I’m currently in a small mountain town in Colombia called Jardin. I’m sitting on a balcony at the hotel while it pours that damp, humid rain that is so lovely. It’s so beautiful, quaint and lush. I arrived Saturday night, after a very full day of travel. And yesterday morning I took a helicopter ride, which I was actually terrified of, to Jardín. The helicopter ride ended up being so smooth and chill, I realized about two minutes in, I had zero to worry about. ALSO, I cracked open the new book club book which I’m announcing tomorrow! YASSS.
I can’t wait to tell you more about my trip and the book BUT today we’re still in the depths of Valentine’s Day content. V-Day is Wednesday!
These were so fun to put together. I failed…SO HARD the first time I made these. A few of you might’ve seen it on Instagram. But the first, first time I tried to make them was actually a few years ago.
I bought this heartbreak cookie cutter in hopes of making “heartbreak surprise cupcakes.” BUT OMG that did not work at all. Now I realize the biggest problem that I kept encountering was that the cookie cutter needed to be the perfect size.
I finally figured it out and went to Michael’s and picked up this heart-shaped cookie cutter that’s about 1-inch big. It was only, like, a dollar and I believe now it’s on serious sale because Valentine’s Day is next week and Michael’s is already moving onto Easter/4th of July and most likely Halloween. They move quickly!
I will be very forthright and say that this recipe takes a bit of time. You basically make a 8-inch red velvet single layer cake. After it bakes, you punch out the hearts.
This layer can easily be made the night before and you can wrap it tightly and keep it in the fridge.
And then the white batter is made. The hearts are placed right in the center of the cake batter.
This cake is still really amazing. It’s strawberry because we all know that conversation hearts are really gross. I bought a variety bag for this shoot (to use as props) and ate a few and omg they were so terrible!!
It reaffirmed my decision to make the cake a yummy strawberry cake. Remember when I made this strawberry sheet cake? It’s that recipe and made it into a two-layer heart cake. I topped it with strawberry frosting and a little message of LET’S GET COZY!!
It took me exactly a whole lot of hours and curse words to be able to write LETS GET COZY in buttercream. I will say that I can use some buttercream-writing-practice.
I was very close to taking it to the nearest grocery store where I was gonna plead with the woman who works at the bakery to write it for me. But then I thought, NO! This is a learning experience.
I somehow am feeling under the weather again so I’ve decided to self-diagnose myself and get in bed. Yesterday I was sulking and decided to eat a lot of cereal (with almond milk) and watch Cookie Challenge on Food Network. SO INSPIRING!! It made me want to get back in the kitchen. I love the holidays and it makes me giddy to bake holiday stuff. I could live in the world of stain-glassed cookies for ever and ever.
I’ve been thinking of breakfast items this week. And I know that eggnog will probably be in your fridge at some point.
Yowza, do you have your gift-giving situation all dealt with?
This year, if I’m being completely honest, I thought of doing zero presents. I know that this sounds sappy but I have everything I want with just the presence and health of my family and friends. Joshua and Amelia are all I need in this dark, dark world. Haha.
I didn’t really want anything, but then I realize people want to give you something so I wrote a short list of some jewelry I wanted. And then added some clothes. Like, if you’re gonna ask, I’m gonna tell you what I want haha. Josh is probably regretting asking me but you know \_(ツ)_/¯
One of the most popular recipes on this blog is this Chai Tiramisu. I’ve been thinking of making it with different types of tea and earl grey came to my mind because it might be one of my favorite teas next to chai. When I went to London a few years ago, I drank SO much of it and slept very little; the caffeine level is kind of intense.
Luckily this dessert doesn’t have THAT much caffeine in it so it’s definitely something you can enjoy and then have a nice night of sleep.
Last week I woke up early and headed to the flower market, which is one of my favorite activities. While it’s always kinda chilly and damp at the flower market, it’s also beautiful and full of life, especially during the holidays.
I decorated the kitchen with a beautiful garland, I bought gorgeous little ceramic houses and mini decorative trees. But, as of like this last weekend, I still had my fall pumpkins at the doorstep. Lol. Life is busy and this season moves so quickly for me!
I’m glad I was able to take some time this weekend and decorate the proper way. I also spent some time eating these marshmallows in a warm cup of cocoa and let me tell you they are SO good.
