i’m back! + chocolate almond milkshakes

IMG_5261Wow… I kind of fell off the blogging bandwagon for a while, didn’t I? I didn’t mean to do it. Life just kind of happened and suddenly I found myself at home for two months, where I happily soaked up every single minute spent in the places I love with people I love.

While away, I…

participated in the August Break photography challenge.
met a blogger friend in real life for the first time. (Check out her gorgeous new blog!)
hiked in Yosemite.
spent quite a few random days in the city.
shot senior photos for the first time.
tried to slow down and be aware of little details.

The blog break was simply a bi-product of so many lunches out (or hurried lunches in) and dinners out or at houses of friends, etc. It was nice. I don’t feel guilty. This little space has always been a natural reflection of my daily life through food, and I hope to keep it that way. Clearly, what it’s been reflecting recently is that I’ve been away, resting and recharging. (Kind of like when my phone battery gets really really low in the middle of the day and I have to go plug it in on the desk and go without it for a while.) I’m back now though, ready to go, and excited about the next few months and what they’ll bring. Continue reading

peach pancakes

peach pancakes | the thoughtful plateLife is so full right now, I’ve hardly had the time (or the need) to cook anything, let alone photograph and write. I hate that I’m not blogging as often as I would like, but when I’m at college group on a Thursday night or having a spontaneous afternoon yogurt with my best friend on her lunch break or swimming with my cousins at my grandma’s house, I’m just so thankful for this beautiful season and time I get to spend with the people I love. I hope you understand. Continue reading

watermelon lemonade

IMG_5103-5Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth like that last week! I didn’t really… I was just traveling halfway across the country all weekend. My computer stayed stowed away in my backpack for three days while my brother and I took turns driving the almost 2000-mile route. When I wasn’t behind the wheel, I was either sleeping or endlessly scanning the radio for decent music (a lesson in futility). Anyways, I’m so glad to be here, and over the next few days I’ll be easing back in to school and blogging with the welcome additions of friends and swimming :) Now onto the reason we are all gathered here: watermelon lemonade! Continue reading

cherry limeade

cherry limeade | the thoughtful plateThe afternoon mood just naturally lends itself to sipping on something. In the winter, hot chocolate, cinnamon coffee, or hot tea do nicely. In the warmer months however, it needs to be something bright to (hopefully) match the sky. Continue reading

hazelnut butter ice cream with cacao nibs

hazelnut ice cream with cacao nibs | the thoughtful plateIce cream again! I hope you’re not getting tired of it because

a) ice cream is the best.
b) it’s only July (which also happens to be National Ice Cream Month).
c) I’m not tired of it.
d) next Monday is National Ice Cream Day. Continue reading

shrimp and grits

shrimp & grits | the thoughtful plate One of my favorite stories to hear my dad or my grammy tell, usually after dinner when we’re all gathered around the table, is about the way my grandad approached cooking. Continue reading

cherry pie bars

IMG_4533-6I have two different approaches when it comes to composing blog posts.

Sometimes, I write the body text first. Words come, I type them, and it feels really good. When that happens, all that’s left are the parts that come easiest to me: recipe + photos. Blogging is fun when this happens.

Other times, I write the recipe first. Then I go fiddle with the photo editing. All the while, my mind is turning. Words, where are you?? Continue reading

banana ice cream

banana ice cream | the thoughtful plateI’ve talked about my love for Bi-Rite ice cream many times before, whether in person or online (see: here and here). This love is partially based on appreciation of quality ingredients, on friendly employees, on location, and majorly based on roasted banana ice cream. This love even compelled me to create a Yelp account- I don’t know… I just needed to give it 5 stars somehow, and Yelp seemed like the best way. (I haven’t written another review since.)

I realize that Bi-Rite is most famous for their salted caramel ice cream, but- BANANA. Unless you have a serious aversion to the fruit, you should be eating this. Continue reading

broccoli cream pesto pasta

broccoli cream pesto pasta | the thoughtful plateSaturday was another rare dinner for one night. My family went to a rodeo, but I decided I’d rather stay in and make this pasta. I’d been itching for a chance to photograph it, and the opportunity presented itself.

In the kitchen, I opened up Pandora on my phone and turned on one of my jazz stations. (This is always a given when I’m cooking alone.) Lovely sounds floated off the top of the refrigerator while I boiled pasta and sautéed onions and garlic and broccoli. Oh, the smell. Continue reading

quick iced coffee + raw sugar simple syrup

 Happy Saturday! I’m popping in with a super quick post about my iced coffee method before I head into the kitchen to make some ice cream :)

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Too often iced coffee ends up tasting old and flat. I haven’t studied the science behind this; I just know that I like my coffee (hot or iced) to taste fresh. (I got this from my dad.)

I’ve tried the cold brew method once before, but it takes soooooo long. And when I decide I want iced coffee, I usually would prefer to be drinking it within ten minutes and not the next afternoon. Continue reading