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Pic Me Up - 4.22
Brian and I had a lovely time visiting with my parents over the weekend. It was a true friend and family affair with all of the usual great food and great company. Here are the photos to prove it. A few notes:

Top left: Our flight to Denver was delayed by nearly three hours, meaning we didn’t get to my parents’ until 2 a.m. DC time. Given that setback, you’d think my mom would know better than to make us a full-fledged meal (especially when I told her not to), and yet she did exactly that, two lobsters too. Lobsters! Oh, mother.

We celebrated Rohini’s birthday at the Denver Rio on Saturday, so the timing of the trip couldn’t have been better. It was so great spending time with her, her boyfriend Matthew, and a handful of our favorite people including my dear friend Teesa (this blog’s number one fan). Love you, Teesa!

Bottom right: Outback’s $11.99 3-course meal deal is awesome and I mean that. I’m a lover of fine foods, but that doesn’t mean I’m above admitting that everyone’s favorite Australian-themed chain and its Bloomin’ Onion are out-of-control good. Run, don’t walk before the deal ends. The onion will cost you extra, but it’s worth it.

Happy hump day!

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Fortune Finds44
I hope this Tuesday finds you well. Here are this week’s desires and distractions. 

1. With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I’m in the market for gift ideas. I’m not sure these lovely photo items are a match for my own dear mother, but they’re too cute not to share. (Pinhole Press)
2. Disturbingly honest bad-date confessions. Thank goodness my dating days are behind me. Or so I hope. (BuzzFeed)
3. The 11 Types of Friends You Probably Have. So true. (Refinery29)
4. J.Crew’s french-phrase shirts get me every time. I want this one. (J.Crew)
5. There’s nothing I won’t eat, but that doesn’t mean everything agrees with me. It might be time for me to give this Elimination diet trend a try. (Wall Street Journal)
6. Speaking of which, I’m guilty of all six bad eating habits on this list, except maybe the yo-yo dieting one. Not because I’m better than that, but because my eating is so bad that I don’t even bother with the dieting. (Elle)
7. There are plenty of great movies coming out next month, but I think I’m most excited about this one, for obvious reasons. Food speaks to me. (YouTube)
8. As does this lamp. I think it might be time for a trip to Ikea, Swedish meatballs too. (Ikea)

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Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
After a wonderful weekend at home, it’s back to DC I go. But not without first sharing a recipe for Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.

These cookies are really, really good. Aren’t I eloquent? Candied bacon adds a great bit of oomph to the otherwise tired chocolate chip cookie. And that’s all I have to say on the subject.

Well, not really. There’s lots to say, but I’m keeping this post short and sweet to maximize as much parent time as possible. That World’s Toughest Job video really got to me (I’m talking straight up bawling at my desk at work). If you’ve seen it, you’ll understand why I’m skipping the long-winded recipe descriptions for a few more hugs with mom and dad. If you haven’t, you must. Just like you must must must try making these cookies yourself. Let’s get to it. 

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Baked Home Fries
It is with immense joy that I share today’s appropriately titled Fryday recipe from the comfort of my home sweet home in Aurora, Colorado. Brian and I are here for the long weekend, and it just so happens that my dearest Rohini is also making the trip home, And get this, it’s her birthday on Sunday, AND I’ll get to meet her boyfriend, because he’s coming too! I literally, and I mean literally, cannot contain my excitement right now.

So before I go jumping on Brian’s bed in the guest room, because yes, we sleep in separate rooms in the Yang house, let me share with you this great and stupidly easy recipe for oven-baked home fries. Thus completing recipe recap part 3 of 3 of our homemade Salmon Eggs Benedict and Bloody Marys brunch. There’s just so much to be happy about. TGIFryday.

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Recipe Reciprocity - Flourless Chocolate Cake

Recipe Reciprocity - Manischewitz Ice Cream

Recipe Reciprocity - Salted Caramel Macaroons

Recipe Reciprocity - Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crunch

Recipe Reciprocity - Matzo Ball Soup
Last week, I shared an Easter-themed recipe roundup. This week, we’re doing it bigger and better, and it’s all about the Jewish festival of Passover.

Keeping kosher for Passover (no bread, cake or anything that rises) can seriously cramp one’s dessert style, but I’m beginning to learn that there are plenty of great options out there, if you just know where to look and what to look for. This is me trying to do some of that work for you. 

1. Flourless chocolate cake has never really done it for me, and I think that has to do with the fact that there’s never much going on with the stuff. But would you look at that gorgeous Flourless Chocolate Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted CoconutLa Casa de Sweets is doing it big and doing it right.
2. Brian tells me Manishewitz kosher wine is bad and I should want nothing to do with it. I’m not convinced. As a non-drinker, it’s possible I might really like the stuff. Still, I’ve yet to give it a try, because I’ve never felt compelled to do so. All of that has changed with What Jew Wanna Eat’s Manischewitz Ice Cream. No more abstaining for me.
3. Macaroons have always been my go-to Passover dessert. I didn’t make any this year, because (1) I didn’t have the time, and (2) the thought of making them again didn’t excite me. I just about gasped when I saw Shutterbean’s Salted Caramel Macaroons. Caramel anything will do that to a person. 
4. More salted goodness with The Shiksa in the Kitchen’s Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crunch. Matzo can be bland, so I’m fully behind loading it up with chocolate, pistachios and sea salt. 
5. And while this isn’t a dessert, I had to had to share Emily’s Matzo Ball Soup recipe. She made it for the Seder we all went to on Monday night and it was incredible. It’s so flavorful and comforting, and best of all she uses a mix to help get things going. I’ve had her famous soup twice now and it was even better than I remembered. 

That’ll do it for this week’s hat tip to my fellow food bloggers. I’m going to go countdown the hours until my flight home. Thanks, ladies! 

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Bloody Mary Mix
Today is a happy day, because Thursday is my Friday (we get Good Friday off, I sure hope you do as well) and I get to fly home to Denver tonight. Brian’s coming too. So basically, the weekend is already here and I couldn’t be happier about it.

To really kick things off, I thought I’d share Part 2 of 3 from my homemade Salmon Eggs Benedict brunch. Nothing says weekend like brunch. Am I right? And nothing spices things up quite like bloody marys, emphasis on spicy. You’ve been warned.

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