1) I’ve been doing some cleaning up of my Pinterest boards so if things look a little different, it’s because I’d rather do spring cleaning there than in my own house.Pinterest Cleanup

2) Remember that running updates won’t show up on my homepage (or on email updates or RSS feeds) so if you are interested in the details of the upcoming half-marathon (including fun meet-up details, training updates, and motivating stories), those gems are all right here on the running page. For someone who hadn’t run more than a mile in almost 10 years, these last seven weeks have been incredible (and kind of painful, let’s be serious). I just hit a milestone of five miles and am wondering who I am and how I got here.

3) For all of you subscribed to my email list, I apologize if you received the Carrot Cream Cheese Swirl Bundt Cake email update twice. There was a small glitch this week and as awesome as it is to see carrot cake in your inbox two days in a row, no one likes repeats. So, sorry about that.

4) On Instagram last week I posted a pic of the mini cream puffs I made in my much-loved 48-cup mini muffin tin. It’s monstrous, fits in a standard-sized oven, and makes me very happy. I bought mine at Target during the holiday season but many of you reported it’s no longer there. I did some searching online and thought I’d report that Bed, Bath and Beyond (no affiliation) has the exact same one. Just in case you feel like you need one in your life.
Crazy Big Wilton Mini Muffin Tin

5) I’ve been wanting to share with you a few blogs that I’m really loving. Most of these (not all) are pretty new blogs. None of them asked me to post about their site (in fact, some of them probably don’t even know who I am) but with the crazy number of blogs starting every day, sometimes the good ones need a little notice. I don’t usually share until I’ve actually made a recipe or utilized a useful tip from a website. These blogs are no exception.

The Merchant Baker – I’ve made her Triple Peanut Butter Blondies (don’t worry, there’s chocolate in them, too) and Sausage Lentil Soup (I used chicken sausage; so hearty and delicious!); Ramona definitely knows her food and has some fabulous recipes.

Debs Faves – if you are looking for tried-and-true favorites, this new blog is one to watch. Deb, mother of seven-almost-eight, knows her stuff when it comes to tips, tricks, tools, toys that work for families (big or small). She wants to share her favorites with the world (and I, for one, have already benefitted from a few of her ideas like the best whole wheat lasagna noodles tip and baking hard-boiled eggs for a foolproof method).

A Baker’s Wife – I think I’ve mentioned Lisa’s site before but I will again because I love it. She’s down to earth and her food is amazing. I’ve made this Fresh Peach Tart and about died – it was so amazing. Plus these Quinoa Power Waffles are life changing.

Leesh & Lu’s Recipe Box – these two sisters are adorable and pump out some yummy recipes. Just last week I made their genius baked breakfast taquitos and we inhaled them (I used cream cheese instead of sour cream and omitted the green chiles).

Good Dinner Mom – I’ve posted about Sally’s site before but I continue to adore her and her recipes. I make her food all the time (and have even posted about a few of hers: Cranberry Fluff Salad, Big Fat Greek Tacos and a few others). I’ve made countless other recipes from her site and I think if I had to choose one person to cook for me for the rest of my life, it would be Sally (she hasn’t agreed to this yet). We had these BBQ Cauliflower Chickpea tacos last month…and wow.

Bake.Eat.Repeat. – this cute blog is more than just baking – it’s filled with really yummy mostly-from-scratch recipes that are right in line with how my family eats. We loved the Slow Cooker Taco Soup (super simple and yummy) and these browned butter mini peanut butter chocolate cup cookie things were insane (in a good way).

6) I love being part of the Cabot Cheese Board (I don’t have to do much other than eat the cheese they send me – it’s a pretty sweet deal). Recently, I received a preview copy of the new cookbook they have coming out and seriously, I literally read it like a novel (I’m not obligated or paid to say anything about the cookbook; I just ended up loving it very, very much). Not only are the recipes fantastic (I made several including the cheesy cauliflower nuggets – yum!) but the stories of the farmers who are part of the Cabot Creamery are absolutely fascinating. I seriously wanted to find a dairy farm somewhere in Vermont and move there next week but my fear of cows made me reconsider. The Cabot team is offering a pretty sweet sweepstakes: you can enter to win a copy of their cookbook and a one-year supply of cheese (hello, is that like a lifelong dream come true or what?).


And I think that’s it for super random post of the year. Tomorrow, it’s all about decadent double chocolate egg-free cookies which obviously means tomorrow can’t come soon enough.

