Category Archives: General Musings


I’ve Moved!

Sharing recipes here at HFWE has been a great time, but now it’s time to move on to the next phase of my online life.  I’ve started, a blog centered around food stories instead of recipes, though there will occasionally be some of those too.  I hope you join me to share in my experiences!  HFWE will stay up as an archive, and you can always access my Evernote recipe book from both sites.  See you on the other side!


Organize Your Kitchen With Evernote [LIVE Event]

You know what I’m excited about this week?  Goat cheese, for one, because I am always excited about goat cheese.  Also, cookie swaps, the Psych musical episode, and particularly, this coming Wednesday, on which I will be having an awesome live Hangout event with the utterly delightful Brandie Kajino, a fellow Evernote Ambassador (for Organization!) and food blogger.

We’re going to be talking about tips for using Evernote to organize your kitchen, a particularly useful topic during the hectic mess that is the holiday season.  You’ll get tips, you’ll get questions answered, you’ll get as witty banter as we can muster mid-week, and world peace will abound.  Maybe not that last part, but we’ll do our best.


You can participate by going to Brandie’s blog, Spoon and Saucer (and if you haven’t been there before, immediately bookmark and/or subscribe, you won’t regret it) and hanging out with us there Wednesday night.  Those of you that can’t make it, don’t despair–it’ll be recorded and available after.

If you have a question (and I hope you do!), you can post them in advance on Brandie’s blog post about the event, or on this one.

The details are:

What: “Organize Your Kitchen With Evernote”
Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Time: 5:30pm Pacific / 8:30pm Eastern
Where: Spoon and Saucer blog
Who: Me + Brandie Kajino

Oh, and since it’ll be a Wednesday, I think we should make it extra special and celebrate Champagne Wednesday at the same time with one of my favorite champagne cocktails: the Horn of Plenty.

And the winner of the Mushroom Madness gift card give away is…


Heather Dawn!!

Heather is the randomly selected winner of our gift-card giveaway.  She’s the lucky recipient of a $75 Whole Foods Gift Card.  Heather loves to eat mushrooms on pizza and she’ll be able to buy a lot of mushrooms with her prize.  Congratulations, Heather!

Thank you to everyone that participated in the giveaway.  Hopefully there will be more coming in the near future.  It was great for me personally to see how many people love mushrooms and what they like to do with them.  Some of my favorite ideas from readers are below:



Pizza, mmm

Savory soups

And more

Mushroom Mania & a $75 Whole Foods Gift Card Give-Away

It was fortuitous luck, really.  I was wandering through the cornucopia of brightly colored produce at Whole Foods this past weekend, and a large display of little orange beauties caught my eye: satsumas.  It reminded me of the citrus challenge we did this time last year, where we sat down with a crate of satsumas and clementines and figured out what to do with them.  My first recollection of that experiment was the incredible Satsuma Delight (because OMG!) but then I remembered the fresh satsuma cheese plate and the delicious clementine-scented, parchment-baked mushrooms.  I started craving mushrooms.

It was fortuitous, because Whole Foods was kind enough to offer me another challenge this winter: mushrooms.  (Badgers everywhere, rejoice!) Super Mario himself could not be so lucky.  I’ve put my head to it and I’ve got a list of mushroom dishes that I can’t wait to share with you.  They’ll be popping up all over the blog over the next week (mushroom joke!).

To celebrate the fabulous fungi, I’m also doing a gift-card giveaway!  ONE lucky random winner will receive a $75 Whole Foods gift card, courtesy of Whole Foods Market.  The contest will be open until 12am ET on Monday, Dec 2nd.  The winner will be announced shortly after.


$75 Whole Foods Gift Card Giveaway

What do you have to do to enter?  It’s easy.  You can do one or more of the following (and each one gives you more chances to win):

  • Leave a comment on this blog post telling me about your favorite way to eat mushrooms
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Tweet about your favorite way to make mushrooms (don’t forget to tag @chickenmeatball!)
  • Tweet about the giveaway
  • Become a fan of Have Fork, Will Eat on Facebook
  • Leave a Facebook post or comment about your favorite mushroom dishes
  • Share your favorite mushroom meals on Google+ and tag me in it

Important! Use the widget below to enter the give-away and keep track of your chances.  Good luck—and good eating!
Enter the Mushroom Mania $75 Whole Foods Gift Card Giveaway

Black Turnips!

I don’t really have a post, I just wanted to share these beauties that I found at a local grocery store.


No, seriously, apple syrup is a thing

I first wrote about apple syrup a couple years ago.  I just wanted to remind you all that seriously, this stuff is legit.  You should make some while you can still find unpasteurized cider in the store.

I do love living in Michigan for a number of reasons, but the apple harvest is definitely in the top ten.  Josh purchased 15 gallons of freshly pressed cider to make hard cider.  I had him pick up a couple extra gallons for me to make syrup.  We got a cran-apple blend, and a semisweet blend.

