Need a fancy but not fussy dessert? This decadent chocolate torte is perfect!

Chocolate Torte

What’s better than chocolate cake? Chocolate Torte! It’s richer and denser than a regular cake, and best of all makes you sound fancy when you say it.

I’m sharing this decadent dessert in honor of St. Patrick’s day! Somehow a rich chocolate cake felt like the perfect dessert after corned beef and Guinness.

Full disclosure: this torte will take time. It’s not the simplest and definitely needs a few hours to pull together. But it’s not complicated, just requires more than your beat-and-bake cake recipe.

From my standby, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. I dream of somday cooking all the recipes in the book but there’s about 5000 plus a million variations, so that’s probably not in the cards. But a girl can dream, right?

Need a fancy but not fussy dessert? This decadent chocolate torte is perfect!

Need a fancy but not fussy dessert? This decadent chocolate torte is perfect! Continue reading

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Chocolate Chess Pie

Angus Barn Chocolate Chess Pie

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to share my husband’s favorite dessert: chocolate chess pie.

This is Logan’s absolute favorite. His family always has it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and once we went to his aunt’s house and she pulled out FOUR to give to him to get him through finals. (Bonus: they freeze well.)

Chocolate Chess Pie

Chocolate Chess Pie is the perfect decadent dessert for Valentine's Day!

They’re rich and decadent, full of chocolate and with that chess texture is just unbeatable. (Where does the term come from to describe that texture? I have no idea.) It’s perfect for a Valentine’s Day dessert!

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Sauteed green beans on a holiday plate

Sauteed Green Beans

These green beans are some of my favorite things in a dish: easy to make, healthy to eat, tastes amazing, and ready in less than 30 minutes. What more can you ask for of a side dish??

Green beans

Sauteed green beans on a holiday plate

They’re a great recipe to keep in your back pocket for all kinds of meals. If I ever need a veggie for a dinner party, this is an easy win. They make a perfect holiday side dish – I’ve made it for Thanksgiving the past two years. Bonus because they add a little bit of healthiness to your plate!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Teaspoon of Nose!

However you celebrate, I hope your day is full of Christmas cheer and joy! I’m taking an internet break over the next day or two, so I may not respond to comments or emails. Enjoy the season, hopefully with some snow!

Merry Christmas from Teaspoon of Nose!

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

 

Honey butter dinner rolls - what more could you want?

Honey Butter Dinner Rolls

Don’t you just love holiday food??

Seriously. One of the best things about the holidays is the food.

Picture Halloween without candy. Fourth of July without watermelon. Easter without ham or deviled eggs. It doesn’t really work.

Honey butter dinner rolls - what more could you want?

It’s not the most important part, of course. But it’s pretty close.

Anyway, when I asked my husband what were his must-haves on our first thanksgiving just the two of us, rolls were at the top of the list.

So I made these: not just ordinary dinner rolls, but honey butter rolls. They’re spectacular! Fluffy, light rolls, with just a touch of sweetness. More if you slather them with the leftover honey butter before eating (which I highly recommend).

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Nothing says the holidays like classic apple pie!

Classic Holiday Apple Pie

Classic Apple Pie on a Christmas china plate... can you get any more American??

One of my favorite things about apple pie is that it’s become a tradition with practically all of the really American holidays. Apple pie is equally at home at Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and Christmas! It also happens to be a family favorite. So even when we have four dessert options (aka every thanksgiving ever), this is ALWAYS one of them. 

Nothing says the holidays like classic apple pie!

This is based on the Joy of Cooking‘s apple pie. That recipe is classic and practically begs for regular use with your own personalizations. Nothing says the holidays like classic apple pie! Continue reading

Settling into life on base in Oklahoma

Life lately: Oklahoma edition

Since we’ve been in Oklahoma for a few weeks now, I wanted to share a bit!

We really like living on base. We’re a half mile from Logan’s work, which means we’re doing the one car thing. There are also so many resources available within walking distance. I’d always dreamed of living somewhere I can walk to the store, but I never considered that a military base would be the way I get it! I joke with Logan that we live in a gated community now.

It’s very family friendly here. They offer an on-base elementary school and daycare, and I’ve counted at least six playgrounds. Not exaggerating. Plus there’s sidewalks everywhere, so you never have to walk/run in the road.

Living on base is quiet, and I mean quiet. Some days I walk for an hour and don’t see another person walking the whole time. Cars, I see. But people outside of cars, not so much.

Life on base in Oklahoma

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Our new home!

Goals: December

Raise your hand if you’re already listening to Christmas music!!

I’m one of those people who celebrates with abandon, and while I dearly love thanksgiving, the last weekend of November is for pulling out the Christmas decorations!

Honestly, I’m not even sure how to characterize November. It’s been amazing to finally begin to settle into our new town, new home, and new life. While it was sad to not spend Thanksgiving with family, Logan and I had a great time cooking more food than two people could possibly eat. I’ve spent nearly every day unpacking boxes, cleaning things, or updating our info. And I haven’t even gotten to my driver’s license yet!

Our new home!

