I’m in big-time fall mode, cooking up as many things as I can for Thanksgiving. This year I really want to BRING IT. But oddly enough, I’m kind of a classics girl when it comes to Thanksgiving. I want classic Thanksgiving. I want a classic pumpkin pie. I kinda don’t like too many crazy twists.
Are you in the twists, weird interesting Thanksgiving foods?
Are you a classic Thanksgiving foods human?
Leave a comment below.
If you’re a classics, maybe I’ll do a whole post on making suuuuper fluffy potatoes. Maybe I’ll try and make the BEST classic Thanksgiving stuffing everrrr.
It would actually be fun content to create either way!
OK, let’s talk about these cookies because these scream fall. My friend, Matt, works in one of those hip cool communal workspaces in New York and he texted me a few months ago and was like CHAI CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.
Apparently a baker drops off chai chocolate cookies to his workspace and he was obsessed wit them. I though the sound of chai in chocolate chip cookies sounded AMAZING…so here we are.
These are wonderfully spiced, super chocolate-y and the texture is so good.
Not too many changes. Add chopped walnuts if you like. I love walnuts in cookies and they would work wonderfully in these cookies.
Ok tell me what kinda stuff you wanna see for Thanksgiving and make these cookies!!
Chai Chocolate Chip Cookies + A Question?
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: Makes 24 cookies
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces dark chocolate chunks
To a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, allspice, black pepper and salt together. Set aside.
To the bowl of a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment (you can also do this with a hand-mixer or by hand in a medium/large bowl), add the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat together until nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Pour in the vanilla extract and beat once more.
In one batch, add the flour. You will probably have to lift up the head part of your mixer to be able to add it all at once. Cover the mixer with a clean kitchen towel and turn it on low speed. Mix until the flour is mostly combined and then increase speed until you no longer see any flecks of flour. Pour in the chocolate chunks and mix one last time. Transfer the dough to the fridge to chill for an hour or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out balls of dough. If it’s super chilled, you may need to push some dough into the scoop so it’s nice and compact and then release the lever. I like to add all the balls of cookie dough to a sheet of parchment versus scooping dough, as I bake.
Transfer 6 to 7 balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them a part because these do spread. Place in the oven and bake for about 7 to 8 minutes. If the dough is super cold, it may need up to 10 minutes to bake. They should be light to medium golden brown. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt upon exiting the oven. Repeat until you’ve baked all the cookies.
To freeze, add the cookie dough balls to a baking sheet and stick in the freezer until very cold, about 20 minutes and then transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag.
I like to consider myself a fairly interesting person but when fall arrives I’m as basic as they come! I want to go apple picking, wear flannel, drink lattes with pumpkin flavors in them. And I wanna bake everything I can.
But real life quickly sets in and all my fall-aspirations and goals usually fall by the wayside and I do about one fourth of the activities I actually intend on doing. This fall I’m trying to make things very easy on myself.
For this post, I teamed up with Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk because I looooove their product. I also use sweetened condensed milk A LOT and theirs has such good flavor and texture.
Let’s talk about sweetened condensed milk for a quick second:
Sweetened condensed milk is milk which has water removed and replaced with sugar. Basically it’s milk and sugar—simple!
To make fall baking a bit easier on myself, last week I made two batches of dulce de leche and I have it in the fridge just chilling, ready for all sorts of recipes that I can’t wait to use to add it to.
The first up are these cookie bars that take ONE BOWL. I feel like one bowl things are the saving grace of baking because it means less dishes and less mess and just the sound of it is encouraging.
Also cookie bars are my new found love. There’s no scooping out cookie dough nor is there rolling out dough and stamping it out with a cookie cutter. It’s simply spread in an even layer in a 9×13 pan and baked—that’s it! Also, there are no batches of cookies that need to be baked up. In about 25 minutes, you’ll have all the bars you’ll need.
