autumn spiced donuts with apple curd filling

You guys. Ohhh, you guys. I can’t remember the last time I cooked something that I loved as much as these donuts.

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Fall and cider donuts go hand in hand. I live in the southwest so they’re not quite as popular around here as they may be, say, in upstate New York or somewhere, so I decided to make my own. I had been wanting to make homemade donuts for a while, and I’m so glad that this is the recipe I settled on. Think of it as sort of a modified, inside-out cider donut.

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creepy chocolate spiderweb treats!

Oh, glorious Halloween. I have such fond memories of you from when I was a kid!

When I was in elementary school, everyone would dress up. Probably even the bus drivers, if memory serves me right. As if trick-or-treating candy wasn’t enough, we’d also get treat bags at school. I know there must have been candy in them, but I can only vaguely remember Saf-T Pops, info on trick-or-treating safety, and (for some reason) packets of chocolate Malt-O-Meal cereal that kids would just eat plain from the packet. Gross. I guess it was meant to be breakfast for the day after Halloween, so we could get a somewhat nourishing meal after gorging ourselves on candy the night before.

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olive focaccia with tomatoes + onion

If there’s one thing I haven’t truly mastered in the kitchen, it’s homemade bread. I just haven’t made all that much of it. I can hold my own with pizza dough and no-knead bread, and I did make some damn good challah once, but that’s sort of the extent of my bread-making experience.

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golden grahams s’mores bars!

I love s’mores. Man oh man, do I love s’mores. Graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows! Mmmm.

Growing up, I never went camping (sad!), so I’ve never known the joys of making s’mores over a fire in the middle of nowhere. At our house when I was a kid, we had to make due with a lit burner of the gas stove, or make cheater’s s’mores in the microwave. They were still good, and they’re still one of my favorite messy treats for when the weather cools down.

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raw apricot + ginger nut bars (happy birthday, dad!)

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This is probably the most health-conscious recipe I’ve ever posted. It may be the most health-conscious recipe I’ve ever made. No butter? No added sugar? No white flour, chocolate, bacon, or glazed donuts? I know, I know. It shocked me, too.

I’ll allow a super healthy recipe on occasion though, especially cause these were a birthday gift for my dad. Today’s his big 5-8! Since his diagnosis, he’s basically gone vegan and gluten free, so I wasn’t about to make him a pile of caramel turtle brownies (mmm, those do sound good though…) and totally wreck his healthy diet! What kind of a daughter would I be?

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summertime fried egg sandwich

What do you think of when you think of summertime?

When we were kids, summers to me and my sisters meant going to California to visit our dad, stepmom and stepsister. They lived in the southern California desert at the time, so summer days there could reach temperatures of 110 and above, easy. Not the nicest weather, but we had fun anyway. Sometimes during the day, we’d get lucky and our stepmom would take us to the waterpark in town while our dad was working. We didn’t venture outside much during the day though. Most of the time, we’d run outside at sundown to play hide and seek in the dark, rollerblade in circles on their concrete driveway, and occasionally we’d all go to the movies.

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Happy 237th Birthday, America!

It’s the 4th of July, and what better way to celebrate than with food? Holidays + food = ‘Merica! If you need a salad to offset all the grilled meat you’re sure to ingest, this quick and tasty Brussels Sprout Salad with Radish + Feta should fit the bill nicely. It’s chock-full of fresh brussels sprouts, spicy radishes, crunchy pistachios, salty and creamy feta, and … Continue reading Happy 237th Birthday, America!

firecracker macarons!

Happy birthday, America! I made you some macarons. I hope you like them!

IMG_1121Is there any dessert more trying to a baker’s patience than the elusive French macaron? I’ve made them about 8 times in the past 3 years to varying degrees of success. This recipe comes from the always lovely Tartelette, a recipe that I’ve used a few times and decided to come back to for this 4th of July treat. I’ve tried other recipes, and while some of them have worked beautifully, others have been a sad disappointment. I find myself glued to the glass door of my oven while these little beauties are baking, holding my breath until I see the first signs of feet forming (“pieds“, if you want to be fancy, the little ruffly/bubbly edges at the bottom). The first time I made these and got feet to form, I literally jumped up and down in my kitchen, ┬áno joke.

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cherry vanilla popsicles

So. It’s been hot here lately.

Like, really hot. 108 degrees, hot. If there’s one thing you can count on in Phoenix in mid June, it’s relentless heat. Sadly, the calendar still thinks it’s springtime, but you wouldn’t know that if you stepped outside here on a random day at 3 PM!

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strawberry balsamic + black pepper popsicles

When I think of summertime, I think of popsicles, and when I think of popsicles, I think of my childhood neighbor Eric. My family moved in to the house across the street from Eric’s family when I was 5, and he was the same age as me and my twin sister. I remember standing at the end of our driveway with my two sisters the morning after we moved in, shouting to Eric as he sped up and down the street on his bike trying to impress us with his skills. All we wanted to do was introduce ourselves to him, because oh boy, here was a potential new friend! Eventually he stopped his feats of daring on his child’s bicycle, came over and talked to us, and the rest is history.

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Most days after morning kindergarten, my twin sis and I could be found hanging out with Eric at his house. In the storage room off of his family’s carport, they had a big deep freezer that, to my kid brain, seemed chock-full of nothing but popsicles (because that’s all I ever saw his mom pull out of it). Among the typical cherry, orange and grape-flavored pops, his favorite always seemed to be the Flintstones sherbet push-up pops. When the weather turned warm, you could rest assured that Eric’s mom would keep him in a never-ending supply of popsicles from the deep freezer.

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