‘Time Enough for the Stories’ Strawberry Snack Cake

The Crafty Cook Nook was born more than five years ago when I was a newcomer to Colorado with only my partner tethering me to the state. I’d lived away from the coast before, but I’d always known those moves would be temporary, a means to a more educated end. I was not a landlocked…

A Smashing First Birthday Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

The “It takes a village to raise a child” philosophy has never felt truer to me than the past year. As working parents, Cameron and I could not have cared so well for our baby without the help and support of her grandparents, childcare workers, and friends. While I still struggle with guilt about needing…

‘The Great Water Break’ Pepita-crusted Pumpkin Bread

One year ago this evening, I managed to squat my very pregnant body low enough to pick up a baby book that had fallen on the floor. And then my water broke. Of course, as a first-time pregnant lady who paid little attention to pregnancy matters until I was pregnant, I didn’t understand that my…

Dancing with the Dead and Oaxaca’s ‘Tablecloth Stainer’ Mole

Dia de los Muertos is coming our way in a few weeks. A three-day festival honoring those who have passed, Day of the Dead celebrations can be traced back to pre-Columbian Mexico. These days Dia de los Muertos coincides with the Catholic Hallowtide calendar of All Hallow’s Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls’ Day and takes…

‘Almost Autumn’ Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Swiss Quiche

With the hottest summer on record for Colorado this year, it’s been dusty enough along the Front Range to make me think I landed back in Nevada if I squint just right. In fact, a lot about my neighborhood reminds me of my years in Reno. From some neighbors’ colorful quirks to the few nut…

‘Head Cold Helper’ Slow Cooker Sausage and Chickpea Stew

With a baby in daycare and a husband who teaches full-time, our home has become a cold and stomach bug black hole. Beware all ye who enter: there is no escape. Health-wise, I lucked out as a kid. Beyond a few winter colds and the chicken pox rite of passage, I had little excuse for…