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Spring

Spring Vegetable Pot Stickers

Dinner, Healthy (ish), Quick and Easy, Spring, Vegetarian

Last month I made pot stickers for the first time and I have to say, I was V impressed with them. They’re now one of my favorite things to make at home and are a million times easier than I thought they were. And yes, most of that has to do with the fact that I don’t make my own dough for the wrappers; even though that also doesn’t seem that hard to make, so maybe next time I’ll give it a try.

There were some days last week that felt like summer but I refuse to let go of spring for a long time. So we’re still in full effect with spring on this here blog for a long time.

These are filled with mashed peas (and some whole peas). The addition of sautéed buttery leeks also adds a nice flavor note. These are SO good. I love them so much.

The flavor here is all about sautéed leeks and barely cooked peas. The inspiration behind these pot stickers comes from Lisa Lin’s Instagram. Do you follow her? Her food looks so good. I could stare at it all day long.

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Soft Chewy Citrus-Poppy Seed Cookies

Cookies, Desserts, Spring

Monday was 96 degrees in LA. I literally don’t understand anything anymore.

This week has been a doozy since the beginning of it was spent attempting to get my life in order (read: taxes), which I did and feel wonderful about! YAY! I feel like starting a blog is all fun and games until you have to file taxes, then owe $$$$ and then it gets very real. Now that that businass stuff is settled, I can go back to concentrating on more fun stuff, things I actually enjoy like cookies and cake and salads.

Yes, salads. I’m brainstorming so many salad ideas because I’ll usually make the same salad for days, weeks in a row and then get super bored and then vow to never eat it again. If you’re eating any new-to-you-cool salads, please leave some suggestions in the comments below. NOW, for these cookies, which are way cooler than salad…

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Instant Pot Chipotle Braised Lamb Shank

Dinner, Holiday, Spring

This dish smells like Sunday dinner. You know that smell…like sautéed onions, something braising in spices. The sounds are different than the smells. They’re of steam rising, some sort of adult-friendly jazz or salsa playing, and mom is screaming at you to set the table. Or at the very least, take the trash out because it’s gotten full. People are coming over and it’s time for the kitchen to go from used up to presentable. And you need to be presentable, too, so put on something nice; your Sunday best is preferred.

My mother was the best at braising things. She was also incredible at delegating and making everyone do what needed to get done. She was doing the most so it was only fair.

For this post, I teamed up with McCormick to show you how to make Easter Sunday smell and taste amazingly delicious. And to make it as easy as possible, this whole thing is made in an Instant Pot.

The Instant Pot makes this dish come together SO fast and easy. The lamb shanks are smothered in a spice mixture full of sea salt, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, mustard and black pepper. It’s seared and then placed in the Instant Pot with tomatoes and a chipotle in adobo. It’s braised with some carrots, onion and garlic.

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Cappuccino-Flavored Rose Cupcakes

Cakes, Desserts, Spring

I learned a lot of lessons from making these cupcakes. The number one thing: if you’re a creative person, surround yourself with people who will be brutal with you. It’s important.

After attempting to make buttercream roses last year and getting super frustrated, I gave up. But last month, I decided to do my research, get the right piping tip (hello Wilton #104 is your friend) and try again. I piped out one “rose” and I thought it looked pretty good. I texted it to Billy and asked him how it looked. I was assuming he was gonna go, “GREAT! YOU’RE SO TALENTED!” Instead, this man goes, “these look like foreskins.”

UMM OK! THANKS!

But the more I looked at them, the more I agreed. The more I was thankful to my friend for telling me the truth before I put a whole dozen of foreskin-looking cupcakes out into the blogsphere. He saved me, you know? Very grateful.

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Pea Pesto Pasta with Brown Butter Scallops

Pasta, Quick and Easy, Spring

Spring is in full effect and I am fully enjoying going for long walks with Amelia and seeing Los Angeles so bright, green and blooming. Since we got a pretty heavy dose of rain this winter, Los Angeles is probably the prettiest I’ve seen it in quite some time.

