#cook90… is it over yet?

I hate that I am saying this but I have been counting down the days to April 1 — aka the end of my #cook90 challenge. The cooking part hasn’t been too bad but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this experience it’s that my next kitchen needs to have a dishwasher. Who knew one person could create so many dirty dishes? I want to say I’ve spent at least a half an hour every single day in March washing dishes, and I’m #overit.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed #cook90. I tried my best to cook things that were outside of my comfort zone and I’m excited that I’ve added a few more recipes to my repertoire. I’ve learned that making pasta from scratch isn’t really all that hard, but you do need a decent amount of counter space. And apparently, I like baking a lot less than I thought I did — probably because I don’t have a stand mixer or a normal sized food processor. Sadly, I’ll never make it as a baker on The Great British Baking Show, in fact, I cracked under pressure when my store bought pie crust wouldn’t cooperate.

I’ve had a bunch of people ask me if this challenge helped me save money on food and the answer is a resounding… no. I found myself more willing to splurge on higher quality ingredients from the grocery store to replace the instant gratification that I typically get from going out to eat. I think you could easily save money doing this challenge if you stuck to more budget friendly recipes than I did, but my goal wasn’t to save money, it was to learn more about cooking. And I don’t think anyone wants to read a blog post with 10 different ways to make chicken sausage pasta.

I missed last week’s recap— I was busy cooking my little heart out— so this post is on the longer side, but hopefully that means you’ll find at least one recipe to try! I’ll also be sharing a recipe next week for a mostly homemade roasted vegetable and sausage tart with an everything bagel crust, so stay tuned.

#cook90 Breakfast Recipes

Carrot cake smoothie

Smoothies // I’ve been drinking a whole lot of smoothies lately and my current favorite is this Almond Brothers Carrot Cake Smoothie from RVA Fit Foodie, it legit tastes like carrot cake in a cup and it has been a nice change of pace from my berry filled smoothies. The hardest ingredient to find was carrot juice that didn’t contain anything other than carrots juice and lemon juice, but I found an affordable option in the natural foods section of Kroger.

 

Lecker Baking Company // Knowing the limitations of my kitchen and available kitchen tools, I did not attempt to make any bread on my own — I’ll save that for my next #cook90 challenge. With that said, I did come across a gem of a bakery when I was looking for new bread options to try in Richmond. Lecker Baking Company is conveniently located in the Fan and if you are looking to pick up a loaf or two on your commute home, I highly recommend making a stop there. This month I stuck to the tried and true Billy Bread to step up my toast and breakfast sandwich game, but I’m pumped to try more of Lecker’s offerings.

Fried banana overnight oats

Overnight Oats // I mentioned my love of overnight oats in my last #cook90 post and the prospect of warmer weather means I’ll be eating my oatmeal cold for the foreseeable future. I keep my recipe simple using a 1 to 1 to 1 ratio of oats, yogurt and milk (I use unsweetened coconut milk) and then I add in a scoop of protein powder and a shake of cinnamon. Recently I’ve been adding “fried” banana slices to jazz things up — heat a small amount of coconut oil or ghee in a small pan and add your banana slices, flip them once they’re golden brown and finish with a drizzle of honey.

 

Sinless Samoas // If you follow Let’s Share a Dish on Instagram you might’ve seen my Instagram Story making these delicious sweet treats. They aren’t really for breakfast but could work as a small snack between breakfast and lunch. The recipe from Eating Bird Food is super simple and in total takes less than 30 minutes to make. My tip: add the toasted coconut to your food processor before it has completely cooled and it will melt the chocolate chips a little bit.

#cook90 Lunch Recipes

Chicken salad

Chicken Salad // I only recently started eating chicken salad and I love it as an easy and satisfying topping for salads. I found this easy chicken salad recipe by Ina Garten and it turned out wonderfully. My old modification was replacing half of the mayo the recipe called for with Greek yogurt to try and make it a little more healthy. This super simple recipe contains just six ingredients: chicken, olive oil, mayo, green grapes, celery and tarragon (not including salt and pepper).

 

Sweet Potato Bowls // These colorful bowls are super easy to throw together during the week. My bases for my bowls this month included roasted sweet potato, a tomato, cucumber and pickled onion salad, rice, tzatziki sauce and Cava Harissa. For proteins, I used Trader Joe’s Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and shrimp sauteed in ghee and garlic. Throw all the components in a bowl and you’re good to go.

