Apple Thyme Shrub Cocktail

I flick apples in the produce section. I get the occasional eyebrow raise my direction, but I always end up with the crunchiest, crispest apples. The higher pitch the apple makes, the crunchier the fruit. I don’t compromise here, so I’ll happily endure the raised eyebrows. A good fall apple should be bright in flavor and almost brittle like kettle-cooked potato chips.

Apple thyme shrub cocktail

Apples bring back a flood of memories of gallivanting through an apple orchard in Virginia with my family and our close family friends. The rows were littered with half-eaten apples discarded only to sample another variety until our bellies could fit no more….that is, until we were presented with hot apple fritters and fresh-pressed apple cider back at the farm store.

I recently concocted a drink that captures that sweet, bright, tart burst of flavor in an autumn apple. The trick? Keep reading…

Honey Roasted Cocoa Chili Pecans

Sweet and spicy roasted nuts

Hello fellow fall-lovers, and welcome to the best time of year. A long, tomato and cocktail-filled summer is now behind us, and we can greet autumn with a warm scarf, warmly spiced sweets, a hot cup of coffee, and a comforting bowl of carrot ginger soup.

In an wonderfully cliché manner, I wandered around Berkeley neighborhoods with my man yesterday – hot coffee in hand and crunchable golden leaves galore – and I became giddy with the feeling that fall has finally arrived as I planned our evening menu of pumpkin leek soup with mustard croutons and roasted pumpkin seeds. The only things missing were a plaid flannel and boots. We may have also purchased decorative gourds and a pumpkin ale, and I may have required a cozy blanket while we enjoyed them out on the balcony. No shame – I want all the autumnal clichés! To round them out, we’re also having a pumpkin carving party soon.

Spiced Nuts Recipe

Another thing that I always associate with cooler weather is spiced nuts. My mom makes …keep reading!

Coconut Blueberry Pops with Lemon, Honey, & Thyme

You have popsicle molds, right?? If you don’t, you need to raid the summer sale section of the store today.

Everyone needs a cold, refreshing treat when it’s blazing hot outside, and easy homemade pops are clearly the way to go. Lately I’ve just been buying bags of frozen organic berries, blending them up, and mixing in a hint of sweetness and a fun add-in or two. One of my recent favorites is raspberries with lemon and a splash of cherry simple syrup (And if you’re willing to invest in a more involved pop, my Creamy Pistachio Cardamom Pops are off the hook.)

Coconut Blueberry Pops with Lemon, Honey, Thyme

Looking to mix it up, I tried a coconut milk-based pop with blueberries, and then I got a little crazy…hang with me for a minute. I added honey for sweetness, lemon zest for brightness amongst all the creaminess, and lastly, fresh thyme to mirror the lemoniness and add that earthy, herby note the way thyme does.

This one is a little on the adventurous side, but I think the combo is definitely worth a try. My professional taste-testers (*cough* boyfriend *cough* roommate) wanted to make sure Continue reading

Summer in a Glass: The Cherry Lemonade Cooler

I’ve been whipping up cocktails basically every week this summer. Until this cherry lemonade cooler, the highlights have been this one and this one. Summer cocktails are simply the best. Don’t get me wrong, fall cocktails will have their time to shine (because the fun can’t just stop in September), but the fresh sweet and tart flavors that you can get from all that gorgeous summer fruit is irreplaceable.

Cherry lemon cocktail

This cherry lemonade cooler transports you to a beautiful place. That place (either mentally or physically) should be under a palm tree next to the pool, or barefoot in a garden at twilight. The bold cherry flavor shines thrice in this cocktail – in the simple syrup, muddled into your glass, and as a snack/garnish… You know how I love it when my drinks come with SNACKS.

I like my cocktails on the tart side, so I went heavy-handed on the …keep reading!

Pluot Galette

Pluot Galette Fold

I have a small confession. I don’t looooove plums. (Read: I would never purchase plums, but I suppose if you serve them for dessert, I’ll eat one.) It’s really the pit and juice combo that gets me. They don’t release their pit easily – they hold on for dear life and get juice all over your mouth and arms in the process. It’s a struggle. I’ll struggle for artichokes, mangoes, and pomegranates but not for plums. Not worth it.

Sliced summer fruit galette

My guy recently bought pluots…a whole bag of pluots. To me, pluots seem like a terrible idea, because they’ve taken the splendid little sweet and tart apricot and made it worse with a juicier, sweeter flesh and a pit that won’t quit. What to do with an entire bag of these little jerks?

Slice of plum galette

…keep reading!

Coconut Vanilla Rice Pudding

Coconut rice pudding

I’m trying to become the kind of baker who is always five steps ahead. I used to be still am the kind of baker who realizes she forgot the eggs at the store for the chocolate mousse or sometimes forgets to start the slow-roasted tomatoes ahead of time. Thankfully working at the bakery has largely changed the way I plan, move, and juggle things in the kitchen.

I have loved baking and cooking since I was little, but I never imagined I would actually be a baker by profession. It’s been quite an adjustment from sitting on my yoga ball at the nonprofit, jumping from meeting to meeting and answering emails all day. I would say I’ve loved every minute of it if it weren’t for the initial wrist/back/feet/exhaustion issues that come with a standing, labor-intensive job, but my co-worker told me at the beginning, “Yeah, your body will fall apart, but don’t worry, it will all come back together soon.” I didn’t believe her at the time, but thank goodness she was right.

Easy vanilla rice pudding …keep reading!

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…