For this post, I teamed up with KitchenAid® and their Artisan® Stand Mixer, which is one of the tools in my kitchen that I pretty much use every single day. For years, I baked without one and life was so much harder then. Why is a stand-up mixer amazing, you might ask? Here are some things that I love about it:
1. KitchenAid Stand Mixers are really good quality. You will buy them once and they will last you a VERY long time.
2. You can make a wide-range of things in a Stand Mixer. Remember my mashed potatoes? I mix all sorts of things in it. It’s not just for baking.
3. A lot of steps are now hands-free. If you’re creaming butter and sugar together (the first step in a lot of cookies), you can just let it do its thing while you get the rest of the ingredients together. It allows you to multi-task.
Now that work has started to slow down and I can concentrate on being festive AF, I have decided to list some of my favorite Christmas/Holiday movies. And then maybe you can tell me your favorites because for the next couple of weeks I am preparing myself to just chill and watch movies. And maybe bake a few things, sparingly.
1. Little Women – Winona Ryder at her best. Kirsten Dunst SO YOUNG. Annie McDowell love her!
2. It’s a Wonderful Life – I maybe know every word to this movie. Take a wild guess who currently reminds me of Mr. Potter? Lol.
3. Elf – I mean, it’s just a classic.
4. Home Alone – I still kinda almost cry at the end when he sees the old man in church.
5. Love Actually – Hugh Grant at his best—I miss him, wish he was still acting.
Am I missing any? I feel like I must be. Oh I was going to put The Christmas Story on there but honestly that movie always creeped me out. The dad and his creepy-ass obsession with the leg lamp; the mom washing out the kid’s mouth out with soap; and them having a depressing Christmas. That movie is a bummer. Maybe it’s more honest than most Christmas movies but I need some magic.
Anywayyyzzz, welcome to the post where I’m reorganizing the beloved “tres leches cake.” I like to think that maybe I simplified it with uno leche. Lol. The only leche that’s in this cake is the horchata. In case you are unfamiliar with horchata, I will break it down for you in a list (because I love lists):
As of yesterday, I’m almost (not yet tho!) done with work for the year. I cannot even tell you how happy this makes me. I’m celebrating by creating more stuff for this blog and I know that’s technically work but when it comes to holiday stuff, it feels more like fun. I really want to make a yule log with my friend Hourie. We made one years ago and it was SO fun and it ended up being beautiful.
I’m also obsessed with The Big Family Cooking Showdown on Netflix because it’s like The Great British Baking Show but with family drama–how fun! I’m also super excited to sit in bed tomorrow and watch The Crown!!
Okay let’s talk about this cake. I think it’s safe to say that 2017 was the year that I fell in love with the art of “the sheet cake.”
Leading up to Thanksgiving, your girl was exhausted. I’m so glad I took last Saturday to chill out and rest. There was a whole day where all I did was hide under a fluffy blanket and read articles online. I drank iced tea and did absolutely nothing and it was amazing! Highly recommend.
I know the holiday season can be wild and crazy. It tends to be whirlwind, as we drive quickly toward the end of the year. I try and savor it as much as I can. One thing I obviously love doing is BAKING!
YASSS! This holiday season, I have so many delicious recipes that I want to share with you all.
I’m also super excited to share recipes that are wide-ranging: ones that are easy to throw together; a few that are more like “baking projects”; and a couple dishes that are things you can make during the weeknight for dinzzz.
Monday I posted a weeknight recipe. Today (and yesterday) is all about a quick-baking recipe. These cookies are super simple—no mixer or fancy equipment required. These cookies travel well and are so delicious.
If I’m keeping it super real, I’ve secretly been tired of pumpkin, autumn leaves and anything Thanksgiving related for like a month haha. I think that’s the peril of my job: I celebrate the actual holiday way before it even arrives. I’m so glad to be freed into the land of Santa, red and snowflakes. Let’s do this!
Most years I’m not invited to THAT many holiday parties; I’m not throwing myself a pity party because I honestly love nothing more than to stay home with Amelia and watch movies, but this year I’m already on the books for four! I feel incredibly popular and special. A special thank you to my friends!
I’ve been jotting down ideas for items that we can bake and bring to our friends. Here is what I’d like from them:
1. Make ahead.
2. Easily transportable.
3. Drama-free baking.
These Pie de Limón Cookie Bars are super easy to throw together. You essentially make a cookie crust and bake it for about 10 minutes and while it’s baking, you make the filling. Everything in a bowl and mixed up—that’s it. Not too many ingredients either.
This dessert uses no sugar in the actual filling—just sweetened condensed milk!