5 to 9 Foodies

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Cooking again…

Sometimes life gets so busy that its all you can do to make sure you feed yourself, let alone try new recipes and write about them. It has been one of those summers for me. May was filled with work and final projects at school, June and July were planning a wedding, and August was work. Work, work, work. During that time there was lots of take-out and comfort food and very little actual cooking. Take-out and comfort food are fun for a while, but they get old pretty quickly. And for someone who loves to cook, its not long until you just have to scratch that itch.

This past week was one of the first weeks in a long time that I took the time to scout some recipes and cook. It felt…amazing. And as soon as I started cooking I felt the urge to share. That’s what happens when you love food. I think its the great unifying thing that all food bloggers share: we just love food and we want to share it with the world!

So I thought, in that spirit, I would share the recipes that I made this week – all of which were excellent! I didn’t photograph, so forgive the lack of pictures.

MONDAY – Farmer’s Market Quesadillas
These are very likely to become a regular staple in our house. Great for cleaning-up any leftover veggies. You can throw just about anything in these quick and easy quesadillas and they will be de-lish.

TUESDAY – Rosemary Ranch Chicken
Instead of grilling, I baked this in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes. This chicken was so. moist. wow. Great served over rice.

WEDNESDAY – Risotto with Tomato, Corn, and Basil
My very first risotto ever. And it turned out great. I used fresh sweet corn kernels, basil, and garden tomatoes. If I were to make this again I would cut down on the corn a little and add a titch (yes, that is a technical term) more tomato and basil.

THURSDAY – Leftovers…everything tastes betters as leftovers…

FRIDAY – Slow Cooker Taco Soup
I followed all the recommendations from the top commenter when making this recipe. I made everything on Thursday evening, kept it in the fridge overnight, and threw the slower cooker on in the morning. It was SO nice to come home to an already cooked dinner, especially on a Friday. I’m thinking about instituting mandatory Slow Cooker Friday’s at our house…

Hopefully you had lots of time to cook and enjoy the summer, but if not, hopefully there is something here that will inspire you to  go back to your kitchen too! Happy fall!

– Rae

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Real Quick: Going bananas

Is it just me, or are banana flavored things everywhere these days?  Yonana machines whipping up a healthy version of ice cream, Nabisco Newton Banana drizzled with Dark Fudge Fruit Thins, and my favorite, frozen banana slices covered in chocolate.  Have you tried Dole Banana Dippers yet?  Dark chocolate, bananas, and a crunchy almond topping make them a great dessert, and as I found out this morning, a great addition to your morning smoothie!

Banana Dippers

I like to try and add nuts to my smoothies for additional protein, anyway, and of course I can’t get enough chocolate.  Throw these (in perfect packs of 4) into your usual morning fruit smoothie for a decadent little touch, and some added protein!

Add Dole Banana Dippers to your SmoothieSide note: I used a bunch of fruit we had on hand, water, some frozen strawberries, and Spectrum Chia and Flaxseed with chocolate and coconut but I would recommend avoiding the watermelon for this one — the flavor is stronger than the other fruits and can overpower the smoothie.

Next time, I would do frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), almond milk, the Dole Banana dippers, and the flax/chia seed mix.  YUM!

What’s your favorite smoothie combination?

Have a great weekend!


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S’more Ideas for Summer

So.  It’s still summer — which means bonfires and s’mores.  Unless you don’t have a fire pit, in which case…grills and stoves.  Or microwaves, if you’re really desperate.  Growing up, we made our fair share of s’mores in the microwave, getting the chocolate ooey and gooey (and piping hot) and watching the marshmallows explode to epic proportions before pressing “END” and watching them shrivel back down.   This summer, I decided I wanted something just a little different, so here are a few s’more ideas.


The Mayan Hot Chocolate S’more

For this one, you’ll need:

  • Cinnamon-flavored graham crackers
  • Milk chocolate squares
  • Marshmallows
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cinnamon

Mayan Hot Chocolate S'mores

If you’ve never had a Mayan hot chocolate, you are missing out.  The combination of sweet milk chocolate and spicy  cayenne pepper goes down smooth, leaving that slight burning sensation in your throat.   I thought this flavor combination might translate well into a s’more, so lay down your graham cracker, then you chocolate base. Next, sprinkle on as much cayenne and cinnamon as you like, top with a piping hot marshmallow, and squish the graham cracker on top.

Strawberry White Chocolate S’mores

  • Honey flavored graham crackers
  • White chocolate squares
  • Strawberry jam
  • Marshmallows

Strawberry White Chocolate S'more

Next comes something berry delicious and refreshing.   I thought about how much my hubby loves cheesecake with strawberries, and came up with this s’more that combines melty white chocolate with sweet and acidic strawberry jam.   Here’s how this one stacks up: graham, white chocolate square, strawberry jam, crispy marshmallow, graham.  Mmm.

Inside-Out S’more

The inside out s’more.  Like when Oreos made a white cookie with chocolate frosting.  Only better.

  • Chocolate graham crackers
  • White chocolate squares
  • Marshmallows

Inside Out S'more

I think you get the idea with this one — make your traditional s’more with these slightly non-traditional ingredients.  It’s fun to mix it up every now and then.

And I can’t forget to give mention to the s’more my sister wanted me to make.  A triple threat, using one square of white chocolate, one square of dark chocolate, and one square of milk chocolate.  Sure to please all chocolate eaters!

Triple Threat S'more

What s’more can we do?  Chocolate graham crackers with dark chocolate squares and strawberry jam, maybe?  Cinnamon graham crackers with white chocolate?  The possibilities are endless. Unlike the summer. Wah wah.

Mix it up with your s’more routine and bring even more gooey, sticky, sweet smiles all around.   Don’t forget to celebrate National S’more Day on August 10th — maybe with one of these fun recipes, or some of your own!

What are some of your favorite ways to eat s’mores?

xo Jaime



Some phone photos in lieu of actual food recipes…because we are a wee bit busy!

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What are you busy doing this summer?

xo Jaime

{P.S. I love you Instagram for making my boring life look artsy!}

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When I got to France…

“When I got to France I realized I didn’t know very much about food at all…” – Julia Child


My husband and I recently went on our honeymoon, after being married for 2 and 1/2 years.  I think we should probably go on another “honeymoon” in a few years.  And just keep doing that until we’re so old that we just stay home and star in Swiffer commercials (seriously, have you seen this? Adorable!)  The first food we ate in France, as we strolled the streets in the grey drizzle, was un bretzel — a pretzel.  Warm, salty, chewy — the perfect answer to the rain soaking my feet and chilling me to the bone.

I’ve been away and it has taken me awhile to get back to you all at 5 to 9 — jetlag, overflowing suitcases littering the floor, and a huge project at work have kept me…well, tired.  My fire extinguished a bit and I plan to get it back, one post at a time.  So today, I will show you a few pictures from our amazing, romantic, and rainy adventures in Paris.  Recipes will come. Soon. And maybe some more pictures. Bon apetit! ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


What has been YOUR most memorable or inspiring trip?  Was it far away? Just down the road?  What did you eat? What did you do?

Au revoir for now!