It’s probably the warmest and coziest of flavor combinations. It makes me want to put on a fluffy sweater and sit on my couch, watching tv or looking at the internets with Amelia by my side.
You might be wondering why oh why the internet is exploding with all the pumpkin things. It’s because there’s a #virtualpumpkinparty hosted by Aimee + Sara! It’s kinda like the pumpkin version of popsicle week, which is also a gigantic favorite of mine.
Hiiiii from high in the sky. I’m on my way to Atlanta to speak at Create + Cultivate. But first, I wanted to tell you about this little brunch I threw last weekend.
Growing up part of my childhood in South Florida, Cuban culture was ever-present. At family parties, Celia Cruz was always playing. As a teenager, my friends and I always went to Calle Ocho–which if you’ve never been–is so much fun and mayhem all at the same time. And most Sundays, mass was usually followed by brunch at this little Cuban restaurant down the street from our house.
So when Nespresso got in touch with me about throwing a Cuban-inspired brunch to celebrate their release of Cafecito de Cuba (the first ever Cuban coffee to come to The United States in over 50 years), I was like YES PLZZZZ.
If you’ve never had a cafecito, you’re in for a treat. Cafecito traditionally has a bit of raw cane sugar added to the first drips of hot coffee. This Cafecito de Cuba did not disappoint. It’s slightly sweet, intense, and strong—it wakes you right up! The flavor of the coffee is amazing; the texture is smooth and velvet-like.
I’ve been really inspired by Cuban interiors lately. (You’ve probably seen a ton of them on the Instagram, too). I love the range of colors; my favorite being green and pink and peach. I love the fruits like bananas and papayas and guavas.
It is official birthday season around these parts! Today is my birthday. And then next week is Amelia’s birthday (we’re both Libras, whatever that means). And then my brother’s birthday is the week after. YAY!
This means that my Abuelita calls me constantly hoping I got her card filled with a money order. When I was a bratty child, I would sort of roll my eyes but now as a very grown adult, I am so pumped to get her letter with a money order. I think it’s the cutest thing ever AND I love to say her name, how she signs it, in rapid Spanish, “Abuelita Margarita Maria.” It flows nicely.
SPEAKING OF THE YEAR OF COZY…do you live in Orange County? Do you not have a job…or at least a job that allows you to leave in the middle of the day for fun excursions? IF SO, come and meet me at Anthropologie at Fashion Island for a book signing.
Also Meghan from Real Housewives of OC has a candle shop in there and am excited to stop by. Haha.
A few months ago I made this Italian Plum Pistachio Cake and it was bomb dot com but really the part that I loved the most was the pistachio paste. IT WAS SO GOOD. When I made it I had to use all of it for the cake but I kept thinking, this should really be put on toast and consumed as a snack.
So, here I am, pushing this onto you all.
I should be fired because I’m about to mention the holidays in September…
…but this would be great to make for the holidays as gifts because it’s SO simple and easy…minus the peeling of pistachios.
Do yourself a gigantic favor and buy shelled pistachios. Treat ur self!
Do not be like me and spend 30 minutes shelling pistachios. There’s this very known trick that if you want to peel the skins off pistachios, you can cover them in boiling water and then rub them in a towel. I can tell you that it is 100% not worth the extra step.
If you want to get the purest of green color, then feel free to just rub the pistachios in between two towels when they’re dry and shelled. Some of the skins should fall off.
Let’s be honest, pistachio paste is not a beauty queen. It’s not the belle of the ball so just do what you need to do to make it look cute – put sprankles all over it.
I bought these pretty sprinkles in Denmark. I love them so much.
When I finally got it together and it was time to buy flour, I was like a little scared at all the flour options, and especially scared because they weren’t in English. I reached for my Google Translate app but I didn’t have any service in the damn market so I took a gamble. I went for a big bag, figuring it was most likely all-purpose.
The rest of the grocery shopping was interesting. Baking powder is “bagepulver“. I sorta figured it out. My milk purchased was assisted by an older woman who thought it was kinda funny that I was almost buying kefir. LAWD.
When I got home and started putting all the labels in google translate, I was like OH I BOUGHT RYE FLOUR OK.
I realize that I might be the worst packer in the world. Namely because I want to take everything but I want it to fit into a carry-on because waiting for bags at LAX is SO boring. It all just takes so long. When I land after a long flight, I generally want to get out of the airport as fast as I can. I also love the idea of traveling super light, being one of those people that could survive off of nearly nothing.
But I’m not like that deep-down because I like options! And jackets and shoes. Who knows what I’ll want to wear on any given day, you know?
So, I wrote a list this time, and I’m trying very hard to stick to it. We’ll see how I do. In other news, coffee cake!
I usually put coffee in my coffee cake but this time I thought that might be a little weird so I went with fall spices like cinnamon and cardamom. I love fall spices with summer fruit.
Yesterday I threw a little paella party for Anthropologie (more to come soon!) and after as we were cleaning up, doing a million dishes, we realized we hadn’t seen Amelia in a very long time…maybe an hour?
So we started calling her name, we figured maybe she was napping in a strange place. No Amelia. We started going room by room, looking under sheets, looking under beds and again, no Amelia. I went in the lil’ backyard and no Amelia.
At this point I started to freak out. I ran through the house like a total psycho and screamed her name and still NOTHING.
My brain immediately went to the worst places, like how long as she been walking around the neighborhood, has she walked two streets down to the insanely BUSY street? UGH. I went in the middle of the street and screamed her name at the top of my lungs. I jumped in my car and started driving around. Billy and his boyfriend Steve ran around too, looking for Amelia.
I was in the car, crying, makeup coming down my face. And then finally I get a call from Billy. Amelia was at the back door, she finally decided to come out from hiding.
I WANTED TO KILL HER but then I just hugged her and gave her a slice of prosciutto.
I’m so glad she isn’t missing, I’m so glad I can squeeze her tight, my devilish little corgi angel.
This past weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to the opening of Smorgasburg! If you’re unfamiliar, here’s the lowdown: Smorgasburg originally started in NY but has moved to LA, where every single Sunday you can head to The Row in downtown Los Angeles and try some of the city’s best food vendors.