why i registered for china

Like many, I initially scoffed at the idea of registering for china. Why would I want people to spend over $100 on a single place setting? Who uses china in this day and age? Where am I going to put it? (hello tiny apartment) When would I ever use it?

It seemed over the top. It seemed old-school and old-fashioned. It seemed like a waste.

But then over a lunch in Chicago with my Mom and the Taster’s Sister, they totally convinced me. As in, in less than a few hours, my Mom and I were at Macy’s checking out the selection.

Lets back track a bit to how they convinced me.

They told me to look ahead 10-15 years…Easter at our house… {envisioning mini red-heads running around :) }

And I started to actually think about the future.. I recalled Easter at my parents house and I recalled eating off of china on a daily basis at home. Not that we were fancy but my Mom always used the china that she had – one set for every day – one set for special occasions. China also reminds me of my grandparents and although I was very young when my grandma passed away, if there’s an opportunity to feel close to her, I’ll take it.

There really is no sense in getting china if you aren’t ever going to use it, but I will use it and I’m excited to use it.

Unfortunately it seems that it is kind of a now or never decision as china isn’t really a thing you go out and buy 15 years down the line. My Mother explained it best with, “you’ll be paying for dance classes.”

So we registered for china, and while the Taster isn’t completely convinced, I have a feeling he’ll come around one of these days…especially if there’s a little red-head running around the table on Easter.

Thoughts on China: Have it? Love it? Never use it? Want it?

lemon thyme goat cheese spread

Creamy goat cheese. Tart lemon. Fresh thyme. Crusty bread.

Need I say more? I wanted to make a spread or dip with goat cheese for a get together and came across this recipe on epicurious.com. It sounded perfect, light, and can easily be made ahead of time. When recipes combine cheese and bread, I rarely need anymore convincing. ;)

Switch up the fresh herbs and serve with baguette slices, crostini or crackers.

Lemon Thyme Goat Cheese Spread - recipe inspiration from Bon Appétit

  • 6 oz goat cheese
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • baguette slices

Press goat cheese into a mound.

Season with thyme, salt and pepper and press seasonings into cheese.

Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil.

Pour lemon juice mixture over goat cheese mound.

Serve with slices baguette, fresh or toasted.

*You can also mix lemon juice mixture and goat cheese all together if making ahead of time.

Best served with wine and good friends.



review: go picnic

I first saw the Go Picnic products at Expo West this Spring and with life about to get even more hectic, I thought they would be the perfect thing to try out. I wasn’t sure how I would do with little “snacks” but thought it would be easy enough to add an easy salad for a well-rounded meal.

The little package of food is adorable, don’t you think?


  • Vegan, Gluten Free, All Natural
  • “Grown up” flavors – hummus and crackers, dark chocolate, edamame, etc.
  • Doesn’t require any refrigeration
  • Hummus! I am super picky about hummus (I prefer my own) and I wasn’t really expecting to like it but I was pleasantly surprised!
  • Convenience factor – obviously!


  • There was less packaging – BUT getting take out typically still has more and using plastic baggies for everything in your lunch is essentially the same thing
  • It is great for snackers, but doesn’t necessarily feel like a real meal
  • There were more crackers. :)

They also have a few different varieties – salami + cheese, tuna + crackers, peanut butter + crackers, etc. that I’m tempted to try out next. I haven’t seen these in stores, but I ordered them online from amazon – super easy and delivered right to my door, along with a few books. :)

easy chicken curry

All it took was a trip to Dancing Ganesha and I had a full-on obsession with Indian food again. I came home from dinner and couldn’t stop telling the Taster how good my meal was. “The butter chicken was ridiculous! Paneer so creamy! Naan filled with goat cheese and raisins!” I was kind of ignored, the Taster doesn’t get as excited about Indian food as I do. :)

So I vowed to make an Indian meal that would have him as in love with the cuisine as I. Up until now, I’ve been admittedly afraid of Indian cooking and I have no idea why.

So I started simple – I would make a Chicken Curry and I’d leave the rest up to Trader Joe’s. The chicken curry would have been plenty, but I wanted an Indian feast! Paleek Paneer, Chana Masala, Garlic Naan and rice would round out the meal. The chicken curry filled the kitchen with it’s intoxicating aroma and we were hooked. Unfortunately Trader Joe’s couldn’t live up to my home-made version (the exception being the naan) so I’ll just have to start expanding my Indian food repertoire.

Chicken Curry - 4 servings

  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp each ground coriander and hot curry (madras style)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger (I used jarred)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 lb chicken breast (about 3 large chicken breasts)
  • salt

Heat oil in large casserole pan.

Add coriander, garam masala and hot curry. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add onions, garlic and ginger to spice mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomato sauce and tumeric. Cook for about 3 minutes.

Cut chicken into 1-2 inch pieces and season with salt. Add to mixture.

Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked. (I let mine simmer for about an hour and also removed the cover to let it thicken up)

* the original recipe called for a longer list of spices, but I took the liberty of using garam masala instead as it is made of most of the spices listed in the original recipe

By the way, the Taster is officially an Indian food fan. :)

I can’t wait to explore the world of Indian Food cooking! Any recipes, cookbooks, dishes that you recommend?