This is honestly one of my favorite food days. I know it gets sort of exhausting with the whole “national peanut butter sandwich day” or “strawberry shortcake with basil pesto day,” etc., etc.. But Pi Day is 100% LEGIT.
I’ve always wanted to put pink peppercorns in a pie; I’m so glad I finally did it.
Since the rainy season hit LA and California really hard this year, we have been blessed with beautiful rhubarb. Crisp, beautiful, bright pink rhubarb. I’m so into it.
I have a batch leftover that I need to use up today or tomorrow so let me know if you have any delicious rhubarb ideas! I’ll make ‘em!
I really want to make sandwich scones. Because Cindy made a version a month ago or so and I can’t stop thinking about them. Like roasted rhubarb in a scone. SHIIIITE that’d be good.
Making this cake felt like climbing Mt. Everest. It was bit of a beast to develop but I’m so glad I did because I LOVE IT!
There is no one that loves Neapolitan anything more than me. I think it started with Breyers ice cream when I was a kid. My dad was an avid ice cream buyer/eater and we always had it in the freezer. Strawberry ice cream was also so heavy in the rotation but I loved chocolate so often times that I’d mix chocolate cream with a scoop of strawberry ice cream. Seriously the best idea evrrrr.
I recently started to think about Neapolitan and wondered: “Why don’t we make Neapolitan with other flavors?!?!”
This is a Mexican Neapolitan. The flavors are slightly different and use Mexican ingredients.
The pink layer (usually strawberry) is agua de jamaica (hibiscus). If you’ve ever gone to a Mexican restaurant, you most likely saw or had the agua de jamaica, which is made with hibiscus leaves.
Hibiscus leaves are tart! To make this layer more tart and make sure the flavor comes through, I added a bit of lime zest and juice to the mixture. We use the agua de jamaica in both the cake itself and the frosting.
I did add some food coloring to the cake because when it’s baked, it turns an ugly horrible purple so I counteracted that by using hot pink food coloring and red. (If you don’t have hot pink, you can use just red and it’ll look pretty!)
The chocolate layer is Mexican chocolate. There’s cloves, cinnamon, cayenne and allspice. It’s really flavorful and super rich and chocolate-y.
The last layer is Mexican vanilla. Of course, you don’t HAVE to use Mexican vanilla but I used a good amount of it to really make sure the flavor was very present.
I’m gonna be honest with you…I made these mini pies because I needed to make something that I knew would work.
For the past few weeks, I’ve had a cake and pan dulce recipe in rotation, recipe testing them whenever I have some time. And OMG they’ve been so stubborn and annoying. I made the cake four times. And the pan dulce…well, I’ve lost count at this point.
Luckily, the cake is at a great place but the pan dulce…eh, not so much. Especially after I went to Boyle Heights and had a REALLY good one. It made me realize I’m not that close. The top isn’t as crunchy, not as crisp as it should be. The foundation is nearly perfect tho so maybe after a weekend of rest and relaxation in Chi-town, I’ll be ready to figure out how the hell I’m supposed to make the top shatter-in-your-mouth-amazing.
But these pies…are perfect.
They caramel is chai-spiced. Oh yes. I think chai-spiced everything is delicious but caramel just makes complete sense. The cardamom and cinnamon and cloves all work their magic with apples.
I was sort of shy to use apples in a pie but we’re way too early to do rhubarb and strawberries and too late for persimmon or pear. Apples though still look good!
They’re my year around pie go-to.
I made them mini because I put these mini pie dishes in my Amazon basket and accidentally didn’t remove them when I bought something else. Oh well…so I used them!
This week wasn’t supposed to be vegan week it just so happened to turn out like that.
This tart is SO SO good. Admittedly, I usually give a side-eye at a dessert if it’s prefaced with “it’s vegan!” or “it’s gluten-free!” I definitely judge a book by its cover a bit. But this filling is something I could’ve eaten by the spoonful.
This nutty, coconut, chocolate-y tart comes from Jessica Murnane’s new book, One Part Plant! Her philosophy is awesome because it’s simple: eat one plant-based meal a day. Start there! I happen to love vegetables and healthy-ish stuff so I feel like I do this anyway but it’s nice to read a book that isn’t based on all of the stuff you need to give up. There aren’t any stringent rules or regulations.
It’s simply a book that at its core is trying to inspire you to make a healthy, delicious meal a day.
I started with dessert because this is who I am! And the photo of the nut tart in the book looked and sounded SO good.
I haven’t made a ton of vegan desserts in my lifetime. Things like coconut cream and dates and nut butters don’t often collide in my kitchen. But I have a feeling that after this experience, I’m going to have to think about making more of them.
And I think we all love a (nearly) no-bake dessert, amiright?!
What did you end up doing for Valentine’s Day?! Josh and I ended up having a chill night in, made double-decker tacos, drank some beer and watched TABOO. He’s more into that show than I am; I usually fall asleep like 20 minutes in but I do think the time it takes place sort of fascinating.