I know I say this with every season (minus summer) but I love spring. I love the produce above all of the other seasons. Peas and rhubarb and strawberries and fava beans! I love it all so much.

I also love that spring doesn’t involve any sweating. And there isn’t anything more delightful than warm yet light and fresh-tasting pasta.

I teamed up with ALDI to bring you this delicious pasta tossed in an arugula pea pesto that’s spiked with a good amount of lemon, ricotta and parmesan. It results in a creamy rich pasta that’s still so fresh and clean.

I topped the pasta with tasty scallops from ALDI that I seared up in ghee or butter, which is currently my favorite thing to use to pan-fry or sauté anything. It’s the one thing from Whole 30 that I still hold onto.

It gives the scallops a delicious buttery aroma and flavor that I love. It works well with the brininess from the scallops.

The best part about this lil’ meal is that it is super fastsuper-fast and easy. I’d say all in all, it took me about 20 minutes. I’ve been trying to make more easy meals, especially since the last month it seems that all I’ve wanted to make are layer cakes that take me (and you) like 3 hours.

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Spiced Babka with Rhubarb Glaze

Breakfast, Desserts, Spring

This weekend was full of fun work.

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.

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Big-Ass Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake with Chamomile Whipped Cream

Biscuits, Breakfast, Desserts, Holiday, Spring

I love strawberry shortcake, biscuit-style.

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.

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Matcha Iced Latte

Drinks, Spring, Summer

How to Make an Iced Matcha Latte

Sometimes when I use matcha….actually, make that ALL the time, I ask myself: “Am I being basic?” The answer might be yes. I’m not completely sure. But still, my insecure self returns to it time and time again because it’s DELICIOUS!

And in the afternoon when I need a bit of a pick-me-up and know I can’t handle coffee or an espresso beverage (I’ll be up all night), a matcha latte is the perfect go-to.

How to Make an Iced Matcha Latte

And it’s so pretty. And it tastes great. So I guess the answer is that I might be basic. And matcha might be overplayed. But who cares. Trendy things are only lame if they only sorta taste good. (Also: to a lot of people, matcha is not trendy—it’s been around for centuries. And to them, the rest of the world is just late.)

There is a new matcha bar that moved into my neighborhood and it’s so good but most days I don’t feel like driving down the road so instead I like to make a my own version at home.

How to Make an Iced Matcha Latte

This couldn’t be simpler.

You put a few teaspoons of matcha powder in a measuring cup and add a few tablespoons of hot water. Whisk it until the matcha has dissolved and then you pour in the remaining water and whisk some more. I transfer it to the fridge or freezer to chill for about 15 minutes.

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Strawberry Sheet Cake with Rhubarb Meringue Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Spring, Summer

I had a full-blown, real, non-working weekend. There was a good dose of working out, dinner at a newly-opened neighborhood restaurant (highly recommend it)! I helped my friend Hourie with her charity bakesale that was sold out in an hour (!!!). There was also loads of salsa and smoothies and working out.

Moving onto cakes, specifically this one. Easter is this weekend, which really is the kickoff to spring brunches. There’s Mother’s Day and spring weather, which makes for ideal brunching-weather.

If you love cakes but can’t find the energy/skillz to decorate them, then the whole ‘sheet cake category’ is for you. They are ridiculously easy. All you’ll need is a proper baking pan and a spatula and a handful of sprinkles.

This strawberry + rhubarb sheet cake is the complete opposite of this Neapolitan number. That cake requires a few cups of coffee and some concentration (or at least the decorating part does).

This cake is made up of the most delicious white/strawberry cake combo ever. I could eat it over and over. And the rhubarb frosting is delicious tart and smooth.

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Cadbury Mini Eggs Skillet Cookie

Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts, Holiday, Spring

What do you do for Easter?

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…

What did you all growing up doing (if at all)?

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