a bubbling, cheesy pan of comfort

Like so many others, I still have a heavy heart from last week’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I had a draft post written in my mind before the news broke, but after last Friday, the story I wanted to tell–about what to eat in December when you’re too busy to cook–didn’t feel right. What does feel right is to tell you about this amazing goat cheese and turkey sausage lasagna that is quite possibly the most comforting comfort food I’ve made all year.

goat cheese & turkey sausage lasagna

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discovering new staples

So many of my weeknight meals revolve around pasta. Usually quick and not complicated to make, easy to adapt, and great for eating all week. As much as I like to experiment with new recipes, there are a few pastas I come back to again and again, especially when I want something simple, comforting, and (relatively) fool-proof. This linguine, with butternut squash, goat cheese, and bacon, is high on the list.

sauteing squash

sauteing squash

This is one of the very first recipes my sister made in her first post college grownup kitchen…which means it’s one of the first recipes she independently picked out and cooked. Unlike me, she didn’t have suites with kitchens in college, and neither of us cooked very much growing up (our mom is such a cooking rockstar that I think we were both content to just enjoy). Joie moved into her first solo apartment the weekend of Halloween in 2004, and this recipe is from that year’s December Real Simple. I love the idea of her doing some of her very first just for her grocery shopping (not counting college mini fridge friendly snacks…), treating herself to a Real Simple, and deciding to give this recipe a whirl. And I love that she shared her early kitchen success with me. Continue reading

denise pierce’s macadamia lace cookies

Yay, it’s holiday baking time! Blogs everywhere are blowing up with butter-laden, chocolate-dipped, sugar-dusted delights! I am ready to jump on that bandwagon and I’m not coming off ‘til January, if at all.

macadamia lace cookies

These macadamia lace cookies are some of my very favorite holiday treats. They were a completely random discovery. In 2004, I impulse-bought a Fine Cooking holiday issue (I’m good for at least one check-out aisle purchase of a holiday baking periodical per season), but I never really dug into it until 2007. I have no idea why I picked it up three years after buying it, but when I finally flipped through, I was taken in by a little picture of lacey macadamia nut cookies. The recipe was featured in a cookie-swap themed spread presenting reader-submitted recipes. Denise Pierce’s Macadamia Lace Cookies had been chosen, with a few others, from hundreds of reader submissions. I am a huge fan of thin, crispy cookies (part of why I love Jessica’s mom’s chocolate chip cookies so much), so these looked perfect. Continue reading