The first syrup I’ve made this week used the cran-apple blend plus a couple of Tahitian vanilla beans and 40 minutes later, the result was a gorgeously amber-colored syrupy explosion of flavor.  We actually drank a little from a cocktail glass; it’s that fancy.

I think that next will be a cinnamon-heavy blend for my french toast (yum).  But seriously, go forth and make yourselves some yum.

Basic apple syrup recipe


Site You Need: The Cocktail Guide

You know, it’s not easy coming up with a new cocktail every single week.  It takes a lot of research and imagination…and a strong desire to experiment with as many different combinations of liquor and flavorants as possible.  That’s hard work.  That’s thirsty work.

So thirsty.

But thankfully, we have an ally in the search for more, better cocktails.  The newest one is a fabulous new site called The Cocktail Guide.  What I love about this site is that not only can you find cocktail recipes to try out, but also what occasion a cocktail is good for,  how long it takes to make, even what kind of glass to serve it in (cause I always wonder).  You can see a visual ratio of the elements in the glass, images of the cocktail and you can even submit your own fancy cocktail photography via instagram (and other methods of uploading pics are coming soon).  Find a recipe you like?  Save it to your Pinterest account, tweet it (there are champagne cocktails too, #champagnewednesday fans!), or you Evernote-lovers can use the Evernote Web Clipper to grab it for your own recipe library.

Even this week’s Champagne Wednesday cocktail came from perusing The Cocktail Guide.

So check it out and bottom’s up: The Cocktail Guide


Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Nuts, and Making the Meals the Universe Wants You To Make

I blame Emily Dingmann.  A day after looking through this interesting Learnist board she’d created on fancy nut butters, my husband brought home, completely on his own, a jar of spicy peanut butter.  Today, I had nothing in the house to make a real dinner with except a package of chicken, some butter lettuce, bell pepper and….that jar of spicy peanut butter.  Clearly, the universe was compelling me to make peanut chicken wraps.  Clearly.

Sadly, I don’t have an actual recipe to share with you.  I can tell you that I heated canola oil and a tablespoon of Chinese 5-spice powder in a pan and then fried died chicken in it, added half a diced onion and one diced bell pepper, and a couple chopped leaves of basil.  Then I added a big scoop of spicy peanut butter, thinned it out a bit with chicken stock until it coated the chicken mixture without being too runny, and served it in lettuce cups with chopped peanuts and some chives from my garden.  That was about it.

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Despite what this blog and my Evernote recipe notebook might lead you to believe, most of my cooking doesn’t involve recipes at all.  It just involves me saying, “Hm, what should I eat?”, perusing the refrigerator and cupboards, finding a few ingredients and thinking, “Yeah that seems good” and just sort of throwing things together.  I never think much of it; chances are you do the same thing.  But I do often get questions and exclamations of wonderment from friends and acquaintances who aren’t as comfortable just throwing culinary paint at the wall, as it were.  “How do you know what to put together?  How do you know how much?  How do you know it’ll taste good?”

The answer is, I don’t always, except I sort of do, and it usually works out.  Part of it is knowing what individual ingredients taste like (raw and cooked), which comes with experience; part of it is being able to imagine how they’ll taste together, which comes with experimentation; and part of it is being confident in your instincts, which comes down to trusting yourself a little bit.

Maybe you’ve never considered trying a spicy peanut butter; maybe you’ve never thrown a scoop of peanut butter into a dish with chicken; maybe you’ve never imagined spreading peanut butter on a grilled cheese sandwich, but you should because it’s delicious.

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Unless you have a peanut allergy.  I mean, it’s delicious but it’s not worth anaphylactic shock.

I can’t really think of anything that is worth anaphylactic shock, off the top of my head.  Unless you’ve been in the desert for months without the slightest bit of chocolate and some desert mirage offers you an Almond Joy.  Then you eat that sucker.

No, seriously, don’t do that if you have a nut allergy.  I’m just kidding.

Anyway, for the rest of you, if the Universe gives you a nut, use it to make something delicious and new to you.  The Universe wants you to experiment.  It wants you to be happy.  It wants you to make delicious food.

Also, it thinks you should check out the following Learnist boards on peanuts and things you can do with them.

Also, it said you look really cute today, so kudos.


Join the Home Cooking Community on Google+

Home Cooking community on Google+

Are you a fan of Google+?  Or at least, G-curious?  They’ve finally unleashed a feature I’ve been wanting for a long time: joinable communities.  And of course, us foodies are flocking to them.  A bunch of great ones have just opened up.  The one I’m going to plug, though, is the Home Cooking Community–a great place for home cooks like us to share, chat and play.  Check it out!

Home Cooking Community on Google+

French 75

Champagne Wednesday: French 75

I’ve decided on the perfect description for this #champagnewednesday thing: “It’s like a tiny Christmas, covered in bubbles.”  I think that pretty adequately sums things up.

This week’s cocktail is called the “French 75″–a pretty potent blend of gin, lemon and sparkling wine.  We used Meyer lemon and cava in ours.  It was good, seriously potent, but I think I’d make a few swaps next time, namely that instead of lemon juice and powdered sugar, I’d make a lemon simple syrup.  Also, a bit of ginger.  I feel kind of ginger-y these days.