 

Mumbai Toastie // A Lodge Cast Iron Skillet wasn’t the only “kitchen tool” I bought during #cook90, I also purchased a new cookbook — Simple by Diana Henry. The key feature of this cookbook is that all recipes must fit onto one page. Some are easy, some might take you all day and all sound delicious. The Mumbai Toastie is the first thing I’ve made from my new cookbook and grilled cheese may never be the same. Indian spices and a fresh mint and garlic chutney give this simple meal a big flavor upgrade. And it didn’t hurt that I used Billy Bread for this recipe too.

#cook90 Dinner Recipes

Pierogies

Pierogies // The most challenging (re: annoying) recipe that I made during this entire experience were these potato and cheese pierogies *RIP Lucky Peach*. I naively tried to take on this feat on a weeknight, #neveragain. In the first five minutes of peeling potatoes I sliced my thumb which almost derailed me completely; nevertheless, I persisted and four hours later these pillows of doughy, cheesy, starchy goodness were ready. If you pack your patience for this adventure you’ll be handsomely rewarded with a comforting and delicious meal. I recommend serving these with some fancy sausage from Stock Provisions.

 


Egg Roll in a Bowl // There really was only one point during the challenge where I almost gave up. After a long and stressful week, including a 24 hour period with no water in my apartment, I was craving Chinese take out. With no food in my fridge, the prospect of ordering in was sounding more and more appealing but I took a deep breath and searched the internet for an easy recipe that would satisfy my craving. I came across this beef and cabbage stir fry recipe on Budget Bytes and was sold. I used pork instead of beef, and whipped together this dish in less than an hour, including time spent driving to and from the grocery store. To make it more filling, I served the stir fry over rice.

 

I feel like I learned a lot from the challenge and it really forced me to meal plan a little bit more than I typically do. #cook90 also reinforced my love for grocery shopping, and I’ll be a little sad that I won’t be spending as much time in the grocery store in April as I did in March. If you want to do your own #cook90 challenge, sign up for the newsletter and they’ll send you weekly updates based on how far along you are. And if you’re wondering what my first not home cooked meal will be tomorrow, its a toss up between a Stroops backdoor dog and Peter Chang’s Noodle and Dumpling!

If you missed my first two posts on #cook90 you can read them here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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What’s Happenin’ Wednesday
  • Renovations are officially underway for ZZQ’s brick and mortar location. I cannot wait until I can finally get my #meatchurch fix on a day other than Saturday! Follow ZZQ on Instagram for updates on their pop ups at Ardent this summer/fall.
  • One of my favorite frozen treats growing up was an ice cream cookie sandwich and my adult self is giddy over the new but classic ice cream cookie sandwich options at Gelati Celesti and Charm School. Oh and Charm School even has vegan options!
  • Warm weather equals fruity cocktail weather. If you’re looking to shake up your cocktail game, Refinery29 has 42 grown up ways to drink tequila. Does this mean Jumbo Texans at El Rods aren’t grown up drinks?
  • Shyndigz 2go & Market is now selling take and bake treats, meaning you can now offer to bring dessert to your next dinner party/get together and impress all of your friends (without slaving away in the kitchen). Current offerings include oatmeal cream pies and cake kits. My question is, does take and bake violate any #cook90 rules?
  • ICYMI: Butter Beer ice cream now exists. If you spot it in Richmond please let us know!
  • Spotted: Virginia Governor Terry McAullife enjoying a bite at Perly’s with Showtime’s The Circus. What do you think he ordered? The schlubby fries?! Maybe you’ll find out when the episode airs on Sunday.
  • Richmond magazine’s Stephanie Breijo has the scoop on Mike Ledesma’s new Passport Pop-Up series. Give me all of the lumpia. PLEASE! The first pop-up will be held on April 23rd at a secret location.

