No Boil Pasta Bake | @thefauxmartha

We’ve come to that point in our relationship where you’re either going to think I’m super cool or just plain lazy. Or maybe both. Lately, Kev’s been asking where are all those pasta bakes that I used to make. As if I’ve stuffed them into a box misplaced in the basement. “By the time I cook the noodles and make the sauce,” I said, “we might as well eat dinner rather than throwing it into another dish to bake even longer, another dish I have to clean. Also, have you heard her pre-dinner toddler grump?” But that got me thinking—I wonder if we can skip the whole boil-the-pasta part? If so, that might just give his beloved pasta bake a fighting chance around here. Read more

Minimal Cozy Christmas | @thefauxmartha

After posting the fireplace reveal, I’ve gotten a couple of emails and comments with the same question—how will you decorate for Christmas? With plenty of green garland, vintage red, buffalo print, and not much else. As you well know by now, I’m a minimalist by nature. The best thing about garland and real trees—they disappear (get recycled) after the holidays. This is coming from the girl who toted a fake tree to 3 states purchased from Target at 75% off in college. Every apartment we rented had to have room for that human-sized box. Sorry Kev. Read more

Sarah's Honey Bundt Cake | @thefauxmartha

I have a friend in Minnesota. The best treats come out of her kitchen. She and her family welcomed us warmly when we moved here (with pastries of course). She sent Hal a handmade doll before she ever entered the world. She writes a blog too. A stroll through it is like one long cathartic exhale—from her words to her images to the thoughtful excerpts. You probably know her too. Sarah from The Vanilla Bean Blog. Read more

Cozy Modern Living Room | @thefauxmartha

Before you dive deep into this post, be sure to check out the before and the during. This room has come a very long way. We’re officially in love with it. So much so, I’m having a really hard time peeling myself off the couch and away from the lure of the flame. Quick recap: We nixed the fireplace during the build to stay on budget, but the room (and the first floor for that matter) really needed the structure of the fireplace to look finished. And during the winter, this room felt like a chilly fall day. All the heat ran straight up the stairs. So, we bumped it to the top of the to-do list. (Sources at the bottom of the post.) Read more

Quick Red Pozole | @thefauxmartha

It’s pronounced Po-sol-eh, though Kev leaves off the “eh” for reasons unknown. It comes in red, white, or green. I had my first bowl a couple years ago at Chipotle, so the authenticity may be questionable. This soup, spotted with hominy, is commonly served in Mexico as a celebratory dish. And since the next two months are filled with celebrations (especially in the red, white, and green color palette), I thought I’d shake up the traditional celebratory fare at this house. Because we’re staying home for the holidays. And that might be the bigger shakeup.  Read more

Rosemary Cheddar Quick Bread | @thefauxmartha

I started baking in high school. But I really started baking after getting that pink bible of a King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book in college. I made my first galette, trifle, and rock hard rolls from that book. Rock hard because I used boiling water, like a true novice, to activate my yeast (112° seems like boiling water when you grow up under the Texas heat). My mom still buys an extra set of rolls during the holidays as a backup to mine. That was 10 years ago. Read more

Mom Lunches | @thefauxmartha

We drive fast because we’re late. Getting out the door is an olympic event. We swerve because they scream. A dropped blanket or … just because. We wear our hair in a top bun because effective hairdryers are just too loud. We button our jeans higher because our hips have dropped lower. And we fail at dinner because it’s been moved from 8:30 to 5:30 with one new rule. You must tie one or both hands behind your back. Sometimes motherhood makes us look about as cool as mom jeans. Read more

Homemade Nutella Toast | @thefauxmartha

I slathered the first year of motherhood with nutella. (There’s proof of that right here.) It needed it—for both the protein and the indulgence. If there had been enough time to go to the doctor, they would have diagnosed me with a deficit of both and prescribed a jar of nutella. So a slather a day it was. I’m exaggerating only slightly. Read more