Reader’s Choice: Best of 2013

December 30, 2013
Reader’s Choice: Best of 2013

Well, 2014 is almost upon us. How did that even happen? 2013 was kind of a blur for me. Work was busy, wedding planning kept me really busy, and then there were all those trips for friends’ weddings, the honeymoon, and a whole bunch of other reasons I can’t even remember now sprinkled in the mix. Phew. What a great year though, huh? It was certainly a great year for Just Putzing Around the Kitchen. Lots of recipes came out of my kitchen this year, and you all seemed to like them, if Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr are any indication. Here are the best posts of 2013, according to you: APPETIZERS: Restaurant-Style Queso - I’m happy to see that you guys love chips and dip as much...

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Unicorn Tears

December 28, 2013
Unicorn Tears

Guys, my glassware/bar ware habit is getting out of hand. Even after donating like 4 boxes of stuff to Good Will, I am quickly running out of space (read: have already run out of space but am in denial) to store all of the new glasses and bottles I keep buying. My most recent purchase? Super long-stemmed fishbowl wine glasses, which Buzzfeed tells me are the same ones that Olivia Pope uses to feed her drinking habit on Scandal. I set out to just order the 23oz red wine glasses, but then I thought “you know, the 13oz white wine glasses are super cute too, and they match the red wine glasses, and I like white wine a lot, so….” So I went ahead and...

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DIY Flavored Butters

December 24, 2013
DIY Flavored Butters

Alright. It’s the morning of Christmas Eve. You’re getting ready for your annual holiday party later tonight. The tree is fully decked out, the stockings have been hung, and your gifts are all wrapped and tucked nicely under the tree. You’re running through your mental checklist of things that were supposed to be done by today, when you realize…shit. Forgot to buy/make a present for . What to do, what to do? No time to run to the mall, no time to order something online, no time to make a few bottles of DIY flavored extracts. You are screwed big time. But wait! You have all those cute little bottles/jars you bought at the flea market a while back that you didn’t...

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DIY Flavored Extracts

December 22, 2013
DIY Flavored Extracts

Guys. Are y’all as excited about DIY foodie holiday gifts as I am? I don’t know what’s going on with me this year, but I have literally flagged every single DIY food-related article I’ve run across online (damn you, Buzzfeed). Flavored butters, cupcakes in a jar, mulled wine kits, homemade nutella…so cute, so practical, so delicious. I want to make (and eat) all of it! You know what it probably is? All of these DIY gift ideas involve adorable little jars, and I am a huge sucker for cute glassware. Canning jars – want, have, used only when I have leftover frosting I can’t bear to throw out (but of course it just gets shoved to the back of my fridge and is immediately...

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Classic Thumbprint Cookies, Revisited

December 17, 2013
Classic Thumbprint Cookies, Revisited

It’s almost Christmas, which can only mean one thing – time to make a billion cookies. Sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, peppermint cookies, hot cocoa cookies…so many cookies to choose from, so little time to cram them into my mouth. Nom nom nom, cookie cookie cookie. In my family, the only type of cookie that matters this time of year is thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam. Not raspberry, not blackberry, not (shudder) orange or apricot – STRAWBERRY. Cuz, you know, strawberry jam is red, and red is festive (raspberry jam is also red, but it’s not as delicious so why bother?). Our holiday devotion to these jammy thumbprints is so rabid that everyone expects to see these cookies at our family’s annual Christmas party. I don’t even...

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Charlene’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

December 15, 2013
Charlene’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

The first time I made red velvet cake was in back in law school, around the time I started this blog. It was my friend Jill’s birthday, and red velvet was her favorite, so I decided to surprise her with a homemade birthday cake. I hadn’t made a lot of non-box mix cakes at that point, but I figured it couldn’t be too hard. After all, red velvet cake was basically just chocolate cake with a ton of red food coloring, right? Wrong. So very wrong. The cake was a disaster. I used a basic chocolate cake recipe, which would have been fine, but I really wanted a gorgeous red cake so I kept adding more and more food coloring to the batter. As it...

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Sauteed Garlic Bacon Brussel Sprouts

December 13, 2013
Sauteed Garlic Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Can we all just take a minute to process the fact that brussel sprouts grow on stalks? Like, big, thick branches covered with fat little sprout bulbs! Did you know that? I definitely did not. I sort of always assumed that the brussel sprouts I saw in the grocery store just….grew out of the ground that way. You know, like teeny tiny baby cabbages. So when I saw big, crazy branches of sprouts at Trader Joe’s around Thanksgiving, I was all OMGAWWWW WHAT IS THATTTTT. And then of course I had to buy one, just to see if branch sprouts tasted any different than loose sprouts. (They did not.) Dan was, unsurprisingly, not pumped when I came home with a giant stalk of brussel sprouts....

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OREO Cookie Ball Snowmen

December 8, 2013
OREO Cookie Ball Snowmen

A few weeks ago Yummly asked me if I wanted to be part of their OREO holiday campaign. To participate, all I had to do was come up with a fun, festive treat using Oreo’s classic cookie ball recipe. I was immediately on board because (1) I love OREOs, and (2) what’s not to love about crushed chocolate cookies mixed with cream cheese and dipped in chocolate? Plus, I’d been toying with the idea of making snowmen out of cake balls for a holiday post, and cookie balls aren’t really all that different. Same basic concept, equally delicious. As it turns out, I haven’t made truffles or cake balls or anything involving dipping/coating things in a long time, and I forgot that…I kind of...

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Stove Top Chili Bread Boats

November 17, 2013
Stove Top Chili Bread Boats

Dan’s lunchtime eating habits are laughably predictable. Tell me what day of the week it is, and I’ll know exactly what he’s having for lunch. Monday? Buffalo chicken wings from a place near his office with 10 cent wings on Mondays. Tuesday? Chili. Wednesday? Chili. Thursday? Chili again. Friday? If you were thinking chili, you’d be wrong – Fridays are for Mexican food. Obviously. But yeah…Dan likes chili. A lot. It’s actually one of the few things I make that he enjoys the leftovers of. One giant crock pot full of chili = a week of happy Dan. But, that takes kind of a long time to cook, and I don’t make it often during the week. So when he was craving chili for...

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Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

November 11, 2013
Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

You know that scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary when she’s sad-drinking alone in her apartment and starts scrounging around her fridge because she’s hungry from all the drinking and all that’s in there is a moldy block of cheese? That has been my life for the past few weeks, minus the drinking.  For no particular reason, grocery shopping just sort of…slipped our minds lately, so our fridge has been in a rare and depressing state of emptiness. I’ve been in constant fear of people asking me what we’re having for dinner because I know they’ll judge me if I tell them that we’re probably just going to eat cheese and crackers and/or Doritos…again. WHATEVER, OK? JUST BECAUSE I HAVE A FOOD BLOG DOESN’T MEAN I...

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