This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.

photo of merle

Many times when I first set out to write this post I have almost zero thoughts. Sometimes it can really take a minute…or more like many minutes, to really get into a writing flow. Even then, it can be hard. I’ll be the first to say that I am by no means a “writer”. No, no, no. I am much more a creator. I love to DO things, create visuals, use my hands, make things look good. Making things sound good?

That’s not my strength. Over the years I’ve developed a bit of my own writing style. It’s not perfect, and gratefully it does go through copy editing (except Instagram, where there is ZERO editing…which is scary). But my point is, I am not a writer. And you know something? Sometimes I don’t really have all that much to say. This week pushed my limits a bit and left me frustrated creatively. As someone who works innovatively every single day, it can be really hard when things are just not flowing.

It was an off-week for sure, but as I said on Friday, the off-weeks make me appreciate the on-weeks so much more. I’m trying harder to take things more day by day. I’m planning to spend time today doing something that doesn’t have anything to do with work. This is honestly the hardest thing for me to do. I love what I do so much, but I also know my brain does in fact need a break sometimes…

What do you guys do when you’re feeling like you need to reset before a busy week? Pottery class? Time in the sun? Just hanging with family? Sunday baking? Gimme all your ideas! I always love the comments you all leave on these posts!

And for someone who didn’t have anything say, I sure said a lot. See, it just takes a minute for things to start flowing!

Anyway, here’s what is coming up this week on HBH. Kicking the week off with a favorite quick and easy vegetarian recipe that I know so many of you will love. Then on to something snacky and great for back to school. Then I’ll be sharing a new zucchini dish that’s perfect for August…something tomatoey and oh so cheesy. And for Friday, well it’s a wild card at the moment. Ice cream or cake? You tell me!

Lastly, if you missed anything from the past week, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here. Hope you’re all having the best weekend, and enjoy this Sunday’s Nine Favorite Things!

PS. we had some website trouble on Wednesday and our scheduled post wasn’t able to go out. For those of you who saw the post on Facebook, it’s coming at you tomorrow…and for real this time. So sorry for any trouble!

1. Inspiring Me This Week. 

Joanna Gaines founder of Magnolia…and so many other things too…as I am sure you already know.

So, I am only just now jumping on the Chip and Joanna Gains obsession. I know they’ve been around for a while and I know America loves them so much. But I’m stuck in my own little bubble of creating new recipes, styling out photos, and chatting with you guys. The outside world is often foreign to me, and apparently, I really do live under (more like on) a rock. Thankfully we’re working on some potentially (very exciting) things behind the scenes here at HBH. It’s opened my eyes to the world that is Chip and Joanna Gains. Yes, I am now amazed and obsessed with them too…just like everyone else.

Have you checked out the Magnolia blog? Have you been to their actual storefront? Do you own the Magnolia cookbook (I don’t, but should I?)? Did you hear they are starting a TV network? Have you seen the homes they have designed? Do you follow Joanna on Instagram? I am in awe of her. I could spend an entire day scrolling through all the incredible photos and work they have done. Slowly, but surely I will catch up! It’s so inspiring to me to see the empire she and her husband have built. She’s a mom of 5, a badass business woman, and yet seems to be very kind and genuine. Excited to be following along with them and can’t wait to see what they do next!

Leanne Ford founder of Leanne Ford Interiors.

If you don’t follow Leanne, but you love interior design, you are missing out. We have a big shoot at the new studio in ONE month. We are scrambling to add last-minute details and final touches to really finish the space. I’ve been stalking my favorite interior designers on Instagram for inspiration, and thus far, Leanne has been my favorite. She has a very laid back style that’s rustic, but modern, I am loving following her. This kitchen as well this one, are just so pretty.

If you appreciate pretty interiors, you must follow her on Instagram and her blog too.

Who’s inspiring you right now?

2. The Most Popular Recipe of July.

Summer Coconut Chickpea Curry with Rice and Fried Halloumi | #coconut #vegan #curry #easyrecipes #summer

Most popular: summer coconut chickpea curry with rice and fried halloumi

I feel like I say this every single month, but the popularity of this recipe has shocked me. Again, it’s DELICIOUS, but it’s just not a dish I thought so many of you would love. Thankfully you all have proven me very wrong, and most all of you LOVE this curry. It’s super creamy, heavy on the vegetables, beyond easy to throw together, almost vegan…but not, because the fried halloumi cheese is a must. And then? Those delicious crispy chickpeas too. It’s a good one and I’m so happy you guys think so too!

Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken | #easyrecipes #20minutes #thaichicken #ricebowl #healthy

Runner-up: better than takeout sweet thai basil chicken

Wow, I only posted this quick dinner last week and it’s already number 2 for the month of July! YEAH! This is a family favorite. The sweet and spicy Thai chicken is addicitingly delicious. It’s much healthier than a dish you would get from your favorite takeout. Also? It’s just tastier too! OH, and this recipe is perfect for using up all the summer basil we currently have growing in the greenhouse.

