Simple Saturday: Za’atar Dip

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Have you ever gone into a store or restaurant and just felt you belonged there?

You enjoy the new sights, smells and offerings that fill the shelves or menu and it beckons you to enjoy things you’ve had in the past and things you want to try.

I definitely felt this way when I went to Neomonde, a Mediterranean deli here in Raleigh, for the first time.

I was welcomed by two of my favorite things in the world: restaurants and grocery stores (the place is divided half and half).

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And if that didn’t get to my culinary-loving soul, the fresh-baking pita and smell of falafel did me in.

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Easter Treats

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Last year for Easter Sunday I invited some sweet international friends (and their three kids) over for quiche, roasted potatoes and carrots, and coconut macaroons after our church service.

Five years ago, I made quiche and roasted asparagus (and bought a carrot cake from the grocery store) for some of my best girlfriends while studying abroad in Oxford, England.

Growing up, we always woke up to an early Easter morning with dining room table place mats covered in Easter baskets filled with bright, plastic grass and chocolate goodies in exciting varieties. And hot cross buns were always freshly, symbolically iced and warm waiting to be devoured.

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Simple Saturday: Magic Shell

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I’m starting a new thing on the think fruitful blog and it’s called actually cooking from the recipe books that I own.

I’m going to set a goal of making (and sharing) at least one recipe from one of my recipe books per month.

This month, I dove into The Joy the Baker Cookbook, which was a Christmas present from my husband.

I basically want to make everything from this cookbook, sweets and savories.

But Joy’s Chocolate Covered Coconut Macaroon Ice Cream caught my eye.

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Confetti Dinner

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When looking at a restaurant menu, I’ll usually choose the dish that has the most components.

If it’s between a chicken breast and say a roasted vegetable salad, I’m going with the salad.

The more color, texture and components that I can get in a dish, the better!

I think this is one of the  reasons that I’m not a huge steak person. It’s just a piece of meat that seems boring to me.

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Simple Saturday: Huevo Ranchero

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I’m always looking for ways to use fresh ingredients to make a quick and flavorful lunch.

And I’m always looking for food that transports me somewhere.

I am a huge fan of huevos rancheros and have been since I first went to Mexico and tasted the magic, comforting mix of beans, tortillas, spicy sauce and egg yolk. The textures and spices are right on and will not leave you hungry.

For lunch, I decided to make my own take on a Huevo Ranchero (hence the single egg) with the ingredients I had on hand, which didn’t include beans.

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For Rachel

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Today’s granola bar post is being interrupted for a few words about a friend.

Yesterday, I lost another friend (second in the past 12 months) to sickness.

It’s hard and you can’t not think about the things in life that a barely over 30-year-old misses when their life is cut short.

But when I think of my friend Rachel, who had a several-year battle with a brain tumor, I think of how much she lived in her time on earth.

I remember first meeting her and wanting to be her friend because she was so confident in herself and fun.

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