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Holiday

Breakfast Braided Strawberry + Apricot Bread

Breakfast, Desserts, Holiday

I have recently (re)discovered the pleasure of wearing a robe around the house. I have this one, in case you’re curious, and it feels like luxury! I have no idea what I’ve been doing wearing PJs when I could’ve been wearing an incredibly soft robe.

I’m currently parking on the couch (in my robe),  editing a huge bundle of photos, trying to get all of my work done for the rest of the year. I’m THISCLOSE and am so excited. I can’t wait. When I’m done I’m going to do fun-to-me things like go on epic hikes with Amelia before I leave for the holidays. This is going to be the first time I’ll be away from her and I’m already SAD!

I think a lot about Christmas breakfast and how epic I always want it to be. I always love a braided situation. I usually use store-bought puff pastry but I love this bread-y version because oh so delicious.

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Chewy Chai Masala Snickerdoodles

Cookies, Desserts, Fall, Holiday, Quick and Easy, The Holidays

The Year of Cozy came out three years ago. THREE YEARS! That’s insane. Time goes by so quickly. I have to say, I’m so proud of that little book. It’s a little book that could.

This has hands-down been the most-made recipe out of the entire book. These snickerdoodles are delicious. They’re chewy, perfectly spiced with a combination of black pepper, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. I love giving these away because they have a bit of staying power. They taste delicious even if they’re not straight from the oven.

The chewiness is heavenly. I attribute the cream cheese to their good texture. It’s truly magical in these.

I’m going to be honest and tell you that I don’t drink a ton of dairy milk but man, with these cookies, a glass of milk is SO GOOD.

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Plant-Based Vanilla French Toast with Simmered Cranberries

Breakfast, Holiday, Quick and Easy, The Holidays, Vegetarian

’Tis the season! I feel like the day after Thanksgiving my neighborhood goes into Holiday high gear. Literally every single house in my neighborhood is already decked out with holiday decorations, trees, Santas on the roof. I’m over here trying to recover from Thanksgiving lol.

Today is as good as any day to get the party started! I’m starting easy, grooving into the holiday season with breakfast. For this post, I teamed up with JUST and their new product JUST Egg. I used it over the summer, remember? It’s a product that truly blows my mind because it’s made from mung beans and yet it tastes just like eggs (texture and flavor). It’s wild!

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How to Build a Winter Cheese Plate

Appetizers, Holiday, How-To, Quick and Easy, The Holidays

I’m not trying to brag but I have been invited to two holiday parties already and we haven’t even entered the month of December. This is going to be a very fun season for me! I’m excited. 

My neighborhood is very into the holiday spirit; each and every single house on the block already has lights up. In order to fit in with the Jones’, we spent the weekend trying to get our lives together, i.e., getting rid of the squirrel-eaten pumpkins.

In preparation for this season, I wanted to put a mini guide together about Building a Winter Cheese Board! 

For this post, I teamed up with Roth Cheese. Their cheeses are so amazing and made in Wisconsin using fresh, local milk from dairy farmers right down the road. The flavors are delicious and rich. While I think they’re wonderful on a cheese board, I also think they’re perfect for grilled cheeses, too; their meltability is on point! They’d also work in a gratin or melted over vegetables.

Here are some pointers on creating a winter cheese board:

Pick Your Cheeses – I went with Grand Cru Havarti, Grand Cru Gouda, and Grand Cru Alpine-Style. I cubed up the Havarti and Gouda for easy consumption. I decided to leave the Alpine-Style in its wedge mainly for aesthetic reasons lol. The Havarti is mild and buttery. The Gouda creamy with a hint of sweetness. The Alpine-Style is nutty. I like for all of the cheeses to complement each other, while all being different to offer some contrast.

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Instant Pot Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Holiday, Quick and Easy, Sides, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

Did you know that The Instant Pot was the counter kitchen with the highest sales in 2018?! Isn’t that wild?!? That information blew my mind. And yet whenever I spoke to someone, they told me that someone had gifted them an Instant Pot but it was just sitting in a closet somewhere because they didn’t know what to make with it. Or it intimidated them and they didn’t know how to use it. I’m here to tell you: this is normal. It really is.

For a while, I was kinda annoyed at Instant Pot recipes because they seemed like Pinterest trap lol but honestly they’re pretty incredible. I had borrowed Billy’s for a few recipes but it wasn’t until a month or so ago that I actually got one and it has been a life-changer. I use it ALL the time. And on a day like Thanksgiving when the ovens are full and stoves are all busy, this can come in handy.

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Thanksgiving Round-Up 2018

Holiday, Thanksgiving

Hello from Thanksgiving prep! I wouldn’t say I’m exactly prepping but I would say I’m planning.

I also have a handful of recipes coming up this week that are great for Thanksgiving but wanted to give a little Thanksgiving inspiration.

What are you making?!?!

Here are some of my favorites!

Acorn Squash Pasilla Chile Queso Fundido

Rose Apple Pistachio Tart

Pumpkin Raclette Mac and Cheese

Sheet Pan Mojo Turkey

Pumpkin Tres Leches

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Cheddar Rye Apple Hand Pies

Pumpkin Tahini Loaf

Burnt Butter Pear + Apple Crumble

Asian Pear Apple Pie

Miso Caramel Apple Pie

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Chocolate Chewy Cadbury Cookies

Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts, Holiday

If you follow me on The Ol’ Instagram, you know that I just spent the last 4 days in Mexico City and it was so glorious. I ate a whole lot of tacos, I went to Pujol (magical), visited the Luis Barragan house and saw the place where Frida Kahlo created. Goals have been completed. I can’t wait to go back! Have you been?!

I think this recipe completes my Easter content for this year. I think I’m done. Before I settled on these chocolate cookies, these were initially peanut butter cookies. I set out to bake a chewy, soft peanut butter cookie with Cadbury mini eggs. Umm…I realized that all the recipes online that says they’re soft…ummm…they’re all full of lies!

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Carrot Sheet Cake with Buttercream Flowers and Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Holiday

It’s Easter this Sunday. As a child, we were not Easter Basket people. We went to church for mass and that was it. We always had a nice meal but my mother didn’t believe in treating that day as a day for gifts and money. As a child, I didn’t even know what I was missing. I talk to my friends now and they all got money, candy, baskets, Easter eggs full of cool stuff. WTF, mom?!?!

I was not a deprived child so I can’t really complain at all. I really can’t. One thing that I always loved when spring time came around was carrot cake. I think my mom would buy it from this local Italian market and theirs was SO good and fluffy.

Years ago, when I first started baking, I made a recipe from Southern Living and it was incredible. Since then, I’ve made other versions and frankly, they just weren’t that good. So this recipe is basically theirs but with more spices, walnuts instead of pecans and more salt.

And the directions have been rewritten to be a bit more streamlined. But I can’t say a bad thing about the recipe. I didn’t know how to improve it—I tried. We made this thinking we would be like oh we definitely have to make it more moist, we definitely have to change this or that.

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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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Smoked Gouda Black Pepper Biscuits with Spiral Spiced Ham

Biscuits, Breakfast, Holiday

Easter is coming at us fast! Is it just me or does this year feel extra early? My brain is used to Easter happening well into the month of April.

I’m excited to head to Mexico City (!!!) this weekend and I’m even more excited that I’ll be home just in time for the festivities. These biscuits (and ham) are on my top priority lists to make/eat this Easter. I hope they find their way to your table too!

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