Bunny Turns 5!

As you probably know, I have a bunny. He’s cute and fluffy and loves to eat (don’t we all?). However, Cowboy is a little different than other bunnies because at age 2, he got sick and became both blind and deaf. His lifestyle has surely changed, but he’s a happy lil guy with a great community that loves him.

Whenever I leave town, I feel so comforted dropping him off at the bunny motel at Stargazing Farm in MD. They take great care of all the farm animals who need extra love.

Onto the food! This year’s party was garden themed and there were vegetables on every inch of the table- fondant veggies, veggie cookies, veggie pie, and of course real life veggies. Here are some photos of Cowboy’s hoppy birthday —

If you’d like to throw your own garden birthday, check out my Etsy shop for graphics, signs, and invite printable files! I suggest going to your local farmers market to buy their extra pallets, containers, and vegetable boxes.

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Cozy Mountain Bachelorette Cookies

I recently planned my sister’s bachelorette party in the mountains of Park City, Utah. The attendee list was a group of girls mostly from California & Texas- not really snow-friendly places. Since the priority was staying warm and cozy, everyone got matching monogrammed buffalo check pajamas from Etsy. Next, my cookie mind spiraled and I was soon set on making red and black plaid cookies. But how?

After a lot of research and a couple impulse Amazon purchases (like this airbrush machine– no regrets), I started whipping up some cookies to match the cozy mountain vibe of the whole weekend.

Here are the deets:

Cookie base: vanilla sugar cutout cookies – use a recipe without baking powder or baking soda
Airbrush machine: Cake Boss brand from Amazon
Airbrush food coloring (gold and black): Americolor Mist airbrush colors
Gel food coloring (navy and green): Americolor gel coloring for blue hashtag cookies
Edible paint (red): Edible Art Paint from @sweetsticksau for red base (I don’t like the amount of dye that is required to get a bold red royal icing, so I did a white base and painted the red on top)
Text: Wilton tips #1 and #2

If you want to throw your own cozy mountain weekend, check out my design package on Etsy!

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Caramelizing Onions

One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen! The key is LOW & SLOW. Low heat, and occasional stirring with a rubber spatula. I probably cooked these a tiny bit too long given the fact that they were going to be baked in the recipe, but its all personal preference. You can also chop the onion in small pieces rather than rings.

When can you use caramelized onions? Pretty much on anything. They add great flavor to any basic rice or quinoa dish. Throw them in an omelette or on top of a salad.



Cut onions to 1/4-1/2 rings or pieces. Add 1-2 tbsp oil (better to start with 1 and add more) and leave the heat on low-medium. Stir occasionally as the onions turn translucent, then caramel colored, and then brown. Whole process could take up to 20 minutes depending on the amount of onions and the pan.

Tomato, Caramelized Onion, and Zucchini Whole Wheat Galette

I’ve started working at a produce stand at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. Side. Hustle. It’s been so much fun, I’ve met some amazing people, and I leave with ingredients to make these beautiful summer treats! This recipe may include some unique veggies but the filling is interchangeable so don’t feel pressured to visit 3 grocery stores looking for “fairytale eggplant”. Special thanks to Three Springs Fruit Farm for growing these beautiful AND delicious ingredients. And, farewell summer 2016!

Galette crust:
8 tbsp butter, cold
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting & rolling
3 tbsp whole milk
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Inside (this is a total free-for-all! Have fun and use whatever produce you have that week. Here’s what I did):
– 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
– 3 heirloom tomatoes {different colors make it beautiful if you can find them, but can use any type of tomato year round}
– 2 fairytale eggplants
– 1 onion, sliced thinly and caramelized
– 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato & basil chevre
– 1/4 cup grain mustard

Caramelizing onions takes time, so I always start with this step. {Here is a detailed post on caramelizing onions.}

Slice onions thinly (1/4 inch). Put the sliced onions in a pan with some oil and THEN turn on the stove to low-medium. You won’t ever hear the onions sizzle, this is a slow process that yields richly brown and soft onions as opposed to black and still crunchy onions.

Slice and prepare the rest of your vegetables so they are ready for filling. Once the dough is made you must act quickly to put it in the oven, so ensuring everything is prepped will really help future-you.

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  1. Make the dough. Mix flours together in a food processor.
  2. Cut the butter into 1/4 in cubes and place in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add shortening and butter to flour and pulse.
  4. Add ice water and pulse until combinededited_Document Name_6
  5. Refrigerate ball of dough slightly to re-chill (15-20 min)
  6. Roll dough on floured surface into a flat sheet

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NOW is the fun part, “decorate” with spread/cheese, mustard, and veggies. Fold dough edges over the vegetables and cook at 350* until golden brown. I did 375* and the edges cooked but the bottom was slightly too soft.

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Homemade Lemon & Herb Goat Cheese

This sounds super fancy, but the lemon aspect was actually an accident. A beautiful, delicious accident. Just go with it.

