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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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Hasselback Butternut Squash with Walnut Gremolata

Quick and Easy, Sides, Thanksgiving, The Holidays, Vegetarian

Thanksgiving is like the cooking Olympics. Even people who don’t typically cook, cook. People who don’t typically bake, bake. It’s a time when you really have to roll up your sleeves and get busy—that Thanksgiving table depends on you!

I like to think that this hasselback butternut squash is the side dish anyone can make—no matter your cooking and baking skill level. It’s super simple, achievable and most importantly, beautifully delicious.

For this post, I teamed up with ALDI, which is a great and affordable place to head to for all things Thanksgiving. I went there to stock up on everything from baking ingredients (flours, sugars, etc.) to nuts (their walnuts are amazing) and oils (vegetable and olive oil).

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Cheesy Goat Cheese Potato Gratin

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Sides, Vegetarian, Winter

We are thick in holiday season and I couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming break. I’m excited to chill and cook leisurely in fluffy socks.

This recipe is on my to-make-again list because it is so good and chill to make. In the world of gratins and scalloped potatoes there is a lot of controversy as to how you make them. A lot of recipes call for simply adding the potatoes to a casserole dish and then pouring cheese and heavy cream on top of the potatoes. I disagree with this method in an incredibly strong way. While it requires an extra step and admittedly isn’t as easy, a roux (a.k.a. a cheese sauce) must be made. This way there is no coagulation, just a silky smooth and tasty cheesy experience.

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Pimento Cheese Pecan Pull Apart Bread

Fall, Scones & Muffins, Sides

As you know, your girl loves her some autumn. I love autumn everything. I love the clothes, the weather, the drinks, the snacks. And I also loooove autumn weddings.

I’m currently in my car, driving up north to San Luis Obispo to celebrate my friends Samantha and Aaron! I’m staying at the Madonna Inn. Have you seen photos? It’s a crazy wild pink hotel that is straight out of a different decade. I can’t wait to dance and take photos of the fun interiors.

Another autumn item that I’m loving? Pecans. I love pecans and actually put them in everything from my smoothies to salads. I love their flavor and texture.

For this post I’m super excited to team up with the The American Pecan Council. This past few weeks I’ve learned so many cool, new-to-me facts about pecans…like, did you know they’re the only tree-nut indigenous to North America? They are.

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Fluffy, Creamy Classic Mashed Potatoes (that you can totally make-ahead)

Quick and Easy, Sides, Thanksgiving, The Holidays, Vegetarian

This blog post started off so innocently. I was all like, “I’m going to make some ultra fluffy mashed potatoes.” And then…cut to me, like, three recipes in and still not super satisfied with the results.

Here’s the thing that you learn with Googling “How to Make Fluffy Mashed Potatoes”: everyone and their mom has an opinion about the process, potato type, etc. So, I read a lot. And then I asked Josh, who also (surprise!) had a lot to say about potatoes.

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Instant Pot Hummus with Chimichurri

Appetizers, Dinner, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Sides

This weekend! There was a good dose of work sprinkled throughout the weekend but there was also time to try a new restaurant (Maestro) in Pasadena (very good) and go and see Wonder Woman (double-thumb ups).

I love going to the movies and I try and go as much as I possible but the past few months there has literally been zero that I even remotely wanted to see. So I’ve been keeping busy with Netflix and I have to say: I highly recommend The Keepers (VERY CREEPY!) and the Thanksgiving episode of Master of None. If you don’t watch the entire season, it’s totally fine, just watch that episode. I made me teary and warm inside. I loved it so much.

Another thing I’ve been researching and thinking about: the Instant Pot. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been very skeptical. I honestly don’t make a ton of beans and I don’t braise a ton of meat so for a long time I was like, who cares!?!? but then I wanted to make hummus and Billy offered to bring over his Instant Pot for hummus-making, so I said, “let’s doooo it.”

These beans cooked in like 30 minutes—it was insane! While they cooked in the Instant Pot, we did other things like talk about how crazy Ramona is and how Sonja ate a whole block a cheese and Luann’s wedding and we also talked about chocolate chip cookies. But we still saved so much time using that thing. I can’t recommend it enough…except I haven’t bought one for myself. Continue Reading

Raclette Sticks 

Appetizers, Sides

Look at this cool diet food!