What to add to your calendar

  • The Hardywood Food Truck Court on Thursday nights returns next week, April 6th. Taproom opens at 4 p.m. and trucks will start serving food at 5:30 p.m. Bring your folding chairs or a blanket and enjoy a brew and bite in this (hopefully) beautiful spring weather.
  • Meg mentioned this year’s Swine and Brine event last week and I’m mentioning it again this week because it might be my favorite beer/food event in all of Richmond. If you need a primer on what to expect you can read the post we did about last year’s event. This year’s event was moved to Saturday so I would expect it to be even more popular this year.
  • And speaking of pork forward events, it is almost time for the Big Pig Project, hosted by Lunch & Supper. The block party on April 22 will benefit the Richmond Ronald McDonald House Charities. There will be barbecue, beer and live music. This event is not ticketed but there are advance tickets available online for $40 that will get you to the front of the beer and food lines. The $40 ticket also includes a meal and two drink tickets. This event is dog and family friendly.
  • Tickets are now on sale for the next Jackdaw Kamayan dinner, this time at an undisclosed outdoor location near Church Hill. What does a Kamayan dinner entail? Well for one there are no utensils (you eat with your hands) and delicious Filipino food will be involved. Also making an appearance is Shaun Loughran, from the Rogue Gentleman/the soon to be open Yaki, who will be crafting some delicious libations for dinner goers. Tickets are $65.
  • Reminder: The Monument Avenue 10k is happening this Sunday so watch where you are parking Friday night and if you want breakfast or lunch in and around the city on Saturday morning, try to make a reservation. If you are running the 10k, my favorite carb-loading spot is Joe’s Inn — you can’t go wrong with the massive pancakes or a huge plate of spaghetti.

 


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What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • Just ahead of the 10K, King of Pops – Richmond is releasing a Ukrop’s Rainbow Cookie pop. Let’s all a take a minute to fully appreciate that…rainbow cookies in popsicle form! You can try one for yourself this Thursday from 4-6 p.m. at 3001 W Clay Street where the pops will be free thanks to Sportsbackers.
  • Thrillist put together a list of the best late night eats in major cities throughout the United States. Take a look and tuck this list away until your next visit to one of these cities so you know where to go for some late night grub.
  • If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen my recent story where I was super excited about finally getting some fresh herbs in the kitchen. I’ve been using the mint (along with lemon, lime and just a touch of sugar) to infuse my iced tea the past few weeks with the help of one of my favorite kitchen finds from Crate & Barrel.
  • Need a way to impress guests at your next gathering but don’t have much time? Check out this slideshow from Food and Wine on fast hors d’oeuvres with options that will impress even the most refined palate.
  • Why are pickles often served on the side of sandwiches, you ask? The Kitchn has the answer to that one.
  • In local restaurant news, the old American Tap Room underwent a quick turnover over at Willow Lawn and is now operating as Hattie Mae’s Southern Kitchen. You can read more details about the new restaurant over at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
  • Just when I thought I couldn’t love North End Juice Co. any more than I already do, they introduced fresh-pressed juices to their menu, including watermelon juice! So excited to have this option, especially as things start to warm up again around Richmond.

What to add to your calendar

  • I’m co-hosting an event at Kendra Scott this Thursday (tomorrow!) where the store will be donating 20% of the proceeds from 6-8 p.m. back to the Massey Alliance. Come out, bring s friend,  enjoy some sweets and make your own piece of jewelry at the color bar! Details here.
  • The Boathouse and Trapezium Brewing Co. have partnered to develop a custom house beer for The Boathouse, The Boathouse Oyster Ale,  which is made with The Boathouse Oyster shells. The debut of the beer is taking place this Friday at a Trapezium beer dinner at The Boathouse at Sunday Park, and you can get your tickets here.
  • Hosted by Ardent Craft Ales, Swine & Brine is returning this year on Saturday, April 8. This is one of our favorite food events of the year in Richmond, you can read our recap from last year here.
  • Have you made your plans or reservation for the second annual Richmond Brunch Weekend yet? It’s happening this weekend and you can check out the full list of participating restaurants on the event website. Just remember, the harder you brunch, the more you’ll be giving back to the Massey Cancer Center and Massey Alliance.
  • Word on the street is that tickets are moving quickly for the third annual Supper at Sunset to benefit ChildSavers which is coming up on Thursday, May 25, so don’t wait to buy tickets if you’re hoping to attend.


