When we are not cooking, we love to hike when the weather is not too hot. There are many beautiful places to choose from around the Los Angeles area, and you don’t have to travel too far to escape the city. We can drive fifteen minutes outside of town, and find ourselves on private, serene trails lined with ancient oak trees, with sounds of running streams and fresh scents of sweet California sage filling the air. Some of our favorite spots are in Ventura, about an hour north of here, where the temperatures are cooler and long, winding trails overlook the Pacific ocean. Lately, since it has been way too hot for any of these activities, we have been busy at home working on new recipes for the blog. We have narrowed our list, picked the best of the best, and couldn’t be more excited to share this year’s Thanksgiving ideas with you. Allow us to start with number one: wild rice gratin with kale, caramelized onions, and emmentaler.
We have met so many wonderful people and bloggers from around the world since launching our site just six months ago. The community is filled with talented home cooks, writers, and photographers that inspire us every day with their creative recipes and entertaining posts. We have learned so much just browsing through all the colorful photos and innovative ideas on Instagram. When we stumbled upon Christine Wong’s photo of this vegetarian Indian entrée on her page, it immediately caught our attention because it was so beautiful, and also because it features one of our favorite vegetables as a “substantial main course.” One of our go-to dishes at Indian restaurants is aloo gobi—tender cauliflower and potatoes simmered in a rich and deliciously spiced sauce—and we are thrilled because now we can duplicate these complex flavors at home!
Fall is our cat’s favorite time of year. As the weather starts to cool, she likes being indoors with us, watching the leaves change colors, listening to the soothing sounds of an occasional southern California rain (when we are lucky), and enjoying the cozy, fragrant aromas of freshly baked pies and hot apple cider. But most of all… Sylvia is obsessed with pumpkin! We gave it to her as a kitten, and now she loves it so much that we have to be careful saying the word around her. We’ll have to figure out something soon, because now she’s starting to catch on when we spell out P-U-M-P-K-I-N. This dessert—which features her favorite ingredient—caught our attention three years ago while it was circulating the internet with its extraordinary photo and dreamy title, and there is no excuse why we haven’t made it until now, especially with a name that is so appealing and fun to announce: pumpkin whoopie pies with maple marshmallow cream.
Sometimes, the tastiest things in life are also the most simple. Like sipping a hot cup of coffee on a chilly October morning, enjoying a crusty baguette with a slice of savory cheese, or eating your favorite fruit, freshly-picked from the tree. Some things just don’t need amending and are perfect in their purest form, like a majestic rainbow, or a dreamy sunset… or these heavenly butterscotch squares! With an easy prep and just seven ingredients, these deliciously decadent treats are sweet and ultra-chewy with irresistibly crisp edges and an intense butterscotch flavor. There are no bells and whistles here, since these rich and buttery delights are so good on their own that they don’t need any additives like nuts, marshmallows, or shredded coconut interfering with their simple, pure butterscotch perfection.
Smoothies are a fun way to start the day, and this delicious and ultra-creamy peanut butter banana smoothie could not be easier to make. With just six simple ingredients, this refreshing drink is packed with protein and vitamins, and comes together quickly in under five minutes giving your more time to lay in bed get your day started. Each glass contains an entire banana giving you a full serving of fruit, plus a dollop of creamy peanut butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a hint of vanilla, all blended with cold refreshing almond milk and a drizzle of honey for sweetness. Your taste buds may tell you that you’re drinking a rich and indulgent peanut butter banana milkshake, but they don’t have to know that in fact, you are enjoying a healthy and delicious breakfast.