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 are going to work for social justice. As far as this blog and my presence on social media, I want to share more recipes from blogs and cookbooks by people of color. If you have suggestions, please send them my way. Thanks! What I’ve Been Cooking: Rose Sangria with Nectarines and Strawberries: Sangria always seems like a lot of trouble, but this recipe, from the current issue of Martha Stewart Living, was quite simple. You just need to plan ahead a little so the fruit has time to soak in the vodka. Yum! Nutella Swirl Banana Bread: I finally got around to making banana bread, like everyone else who has been quarantine baking. This version with nutella is super rich,…

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 up to. What I’ve Been Cooking: Cheeseburger Quesadilla: I should just buy stock in Iowa Girl Eats. Maybe because she’s a Midwestern gal like me, but her recipes are always a big hit in my house. Quesadillas and cheeseburgers combined! Of course my sons were going to love this. Szechuan Chicken: Another blog that’s a new favorite is The Happier Homemaker. It’s chockfull of easy and budget-friendly recipes. What I’ve Been Reading: Such a Fun Age: This is a quick (but very well-written) novel about a young black woman who is stopped in a grocery store for suspicious behavior while she is babysitting a white toddler. The novel is about the aftermath of that event. While it’s quite entertaining…

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 young children. But it still has been a busy and tough week, so I understand that many people feel like they are busier than ever. But if you are looking for distractions from the crazy world, I hope these suggestions on how to fill the time are helpful. What I’ve been cooking: Black Bean Soup (with Cilantro Lime Rice): Who would have thought that this would be one of the most successful things I have made since we began staying home? Both of my sons like this soup because you can use it to create your own Chipotle-like burrito. My oldest even learned how to make rice in the Instant Pot, so he could make more. A couple of friends also made it…

Stuff I’ve Been Cooking, Reading, Watching, Etc.
Favorite Things / March 27, 2020

I know most people are cooking more, reading more, and watching more. So I thought I would share what I’ve been up to over the last week or so. But first, a shout out to all of the health care, grocery store, and warehouse employees and so many others who are trying to keep us all safe and healthy! And to everyone else, stay home! It will make the jobs of those essential workers so much easier. Ok, off my soap box. Here are some things I’ve been cooking. Shrimp Fried Rice: I make this a lot because I usually have the ingredients on hand. You can use chicken instead of shrimp. I don’t have leftover rice that often, so I just cook some up while I’m prepping the other ingredients and it works fine. And you can use any fresh or frozen veggies you want. Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup: I’ve made a lot of versions of tomato soup, but this one has been the most popular with my family. And since it’s made in the slow cooker it’s super easy. I bought some basil in a tube, so I could make this again soon. I’ll let you know…

Back on Track
Favorite Things / August 20, 2019

So I ended up taking a lot of time away from the blog over the summer. I just don’t cook as much over the summer, for a variety of reasons, and we are often gone on the weekends when I would normally play around with new recipes. But I am starting to get the urge to share some new cookbooks and recipes with all of you, so I think it’s time to jump back in. I will continue to share recipes and other posts on the blog, but I hope to share more often on Instagram also. Sometimes I just don’t have time to write a whole post on a topic, but I can quickly share on Instagram. So please follow me @shannoncary (I know, so original!) on Instagram for more cookbook thoughts and updates on what I’ve been cooking. While my favorite thing is to try new recipes and read new cookbooks, I have been inspired lately to spend some time perfecting recipes. So I hope you won’t mind a few posts about me trying to get better at something, like making cinnamon rolls or pizza crust or trying out other tricky recipes that I usually avoid. One more…

Food for Thought: Mother’s Day Ideas
Favorite Things , Holidays , Recipes / April 19, 2019

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Here are some gift ideas and some recipes if you want to pamper your mother, which I’m sure you do! This recipe for Homemade Strawberry Cake looks pretty easy and yummy. I would love it if someone made this for me for Mother’s Day! Serving brunch! Use this frittata template to cook up a simple dish with things you already have in the fridge. I have been making this for dinner a lot. Here are a bunch of ideas for the stylish mom: Over 40 Lovely Mother’s Day Gifts Ideas Flowers are always a good idea! 18 Best Flowers for Mother’s Day And here’s a great list of movies to watch with your mom: 25 of the Best Movies to Watch on Mother’s Day. I’m partial to Bad Moms! LOL I hope you all have a great weekend! See you next week.  