Simple Blueberry Basque Cheesecake | #cheesecake #blueberries #cake #easyrecipes

Also have to mention: simple blueberry basque cheesecake

Oh, this cheesecake. Just posted this on Tuesday and SO MANY of you have made it. It’s really not like any other cheesecake you’ve had before. It’s flaky on the outside, but creamy, rich, and bursting with sweet blueberries inside. Bonus? This is the easiest cheesecake to make and (almost) impossible to mess up.

3. My Current Anthropologie order…all Things Kitchen.

4. Questions of the Week: 

q: Tips for staying well-stocked when only cooking for 2? Everything goes bad!
a: This is going to sound annoying BUT, spend time on Sunday meal planning and grocery shopping. Figure out what nights you’ll be eating at home and what nights you’ll be out. Pick out recipes, make a grocery list, and only buy the produce you need. Maybe plan to do a quick grocery run mid-week if you need fresh produce. Most importantly, keep your pantry and freezer well-stocked. You can create incredible meals with pantry staples!!!

q: Do all the recipes in your new cookbook come with photos?
a: Yess! The new cookbook has a photo with every recipe! And a handful of recipes have step-by-step photos too!

q: Thoughts on good cooking knives? Type, price, range, etc.
a: You don’t have to spend a ton of money on knives, BUT good knives are really important. I recommend having at least a good chef’s knife and paring knife. My favorite brand is Zwilling and I love the knife block set that I have. They are fairly affordable and are of amazing quality.

q: What’s your definition of “pantry staple”? Because I only have like 3 spices.
a: Oh man. You need way more than 3 spices!!! Pantry staples are things like pastas, grains, canned goods, sauces, spices, oils, etc. anything that has a long shelf-life! I have an entire section in the new cookbook on how to stock a good pantry, what to keep in the freezer, and what to keep in the fridge!!

5. Newest Videos: 

One-Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake…nothing not to love about this one.

Summer Coconut Chickpea Curry with Rice and Fried Halloumi…most popular recipe of the month, so that’s all you need to know.

Weeknight 20 Minute Spicy Udon Noodles…extra saucy, kind of spicy, Asian inspired noodles. So good.

6. Made Me Laugh This Week.

My oldest brother. See our text conversation below…

7. A Few Links I Am Loving…

3 resume tips to help you stand out…and land the job.

the best drugstore beauty items to purchase…if you need good budget friend beauty products.

the 2019 healthyish farmers’ market challenge…what’s on your list? I am all about the peach salad.

a 107 year old women says the secret to long life is being single forever…hmmm, this is, um, interesting.

where Julia Roberts, Bella Hadid, and more stay in Italy…yeah, I’d stay here too. invite please?

best healthy brunch restaurants in NYC and LA…always love a good brunch. always.

the best thing Leanne Ford ever bought at IKEA…um, why didn’t I think of this? would have saved so much money.

6 summer dessert ideas that will take you back to childhood…childhood you say? I’d love them all.

the Montecito City guide…for the perfect weekend getaway.

affordable wedding DIYs that look way more luxe than they are…that hanging garden. so pretty.

flight delays and long lines…how to stay calm during travel chaos.

I took morning phone breaks and I’m a happier person.

how well do you know “The Princess Diaries”?…something fun for you.

everything you need to know about natural, organic, and biodynamic wines…if you love your wine.

8. August Style Essentials I am Loving…

9. This Week’s Dinners:

Crispy Buffalo Ranch Chicken Salad with Goddess Dressing | #buffalochicken #salad #healthy #dinner

Monday: crispy buffalo ranch chicken salad with goddess dressing

Instant Pot Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder | #instantpot #corn #summerrecipes #soup #easy

Tuesday: instant pot chipotle cheddar corn chowder

Salsa Verde Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas with Mango | #mexican #enchiladas #zucchini #summerrecipes #easy

Wednesday: salsa verde chicken and zucchini enchiladas with mango

Saucy Coconut Summer Curry with Rice Noodles and Garden Vegetables | #curry #summerrecipes #easyrecipes #thairecipe #simplerecipes

Thursday: saucy coconut curry with rice noodles and garden vegetables

Jammy Cherry Tomato Pasta with Crisp Lemon Rosemary Chickpeas | #pasta #tomatoes #burrata

Friday: jammy cherry tomato pasta with crisp lemon rosemary chickpeas

Finally, check out all the past Nine Favorite Things posts here.

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. If you love Leanne Ford & Joanna, you should check out Studio McGee. I love everything about Shea and their work is an amazing mixture of styles.

  2. I purchased your cookbook a few weeks ago and love it. I’m more of a cookbookaholic than a cook, but have actually tried some of your recipe! The cornflake/chocolate bars were wonderful and the beer can chicken was the most moist, flavorful chicken I’ve ever had1
    To answer your question, yes, I travelled to Waco last fall to do the whole Gaines thing. Honestly, the bast part was the bus touraroud town.(this isn’t letting me do corrections for some reason!) It was a small bus and the tour leader had been the Gaines’s nanny! The tour took us to Common Grounds coffee shop, Harp’s woodworking shop, and we passed a number of homes that had been featured on the show. We also ate at the Magnolia restaurant. According to the very sweet former nanny, the Gaines family is exactly as they seem on the show.

