this site has moved!

Hi friends! Just a heads up: I will no longer be posting here at The Thoughtful Plate. The site will remain accessible (though its URL will be reverting back to soon), so you can come browse the archives or search specific recipes at any time.

Leaving this space is bittersweet, as it was my first home on the internet. But I’m so excited to be able to direct you to my new site now! In the future I will be posting recipes at Head on over and check it out! A completely redesigned website awaits you there :)


P.S. If you currently follow The Thoughtful Plate on Bloglovin’, I’m doing my best to get the URLs transferred so that you don’t have to do anything. Fingers crossed that the transition goes smoothly!

brownies from a box (or, life lately)

 A lot can happen in a day. A lot can happen in a week. In a month. In a year. As of late, those sentences have been proven especially accurate in my life.

Despite my curiosity about the future, I think it’s a good thing that I can’t know too far in advance what’s going to happen in life before it happens. A friend recently said, “Sometimes forgetting the future is the only way to really live in the present,” and in a way, knowledge of any event in the future, good or bad, mostly just steals from the present through either anticipation or dread.

Four years ago, I had no idea that within the year my family would decide to move away the town and state I’d always called home. I had no idea how many changes that move would bring. Trying to adjust to an unfamiliar environment, visiting new churches, making a few new friends, celebrating birthdays and holidays differently, taking trips home every year (mostly spontaneous ones), etc.

This April, when we made the drive halfway across the United States once again, I could not have known that this would be the one that, for me, would not end with a return trip. (Which is the reason I decided not to pack my microplane and Maldon along with my clothes as usual… super bad decision.)

That’s a lengthy introduction to these three major life updates:

LIFE UPDATE 01 / I’m moving.

I’m finally moving back and could not be more excited. It really is a dream come true, as cheesy as that sounds.

LIFE UPDATE 02 / I have a job.

A full-time, real-life job. It dropped out of the sky about one week after I made the decision to stay. At almost three weeks in, the hardest part by far is just getting up at the same time (early) every. single. weekday. But I’m so thankful for this job. It’s fantastic.

LIFE UPDATE 03 / I’m buying my first car.

It’s a Volvo. It’s dreamy. I love it. I currently call it “The Volv.”

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So here I am, living in my home state again, working forty hours a week, and making brownies from a box because there are only 24 hours in a day.

I’ll get my blogging (and baking) groove back eventually. In the meantime, since moving is the theme of the month, I’m in the process of moving to a cool new website that I hope you’re going to love. Stay tuned.


lately / recent work

IMG_3837My poor little neglected blog. Hello, readers that haven’t given up on me yet! Thanks for sticking around through this unusual season :) Today I’d like to show you a bit of what I’ve been up to lately (since I obviously haven’t been blogging).

Last month I got to work at two weddings in the Bay Area with the best caterers. My main job once dinner rolled around was serving tables, but before that time, I was asked to photograph appetizers and as many other dishes as possible. I felt super honored to be asked to do that, and prayed for good lighting and good photos :) In the end, I was pleased and Gemma & Murray were pleased, plus I had a ton of fun.

P.S. Those Mango Panna Cottas pictured above? Sometimes I dream about them. Continue reading

what i cooked | may

smoothie + granolaMay was almost like a kitchen sabbatical. I made smoothies. I made some salads. I cooked dinner maybe twice. And that was pretty much it.

I consumed multiple kale salads from La Mo. I ate dinner at other people’s houses (gracias, Mrs. Johnson!). I ate a lot of my favorite granola from Trader Joe’s.

So I know that’s not inspiring or anything… but it was real life this month, and that’s okay with me :)


P.S. You need to be eating blueberries right now. They’re SO good this year!!!

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what i cooked | april

asparagusApril. What a month. Don’t you love months that throw you for a loop in the best way possible? That was April.

On a Monday at the beginning of April I was informed that we would be driving home for a couple of months… the next day. So I packed (I’m becoming quite pro at last-minute packing), we drove, we arrived, and I started doing all the things (except cooking/baking). It’s been wonderful so far, and I can’t even tell you how glad I am to have at least another whole month of this.

Just so you know, I do hope to spend some more time in the kitchen in May. And I do hope to post more here. A stack of cookbooks from the library is sitting on my floor and there are so many recipes that I’m eager to make!!

And now if you will excuse me, I’m just gonna go eat lunch at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants… :)


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coffee toffee ice cream

coffee toffee ice cream | the thoughtful plate Let’s not mention the little fact that it’s been, uh, exactly three weeks and two days since my last post, okay? Sorry guys! First I had that broken lens situation, and then I came home (!!!!!), and all of that adds up to no blog posts for you. (See here and here if you’re unfamiliar with how this has looked in the past.)

I’ll try to make up for it by sharing [what I think is some of] the best coffee ice cream ever. Continue reading

chocolate things

chocolate things | the thoughtful platePosting this recipe for Chocolate Things was not part of my plan. I made them on a whim last Friday for my family and myself, because some days I just need something bread-y and I need to make something from the Cheese Board’s book. Thus, that afternoon was spent kneading doughs and shaping said doughs into knots and rolls.

They came out of the oven while there was still just enough light outside to snap a few photos, so I did. Not great photos, and definitely not photos intended for the blog, but photos for documentation nonetheless.

The next day, while at the art museum, my beloved camera lens sustained a small fall and separated into two pieces. It was tragic. I probably shed a tear or two. I don’t know if anyone was watching or not, and I don’t care. The lens that I use almost everyday and can’t blog without died. Continue reading

what i cooked | march

strawberriesHappy last day of March, friends!

Are you ready to talk about what we made this month? Below is a list of what I made, and I’d like to know what you made too. Comment with your favorite thing you cooked or baked (or didn’t cook/bake, since… ICE CREAM) in March, and leave a link to the recipe if possible :)

Also, is there anything that you’re dying to make next month? Do tell!


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basil italian soda

basil italian soda | the thoughtful plateIt’s finally that time of year where I want to drink cold, bright, fizzy drinks in the afternoon (preferably outside, in the sun) instead of hot chocolate or coffee. Rejoice! :)

Watermelon lemonade will always be a favorite. Also cherry limeade. Iced coffee is great too, even if it isn’t fizzy. I’m looking forward to exploring even more fun flavors this spring/summer. Continue reading