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DIY

Pistachio Strawberry Elopement Cake

Cakes, Desserts, DIY

A month ago or so I got a friend from my old friend Chris who was like, “Hey I’m getting married, will you make a cake for us.”

Of course, I responded with OMG YES!

Not only was I excited because making stuff for friends is fun–especially for such a super cute and special occasion–but because it liked the challenge of doing something I’d never done before: making an important cake and then driving up and down the hills of Echo Park with it in tow. SO STRESSFUL!

Josh’s mom was a pastry chef and early in her career she made a lot of wedding cakes. He told me that one time she delivered the cake, decorated on the wedding site and then it fell over when they wanted it moved to another table! LIKE STRAIGHT UP ON THE FLOOR.

I would cry. I’m sure she did. Josh told me she eventually had to stop because the stress of transporting the cakes just didn’t end up being worth it and I completely understand now—it’s a lot. Luckily this was a small lil’ cake so transporting it wasn’t that hard.

I’ve known Chris for a long time and as of last year, he’s kind of become Amelia’s babysitter when we go out of town. He is so very patient when she wakes him up at 6am for breakfast and he takes her on long walks and last year, when we went to Seattle, they packed her up and took her to Malibu to eat oysters.

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How to Build a Cheese Plate for Two

Appetizers, DIY, Vegetarian

I feel like this week is my week of giving you practical thangs to eat (see: Monday and Wednesday)!

And now…this!

I love gawking at those crazy cheese boards all over Instagram but realistically most of us won’t make one of those. Or maybe we will but it’ll be for a big party or around the holidays when we have twenty people over.

But sometimes I want to eat a cheese plate for dinner but it’s just Josh and me. Or maybe it’s just for a girlfriend/dude friend and me. Or just me and my mom.

I could eat appetizers for dinner and do all the time (especially when Josh is working late or out with his friends and I’m on my own).

Seriously, me wanting to eat an appetizer for dinner is Josh’s worst nightmare. Nothing makes him give me a gigantic eyeroll more than when I tell him, “I’m not really that hungry, I kinda just wanna snack.” NO. He is a meal person. I understand. Most of the time I am too but sometimes I just wanna eat this!

For him, this type of situation constitutes as pre-gaming.

Regardless, I figured I’d share how I build a cheese plate perfect for two:

Ok, so the main objective when I go to the store for something like this is to NOT spend a million dollars.

1. Two cheeses. I like to pick two cheeses that are complementary but opposites. One soft cheese and one hard cheese.

For this plate, I went with a an awesome Irish cheddar (for an affordable/delicious option, I love Kerry Gold cheddar—so good!).

The one soft cheese is from Boursin (it’s another affordable/delicious option). But you could also do brie, goat cheese, camembert. (If you’re feeling baller-istic, I love Epoisses.)

2. Nuts. You only need really one kinda nut snack situation. My favorite are macrona almonds. They’re Spanish and fancy and delicious. The bulk-bin is perfect for the right amount of nuts.

3. Carbs. You need a vehicle for that cheese. On this particular day I had grissini/breadsticks so I included those. But these rosemary salted crackers were also a great option. I think one cracker and one bread item is good.

4. Something pickled. Or sweet. Or both. I went pickled on this particular day so that meant corichons, olives and sweet drop peppers (they’re SO GOOD!). The olive bar at a grocery store is your best bet because you can buy exactly the amount that you want/need.

Some sweet options would be dried apricot, honey, dried cranberries, fresh fruit (apricots, pears, etc.) and/or jams.

That’s it!

Oh and wine! Or beer. Or iced tea.

Happy Friday!

xoxo
Adrianna

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Cozy Kitchen Things

DIY

Ever since I cleaned up this blog and brought it from 2012 to 2017 (!!), I’ve also been on the lookout for new surfaces and props. I am that weirdo that has one plate of something I like vs. a set. I have lots of one-offs and usually I buy glasses in sets of two. Having a food blog can be weird, I admit, but also SO COOL.

Here are some things that have been catching my eye around the internets! I’ve purchased some, others are on my “make dat money to splurge” list.

Also, if you’ve been eye-ing something and want to share it, I think we’re all interested!

Herriott Grace             Farmhouse Pottery Bowl           Anthro Striped Simea Mug

I purchased two of the smaller bowls and one small bowl from Herriott Grace and they are BEAUTIFUL in person. Like, the most perfect matte, delicious velvet colors. Love them. I really wish they came in plates because I’d spend all my rent money on them.

Farmhouse Pottery is so simple and elegant. Their work really has the ability to bend with all sorts of styles: minimalist cozy (hi that’s me, I think), country-chic, farmer, etc. (you get the idea!).

Anthropologie Simea Mugs. I was watching Big Little Lies and I loved that they were drinking wine out of mugs. This is kinda something I could see myself serving in place of glass wine glasses.

