Goodness, it’s been awhile since we’ve posted! So much has happened in the past 6 months! My family is expecting a daughter home from Ch*na next month and the past few months have been busy with paperwork and preparing for her arrival! We are so excited and so anxious to have her home! I, of course, am looking forward to visiting Ch*na for the first time and enjoying some new cuisine. Stephanie has changed address and moved to another state. We now live far from each other and miss seeing each other so much!
So, needless to say, it’s been an eventful several months. Cooking and baking has taken a back burner for me beyond keeping my family fed. I miss the excitement of new recipes, new ingredients, and playing with food photography. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that my camera has been rather unused of late.
We sincerely hope to remedy this sad state of the blog in the new year! We do love to cook and bake and blog and connect with you, readers. We have lamented the unplanned blog break to one another frequently over the past several months.
As for my latest kitchen adventures…this is hands down my favorite time of the year for the kitchen! I haven’t had my big candy making day yet but today, sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies have been baked. For our tree trimming party, we enjoyed lemon sugar cookies per the kids’ request as well as a blueberry pecan cheeseball. YUM!
I’m looking forward to spending more time in the kitchen and sharing the joy of creating food with my boys.
We sincerely hope you are having a wonderful year and happy holiday season!
We are working to make some changes here at The Cooks Next Door. Stephanie had requested a trial period and with that time coming to an end, I’m so thankful that she has agreed to stay on as an admin and full time contributor! I will be working to update the information under the tabs to reflect that exciting news.
We have been discussing how best to make the blog work for both of us with the many other responsibilities we have. So, we wanted to keep you informed of how the blog will be structured this year.
We will have posting on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. We plan to include our monthly magazine review on the 2nd Friday of the month. Heather will continue to be an occasional contributor.
We have also decided that while we will still use some of our topic titles, we will not have a set day for what type of post will appear. So you may have Market Fresh on Friday or Weekend Fare on Wednesday…you get the idea.
We are thankful for your continued support. We are happy to share our recipes, photos, and kitchen lives with you. We appreciate your votes of confidence through comments, e-mails, fb, and most of all for you sharing our site with your family and friends.
We have a great week with daily posts coming up! It will include soup, candy, brunch and more! We will have some great recipes for last minute gifts and goodies that are simple but delicious! We are looking forward to it after the past week – a necessary, lighter week.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce a new contributor here at The Cooks Next Door! There was one person that immediately came to mind when I knew we needed to find someone else to write for the site…my sister. I’m so glad she agreed to a trial run as a contributor!
Stephanie is a wonderful cook and she experiments regularly in the kitchen. She married her husband in 2008 and in 2009 he was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease. She inspires me as she has taken on gluten free cooking and works so hard to provide delicious meals for her family. Many (if not all) of her posts will include tasty gluten free recipes! While we do not live next door (that would be too perfect, right?! ), she does also reside here in the Midwest.
Please join me in welcoming her as a Cook Next Door!
In my opinion, fall is one of the best seasons for cooking and eating. Harvest provides the bounty to cook with and hungry appetites, whetted by the cold weather, are eager to devour the fruits of the kitchen. Here are our favorites:
Rustic Apple Tart: I love to make these tarts because they are easier than a pie, and you can get two of them from one recipe of pie crust. Apple pie is a perennial favorite and a must for the autumn.
Spicy Butternut Curry: this was a random selection from a squash cookbook that turned out to be a winner. I served it to company as well as just to our family.
Spiced Cider Punch: We enjoyed this at a friend’s wedding and then used it for parties here at home. It is easy, seasonal, and very delicious.
Roman Apple Cake: This was most likely the first apple recipe I ever made growing up and it has stuck around as my go-to for a comfort cake.
Treacle Scones: these scones are filled with the scents of autumn and perfect for tea time on a windy wet day.
Potato Salad: I had so much fun reviewing the potato salad cookbook that I couldn’t stop making various kinds.
King’s Cake: I had never heard of King’s Cake until this year. It was surprisingly easy and so delicious. We enjoyed it several times.
By far, the recipe that I use the most from this past year is Alaina’s Green Beans and Walnuts with Lemon Vinaigrette. I use the sauce (minus the shallots and walnuts) almost every week. I put it on green beans most frequently, but it is also good on broccoli. Everyone who tastes it loves it!
Tomorrow, we will have our first Foodie Friday! All you have to do is write a post sharing a recipe, a food memory, a cooking or eating experience, an ingredient, a photo, a restaurant or book review or anything food related. Occasionally we will have a specific theme for Fridays but for this week, anything goes! We hope it will be a great opportunity for you to share your culinary adventures. And we hope many of you will join in – we can’t wait to read your posts!
On another note, due to a medical emergency in Heather’s family, our posting may be a bit different for an indefinite period of time. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.
We are so grateful for your continued support! And as always, we can be reached via e-mail.
On and for this week, I will be participating and introducing Foodie Fridays with the Weekend Fare post tomorrow.
Here are our top favorite suggestions! Now it’s your turn…you vote for your favorite! The poll will be open for one week and the winner will win the awesome Salad Cookbook as well as the privilege of having their suggested name be the new feature name for at least the next 3 months! The random winner of the other cookbook will also be announced at the same time.
And I’m sharing the simple meal we enjoyed last night. Veggie Egg Scramble, Roasted Potatoes, and Toast w/Homemade Peach Jam.
I had vegetables left over from a veggie tray this weekend so I chopped up the red, orange, and yellow peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, and broccoli. I sauteed the vegetables in a little butter and then added beaten eggs (seasoned with salt and pepper with a little half & half), scrambled together, and topped with cheese.. The potatoes were diced and then tossed in a little olive oil, salt, & pepper and baked at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes. The toast just had butter and peach freezer jam I made last summer – the perfect sweet, fruity compliment for the meal.
It was nutritious, delicious, and satisfying! Who says dinner can’t be simple and quick and a little break-fasty?!
Hello everyone! We decided awhile back that we needed to occasionally take a week off from the blog…so, this is our summer vacation! We will back next Monday with many new recipes and photos. In the mean time, I will post a poll tomorrow so you can vote on your favorite of the finalists we’ve chosen for the Friday feature name! So be sure and check back in for that and cast your vote.
As always, thanks so much for reading our blog, trying our recipes, and giving us great feedback! We are nine months into this project and it was about a year ago that this idea was born. It’s been a lot of work and even challenging at times but we are excited to continue bringing you inspiration (we hope!) and healthy, seasonal recipes. You are always more than welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m finally getting around to posting the winner of our Spring Cookbook giveaway!
The random winner is Michelle Fulk who said:
I love cookbooks so it’s hard to pick. My Martha Stewart’s Baking handbook has been simply a must have, but I have to say I’m really in love with my new TASTE OF HOME CONTEST WINNING 2010 BOOK. I made a chocolate carrot cake with cocoa cream cheese butter cream this week that I was a bit worried about, but it was divine, and the easiest from scratch recipe ever (if you are interested check my FB profile) I belong to your FB and twitter groups and reposted this on both. You are on my google reader too.
CONGRATS MICHELLE! I’ll send you an e-mail to get your info!