Ayyyyeee! Last week I was sort of barely here on da blog and on social (even tho I’m always on the insta stories). I’ve been planning a fun lil’ thing that I’m excited to share with you. Hint: I can cook in it and I’m gonna make it look as pretty and functional as possible! MORE SOON!
In the meantime, I have a ton of new-to-you summer recipes to share. The past few weeks have been filled with lots of cooking and I took all of your suggestions into account.
You all asked for easy and sort of healthy weeknight dinners AND you asked for some desserts using blueberries, pies (coming soon!) and more cakes (you speakin’ my language).
This obviously falls into the blueberry category and not the healthy, weeknight dinner.
A few Saturdays ago, I flew up to Maryland (from Florida when I was visiting my mama) to visit Holterholm Farms, an Organic Valley co-op farm. They wanted to show me around to meet their cows and see how their dairy is produced.
I have never had a friendship with a cow but from the few farms I’ve visited prior to this, I knew that cows have strong personalities, much like dogs. The cows on this particular farm are Jersey cows and they are so beautiful, with the longest eyelashes and funniest expressions. A few of them kinda reminded me of Amelia because she is equally as expressive and dramatic.
The eighty or so cows that live on this farm, roam and eat ONLY grass and are milked twice a day. They’re moved every single day to ensure that each day they’re eating new, freshly grown grass. I wanted to hang out with them for hours and hours; my city-slicker self could totally see farm life as the best life.
When I was on the farm and I tasted the milk and cream, I instantly knew I wanted to take advantage of their 100% grass-fed milk by putting it into a dough. I knew it would make any dough-like thing even better, even softer.
These funfetti cinnamon rolls are the softest! Have you ever had a crunchy, not soft cinnamon roll? They’re not great. And usually, I judge a cinnamon roll on how soft the center is. The edges can be crispy because sometimes they’re touching a baking dish and what-not but the center? It’s gotta be soft and gooey.
The one thing I love to do with cinnamon rolls is add orange juice to the mix; it cuts the richness just a bit and adds a nice freshness and tartness to the dough.
These cinnamon rolls are laced with naturally colored sprinkles and topped with a a delicious, tart, vanilla-spiked glaze that is BOMB.
If you want to make them “overnight” rolls, which I highly recommend, you can do the following:
1. Make the dough the night before, let them rise their 1 hour, and then stick them in the fridge.
2. Make the filling, cover the bowl and leave butter on the counter overnight so it’s soft the next morning.
3. Make the glaze and stick it in the fridge.
Fun work always includes cooking. And people. And music blaring. Fun work is equally as exhausting as lame work but way more satisfying and fulfilling.
I’m ok with my feet hurting if the work I’m doing is fun.
Lame work is the annoying, petty shit I have to do to keep my stuff together like taxes and emails and paperwork and organizational things. I love for things to be organized but I’m not the best at keeping them that way. I’m bad at the maintenance part. That is for another post but I’m hopefully going to put some systems into place so I don’t have my prop closet overflowing with stuff.
Over the weekend, I shot a little Memorial Day content for you all, coming at the end of this week! And I shot some bomb cinnamon rolls that at first did not want to participate in this thing called life but I finally got the filling right…thank you, cinnamon roll gods!
I know that Memorial Day is this weekend and we’re supposed to be about that bbq-life and we are! So please consider this the breakfast thing you should eat before ribs.
My autocorrect likes to change “leches” (aka “milks”) to leeches. VERY DIFFERENT, OK. Leeches also remind me of that gross scene in “Stand By Me” when all the boys decide to go swimming in the pond and then…EW.
These are the opposite of those. I should’ve never even mentioned my autocorrect…because I’ve sort of grossed myself out. SO MOVING ON.
I’m currently on a flight to the east coast for a fun-filled weekend where I run around with my head cut off and (hopefully) pet some farm animals and hang out with my mamí and abuelita. Ideally, there will be baby farm animals. We shall see.
I’ve been trying to make these waffles for a while and finally did it! They’ve been on that list to-make for long long time. I love anything tres leches but I’m pretty certain that in order to “tres leches” something, you really need to make sure that it can stand up to liquid. The point is for it not to be soggy.
My typical go-to crispy Belgian-style waffles wouldn’t stand-up to the extra sauce. (I’ll share those one day!)
So I needed to find something that was thicker and tougher (not in a bad way!). I think I found it with this Leige-style waffle. Josh had been testing waffles a lot and he really loved this recipe from The Kitchn.
Admittedly, I won’t be cooking but I will be with my mama. I’m headed to Florida this weekend with a pit-stop in Maryland for a trip to the farm of Organic Valley! I’m incredibly excited to hang out with cows and milk and goats and bees. It’s a quick trip but I’m super excited about that farm-life.
I have one more recipe up my sleeve for Mother’s Day but I wanted to give you this round-up so you could start your planning.
