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.
When we first moved into the house, I had A LOT of grand plans. My ambitious self thought that I would actually be able to get every single room in tip-top, cozy shape while renovating the kitchen. But it didn’t end up happening and my favorite room in the whole house stayed empty for a whole year! (It actually ended up working out great for when we got married (should I show you some photos?! I forgot to do that lol). But now that fall is here, I’ve been really craving a room where we can cuddle on the couch and watch TV.
A big thanks to Room & Board for teaming up with me on making this room extra cute. My goal for the room is for it to feel like a room anyone would want to relax in for hours and hours at a time. I don’t want it to feel too cluttered (it’s a pretty small room) but still be super functional.
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.
Do you have an autumnal to-do list? And by “to-do list,” I mean a fun to-do list. I wrote a short one at the beginning of the season and at the very top was “invite people over!” I’ve been super slow on putting together some of the rooms and that’s been stopping me but hey, the den is almost done (post coming soon!) so I figured it was time to get my friends together.
For this post, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet! I wanted to throw a dinner party inspired by Northern Africa and McCormick made this easy with a new seasoning collection that consists of McCormick Gourmet Organic Harissa Seasoning (inspired by the North African paste) and McCormick Gourmet Organic Berbere Seasoning (an Ethiopian spice mixture).
1. Sister Pie – I baked up their hand pies and they were awesome. I love this book!
2. Ottolenghi Simple – I love everything that he cooks. Sometimes I’ll go on Ottolenghi’s Instagram and just stare at his food. I love the sound of a book full of his simplified, easy, weeknight recipes. I can’t wait to cook from this book this over and over and over.
3. Cravings Hungry for More – I love me some Chrissy and I think this book is gonna be my go-to gift this holiday season.
4. Israeli Soul – I’ve never eaten Michael Solomonov’s food. I need to get to Philly at some point, but I’ve cooked a few of his recipes from his last book and they did not disappoint. SO GOOD.
5. A Common Table – I love Cynthia’s recipes and Instagram feed so I’m super excited about this one. The food is Chinese food meets Korean food with a love story in the background—can’t wait.
6. Estela – This book looks so beautiful, as does all of Ignacio Mattos’ food.
7. Carla Hall’s Soul Food – I am here for Carla Hall’s spoonbread and okra soup. I looooove Southern food and am excited to try her iterations of American classics.
8. Bestia – Whenever people ask for a restaurant recommendation in Los Angeles, my first is always Bestia (and now their new place, Bavel). It’s always booked solid, and for good reason. I’m super excited to cook from their new book, Bestia.
9. Ina Garten Cook Like a Pro – I was thinking about the people who taught me how to cook and early on, it was Ina. Her show gave me courage and inspiration to try sort of hard dishes. The ease of her recipes—even the more difficult ones—gave me the bravery I needed in order to braise a $30 piece of meat lol. Love her so much.
10. Now & Again – I have Julia Turschen’s first book and her meatballs were SO good. I’m excited to get my hands on this new one because I think she writes recipe so very well.
11. I Am A Filipino – Filipino food has become the new hot food and I am here for it! I love Filipino food but have yet to try and make it at home. I think this book will give me the direction I need.
12. Solo – I always love recipes for one (or two). They take a lot of creativity and ingenuity. And this cover is super pretty.
I gotta a new pie book in the mail and I LOVE IT! The world needs more pie, I think. Especially this week (and after last week) lol. Last year, I was in Chicago for work so I decided to take a quick trip to Detroit to visit my brother who had just moved there for a job. And while he was at work, I asked some of you for recommendations and the number one place you cute people told me to visit was Sister Pie. I was super excited. I jumped in his car (he lent me) and drove to Detroit. I drove around, took in the city and then stopped dropped in.
The place is vibrant, warm and feels like a place that serves the community. The case was jam-packed with baked goods so I ordered one of everything! When I got this book in the mail, I was pumped.
My favorite month has arrived. October is the month of birthdays in my family. Amelia’s birthday is in a few weeks and she is incredibly excited about her new cake this year.
Here’s a lil’ round up of my favorite things to make during the official month of coziness.
1. One-Bowl Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting – I made this on my Insta Stories (see my highlights) and it reminded me how much I love this dang cake. The frosting is like a drug—it is delicious and addicting. And so many of you have made it with rave reviews. It’s honestly a season-must-make.
2. Chorizo-Spiced Pumpkin Pasta – Here me out: the spices in chorizo are worth putting in all the things. And they work wonderfully with pumpkin. This pasta is super easy to throw together and it is so delicious!
