Choose Your Own Adventure Tartines

Anyone who knows me (or has met me for even five minutes) will tell you that I’m very easily excited, and I’m wildly expressive.

Tartine Trio

That’s why the emergence of emojis a few years ago beyond the simple colon and closed parentheses “:)” …or, let’s be real, the colon and capital d “:D” was so SO important in my life.

How else do you convey “Sorryyyy, I’m totally going to be 15 minutes late…again” without the embarrassed/oops face? How do you convey “I’m ready to party” without the flamenco dancer in the flow-y red dress? How could you possibly convey “That’s right, I’m awesome” without the girl raising the roof?!

Cherry Walnut Tartine

Words aren’t the same. I have too many emotions and faces to be contained strictly to text.

(At this point, do I have you wondering how we’ll ever get to tartines? Hang in there – I promise it’s coming.)

Clearly I’m guilty of Keep reading…

Dark Chocolate Mousse

How you doin? Feelin’ fresh?

Doing things that make you feel good? Getting enough sleep/ exercising/ making time with friends/ setting aside time for yourself?

Chocolate mousse

I’m still adjusting to life as a baker. Finally feeling like I’m locked into a schedule that involves sunlight, humans, and sadly some traffic, I’m trying to juggle in all of the above. Sleep and personal time seem to be the first things to go…let’s try not to burn out, shall we?

Notice I didn’t mention food in my list of feel-good necessities? Well, that’s because I don’t know whether to recommend healthy food or tasty treats – every day I’m torn between feeling healthy/sexy and TREAT YO’SELF.

The struggle is real. Especially working in an amazing bakery, having the best pastries in the city at my fingertips all day. (Hence my, “Katie, don’t be an asshole” diet….it’s a balance.)

Chocolate mousse cross section

No matter what you have going on this fine weekend in February – snuggling with your roommate’s cat/ hot date/ dinner with girlfriends – I highly suggest that you TREAT YO’SELF (and the lucky people you choose to include) to this dark chocolate mousse. It’s divine. It’s pinkies up. It’s too easy not to. …keep reading!

Carrot Ginger Soup

Hi there! I’ve missed you. Is that a new haircut? Well, it looks great.

I feel like it’s been quite the whirlwind this past month. I’ve been working a crazy overnight shift in a sweet bakery…happily moving to daytime soon – God bless anyone who works overnight. The sun never felt more precious.

I was also lucky enough to spend a whole week home with my wonderful family and friends. And if you’re anything like me, you happily and lovingly tortured filled your tummy with homemade eggnog, cookies, cheese platters, bacon, hot buttered rum, and all manner of butter-filled foods. Because holidays. It’s the perfect excuse, and I totally embrace it.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Now it’s time to reign it in a little bit just so that your body doesn’t hate you too much. This is obviously the annual theme of January due to the aforementioned parade of goodies. Now, I’m going to be upfront with you – I’m still goin’ for the pastries at work and red wine with friends, but this is the “trade-off” soup (this one’s a close second). …keep reading!

Salted Chocolate Shortbread with Peppermint/Pistachios/Coconut

Chocolate dipped shortbread

It’s “A pair of Hop-a-long boots and a pistol that shoots/ Is the wish of Bonny and Ben/ Dolls that will talk and go for a walk/ Is the hope of Janice and Jenn!” …was my response to my coworker’s question, “who even knows those lyrics anyway?!”

I was then affectionately (I hope) deemed a Christmas nerd who probably has elf ears ready to wear at a moment’s notice :)  While I don’t have elf ears, I do have the banisters wrapped in holly garlands, a centerpiece of gold pinecones and nutcrackers, and seasonal soap, of course.

What can I say? I love the Christmas season. I often feel just as excited as Buddy the Elf. All the decorations, the music, the family time, the movies, and obviously the COOKIES. Oh! Remember these Spiced Molasses Cookies?! Or the Chocolate Walnut Sandwich Cookies with a Salted Caramel Filling? YES. Make them all.

Christmas shortbread cookies

Keep reading…

Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Bourbon Glaze

Glazed cinnamon rolls

I’ve done something terrible. And by terrible, I mean ridiculously awesome. I’m sorry to torture you with this when there you are (probably), comfortably not thinking about fresh cinnamon rolls, ooey and gooey with their decadent cinnamon filling, slathered with a coffee bourbon glaze, and turning your kitchen into the smell of a heavenly bakery with that beautiful yeasted dough.

Oh boy, I really went off there…can you tell I’m in love? Seriously guys, these came out of the oven around 6PM yesterday and promptly turned into dinner….a three bun dinner. I regret nothing.

