DIY Gift: Mom’s Chocolate Almond English Toffee


DIY Gift: Chocolate Almond English Toffee

Chocolate Almond English Toffee

Back when I was first getting into cooking, my aunt gave me a board game for foodies. Imagine Cranium except every category has to do with food. One card category involves listing out ingredients one by one while the other team guesses what dish they make up. Now that I cook more often, I’m pretty sure none of these ingredient lists would make an edible dish. Plus, a disproportionate of the cards begin with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. Whatever you’re making – start with half a container of mayonnaise. No thank you.

Find a recipe that starts with 2 sticks of butter, however, and I’m certain it’s something fantastic. Basically: “this recipe starts with two bricks of gold.” That’s exactly how my mom’s almond English toffee recipe starts and it’s the stuff my dreams are made of.

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Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The first time I made these flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, I squished a scoop of ice cream between them to make homemade peanut butter caramel ice cream sandwiches for my BFF’s birthday. I invited him over without a “wear stretchy pants” warning and force-fed him a four course dessert menu for dinner: lemon meringue s’mores, pumpkin cheesecake mousse, pumpkin spice muffins, and, for the final course, a peanut butter caramel ice cream sandwich (plus 8 more sandwiches wrapped up to go).

For future reference, an invitation to my house comes with an implied “wear stretchy pants” warning, k?

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DIY Gift: Moroccan Spiced Pepitas


Moroccan Spiced Pepitas Gift

My mom texted me last week to brag that she Santa’s got all of his stocking stuffers wrapped. Tonight she posted pictures of homemade sugar cookies with neon icing on Facebook. Overachiever.

Even though I’ve been daydreaming with The Kitchen Lover’s Gift Guide I posted earlier this week, in reality I’ve done no holiday shopping yet this year. And absolutely no baking since Thanksgiving – unless you count these healthy nutella truffles, which you shouldn’t because they don’t actually require an oven. I have about a week left to get my butt in gear or else…can I bring a bag of these Moroccan Spiced Pepitas to our annual family white elephant gift exchange? Someone brought homemade peach moonshine last year, so I think it’s probably a safe choice.

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The Kitchen Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide {under $100}


mini cast iron skillet smal pinch bowls small artisan jams wood coffee scoop and clip linen napkin Bamboo Matcha Whisk smoked chocolate chips teak measuring spoons wood cheese knife set personalized recipe cards gold serving set copper snack bowl heath salt and pepper shaker summer fruit art brass bottle opener cat embossing rolling pin mint bib apron enameled tea kettle walnut cutting board Milk Glass Mixing Bowls Image Map

Happy Holidays, lovelies! Are you celebrating with Christmas lights, snow, hot cocoa, and so much baking? I’m not quite there yet – I’m still hibernating while writing my dissertation like crazy this week. Did you ever pull an all nighter to get a paper done in college? Well I’m basically doing that, but for a week straight. And it feels productive. This is probably the only time in my life you’ll hear me say the words, “I wish I had a dining hall meal plan again.” Except now that I’m older, I’d like the food to be fancier (read: more edible). I know that’s what normal people call ‘dining out’, but I don’t want to have to get out of my jammies to get food.

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Gift in a Jar: Walnut Cocoa Brownies {gluten-free}


Gift in a Jar: Walnut Cocoa Brownies

When it comes to gift-giving, I’m all about the homemade kind (as all of our friends who received a set of hand-carved salad spoons, a color-dipped bird’s-eye maple cutting board, or a custom-painted kitchen bakery sign as a wedding gift in the past couple of years can attest to). A sentimental streak passed down from my mom who still has a framed card on her wall that I made when I was 5. Nothing says “I Luv U Mom” like yellow construction paper with oil pastels. You know the other direct route to someone’s heart? A batch of this Walnut Cocoa Brownie mix all layered up in a jar.

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Healthy Nutella Pistachio Truffles & Our Wedding RSVP Recipe Book


Healthy Nutella and Pistachio Truffles

You probably thought you were done hearing about our wedding, didn’t you? You know how people say “it’s my birthday week” or “it’s my birthday month”? Well it’s our wedding decade, alright?! (Indulge me for a bit longer, will you?)

When we mailed out our wedding invitations, the RSVP postcards had a recipe card on the back that asked our guests to “please share a favorite family recipe.” We ended up collecting 68 time-tested family recipes that filled my grandma’s wooden recipe card box to the brim. Occasionally we flip through them, quizzing each other on dishes based on the ingredients. Yet for some reason I’ve still only shared one of the recipes with you (Lana’s BEST EVER Mac & Cheese). Let’s change that.

Starting with these Healthy Nutella Pistachio Truffles that I adapted from one of these recipes and a (free!) downloadable RSVP Recipes cookbook I made using my new Sprout.

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Oboro Tofu: Silken Tofu Curds


Oboro Tofu: Homemade Silken Tofu Curds

Oboro Tofu

Is there one restaurant dish that you could eat for dinner every night? For me, that’s the oboro tofu from Eiji that Angi introduced me to a few months back (this is the same restaurant that serves up strawberry mochi with red bean). Many food-loving folks in SF are probably shaking their heads yup right along with me. It’s a dish that doesn’t boast with complexity, but comforts with its cloud-like simplicity, and unfortunately for me, it’s served at a tiny Japanese restaurant that’s located a 36-minute BART ride from my house (flanked by a 15 minute walk on either side).

In other words, TOO DARN FAR to make it my regular joint.

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Frosted Spiced Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts {gluten-free}


Spiced Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts

Spiced Persimmon Cookies

The holidays seem like the best time of the year to pull out cherished family recipes. In addition to my great grandma’s candied walnuts recipe my mom pulled out last week, she also passed her mom’s persimmon cookie recipe on to me – typos, butter stains, and all. I’m not exactly sure what my grandma meant by “add water and raisens” when she didn’t list water in the ingredients. Also, what kind of nuts, grandma?? And apparently the rest of the steps after you beat the eggs are just implied.

Since I can’t ask her, I’m imagining my grandma looking down at me, “If you can’t figure it out, you shouldn’t be making cookies.”

(Hang tight for your chance to win some hand crafted wooden kitchen tools at the bottom of this post)

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