41 Responses to A Bit of Housekeeping + Some Things You Should Know

  1. Liz says:

    LOVE this random post and especially the blog links. I find good recipes here and there but nothing like “Mel’s Kitchen Café” and sorry to sound goupy so early in the morning, but there is just a wonderful feeling of friendship and love that emanates from your posts, recipes and comments. Long way to say that I look forward to getting to know THESE food bloggers that you recommend – already looked at the baked breakfast taquitos which are right up my alley!

    Thanks, Mel!

  2. Katie says:

    Hi Mel,
    Thanks for these great links.
    I love how you’re sharing!
    Thanks for your great blog.

  3. janet says:

    just to let you know my protection says that Good Dinner Mom is a bad website just thought you might want to let her know

    • Mel says:

      Not sure why that was happening, Janet – I visit Good Dinner Mom all the time without issues and I just double checked the link in my post so hopefully it’s all worked out now. Thanks for mentioning it though.

  4. Mel! Thanks so much for the nice words about Good Dinner Mom (I don’t know why Janet got that message about my site being “bad”, lol. My web-designer was working on things last night and might have had a momentary glitch).
    You are my inspiration and I LOVE your recipes, as I’ve shared some of yours as well and continue to find new meals to make from Mel’s ;). In fact, when I need a sure fire hit, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe is where I go first.
    It would be an honor and a blast to cook for you “for the rest of your life”! I’ll get working on Dave to see about moving closer so we can make that happen. I love you. <3

  5. Jackie says:

    Not that this has anything to do with today’s post, but a while ago, I think at Christmas time you posted that your boys like to play a game called Fasttrack (that was you, right, so sorry if it wasn’t). Anyway, do you think it would be a good game to play it in the car, for instance on like on a 15 hr road trip?

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm, good question, Jackie – I think it has potential but the little discs that you flip across the board could potentially fly off (there’s a lip around the edge of the board so they mostly stay on) but if two kids were sitting next to each other, I think it could work. Good luck on the 15 hour road trip (not my idea of fun but we know how those long ones go).

      • Sound Beacher says:

        I just bought that game and the Sleeping Queen game to bring on a vacation where we were with a family of 3 boys ages 9,7 & 5. They loved both games. Fastrack is a little noisy with the clicking, could be annoying to the driver but the laughes and shouting do get really loud. The Sleeping Queen was the BIG Hit, the boys played it morning noon & night – in between skiing. They asked if they could take it home –of course it was a gift for them!! I found them both form your gift tips at the Holidays and my local toy store had them in stock. Big success thanks to you Mel!!

  6. Mary says:

    I looked at Deb’s blog but I only see a handful of posts (nothing under favorites or parenting, and maybe 2 posts under the other headings). Am I missing something? I don’t understand why it’s one of your favorites when it seems brand new.

    • Mary says:

      Oops – disregard that comment. I missed the paragraph where it says they are all new. I thought you were posting some of your all time favorites.

      • Mel says:

        Yep, you’re right, Mary – several of these blogs are just barely building content. I remember being a brand newbie blogger (over 8 years ago) and my blog looks and feels vastly different now than it did then so even though some of these blogs might go through changes and adding posts over the next little while, the content is pretty solid. :)

  7. Zena says:

    Mel, I love your site and read your emails everyday! Do you think that the mini muffin pan would work to make mini popovers? I will run out and buy one if you think popovers would work in that pan. Thanks. Zena

  8. Mel, thank you SO much for saying such nice things about my blog! This seriously made my day! I love your blog, it’s one of the first ones I ever read, and I think the only one I’ve kept reading without fail for years – it’s my absolute favourite. I want to make every recipe you post! If only there was more time… :) Thank you!!

  9. Pam says:

    Hi Mel! I am a LONG-TIME HUGE fan of your blog…Hands down my FAVORITE cooking blog out there!! I rarely comment but wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post – love hearing all of your ideas and I wanted to give a shout-out for debsfaves.com – this is saved in my favorites and I can’t wait to hear all of her up-and-coming tips! :) Oh and PS – your Shrimp Mango wraps? AAH-MAZING!

  10. Mel! Wow! Thank you for all the kind words! It really means a lot because I’ve been following you for a long time and love, love, LOVE your recipes! I’m honored that you’ve tried some of mine and deeply appreciate your generosity in sharing my site with your readers. (P.S. You’re clearly bigger than Kim Kardashian because I think you broke my site today lol!)

  11. Teresa says:

    Mel, thanks for clarifying for me about the running updates and where they are found. I guess I missed that clarification earlier. Love this post. Can’t wait to check out the other blogs–but nothing will compare to yours! Have a great day.

