Homemade Soft Pretzels with Jalapeño Beer Cheese

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Jalapeño Beer Cheese

For a girl whose lineage is mostly German, I don’t do much to represent my heritage. I know exactly ONE German word (duft blatt, which means “fragrant leaf” or “rose petal”) but only because it was the AIM screen name of one of my best friends from high school. I’ve never had schnitzel and refuse to eat sauerkraut. I don’t even drink beer, the carbonation (as with Pepsi and champagne and every punch ever served at a wedding or baby shower) making it completely unpalatable, despite my many attempts to choke it down. Which may help explain how I went nearly 29 years without attending an Oktoberfest. Continue reading

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Chickpea Falafel and Easy Tzatziki

Chickpea Falafel and Easy Tzatziki

Toward the end of a Texas summer, I begin to notice something unflattering about myself. At first I blame it on the dryer. Then on my cheap cotton shorts. But by the time it’s cool enough to reach for the skinny jeans I wore comfortably all winter, my suspicions are confirmed: I got a little fat. Continue reading

Pear & Ricotta Crostini with Honey and Hazelnuts + Homemade Ricotta

pear and ricotta crostini with honey and hazelnuts

When it comes to cooking, I seem to have a split personality. Sometimes the overly-ambitious, make-everything-from-scratch Chelsey shows up in the kitchen, flushed with thoughts of freshly boiled bagels or homemade strawberry preserves. She asks for ice cream makers and pasta machines for her birthday and doesn’t question spending $15 on a literal pinch of saffron. She gets up early for the farmers market and plans her weekly menu on lovely stationery, glowing with good intentions and Saturday morning optimism.

Then there’s the other Chelsey. Continue reading