Lemon sugar cookies with vanilla bean and sea salt

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These cookies are my childhood made better. A few months ago I wrote about the lemon-scented sugar cookies that I ate as a child and my quest to recreate them. I first tried these lemon, olive oil, thyme and black pepper sugar cookies knowing that they wouldn’t fulfill my nostalgic cravings but hoping that they would become the new lemon cookie in my life. They were excellent, but just not quite it. Then miraculously the cookies were swept out of my mind until a couple of weeks ago when I found this recipe and knew I had to have these cookies ASAP.

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Brown butter chocolate chip cookies with vanilla bean-infused fleur de sel

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I know the holidays have been over for a while now, but I can’t stop making cookies. It’s safe to say that I spend a considerable amount of time pouring and salivating over food blogs. It’s also no secret that I bookmark a lot of recipes, most of which cater more to my sweet tooth than to, say, my physical need to eat in order to survive. I went overboard during the holidays, blaming winter and convincing myself that I actually needed the extra calories to get through the season. But I just can’t seem to stop myself. Finding a recipe for chocolate chip cookies with sea salt on the internet did not help matters.

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Brie grilled cheese with thyme and vanilla bean-infused sea salt

I am enjoying a much-needed and well-deserved rainy day all alone at home. I am catching up on my internet television, playing video games, surfing the web and meticulously planning my upcoming New Year’s Eve meal game plan. I think it’s gonna be pretty awesome, but I suppose you’ll hear about that later.

While I love a little alone time every once in awhile (a girl needs time to indulge in guilty pleasures and to lounge in her pajamas without showering for most of the day…), one thing that isn’t always simple is decided what to cook, for one. I am a huge fan of making dishes in bulk, leaving enough leftovers to feed us both for at least another day or two. Plus, most dishes, especially winter stews and soups, are usually better the next day. But when I’m all alone, I often find myself feeling lazy, reverting to quick and easy standards like bacon and eggs, or pasta and whatever I find in the fridge. Today, I wasn’t feeling overly-ambitious, but I did want something that I could be excited about eating. A quick look in the fridge and my mind was made up: brie grilled cheese on seven-grain bread.

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