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What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • SO MANY LISTS. Richmond’s Roosevelt restaurant and Strangeways Brewing were just recognized by Southern Living. The magazine just released its first ever South’s Best winners and the Roosevelt appeared on the South’s Top 10 Bars list and Strangeways was named one of the South’s 10 Best Breweries. And Richmond was number nine on The South’s Best Cities 2017 list by Southern Living. Separately, The Veil was featured on Thrillist’s Best New Breweries in America list.
  • Did you know that Shake Shack uses Martin’s Potato Rolls for its burgers? If you didn’t you do now. Eater has the scoop on why this classic bun has become so popular among burger joints across the nation.
  • In case you missed it: Yesterday we celebrated one year of blogging by sharing our 10 favorite dishes from the past 365 days!
  • What’s old is cool again. Blizzards® aren’t just for the fast food drive thru anymore, desserts inspired by this frozen treat are popping up all over the place. And you can even make one in your own home.
  • Richmond Magazine has all of the details on Flora’s planned opening on March 21 and I cannot wait to make my way over to try some of the Oaxaca-inspired dishes. The restaurant opening in the former Balliceaux space is the brain child of a few of my favorite Richmond chefs and restaurant owners — Jay Bayer of Saison, and Jason Alley and Michele Jones of Pasture and Comfort. Sign me up for a gallon of the chocolate soup served with toasted marshmallows!
  • Speaking of frozen treats, milkshakes are finally back at Roaring Pines, and King of Pops/The Reign is open after a seasonal hiatus.
  • If you watch Chef’s Table on Netflix, you need to watch this Portlandia parody featuring Fred Armisen.

What to add to your calendar

  • On Monday March 27th, say goodbye to winter with Metzger’s Iki Kai pop-up. There will be poke and tropical cocktails, what more could you need?
  • Patina’d on Grace will be hosting its Spring Fling Market on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Here’s your plan for Saturday: do some spring cleaning to make some room for your new finds at Patina’d on Grace, do some shopping at the Spring Fling Market and then pop over to Cask Cafe for a brew and/or lunch.
  • The Brunch Market is back this Sunday in Scott’s Addition. There will be fried chicken biscuits, flat breads and mimosas, plus lots of local vendors to check out. Please go and enjoy a biscuit for me, I’m counting down the days until the end of #cook90 so that I can partake in this biscuit partayyyyy.
  • The first BreakawayRVA ride is scheduled for April 29th. I’m giving you a ton of notice so that you can get your bike in order ahead of time. Rides will be held monthly from April to October this year.


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One Year of Sharing Dishes

I don’t know if you’ll believe it — we can’t — but it’s March 14th and that means we’ve been doing this whole blogging thing for a full year now! One-hundred and twenty-six blog posts later and a million calories later (OK, we don’t know how many calories, but its a lot), we haven’t killed each other yet and we can’t wait to see where the Richmond food scene will take our taste buds in year two.

It seems like just yesterday we decided to pull the trigger and claim our little piece of the internet and we’ve had a blast, in large part due to all of you. Can you believe we’ve had readers from ALL fifty states?! We love hearing your suggestions and feedback for more places for us to try. We hear you and we can’t wait to visit some of your favorite spots and try some of your favorite foods!

It’s been so much fun telling you all about our favorite spots around Richmond, our travel adventures and our random musings on our favorite recipes, cute dog pictures, podcasts, shopping finds and more. We love sharing our weekly dose of food news with you every Wednesday in our What’s Happenin’ Wednesday posts, and we’re thankful to the Richmond restaurant community that has welcomed our many questions with open arms.

In just one year, there have been too many memorable moments to name — from getting a behind the scenes look at Mrs. Yoder’s to taste testing at Gearhart’s to trying all of the things on the menu at East Coast Provisions thanks to the generous Mike Ledesma. If Kelsey wasn’t doing the #Cook90 challenge, we could celebrate today with a glorious dinner somewhere, but instead we’re going to tell you the 10 most memorable meals we’ve had in the past year, in Richmond and beyond.

La Barbecue

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I would fly to Austin, Texas just to have La Barbecue for lunch. Texas folks aren’t kidding when they say barbecue is the real deal there. Just one visit to La Barbecue was enough to convince me of that. After waiting in line for a few hours it felt like we ordered just about everything on the menu, and 11 months later I’m STILL thinking about the brisket and sausage and the bobby sauce I dipped my bread in. It was an added bonus that one of the employees gave me a behind the scenes look at the brisket smoking, a 14 to 16 hour process that is worth every minute. – M

merroir angels on horseback

Merroir

Let’s just say there’s a reason Merroir is featured prominently in the new Virginia Tourism video promoting some of the best things in Virginia. Picture perfect location on the water, delicious food, great drink list…Merroir has just about everything I want in a restaurant. I only make it to this spot in Topping, Virginia two or three times a year, but vacation mode starts the minute we hit the gravel parking lot. Everything on the menu is delicious, but I go back time and time ago for – no surprise here – the oysters of all varieties. They are delicious whether they are served raw, roasted or all “dressed up” like these Angels on Horseback baked with herb butter and Edwards Ham. – M

the clam shack 48 hours in maine

The Clam Shack

Apparently I have a thing for restaurants on the water, but The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Maine is another spot that made it into my top meals of the year. The lobster rolls here were so incredible and warranted every ounce of publicity and attention this restaurant has racked up over the years. Lobster rolls here come served up with mayonnaise and butter and are perfectly enjoyed with the fresh squeezed lemonade that’s available for sale in front of the restaurant. – M