A friend and I recently attempted homemade mozzarella, it was decent. We did a few things wrong (#1 was using the microwave instead of a stove) and decided not to be so experimental in our next cheese venture. Cue the goat cheese, four ingredients but a lot of attention to detail. We made a day of it, took our time, and tried a few flavors. One observation in my cheese research was a lack of detailed homemade goat cheese recipes, so here’s one for y’all!

Ingredients/Supplies [makes one small mound- we doubled]:

  • 1 qt. goat milk
  • juice of two lemons
  • 1 oz. of vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Dried herbs de provence

  • Cheesecloth
  • Colander
  • Food thermometer
  • Small bowls for shaping (optional)
  1. Line a colander with two or three layers of fine cheesecloth.

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2. In a medium pot, heat the goat milk until it reaches 180’F. Stir frequently to ensure even heat throughout. Check often- ours went from 160 to 210 very quickly! If it does go over 180, turn the stove off and wait for the milk to cool down before moving to the next step.

3. Add lemon juice, stir a few times. Add vinegar, stir just until combined, and let sit for ten minutes. You’ll see the magic starting right away!

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4. Pour into the cheesecloth/colander, add the salt and mix lightly with a spoon or rubber spatula.

5. Gather ends of the cheesecloth and tie to your sink neck to hang & drain for about an hour. Do not squeeze out extra liquid- this is what makes it spreadable vs. crumbly.

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6. Take your ball of goat cheese and either sprinkle with dried herbs & serve, or prepare a small bowl with a light brushing of olive oil, line with dried herbs, and press your cheese into the mould. Release the cheese from the mould, refrigerate & serve.

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Buttermilk Biscuits with Scallions & Goat Cheese

This delicious recipe only uses ONE bowl and ONE baking sheet. No awful sticky clean-up, and a fairly quick beginning-to-end process. The biscuits didn’t rise & pull as much as I had hoped. I think its because I made the dough round too thin, so I changed the recipe to say roll to 1 inch instead of 3/4. Despite being a little thin, these are flakey biscuits with the perfect herb flavor. Check out the epic breakfast sandwich I made with the fresh biscuits! This is my new favorite grocery find.

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Biscuit Ingredients:
3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
3/4 cup  (one and a half sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg
1 cup cold buttermilk
1/2 cup scallions
1 1/2 cups goat cheese
1/2 cup bacon pieces (I didn’t use bacon this time, but it would definitely at a nice smokey flavor if you don’t have any vegetarians around!)
1 large egg for egg wash

Don’t have buttermilk? No prob.
Add 3 tsp white vinegar to every 1 cup whole milk, and set aside for 7-10 minutes. The milk should curdle and become buttermilk from the acidity.


  1. Preheat to 400°F. Prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in the cold butter cubes and use your hands to mix in with the dry ingredients until there are consistent butter pieces throughout the mixture.
  2. Create a well in the center of the flour/butter mixture and add the cold buttermilk and egg into the well (a-la mashed potato and gravy volcano). Stir just until the egg and buttermilk are evenly distributed.edited_dsc_0045
  3. Add the scallions, goat cheese, and any other fixin’s you’ve chosen. Stir to combine until the biscuit dough starts clumping together into a ball. Be careful not to over mix.
  4. Dump dough out onto a floured surface and pat into a 1-inch thick circle. Using a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter, cut biscuits out of the dough. Continue until all dough is used.
  5. Place the dough circles 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet and brush lightly with egg wash. Sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm.
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Succulent Watercolor Macarons

This is the most annoyingly trendy post, I know. And when I set out to make this recipe, I really intended on only painting “watercolor” flowers, but succulents are so darn cute I couldn’t stop! Anyway- still got about 20 inches of snow on the ground here in DC. I know other cities get this amount of snow on the reg, but the nation’s capital was NOT prepared for this. First snow plow sighting was 72 hours after the snow started…72 HOURS! Needless to say, I got a lot done in the kitchen this weekend.

This post is really about edible watercolor painting technique, but with it comes more learnings about “macaronage”. Some tips:

  • Using food coloring (gel or liquid) in macaron shells requires the baking time to be almost doubled. Totally doable, but if it is your first time I recommend sticking to the basics.
  • You’ll find slightly different recipes everywhere, but they are all the same. Pick a recipe that requires a kitchen scale, and stick with it.
  • Bang the shit outta those pans! Getting all the air bubbles out is imperative.
  • Let macarons cool completely before removing from the sheet.
  • If all macarons have cracked tops: you over whipped the merengue, or overmixed the batter. If only some macarons have cracked tops: that was from inconsistency in batter. It may have been unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl that weren’t incorporated. Make good use of those 30 folds- get all contents off the sides of the bowl and into your batter!