    • Mel says:

      Hey Teresa! I got your email late last night about not getting the updates – sorry I didn’t respond yet but glad you saw the note about the running updates! Thanks for being so loyal and awesome after all these years. :)

  12. Thanks for the shout out, Mel!! As you know, we love love LOVE your blog and all the amazing recipes you share. You are an inspiration for sure! Thanks for never leading us astray and always giving us stellar recipes to make and talk about. With as much as we talk about your blog and recipes I feel like we know you in real life!

  13. Jen T says:

    Great stuff! Thanks Mel! You are the best to share with us what you love. Thanks so much!

  14. Lindsay Lu says:

    Mel, you seriously made our day! I got your post emailed and it was the first thing I read this morning. Leesh and I love your blog. We made and devoured your Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup last night at my house. We always know your stuff will be good. I actually posted on our blog FB yesterday that you are my go-to lady for pretty much any recipe! It’s true! And I really want to get my hands on one of those mini muffin trays. Mine holds 12….so I hardly ever use it! I’m super excited to follow these other blogs you recommended. I’ve seen Good Dinner Mom but hadn’t heard of the others, I know a recommendation from you is a good one. Thanks again for the shout out! Xo

  15. Cyndi B says:

    Hey Mel I have also recently discovered The Merchant Baker and next to your site it is my new favorite. The absolute best thing I have ever made ever is the orange olive oil cake from The Merchant Baker. It is amazing!! Hope you try it

  16. Deborah says:

    Thanks Mel for the great comments about my blog. It is in the beginning stages but I am so excited for where I want to take it. I am so glad you like it (that’s a huge compliment to me) and thanks for telling others about it, hopefully it will become one of their FAVORITES. Your blog is amazing I have LOVED it for years. My favorite go to girl for cooking.

  17. Moe Young says:

    I love everything about you, Mel … Your ability, your recipes, your humour and your family … Just one teensie recommendation regarding that Wilton baking pan … They are made in China … Nordicware has a 24 cup made in USA pan that makes me feel better about baking … They are difficult to come by here in Canada but can now be purchased online as well as at Bed Bath and Beyond … I worry about foreign made bakeware and just want to run that by you … Keep up the amazing work!

  18. What a fun – and totally informative – post! Thanks so much for the shout out about the Cabot Cookbook and contest (say that three times fast!). The cookbook represents Cabot’s dedicated and hard-working farm family owners and is full of #farmlove. And really, who wouldn’t want to win a year’s worth of cheese?

  19. Anne says:

    how did you make the cute mini cream puffs ?

    • Mel says:

      I baked them in the mini muffin tin (I’ll be posting the recipe soon but it’s a slight adaptation of the one on gooddinnermom.com).

  20. Sheila says:

    Liz beautifully commented. Not only do you share your domestic skill and talent with us through cooking, but you also share your heart. We get great recipes, friendship, laughter, time consuming tips, great ideas and close off your site with the warmth of experiencing your love and goodness for others through your writing. I have started many days with a smile and an encouraged heart from visiting with you on your site. You are so much more than just a cooking blog. Thank you.

  21. Hillary Collette says:

    You truly are a blessing- my computer practically knows to go straight to your page when I sit down knowing I’ve come to make your recipes again and again… And again. Tried three new to us recipes this week and fell in love. I can just count on you 😉 thank you for all you efforts- I know it must be crazy wild with being a mom. fun too seeing our cousin debs site listed- she is just wonderful and we love her sweet family. Thank you thank you!

  22. Cami says:

    Where is the recipe for the mini cream puffs?

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t posted it yet but will be doing so soon. It’s a variation of Good Dinner Mom’s cream puff recipe if you want to take a look at hers.

  23. AnneOpinion says:

    Mel- I just wanted to say that you rock! You are the only “big” blogger to acknowledge when I reviewed one of your recipes and that meant a lot to me. I love seeing you give a shout out to other blogs in this post and I’m excited to find new ones I can check out. btw- I made your Chicken Pillows and took them to a friend last week and she can’t stop raving about them, and neither can I. So good! Thanks for all the great tips and recipes!!!

  24. Carrie says:

    Thanks for all your work. I know I can always count on your recipes. I appreciate you not sharing random recipes “this looks good!” like other food bloggers do and have never even tried it!

  25. Merle says:

    These support pillows improve posture as well as the spinal column. Use a reliable web directory like SaleHoo in locating them.
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