soft & fluffy eggnog brown butter rolls

soft & fluffy eggnog brown butter rolls

 

I love cinnamon rolls about as much as anything. My mother used to make them from the Pillsbury can & they were childhood gold. Most especially the center roll. This is the sort of recipe where editing the photos is painful because I start to crave them terribly all over again. They’re fluffy, soft, gooey, and perfect. And they’re easy. You can make them & cut them the night before Christmas, let them rise in the fridge over night, set them out about an hour before you want to bake them, and then pop them in the oven for warm, homemade cinnamon buns on Christmas morning. I recommend doing that. You should probably do that.

 

Read More

gift guide header

 

I wanted to put together a list of gifts that featured tons of my favorite makers & shops that would serve as a no-fail guide for those of you wrangling with last minute gift decisions. I generally don’t want people to give me stuff. Indiscriminate stuff clutters life, but a well chosen object of use makes life better. It makes those mundane moments I’m always going on about beautiful. Sometimes I wonder if I’m obsessed with elevating the texture of daily living because I find life, in some aspects, fundamentally difficult. It’s like I’m littering my days with little incentives. I can happily say that not a single thing on this list is clutter. Each earns the space it takes up in a home, in a life. Each object has been chosen for it’s beauty and utility, and they range from kitchen wares to home goods to accoutrements to apothecary. I hope this helps with the stress of shopping or at the very least introduces you to some new shops and makers. I’ve tried to include gifts for every stage of life from the new mother to the nester to the maven. Some are expensive and designed to last a lifetime & then some, some are frugal enough for a secret santa swap. All are about increasing quality of life and supporting the makers & purveyors of quality goods. Sources are at the bottom and correspond to the number of the item. I encourage you to look around the shops linked…there’s a lot more than what I have here!

Read More

petite crème tart

petite crème tart

I’ve just returned from a trip up to Charleston, South Carolina (more about that in an impending wander guide), and I’m finally ready to get into the swing of the holidays. I’ve been very resolved to not get swept up into a tornado of obligation so that I can really spend time enjoying the holidays—wreath making, decorating, gift wrapping, and best of all, baking. This light tart is an unexpected holiday treat. It’s lightly spiced, fluffy, and creamy. It’s as good as it looks. When Stonyfield reached out to me about trying their new Petite Crème, it was a no brainer. Organic dairy is a go for me. But I had no idea how addicted to the stuff I’d become. It was all I could do to save a few for recipe development. Since receiving my box in the mail, the Petite Crème has become my go to responsible dessert all by itself (contrary to popular belief, I do not live on cake alone) as well as my middle-of-the-day-can’t-stop snack. I’ve never been a big fan of Greek yogurt, and this stuff really bridges the gap for me. All the protein but milder & creamier. Basically I like it because it’s just as good for you but tastes worse for you, i.e. delicious. And even better, it’s technically cheese. Since I’m a self-proclaimed turophile, this is a categorically good thing. You don’t really need to bake with it, it’s great dolloped on boozy, spice poached fruit. But I’d been dying to try my hand at this riff on an Alsatian cheese tart, so I used this as an opportunity to try it out.

Read More

Dark Chocolate & Orange Bread Pudding

Dark Chocolate & Orange Bread Pudding

The day I made this was one of those days. I haphazardly made a bread dough in the morning. Failure. I made it again. Then I accidentally baked it in the oven in the bowl it was proofing in. Failure. I needed something that was easy. Eyes closed with a fragmented brain easy. And comforting. Something that took me far away from my rogue doughs and to do list. That’s where a Lindt EXCELLENCE bar of the Intense Orange variety came in. First, I ate a square, calmed down, and thought of how to rescue my baking day. The complex flavors inspired me. My mother always put those chocolate oranges that you smash and eat the wedges in our stockings as a kid. Chocolate orange is the flavor of the Christmas and childhood all rolled in to one. But I’ve since grown out of milk chocolate (nothing against it, love the stuff, but nine times out of ten I go for the complex, dark stuff), and I prefer the thin & impossibly silky melt of Lindt EXCELLENCE bars. I buy them compulsively on a weekly basis (along with their Lindt LINDOR white chocolate truffles which is an obsession of mine for another post…long story short I’ve been a very vocal detractor of white chocolate until I met those truffles.) The chocolate, memories of Christmas, and my favorite amongst southern iconic desserts came together in my mind. And that’s how the easiest, most delicious bread pudding I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating came into being. Some Lindt along with a little desperation. And pointedly southern hunger.

 

Read More

intimate italian dinner

spicy salted chocolate soufflé

Welcome to part two of the Bertolli Gold Label Italian Progressive Dinner Party series that I’m hosting (along with Tracy, Adrianna, Kristen, and Carrian). This is the part where food comes to life around the table. I knew I wanted to have a small, intimate get together with good friends to share the spaghetti & bison meatball dish I created. I wanted to have a dinner non-party, if you will. I didn’t want to belabor anything. I just wanted to cook great food, consume it, and hang out with my friends. And so I did. My friends Pap & Chuck graciously hosted me in their home and we invited a handful of close friends over to join us.

Read More