Chai Tiramisu. This literally takes like 30 minutes to throw together and doesn’t require an oven at all. Buy your lady fingers. Do not let anyone make you feel shameful about that!
Homemade Cream Cheese. You will think you have had cream cheese until you make it at home and then you will be like WHY DID I EVER BUY IT. It’s SO good on any sort of carb vehicle that you choose, i.e., a bagel, piece of toast, challah, etc.
When I was doing some brain-storming a few weeks ago, I turned to Billy and said, “What if I made a big-ass biscuit and layered it with strawberries and sweet, softly whipped cream?!” He nodded YAS.
And here we are. You might be mentally preparing for Mother’s Day brunch. It’s actually one of my favorite times of the year because brunching is in high gear. And we’re not all sweating yet.
I made these gigantic ol’ biscuits in two 8-inch cake pans to “guide” the size of the biscuit but really you can do it on a baking sheet.
I love the debate of egg vs. no egg in biscuits. I nerded out on that Food52 article and was VERY flattered they used my biscuit recipe as an example.
I’ve been really itching to try a shortening + no egg biscuit. But for this one, it definitely needed an egg so that it had a better structure. Because it’s so big, it needs some help in that department.
ALSO, the trick to assembling this is to really let the biscuit cool completely so you can slice it and move it around.
A bread knife really helps with slicing this biscuit.
I just spent the weekend in Palm Springs saying ‘peace out’ to my friend Whitney’s singleness. It was definitely a 30-something-year-old bachelorette party because by 11pm on Friday night all of us were in our pjs and in bed. Lol.
And then the next morning everyone got up at 7am to workout and do yoga. But I wasn’t mad AT ALL because it was super chill and relaxing and ridiculously enjoyable.
This recipe comes from my friend Joy’s (the Baker) new book, OVER EASY. It is a full encompassing brunch book. You really don’t need another. The recipes are creative and fun and so delicious-looking. And, of course, Joy’s familiar, friendly voice opens up each and every recipe.
The background of the book is Joy’s newly adopted city, New Orleans. I’ve been itching to go to New Orleans. I wanna go and eat all the beignets covered in mounds of powdered sugar and (hopefully) see Solange walking down the street looking angelic as she always seems to do.
The sandwich part comes when we roll out the scones to a skinnier-than-usual-thickness and fill part of them with roasted diced rhubarb. Then we fold the dough in half, creating a lil’ sandwich of goodness.
I used a sharp knife to make as many sort-of-even scones as possible and baked them.
Ummm…did you know there was a vanilla shortage going on? I had no idea because I just used the last of my Neilsen-Massey vanilla paste and went to Amazon to replenish it and the price jumped from $10 to $17!! WHAA!
So needless to say, I didn’t replenish it. But you know how you add a bit of water to a sort-of-empty shampoo bottle and shake it around and then use it two more times?!
Ok so for like three weeks I thought Pi Day and St. Patrick’s Day fell on the same exact day, which made me incredibly conflicted! Which one am I supposed to celebrate on da blog?! Am I supposed to combine the two holidays? Grasshopper Pie, anyone?
It wouldn’t be bad and honestly it sounds really, really good and part of me wishes I made that instead of…well, too late now, so please welcome Ms. Matcha Strawberry Battenberg Cake!
If you’ve never heard of a Battenberg Cake, don’t worry, I honestly had never heard of it until I was watching an episode of Great American Bake-Off and in the season finale they had to make one and it seems SO hard so naturally I was like “oooooo.”
If you’ve followed this blog for a little while, you know that I am the furthest thing from a vegan human. I love cooking things in butter and ghee. I love dairy. I love cheese. But from time to time, I’ll steer clear of all of that, especially if things aren’t sold to me as such and they’re just presented to me as delicious and healthy-ish.
I feel like all of Laura’s food is that way. I like to think of it as food that just so happens to be vegan and healthy; it’s not forced. It’s food that naturally is vegan and doesn’t really feel or taste like health food. All of the recipes I’ve tried from her are done with ease and finesse. And my favorite part is that all of her food is cozy and comforting.
As I was flipping through the book, there were SO many dishes I wanted to try (and will try), but the one that intrigued me the absolute most was this millet “polenta.” It’s such a smart idea and one I hadn’t come across ever. You take millet (which I happened to have a ton of in my pantry), grind it up and make it into a “meal.”
It’s boiled the same way that polenta is and boom! Polenta! but without the corn and all that. (Remember when I found out I was sorta kinda allergic to corn?)
I paired it with some eggplant “bacon” from the book, which was also SO good. Eggplant already has sort of a “meaty” quality to it. Laura has you add a sauce that’s so full of flavor. Does it taste like bacon? No way! Bacon is bacon. But it is super delicious and flavorful and it’s a million times more healthy.
I served this as breakfast and since I’m not a real vegan human, I topped each bowl of millet polenta with a baby fried egg and ate it with a whole lot of milky coffee.
This tofu dish is what I’m making later this week.