Cinnamon Clove Coffee Cake, for those breezy fall mornings

Cinnamon Clove Coffee Cake, for those breezy fall mornings

Hello, fall! Even though you don’t exist in Florida the same falling-leaves-cute-scarves way you do in other states, I know you’re still there. And you’re on your way. I can feel it.

This recipe is aimed squarely at those mornings in October when you walk outside and catch your first whiff of crisp, 70-degree air.

It’s a warm and cozy coffee cake made with warm and cozy spices like cinnamon and cloves. It’s also got tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds, and toasted sesame seeds, crucial additions from the ever-inventive food blogger Molly Yeh. If you don’t have tahini, peanut butter works great, too. I love the deep flavor and fragrance of cloves and cardamom especially here - they give this crumbly coffee cake a little extra something.

Make it an interactive dinner party with pork or chicken potstickers

Make it an interactive dinner party with pork or chicken potstickers

Making potstickers is a perfect weekend project, the kind of dinner that takes slightly longer to make but is definitely worth it in the end, when you pluck the sizzling dough pockets from a hot skillet. I also love to make them when guests come over, because it's something relatively straightforward yet fun that you and your guests can work on together.

Bust out the sesame oil for Citrus Chopped Salad With Sesame Vinaigrette

Bust out the sesame oil for Citrus Chopped Salad With Sesame Vinaigrette

You've got to be careful with sesame oil. 

The condiment, used often in Asian cuisines, is an oil made from sesame seeds. And it's unique, and strong, and a little goes a very long way. 

It's also exactly what I needed to create an Asian-style salad dressing at home. I love making my own dressing, something I only do so often because I never have any of the storebought stuff around when I need it.

Orange ricotta bars with fresh mint

Orange ricotta bars with fresh mint

It was one of those serene kitchen days when everything just kind of works out.  

My husband and I were home on a Sunday, tending to our new puppy (!) as storm clouds gathered outside, and I set out to prep for dinner. Two of our friends were coming over, and we had decided to make potstickers from scratch. We would get the food ready and they would bring the cocktails. (More on that later because wow they were good.)

At the last minute, I decided we needed a homemade dessert, because I am nothing if not Very Extra when it comes to menu planning.

Chicken meatballs over quinoa in a coconut curry sauce

Chicken meatballs over quinoa in a coconut curry sauce

Curry dishes are one of my favorite go-tos for a quick and flavorful home-cooked meal. 
The spice combinations lend a depth that’s hard to come by in a 20-minute dinner, and the sauciness ties a dish of whatever-is-left-in-the-fridge components together. 

The term “curry” might be intimidating for some home cooks. It’s a broad term that refers to a dish usually consisting of meat or vegetables, cooked in a sauce loaded with spices like turmeric. I was hesitant to make curries, certain they required more work and specialized ingredients than I had time for. Then I got into a groove.