Cooking, living, etc.

Recent Posts

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

I looooooove chicken wings.

Love ’em.

Back when my metabolism could handle it (a long time ago!), I used to spend way too much time in those chicken wing places that you usually find in strip malls. You know, the kind that feature all manner of sports on a big screen TV and not much else? Except the wings, of course.

There were always a dozen or so varieties of wings, but for me, it was all about the classic buffalo sauce. Not the crazy blazing hot stuff, but the tamer “medium” version. With blue cheese dressing for dipping of course, and the requisite carrot and celery sticks on the side (healthy!)

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Roast Beef Sandwich with Boursin

Roast Beef Sandwich with Boursin

As sandwiches go, pretty much the only one that can make me pause when browsing a restaurant menu is roast beef. A roast beef sandwich always sounds terrific in theory. I can practically taste it just thinking about it. Too bad it is almost always better in my head. The WORST is when I take a chance and order it, and instead of the juicy, medium-rare sliced meat of my dreams, I get cold cuts. Dry, gray cold cuts.

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Bananas Foster Crepes

Bananas Foster Crepes

New Orleans is a city near and dear to my heart.  When I lived in Houston, it was easily close enough for a spontaneous weekend visit, and I took full advantage. Years later, after I moved back to Canada, my husband and I took a vacation there. Before we left I worried that the special atmosphere and exuberance I remembered would be missing in post-Katrina New Orleans. But it seems that even that monumental tragedy could not keep the spirit of this city down for long.

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

Office potlucks are such a funny thing, especially when you have a very diverse workplace. You might end up, like me, with a plate of lotus root with sticky rice next to eggplant parmesan and macaroni salad. You might also pass on the quiche that someone forgot in the toaster oven (hey, how else would we have figured out the fire alarm didn’t work?).

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Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

In the 90s I lived in Houston, and when my mom and I met for lunch it was most often at P.F. Chang’s in Highland Village. It was packed every day of the week. There was always a cheerful din, never loud enough to get in the way of conversation, and we were always greeted at the door by a small pack of glamorous-looking hostesses in black cocktail dresses.

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Fudgy Brownies

Fudgy Brownies

When you love to bake and people know it, it’s easy to get yourself into some sticky situations. “I’ll bring dessert!” becomes an automatic response to any and all dinner invitations.  In my case, this usually results in one of two scenarios.  The first involves me spending all day in the kitchen trying to out-“wow” all my previous desserts, effectively taking all the lazy satisfaction out of having someone else do the cooking for me. The second involves me scrambling at the last minute to come up with something I can pop out in less than an hour, AND have all the ingredients for, because I haven’t been to the grocery store in 10 days. This recipe is for that latter situation.

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Brown Butter Crispy Rice Treats

Brown Butter Crispy Rice Treats

Welcome to Our Happy Mess! I’m Ann, avid home cook and baker, wife to a great guy, and mom to a wonderful 17 month old boy named Jack. Life around here is 9-5 jobs for my husband and I, followed by the frantic rush of daycare pick-up, feeding, bathtime and bedtime. Usually followed by dinner on the couch combined with glassy-eyed Netflix-watching, counting the minutes till we can crash and do it all over again.

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