Continue reading

Amaretto Shortbread

M&M Amaretto Shortbread Cookies

m&m amaretto shortbread cookies in a boxThis is one of those weeks that just calls for tiny m&m cookies.  I don’t know what it was.  Maybe it’s excitement from my Skillshare class starting this week.  Maybe it’s end-of-the-year stress.  Maybe it was half a bag of tiny M&Ms sitting leftover on my counter and a half bottle of Amaretto out on the bar.  Who’s to say, really?

The point is, there are two things currently in my house that we should all strive to emulate. Continue reading

Lemon Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins

lemon cranberry cream cheese muffins-up closeYou like all of those words.  You like them individually.  You’ll also like them together.  You’ll want them to hang out more, maybe rent an apartment in New York together.  You’ll want them to have an insanely popular television show on TLC where you can follow along with their hopes, dreams, careers, personal relationships, good times and inevitable betrayals.  And you’ll cry at the reunion show, “Lemon Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins: The Next Batch” because no one thought that Cranberry would show up, but she will.  She will.

(This is why you shouldn’t write blog posts when you’re tired.) Continue reading

Creative Cooking: Design a Unique Recipe with Local Ingredients

Eating locally is not only good for your pocketbook and the economy, but it’s also good for your taste buds and it can help you explore your culinary creativity.  If you’re new to cooking or your local food scene, sometimes it can be daunting to get started.  That’s why I’ve teamed up with Skillshare to offer this FREE online course about how to craft a unique recipe entirely from local ingredients.

Over the 2 weeks of this class, we’ll cover how to learn more about foods raised in your area, source ingredients, create and modify a recipe and cook it. By the end of class, you will master a self-made, locally-sourced dish and gain skills, confidence and insights into your local food community.

And as a bonus, it will also help you learn about the ways you can use Evernote, the most phenomenal application ever made, to help you create a library of local food producers, craft your recipes and record your cooking experiments.  Pretty good for a simple two week course that costs exactly $0.

Note: This is not a class on “how” to cook, although you will get some great resources that will help you increase your skill.  This is a class that is meant to help you expand your connection with your local food scene and gain some experiencing in creating your own recipes from scratch.

[button link=”″ color=”#75c271″ size=”3″ style=”1″ dark=”0″ radius=”auto” target=”self”]Click here to sign up on Skillshare[/button]

Reese’s Cake

My friend Mac recently had a birthday.  His request?  A peanut butter cup cake.

Challenge accepted.

So I browsed through my collection of cake recipes and thought about my plan of attack.  I decided that what I wanted was a two layer chocolate cake with a layer of peanut butter frosting in the middle and a crown of tiny peanut butter cups on the top. Continue reading

Have a Stress-Free Holiday with Evernote

I know.  You’re stressed.  You’re frustrated.  You’re angry and doggone-it, you’re hungry.  The holidays are coming up and just the thought of all that planning and preparation and pie–ok, maybe not the pie–are making you fret.  Well stop biting those nails and tearing out that hair.  We are here to help.  By we, I mean Evernote and me.  We are here to help you survive the holidays.

That’s why Evernote has launched a full slate of events, tips and plans aimed at helping you navigate these busy, bustling times.  First up?  A test-run Holiday Potluck with yours truly!  (Me.  It’s me.) Continue reading

Goblet of fire pic

Learnist Love: Fall Cocktails

I’m assembling an awesome board of cocktails and concoctions to help get you through fall.  You can check it out on Learnist along with my other food & drink boards…and check back often because there are more scintillating sips to come.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Mousse

a glass cup of chocolate cheesecake mousseThis mousse won’t give you diabetes.  Seriously.  I can’t make this claim about much of my food (coughapplesyrupcough) but this mousse is actually sugar-free.  Free of regular sugar, anyway.  I’ve been experimenting with sugar substitutes and this recipe is one of my new favorites.  It’s also free of one other thing: effort.  If you can put things in a mixing bowl and blend them together, you can make this mousse.  It’s great for days when you’re low on time, or low on energy and want a creamy, chocolaty fix.  I’m feeling under the weather myself today, so this is my quick-fix pick-me-up.

Enjoy :)



Sugar-free Chocolate Cream Cheese Mousse

Yield: 4 servings


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Splenda (or similar sugar substitute)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream (hey, I didn't say this was lowfat)
  • (optional: dark chocolate shavings for garnish (may contain sugar))


  1. Cut the cream cheese into smaller chunks and put it into a mixing bowl with the Splenda and cocoa powder. Turn your mixer or beaters on medium and blend well. Drizzle in the whipping cream and continue to beat a few more minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until well incorporated. Serve immediately (with a chocolate shavings garnish if desired).


I ran the ingredients that I used through a nutritional calculator and it came out with approximately: 405 calories; 9g carbs; 41g fat; 6g protein; 2g fiber per serving. Again, that's an approximation and your mileage may vary.

a cup of chocolate cream cheese mousse