salted chocolate cracker crack (saltine toffee) with roasted almonds

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Salted Double Chocolate Cracker Crack (Saltine Toffee) with Roasted Almonds | via thepigandquill.com #recipe #sweets #candy #chocolate

Someone please tell me: how are we on the heels of August already? How can it be that I’ve not yet witnessed a single one of summer’s silk scarf sunsets for myself? More broadly: where have my evenings gone? I won’t for a minute complain that our darling bug takes her bath, like clockwork, at 6:30 every night and is snoozing peacefully by 8. Nor would I trade that solid hour plus of sleepytime snuggles for the sun glinting rosy on an emptying wine glass — but if I could just have my cake and eat it, too, as the saying goes. If I could have my cake at all, these days…sigh. To be fair, I did partake in an irresponsible amount of cake this past weekend when my mom (so mommishly) picked me up a box of dairy-free cupcakes while the rest of our family luxuriated in the candy-coated cloud that is Coffee Crunch Cake when we came together to celebrate Lana’s first 100 days. (I’ve since vowed to make a dairy-free version since much of the Coffee Crunch recipe is already sans-milk, but I fear the trick is getting the whipped cream frosting as ethereally airy as the real thing. Coconut … Read More

vegan pb + j popsicles // #popsicleweek!

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vegan peanut butter + jelly popsicles (or ice cream) via www.thepigandquill.com | #popsicleweek #summer #recipe #vegan

It’s heeeeeeeeeeeeeere! Popsicle Week 2015, aka The One Where I Eat Allllllll the Peanut Butter. I hope your party pants are clean. If you guys have been here for a while, you might recall that Popsicle Week is an annual thing thanks in no small part to Billy over at Wit & Vinegar and his most excellent hosting skills. (Seriously, doing these group post thingies is kind of a tricky bia, so THANK YOU, BILLY. Managing a zillion hyperlinks is fersure a herding cats situation.) You can — and mosdefshould — visit Billy’s official PW page to check out the 65+ bloggers who are participating in this year’s event. You can even scroll a little further down the page to see who all made what in the 2013/2014 Popsicle Week editions. (‘Member when I made these Vegan Mexican Mocha Fudge Pops and these Strawberry Basil Ice Pops? Yep, they’re up there, too!) True to classic PB+J form, this year’s pops are sticky and messy and sweet and salty and will have you scraping the bowl and licking your fingers and thanking sweet jesus that some ancient boob decided jammy fruit and smooth, blitzed peanuts should pals around together on the regs. And while I’ll admit that … Read More

spicy caramelized spam + scallion pasta

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spicy caramelized spam + scallion pasta recipe via thepigandquill.com | #pasta #dinner #recipe #summer

You know those foods you can’t help but eat on repeat? Those (often pantry-based) dishes that you come back to again and again, even when the fridge is freshly stocked and the cooler weather is begging you to finally crank the oven and get creative? If you know me, you know I’m talking hot dog sammiches, breakfast for dinner, stick-to-your ribs soup. Yes, soup. Even in the summer I can’t get enough. And this pasta. You guysssss, I can’t oversell this pasta enough — and trust me, I’m about to try. It’s fast, simple and positively addictive. Topped generously with furikake, it’s like musubi married pasta. Married corned beef hash. I LOVE CORNED BEEF HASH. But, like, the glorious, should-be-reserved-for-camping canned kind that you can get all super crispy on the edges. Did I lose you? Are you like, gerl, corned beef hash is not at all where it’s at. If you are, I’ma bet you’re also like, gerl, spam is for email filters, not mah mouf! To which I say: you’re wrong. And then I beg of you: let this pasta change your mind. Just…just trust me. This one time. Because crumbly browned bits is why. Because caramelized. Because it’s spam that’s … Read More

blueberry key lime cheesecake tart with gingersnap crust

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blueberry key lime cheesecake tart with gingersnap crust recipe via thepigandquill.com | #baking #sweets #dessert #summer