Tompkins Square Bagels NYC

Tompkins Square Bagels

New Yorkers know how to make a darn good breakfast sandwich, and Tompkins Square Bagels makes one of the best. We stopped here for breakfast on the first day of our visit to New York City back in September, and I’ve been craving this breakfast sandwich ever since. We ordered an everything bagel that came stuffed to the brim with with bacon, egg and cheese and it was so simple but so, so heavenly. A well-executed breakfast sandwich on a New York bagel is the stuff food dreams are made of, my friends. – M

Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen

The matzoh ball soup, the schlubby fries, the blintzes, what isn’t there to love about Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen located in the heart of downtown Richmond. This cozy spot feels like an old friend every time I slide into a booth here (which isn’t quite as often as I would like!) and I’m usually thinking of when my next visit can be before I’ve even left. I spend forever looking at the menu whenever I come here because I want just about everything on it, but whatever you choose, you really can’t go wrong at Perly’s. Unless you don’t order the matzoh ball soup. – M

La taqueria carnitas burrito - San Francisco

La Taqueria

I am still dreaming of this carnitas burrito at La Taqueria more than eight months after visiting San Francisco. If you’re planning on visiting the Mission District anytime soon, do yourself a favor and add this to your must visit list. The melty cheese, creamy refried beans, and salty carnitas, omg I am salivating just thinking about it. And even better this meal cost less than $10, which is hard to come by for lunch in SF. Pro tip: order it dorado style and they’ll toast it on the flat top for you. – K

Plow brunch

Plow

The Plow at Plow in San Francisco is everything you could want for brunch and more. Everything on the plate was outstanding, but for me two things really stood out. The pancakes and the Nueske’s bacon. These might be the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten and if I could eat Plow’s lemon ricotta pancakes all day I would. The Nueske’s bacon had a smokey flavor unlike any bacon I had ever had and I’ve been craving it ever since. If you plan on going, get their early. It gets packed, quick. Be patient, enjoy the cool San Francisco breeze and keep reminding yourself it will definitely be worth the wait – K

Xi'an Famous Foods Beef Noodle

Xi’an Famous Foods

Confession: I love spicy food. I also love noodles (I will eat ALL of the pastas). Xi’an Famous Foods had been on my radar for quite a while and I was giddy when Meg and I ate here together in September when we made a quick trip to New York. We came, we saw and we conquered this plate of spicy & tingly beef hand-ripped noodles. This dish was the kind of spicy that gets you addicted, and I just kept eating and eating. My only regret is that after a marathon day of eating, we weren’t members of the clean plate club at Xi’an Famous Foods. – K

L’opossum

Waiting and anticipation can either be your friend or your foe. In the case of L’opossum it is your friend because good god the food there is good. I can count on one hand the number of meals I’ve had in Richmond that hold a candle to the experience that I had at L’opossum. Everything from the cocktails to the appetizers (we had escargot btw) to the entrees were incredible. Filet Mignon of Beef “Swellington” was probably my favorite dish of the evening, and I think I would’ve licked the plate if I knew no one was watching. – K

Southbound brunch duck hash

Brunch at Southbound

You had me at duck hash. It is so hard to pick just one thing to eat at Southbound brunch, so just do what I did and pick three things to eat (and share — if you have too). #Firstworldproblem, solved. The common thread to successful dishes during Southbound’s brunch service: bacon hollandaise, which is probably something you didn’t know you needed in your life, but the more you know. You can thank me now for showing you the light. Oh, and do yourself a favor and order a cinnamon roll or two for the table, I promise you won’t regret it. -K

As you can tell, it’s been one delicious year and we’re looking forward to the next one! If you enjoy following along with us here, don’t forget we’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

Here’s to year two!