Rolled yeast dough

This feels like a “I’m sorry/you’re welcome” kind of recipe. …Keep reading!

Pear Spice Cocktail

Fall Cocktail Recipe

Friends! I was just thinking that I need to share another great cocktail with you…it’s been far too long! It obviously needed to be one that tastes like fall. My mom and I were planning out our Thanksgiving menu last weekend, and at the top of the list is our Apple Cider Cars that we make to kick off every Thanksgiving. I thought, that would be the perfect one to share…but I forgot that I already did.

Hence, research on fall cocktails was embarked upon, flavor ideas were hatched, and recipe testing was completed. I even had to re-photograph the cocktail one afternoon for better lighting…and I couldn’t let that delicious treat go to waste. #sorryimnotsorry #funemployed

Pear Spice Cocktails

I love summer cocktails, but there are some things you just can’t do until the fall…like brandy, cinnamon, orange spice, pumpkin, pomegranate, cider, and pear. I’ve never done a pear cocktail, but I knew that …Keep reading!

Toasted Almond Any-way-you-like-it Granola

I changed my blog name, well, technically just translated it. What do you think? :)

Best granola recipe

In other news, I have a horrible kitchen secret.

I’ve probably confessed before, but I rarely follow a recipe. Only if it’s a Julia Child recipe or a complicated pastry will you find me double checking every line of measurements and instructions. Otherwise, I like to think of recipes more as guidelines – there to help you on your culinary adventure with tips on flavor and proportions. (Real talk, I even look at my own blog recipes when I want to whip those up again and occasionally stray.)

I just can’t be boxed in!

Recently my roommate was having a horrible string of bad granolas, so I decided that would be a perfect kitchen project. Added bonus? All granola recipes read “…or whatever dried fruit/nuts you want to substitute.” I still didn’t follow most of the rest of the recipe, but hey, I made some bomb granola.

Almond Granola

Only problem? My roommate requested …Keep reading!

Browned Butter Coffee Cake

It’s been a wonderful start to fall! I hope yours has been equally magical.

I’m finally settled into my new place in Nor Cal. Hooray! I’ve started an amazing job working crazy hours in a bakery. I’ve been exploring my new city, and I’m LOVING being back in California.

…I can’t stress that enough. I’ve lived all over the world, and nowhere makes me feel more at home than this state and the wonderful people here.

Brown Butter Coffee Cake

Also, I’ve made fast friends with my roommate’s cat, Cliff…he’s pretty adorable and very snugly, so he’ll be making the occasional appearance on here. I hope you’re cool with cats. Either way, you’d be cool with Cliff, promise.

In addition to cat, fall has been filled with late night croissants, the glorious return of my yellow bouillabaisse pot out of the depths of packed boxes, a beautiful new kitchen, and browned butter. Butter. Browned. Until it’s nutty and turns into dreams.

Best Coffee Cake recipe

I had a craving for butter coffee cake recently, and decided it would be silly to

Keep reading…

Triple Ginger Cookies

This post was going to be all about the mouth-watering jalapeño-watermelon gazpacho I made last week, but that recipe now feels two months too late. At last, it’s autumn….even if it doesn’t quite feel like it yet.

ginger snaps

I’ve been helping with the harvest on a vineyard for the past week and a half, and while it can be blazing hot out in the field, once you pass midday, a cool wind starts up, and the handful of leaves already changing color makes you eager for the coming months.

Autumn means so many beautiful things – amber-colored leaves that shatter under your footsteps, a cool breeze that demands retrieval of one of those scarves you’ve pushed to the back of your closet, switching your coffee order from iced back to hot, and – possibly most importantly – turning on your oven without sweating bullets.  And hey, you may have to slowly dig out your sweaters, but you still get to wear your sunnies!

What to whip up to celebrate the changing of the seasons?

Triple ginger cookies

Enter: Triple Ginger Cookies.

These cookies felt a little premature given that I had to

Keep reading…

Brown Butter Cake

Today I have a guest post from my friend, Takiya! She made a bomb.com Brown Butter Cake, (and you know how I feel about browned butter…spolier: it’s heaven) and she wrote these lovely words on the Beauty of Where You are NOW!

I hope you enjoy it…I know I did! :)


brown butter icing

While you eat your brown butter cake, ponder this – the beauty of where you are now! There’s nothing wrong with venturing out into the world and experiencing new places, but there is something to be said about contentment, appreciation, and mindfulness.

I was born and raised in the DMV (that’s DC/Maryland/Virginia…not the dreaded place where you wait in line for hours), and I love it! My friends, however, often express their discontentment with living here. Perhaps you’ve always lived in the same place and feel the same way. I encourage you to appreciate where you are. Keep reading…