One of the great parts of blogging is discovering new blogs and making connections with great people whose path you’d normally never cross. I logged in today and saw so many wonderful recipes from my friends and fellow blog followers, I couldn’t help but share them with you.

1. From SimplyDish, a gluten free cranberry and peppermint fudge. Wouldn’t this look lovely wrapped in a cellophane bags with a pretty ribbon?

2. From Chloe at Food Like Cake, these Nutella frosted chocolate sugar cookies would be a delicious ending to a holiday dinner party. Don’t they look delicious?

3. From Anchor It Down: these delicious looking and sounding quinoa, spinach, and cheese breakfast cups.

4. From Natacha at French Girl Cuisine, this french onion soup sounds perfect for a cold winter night. Who can reset fragrant broth and bubbly cheese?

Im excited to share these great recipes with you! Enjoy.

Ottolenghi's Roast Chicken

I have a love-but-never-cook relationship with Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks. The vibrant photographs draw me in, the ingredients list sounds too delicious to not follow through. Yet somehow, when it comes to weeknight cooking, I generally forgo his recipes. There’s not rhyme or reason to this..most likely just my general laziness. (I have a healthy does of lazy).

Since the weather has turned to cooler nights and mornings (yes, dear readers, it was a shocking 58 degrees on my way to work recently), there’s nothing that resonates cooler weather and seasons than a roasted chicken.

Za’atar Roasted Chicken, adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi

  • 2 lbs of bone in chicken legs, breasts, or thighs
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 lemon, sliced thinly with seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salat and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of za’atar

Combine the first eight ingredients in a large, resealable plastic bag. Toss together and ensure the chicken is coated with the marinade. Place the plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Once you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven has reached the designated temperature, wait 20 minutes. Place the chicken, onions, garlic on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Top the chicken with the za’atar.

Roasted the chicken for 45-55 minutes, until the chicken is browned and cooked through.

I had a pretty recurring job when it came to holidays, birthdays, mother’s days, and general celebrations that brought a little more pomp and circumstance to the dinner table: I was the table artist. Setting the table, styling the table, and creating a pretty setting for our celebration meal was always my specialty as a kid. In hindsight, that might help explain my attachment to all things kitchen and table prop-like. Thank goodness for a strict sense of practicality that keeps from breaking the bank or the closet with purchase. So, in the spirit of the upcoming holiday, here’s my “window shopping” list for setting a pretty table.

  1. Although definitely autumnal in feel, these Rosemary Spring Place Cards could work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. For Christmas, maybe add some holly.
  2. For a little glam at the table, these glitter pumpkins look pretty easy.
  3. I’m crushing hard on gold flatware.
  4. Set a foundation with this silver, gold, and metallic confetti table runner from Crate and Barrel.
  5. Add a unique touch to the water glasses with this Moroccan inspired glassware.

What do you think? How do you like to set the table for the holidays?

Blackberry, Cream Cheese, and Rye Muffins | Kitchen Notes

 

What’s better than a muffin ready and waiting for your as you sit down to your first cup of coffee for the day? Probably not much. If we weren’t talking it about food, I think it’d be the same feeling as coming home realizing all your laundry had been washed, and folded, and put away.

Now that it’s dark when we wake up, having breakfast pre-made and the coffee ready to go is important to us. Somehow, Casey still manages to not hit snooze. I can’t. At least I know that I have sometime delicious waiting for me in the kitchen.

Blackberry, Cream Cheese, Rye Muffins adapted from Local Milk

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 oz of cream cheese, at room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • Brown sugar for sprinkling

Head the over to 400 degrees. Grease the muffins times.

In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt). Set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and eggs until fluffy. I used a medium speed. Slow down the mixer and add the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, lemon juice, and honey. Mix to combine. Slowly add in the set aside dry ingredients. Don’t over mix these, you want to to just come together.

Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 of the way. I like to use a generous 1/4 cup portion to start and fill in any that look a bit low. Use your fingers to help you sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the muffins.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Allow to cool in the muffin tins on a wire rack completely before removing and serving.

Blackberry, Cream Cheese, and Rye Muffins | Kitchen Notes Blackberry, Cream Cheese, and Rye Muffins | Kitchen Notes

There’s always a dish that gets clamored over at the holiday table. For my family, it’s my Aunt’s mashed potatoes. Thick, creamy, rich, and most of all delicious. We’re lucky if there are left overs!

As you prep your mashed potatoes for the holiday, or just for Wednesday night dinner, here are 5 tips from The Kitchn for making the best mashed potatoes.

It you’re looking to change up your potato routine, give these caramelized onion and rosemary potatoes a try. What ever you do though, I wholly concur with Bon Appetit’s recent advice that yukon gold is the way to go for creamier potatoes.

Gosh, now I’m hankering for mashed potatoes at 7:20 in the morning.

Veggie Salad with Zatar | Kitchen Notes and Other SundriesBetween you and me, I’m not a big fan of what I call “salad salad.” Lettuce, veggies, dressing. Something is always missing. So forgive me if I call this grain and veggie dish a salad. It works for me.

We finally had a cooler weekend here in Phoenix. And some parts of the state had their first snow. Yes, it snows in Arizona.

The below is a break from heavier fall and winter fare. Which is rather funny, as I’ve been longing to make some true fall dishes and now have the perfect temperature to work in.

Its a simple combination of chickpeas, veggies, nuts, herbs, and tabouleh. Spiced with salt, pepper, zatar, olive oil, and topped with some yogurt for creaminess.

Veggies Salad with Zatar

  • 1 cup of cooked tabouleh
  • 1 can of no salt added chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 small, seedless cucumbers
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/3 cup of toasted pepitas
  • 1/2 cup of freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested and then juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Generous grind of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon zatar
  • Good quality olive oil

Place the cooked tabouleh in a large bowl. Add one can of rinsed chickpeas — I generally rinse these a few times. Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery to similar sized portions. Add these to the bowl. Add the pepitas and parsley. Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the salad. Add the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the zatar seasoning over the top.

If desired, add a dollop of yogurt and mix in before eating. Enjoy for lunch. Add shredded roasted chicken for a more substantial meal.

Veggies Salad with Zatar | Kitchen Notes and Other Sundries

Gosh October flew by! Where did it go? How did you spend it?

I spent mine with one too many Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes or Pumpkin Chai Teas. Snuggling with Lyla. Taking obligatory pictures out of plane and car windows (I might have been driving, but stalled in traffic for that one). And enjoying mountain views from my hotel balcony. And homecoming with my sister in law.

I’m also trying to game less, since I spent a fair amount of time in September and early October on Guild Wars 2, saving the world with some awesome peeps from across the continent (and potentially globe). Leveling new characters and having a good time.

But I realized, as I’m want to do after gaming binges, that how I spend my time is in my control. So I’m controlling the video gaming habit going into year end. So that I can read more. Here are some articles:

  • The Laborers that keep our Facebook (and other social media) free from things we don’t want to see. I mean crap — how many of us think about this? And how many of us would want that job? Thank you.
  • This savory tart. I know it’s fall, and we’re moving away from tomatoes and towards winter squash. But seriously: yum.
  • This book. The nerd in me is stoked.

And then today, I drove by a bakery I don’t always make it to and indulged myself in some fresh baked bread. A treat from my time growing up in Germany. And really, isn’t fresh baked bread the perfect way to end a post?

pretzel rolls | kitchen notes and other sundries

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