How is everyone’s stress level? I feel like mine has been through the roof because of getting ready for the school year to begin. I work in higher ed, so getting ready for this unusual school year has been a little insane. Also, I have two sons who still haven’t started school yet (it was pushed back to after Labor Day), and we don’t even know for sure yet what their schooling will look like. Anyway, all of that is to say I have...

I have had Sister Pie borrowed from the library for quite awhile (I checked it out right before my library closed because or COVID-19), and I kept avoiding it because I am not a pie baker. If I feel the need to make a pie for some reason, I usually just get a store-bought crust and call it a day. (My husband loves blackberry pie, and about the only baking he ever does is making homemade pie crusts.) But this book, which has a gorgeous cover, kept...

Previously I reviewed Lucinda Scala Quinn’s cookbook Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys. Now Quinn, who worked for Martha Stewart, has a line of Mad Hungry cookbooks. I picked up Mad Hungry Family from the library (before it closed). This book seems pretty similar to the other Mad Hungry cookbook. It’s full of dishes that are simple and filling, so you can feed your family homecooked meals. Quinn is a big proponent of the family meal a...

So I already mentioned that i’m a big Emeril fan. The last cookbook of his I reviewed was all about comfort food. This cookbook is really the basics of Cajun cooking. I haven’t used it a lot, because my husband does most of the Cajun cooking in our house. The other day he make this gumbo recipe, but he always likes to tweak recipes, so I will provide info about that below. Six servings 2 pounds small okra 1/4 cup vegetable oil 2 cups ...

My husband bought this The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook (2001) at a used bookstore quite awhile ago, and I hadn’t made anything from it yet. So I sat down and looked through it the other day, and it’s full of good stuff. As I’m sure most of you know, America’s Test Kitchen is a real kitchen in Boston where they test recipes that they publish in Cook’s Illustrated Magazine and demonstrate on their PBS show. B...

Ok, so since we are all cooking at home a lot, I thought I would go ahead and share some recipes. Canal House Cook Something: Recipes to Rely On by Christoper Hersheimer and Melissa Hamilton is one of those basic recipe cookbooks that are great gifts for anyone who is just starting to cook. A lot of the recipes are just variations on a simple recipe. The one I tried out, Pimiento Cheese, is about as basic as it gets. This is something my husband ...

I guess I have Food Network nostalgia, because here’s another TV star cookbook. Everyday Italian: 123 Simple and Delicious Recipes by Giada De Laurentis is true to its name. These recipes are Italian-American dishes that are quick and easy. She’s not trying to be super authentic or artisnal in her cooking, but she is trying to create dishes that are inspired by her Italian heritage that are easy for home cooks. I think she has succee...

I made this cake a few weeks a go, so I wanted to get a short post out about it. The cookbook that this comes from is Simple Cake: All You Need to Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake. The concept is great; it includes ten basic cake recipes, and then variations on those basic cakes. I really want to try out all the recipes! This may be one of those cookbooks I actually purchase, which is high praise. I wanted to try the basic Cinnamon Spice Cake...

Thanks to Amazon Prime day, I finally got an Instant Pot. So far I mainly use it for cooking rice and making hard boiled eggs. I have to say it may be worth it just for the eggs! Oh, and I made some really delicious pork chops. The only thing I don’t like about the Instant Pot is the directions. It took some You Tube videos for me to really understand how it works. Now that I’m getting the hang of it, I am looking forward to trying so...

Many of my friends and family have heard me complain about how hard it is to feed two teenage boys without going broke. Recently I found a couple of good sources for inexpensive recipes. I have been regularly using budget meal plans from the Budget Meal Planner. You can sign up for a free weekly email plan that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas for $5 per person per day. I especially love this because it plans out the meals for th...

Vegetable Kingdom: Memphis Coleslaw
Cookbook Overviews , Recipes / August 28, 2020

How is everyone’s stress level? I feel like mine has been through the roof because of getting ready for the school year to begin. I work in higher ed, so getting ready for this unusual school year has been a little insane. Also, I have two sons who still haven’t started school yet (it was pushed back to after Labor Day), and we don’t even know for sure yet what their schooling will look like. Anyway, all of that is to ...

