This week buried me alive. Last night I un-RSVP’d myself from Alana’s Halloween party that I’ve been excited about for WEEKS. But I could barely move and my feet were killing me. I took a shower and got in bed and slept for twelve straight hours and now feel like I can concur the world…but first, warm chocolate orange morning rolls.
These rolls on a Saturday morning make everything better. They are soft and warm and delicious. The combo of orange and chocolate will forever be a favorite of mine. It is classic Holiday vibes but I really feel like we should make space to enjoy them year around.
I’m currently in the middle—what I like to call—autumnal chaos. I am busy editing photos every night until 10pm, which also means I’m consuming a large amount of reality television. I’m incredibly embarrassed to admit that I have watched every.single.episode of Shahs of Sunset and I have so many opinions about them. The other day I went to their neighborhood (West LA) and I was like, “If I run into one of them…I won’t be able to control myself!” I was bummed I didn’t see them.
One recipe that was at the very top of my to-make list this season was to fall-ify carrot cupcakes. This is inspired by some ras al hanout carrot cupcakes in Casablanca: My Moroccan Food.
Carrot cake is already filled with spices but with these cupcakes we’re just adding WAY more, while also adding some other spices in the mix.
These cupcakes are glorious to freeze. And then thaw in the fridge when you’re ready to eat and serve.
Secondly, on this beautiful Wednesday morning, I made a little playlist on Spotify. It’s a cooking playlist but can be used anytime when you want to feel peaceful and escape the world around you. For me this is always at the grocery store. I always bring my headphone with me so I can be in my own world while I pick up things and put them in my cart.
Now, let’s move to this cake. This zucchini cake started with the highest hopes. It was meant to be a watercolored cake with yellow petal flower with dark green vines. Well…it didn’t work exactly according to plan. I mean does it ever? But there are plenty of happy accidents and this is one of them.
I’m currently watching old BadGirlRiri music videos because I’m procrastinating from cleaning out the dishwasher. There’s a white film that’s coating all my dishes and after I did some googling I found that it must be clogged and I gotta clean it with citric acid. Sounds fun!
I went to school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It’s a teeny little college town (especially compared to a big city like Los Angeles). I went to a conservatory, which technically means you’re classically trained in whatever you’re studying, but what it really means is that you’re stressed out all the time and you study and work like crazy.
We’d have super early shoots at 6am and I’d always, ALWAYS drive past Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (their original location!) and let me tell you, that “HOT NOW” sign that would light up was like a spark of joy and hope to us all.
Someone slid into my DMs the other day and asked me…what’s an easy-ish dessert to make in the summer?!
I immediately responded with STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES. But then I realized I don’t really have a thorough recipe on the blog for this. Which is weird since it’s my absolute go-to because everyone loves them.
It’s also great for a party because you can bake off the biscuits the morning of and assemble them in, like, 5 minutes.
Every summer during my wondrous childhood, my mom would buy these mini sponge cakes that they would sell in cellophane packaging. Next to it was always this strawberry fake-tasting syrup. She would buy them, along with a huge flat of strawberries. This grocery shopping day would make me joyful, truly.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the best part of making cookies is trying the dough right after it’s all mixed up. I do this every.single.time. And often times, have to stop myself from eating huge balls of cookie dough because, well, it can lead to a bit of a tummy ache and, um, really needs to be baked because you shouldn’t eat raw eggs! But I found a solution! Actually, the solution found me.
Enter: Just Cookie Dough. Crafted by a team of Michelin-starred chefs, it is egg-free, dairy-free, non-GMO cookie dough and contains no artificial flavors or high-fructose corn syrup. It’s safe to eat raw or bake it up. Whatever you prefer, you can feel good about indulging in Just Cookie Dough. I also love their Just Mayo and Just Dressing.
In fact, I use their mayo a few times a week because it is SO good. If you check my “highlights” on Insta Stories, I shared my favorite tuna salad with arugula and Just Mayo is what I use.
As a self-employed person, weekends aren’t always weekends. I actually like it this way. I know it may sound strange but I love doing work on the weekends because it means peace and quiet and zero emails! WOOHOO! This weekend was a combo of work and relaxation and it felt really nice.
I’ve been put on Queer Eye Season 2 and started to edit all the photos that exist on this computer. Josh was like, “why are you putting on that show because you’re gonna cry?” I was like, NO I’M NOT. And then literally seven minutes into the show, I started crying. Lol. It’s emotional!
Let’s talk about the recipe. I haven’t alway been a big fan of galettes. I kinda always thought they looked a little sloppy and I preferred and perfect-looking pie. And then I just embraced that them looking kinda sloppy is exactly what galettes are all about!
I would like to confess something to you all: I use to be anti-freezer.
I didn’t like the idea of freezing food. I have no idea why. It sounded stale and not “fresh.” I was also a very single person for a long time and really had no need to freeze anything. But I’ve since found my freezer to be a true gift. I freeze all sorts of things: sauces, cakes, muffins, pie crust…and cookie dough!
I always get questions about why I scoop cookie dough so close together. People ask me if I bake them that close together. NO, SILLY! If I did that it’d be one gigantic cookie (not a terrible thing).
I scoop them out because I usually make a double batch of cookies and freeze most of the recipe for later use. It always comes in handy when people come over or we have a party to go to. I can usually reach in my freezer, bake off some cookies and have something to bring.
Here how I freeze cookie dough:
STEP 1: Make the cookie dough. Now this works best with cookie that needs to be scooped out and baked. It can work with, say, shortbread but those are different directions all together.
STEP 2: Per the instructions, I transfer it to the fridge to chill for 1 hour. You can chill it for longer, it just gets tougher to scoop out the colder the dough gets. So I always say an hour is good. This will also depend on your recipe.
The edges of this cookie scoop are very sharp, so it easily cuts into cold cookie dough.
I place the scoops right onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and I place them super close together, though none of them are touching.
STEP 4: BAKE..OR FREEZE. If I’m baking the cookies, I’ll line another baking sheet with parchment paper and just transfer about 6 cookies to the tray and stick it in the oven. While those cookie are baking, I’ll usually transfer the cookies to the fridge, especially if it’s a hot day.
It makes the baking process much easier because once the cookies are done, I line another baking sheet and keep going. I reuse the parchment and baking sheet, I just allow it to cool a bit before adding the cookies to them.