Category Archives: Cook

Food & Recipes

Baked Potato Buffet

What's for Dinner? A Baked Potato Buffet! Laura Bray Designs

We cook and eat at home a lot and the majority of what we eat is fresh or homemade food. I'm not going to lie. It's hard work to cook-especially from scratch, but I do have quite a few tricks I use to make things easier. A "Baked Potato Buffet" dinner is one of my short cuts. It involves giving everyone a baked or mashed potato and then setting out toppings so they can build their own meal around the potato. Many of the toppings are leftovers from recent dinners. I usually serve a Baked Potato Buffet on Mondays. That way, I can fry up some extra bacon while I cooking Sunday breakfast. We often have potatoes for Sunday night dinners so I can make extra for Monday's supper. See? My goal is to work once and eat twice. It's the only way I can pull off as many homemade meals as I do. Baked Potato Buffet is a huge hit with my nine year old daughter. She loves the freedom that she has to put whatever she wants on her potato. (Which isn't really freedom, since I am in charge of putting out the toppings.)

You can see some of our favorite toppings in the illustration above. Personally, I love a baked potato stuffed with sour cream, shredded cheese, bacon, and corn. Not super healthy, but it's all fresh and there are some veggies in there! What do you love to put on your potatoes?

Soup & Sandwiches

Black Bean Soup &

Is there anything better than soup and a sandwich when you need comfort? Grilled cheese sandwiches (muenster cheese on sourdough please) and tomato soup are my usual choice but lately I've changed it up with a Southwest twist. Delicious black bean soup (from The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One MealContinue Reading

Italian Baked Eggs

I know I've been MIA lately. It's summer and I'm focusing on my little family. I will occassionally drop in here with some updates, but if you want to see what I'm up to on more a regular basis you may want to start following me on Instagram. My handle there is laurakbray. I'm lovingContinue Reading

Cocktail Napkins (and my favorite cocktail recipe!)

French Horn Cocktail Recipe

Summer is almost here! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to have family & friends over for a little cocktail break in our backyard. There's something so relaxing about sitting amongst the growing plants in our garden, sipping cocktails, and visiting. My favorite time to host is late afternoon-when theContinue Reading

Tahini Cookies

Tahini Cookie Recipe

I love "grown-up" cookies. Grown-up cookies are baked goods that appeal to a more sophisticated palette. They are cookies that go as well with a nice port of a glass of wine as they do with milk. For me, grown-up cookies tend to be sweet and savory. In the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living,Continue Reading

Chinese New Year Recipes & Crafts

Chinese New Year Recipes and Crafts

Just in case you are looking for a chance to party again, or if you need to "restart" your new year's resolutions (ahem), today is the Chinese Lunar New Year. We are ushering in the Year of the Horse. The wood horse in fact so there's lot of fun crafting ideas you can do withContinue Reading

Sunday Breakfast Bread Pudding

Breakfast Bread Pudding

We have a tradition of cooking a big, family breakfast every Sunday morning. My husband and I take turns trying out fancy breakfast recipes. The problem is, I'm the night owl of the family. My husband is out of bed at 6am whether it's the weekend or not and my daughter usually gets up betweenContinue Reading

Menu Planning

Menu Planning

If one of your new year resolutions is to eat healthier and/or cook at home more, then menu planning can help you. Before you start complaining, please believe me when I tell you that I once thought it an impossible feat too. I was very resistant to the idea, but knew that dinner was alwaysContinue Reading

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm pretty sure that chocolate chip cookies were one of the first things I learned how to bake. I was young, somewhere between 9-10 years old. Our family recipe came from an old Bisquick cookbook. It was a chipboard book with a spiral binding with bits of batter spilled here and there, and I lovedContinue Reading

Best of 2013

Top Five Blog Posts of 2013 Laura Bray Designs

I absolutely can't believe that 2013 is in it's last days! This year went so fast! As you have probably figured out from my lack of new posts, I'm taking some time to enjoy the holidays with my family. I'll be back to posting more great craft tutorials, recipes, and "intentional living" posts in theContinue Reading