onigiri

onigiri with umeboshi

Can someone please transport us back to Japan? We fell in love with the country five years ago when we visited for the first time. It was the height of summer, and even though it was incredibly hot and humid, we didn’t let the weather slow us down. Every day we would walk for miles—never taking a cab—exploring the immaculate cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and Miyajima. We have never felt so welcomed in any new place before, and the people were warm, polite, and always helpful. On several occasions as we stood on the sidewalk looking at our map, strangers approached us and not only asked if we needed assistance, but then walked with us for several blocks to make sure we arrived at the correct destination. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Los Angeles anymore.

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lucia’s vegan lemon waffles

lucia's vegan lemon waffles

Is there a word for a meat-eating vegan? This describes our nine-year-old niece Lucia, who can eat anything except for eggs and dairy. Last week she took her first solo flight from Portland, Oregon to visit her favorite uncles, and we packed in four days of fun activities from the moment she stepped off the plane. Cooking pancake breakfasts together, riding every rollercoaster at Disneyland, hand-feeding tropical birds at the Long Beach aquarium, and watching the sunset (with cotton candy) from the Santa Monica Pier—we let her choose the itinerary, and had an unforgettable time. But the best part was having Lucia join us on Instagram Live last Friday for our most adorable episode yet! In case you missed it, the full show is now on our YouTube page and we have lots more coming soon, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any upcoming videos.

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vegan chocolate chip cookies

vegan chocolate chip cookies

After eating a year’s supply of desserts on our weeklong Alaskan cruise, we told ourselves we’d go easy on the sweets once we came home. That didn’t happen. Just a few days after returning, we hosted a cookie swap at our house, resulting in dozens of leftover treats. The problem was, they were all so delicious and we felt so guilty disposing these handcrafted creations, that we were left with no choice but to eat every last one. The cookie party was for a photoshoot which will be included in a special upcoming holiday issue of Bake From Scratch Magazine—more on that later. There was hardly any room in our refrigerator to store this wealth of cookies since most of the space was being occupied by mountains of vegan berry pavlovas that we made the day before. And it didn’t stop there: the calorie-party continued… Over the weekend, we tested a salted caramel dessert for an another upcoming project that we will be announcing soon. Plus there was a rich and fudgy chocolate cake which will be making an appearance here in the next few weeks. But the final thing that tipped the scale was the huge batch of butterscotch caramel corn we whipped up on Sunday. Allrecipes had invited us to take over their Instagram account to post photos and videos throughout the day, showing tips on how to make this favorite recipe of ours. And despite the plates of cookies, piles of pavlovas, fudgy chocolate cake, and caramel treats that bombarded our kitchen counter like an overstocked bakery, every last bite of the baked butterscotch caramel corn was eaten.

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blue glacier cocktail + Alaska recap

the blue glacier cocktail

We just got back from our very first cruise. Sailing through the Pacific Northwest this time of year was truly spectacular. This was our first time visiting Alaska, and the lush scenery and diverse wildlife this beautiful state had to offer was breathtaking. We felt so lucky to see humpback whales spouting from their blowholes, dolphins jumping from the water by the dozens, and bald eagles soaring overhead with their distinguished white heads, standing apart from the rest of their feathered friends in the region. From the 27-mile bike ride through the hills of Sitka, to a rainforest hike where we picked wild Alaskan berries, it was the perfect way to disconnect and surround ourselves in nature.

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classic zombie

classic zombie

Today we leave for Alaska! This will be our first time on a cruise ship and we are excited to get away from our daily routine and enjoy a relaxing week on the water with Adam’s family. We have never traveled this far north before, and are looking forward to hiking through the woods, taking photographs of the glaciers (while they’re still here), and exploring the small towns of “the last frontier.” While we plan to post vacation photos and videos on Instagram, this cocktail will be the last recipe we share until we get back, so we decided to leave you with something mighty, something potent, something classic, and something tropically delicious. Make way for the zombie, and please proceed with caution…

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