banged my head against the wall one good time. I wanted cheesecake, like a really big slice of cold creamy cheesecake, and I wanted to do anything anything anything at all NOT to make a cheesecake. Headbang. How can I get to cheesecake into my face without leaving my house… without having to make an actual cheesecake? The last time I foil-wrapped and water-bathed a cheesecake was probably 1997. It ended in a tragically soggy crust and I’ll never do it again.
One good bang against the wall and presto! Ice cream is the answer. Cream cheesy and rich to mimic cheesecake flavors, berries because they’re purple and delicious, and chunks of graham cracker crumbs to simulate the all-important crust. Dreams: realized.
Basically, I’ll do anything not to get all the cheesecake flavor I can without actually making a cheesecake. Ice cream is my latest cheesecake hack. Past cheesecake hacks involve using a pie plate instead of a springform pan. I’m nothing if not clever in the kitchen. Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pie.
ood ol’ Tom Collins is about to get all gussied up.
The classic Tom Collins cocktail is a simple mixture of gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar, and sparkling water. Essentially, sparkling gin lemonade. Undeniably delicious and summery.
This Mother’s Day update includes floral lavender which plays very well with herbaceous gin and bright lemon. Essentially, we’re giving this classic cocktail and sweet and feminine twist because we’re endlessly clever and thirsty.
t’s time we start perfecting our Porch Sit game.
A Porch Sit is a late-afternoon gathering of friends, neighbors, a dog or two, a guitar or harmonica (optional), overlapping conversations, and sweet cold cocktails.
A Porch Sit is vital to summer, happy relationships, and good health. They stretch on into the evening and usually coincide with snacks, some sort of pasta salad, and a small dose of half-whispered gossip.
Cocktails are only part of the equation. Part but essential.
It’s Summer Pie Practice Season. Isn’t that what you call Spring?
Beautiful strawberries are starting to hit the markets, and they’re a bit early for super sweetness, but not too early to start experimenting with pies and practicing our lattice technique!
I hope this coming weekend finds you in the kitchen baking away. Maybe throw some blueberries in this pie, or a handful of raspberries. It’s the perfect time to get our Summer frame of mind right. Also, doesn’t everyone want a pie in their house come Sunday night?
These strawberries are big, beautiful, and not quite sweet enough for pie. Not to worry… nothing a little brown sugar can’t fix right up.
For more in pie adventures, see: Gluten-Free Strawberry Ginger Pie or Peach and Blueberry Pie… though it’s a little soon for peaches. I suppose we just need to be more patient before we get all Summer-pie-happy.
was looking for rainbow carrots. I was thinking we’d roast some carrots… you know, sit around a plate of carrots and just chat.
And then, nope.
Turns out strawberries are in season! Now. Already. It’s time!
Maybe still a little too soon for the white jeans and the flip flops (shut up California and Florida), but strawberries are here and we have major reason to celebrate (with dumplings).
Come with it!
Strawberries have yet to reach their peek in sweetness and extreme loveliness. When in doubt: ROAST! And there better be butter and a little bit of sugar.
always have the best intentions when I buy a bundle of bananas. ! daydream about protein-packed green smoothies. I toy with the idea of afternoon snacks with almond butter. I know I’ll eat them for breakfast with a cup of black coffee and a smile on my face.
Unfortunately, exactly none of that actually happens, and I’m left with a shameful bundle of brown bananas on my countertop a week later.
It never fails. It never does.
A bundle of bananas is meant for cake. Destiny. Sightly under baked with strawberries and pecans. Let’s!
Make and bake in the skillet! It’s really the best. If you aren’t a neurotic food blogger like me, you won’t need a million bowls big and small to bring together this skillet cake. Just a skillet, and spoon, and good attitude.
f you found me sitting on my living room floor drinking this green juice, eating peanut butter with a spoon straight from the container, and blasting 90’s Ani DiFranco, well… you could chalk that up to awesome taste, cool life-stylings, or… more likely, single real-life independent-woman cat-lady instincts come to life. Related: please listen to Dilate
I also have my old pair of Dr Martens from 1997 and I always think that oooonnneee day they might make sense on my body again. I know that will never be true, but a girl can hope.
Can we just get on with the juice? My peanut butter and Ani consumption are always part of the deal. You can dig it.
I‘m going to start a new line of pillows made exclusively out of this cream cheese pound cake. Edible bed pillows. Lay your head down at night and snack-and-sleep. If we’re going to turn aaanny cake into a pillow, this is it.
This is the softest, most tender cake thanks to both cream cheese and butter. Sponge-y and moist without being cloying or obnoxious. It’s the perfect pillow material. Like memory foam but… edible cake.
Or. I suppose you could serve this cake sliced on platters and plates. Also a viable option, just without the beauty rest. Think about it.
was trying to do a thing. A thing with waffles, cinnamon, sugar, and a blow torch.