Black Flatware             Two-Tone Pretty Pink Glasses             Anthro Mineral Mug

Matte Black Flatware. One thing I’m in constant search for are things that compliment mauve. That color is my blog 100% but using it over and over and over gets redundant and bores me so I like to edge it up a bit and I love how black looks with it. These are super awesome and relatively affordable (if you buy one to two sets).

Two-Tone Pink Glasses. These are so pretty and so spring! I thing these would be great water or rosé/white wine glasses.

Anthropologie Mineral Mug. I don’t need anymore mugs in my life but I want this one because it’s so simple and looks like something I’d actually want to drink out of in the morning (not just a pretty prop).

Little Casserole Dish             Lunch To-Go Bento Boxes       White Matte  Flatware

This casserole dish is 5×5-inches and I think that it’d be totally perfect for a roasting vegetables, making a gratin or baking a small batch of brownies.

Isn’t this tiered lunch box situation the cutest thing evrrrr! I wanna get a real job just so I can pack my lunch! (Sorta!)

Isn’t this Matte White Flatware the prettiest?!

Small Porcelain Bowls  White Ceramic Nesting Bowls   Pine Wood Pie Server

I’m really in love with these small porcelain gourds. I feel like they’d be perfect for soup or a scoop of ice cream.

These bowls are a bit of a splurge but I feel like I’d use them in every.single.blog post ever so I’m thinking about it. They look sturdy enough to be useful and function but pretty enough for photos.

I bought this pie/cake server and it is so beautiful in real life. I was super timid to use it because I thought frosting or fat would stain the wood but it hasn’t so far–it looks amazing and I’ve actually used it for cake!

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Rough Puff, Step-by-Step

Breakfast, Desserts, DIY

I’m so excited about rough puff. Ideally 2017 would include a whole lot of laminated dough.

A few years ago I put making puff pastry at home in the silly category. Why would we make it when we can just buy it?!?!?

I’m still an advocate for store-bought pastry, especially when you’re in a bit of a jam. It’s so nice to have in the fridge/freezer when you want to serve up a tart or something last minute.

But lately, I’ve been experimenting with rough puff (isn’t the name fun?), which is basically EASY AF puff pastry.

It is puff pastry that is made a lot like pie dough with some additional “turns” (more on that later).

I figured I’d give you a step-by-step of this process since once you see it all broken out into steps it seems SO MUCH easier.

The whole process begins by combining your flour and salt. Just like how I make pie crust, I find it easiest to use a cheese grater to get the butter the perfect-sized bits.

I used the ratios from Gordon Ramsey and I found them perfect every single time. (The first time I made it, I cut the butter because I found the measurement sort of annoying (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) but that extra tablespoon is important so we’re going to use it!)

I also used Ashley Rodriguez‘s technique and found it to be seamless and easy and yet the marbling was perfect.

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How to Make Naturally-dyed Linens

Adventures, DIY

Naturally Dyed Linens

PHEW! This project has been on my to-make list for a very long time.

As I was saying last week, I’m using January as a get-my-life-together-month, which includes–but is not limited to—freshening up my look a bit. Part of that is getting some new linens up in my life for photos.

I’ve always been after linens with really warm neutral colors and they’ve bit impossible to find. After these dried I was so into the results that I wanna try all sorts of veggies and fruits!!

Naturally Dyed Linens

From left to right/bottom: turmeric (short soak); blackberries + yellow onion skins (long soak); turmeric (long soak); blackberries yellow onion skins (short soak); avocado skins and pits; blackberries; yellow onion skins.

Naturally Dyed Linens

I adore the way they turned out and I’m pretty sure I’m going to use them all of the time! The best part about this lil’ project is that it was super easy, wasn’t messy and was pretty inexpensive and doable.

Let’s start with what I used:

1. Avocado skins + pits = mauve(!!). I bought two avocados, ate them and was sure to save the avocado skins. I boiled them for an hour and they resulted in the most gorgeous color in the world. Who knew?!?

Naturally Dyed Linens

2. Frozen blackberries = dark purple. I left the first linen in the mixture for about 1 minute and then left the 2nd linen in there for about 30 seconds.

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Let’s Make Coconut Pistachio Butter!

Breakfast, Desserts, DIY

Coconut Pistachio Paste

A few months ago I made this Italian Plum Pistachio Cake and it was bomb dot com but really the part that I loved the most was the pistachio paste. IT WAS SO GOOD. When I made it I had to use all of it for the cake but I kept thinking, this should really be put on toast and consumed as a snack.

So, here I am, pushing this onto you all.

Coconut Pistachio Paste

I should be fired because I’m about to mention the holidays in September…

…but this would be great to make for the holidays as gifts because it’s SO simple and easy…minus the peeling of pistachios.

Do yourself a gigantic favor and buy shelled pistachios. Treat ur self!