I’m so excited and am really trying to get back in the swing of things. Being away for seven days in the height of cozy season is HARD. I have a bunch of work to catch up on and I’m oddly excited to dig in. I’m also super pumped about figuring out the last details for the kitchen. It’s coming along slowly but surely!
I’m posting another kitchen update soon because it’s been a super interesting learning experience for me. I’ve never gone through a renovation and it’s mostly been kinda fun? Is that a weird thing to say?
While we were in Italy, the dry wall was finished and the floors are currently being laid and finished. I think so far my least favorite part has been all the dust/dry wall. But honestly, it’s been pretty cool. I’ve been ok with the slower pace because I want us to make the right decisions. Anyway, I’ll talk more about that tomorrow!
The kitchen is coming along (more on that soon). And this year I’m so happy to be in a new home because I’m super excited about decorating for fall. At our Echo Park apartment we never got any trick-or-treaters because we lived on an insanely steep hill and our apartment was hidden from the street.
BUT, the house that we’re moving into is in a neighborhood where tons of kids come to in order to get a++ candy.
Another thing that I can’t wait to do is set-up the entire kitchen with all of my kitchen items. This pretty blue Crofton Cast Iron French Oven and this Cast Iron Saucepan are from ALDI! If you head into the stores starting Wednesday, you’ll see them (but only for a short time!). ALDI has a range of beautiful cast iron items on sale throughout the fall and winter seasons.
And let me tell you they are such good quality. The pots heat up evenly (very important!), are heavy bottomed (so they are perfect for literally everything including cozy stews, soups and everything in between), super affordable and the enamel coating makes them super easy to clean.
To kick off the fall season and to break in these new pots, I wanted to make something very seasonal and pumpkin-y.
One of my favorite pumpkin/squash recipes is from The Year of Cozy and it’s the chorizo-spiced squash soup. I took that idea and applied it to this pasta dish and it is SO good.
Pumpkin puree (this organic puree is also available at ALDI this fall and is super affordable and the consistency is amazing!) is cooked with the spices that traditionally go in chorizo sausage. The spices go in but this dish is still very vegetarian—no meat whatsoever!
I mixed it with the pasta and a bit of the pasta water to thin it out and topped it with chopped up pepitas. It’s a recipe that comes together in about 20 minutes and it’s delicious.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but me and sheet cakes have a thing. It’s not an old relationship at all. In fact, this guy right here was kinda the first sheet cake I’d ever made. But once I made that one, I was like WHOAA. This is WAY better than a big, layered cake because it’s a million times less stress and time. I also think that anyone, AND I MEAN ANYONE, can decorate a sheet cake.
It just takes some swoops and swirls with a trusty off-set spatula and that’s it. I mean, even a butter knife could do the trick.
Here’s the trick—I found—to making those bomb-ass swirls: You gotta plop all the frosting right in the center and then push it out. It really works splendidly. It also takes under 5 minutes. If you mess with it too much then it starts to look too purposeful.
I’m currently getting all prepped to go to Italy on Tuesday and I’m so excited. Josh has psychotically made maps, coursing our tentative eating schedule. The past few weeks I’ve been purposefully eating on the healthier side so that I could save myself for loads and loads of pasta. I think it has been a wise decision.
One of the health-ish meals I’ve been making is this one-pan harissa chicken dish. It is SO delicious and Israeli couscous are my new favorite thing. They have such delicious toothsome texture.
For this recipe and post, I’m super excited to partner with GreenPan and their healthy, ceramic, non-stick pans. They are so gorgeous in person (the bronze is super pretty) and I love that they’re safe to cook with and super easy to clean.
I love these pans because they’re coated in Thermolon, making them safer and healthier to use. They’re super resistant to high heat (zero fumes come off the surface) and the coating, made from a sand derivative, will never flake or peel onto your food. All pluses!
The surface of the pan was ideal for searing this chicken and getting a super crispy skin and crust on it. And I didn’t have to use a ton of oil (also a plus) so the meal is pretty light.
Right now you can get a limited edition 5-piece set for their 10th anniversary. An extra bonus? The All frypans are currently 20% off through October 24th! GET UR PANS!
