Buttermilk-Glazed Kabocha Doughnuts with Candied Thyme

Buttermilk-Glazed Kabocha Doughnuts with Candied Thyme

Oh hey.

Sooo…elephant in the room: I kind of fell off the blog radar. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but my days just got all sorts of busy all at once. Job busyness. Life busyness. Before I knew it, a month went by. I’m still climbing out from under a pile of emails. I am terrified of what my feedly looks like. But I’m back, and I missed you guys! Please accept my apology. It comes with mini doughnuts.

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Angel Food Cupcakes with
Coconut-Lemongrass Whipped Cream

Angel Food Cupcakes with Coconut-Lemongrass Whipped Cream

Early morning bike rides are probably one of my favorite things. Around 7:00am, the streets begin to fill with commuters, joggers, dog walkers, and the like. But at 6:00am, they are so quiet. Lights at usually busy intersections blink red and yellow. People on the sidewalk nod and say hello. I coast through stop signs, slow down to ogle gardens, and try to get the attention of the occasional cat wandering the streets. (NB: My research indicates that cats do not respond well to strangers on bicycles.)

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Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

These pancakes — they’re problem solvers. Of course pancakes, by nature, are pretty good at solving things. I’m pretty sure they have healing powers, especially when they’re stacked high and smothered in maple syrup and bits of bacon. But these particular pancakes solve a few specific problems for me. Before I get into that, let me explain a little bit more about these things. They are, in their simplest form, made with only two ingredients: bananas and eggs. “Whaaa?” you say? Yep. That’s what I said when I saw Izy’s post back in January. Mashed bananas + eggs = pancakes. Pretty healthy pancakes, at that.

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Buckwheat Banana Muffins
with Chocolate Chunks & Cacao Nibs

Buckwheat Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chunks & Cacao Nibs

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never made anything with buckwheat flour. Nor could I even recall enjoying anything made of buckwheat (other than the occasional soba noodle dish). Kind of crazy, right?

I realized this when Alanna posted a recipe for Chocolate Buckwheat Banana Muffins, and I thought to myself, “I wonder what that tastes like with buckwheat flour?” I could kind of imagine it, thinking back to my teenage days of slinging pancakes on the weekends. I remember watching the strange cement-colored buckwheat batter being poured onto the griddle, and then carrying the plate of rich browny-grey pancakes over to their table, noting their nutty smell in the dozen or so steps it would take me to reach my destination. I was curious, but apparently not curious enough to actually try them.

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Sriracha-Roasted Chickpeas & Cauliflower
with Pickled Mustard Seeds

Sriracha-Roasted Chickpeas & Cauliflower with Pickled Mustard Seeds

For everyone that celebrated Easter this past weekend, I hope you had a great time! I hosted again this year (and gave a little run-down of the menu on Saturday), and we had a blast. Good friends + good food + many emptied bottles of champagne = best. easter. ever.

While I was extremely happy with the way all the dishes turned out (despite the fact that we ate about an hour later than I intended), the stars in my eyes were two very simple things that I prepared the night before. So much so that I actually remade both so I could tell you all about them. We’ll talk about the other next week. (I’m super psyched for that, as I think I actually managed to improve it the second time around with the slightest of tweaks. Also, it involves booze. Huzzah.) But right now, we’re going to talk about my new favorite condiment: pickled mustard seeds.

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