Hi everyone,

I know it’s been a loooooong time since I’ve posted anything.  And I’m sorry to say that I haven’t been working on any huge exciting projects during my time off.  However, I have made a big decision:  in the next month or so, foodplusthoughts will be doing one of two things– moving or receiving a giant makeover.  (In the case of moving, I will post the new link here).

Why?  Recently, I’ve been changing up my diet.  When I first started this blog, the goal was to eat healthier, and I’ve accomplished that fairly well.  Even more recently, though, I’ve started to delve into the world of vegetarian and vegan cooking/ baking.  It’s a huge step, I think, but it’s one that I want to share.  This blog is one I haven’t taken wonderfully good care of (I’m sorry!), and I want to look at this possible move as a fresh start.  There are posts and pictures on here that I’m definitely not proud of, and the poetry section of this blog has become mostly irrelevant, as I no longer need it for class.  Thanks for bearing with me!  I’m looking forward to my food blog future :)



If I were forced to be without you, dear,

I would remember you with love so strong

that I would swear that I could feel you here,

my heart o’erflowing with lamenting song.


I’d sing to you of everything we shared:

the lasting joys and smiles within my heart,

the feelings that could never be compared,

the pain that comes to me when we’re apart.


Your ghostly presence ever in my life

would make me miss you more and more each day.

The gentle love we had t’would be a knife;

My grief would lead me very far astray.


But, darling, you are here with me tonight.

‘Tis how I know that all the world is right.

Classic Apple Pie

Apple pie is a serious show-stopper, no?

Simple, classic, beautiful, tasty.  Yum.

I use the crust from my apple frangipane tart, just doubled.
The filling is easy, too.  Five- six sliced apples (peeled, of course), 2/3 c. sugar (half brown, if desired), 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, and 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, all mixed up.

Filling goes in crust, gets dotted with butter, and baked at 425 for about forty minutes, until the crust is nice and lightly browned.

Voila.  It’s as easy as pie.

Pumpkin Chipperdoodles

Pumpkin+chocolate chips+snickerdoodles= pumpkin chipperdoodles!

These are my favorite cookies of all time.  They’re so good when they’re fresh out of the oven– gooey chocolate chips in a soft, soft cookie.  It’s pure cookie bliss.

makes about 4 dozen
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tarter
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. pumpkin puree (or increase butter to one cup)
1 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 package chocolate chips
2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat the butter and 1 1/4 c. sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Beat in pumpkin.  Beat in flour mixture until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Combine the remaining 2 T sugar and the cinnamon.  Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mix.  Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Flatten the balls slightly with the bottom of a glass.  Bake 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.


Sorry for my not-blogging for a time.  To be honest, I’ve been short on free time, and often, I’m more interested in eating at dinner than in photographing my food.  But I do have plenty of new recipes stored up– which I will be sharing shortly!

Hope you enjoy the cookies :)


I’m loving Vegetarian Week so far! 

These days, there are yummy veggies available at all times of the year.  And this ratatouille just begs for them to be sampled!  It’s a simple, delicious recipe that is almost magical: there are no seasonings aside from salt and pepper, but the end result is so incredibly flavorful that it’s truly astounding.
It’s also very beautiful, with the pure colors of the vegetables.  Throughout the seasons, the colors change as the veggies change.

Use your favorite vegetables, and it’s bound to be an utterly pleasing dish.

Winter Ratatouille
Chopped vegetables, to make 4-5 cups–  I used sweet potato, red and yellow onion, green pepper, green onion, tomatoes, and carrots.  Some other ideas: leeks, parsnips, potatoes, eggplant, red/ orange bell peppers, shallots….
4-5 cloves garlic
sprigs rosemary
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 c. tomato sauce
Toss the veggies, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper together.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, until the hardest vegetables are soft and lightly browned.
Transfer to a saucepan and add the tomato sauce.  Simmer for several minutes until hot.
Serve over pasta or polenta, if desired, and garnish with basil.

Balsamic-marinated Pan-seared Portobello Mushrooms

These mushrooms are what I would refer to as a masterpiece.  The flavors and textures are magnificent, and it smells SO GOOD!

I used to hate mushrooms; I avoided them like they had catching diseases.  But for Vegetarian Week, I wanted to give portobellos a fair try.

And I’m sure glad that I did!

Pan-Seared Portobello Mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/8 cup basil, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
1.5 teaspoons pepper
2 portobello mushrooms
Combine all ingredients but mushrooms to form a marinade.  Pour marinade over mushrooms, stem-side up, and let sit for 30 minutes.  Spoon marinade over mushrooms from time to time.
Transfer mushrooms and marinaded to a medium-hot pan.  Sear for a minute or two; flip, and cook for five minutes.  Flip again and cook until done, about another 5-10 minutes until the mushroom flesh is softer and darker.  Spoon marinade over mushrooms as they cook
Slice and serve with rice or couscous. 

Balsamic Reduction
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
2-3 tbsp. brown sugar
Heat vinegar to boiling.  Add sugar to taste (depending on your sweet tooth and the sweetness of your baslamic) and reduce the mixture by half.  Use immediately.

Makes a great sauce for the mushrooms and couscous.

Vegetable Soup in a Bread Bowl

For night #2 of Vegetarian Week, we had a tomato veggie soup in a bread bowl.   I baked the bread in little ramekins to prevent any potential messes from happening!

I’m not providing a recipe on this one, ’cause it’s so easy: just make your favorite soup, and bake your favorite bread in a round shape.  Cut a bit off the top, hollow out the middle like a pumpkin, ladle in the soup, and that’s all there is! 

I like to save the innards from the bread bowl for making breadcrumbs later.

Yum yum!!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: