foods, and was floored. It was soooo good. Like, unexpectedly good. While I love hummus, this was almost a different concept. It was lighter than a normal hummus and more flavorful. It was in their pre-made food section. The name: Caramelized Onion Hummus. I could live in Whole Foods forever. Till I died. Just put a bed and a TV and maybe a tiny Kitchen...and done, I'm all set.

That would probably be a bit outrageous though, and well, expensive. One day, Whole Foods might own me the way I spend money there.

Anyway, I think the flavor in the hummus came from the fact that there was more onion than chickpea. So, of course, I tried to make my own. While not quite like Whole Foods', it was still really good and worth a try. The next time I make it, I will definitely add more onion. I think that in this recipe, there is no limit on the amount of onion you use. The more, the better. Especially if you're an onion lover like myself.

Kathleen's Caramelized Onion Hummus

2 whole yellow onions, chopped
olive oil for caramelizing
1 tablespoon butter for caramelizing also
1 can chickpeas
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tablespoons tahini
2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine butter and olive oil in pan and cook onions. Add salt as desired. Cook until they are a caramel color.

2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper as desired.

So the next time you need a crowd pleasing appetizer, just stop by here, and you're all set!

Happy Almost Friday!


Maryland Blue Crabs

Jon and I recently took a day trip to Annapolis, Maryland to enjoy some of Marylanders' favorite - Maryland Blue Crab. We also ventured around the cute town for a little while, but the temperatures weren't really working with us. Luckily, Annapolis is very small, especially when you skip the tour of the Naval Academy. (I felt slightly like a traitor!!)

We asked a security guard what his favorite place to get Blue Crabs was, and he told us it was between Buddy's Crab and Ribs or another one that I am currently not remembering (sorry!). We made it just in time for the raw bar deal, but realized that we really just wanted some crabs. So we ordered this:

Let me tell ya, those suckers are a lot of work! Talk about earning your food! And they are very messy. Not only are they slathered in Old Bay seasoning, but you have to crack them, hammer them, break them, tear them apart...you get the idea. Pretty sure I ate some crab poop too...

Below was my side of the table earlier on in the meal:

This was Jon's side when he was done:

I clearly had some difficulties.

But regardless of the mess and the time it took to eat MOST of the crabs, they were delicious. Just one of the many advantages of living close to the ocean!


Ocean City, MD

There we are. The Dugan clan...in all our glory.

My family and I recently returned home from our summer vacation in Ocean City, MD. It was lovely. I got to spend time with my adorable niece who lives all the way over in Western Michigan, and her dad, Patrick, and my younger brother Andrew who is at West Point, and my parents, who are all the way up in Boston! And Jon, who just moved to Brooklyn, NY this week ;(

Hopefully, we will all live a bit closer one day. But for now...summer vacations and these pictures will have to do.

And for those of you unfamiliar with being "iced", welp, here ya go. Andrew's apparently a pro. Pretty sure Bri, his girlfriend, got him this time. This was maybe his third?

As for the food, I'd say that with Thrashers French Fries soaked in apple cider vinegar, Fisher's Caramel Popcorn , Dumser's ice cream, Kohr's Frozen Custard , The fish tacos Jon and I made, and the well deserved chili cheese fries from The Dough Roller I did pretty well...and that I will be running off the calories for a while! I also had this little treat at a restaurant on the Boardwalk...a Black Velvet (Guiness and Cider, my favorite!):

Now...back to the real world again.

Cheers to happy, sunny summer vacations!