her baking & his cooking

she bakes. he cooks. we eat.

her: bruleed banana cream pie

we always have bananas on our counter.  sometimes, we go through a bunch in a day or two and sometimes they get extra ripe and they’re destined for banana bread.  i love them, but fun fact: they make my tongue/throat itchy.  it’s a real problem.  so i have to be committed to the the situation if i’m going to eat a banana, because there are real consequences.  this pie? totally worth it.

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you’ve seen it before.  it was a staple for us last summer - starting around 4th of july weekend.  it’s a little more refined, the crust is even and crunchy, the pastry cream isn’t as corn starchy (thanks to paolo, he made this batch for me) and the whipped cream is a little tangy, thanks to the addition of buttermilk.  

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i’m sure there is some blogger rule out there that says i’m not supposed to blog/bake the same thing over and over again but, i can’t help it.  we love what we love.  these days i’m much more interested in trying to make something better each time i make it, rather than finding something new to make every week.  

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i finished my intro to yoga series today.  it was such a great experience.  i feel taller. a little more centered and grateful.  so very grateful.  last week i gave notice at my job - my last day is in june - and i started a part time job at anthropologie. it’s exciting, overwhelming and sometimes scary.  but, i’m looking forward to finding more of myself this year.

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expect more pie in the process. 

xo. 

brûléed banana cream pie 

her: catching up

we’re still alive! i know, i know.  insert typical - we suck at blogging, but we’re really sorry, and we still like this space even though we’re never here enough bit - same song, different verse.  i won’t say that life has been crazy because things haven’t been out of control or overwhelming, but we’ve been in a groove and it’s been nice.  

we have dinner with friends a few times a week, we’re trying to find time for ourselves, we’ve been taking hazel outside for walks (praise be to beysus, the sun has returned!), and we both started going to the gym regularly. 

i’m extra TERRIBLE at new years resolutions, so this year i decided to try something a little different.  instead of going all in and trying to do something huge i wanted to take some baby steps.  

i did my first dry january and it was hard but super rewarding.  for some reason we ended up at a ton of events in january with free booze, which made it harder than i anticipated, but it ended up being a nice cleanse.  in february i ran a mile everyday.  or, almost everyday (hashtag fuck the flu). but that was probably the most gratifying thing i’ve done for myself in a long time.  1. i couldn’t remember the last time i actually ran a mile and 2. i exceeded my own expectations, which was surprising and awesome! my 1st day i ran a 15:45 mile. my last day I ran an 11:33 mile! progress ya’ll. progress.  my march challenge started yesterday and i went to my first yoga class, ever.  shout out to my friend emma who signed up for an intro series with me because i was nervous to go on my own!  i’m excited to see how the rest of the series goes and i’m really excited to learn more about meditation and calming my internal self.   

over the last few weeks paolo was at school more in the evenings either volunteering for events or recipe testing so i was left to my own devices. enter - smashed avocado. 

aside from pre-packaged trader joes meals, this is basically my life while paolo is at work or school.  i smash the avocado with the back of a fork, add a little bit of salt, fresh cracked pepper, and red pepper flakes.  spread on toast and top with a soft boiled egg.  the method to my soft boiled egg madness?  let the water come to a rolling boil and leave the egg in boiling water for 10 minutes.  it’s the best. 

baking hasn’t been as much of a priority, probably because i’ve been focused on getting our new place organized and settled but, there will always be time for pumpkin cookies

always.  

i hope you’re all well. 

happy almost spring! 

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her: pumpkin bread

nothing fancy… just obligatory pumpkin bread and beautiful leaves in the fall. sometimes, that’s all i need.

recipe source: simply recipes

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her: pumpkin coffee cake

hey team!  so, the last time i was here it was the end of summer, we were getting ready to go to hawaii, soak up the sun, and get married… now, it’s fall, we’re in the middle of pumpkin season, and we’ve been married for two months.  go us!  

