Asiago Seed and Cheese Crisps


Asiago Seed & Cheese Crisps

My girl Carla and I have fallen into a standing weekly boba & pupusas lunch date. We didn’t set out to turn it into a habit, but last month, the waiter at the pupuseria came up to our table and grinned, “the regular?” That’s when we realized what we’d become. In all fairness, we also bring along (in my very biased opinion) the cutest baby ever who doles out smiles like she’s made of them, so we’re probably not that hard to forget. Also, you should see this cheese baby take down a pupusa.

If you’ve never had a pupusa before, it’s basically a thick handmade corn tortilla dough filled with cheese, beans, meat, or veggies, and cooked on a griddle. The more cheese that has seeped out of the pupusa to get extra crispy on the edges, the better. We can all agree that there’s not much better than burnt crispy cheese, right?

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Matcha Black Sesame Nougat Chews


DIY Gift: Matcha Black Sesame Nougat Chews

I wish I could spend an entire day making batch after batch of these matcha black sesame nougat chews so I could send you each a bag of them. What I really wish is that you all had food printers and could just print out a batch of these nougat chews and then pretend I made them for you.

I just really want you to have these in your life as a thank you for all of your support – your comments, your notes, your suggestions, and even just being here, reading. You are the reason I’ve been able to have a (super awesome) career while also spending this first precious year with my babe (Also, I’m suddenly aware that referring to her as “my daughter” makes me feel like she’s a KID and not a baby anymore – what’s that about?).

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Matcha Marshmallows with Fresh Mint Hot Cocoa


Matcha Marshmallows with Fresh Mint Hot Cocoa

Just in time for the holidays, it’s finally getting cold enough over here that I’m shivering through each spoonful of ice cream as I’m bundled up under blankets (dessert dedication). Without central heat, it’s (debatably) too cold for ice cream right now though (Oh hi over there with your -18°F windchill, Midwest/East Coast friends!). In times like these, I’ll happily swap out my tub of ice cream for homemade marshmallows swimming in a steamy mug of hot cocoa. Mittens optional.

Alanna and I are sharing an festive spin on hot cocoa + marshmallows that also happens to make an easy DIY gift (act surprised, friends!). We’ve dunked my matcha marshmallow Christmas trees in her creamy fresh mint hot cocoa and it’s holiday heaven.

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Peppermint Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies


Flourless Peppermint Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Do you ever completely brushed off very obvious warning signs for trouble, insisting “it’ll be fine” but then it’s definitely not fine? We’ve all ignored the weather channel’s rain prediction, leaving the umbrella and sensible shoes behind because it looked SO IMPOSSIBLY SUNNY, right?

Halfway through making a test batch of these peppermint chocolate marshmallow cookies, I did just that. It was past midnight (when one does test baking, obviously) and I was spent. I carelessly dumped the powdered sugar into the mixer only to watch the whipped egg whites deflate. Their airy structure collapsed on itself and ignored it. Convinced it wouldn’t really matter (but mostly lacking the patience to re-whip egg whites) I charged ahead defiantly.

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Maple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin


Maple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond Dukkah

I keep meeting people who insist they don’t really like sweet potatoes. And by people, I mean my husband. This maple harissa sweet potato gratin topped with almond dukkah is for all those bah humbug naysayers. Here, the sweetness from red garnet “yams” is subdued with hot chili pepper paste (harissa) and topped with savory roasted almonds and spice seeds (dukkah). I’ve teamed up with got milk? to elevate your traditional sweet potato casserole with a whole host of new flavors and a bit of heat. Heat that’s perfectly tamed with a glass of milk.

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Hazelnut Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


Gluten-Free Hazelnut Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can multitask at a lot of things. Stirring the soup with a baby on the hip while pausing to wash a few dishes with one hand and responding to no fewer than five chats in three different places with 10+ active browser tabs open. This is me most of the time.  I might even have a cookie in hand (Yup, I do). Conversations with me are similarly paced and multi directional – cookies included.

It turns out, though, there are some things I’m really terrible at doing simultaneously. Telling a story while doing anything else at the same time – forget it, I’ll never get to the point. Testing a new baking recipe while feeding the baby dinner (and probably about one hundred other side tasks) currently tops the list though. Remember the gluten-free mexican chocolate buckwheat muffins that I had to re-test 7 times because I didn’t write down my perfect recipe? Well that wasn’t a one-time deal. These hazelnut pumpkin chocolate chip cookies went the same way.

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Roasted Squash with Burrata, Spicy Hazelnuts, and Maple Vinaigrette


Roasted Squash with Burrata, Spicy Hazelnuts, and Maple Vinaigrette

We usually have our Thanksgiving menu planned weeks in advance, but this year we’re heading to my folks’ house and they’ve been in New Zealand for the past three weeks. In other words, my mom hasn’t been thinking about meal planning at all. By default that puts me in charge, but it didn’t even occur to me that I should probably order a turkey until yesterday (thankfully not too late!). If you’re looking for a last-minute quick side dish for your Thanksgiving table, this roasted squash with burrata fits the bill. Topped with spicy maple hazelnuts, pomegranate arils, and maple vinaigrette, the dish dresses to impress, but really only takes a tiny bit of hands-on time (that can be done in advance).

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Gluten-Free Mexican Chocolate Buckwheat Muffins


Gluten-Free Mexican Chocolate Buckwheat Muffins

I nailed this recipe on the first try. The crumb was moist and chewy with just the right balance of sweetness to rich dark cocoa. But then I mom-brained and didn’t write it down (kinda like when I didn’t write the bin number on my bag of sliced almonds tonight because I planned to repeat it over and over again so I wouldn’t forget and then I totally forgot by the time I checked out). It took 5 more batches to recreate that same glorious muffin again. Fortunately, Lucas burned 3000 calories on Sunday training for his marathon and was more than happy to eat them.

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