The blow torch (perhaps not surprisingly) is where things went wrong.
I was trying to make a waffle brûlée. I thought that sprinkling toasty waffles with granulated sugar, and taking a torn to them would create that irresistible sugar snap-crack when brûlée meets fork. You know?
Turns out… taking a blow torch to a waffles creates REALLY BURNT WAFFLES. Like… the most burnt. Like… someone needs to take my baker’s card away. I’m benched.
Not all things work, but you have to try.
To hide my shame and my sins: blueberries. Fresh, juicy, forgiving, and un-torched.
In other news: I haven’t messed with eeevery waffle I’ve made. I’m actually pretty waffle proficient. I just got cocky.
• Cheddar Buttermilk Waffle BLTs.
• Mashed Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles.
• Whole Grain Waffles with millet, poppy, and sunflower.
• Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Waffles.
If I find the word ‘lazy’ in the title of a recipe, it’s just… I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, a recipe that couples my deep love for pie with my deep appreciation for sitting on my porch, sipping drinks, and talking trash. You mean I can have both homemade pie and lazy trash-talking all in one sweet situation!?
Well… yes, and also NO. You can have your pie (tart), but like any good pie, you’re going to have to work for it.
Yea. We can talk about it. I’m going to make us.
First, let’s talk about citrus!
The original recipe for this lazy / not-so-lazy tart calls for a Meyer Lemon. A whole Meyer Lemon. Peel, pith, insides. The whole shebang.
Meyer Lemons are all well and good, and you should totally use a big juicy one for this recipe. I happen to live inside this mess of citrus in The French Quarter and wanted to find a way to incorporate this crazy citrus into my tart.
These are calamondins! New fruit from my new city. Tiny, very tart, thin-skinned, lightly seeded citrus fruits. I halved these, scooped out the sneaky seeds, and added them to a blender for the pie filling.
take my salads very seriously. Similarly, I take my omelettes, sandwiches and daiquiris with equal reverence. I need to know the person making me an omelette and I prefer that they have a big floppy chef hat on (bonus). I need to shake the hand of the person making my sandwich before they put plastic gloves on and add extra black olives to my situation (thank you!). I like to know the middle name of the person making me a daiquiri… a fact I usually learn after the third of fourth daiquiri. All of this to say, I love when people make me food, and I really like to know who they are before I enjoy it.
Salads, though. I like to make my own salads. There’s a delicate balance of fruit and green, cream and crunch and nuts. Let’s try!
old season? Nope. Not going to do it. Flu season? Get right outta here with all that. Sniffles? Congestion? The general drags? Nobody has time for all that.
To keep the sickness bugs at bay as the days frost over and chill, I’m shoving every whole and healthy bit of produce I have into my juicer. This version is heavy on the big, bright citrus of Winter, and spiked with spicy fresh ginger.
There’s no way a cold is getting me down. #knockonwood
ell… I mean… once you have half a bag of fresh cranberries sitting in your refrigerator, you really can’t ignore them. Technically, you can ignore them until they soften and just about turn themselves into something between wine and jam… but that takes months and is not listed among ideas that are good.
These particular fresh cranberries were left over from the Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie: a good idea that I will continue to support.
It’s the weekend which means it’s time for warm things straight from the oven, preferably covered in maple syrup.
t’s time for a new go-to cocktail. This summer’s negroni and sangria indulgences are long past me. I’m looking for an Autumn cocktail that feels ample and cozy… but nothing like mulled wine or syrupy sweet pear drinks.
Has there ever been a tasty mulled wine? I think no.
I wanted to combine the sweetness of fruit with the spiciness of the season. Apple juice. Fresh pressed and unfiltered. Bourbon, naturally. Lime and bubble water. But spiiiiice! Needed and necessary.
Have you heard of Art In The Age? They make the most lovely, unique organic spirits. My favorite this season is SNAP, inspired by old school Pennsylvania Dutch ginger snaps. Yessss, right?
SNAP is made from a neutral alcohol, molasses, ginger, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, tea, and sugar. So so good! Pairs perfectly with bourbon (yes!) and fresh apple. I’ll be sipping on this SNAP all winter and I’m pretty sure I’ll keep a bottle or two around for hostess gifts. It’s a treat.
It feels like we’re in the middle of things. Like we have to begrudgingly set down our watermelon and water balloons and pick up our infinity scarf and pumpkin spice latte. Seasons don’t happen in a snap. There’s a transition period… a kind of grace that allows us to take a deep breath, absorb our days of sunshine and beach breezes to ready ourselves for the crisp nights and spiced cider. What we crave in the transition can be tricky. I find myself gobbling all of the peaches and dreaming of apple fritters. Truth be told, I’m always dreaming of apple fritters, that’s no surprise.