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the wedding was everything.  amazing, beautiful, wonderful, so much food, so much sun, so much hawaii.  seriously, we couldn’t have asked for a better day!  we don’t have all of our pictures yet, but we did get a little sneak peek and they’re the most magical pictures, ever.  

image married life is pretty much the same as before married life, except now i have a husband and i’m paolo’s wife and that’s kind a big deal and still a little weird, but we’re back to our regular schedule of work and school and we’re getting ready to move again, which is giving me a little/lot of anxiety.  

back to regular life is nice because i actually missed baking.  coffee cake is one of my favorites and this pumpkin coffee cake with a pecan streusel did not disappoint. 

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i made a few changes: 

  • in the batter - i used 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of light brown sugar 
  • in the streusel - i added 1/4 cup of pecans and used 6 tablespoons of butter 
  • after cooling - i topped the cake with a cinnamon glaze 

recipe source: honestly yum 

it’s nice to be back on the blog… hopefully, we won’t stay away too long this time!

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her: zucchini bread

before these loaves, i had never made zucchini bread.  banana bread happens on a regular basis but zucchini bread was one of those things that was on my list to try but i never actually got around to making… thankfully the farmers market had some really gorgeous zucchini a few weeks ago.  side note: when did i become the person who thinks that produce is beautiful?  i’m not sure, but i’m definitely okay with it!

this recipe is from simply recipes, which is where i found my banana bread recipe as well.  i figure if the banana bread is so stinkin’ spot on, this one would be too. good thinkin’ on my part because it was delish.  it was moist, had a nice zucchini flavor, and was a little nutty from the toasted walnuts.  i skipped the raisins/cranberries option, but maybe next time…. in the fall?  

when we get back from the wedding (which is in 12 daysssss!) i’m going to make my baking list for the fall. obviously, it will be a pumpkin extravaganza but i’m having a hard time getting in the mood for fall (for the first time ever in my life) because i have hawaii on my mind so much right now! 

recipe source: simply recipes 

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His: Salad Nicoise

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Whatchu know about a good ol’ salad nicoise! Keepin’ it classic! And tasty of course. This salad was inspired by our good friends, the Draper-Davis clan. Julie’s mom was in town and they had a bit of a pickling party, which is awesome because we get to partake in the goods. Julie’s mom, I’ll call her Auntie Kim because they’re like family, cans and pickles and sews and crochets and makes flower arrangements and this and that and the next all while telling stories. It’s great!

Anyway, they gave us a jar of tuna and a jar of pickled green beans. Immediately went to salad nicoise because I wanted to display and complement the natural flavors of the pickle process. Sooo good!

Tuna:

I just mixed a touch of lemon juice and salt with the tuna and gave it a stir. Simple.

Egg:

Soft boiled. Bring water to a boil and drop your eggs in for 6:35 and immediately put in ice bath and let rest in the bath for 10 minutes. I peeled ‘em, cut ‘em, and sprinkled paprika

Potatoes:

Reds. Roasted at 425 for about  30 minutes with salt, pink peppercorns, scallions, and olive oil.

Tomatoes:

Cut in half

Spinach:

Placed in the bowl

Green Beans:

Placed on top of spinach

Dressing:

I made an anchovy vinaigrette! I blended some garlic, shallots, anchovy filets, lemon juice, white balsamic, and olive oil together and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Blend that bad boy in the blender.

Super tasty. Not fishy at all. It really complemented the dish well and wasn’t over powering. I poured it over the potatoes mostly. 

'Til the next dish!

ps. if you were wondering, i didn’t have any nicoise olives to make it “nicoise” so relax. 

her: apps & zerts

on sunday, paolo’s BFO (best friend omar) was over for dinner so that we could all work on our wedding ceremony (eeeep!).  obviously sunday cake was there, but i also made a fun little appetizer with grilled peaches, ricotta cheese, honey, and basil.  i don’t usually foray into the apps & tray-trays territory, but the crostini was just a little sweet and definitely full of summer love.  seriously, we can’t get enough of those peaches over here.  

