so my father gave me an amazon gift card for christmas, and despite telling myself i would save it for something i really, REALLY needed, i immediately went looking for something to buy.

the forest feastthe forest feast by erin gleeson is right up my alley. it’s a gorgeous cookbook, with illustrated recipes and wonderful type. on one preview, i saw a recipe for chocolate mousse made with ricotta. i love ricotta, and had some on hand from another recipe i made recently. i whipped up a bowl last night, and it was delicious! perfect texture, and not too sweet. i am so excited for this cookbook to arrive so i can try more of the beautiful recipes.

what cookbooks do you use like a bible? what draws you to a cookbook, or to a cooking blog?


in the kitchen, with lemons

since i’ve been working in other peoples’ homes all summer, i’ve neglected my kitchen so much. today i got that itch that says, get back in the kitchen celeste! after reading my favorite blogs this morning, i decided to try this pasta al limone recipe by cupcakes & cashmere. um hello, it’s to die for.

i like my pasta a little saucier, so i added a splash more water and a touch more cream. also i got a little cheese happy before i snapped a picture, so it’s not the prettiest plating ever.



so rich, bright, and delicious. go home and try it right now, ok?

brown butter pasta with sage and butternut

i think this is one of those safe places, so i’ll admit something here.

this year, thus far, has consisted of way too many fast food meals. oh god, the things i’d do for taco bell..

i am constantly trying to get back into the kitchen, trying to eat right, or at least save money. this meal is pretty darn tasty and consists of things you probably already have around your house. it isn’t the lightest thing i’ve eaten, but where’s the fun in that?


butternut pasta


For the toasted breadcrumbs:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3/4 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tablespoon of thyme
  • 1 parsley (i only had dried on hand, but fresh would be nice)
  • nutmeg
  • sage


For the pasta:

  • 8 oz pasta (i used whole wheat spaghetti, but any long, thin noodle will do), cooked
  • 1 cup cubed butternut squash, cooked
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • sage
  • parmesan to taste



For the toasted bread crumbs, melt the butter in a pan. Mix the bread crumbs and herbs in a bowl. Pour the melted butter over the bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. Add the panko-butter mixture back to the pan and toast on medium-high until golden brown throughout. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the pasta sauce, melt the remaining butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Whisk continuously until butter is browned. The butter will be golden brown, not black! Don’t burn your butter! Add in minced garlic, and cook until the garlic is soft. Sprinkle the sage over the squash. Add in cooked pasta and squash. Stir until the pasta starts to soak in the sauce. When serving, sprinkle with the toasted bread crumbs and desired amount of parmesan (i prefer a healthy heap)!

Since I only had salted butter, I did not add any salt to this dish. I hope this recipe is easy to follow. I kind of made it up and have never written a recipe before. let me know if you try it!



cold brew coffee concentrate

i am a caffeine addict. i love coffee. like i mentioned in my first post, i am in my first year of teaching, and a big ol’ cup of joe is (part of) what gets me through my days. everyone has their favorite way to drink coffee: black, steaming hot, americano, latte, iced, frappe.. i like mine iced. i like to imagine i am mary louise parker in weeds, sucking down coffee through a straw with perfectly painted lips. luckily for me, there’s a dunkin donuts about two minutes away from my apartment.

some mornings, i just can’t make it out the door in time to go through the drive thru. it’s nice to have an alternative to grab from the fridge. for that reason, i try to make a batch of cold brew coffee once a week. the recipe and process are simple.

french press

cold brew coffee:


  • 3 cups cold water
  • 14 tablespoons ground coffee


i make my cold brew in a french press. it makes things simple, and it turns out fine. there is a more complicated and more exact process involving cheesecloth, but this has worked well for me. combine ingredients in french press. let brew overnight or for at least six hours. press handle down, and pour into a fridge-worthy container. i pour mine into already rationed out mason jars. serve with as much or as little ice, milk, sugar, etc. as desired! the brew is strong, and made to be enjoyed with milk.

my favorite way to drink iced coffee at home is with a healthy dose of milk, a spoonful of sugar, a splash of vanilla extract, and a dash of cinnamon. how do you drink yours?