February 12, 2013
Okay so I’m not really a Valentine’s Day person and can do without all the hearts and flowers if you ask me, but I was baking a pie and couldn’t resist making heart-shaped versions. I rolled the dough out, mixed the strawberry filling together, and then searched high and low for my heart cookie cutters, through literally every cabinet in my kitchen, and those things were nowhere in site. Disappeared! So I did the blogger unthinkable and free-handed those dang hearts. Some are a little lopsided but for the most part, they turned out pretty decent!
When they first came out of the oven, it looked like a heart pie massacre, what with the strawberry goodness oozing out everywhere, so I almost didn’t even deem them blogworthy enough to post. But they tasted so delicious, I decided to post anyway. Pie crust + strawberries is always a winning combination, bad photos or not. And it’s a perfect treat for the upcoming holiday of love, so make it for your lovers and friends, my little conversation hearts!
December 18, 2012
Every holiday season, I try to do at least one DIY project that involves the use of baker’s twine. I bought like 5309560 yards of it 5 years ago, thinking I would use it every other day and I’ve barely made a dent in the roll. So I’ve vowed to bust it out for any and all DIY’s until the end of time. This year, I made sea salt caramels. Last year, it was homemade peppermint bark, and the year before that was garland for my Christmas tree. I get an A for effort on my baker’s twine usage, eh?
I made the caramels with this recipe, using the salted caramel variation. I did 3 different batches and after about 4 hours of cooling time, I cut the caramels and wrapped them in wax paper squares. It made roughly 120 wrapped caramels total (I cut mine pretty large), just enough for 10 in each of my 12 jars. By the way, caramels are super easy to make! Do not be frightened of them. Just make sure you have a handy dandy candy thermometer.
As for the jars, I used these 1/2 pint wide-mouth canning jars, cut circles out of kraft paper, hand wrote on each one, and affixed them to the lid with double-stick tape. I tied baker’s twine around each lid and strung a small cardstock circle with a Rifle Paper Co. sticker on it.
They make perfect small gifts for friends and coworkers. What better way to tell someone you care about them than with a jar full of sugary goodness (topped with sea salt, of course)?
December 12, 2012
I usually don’t post giant photos of meat on the blog, but I’m making an exception for Ludotruck. They literally have the best fried chicken EVER. PS, it’s the holidays so my healthy-factor has gone out the window and I’m now exclusively eating things like this. Goodbye kale salads.
Kyle and I got Ludotruck on Sunday at the Renegade Craft Fair, splitting the crispy breast strips and the honey garlic-glazed wings with a side of slaw and fries. Just typing this out is making me feel hungry, which then makes me feel bad for only liking things that are cooked in deep fryers. OH WELL.
Plus – and I can’t say this without getting extremely sad about it – word on the street is that Ludotruck will be closing shop for good in the very near future. Just stab me right in the heart!!! You better believe I’m going to eat this as much as I can until that truck is no longer. Long live Ludo!!
November 29, 2012
Let’s talk CSA. Are you a member? All I know is that every other Tuesday, when I wake up in the morning, it’s like Christmas. There’s a box on my doorstep filled with a plethora of mystery goodies and I’m giddy like a 15-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert. Actually not gonna lie, I would be giddy at a Biebs concert. WHO WOULDN’T? So it’s Tuesday morning and here’s what I’m thinking: What will be inside the box this time? What recipes will I make with it? How many items can I properly identify? Kyle, will you go outside and get the box this time because my feet are cold?
It’s all so exciting! I love my CSA program because they deliver it to me in the middle of the night. I don’t have to go to anywhere to pick it up. Some may call that lazy, others may call it genius. Either way, I’m getting a box o’ veggies & fruit every other week and it’s changing my life. Here’s why:
+ The veggies/fruit are all organic and from local farms.
+ The produce is always seasonal. Right now, I’m getting lots of squash, apples, and greens.
+ It’s fairly cheap. I pay $25 for a small mixed box (that includes delivery) and it comes every other week. I easily spend that much on produce every week so ehhh not too bad?
+ It’s a LOT of stuff for 2 people. We pretty much gorge ourselves (Kyle and I) on healthy foods for the week that we get it. We’re talking veggie-centric meals every night and then a fruit cobbler for dessert. On the weeks we don’t get the box, I’m not going to tell you the crap we eat but it may rhyme with braft lacaroni & schmeese.
+ It really pushes me to try new foods and new recipes, which I love! For example, there is an acorn squash in the box I got this week and I can’t wait to make this with it.
My CSA program is called Farm Fresh to You and I have nothing but praise for them. If you’re in the LA or Southern California area, I would highly recommend. DO IT.
BRB, going to eat 5 pears.
November 21, 2012
I’ve mentioned this before but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love cooking, I love baking, I love EATING, and I love spending time with my family. So pretty much Thanksgiving was destined to be my favorite. My mom and I have made the whole meal for our extended family for as long as I can remember and because of that, I’ve figured out all the essentials I need when in the kitchen for 2 days straight. Now, of course I have about 89 more essentials for Thanksgiving, but here are a few that I love:
ONE: A pre-seasoned skillet to saute everything in. And I mean EVERYTHING.
TWO: Every year, we like to try new recipes and I’ve found that Real Simple always has the easiest and most traditional dishes. For Thanksgiving dinner, I like the food to be simple and straightforward. Nothing crazy over here. This year, about 90% of our dishes are from the November issue of Real Simple.
THREE: This one seems obvious, but a good set of measuring spoons can make all the difference in the world!
FOUR: Standing in the kitchen all day is not easy on your little toesies. I love Wigwam socks because they’re super warm and cozy.
FIVE: A loose sweater to hide the eventual food baby.
SIX: A simple pie dish, like this Giada de Laurentiis for Target one, is a perfect way to show off all those pies. Pumpkin, pecan, apple – I’ll have a slice of each, k thanks.
SEVEN: For appetizers, a slate cheese board adds such a nice touch and will keep your guests busy while you’re still working in the kitchen.