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i’m really not sure where we found the inspiration for the crostini, we’ve had them a few times, and i think various versions of it are floating around on the interwebs.  this was just a baguette that was brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper, toasted for a few minutes, topped with ricotta cheese, grilled peaches, a drizzle of honey, and a few basil leaves.  really, do what makes you happy.  

the real star of the show was sunday cake.  this cake (aka big ol’ cookies) made my whole heart extremely happy.  i only had a little piece, curse you weight watchers, but everyone really liked it, so that made me smile.  the best part about making this cake was being able to flambé the bananas.  bananas, bourbon, fire. so rad. 

just a few notes:

  • like most recipes, i cut down the sugar and only used 1 cup for the batter
  • i used 3 medium bananas that were extra ripe
  • i added 2 tablespoons of bourbon to the batter
  • i added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the whipped cream 
  • i used all the bourbon for the banana topping and thought it was so good
  • some of the reviews said that they weren’t sure about the sour cream in the whipped cream, i really liked the tanginess and how creamy it was after the sour cream addition.  definitely something i’ll be doing again with other cakes

not sure what’s happening for sunday cake this week, but i’m sure the farmer’s market will have something great for inspiration!

recipe source: martha stewart living | august & september 1993

ps. one of thee best things on tv, ever. ever ever.

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her: peach & almond coffee cake

fresh peaches. toasted almonds.  powdered sugar. 

breakfast. lunch. dinner. dessert.  i made this cake in an 8 inch cake pan, mostly because i wasn’t really paying attention, and i was really excited to eat cake.  i was super nervous because it looked like it was going to overflow, but praise beysus, it did not.  

totally one of our favorites.  

just a few notes:

  • i used 2 large eggs (instead of extra large eggs)
  • i added an extra 1/2 cup of sour cream to the batter 
  • i cut down the sugar and only used 1 cup of sugar for the batter
  • i topped the cake with sprinkling demerara sugar, about 2 tablespoons
  • i substituted the pecans for toasted, slivered almonds and arranged them around the edge of the pan 
  • after the cake cooled, i added some powdered sugar (ultimate fav)

recipe source: fresh peach cake | ina garten  

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His: Vietnamese Lunch

So I made a bunch of stuff for lunch today that was super tasty and really easy to make. I promise.

The first is Bo Luc Lac, which is a Vietnamese beef salad and it’s incredibly delicious!

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It consists of a mix of green and red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and beef. The only things to create are the beef and the dressing.

Beef:

Marinate 1lb of beef in salt, pepper, sesame oil and rice vinegar and then grill. 

Dressing:

  • Lime juice
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Canola Oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper

I also made Fresh Rolls!!

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There’s so much freedom to this dish, it’s crazy! Take whatever vegetables and protein you want and cut it up. The noodles are Maifun noodles and I used Thai basil, carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts, green leaf lettuce and grilled chicken and shrimp. The folding takes some practice and can get a little frustrating but push through and it’ll be totally worth it.

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Peanut Sauce: Crucial

  • Peanut butter
  • Coconut milk
  • Half a jalapeno
  • Cilantro
  • Sesame oil
  • Rice Vinegar

Blend together

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'Til the next dish!

her: fresh blackberry & peach crisp

the farmers market is our happy place.

obviously, i still have a special place in my heart for target, but i have become quite content trading in the money i used to spend on nonsense (lipstick, dry shampoo, random sunglasses and knick knacks) to pick up gorgeous produce and flowers from our local farmers market every week.  

on thursday we came home with a bag filed with goodies…. fresh sage, swiss chard, radishes, a trio of tiny tomatoes, and the most amazing blackberries and peaches.  seriously.  i could smell the peaches from a few stands away, they were so fragrant and had just the right amount of sweetness.  i really wanted to use them for a pie, but let’s get real ya’ll.  pie is hard work.  and making pie crust still makes me sweat.  so i decided to make a crisp instead.  

CRISPS?! where have they been all my life? so easy!  so quick!  so tasty! we finished the whole thing yesterday, with heaping scoops of vanilla bean ice cream from molly moon’s.  i think it’s safe to say that this one was definitely a winner. 

i made a few adjustments to the recipe based on some of the reviews and personal preference:

  • 4 peaches, peeled and pitted, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
  • 2 pints of blackberries
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats 
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup of chopped, toasted walnuts 

mix and bake as directed.  serve warm with your choice of ice cream.

recipe source: epicurious | gourmet july 1991

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