For the past few years, Josh and try and take one vacation a year. We spend a lot of time dreaming about where we’re gonna go to next. 2019 is Paris (hopefully!) neither of us have been, so we can’t wait!
Every year we try and make sure we have enough points so our flights or hotel are covered. This makes the expense of the vacation itself a whole lot more manageable.
That’s why I’m super excited to be teaming up with American Express and their new Gold Card to share with you how to earn points for doing the things you love!
If you have followed me for a while then you probably know that I’m not really the type to give you an appetizer that is also made up of “bloody” cupcakes, or a spooky one-eyed appetizer…or something green and murky with a chocolate monster coming out of it.
You see, me and Halloween are really not a vibe. And that’s ok. There are some holidays that’s aren’t me and I just let them pass without giving them any real attention. Halloween has been that type of holiday for me for a long time. Except this year…maybe.
My lukewarm sentiments towards Halloween started as a kid. Haunted houses actually scared me. A Charlie Brown Halloween gave me nightmares. I hated dressing up (so uncomfortable), disliked the stories about potential grownups giving us spiked candy that was filled with razor blades (do they still tell kids these scary stories?) and generally would pass on anything bright orange.
But over the past couple of years, I’ve come to like it. Like, ok maybe I’ll buy some Halloween candy, I’ll dress up Amelia in a costume that she hates but tolerates. Maybe I’ll bring a bloody finger appetizer I found off Pinterest to this party. And maybe I’ll dress up.
This year I’m dipping my toe in once again with these spooky mummy pumpkin pop tarts.
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.