Author Archive: Melissa

Pinned it/Made it: Granola

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I seem to change my granola recipe every other year. And now after trying Marge Granola, I’ll be changing my recipe again. It is to-die-for! Thankfully Megan, owner of Marge and blogger at A Sweet Spoonful, shared all of her granola secrets here. It’s my new favorite granola recipe. Promise me you’ll try it. We added some cocoa nibs and dried cherries to the mix—a little taste of heaven.

—Melissa

The Common Denominator: July Fourth

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Fireworks. BBQs. Cold drinks. Pink noses. And backyard splendor. The first of many summer parties have already begun with July 4th sparking this week. I always find myself simplifying recipes this time of year, which is entirely refreshing. But a couple extra sprigs of herbs in a dish or dessert go a long way to keep the magic of summer alive. I’m bookmarking this Rosemary Lemonade from Ashley of Not Without Salt and this Roasted Onion & Fingerling Potato Salad from Kelly of The Gouda Life.

—Melissa

Kitchen Originals: Easy Yogurt Cake

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This recipe isn’t original to me, but it’s one well worth sharing. Since becoming pregnant, I’ve only picked up one “pregnancy” book. For one reason or another, they scare me. But I also have this tendency to go rogue when presented with new situations. I like to discover things on my own. And that was my approach towards pregnancy as well until Ellie posted about Bringing Up Bébé—a book documenting an American mother raising her children in France. It peeked my interest right away. In the book, Pamela Druckerman notes that french parents begin cooking with their children from an early age. She captured my attention. Gâteau au Yaourt, yogurt cake, weekly graces the tables of many french homes, often made by tiny little hands. I think this will be the first cake my little nugget and I make together. It’s incredibly easy, very adaptable, with just enough sweetness.

—Melissa

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Yogurt Cake
lightly adapted from Bringing Up Bébé, yields one 9-inch cake

Side note: The original recipe uses a 6 oz. yogurt container as the measuring utensil, making it easy for kids. If you are unable to find yogurt in this size, use a 3/4 cup measuring utensil in the same way. This cake is very versatile. Add spices, fruit, or chocolate chips to the mix of the cake. Top with easy-to-make, lightly sweetened crème fraîche or serve plain. I think an infused simple syrup painted across on the cake after baking would be divine. The serving options are endless with this cake.

2 six-ounce containers of plain whole-milk yogurt (not greek)
2 large eggs
2 containers sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 container oil
4 containers all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
several dashes of sea salt

Garnish (optional)
crème fraîche, store bought or homemade, lightly sweetened
fruit, lightly sweetened with sugar to release juices (apricots pictured)
fresh mint
cacao nibs

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line bottom of 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil until evenly combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and sea salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir together until just incorporated, being careful not to overmix. Overmixing will yield a tough cake.
5. Bake for 35 minutes or until springy to the tough. The cake is naturally very white in color when baked.
6. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove and continue cooling on a rack. Garnish just before serving.

Pinned it/Made it: Waffle Donuts

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A couple weeks ago, I finally perfected and posted my Baked Vanilla Bean Donut recipe. It was a good year or more in the making. A couple weeks later Laura, from Sweet Treats, adapted the recipe and turned them into mini donut waffles. How cute are these little gems!? Pure genius if you ask me. So of course I had to make them. And I thought donuts were cute. I think waffle-style may have them beat. [Side note, I typically cook my donuts at a high heat. These guys cook much faster on a medium-low setting for about half the time it takes to cook a waffle. If When you give these a whirl, be sure to test a small amount before cooking the whole batch. Every waffle iron is a bit different.]

—Melissa

In the Kitchen: Edible Perspective

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I’ve just recently gotten to know Ashley from Edible Perspective. She’s another sweet blogger from Colorado. I think I’m naturally drawn to those Coloradans (Oh Ladycakes, Happyolks, Half Baked Harvest). If I’m not moving there myself next summer, I may just cry. In the meantime, I’m living vicariously through their beautiful blogs. Ashley keeps it seasonal, fresh, healthy, and always delicious. I’m also a little smitten with her latest bathroom reno. She’s a true renaissance woman. 
—Melissa

What is your best memory in the kitchen (current or past)?
I have to mention two, but I’ll keep them quick!  1 – During the summer when I was growing up my dad would haul in gigantic zucchini from our garden and my mom and I would get busy baking zucchini bread. Loaf after loaf after loaf.  We made it all summer long and passed out the loaves to family + friends.  The best was when we would add chocolate chips to the batter!  The time in the kitchen with my mom was always treasured.  2 – I absolutely love cooking brunch or dinner for family and friends.  I find it so relaxing to sit around the table and enjoy homemade food with my favorite people.  A little wine never hurts, either!

Whats the best thing about your kitchen?
We really maximized storage + counter space in our kitchen when we gutted the entire thing two years ago.  It’s 10×12 in size–so not huge–but there is plenty of room for two people to work at the same time without knocking elbows, and extra tall cabinets and deep storage drawers maximize every inch of space.  I definitely need it with my ever-growing collection of plates + bowls for food photography!

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What is your favorite meal to prepare?
I don’t know if I have an all-time favorite meal to prepare but one recipe I’ve been making nonstop lately is a lemon, olive oil, and roasted garlic pasta with spinach, lentils, and sun-dried tomatoes.  It’s simple + satisfying and you can add whatever vegetables are in season.  Asparagus + kale have been my favorite additions!

What does your dream kitchen look like?
I really love our kitchen now but sometimes imagine larger windows allowing for more natural light to pour into the room.  I’ve also always wanted to have an island in the kitchen where people can sit, chat, and eat while I cook.  As far as the style goes I love clean lines, subway tile backsplash, white cabinets, butcher block counters, and single-basin sinks.

What 3 guests would you like to have around your dinner table?
Heidi Swanson : Mindy Kaling : Aubrey Plaza – An eclectic group that would lead to delicious food and a lot of laughs.