Food for Thought: Spring Entertaining
Favorite Things , Holidays / April 12, 2019

I hope everyone had a great week. We are finally getting some spring weather around here. I’m sure a lot of you will be cooking for Easter or other spring celebrations, so here are some helpful links to get you inspired. I love all Damn Delicious recipes. Might have to try out this Creamy Potato Gratin, although my family always insists on Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes at holiday meals. I don’t love Peeps, but they look cute in an Easter basket. Might have to try out the Chocolate Caramel Swirl Flavored Marshmallow Chicks. Get Ready for a Ton of New Peeps Flavors for Easter If you’re hosting a get together, you might need some ideas about table settings. Check out these posts: Setting a Gorgeous Easter Table Pretty Easter Finds for 2019 Spring and Easter Tablescape Ideas How to Set a Passover Seder Table So, everyone enjoy the nice weather and your spring get-togethers! See you next week.

Weekend Reading and Recipes
Favorite Things / January 12, 2019

I hope everyone had a good week, and you are all getting into the swing of the New Year! The twelve days of Christmas are almost over, so I guess I’ll try to get all of the decorations put up this weekend. Wish me luck! Here is are some links to help us both procrastinate over the weekend! The Anxious Person’s Guide to Making Grocery Shopping Therapeutic: I don’t know if grocery shopping makes me anxious, but I can’t say I enjoy it. Will have to try some of these ideas. Master the Italian Hero and Be the Hero of Every Party: If I make these sandwiches, I am sure my boys would think I was a hero! The E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce is finally over: Yay! I’ll probably still wait a week or two though, just to be safe. Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves from Iowa Girl Eats: This is one of my family’s favorites. Be sure and roast the broccoli as she suggests. Also, add some mashed potatoes (store bought is fine!), and you have the perfect Sunday night meal. Oh, and I usually use ground turkey instead of ground beef. The Internet Famous Slow Cooker Hack…

My Favorite Cookbooks This Year
Favorite Things / November 29, 2018

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine went well, and we are just finishing up the yummy leftovers, the best part of Thanksgiving! I thought now would be a good time to round up my favorites of all the cookbooks I reviewed this year. There are so many intriguing recipes in this book. The green bean recipe I tried is one I have repeated. After the holidays when I want to get back to healthyish eating, this is a cookbook I will turn to. I loved all three recipes I made from this book, and there were so many more I wanted to try. With gorgeous photos and useful baking tips, this is a book worth owning.   Perelman’s writing is so engaging and the photos are super helpful. It’s one of those cookbooks where I wanted to make everything!   This book is a funny pick for me because I am definitely not a runner. But I have to say, the recipes I have tried from this book are tasty and healthy without being full of weird and expensive ingredients.   Last but not least, this book was the first book I reviewed for the blog. It also…

Halloween Links
Favorite Things / October 30, 2018

Hope everyone has fun Halloween plans! Here are some links, recipes, and one cookbook to help you get in the spirit: Actually, Candy Corn Is Great: I don’t really understand the candy corn hate. I save my candy hate for Easter candy! The Definitive Ranking of the Best Halloween Candy ( And the Worst): I don’t really agree with this list. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are obviously the best candy. Puffy Sausage Mummies: Here’s a quick and easy appetizer to take to your Halloween party. It’s nice to have something that’s not sweet. Halloween on Saturday? Petition asks Trump to move it from Oct. 31: I think the idea to move Halloween to the last Saturday of October is great. Not only  would it make Halloween parties more fun, no more dumb Halloween costumes at work. Lol! 25 Classic Halloween Movies to Watch Tonight: Here are some ideas if you want to stay in and enjoy a cozy evening watching something scary. I do have one Halloween cookbook. It’s called Frightfully Fun Halloween Recipes and it’s full of cute ideas. I have made the Mummy Dogs, Ghost on a Stick, and Graveyard Treat, all of which turned out great. Have a safe,…

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