    1. Wow that sounds so cool and fun!! Also so glad you are loving the cookbook, Suzanne!! So happy to hear that! xTieghan

  3. Loved reading your brother’s text to you! Made me smile and think of my texts with my brother! Too fun! I really appreciate your recipes. Unfortunately due to a chronic illness, I am unable to eat high fiber foods or highly spiced foods, so I admire your recipes and try and dream up changes so that I might be able to try them. Your posts are lovely! Your recipes look so delicious! As for this Friday? cake!! Thank you for your work. It’s truly a delight.

  4. Hi,
    I found your web site by means of Google while looking for a related subject, your site got here up I will make sure to bookmark it. I really appreciate you sharing this blog article. Really looking forward to reading more.

  5. Loved that article about not using your phone in the mornings, thanks for sharing! I’ve tried to stop using social media in the morning, but I do put on music right when I wake up to get ready for work. Maybe a couple minutes of meditating, journaling and movement would be better first!

    On Sundays I love to spend some time outside, go for a walk and read a good book. Currently reading Goldfinch- it’s long but really good!

  6. I enjoy reading your blog and trying the delicious recipes you share with all of us. Looking forward to your new cookbook.

    Pottery helps me relax and unwind. I started learning on the wheel, but have switched to handbuilding. I love using different molds, textures to create. I think you would enjoy pottery as you are so creative. Think of all the beautiful platters, serving bowls you could create to enhance your food. Pottery is very rewarding and satisfying hobby. I hope you give it a try. ?

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Hey Sherre!! I have heard so many amazing things about pottery classes. I would love take a class soon! It really sounds so fun and like such a great way to relax. And yes, it would be great to make my own pottery for serving pieces too! So happy you enjoy it as well! Thank you so much! Glad you enjoy these post! XTieghan

  7. Dear Tieghan, Love your posts – they are as creative and innovative as your recipes! I was recently introduced to your site by my daughter who shared one of your recipes with me. I visited your site (and am now a daily visitor) because everything I read makes me want to get in that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans! I have made quite a few of your creations, but I’ll only tell you about 3 that yielded unexpected comments from my husband… The first thing I made was your oven fried chicken with the spicy honey sauce. It was the first time in 36 years that my husband did not slather his chicken in ketchup! As a matter of fact, the bottle of ketchup went back in the fridge! Holy Cow! I was making your zucchini ravioli and my husband said, “I don’t like zucchini.” I told him to wait and see. After dinner he asked if he could have the leftovers for lunch the next day. Who are you and what did you do with my husband who hates zucchini??? And this week I used your recipe for oven fried fish with the potato chip crust… and my husband asked if I could make it every night?!?!?!? Strange magic has happened in my kitchen! ;o)) Thank you for your hard work and sharing your creativity.

    If I may, I’d like to share a thought that has bothered my since I read your post about an ugly comment that you found hurtful. Tieghan, it takes great courage to put yourself, your creativity and your thoughts out there for people to enjoy and comment on every day. Someone who sits behind the anonymity of a laptop and writes snarky criticism will never have a clue.

    1. Oh my goodness Belle, this is so amazing to read! I am so glad making some of my recipes has made your husband enjoy more things, that is too great! Thank you so much for this lovely comment and I hope you continue to love my blog! xTieghan

  8. I don’t often comment on blogs but I have to say that I am looking forward to getting your new cookbook! I also have limited space in my kitchen so I really try not to have too many cookbooks (I would have them all if I could!). But I will definitely be making space on my shelf for yours! I love your recipes, your photos and I can tell you work so hard. Keep it up!


    Ps – I’ve bookmarked that basque cheesecake recipe, it is just so hot here my husband will kill me for turning the oven on to cook a cheesecake for an hour! Once the temps are a bit cooler, this is the first thing I’m going to make, it looks amazing!

    1. Thank you Amanda! I hope you absolutely love the cheesecake when the temp cools down and the book!! xTieghan

  9. Hi! I wanted to let you know that Cafe Henrie (listed under Best Healthy Brunches in NYC) closed in 2017. Love waking up to your blog on Sunday mornings!

  10. Saw that screenshot of your brother’s message and laughed so hard!!! 😀 You ask who is inspiring this week? You are my inspiration Teighan!! I love your recipes so much and absolutely love the way you write your blog posts. It is so so natural. Keep it up 🙂 Looking forward to try the coconut curry chickpea sometime this week 😀

  11. Omg..I laughed right out loud when I read your text message from your funny! I will say he was very …um…creative..haha! Didn’t sound “so” bad at the beginning of his recipe….lol..Anyways..looking forward to “your” creativities this week Tieghan. Lost my cooking mojo this past week! ?

    1. Haha it was very… ya, creative! Thank you so much Colleen! I am so glad you liked this post! xTieghan