This salad feels like a lovely transition. Fresh apple and fennel make it easy to move into Autumn. It’s no time to crank up the oven for a roast when I find myself still craving fresh and bright flavors.
We’re also adding fresh arugula for its peppery notes, salty roasted pistachios, sweet dried apricots, and salty parmesan cheese. It’s all about balance!
This recipe is inspired by Chef Nathan Lyon. His seasonal cookbook is a staple in my kitchen.
This is a safe place. This is the place you can openly admit to watching Bachelor In Paradise and eating chocolate chips for dinner.
It’s Monday and the sheer fact that we’re making it through the day means that anything goes including chocolate for dinner and super easy crumble cobblers for dessert. It’s as simple as that, really.
Hopefully you have a peach and a few strawberries. Maybe you have a plum and a few cherries. Maybe there are a few blackberries and raspberries in your fridge. Noooo banana… save that for smoothie tomorrow morning.
One of life’s small pleasures: sharing breakfast with someone.
I mean… if you can find someone who will order the savory breakfast, but then let you pick at their hash browns… I’m pretty sure that’s a love for life. The ultimate breakfast situation involves sharing an eggy-hash and then sharing a totally over-the-top pancake. If you can find the human that wants to embark on this sort of breakfast endeavor with you, marry them or give them one of those BFF friendship necklaces. Either way. Shared breakfast is a big deal.
Breakfast isn’t always about a pair. Heeeeck no! The solo pancake expedition is just as important as the coupled pursuit. This pancake recipe makes one giant pancake filled with fresh blueberries and chocolate pieces. Just one! Just one mega pancake with way too many fresh blueberries and a little too much chocolate. It’s perfect for one hungry belly, or two bellies to serve after eggs as something I like to call… breakfast dessert.
This recipe comes together in little bits.
Little bits of flour and oats. A little bit of sugar, cinnamon, and soda, powder. A little bit of butter. A lotta bit of fresh blueberries and chocolate. Too many blueberries and too much chocolate… that’s really what we’re going for.
Don’t look at me with those sad-clown eyes (wait… is that a thing?). It can’t be all Peach Cobbler Cinnamon Rolls around here. That’s unrealistic (though delicious) and downright daunting (though delicious).
When the day’s diet turns a bit too indulgent, I reach for a blender and try to coax whatever fresh ingredients I have into a healthy smoothie. It’s not rocket science… it’s mostly just fruit and almond milk. You know the old song and dance.
If you take away any little gem of inspiration from this smoothie concoction, please let it be the Green Tea Ice Cubes. Though so so simple, these little blocks kinda thrill me. All the antioxidants and good vibes of green tea, frozen into a smoothie friendly cube and ready for blending. It’s a clever way to add more nutrients to our smoothie meal! I’m into it.
My favorite smoothie boosters include:
• Chia seeds for their omega powers
• Maca powder for energy
• Aloha Green Juice Powder for a major boost of green and minerals
• Raw Meal Protein Powder for a vegan, gluten, and dairy free protein bang
• Big handfuls of kale, cucumber chunks, and not bacon. Whatever you do, don’t add bacon.
I’ve come to infiltrate your weekend.
You may have had plans to sit on the couch, go to the beach, do some sort of house work, eat a hot dog… NO! Scratch all of that. Forget it. No good. There are cinnamon rolls in the mix!
Seriously… can I elbow my way into your free time? Can I persuade you with doughy rolls, cinnamon and almond crumbles, and fresh peach filling? Let the answer be YES because we’re about to smash-bang peach cobbler and cinnamon rolls. Let’s be geniuses! Loose interpretation of the word ‘genius’…
Here’s how this madness goes: yeasted dough is topped with melted butter, oat crumble, and warm peach filling. Cobbler all up in a doughy roll, topped with more almond crumble!
Can this be everyday? (no.)
This recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s famous (infamous?) cinnamon roll. I’ve experimented with her recipe before. Remember the Pistachio, Orange and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls? I like to think of those as our Winter Cinnamon Rolls, this peach madness is our Summer Roll. Of course every good baker has their Summer Cinnamon Roll, right?
Can we talk about lemonade?
Actually. Proper question: can we talk about lemonade again and probably again and again after that?
Last week we experienced Beet Lemonade, all bright pink and sweet and totally showing off. Today it’s Blueberry Mint Lemonade, all deep and purple and tart… and totally showing off.
This lemonade comes together with exactly those fresh berries languishing in the back of your refrigerator. They’re getting wrinkly. You know the ones. Throw those little darlings in a blender with fresh mint, stems and all… and here we are, on the fantastic side of refreshment.
This recipe is again inspired by The Lemonade Cookbook because it’s lovely and I’m thirsty.