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.
One of my favorite food bloggers of all-time has always been Naomi from Baker’s Royale. Her work has always been GOALS. Her photography style is so beautiful and her food styling skills are amazing. She’s super talented.
I was super excited when her book, Bakers Royale, showed up at my door step! When I thumbed through it, my jaw fell when I saw this beautiful chocolate pear tart. It is so easy to throw together and it’s kind of like a brownie meets a tart…but with fruit in the center. I loooooved it.
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.
Growing up, we never had Easter baskets filled with money and candy. And my mom never coordinated Easter egg hunts. I think Latino humans don’t do that; mainly because Easter is super serious business. There’s no time for mascots and games. He has risen! You know?
Instead we’d have lots of cooking and family over and we’d always, always go to mass. It was the most crowded long mass of the entire year and usually I was dreaming about the free donuts that they’d hand out in the parking lot.
And when we’d get home, I’d happily change out of my often-times-dressy outfit and put on shorts and a t-shirt and start eating. It was always the best day ever and I’m sort of excited about maybe having a bit of an Easter brunch next weekend. We shall see if I can get it together…
Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day aka the day when Josh and I are going to start talking about wedding planning (interesting date we chose, eh? we didn’t do it on purpose I swear!).
Yeh, we’ve put that off for a while because when we first started, like, two days after we got engaged, I immediately downloaded Aisle Planner and started to put a bit of a plan together. And then…it got stressful. So many people. It adds up so quickly! And if we’re doing a destination wedding…good gracious it’s a lot. Anywayz, we told each other that maybe we need to chill out and just enjoy this time a bit and put it off for a few months. So we did. And now that date is here (ugh!). But we’ll figure it out, I suppose. I’m not that stressed out about it.
I’ll share more on that soon (like, when we know what we’re doing)!
For now I wanted to share this cake recipe I made for Epicurious. I wanted a spring-y cake that would remind people of how a strawberry malted milkshake would taste. The barley flavor in the malt powder is so delicious in the cake and frosting.
And to make it Easter-centric, there’s a nest on top that’s made up of shards of white chocolate—it truly couldn’t be easier. I filled it with Cadbury pastel-colored chocolate eggs. They are the best holiday candy our of all holiday candy in my very humble opinion!
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.
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.
Every family has Christmas traditions. I love hearing about other families’ traditions because they vary so much.
The one tradition my mom always kept alive and well was Peruvian-style homemade hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. In Peru, homemade hot chocolate is cooked over the stove, with Peruvian chocolate chopped into tiny bits and then mixed into milk with cinnamon and cloves; it’s rich and delicious.
Traditionally it’s had right before everyone heads to midnight mass. When we were teeny-tiny, the hot chocolate would come right before bed since at that time we believed that Santa would come down our non-existent chimney and bring us gifts. My dad would tell us he’d sneak in through a window which sort of scared me but whatever.
It was the one time a year when we had dairy because my parents jumped on the non-dairy train so early. We were one of those houses with rice and almond milk only.
This is a mash-up of another dessert my mom LOVED to make; it’s not Peruvian, though they do make it all over South America. Crema catalana is a Spanish dessert that is SO good. It’s a lot like creme brûlée with the big difference being that it’s not baked—it’s simply cooked over the stove-top then chilled in the fridge.
For this post, I teamed up with McCormick spices to add all the goodness to this dessert. It uses McCormick ground cinnamon, whole cloves and vanilla extract.
Apparently, I have fancy Christmas tree taste because my favorite tree at the tree market was called a silver tip and it went for like 75% higher than all the other trees. It’s actually quite tall and sparse looking so when I went to ask for the price, I expected a discount but nope. Expensive tree taste—didn’t even know it was a thing!
I went home with it and had the guy kindly tie it to the top of my tiny car because it’s like when you get something in your brain and you just can’t forget about it. Like shoe-shopping. It’s like that.
I came home and Amelia immediately thought the water in the tree basin was for her so I’ve been constantly catching her drinking it. I yell at her but at the same time it’s so funny and cute that I just fill it up and let her do whatever she wants.
Another thing that has been on my brain for so very long are miso brownies! I saw them in the bakery case of a bakery I can’t actually remember but thought they sounded so good! Sweet and savory and chocolate-y…sign me up.
I wanted brownies that had a super crackly top and after I did some Googling and testing, I figured out that the thing that ensures a super crackly crust is beating the eggs and sugar together for a full 10 minutes (thanks, Martha!). Also, the sugar amount has to be up there for this to really work.