Stuff I’ve Been Cooking, Reading, Watching, Etc.
Favorite Things , Recipes / July 1, 2020

Hi, just checking in. It’s been a pretty stressful and illumniating few weeks. I keep wondering what incredible event will totally upend our lives in the next month or so. I, like most people, have been thinking a lot about racism in this country and what I can do differently in my own life to not only believe that black lives matter, but to work towards that goal. I will continue to work for and donate to political candiates who ...

Sister Pie: Strawberry Pistachio Crumble Pie

I have had Sister Pie borrowed from the library for quite awhile (I checked it out right before my library closed because or COVID-19), and I kept avoiding it because I am not a pie baker. If I feel the need to make a pie for some reason, I usually just get a store-bought crust and call it a day. (My husband loves blackberry pie, and about the only baking he ever does is making homemade pie crusts.) But this book, which has a gorgeous c...

Stuff I’ve Been Cooking, Reading, Watching, Etc.
Favorite Things , Recipes / May 28, 2020

Hey, I hope everyone is hanging in there. My family is still doing well. Everyone is healthy, and my husband and I are able to work from home. But I feel like the whole “opening up” of things is more stressful than just being forced to stay home. So many decisions about when to wear a mask, whether my kids can have friends over, and on and on. Anyway, I just thought I’d do another quick post about what I’ve been ...

Mad Hungry Family: Double-Decker Pork Tacos
Cookbook Overviews , Recipes / May 13, 2020

Previously I reviewed Lucinda Scala Quinn’s cookbook Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys. Now Quinn, who worked for Martha Stewart, has a line of Mad Hungry cookbooks. I picked up Mad Hungry Family from the library (before it closed). This book seems pretty similar to the other Mad Hungry cookbook. It’s full of dishes that are simple and filling, so you can feed your family homecooked meals. Quinn is a big proponent of the fam...

Louisiana Real and Rustic: Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

So I already mentioned that i’m a big Emeril fan. The last cookbook of his I reviewed was all about comfort food. This cookbook is really the basics of Cajun cooking. I haven’t used it a lot, because my husband does most of the Cajun cooking in our house. The other day he make this gumbo recipe, but he always likes to tweak recipes, so I will provide info about that below. Six servings 2 pounds small okra 1/4 cup vegetable o...

The Happier Homemaker Blog: Easy Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipes / April 21, 2020

No flour. No problem! So I had a request from a friend of mine (Hey, Max!) who is trying to go gluten free to see if it clears up some health issues. Before I had a chance to search for some recipes in my cookbooks, this recipe popped up on Pinterest or Instagram or somewhere. (Sometimes mindlessly scrolling turns out to be useful!) This recipe is super easy, with just four ingredients, and they turned out super moist and delicious. The...

Easter Menu Ideas
Holidays / April 8, 2020

Easter this year is anything but normal. I know most of us aren’t going to cook an elaborate dinner for just ourselves or our immediate family. But if Easter is a big holiday for you, it still might be fun to make a little something special. I am rerunning my Easter post from last year because things haven’t really changed. We often celebrate Easter with our extended family, but when we don’t the menu is pretty basic: ...

Stuff I’ve Been Cooking, Reading, Watching, Etc.
Favorite Things / April 7, 2020

Since people are cooking more, reading more, and watching more, I thought I would share a weekly update of what I’ve been up to. I did start working from home full-time last week (the week before) was our “spring break”), and my kids sort of started back to remote school, but then there was a pause in schooling (I know, very confusing). I am lucky because my kids are teenagers, so they are not as high-maintenance as yo...

The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook: Lemon-Glazed Blueberry Muffins
Cookbook Overviews , Recipes / April 1, 2020

My husband bought this The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook (2001) at a used bookstore quite awhile ago, and I hadn’t made anything from it yet. So I sat down and looked through it the other day, and it’s full of good stuff. As I’m sure most of you know, America’s Test Kitchen is a real kitchen in Boston where they test recipes that they publish in Cook’s Illustrated Magazine and demonstrate on their P...