How my husband encourages me in the kitchen (featuring a bowl of pappardelle pasta we love)

How my husband encourages me in the kitchen (featuring a bowl of pappardelle pasta we love)

My husband and I have been married a year today, something that feels impossible and wonderful and has been cause for much celebration (more on that in an upcoming post).

But we've been together for about 8 years total, so I've had a lot of time to learn to appreciate things about him. Toward the top of the list is the fact that he is perhaps the world's least picky eater, something I am thankful for every time I set a plate of food down in front of him.

Candy you can make at home with 5 ingredients or less

Candy you can make at home with 5 ingredients or less

Do you remember that episode of the classic 1990s sitcom Friends, in which type A chef Monica Geller takes it upon herself to make homemade candy for the entire apartment building?

That could be you!

Okay, it doesn't have to get that crazy, but making your own candy conjures up a specific magic perfect for this week leading up to Halloween. (It's a great kid/group activity.) Bonus: Having more candy around the house will probably help that stash you bought for the trick-or-treaters and were not supposed to eat last longer.

Here are a couple of recipes that you can make using five ingredients or less.

A healthy bowl perfect for Meatless Monday

A healthy bowl perfect for Meatless Monday

I'm a big fan of meat. Never one to shun a carnivore option, my love for lean proteins goes waaay back

But I also dig the idea of a Meatless Monday, for health and also because, well, meat is kind of gross to work with. I would prefer never have to dig my hands into a slimy bowl of raw meat at home ever again, but dang burgers are just too good. 

Enter the nutty meatball!

Can you eat a jack-o-lantern? And other thoughts and tips when cooking with whole pumpkins

Can you eat a jack-o-lantern? And other thoughts and tips when cooking with whole pumpkins

The pumpkin is sweating, and so am I.

I've got my knife an inch into the watermelon-sized orb, which is staring at me all like, "I'm too cute to be dinner!"

It is adorable, deep orange and perfectly ridged, sitting just slightly lopsided with a stem jutting out the top. It conjures pumpkin patches and spooky front porches on Halloween night. It seems a little out of place next to my stove.

With help from some experts, I try to make marshmallows from scratch

With help from some experts, I try to make marshmallows from scratch

I am the kind of person who would rather figure out how to make a graham cracker with what I have in the pantry than get in my car, drive to Publix and pick up a box of Honey Maid.

In fact, that's what I did on a recent "cool-ish" evening at our house, when we got the backyard fire pit going and the s'mores cravings soon followed. The crackers were good, more like very thin and not-as-sweet cookies than anything else, and I would make them again. No biggie.But I had never attempted to make the other crucial part of the melty campfire sandwich: marshmallows.

I love Greek yogurt and you can, too

I love Greek yogurt and you can, too

There are a few things I eat on a near-daily basis that make some people want to gag. You probably have things like that, too: Pickles (yum). The increasingly popular kimchi. Something more innocuous, perhaps, like mayonnaise.

Food judgment is real, especially if you're someone who likes to eat semihealthy on a regular basis. Let's just say I've never had anyone pressure me into eating a handful of spinach, or, inversely, chide my order of french fries. And I've adjusted to the fact that some of my favorite snacks seem to be foods that elicit strong opinions.

One of them is bananas. People have thoughts about bananas, particularly the idea of consuming them in enclosed spaces (the smell?) and eating anything other than a perfectly ripe, yellow-peeled one. (One bruise does not a ruined banana make.) But bananas are probably doing okay for themselves. If you can't appreciate the perfect compactness and nutrition of the potassium-laden fruit the way other primates do, that's on you.

But the other snack I love needs someone in its corner: plain Greek yogurt, a healthy food that has exploded in popularity in the past decade.

As one of my friends, one who likes flavored yogurt but cannot handle it plain, said: "It seems like yogurt is the food equivalent to the word 'moist.' "

Divisive. Easily dismissed. It doesn't have to be this way.