Lately, I have been living my life for anything one-pan/one-pot. I’ve been craving ease and I think you have too because anything I make that can be made in one vessel, you guys have made over and over, which of course makes me so pumped.
I feel like baked brie is kinda basic bitch-ish. It’s not all that revelatory. It’s nothing new. But I feel like this version–while not groundbreaking–is SO good.
This thing also gets more points because it’s really easy to throw together. It takes like five minutes to assemble and like ten minutes to bake. It also doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.
And the payoff is HUGE! The soft walnuts and crunchy pistachios with the warm figs are delicious. The thyme adds a nice aroma and the honey adds some nice sweetness.
This appetizer isn’t super sweet, so if you’re in the mood for more sweetness, toss the figs in a teaspoon of brown sugar.
I served this whole thang with Bubs + Grandma bread, which is a local Los Angeles bread maker. If you live in LA, you can get it often times at farmer’s markets or at Cookbook (in Echo Park). But if not, then this would be delicious with any good bread or crackers.
Are you feeling fall vibes?! It’s been so hot lately but I’m super excited for fall to arrive.
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!
Every morning, when the sun breaks, my Abuelita Renee sits at the edge of her bed with her rosary in her hand and she recites prayer, bead after bead. She’s probably done this every single morning since she was probably 12 years old in Peru. She’s 82 now.
I’m not all that religious but I think the act of thankfulness, faith and hope is so very beautiful. I think what she does every morning is special. And I know it helps her throughout her day. I was thinking this past weekend what I’m thankful for…
The world feels like it’s crashing, things feel off and full of unrest but in my little world that I’ve created that’s full of friends and close family and Josh and Amelia, I’m happy. I feel thankful that we get to go on walks together.
I’m thankful that I’m healthy and wake up every single day feeling good.
I’m thankful for this space on the internet that let’s me create and make money all at the same time.
I’m thankful that my family sacrificed so much to come to this country so I could lead a better life.
I’m thankful that you’re all here.
I’m thankful that Josh and I can laugh and talk for hours and hours at a time. We still love each other so very much. That feels good to me.
I’m thankful for the opportunities that have come my way. I try and honor them by working even harder.
I have been on the verge of almost getting sick for almost a month. And I have this strange pain in my neck. I have no idea what’s wrong with me but I think it’s a combo of maybe overworking myself and just being too scared to go to the chiropractor to get it fixed. I’m probably the absolute worst at going to the doctor because I hate it. It’s time-consuming and it’s scary all wrapped into one. So instead I’ve been subsisting off of wellness shots and wellness formula pills every single day. Let’s hope it works! My neck is another story. I’ve been thinking of getting this fancy pillow to help with my neck pain. Is this stuff interesting?
It’s not, I’m sorry. In other news, I went to Yeezy last night and IT WAS AMAZING.
Kayne reminds me of childhood but instead of childhood like as a little kid, it reminds me of being in my teenage years and early twenties when I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. It’s nostalgic in a whole other way. Kanye reminds me of my navy blue Jetta that always smelled a delicious combo of fast food and weed.
It took me a while to warm up to Saint Pablo but once I did I was hooked on that too.
I was hoping to get a glimpse of Kim but she was a no show. 🙁
Let’s talk chicken and dumplings!
This is my new favorite iteration of them because it combines cornbread into the mix and who doesn’t love cornbread?
If I were to make this again, which I will soon, I might fold some diced jalapeño into the dumplings so they’re a little spicy and sassy. If you want to be crazy, you can mix in some cheese, too.
This bowl situation is all for Cynthia’s (from Two Red Bowls) virtual baby shower. Everyone’s recipes are made in a bowl! Cynthia’s lil’ baby Samuel was born last week! Welcome into the world, little angel! He is so ridiculously cute. Congrats, Cynthia and family!
And a big hug to my homies Alana and Steph for organizing it (you can also see everyone else’s posts under #threeredbowls on the Instagram.