Hi guys! Just a quick one this week because the long weekend beckons! Around here, that means firing up the grill, strolling the streets of the Peninsula’s many charming downtowns and farmer’s marketing until we can’t take it any more. We’re also keeping up the tradition of mixing a little Ohio into our 4th of July weekend — although this year, Ohio is coming to us in the form of my bestie, Amanda. It’ll be her first time snuggling the bug in person and I have a feeling seeing two of my favorite people ever meet face to face will have this momma’s tear ducts in overdrive. Something else that’s got me crying these days is this tart! One, because it’s too dang pretty. (And too dang easy! Because I don’t make complicated bakenanigans…) And two because I’M OFFICIALLY OFF DAIRY CUE ALL THE SADFACES. At least for the time being. Lana’s either got a mean case of reflux or a mean case of dairy aversion. Or a mean case of momma’s milk is shooting down her throat like a fire hose and if you were fed with a fire hose you’d have indigestion, too. Yep, it’s a thing. It’s called “heavy … Read More

curried peach hand pies

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curried peach hand pies recipe | via thepigandquill.com #summer #fruit #baking

It’s peach season peeeeyotches! Holla if ya hear me. Peaches make me think of two things: 1) Face/Off. Which, despite Nick Cage’s sickko one liner about, um, peaches, remains one of the best worst movies ever. 2) PIE! When I was a kiddo, our neighbors had a Babcock peach tree with a limb that draped liberally into our yard and sagged heavy with juicy, white-fleshed fruit, ripe for the poaching. In summer evenings when the valley heat calmed down a beat, my mom would throw open the windows — thus inviting inward the sweetest delta breeze to ever kiss my pillowcase — and dial the oven to pie baking temps. Because baking hot as shit pies on a hot as shit day is what you do when the fruit begs it of you. My mom’s peach pies are of the old-fashioned variety: tall and lumpy with heaps of fruit and enveloped in two flaky crusts, the top of which is lacquered and ambered and adorned unapologetically with a little cluster of hand cut pie crust leaves and the likeness of the fruit within. It’s the thing that, today, would bring a tear to those hipster-maker-types’ eyes. Pinterest, eat your heart out. Unfortunately, the baking … Read More

herbed asian quinoa salad (vegan + gf)

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herbed asian quinoa salad recipe (gluten-free) | via thepigandquill.com

You know that feeling when you drag yourself up from the depths of a particularly realistic dream only to stumble through your house like a stranger? Bathed in the buttery glow of early morning, the rooms are all the same: there’s salt in the pig, dust on the turntable. The down pillows on the sofa are dented just so (hi-YAH!) — and yet you turn down the hallway with fresh eyes, taking it all in the way you would when the light blinks green and the door swings open to a freshly turned hotel suite. It’s refreshing and disorienting and quietly intoxicating all at once because it happens maybe once in every hundred dreams. You curse and revel in the unfamiliarity of your own space. You know that feeling? That is parenthood. A novel and jarring distortion of your previous reality. Or simply: an awakening. Apparently, it takes eight weeks to recognize this phenomenon. Maybe it’s because the initial stupor of having your every breath revolve around a being wholly separate from yourself is slowly lifting as it evolves into something you’re rather fondly coming to see as the new normal. Maybe it’s lady hormones. Ok, it’s probably the latter. I say this because I’ve eaten … Read More

spiced summer squash quickbread (gf)

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spiced summer squash quickbread recipe - gluten-free/paleoish (via thepigandquill.com)

I set out intending to leave this post free of any mammary references, but then I went for my first postpartum jog the other day and realized that HOLY JESUS Running With Boobs Hurts Like The Dickens and it just didn’t feel right keeping the lid on such an epiphany, so there goes that. And to think I actually wanted these things back in high school. Ouch. Also, how uncomfortable is the word mammary? I’m having mixed feelings about it, mostly because every time I hear it I picture whales swimming around with little storybook clusters of bubbles floating about, because obvi whales are my go-to mammal visualization (cute!). But then also: mammaries. Just ew. Let’s talk about less ew things. This quickbread situation fits the bill. It came about as a way to use up pretty much any and every summer variety of squash that came our way in last year’s CSA when I was battling a fierce case of Preggo No-Likey The Squash Things. Natch, all of our zucchini made their way into breads and muffins, but when I started turning up my nose at pattypans and crooknecks, too, momma had to get creative. Turns out, there’s not a whole lotta difference … Read More

peking duck poutine | i am a food blog guest post

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peking duck poutine | i am a food blog guest post (via thepigandquill.com)

