Amelia and Joy the Baker have never met. But I know they would get along because they’re both what I could consider “peanut butter enthusiasts.”
Amelia, in her little time on this planet, has tried peanut butter every which way: cheap creamy peanut butter (read: Jiff), all-natural chunky peanut butter, smokey peanut butter, and even peanut butter mixed with honey. She prefers her peanut butter vessels to be human spoons, slices of apple, bananas or even sneakily off the side of a bowl. She does not discriminate.
I’ve been craving something healthy and light but still food that’ll make me feel full. I cracked open Claire’s new book, The Kitchy Kitchen, and found the perfect fit. The farro is nutty and delicious and works beautifully with the squash and sweet pomegranate. This dish is a breeze in preparation and the vinagrette gives a
I probably won’t be the richest grandma so I doubt I’ll leave copious amounts of money to a school or hospital; I won’t end up buying a ton of jewelery in my lifetime so there will be no diamonds (sorry, grandchildren); and there’s a good chance I won’t be leaving behind large amounts of land in the hills of Wisconsin (are there hills in Wisconsin?…you get what I mean).
My hope is that my grand kids will tell their friends about how their grandma looked so sweet and small yet she was strong, told sarcastic jokes and had a foul mouth. I hope they tell their friends that whenever I visited, I made them the most elaborate ridiculous lunches and wrote them the sweetest notes for them to find at lunch time. And I hope they tell their friends about how their grandma, with her super veiny hands, made the best pies ever.
There are days when I miss home. I didn’t grow up with my mom cooking Cuban food, but when you grow up most of your life in South Florida, Cuban food tastes like home, too.
Cuban food was a big part of my eating growing up. If there was a big family get together, we’d often times be eating at a Cuban restaurant. There were days when I’d get out of school and head to little hole in the wall Cuban joint and I’d sit there with my friends, in our Catholic school uniforms, drinking coke and eating chicken palomilla, maduros and my all-time favorite, rope vieja.
I hardly ever get the opportunity to eat Cuban food now (the few Cuban restaurants in Los Angeles are kinda awful) so when this cookbook, The Cuban Table by Ana Sofia Pelaez, arrived at my doorstep, I was V V excited. I began thumbing through it, ooing and ahhing.
I landed on this chicken because it has everything I love about Cuban cooking. It’s inexpensive, it uses my favorite parts of the chicken (dark meat 4evr!) and it has mojo. MOJO IS EVERYTHING!
Mojo is a combination of sour oranges, onions, garlic and spices like ground cumin and oregano. Mojo is the heart and soul of this dish and a popular base for a lot of Cuban dishes.
I’m gonna be honest with you: there isn’t anything necessarily fancy about the ingredients in this grilled cheese (minus the brioche). This isn’t one of those grilled cheeses filled with expensive cheeses, spreads or meat like prosciutto or anything like that. This is more about the actual preparation.
Here’s why: The first time Josh and I made a grilled cheese together, I was shocked at how haphazard he was with the technique. The heat was too high, burning the bread! The cheese in the center wasn’t completely melted, and instead of butter, he used olive oil. THIS IS ALL WRONG!
Like all awesome things in life, grilled cheeses are ridiculously simple to make. And like all simple things, the details matter A LOT.
Here is a fun “how-to” on making our favorite childhood sandwich. And, as always, if you have tips on this matter that you feel passionate about, please leave them in the comments below; we’ll all benefit.
The way I like to cook is the opposite of how I’d have to be on a competition cooking show.
I like to put on some music, zone out, and if it’s at night, I like to pour myself a glass of wine. And I move slowly, neatly and calmly. Basically my kitchen is the chill-zone.
On a competition cooking show, I’d be a nervous wreck. I imagine if you put that type of spotlight on me, I’d forget how to boil water, burn everything, cut my fingers off and fumble my words. I’m not sure I’d do a good job. That’s why I always watch competition cooking shows at night when I’m editing photos and thank the stars it’s not me in the hot seat.
This post is in collaboration with Emeril Lagasse’s (along with Ty Pennington) new show, on TNT, On the Menu! It airs tonight on TNT at 8/7c. The premise of the show: contestants will compete to create the next dish to appear on the menu of well-known restaurants. Emeril will be their seasoned, industry insider, while Ty will be their confidant.
This month was a blur. Lots of making food, shooting food, remaking food and shooting it again. The days were long but they left me energized. My body sort of started to ache after a few days but every day my mind was still going strong. This stuff makes me happy. I’m grateful I can actually call it my job.
These monthly round-ups are kind of my favorite because usually I think my life is super boring and plain and then when I go to write them and search through my photos, they make me stop and go, hey! this month was kinda kewl! But not this month. I took no photos on my phone. None. I was too busy with my head down.
Izy’sbook arrived in my mailbox a looooong time ago, nearly a month ago. I’ve been waiting to cook from it because when it showed up on my doorstep, it was only available for purchase in the UK (it’s available tomorrow!), and it just so happened to be the opposite of fall in LA.
But on Saturday, all I wanted to do was bake. The weather was brisk, the light sorta cloudy and moody and I was particularly in a good mood. The kind of mood I’m in as a result of Amelia letting me sleep in, a little.
As I thumbed through her book, deciding amongst all the beautiful baked goods what I should dive into, I was stopped at this Swedish Chocolate Cake. I’ve been on a weird brownie kick lately, so much so that I’m totally guilty of falling victim to the lure of a box mix at Whole Foods. No shame in that game; though that game often results in a bit of disappointment. There shouldn’t be any leavening in brownies, I’ve decided. I want them to be gooey! and rich! So rich that a glass of water needs to be served along side them.
For the past few weeks, everyone has begun gushing about the commencement of fall, and all I could think about was ice cream, cold drinks and basically dunking my entire head into a vat of iced water. We just finished up a pretty intense heatwave and pumpkin spice was the furthest thing from my mind.
Now that the weather has stopped being an a-hole I feel like I can honestly entertain the idea of soup and squash and stuff. And plus, now I’m actually beginning to see gourds that have leoprosy and cute baby white pumpkins (always a favorite). I’m excited!
The fall-inspired recipes will start soon, I promise, but I’m thinking this year I might ease into it rather than start with a big pumpkin boom!
These cheez-its are an example of me scootin’ into the season. There’s nothing fall about them, they’re just some crackers for snackin’! Just some schnacks.
When I first started cooking and baking, crackers were the thing I loved to make the most. I’d make them after work and bring them in the next day and people’s minds were blown, “You made crackers?!” My co-workers thought I was genius, but what they didn’t realize was that crackers might be the easiest thing to make EVRRRRR.
For this recipe I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet. These crackers call for a bit of hot Hungarian sweet paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper. The cheddar and paprika are made for each other. It’s a union that in my brain makes sense but should be exploited more.
These are like fancy adult cheez-its. If you have chillren, then I say bring down the paprika and get rid of the cayenne all together.