3. Cornbread Chicken + Dumplings – I love this dish because the dumplings are my favorite thing ever. They are fluffy and delicious and this uses a rotisserie chicken (if you want it to), which makes it a super easy recipe to make on a weeknight.
4. Asian Pear + Apple Pie – I love Asian pears. They are so floral and delicious. I can eat them over and over just on their own. In a pie, they’re amazing.
5. Pumpkin Tres Leches – I love tres leches cake any time of the year. This one is super special because the cake is pumpkin and it is so fluffy and delicious. The spiced milk mixture is bomb. It’s a good make-ahead dessert.
6. Squash Saltado – We’re going to make this on Insta Stories soon because it’s one of my favorite very American renditions on this Peruvian classic. I grew up eating the meaty version but this one is super vegetarian friendly and it’s amazing.
8. Peanut Butter Pupcakes – If Amelia can urge you to make any recipe off this blog, it’d be these guys. She loves these cupcakes more than life itself. They are filled with her favorite food of all time: peanut butter. And honestly, I’ve eaten them and they’re not half bad.
9. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – I feel like every month, we need to have a cookie to make. And these are it for the month of October. They’re not spiced or chai or filled with pumpkin but they are SO good.
10. Cozy Pumpkin Chili – You can make this in an Instant Pot or you can make it in a crock pot. Or even in a regular ol’ pot and it’ll still be so amazing.
This is the time of year where Los Angeles weather is totally erratic. One day it’ll be 90 degrees and then two days later you’l need a sweater and some hot coffee to get your day started. By now, I know which one I get excited about.
I’m currently wearing a sweater so I feel like it’s appropriate to discuss this chai-spiced apple skillet cake with you all. I wanted to provide a recipe that is super easy. Something that you can throw together in a one, two steps max. This skillet cake is it!
Autumn is days away. DAYS! Which is so incredibly exciting but I’m still trying my hardest to hold onto the last bits of summer and maybe even merge them with this new upcoming season. See: this dish!
This meal is inspired by a dish I ate a few weeks ago when I went to Madison, Wisconsin to visit the headquarters of Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove. It was such an incredible experience touring the factories where they make their Sub-Zero refrigeration, Wolf cooking, and new Cove dishwashing appliances while learning all about the brand’s commitment to quality. Their appliances are pieces of art. The craftsmanship and artistry that goes into building each product is truly amazing.
Beyond making quality appliances, it was exciting to learn that Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove is also committed to inspiring people to cook and create memorable food experiences. And that’s exactly what happened as we walked through their gorgeous Harvest Haven garden and ate meals in their beautiful barn.
They had everything in that pretty garden. Everything from a 600-pound pumpkin to a greenhouse full of vine-ripe tomatoes—it was truly stunning. It was also sort of magical to eat blackberries off of a vine and then seconds later see the season’s first apples starting to turn red on the tree. Nature is amazing.
AHH! September. HOWWW are we here already? I can’t even wrap my head around the idea that Thanksgiving is happening in like three months—make it stop! Time, please stand still!
I feel like I say this every single month and it makes me cringe to think about that. Ugh. So here we are. September! It’s a strange month. It’s the month where the season transitions from summer to fall…yet here in LA we’re still dealing with scorching temperatures. So no sweaters for me any time soon. Also, sorry this is coming so late in the month. I was traveling last week and completely forgot that I owe you this riveting round-up post.
1. Vegetarian Bao Buns – These fluffy clouds filled with a mixture of sautéed veggies. They are dreamy and way easier than you could ever imagine.
2. Late-Summer Veggie Bolognese – I posted this last month and it is perfect for this time of year. The bolognese requires a food processor and everything gets chopped up very finely. The sauce is delicious and light. Scoop it over those cauliflower gnocchi everyone and their mom is talking about.
4. Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars – These guys are SO good. I love this dulce de leche that is swirled in this cheesecake mixture. They’re tasty and classic. And super easy to make.
5. Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Baby Biscuits – I made baby biscuits and maybe they were one of the best things I’ve ever made lol. This broccoli cheddar soup is also soooooo delicious. It’s creamy yet not super heavy.
6. Earl Grey Honey Scones – This glaze is drinkable, to be quite honest. It’s DELICIOUS! I love these honey scones because they’re simple, simple.
7. Melty Baked Brie with Walnuts and Figs – Don’t we all love super duper simple appetizers? Yes. This is as easy as they come. Top a wheel of cheese with honey, walnuts and figs and some herbs. That’s it!
8. Mini Meatball Pasta Bake – AYYYY! This is comfort central. You should make this if it’s getting a little chilly where you are.