Coconut Pistachio Paste

Do not be like me and spend 30 minutes shelling pistachios. There’s this very known trick that if you want to peel the skins off pistachios, you can cover them in boiling water and then rub them in a towel. I can tell you that it is 100% not worth the extra step.

If you want to get the purest of green color, then feel free to just rub the pistachios in between two towels when they’re dry and shelled. Some of the skins should fall off.

Coconut Pistachio Paste

Let’s be honest, pistachio paste is not a beauty queen. It’s not the belle of the ball so just do what you need to do to make it look cute – put sprankles all over it.

I bought these pretty sprinkles in Denmark. I love them so much.

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Pie-Making Workshop!

Adventures, DIY, Pie

Summer Berry Pie

HIIII!!!! I’ve wanted to do this FOR so long. Today I’m so excited to tell you that I’m co-hosting a pie workshop with my friend and baker Nicole Rucker.

Here are the details:

Date/Time: Saturday, October 1st, 2016 from 11am to 3pm

Where: Los Angeles, CA (at Cofax Commissary, West Hollywood)

What you’re going to learn: During this class you’ll learn everything about making the perfect, fool-proof pie crust.

Then, you’ll assemble and make your very own apple pie. We’ll talk apples, you’ll have a choose-your-own-adventure filling experience.

And you’ll learn about some options when it comes to making pretty braids with your pie crusts, using cookie cutters, getting the perfect crimp.

While all the pies are in the oven, we’ll sit down and eat the cutest autumn-like lunch and hang out and be friends.

Strawberry Rhubarb Braided Pie

Take-aways: You’ll take home the chilled pie crust you made, your whole baked pie you assembled, a packet of recipes and a fun gift bag.

And all that knowledge you just learned.

Rhubarb Pear Slab Pie

To buy tickets, visit the EventBrite page.

Can’t wait to meet you all and bake some pies together!

xoxo,
Adrianna

Summer Berry Pie

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How to Make a Bomb Ass Bagel Sandwich At Home

Breakfast, DIY, Vegetarian

How to Make a Bomb Ass Bagel Sandwich At Home

So many good things are out in the world right now. All in time for a nice, chill and enjoyable weekend.

#1: Kendrick released some new-ish music.
#2: Netflix just realized a new season of House of Cards (byeeeee!)
#3: I have a bomb-ass bagel sandwich that has your cute little name all over it.

The first step to making a bagel sandwich at home is sourcing a really good bagel. For years this was really hard in LA but not anymore! My favorite bagels are from a truck (and newly-opened shop!), called Yeastie Boys.

They are so good. In fact last year a friend gifted 30 bagels, from Yeastie Boys, to Josh for his b-day and we had them in the freezer and every time we wanted a bagel, we’d warm it up in the oven and OMG best breakfast ever.

How to Make a Bomb Ass Bagel Sandwich At Home

The second step is making your own cream cheese. Remember when I made homemade cream cheese?! Game changer. Of course this isn’t required if you’re strapped for time. You can always just spike store-bought cream cheese with minced dill and Italian parsley.

How to Make a Bomb Ass Bagel Sandwich At Home

Next up, a perfectly square scrambled egg. Not gonna lie, I was going for that folded over egg situation that you find at McDonald’s and Hardee’s but the stupid rectangle cookie cutter I ordered off Amazon wasn’t big enough.

Regardless of what kind of equipment you have, you can always just make gently scrambled eggs and pile it on.

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How to Make an Edible Football Stadium

Appetizers, DIY, Snacks

This may be one of the greatest things I’ve ever made.

How to Make an Edible Football Stadium

If you have someone in your life that is very excited about Sunday’s game and your attitude is more like “I’m in it for the snacks only…” slash, “Who is playing?!…” then this is a project for you.

In this post, I will take you through the supplies you’ll need, the foods you’ll need and all of the in between lil’ tips I figured out when making my very own edible football stadium.

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Homemade Sugar Cubes

DIY

Homemade Sugar Cubes (Great Gift!)

For me, a homemade gift needs to be chill to make. If it’s not, then I’ll just buy something, you know?

These homemade sugar cubes couldn’t be simpler because they require two ingredients: sugar AND water (which comes out of the tap). So really, they only require one and you most likely have sugar in your pantry right this very second.

I got this idea when I was walking through Harrod’s last month with Stephanie and saw the most adorable sugar cubes evrrrr. There were heart sugar cubes and sphere sugar cubes and sugar cubes shaped like snowflakes. I wanted to buy them and almost did until I saw the price tag of 30 pounds. Umm…yeah no.

Homemade Sugar Cubes (Great Gift!)

Turns out sugar cubes are the simplest thing to make in the world; I’m so glad I decided to DIY this sucker instead of fall for that Harrod’s trap (seriously tho that person is very smart to sell sugar and water for $30—respect!).

The only think you do need to buy is a silicon candy mold. You may have one already, if you don’t, don’t worry because they’re not expensive.

I used this candy mold but you can find others if you like.

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