At risk of sounding like a broken record…

…it really is time to start cooking agin.

I’m going to start small – no need to get too ambitious. Maybe one or two recipes to try this week. Nothing too crazy.

We’re in the home stretch of the quarter and everything is flying by. In some ways, I love the hustle and bustle. But part of me wants to dig my heels in and hold on for just a few more minutes.

Graduation is around the corner and while I’m sticking around to finish up a few classes for grad school, things are definitely about to change in a big way. It’s crazy how fast these four years have gone. Everyone told me it would feel this way but I never quite believed them. Well, they were most certainly right.

Change is always bittersweet. I’m so excited for all of the opportunities ahead of us. I’m also terrified of the uncertainty that this next phase will bring.

I want to soak it all in and enjoy these last few weeks (while still doing well in my classes), which means more meals out with friends and less time behind the stove.

However, cooking is one of the things that makes me feel like myself. Maybe, a few hours in the kitchen will help me to slow down and enjoy it all.

On the menu for this week:

1) Pasta salad

I’ve never been a huge pasta fan (bread is generally my carb of choice) but a big cold bowl of pasta salad sounds better and better as the temperature begins to flirt with the 90’s.

I like the sound of this no-recipe pasta salad from Food 52. It’s simple and looks like it would be delicious with some grilled veggies thrown in.

I also can’t get this roasted garlic, olive, and tomato pasta salad from The Kitchn out of my head. Like pasta, garlic has never really been something I love but when it is roasted and whisked into a gorgeous ricotta/yogurt sauce, I think I can handle it.

2) Something sweet to share

Chalk this one up to the pre-graduation mushiness. In my family, food has always been a way to express love. I really want to take the time to give something, however small, to the people that have helped make this place into a home.

I want something that I can easily shove into a backpack. No cupcakes, piled high with frosting. Still sweet, of course though. And different enough to be interesting.

Cookies are the obvious choice, but it can be hard to find a good cookie recipe. I’ve had too many cookies that don’t live up to expectations – they are too dry, too sweet, too plain – so I’ve learned to be picky when I’m choosing a recipe.

These almond linzer cookies with cherry jam by Oh Ladycakes remind me of my mother’s Christmas cookies.

And this spiked chocolate chip cookie from The Vanilla Bean Blog has just enough sass to keep things interesting.

I love crumb bars, like these strawberry rhubarb crisp bars from Smitten Kitchen. Her dating advice is spot on too.

I think my favorite might be Joy the Baker’s lemon raspberry pie crust hearts though. Told you I was getting sentimental.

Pasta salad and cookies. Two things. That’s all. I’ll be back with updates on how they turned out.



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