Sunrise on our new place

In spite of no routine whatsoever – or largely because of it – lots of big things happened this month. Here’s how the goals for November went down:

  • Move – done! The process itself went pretty smoothly, and we’re really enjoying Oklahoma so far. Most people we’ve met have been through Logan’s office, and everyone has been so fantastic and welcoming!
  • Get unpacked (mostly), and maybe buy a couch – It seems like every day I unpack boxes. Not even kidding. But there’s something incredibly therapeutic to me about setting up a new space and making it my own. There’s a comic element to me though, of unpacking all our stuff with very little furniture. Our “couch” this month has been a twin bed. But never fear, we got wild and crazy on black Friday and got a BUNCH of furniture. Also purchased: a washer & dryer. It feels so adult!
  • Read 7 books  – This was an easy one. I listened to audiobooks throughout the 20 hours drive and for days while unpacking, so I soaked in a book almost every other day!
  • Write 10 blog posts – check! Just this week I’ve gotten a better writing routine, only because there’s not a gazillion boxes everywhere I turn.
  • Work on  setting up Lightroom photo cataloging – I’ve set up the basic structure I’ll use. Now to just import the past 10 years of photos in…
  • Finish editing Europe photos – Yes! Fist pump! Finally. That means you’ll see more Europe posts continuing very very soon!
  • Work on Rosetta Stone (spanish) once a week – Nope. Definitely didn’t. What with all the transition/chaos/life happening, I did it about twice. We’ll revisit this in December.
  • Exercise 4x/week – … hmm. So in the sense of going to the gym or actually running around, not really. But I have gotten a ton of steps in what with loading and unloading a  moving van and setting up our new place!
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving – Success! While we missed our families, we had a great time picking all our favorite foods and watching the parade. I may have gone a touch overboard and made two pies for two people, but who’s counting?

December will be our first full month here in Oklahoma, so I’m excited to start figuring out more than where the grocery store is. We’re starting to check out churches, plus I want to join in whatever seasonal things are happening around here! We’re staying here for Christmas, so I’m already working on gift boxes to ship back to family. Doing it this far in advance actually adds an extra element of fun for me: instead of a rushed post-exams or after-work Christmas shopping, I get to put a lot more thought and research into fun gift ideas!

My main “rhythm” for December is to start setting up a routine. After so much (good) chaos, I’m ready for a little predictability. This Monday was the first day that I didn’t wake up barraged by boxes clamoring to be unpacked, and this week all the furniture we bought on Black Friday will arrive! So things are starting to come together.

These are my attempts at concrete goals for December:

  • Write 10 blog posts
  • Read 7 books
  • Exercise 4x/week
  • Have some people over for dinner at least once
  • Celebrate Christmas!

I love these Oklahoma skies!

What are your goals for December? Does your routine change significantly during the holidays?

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

Perfect Peach-Blueberry Pie

In honor of Labor Day, I’m sharing the perfect pie for a weekend of celebration!

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

I come from a family that treats pie as a perfectly acceptable choice for breakfast. When served cold, it’s not much different than lots of other run of the mill sweets with fruit. Just another breakfast pastry, if you will.

Which backs up one of my favorite things about this pie: it’s great warm, room temperature, or cold the next day for breakfast. So whenever you have time to throw this together, it’ll be great at whatever temp you serve it.

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

Peaches are the star of the show. I love blueberries as an accent, but my husband LOVES blueberries, so feel free to adjust the ratio of fruit to what suits your audience best.

PeachBlueberryPie02

Put your cleaned peach slices, blueberries and lemon juice in a bowl. Toss, then add the spice blend of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cornstarch.

PeachBlueberryPie04

After letting the spice blend soak into the fruit for a few minutes, pile into a pie crust. *Side note: I love the look of an uncovered fruit pie just before baking – so much delicious potential!

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

Cover with the top crust, pinch shut, and cut a few holes for air to escape!

PeachBlueberryPie06

One of these days I’ll share my homemade pie crust for you, I swear. It’s flaky and rich and everything you hope for in pie crust. I even made it here, but I didn’t photograph the process. A bonus of homemade crust is baking off the excess with a little cinnamon sugar and you’ve got a perfect chef’s snack!

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

The result tastes like summertime potlucks and sunshine!

Taken from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. He’s my favorite!

Peach Blueberry Pie

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs peaches, about 7-10 peaches
  • 1.5 cups blueberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 pie crusts, homemade or store bought
  • optional: milk

STEPS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Peel and and slice the peaches. In a bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries, and lemon juice.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cornstarch. Then toss the fruit with the spice mixture and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Line a pie dish with a crust, then pile the fruit into it. If it looks like it’ll overflow, pile more in the center than on the edges. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot the fruit with butter. Cover with top crust. Pinch  the edges with your fingers to close.
  4. If you want to get really fancy, brush milk onto the pie crust, then top with a touch of sugar. Slice a few slits in the top for steam to escape.
  5. To keep your oven from getting too messy, put the pie pan onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Then turn down to 350°F for 40-45 minutes. The top should be golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool a bit before serving.

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

DC Cherry Blossoms

I spent my Easter weekend visiting my friend Laura in Washington DC! We had an absolute blast, as usual. We’ve been friends since we were 14, so we can entertain ourselves pretty much anywhere. However, being in a fun a city as DC meant we were spoiled for choices!

While I didn’t plan it this way, the weekend we chose ended up being prime cherry blossom season. I was unprepared for just how stunning it would be. The blossoms are light, airy and vary in color from white to bright pink. Looking at the treetops in a grove creates the illusion of a many-layered, rolling ethereally  pink sky. The photos didn’t do it justice.

I’ll share more on our weekend antics soon, but in the meantime here’s some cherry blossom gorgeousness!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Braving the crowds – and believe me, there were crazy crowds.

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

We started by the Washington Memorial, where the most crowds congregated.  But when we saw the fully gorgeousness of the trees we knew it was worth it!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Walking through the groves felt a little like some enchanted forest… so ethereal!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

We lucked out and got the best blue sky – perfect backdrop for the trees!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

 Even with the gobs of tourists, though, seeing the cherry blossoms in bloom is 100% worth it.

After an hour of dodging camera phones around the tidal basin, we got bored of the crowds and headed off  the beaten path for a more lesser-known museum to escape. Check back soon for more on what else we did that weekend!!

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.