Olive and Goat Cheese Croustades & My Photography Process

olive and leek crostade-2

Over the past year or so, a lot of people have asked me to post about my photography “process.” I usually laugh them off. I love food photography, but I’m by no means a photographer. I’ve never taken a photography class and most of the time I feel like when I get a good shot, it’s because of nothing but luck. Still, when you compare the photos that I take now to the ones that I took when I first started the blog, even I have to admit that there’s been a dramatic improvement. (For reference, this is the first photo I posted. Yikes!)

Blueberry Honey Cornmeal Muffins

blueberry cornbread muffins-4

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again! This month, I was paired up with Krissy from Krissy’s Creations. She has a beautiful blog full of tempting treats (Funfetti Waffles? Yes, please!)

Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the mood for sweets, so I searched for a savory recipe to make an settled on these blueberry-honey cornmeal muffins. We had some beautiful weather last week (with highs near the 80s!) and I made these muffins the cornerstone of a summertime-inspired meal of we ate them with barbecue chicken, grilled asparagus, and potato salad.  I really loved the contrast of the slightly sweet muffins with the smokey, barbecue flavors.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Stewed Tomato

stovetop mac and cheese

Last month, The Laughing Cow asked me if I would be interested in trying a lower-calorie version of a comfort food, featuring their cheese. I’ve kept Laughing Cow in my refrigerator ever since being introduced to it by my high school French teacher (back when it was called “la vache qui rit”) but I’ve never tried cooking with it so, intrigued, I agreed. They sent me the recipe and ingredients to make their creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for macaroni and cheese, especially when it has a gourmet twist.

Oatmeal Cookies with Whiskey-Soaked Cherries

whiskey cherry cookies-3

Soft, chewy oatmeal cookies studded with chocolate chips and dried cherries re-plumped with whiskey… what more is there to say?!

These are, hands down, my new favorite cookies. I generally hate whiskey (it tastes like pencils), but butter and brown sugar mellow out the flavor, leaving these cookies with a complex, butterscotch-like flavor that’s perfectly balanced by sour cherries and sweet chocolate. A touch of coconut* helps keep them soft, and I think they have an even better flavor the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to meld.

Cheddar & Ale Soup

cheddar and ale soup-3

During my freshman year of college, there was a vegetarian station in my Quad’s dining hall. It was tucked away in the back corner, all the way on the other side of the seating area (God forbid there be any chance of Buffalo tempeh or curried lentils coming into contact with the pizzas or chicken patties served in the main section!). I honestly don’t think many students even noticed that it was there.
I wasn’t even close to resembling a vegetarian, but I found myself eating there most nights (it was only open for dinner) because the food was actually good! Unlike the mainstream options, the food wasn’t super processed. And, thanks to their focus on international cuisine, it actually had flavor.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas

chicken and spinach flautas

Am I the only one who was craving flautas/taquitos after seeing this post on The Kitchn last week? They looked amazing!

We went through a phase a few years ago where we loved the frozen ones, but now they kind of weird me out so it’s been forever since I’ve had them. I’ve actually been meaning to experiment with a baked version for a while, but I never got around to it. When I saw their post though, I immediately changed my dinner plans. (Luckily I was already planning to make enchiladas, so it wasn’t that big of a switch and I had everything I needed). Of course, I had to put my own healthy spin on them….