Eating In: Pink Lemonade Bars for Book Club

The Boy and I joined a book club a few months ago – I’ve aways been a reader, but this encourages me to read things outside of my normal comfort zone since other people are usually the ones picking the book. The way it works is if you choose the book, you host the monthly meeting, which is how the Boy and I ended up hosting the meet-up for his pick, Naomi Alderman’s The Power.

The Power Book Club

The Power is, in extremely short summary, a speculative novel about what would happen if women had more power than men – in this case, specifically the power to produce a deadly electrical charge at will. It’s very interesting and very good, both as a gripping story and as a piece of fiction that makes you think about the world (so all in all, good for book clubs).

The Boy happened to be out-of-town in the days leading up to our book club meeting, so in between frantically working to finish the book (it’s so popular I couldn’t get my hands on it until later than I usually do in these situations), I planned a tongue-in-cheek spread of snacks that fell under two themes: “electricity” and “pink.” Continue reading

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Eating In: Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie

I know, technically it’s not supposed to be pie season anymore. It’s supposed to be salads and kale and gym season. But it’s cold out (even in LA…at least in the mornings and evenings) and the oven is warm and pie is SO GOOD. So good, you guys!

So find an occasion that won’t leave you with a whole pie in the house whispering “eat me for breakfast” every day (do anyone else’s pies do that?), and go make Joy the Baker‘s Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie.

Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie

The pie begins with, of course, pie crust. I thought this was a pretty good and quite easy crust – not the absolute best crust I’ve ever had, but very tasty and a good texture. It’s always good to remember that pie crusts need time to chill, so start them in advance. Continue reading

No Recipe Required: Berry Crumble

If I’m going to bring dessert to a party, I want to make it – I don’t get to do a ton of baking (since if I bake without occasion the two of us just…eat it all), so I always jump at the opportunity. Sometimes, however, there come those events that are timed just such that you don’t have time to hit the grocery store or prep a pie crust with enough time to let it chill. Enter: Crumble.

Berry Crumble

Crumble is a simple but extremely effective dessert – cooked, jammy fruit topped with crunchy, sweet, crispy, buttery goodness. With the help of The Kitchn’s recipe, I’ll walk you through it, but it’s pretty flexible once you’ve got the basics. Continue reading

Eating In: Kahlo (Mexican Chocolate) Cookies

I received Libbie Summers’s Sweet & Vicious: Baking with Attitude for Christmas, and it didn’t take me long to find an occasion to test it out – a friend’s birthday. I wanted something that was easy to pack and go, so I went with cookies – “Kahlo Cookies,” to be exact. These spiced Mexican chocolate cookies seemed like the perfect balance of interesting and crowd-pleasing – and also, not too difficult (I wasn’t really trying to get into a four layer cake or anything).

Kahlo (Mexican chocolate) Cookies

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Eating In: Salted Brûléed Apple Tart

Yes, I know it’s January, and we’re supposed to be all resolutions and salad, but I made pies over the holidays and I was too busy to post them and so, you’re getting them now. And heck, at least one of you out there made the resolution to bake more, right? Just nod.

Anyway, this brings me to the Salted Brûléed Apple Tart from Kelly Jaggers’s Not-So-Humble Pies: An Iconic Dessert, All Dressed Up.

Salted Brûléed Apple Tart

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No Recipe Required: Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

We went to a party recently where the potluck theme was “elevated food from childhood.” The Boy immediately decided he wanted to make elevated tuna salad (with homemade bread – delicious!) and we also brought along this cake, which may not be fully elevated but certainly makes use of one beloved childhood food – ice cream sandwiches!

Layering Ice Cream Sandwiches

This cake, courtesy of Katherine Sacks and Epicurious, turned out to be a brilliant choice because not only is it super easy to make, it gets made in advance! Pretty much all I want out of party food. The only tricky part was keeping it cold on the way to the party, but a few ice packs made pretty quick work of that. Continue reading

Eating In: Golden Butter Cake with Berries & Mascarpone Frosting

Summer is a wonderful time, as long as you live in a place with A/C and own a good quantity of sunscreen. It’s a time of parties – hell, all the patriotic holidays fall during summer, and even the least patriotic among us appreciate a day off of work and an outdoor BBQ. It’s also – in my opinion – a time for fruity, lighter desserts, which I appreciate as those tend to be my favorite variety (especially pie…but that’s another blog post).

Hence, as we leave Memorial Day behind and approach Labor Day, I was excited to try my hand at making Valerie Gordon‘s Golden Butter Cake with Berries and Mascarpone Frosting, which seemed like a beautiful combination of patriotic coloring and summer berry bounty.

Golden Butter Cake with Berries & Mascarpone Frosting

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(Almost) No Recipe Required: Berry Cheesecake Tart

Happy 4th of July! It wouldn’t be the Fourth without some kind of gratuitous red, white, and blue recipe, now would it? Of course not. Best of all, the particular patriotic recipe I’m about to show you is so simple it totally fills all the “oops, I was supposed to bring something to that cookout this afternoon” requirements. Which are really the only requirements that matter if you’re still looking up recipes today.

Berry Cheesecake Tart

I call this “Almost” No Recipe Required, because of course this dessert is quite closely based off of a recipe by the fantastic Laura of Fork Knife Swoon, with a few modifications to (1) save even more time and (2) because sometimes I charge full speed ahead and forget ingredients. BUT it is so wonderfully simple that after you’ve made it once, I think you could probably go without the recipe in a pinch (and, as Laura notes, it’s easily altered for whatever fruits you have on hand, throwing the recipe even further to the winds). Continue reading

Eating In: Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup

It’s the holidays (am I right or am I right? What madness…) and inevitably that means that at some point you’re going to have to make a dessert. And sometimes, somebody already called the chocolate dessert, and somebody called the pie, and if you have to make another tray of cookies you’re going to punch somebody in the face.

So, courtesy of Bon Appétit, I bring you: Greek Yogurt Cheesecake! It’s make-ahead (god bless), it’s light-ish after a big holiday feast, and it’s even the right color combo for Christmas (look at that gorgeous deep red).

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

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In Which I Make a Melty Mess

I agreed to make a dessert for my Mom’s (my parents’, but really it’s my Mom’s) Academy Awards party, and after consultation with the Boy, decided on delicious looking Salted Caramel Bars, courtesy of What’s Gaby Cooking. Now, even here on this blog post, they look delicious. And, if imperfect, at least presentable. That, my friends , is because I took one very selective photo of the tray of caramel bars immediately after plating them and repairing them.

Yes, repairing. I’ll explain. Everything seemed to go well at first, with a crumbly shortbread crust, though I think I got too gung-ho about pressing all of it into the pan as my crust was a bit thick for my liking (a half inch thick instead of a quarter inch, which I think would have been better).

The dough in progress.

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