Oktoberfest Potato Skins, and Finding Good Reasons to Celebrate a Little

Oktoberfest Potato Skins, and Finding Good Reasons to Celebrate a Little post image

As we get into late September and then into October—into the autumn—I feel myself come alive a little more. I feel my colors become a bit more vibrant in the autumn, and my enthusiasm for simple festivities increase. Perhaps it's the promise of cooler weather, and of the holiday season just around the corner; of a fresh, crisp breeze that, in the evenings, brings a slight chill, and that gets my excitement going. Or perhaps it's the simple fact that the sun sets earlier, and earlier ... {more please!}

Caramel Apple Sticky Rolls, and Saying Goodbye to a Season that’s Passed

Caramel Apple Sticky Rolls, and Saying Goodbye to a Season that’s Passed post image

Having to say goodbye has never been easy for me. I recently had to say goodbye to my parents who had come to visit with us for a while this summer, after not having seen them for about two years; they left to go back to their home (these days) in Slovakia. It's tough not knowing when we'll all see each other again; perhaps another two years from now? The pace at which time and life goes by, it'll most likely be at least a little ... {more please!}

Crunchy-Baked Garlic “Popcorn” Chicken, a Different Type of Popcorn to Pop

Crunchy-Baked Garlic “Popcorn” Chicken, a Different Type of Popcorn to Pop post image

I don't know about you all, but we're still making our way through some hot weather here in Southern California—whew-wee! Can we please be done with this? Where's the cool fall? Where are the temperatures that beckon for me to wrap myself in a comfy-cozy blanky, or throw on a jacket or sweater when I go out in the evening? They seem to be hiding at the present moment, that's for sure. So it makes it just a wee-bit less appealing to turn on an oven ... {more please!}

Hard Cider-Battered Fish n’ “Oven” Chips, Pub Style; a Fall-Inspired Version of a Crispy Classic

Hard Cider-Battered Fish n’ “Oven” Chips, Pub Style; a Fall-Inspired Version of a Crispy Classic post image

Our teenage son has always been a huge fan of crispy fish n' chips. Ever since he was just a wee little thing, if this classic comfort food was on a menu, he'd almost always ask to order it since it wasn't an entree that we would typically make at home—frankly, it seemed a bit laborious. And because of his adoration of this tasty-yet-unpretentious meal, my husband and I have found our own love for it, making it a family “thing” by stopping by our favorite ... {more please!}

Chicken Salad with Honeycrisp Apples and Candied Walnuts, a Perfect Little Sandwich for Autumn

Chicken Salad with Honeycrisp Apples and Candied Walnuts, a Perfect Little Sandwich for Autumn post image

Finding comforting ways to use fresh, seasonal ingredients is one of my favorite things about cooking; it's a wonderful challenge! And the more simple a recipe is, the more one can really taste the flavor of those seasonal ingredients, and find the joy and simple pleasure in them. Honeycrisp apples, just as their name implies, are incredibly crisp, sweet and juicy—they embody that wonderfully fruity and earthy flavor of fall, and brighten up so very many recipes that call for the autumn-centered fruit. And they're perfect ... {more please!}

Granny Smith’s Apple Flapjacks with Warm Cider Syrup, and Anticipating the Sweetness of Fall

Granny Smith’s Apple Flapjacks with Warm Cider Syrup, and Anticipating the Sweetness of Fall post image

Although fall “officially” begins September 22, I, for one, certainly don't need an official date to begin bringing out the fall-inspired recipes. After all, fall is my favorite time of year; and once all of the various sweet, juicy and crisp apple "varietals" begin appearing more and more in the produce isles, and the local orchards start inviting us to participate in their “U-Pick” festivities, then I start to have a very hard time resisting the temptation to begin brainstorming comfy-cozy and kitchen-warming new recipes that ... {more please!}

“Chicken Parmesan” Meatballs with Penne, Some Saucy Love in a Bowl to Soothe the Jolted Soul

“Chicken Parmesan” Meatballs with Penne, Some Saucy Love in a Bowl to Soothe the Jolted Soul post image

This just so happens to be one of those weeks when a warm bowl of saucy comfort food plays the role of soothing salve, not just for the belly, but for the soul, as well. A lot has been swirling and swishing around, and it's left me feeling a bit like I've been going through a bumpy and sloshy wash cycle that's tossing me around a bit before it's ready to spit me out all sparkly and clean, and ready for a warm fluffing in the ... {more please!}

So This Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Walks Into A Bar…

So This Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Walks Into A Bar… post image

No joke, I love a good cookie. Thick, soft, and loaded with comforting sweetness (and perhaps even still a bit warm, fresh out of the oven), a cookie can be the perfect grab-n-go dessert to nibble on with a cold glass of milk or a strong, hot coffee. But when a good cookie can be turned into a thick, decadent bar, then things get seriously (and deliciously) taken to another mouth-watering level. (I guess you could call it “raising the bar” on cookies.) A few weeks ... {more please!}

Caribbean-Style Grilled Citrus Chicken, A Colorful Note To End The Summer Eating Season On

Caribbean-Style Grilled Citrus Chicken, A Colorful Note To End The Summer Eating Season On post image

Though summer isn't officially over for a little while yet, soon it'll be time to bring in the more fall-oriented recipes that will help usher us into that particular delicious and comforting time of year. But before we go... When I think of the summer eating season, I think of lots of colors and bold flavors—lots of fresh produce added to mildly spicy and savory dishes to liven them up. And nothing says “clean” more than a citrus-marinated and simply-grilled chicken breasts seasoned with warming Caribbean ... {more please!}

Spicy & Crispy Fish Sandwich, A Touch Fiery Like Me, Perhaps

Spicy & Crispy Fish Sandwich, A Touch Fiery Like Me, Perhaps post image

Something's in the air, so to speak. Maybe it can be chalked up to the full moon we just recently had, its magnetic pull tugging on the water in our systems, making us a little “off”; but people seem a little more unkind (would it be too much to say down-right rude?) and absentminded as of late, and I'm finding my usually fairly-chipper disposition being pushed to its limits. In others words, I'm finding myself becoming a bit more fiery and irritated with each not-so-friendly interaction, ... {more please!}