I kid, I kid.

A few weeks ago, I had this idea to make traditional mozzarella sticks but with something cooler…

Immediately I thought: raclette! I instantly talked myself into it but realized when I went to the store that it would require a disclaimer. And that disclaimer is that these are not cheap. The price tag on this big block of raclette almost made me turn myself right around and walk out of Whole Foods but I kept going on with this project. I even purchased regular ol’ mozzarella sticks to test the recipe with because I was scared to use the precious raclette.

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Cheesy Bay Pull Apart Loaf

Sides, Snacks

HIII!!

I’m dropping in right quick to say hello. Hi. I’ve been a little on the busy side this week getting everything prepared for this weekend.

I’m headed to Chicago to hang out with some friends for Josh’s b-day! He’s one year older so we’re headed to Smyth (it looks crazy fancy) for dinner on Friday night and then we’re gonna chill and relax the rest of the weekend.

It should be a fun time and I guess it’s not gonna be that cold? (It’s 65F on Sunday! WHA?!)

I’m actually going to Chicago in a few weeks again so Illinois is going to be seeing a lot of me in the month of March.

I wanted to talk about this fine specimen right quick.

She is a winner.

She is cheesy.

She is warm. And cozy. And a lil’ spicy. Basically, ME.

I was inspired by Red Lobster’s Cheesy Bay Biscuits (which if I’m being honest, I have never had, I want to fix this soon), so I wanted to put that spiciness and cheesiness in a carb-fest celebration.

Enter: this pull apart loaf.

I made this with my favorite cheese EVER, Tillamook. Hop on over to their site for the recipe.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a brand spankin’ new shiny new recipe. YAY!

Classic Rösti

Appetizers, Dinner, Sides

Classic Rösti

Wasn’t that lil’ break the absolute best? I needed it. I think we all needed some rest and chillaxation. On Thanksgiving day, there was a long walk with Amelia and Joshua, some cooking (but relaxed cooking), a nice Friendsgiving with lots and lots of wine (thanks to Whitney!!!).

The next day Josh and I went to Seattle for book signing. I LOVE SEATTLE. It’s so rainy and overcast and cozy.

BUT NOW WE’RE BACK. I don’t know about you, but I wish the holiday season lasted about twice as long. The weeks go by so quickly and I love all the decorations and the sparkly lights and the foods.

Classic Rösti

A rösti has been on my to-make list for a v v long time. If you’re unfamiliar, think of it like a latke but bigger and thicker. It’s more cake-like.

I thought about making this rosti out of other things besides potatoes, but the thing I enjoy about them the most is their crispiness. And nothing in the entire world can get crisper than a potato. It’s made for dat crisp.

If you’re asking yourself, “what is the difference between a rösti and a latke?!” not to worry, here’s the answer:

A latke is held together with a bit of flour and egg, while a rösti is only held together with melted butter. It makes the execution a bit tricker.

Latkes are also much thinner than röstis which tend to be thicker and taller. I think both have their home at certain times and certain moods. But right now, I’m all about dat rösti.

Classic Rösti

Since there is no binder, the technique is pretty imperative. I used the technique from Chef Steps because they do a lot of good work over there and it was super duper simple.

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Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Comté + Caramelized Onions + Rosemary Butter

Holiday, Sides, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

Double Baked Sweet Potato with Caramelized Onions + Comté + Rosemary Butter

Thanksgiving is next week! I kinda don’t have plans. Is that weird? I think it’s going to be a Friendsgiving situation.

Usually Josh and I do something family-oriented for Thanksgiving but this year I wasn’t in the mood to travel (and plus I’ll be in Seattle next Saturday!) so we’re in LA with our friends.

We were thinking of going out to a restaurant, which I did once (I think when I was a kid) and LOVED IT, mainly because that meant zero dishes, but then some friends invited us over and I think it’ll be nice to be in a home around a bunch of people.

Double Baked Sweet Potato with Caramelized Onions + Comté + Rosemary Butter

I made this yesterday because I remember how much I love sweet potato and comté cheese together. But I switched it up by adding caramelized onions into the mix and drizzled a bunch of rosemary butter all on top of ‘em. Dreamy!

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