Appetizer, Snack, Gluten Free


I have an overflowing clipboard of recipes I've ripped out from magazines. You read that correctly, clipboard, probably not the right tool for the task but I love them. In my other life of wanting to be a director or boss of something I carry clipboards around and wear trendy glasses and carry almond milk lattes and graciously boss people around. Though I'm sure real boss people these days use their phones. Alas, I suppose I am the boss of my kitchen so therein my clipboard lies. This recipe came from the stack and I can remember exactly when I ripped it out - on an airplane along with a tortilla soup recipe that suggested a nub of butter to make the broth silky smooth and I still do that. There are about three or four dips or dressings on this site that are different amounts of the same-ish ingredients and I can't help it, I like what I like. When our quick meals are sandwiches, bowls of leftovers, salads and tacos, it's the spreads and dressings that bring the otherwise average meals to life. Our fridge sometimes has 8+ jars of things up top but they are my arsenal for quick meals. Many things can be thrown over rice or in a tortilla and qualify as dinner with a good sauce. My best lunch this week was this sauce, roasted sweet potatoes (which I already make a big batch of for Cleo), my fave feta and more herbs in toasty corn tortillas. Hope you can find a good home for it too. 

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine 2013

The original recipe said to remove the jalapeno seeds but I strongly disagree. The dip needs the heat for flavor and there is enough fat here to mellow it out. It could handle two peppers if you really like spicy. I'm a baby with spice and I know every pepper is different but I threw in the whole thing and it was great. 

1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 4)
1 large jalapeno, stemmed and chopped
sea salt, to taste
1/3 cup each parsley and cilantro
juice of one lime
1/4 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water

In a saucepan over medium heat, toast your pumpkin seeds until just fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. 
Add the oil to the pan to warm up. Add the garlic, shallot, jalapeno and a generous pinch of salt. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the food processor to cool. Add the parsley and cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, oil, water and another pinch of salt. 
Run the processor until combined but still a little chunky. Add water or citrus to loosen if needed - you want it to be more like guacamole than nut butter. Salt to taste. 
The dip will keep in the fridge for a week, where I believe it gets better. 

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Entrée, Fall


The temperature, the air, the light. It seemed to literally happen overnight in Southern California. That very day I made a metallic tasting pumpkin loaf and actually bought myself a pair of ankle boots which is exciting considering 80% of my shoes are hand me downs from my sister, so, we see you October! A stream of consciousness and links below, which I may do more often figuring it's tough to always have something to share.

- We are major hot cocoa people here so I am excited for Laura's recipe. Our house recipe is almond or coconut milk cocoa with fresh whipping cream for ironys' sake (we manage to keep this full and readily available) PS. I was able to see a sneak peak of her book and it is majorly amazing. I think hitting the creative yet still useful and practical balance is tough and this girl has got it down.

- The updates to our kitchen have moved at a snails pace. Or maybe something even slower than that? It's nothing over the top, but decisions and mistakes and babies and doing it yourself etc. have slowed us down. We are planing to post a few pictures in a couple months as I'm just waiting on a few finishing touches. I am recently into this, this and this for home inspiration. 

Cleo is crawling so dresses just get filthy and tangled but oh my tender heart parts for little girls in holiday dresses. And speaking of kids, as a multi-tasking addict, I agree with this quick article on Cup of Jo. My toddler still whines and cries all the time, but I notice a difference. 

A few of my good friends had babies last week. I am making a double batch of this roasted butternut pasta to deliver and for us to eat. But maybe with pepitas instead of pistachios cause those got $$$. Perhaps one of my favorite recipes here and it takes sausage well if you are feeding meat eaters.

We added a 'tools' page which will continue to be in process. We get questions on both Hugh's photo equipment and kitchen stuff so it'll help to have a page to reference. I always appreciate hearing what things you all are loving too. 

This recipe was created in partnership with Electrolux. You can find the recipe here

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Dessert, Chocolate


These are not necessarily the direction I see this site going but there is a time and place for everything and sometimes that's an excellent brownie. I was paging through cookbooks for inspiration and Hugh couldn't get past these in the Food52 Baking Cookbook. I have a people pleasing problem and I also like rich, chocolate things so here we are in deep, chocolate deliciousness. I started a Chocolate tab in the recipes section because sometimes you just need a treat that isn't made of oats or date paste. But you also sometimes do, so those will be in there too when applicable, but maybe not today. I've been trying to host more lately and have found it causes me far less stress when I make things I am familiar with versus trying new recipes. Go figure. I like trying something new but freshly baked cookies or brownies a la mode are crowd favorites. I have three go-to brownie recipes: these (if you like thinner, truffle-like ones), the peanut butter frosted ones from Ashley's book Date Night In (recipe) and the ones I tested for Sarah Kieffer's The Vanilla Bean Baking Book that comes out in November. And now I am adding these with their tender, chocolate chip center. So, if you are in the mood for the serious stuff, or you just want to finish a meal with friends with a bang, these little babes are SO good. 

Makes 6 large brownies
Adapted from Food 52 Baking

I halved the recipe as I don't often need 12 brownie-lava-cake things. Double it if you do, which closer to how their recipe is originally written. They suggest putting a few tablespoons of water in the empty spots but I found these gave the brownies a steamed texture and I prefer crunchy topped brownies. I would just leave them empty next time. 

1/2 cup/ 1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup natural cane sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch processed)
1/2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
scant 1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or 1/3 cup superfine rice flour + 1 Tbsp. cornstarch for GF option)
2 tsp. finely ground coffee
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325' and generously butter and flour (6) spots in a nonstick muffin tin or line with large cupcake liners.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling it until it starts to brown and smell nutty. About 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the granulated sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla and sat. Let it cool for 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the flour and ground coffee and mix vigorously for a minute. Stir in the walnuts.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tins. You can fill them most of the way as they do not rise much. Press some of the chocolate chips into the center of each cupcake to create a chocolate center and sprinkle a few walnut pieces on top. 
Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle is still gooey. Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove carefully. 
Serve warm with a scoop or ice cream or whipping cream if you're feeling decadent. 
Store leftovers in a resealable bag at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for a few months. 

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