Hi fraaaaands! Back again today with another fun guest post, this time from superstar Steph of (award-winning!) I Am A Food Blog fame. As many of you already know, I’m an unabashed Steph fangirl; maybe it’s her super saturated, uncluttered photography, for which I swear the foodporn hashtag was created; maybe it’s her uncanny ability to whip up temptingly comfy, creative (and oft-Asian-infused — my fayvsies!) recipes that are truly accessible enough for real folk.  Or maybe it’s her knack for Totorofying all the things. Or authoring a fantastically tasty cookbook, Easy Gourmet, that will inspire many a weeknight meal. But most probably all of the above. Real talk, once you check out Steph’s peking duck poutine, below, I implore you to get to know her a little better over at her place — or, of course, on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. If you can say no to her Chicken Fried Steak Bites, Shepherd’s Pie Grilled Cheese, Crispy Cornmeal Pancakes with Clementine Syrup or Honey Garlic Eggplant, you’re a far stronger soul than I! First off, congrats to Emily and Chris! They’re both enjoying the deliciousness of new parenthood and I wish them the best with their tiny bundle of joy! Emily asked if I … Read More

tomato-bacon bisque + apple-bacon grilled cheese | two red bowls guest post

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tomato-bacon bisque + apple-bacon grilled cheese |two red bowls guest post! (via thepigandquill.com)

Today I’m beyond elated to have Cynthia from Two Red Bowls generously pinch-hitting for me while I gorge myself on baby Lana cuddles (ok – more like baby Lana feeding. after feeding. aaaaafter feeding. someone takes after her momma…). I’ve adored Cynthia’s culinary creativity (these biscuits + Chinese sausage gravy! this SPAMmy budae jjigae! those pineapple buns!) and distinctively styled photography since shortly after I joined the blogosphere, and her warm heart and sincere voice always keep me coming back to her space time and again. She’s truly an inspiration! If you don’t already follow Cynthia (you silly duck, you…), I implore you to check her out just as soon as you’re done reading about the knockout bacon-studded soup and sammy combo she put together, below. And be sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, too. With a wedding in the works for this summer — cue confetti pop/bride/blingy ring/hearty-eyes/more confetti pop emojis!!! — she’s extra social media stalk-worthy these days. Big hugs for the helping hand, Cynthia! And so many congrats on your upcoming nuptials. Yay! Hi friends! I am so, so excited and honored to be here in such a special time for P&Q. When Emily first asked me if … Read More

mini meyer lemon cannoli cream tartlets

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mini meyer lemon cannoli cream tartlets with honey + chocolate chips | via thepigandquill.com

You guysssszsszzz! Mother’s Day is this weekend!! Somehow that means it’s FREAKING MAY ALREADY. Yikes. And new this year: I totally get to participate in MoDay stuffies as a momma. Yikes Part 2. Or maybe Yay Part 1? Because crudsmugglers, this whole parenting thing is spectacularly spectacular in the full-blown, John Leguizamo-as-The-Magical-Sittar kind of way. It’s at once beautiful and terrifying and easier and harder than I ever imagined and the last two weeks have passed in what I can only describe as a state of quasi-hypnosis. I’ve never been more fixated on another living thing. I’ve never been more fixated on my own boobs. I’ve never had more pride in or respect for the moms in my life. Speaking of moms, this Sunday, The Moms — who, blissfully, are buddies and actually elect to endure things like long car rides together — are making the trek to our place to spoil us with a feast of traditional family-style eats: chicken enchiladas and potato salad for Chris; Chinese sausage fried rice and BBQ pork ribs for me. Boobs for Lana. (Sorry, husband. Gone are the days.) If I can sneak into the kitchen between feedings (that is: stuffing both my own face and … Read More