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My Favorite Recipes From #cook90 Week Two

As I write this post, I’m 12 days into the #cook90 challenge, meaning I’m almost halfway there (if you missed my recipes from week one, check them out here)! And I have to say, cooking this much is kind of exhausting, especially when you do not have a dishwasher. There are always so. many. dishes.

During week two of the challenge, I tried to eat healthy during the week (keyword: tried) and saved indulging for the weekend. I also added a cast iron skillet to my cabinets full of cheap pots and pans and so far I am loving it. I’ve used it almost every day since it came in the mail (thanks, Amazon).

#Cook90 Week Two: My Favorite Recipes

The Beyond Burger. One of my coworkers had recently been raving about the veggie burger that isn’t a veggie burger and after hearing the founder’s story on a podcast (oh the power of marketing) I set out to find the Beyond Burger at my local Whole Foods. If you’re used to the typically veggie burger — the kind that’s made out of well, vegetables — this burger might have you confused. It looks, cooks and (almost) tastes like real meat. It even left behind grease in the pan. It even stays pink in the middle thanks to beets! I would definitely eat again. Also the key to a good burger — Martin’s Potato Rolls.

Overnight Oats with Tahini

Overnight Oats with Banana, Maple Syrup and Tahini. I bought a jar of tahini at Trader Joe’s months ago with every intention of making a tahini vinaigrette with it and never got around to it. So when I ran out of peanut butter last week and was craving some overnight oats I knew I had hit the jackpot with this recipe from Bon Appétit. I didn’t follow their instructions for overnight oats because I typically stick to a 1 to 1 to 1 ratio of oats, greek yogurt and almond-coconut milk. This combo makes super think oats, but you can always add extra milk when you’re ready to eat to get it to the consistency of your liking. I also added a scoop of protein powder for some added nutrition. The maple syrup tahini sauce was super easy to make and perfect for a creamy bowl of cold oats. Add this one to your breakfast rotation and you won’t be disappointed.

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma. This recipe from the New York Times was super simple and packed with flavor. I used this chicken to top my salads for lunch for the week and chicken pitas. This will make your house smell delightful, if roast chicken is your kind of thing. And the turmeric gives the chicken a lovely bright yellow color. I paired this with a chickpea, tomato, cucumber, feta and pickled onion salad over a bed of mixed greens. For the dressing I made another batch of the honey balsamic vinaigrette I mentioned last week. Full disclosure for the chicken pitas I cheated and purchased Sabra cucumber dill yogurt sauce instead of making my own tzatziki sauce, and surprisingly it was really good.

Cheesy Monkey Bread. You can probably tell but the healthy recipe portion of this post is over and we’re onto the good stuff. This was honestly the easiest recipe I’ve made so far and I want to share it with the world because it was so good. Not healthy, but perfect for any upcoming March Madness parties you might be attending. All you need is pizza dough (I used my favorite Idle Hands dough), cheese, butter, spices, garlic and shallots. I highly recommend cooking this recipe in a cast iron skillet so that the sides and bottom of the bread gets all crunch and crusty. Yum.

Mushroom Cheese Ravioli with Rosemary Butter Sauce. This is by far one of the most ambitious recipes I’ve made in recent memory. Thankfully I had a partner in crime in the kitchen (thanks Nicky!) that made making this time intensive recipe all the more enjoyable. We even got a little crazy and made our own ravioli dough. None of the steps for this mushroom, cheese ravioli recipe were particularly hard, but it did take us two hours from start to finish. We added bacon to the rosemary butter sauce because why not, and used some flour to thicken the sauce a bit. I would not recommend making this on a week night, if you’re going to make your own dough. Totally worth it though to put the time into this dish, there was so much flavor in this dish and the fresh herbs really made a difference. I cannot wait to finish eating the leftovers.

Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies. When I came across this recipe from Broma Bakery mentioned on Food Network’s Snapchat channel (yes, I’m one of those people who actually uses Discover), I just about squealed with excitement. The cookies from Levain are my all time favorite, I’d probably make the trip up to New York City just for a bite of these gooey cookies, but now I don’t have to! I whipped up a batch of these and froze about half of the dough for safe keeping. These babies are massive, but it is hard to tell in photos so that’s why I included the photo with the champagne cork for scale. I think the only thing that’s missing are the walnuts which you could always add if you wanted that extra crunch.

Here’s to the next 18 (17 by the time this post goes up) days!

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