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.
New Years Eve 2012 in Amsterdam was a night we’ll never forget. Ryan’s older brother David and his family were living there temporarily, and we were fortunate enough to visit a few times before they recently moved back to Oregon. On New Year’s Eve we were all invited by his coworkers to a progressive dinner party where we met new friends and celebrated in style: the first home offered light appetizers alongside cocktails and wine, while the second featured a feast of main courses for the thirty merry participants, and the final family was in charge of desserts, preparing multiple tables arranged with soft eclairs, crispy creme brûlées, and an impressive array of tasty european treats. But the main attraction began at midnight when the entire city simultaneously lit up the sky with a unforgettable display of fireworks: it was like the opening ceremony of the Olympics with jaw-dropping shows in every direction as far as the eye could see. From the top floor of the apartment, we had 360° views of Amsterdam, and it was the perfect place to ring in the new year. And today we have something sweet to ring in your summer, inspired by that very trip to the Netherlands: please put your hands together for tiramisu pops, and let the barbecues begin!
For those of you who made it past the unexpected title, welcome! You are in for a treat. One of our favorite restaurants to visit on special occasions is The Stinking Rose. They are famous for menu items like their 40-clove garlic chicken, but since we are both vegetarian, we choose from the array of garlicky pasta selections on the menu. The meal officially begins when the server delivers bagna cauda to the table: a hot iron skillet sizzling with roasted garlic which spreads onto crusty slices of baguette like smooth butter. If you still have room after the main course, you cannot leave without trying their famous garlic ice cream with caramel molé sauce. As odd as it may sound, it is actually quite delicious, and from this eclectic eating experience we have learned to not judge a dessert by its title. While some of you may think that mixing avocado and chocolate is sacrilege, let us assure you it is quite the opposite. In fact, if you didn’t know there was actually avocado in this chocolatey dessert we are sharing today, you would probably never guess. With just eight simple ingredients, this creamy no-bake pudding is here to shock your mind and your mouth.
While the east coast is experiencing heavy snow storms and below-freezing temperatures, we are relaxing in our family room at ten o’clock in the evening, cooling down our house with the windows open, listening to the calming sounds of an owl hoo’ing in a nearby tree. It reached ninety degrees today here in Eagle Rock, California. Apparently Mother Nature had no interest in Spring this year, as she’s already in flip-flops and sunglasses, sipping passion coladas on a private beach in the south of France. How do we know that? We emailed to remind her that some of us enjoy all four seasons, but we got an automated out-of-the-office response to contact her partner, Flora. But since this is her busiest time of year, we were left on our own, trying to figure out ways to stay cool. It was much too hot for hiking today, so we pumped up the A/C, turned on some summer tunes, and consumed the clock, creating a cure that could cool our cores. For national pi day, we took our favorite girl scout cookie and turned it into a dreamy pie—ultra-rich and mint-chocolatey delicious. You can almost feel the chilly breeze as we introduce her to you: please meet the lusciously invigorating thin mints pie.
Yesterday we got to meet Oliver the pig. He’s the mascot for Hedley & Bennett, a local company known worldwide for their stylish handmade aprons. His owner Ellen was co-hosting a Southern-themed Sunday brunch at her house along with the folks from Bake From Scratch Magazine, and we were two of the lucky attendees. Tucked away in the steep hills of Echo park, this colorful and artistic home has breathtaking views of the city. Lush gardens filled with native plants and purple sages surround the property which is also home to a half dozen chickens as well as our new friend, Oliver. Apparently he was misbehaving before we arrived, so he spent most of the afternoon in a “time out” behind a wooden gate atoning for his sins. But after a welcoming Southern brunch featuring Rebecca’s homemade melt-in-your-mouth Meyer lemon scones, Brian’s brown butter hummingbird coffee cake, Gaby’s beer bread, and a live demonstration from Callie’s Biscuits on how to make authentically Southern buttermilk biscuits, we took a peek behind the gate and introduced ourselves to the peppy pig before saying our goodbyes. It was hard to leave of course, but we had some important business to attend to at home. And by “business” we mean peanut butter cheesecake.