I’ve had a crazy slow start to the week because on Monday I woke up with a pinch in my throat. It’s so annoying because I haven’t been doing anything that would bring on me getting sick. But I’m feeling better so woohoo!
This recipe and photos are from last month when we took a 3 day trip to Big Bear Lake. We got caught in a huge snow storm, which I sort of didn’t take that seriously until the snow just didn’t stop falling from the sky. I think we got 3 or 4 feet in a few hours.
Luckily it meant that we were holed up with no where to go for a full 2 days which meant plenty of baking and going on walks. Amelia was in heaven because for some reason she thinks snow is the most fun thing in the world.
So fluffy!! So fun!!
The little AIRBNB we rented was perfect for a few days because it had an old 80s oven and it came with the right amount of plastic sleds that were perfect for going down this hill that we found down the street from where we were staying.
Apparently this weekend is supposed to be another snow-heavy weekend and wish I was back there!
I have finished The Crown (I am a professional binge-watcher) and I LOVED IT. I love history and fell right into the series because of Wallis Simpson. I watched a documentary on her a few years ago so I felt like I already knew a small piece of the puzzle. I will admit that it was rather slow in the beginning but if you stick with it, it’s fascinating.
Now I’ve moved onto ABSTRACT. It’s like chef’s table but for artists and I’m so very into it because I find the process of any and all artists so interesting. I even love finding out how my food blog friends work. Like, oh you use fake light?! COOL! You get your surfaces and props from where? Interesting. I love the behind-the-scenes; I find it so very interesting.
I’m gonna be honest: these lil’ cakes look so neat and tidy but decorating them blew up my kitchen. I had five piping bags and somehow forgot to put twisty-ties on the end and frosting was gushing out the other end. I had like a pile of towels all filled with chocolate frosting and my hair was a hot mess. VERY grateful I was home alone because Amelia passes no judgement!
But when I finally came up for air and dug myself out of the mess, I loved how these little cakes turned out.
The yellow cake is delicious and rich. And the frosting is my absolute new-favorite.
I know I’m a million years late but I’m currently VERY hooked on The Crown on Netflix.
I’m really into the fact that her husband had to take her name and I also love the corgis that show up from time to time. I do, however, wish there was a full-time corgi in the show. They need to work on that for season 2.
It’s Valentine’s Day next week and it lands on a Tuesday (very unromantic day of the week). Josh and I have zero plans as of now. I’m guessing we’ll go out to a restaurant this weekend. We’re not big on going out on Valentine’s Day itself because prix-fixe menus and all that drama is too much.
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’m currently sitting in the passenger seat with my laptop in my lap, while Josh drives. Amelia is in the backseat with her raincoat on, fully equipped for inclement weather, sleeping. We’ll be in The Bay soon.
It’s almost Christmas/Hannakuh and I have one last recipe to share with you before I peace out for the rest of the year!
One of my big highlights of 2016 for sure was going to Copenhagen. I still think about it often—everything from the politics to the food to Trivoli to the pretty and old cobblestone streets. The food was oh so good but I remember one thing that I totally didn’t find or stumble upon were ebelskivers. I looked! But it’s ok because I’ve had plenty at Broder Nord in Portland. I’ve been there a handful of times and the thing that is an absolute must to order are the ebelskivers with meyer lemon curd and lingonberry jam. They are SO good.
If you’re unfamiliar with these puffy balls of amazingness, they’re essentially Denmark’s version of a pancake. The batter is somewhat similar, except for the last step, which involves whipping egg whites until stiff and folding them into the batter. They’re light and fluffy and so delicious after having been cooked in butter for a few minutes.
I made regular ebelskivers for an Anthropologie post I did back in November but I didn’t post the recipe because they weren’t 100, as the kids say. They still needed a bit of work.
I didn’t love that they weren’t like perfect circles. They still tasted great and were fluffy and warm and delicious but it was just an aesthetic thingy for me.
Well, Josh sent me a post that Bo Bech posted, sharing how to get perfect circles! You basically add the batter to the ebelskiver cavity, cook it for a few minutes, turn it 90 degrees and add more batter. Cook it on a few more sides and that’s it. PERFECTION.
I am currently prepping so hard to chill TF out for the break. I’m gonna be honest, this fall put in borderline burn out mode so I’m hoping that a bit of rest and chillaxation will give me some much needed energy.
This is also my favorite time to take a break because EVERYONE is taking a break. Usually if I go on a vacation in the month of May or April, I still end up working because I’m addicted to checking my email BUT NOT NEXT WEEK!
I’m also spending a bit of time doing some last bits of work, cleaning and organizing my apartment before we all head up to The Bay for the holidays.
We’ve also been binge-watching The OA and I am not mad at it. It’s SO good and weird and addictive and weird.
If you have a bunch of time over the next week, definitely watch it. It’s also family-friendly (no weird sex scenes) so you will be a-ok to watch it with your father-in-law/grandfather, etc.
This cranberry chestnut cake is a lil’ thing I made last week when I had some cranberries in the fridge and remembered this beautiful cranberry frosting I saw on Food52 a month ago or so.