With that, here’s my go-to recipe:
4 ounces (115g) blanched almonds or almond flour
8 ounces (230g) powdered sugar
5 ounces egg whites (144g), give two days to breathe in the fridge, then bring to room temperature before using them.
2 1/2 ounce (72g) sugar
the scrapings of 1 whole vanilla bean
1/2 tsp (2g) kosher salt

The Shells

1. Measure the almond flour and powdered sugar, and place together in the food processor. Pulse on and off for a minute, or until the mixture is homogenous in color and there is no almond flour stuck to the bottom of the bowl.


2. Sift the mixture carefully and you should end up with about 2 teaspoons of these sneaky little pieces of almond. Too big to go through the sieve, too small to get chopped by the processor. Dispose of the extra almond nibs. Leave the sifted mixture in a bowl and set aside.


3. Place the aged room temp egg whites, sugar, vanilla bean, and salt in the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

It is VERY important there is no remnants of oil on the attachment or in your bowl. I’ve wasted dozens of eggs due to oil-in-the-merengue disease, so I actually bought a separate bowl and only use it for oil free recipes (a little bit crazy I know).

Whip according to the following steps-

SPEED 4 –> 3 minutes

SPEED 7 –> 3 minutes

SPEED 8 –> 3 minutes (after this step is when you add any food coloring or flavoring extracts)

SPEED 10 –> 1 minute

The mixture should look like a smooth, shiny marshmallow fluff consistency. If at any point you see the mixture start to break apart or get a bubble-bath-foam texture, stop right away and you may be able to salvage it. Foamy is okay, but when it starts to break apart instead of being a cohesive mixture… that ain’t good.


hello, beautiful 🙂edited_12864. Unfortunately no pics of this step. Shake the merengue off of the whisk and pour ENTIRE dry mixture into the bowl at once. Now you are going to do the classic macaron fold. Fold for appx 30 strokes- alternating between folding the dry mixture with the egg mixture, and then mashing the mixture on the side of the bowl with your spatula. Fold, mash, fold, mash. Go slowly….check your mixture after every stroke…..and make sure to get every bit (even the edges of the bowl) mixed in.

The mixture shouldn’t be runny, but should be cohesive and smooth enough that when dolloped, the dollop takes 20 seconds to re-join the mixture.

5. Place in a piping bag fitted with a wide tip (I didn’t use one this time). If you’re not used to controlling a piping bag, I would fill halfway and do a few batches.

edited_12886. Pipe small symmetrical circles by keeping the piping bag still and pushing until your circle is a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Do not move the piping bag in a circle while you pipe or your macarons will look like snail shells. Your macarons will expand so give them space- I got a little impatient below.

7. Now the fun part- take your pans immediately and BANG them against the counter 4 or 5 times. You should see tiny little air bubbles escaping from the top.

8. Let sit for 30 minutes before baking.edited_1289

9. Bake at 300* (some ovens need 315*, know your oven!) for 18 minutes. LET COOL before you even try to touch these puppiesedited_1291

The Filling

I did a basic buttercream for the frosting and then used homemade blackberry jam that a co-worker made and canned this summer! Thanks Dave!

8 tbsp butter

4 cups powdered sugar

3 tbsp whipping cream

1/2 cup jam


The watercolor- use small NEW paintbrushes and use drops of gel food coloring as your paint. Mix plenty of water with each color and experiment from there! At first, my colors were too vibrant so I continued to add water. Here’s my “canvas”:


Roommate even helped paint some! She lived in Paris and has a deep love for three things- baseball, french macarons, and cheerios.


I’ve made french macarons many a time and continue to learn new things/tips every time. I was super happy with these because they passed all of the french macaron criteria: the perfectly smooth top, exactly the same size (thanks to my new silpat), and they grew beautiful little feet at the bottom. Can’t wait to play with some valentines macarons!

Bagel Bombs

Mother Dough (you’ll only use half this recipe- I save the rest for cinnamon rolls, pretzels, or extra baked bagels)

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 packet of yeast
  • 1 3/4 cup room temperature water

Bacon, Jalapeno, & Scallion Cream Cheese

  • 1 block 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup smoked and cooked bacon- chopped (save the grease!)
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 2 T diced jalepenos


  1. Mix yeast, salt, and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix by hand with the dough hook as a stirrer, and then start to use the mixer on low.
  2. Slowly add water and let mix on low for 4 minutes
  3. Pat into a nice velvety ball and place in a well greased glass bowl. I use the bacon grease to oil the bowl!
  4. Cover and put somewhere dark and warm to rise for at least an hour (I preheat my oven, then turn it off, and place the covered bowl inside).
  5. Pre-heat oven to 325*
  6. Mix cream cheese and fixin’s.
  7. With slightly wet hands or a small ice cream scoop, form into 8 balls. Freeze on parchment paper.
  8. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a long rectangle and cut into eight pieces.
  9. Place a frozen cream cheese ball in the middle of each piece (I intentionally made one extra- not that bad at math!!)
  10. Bring the corners and edges to the top middle of the cream cheese ball, pinch the edges together to ensure the dough doesn’t have any openings.
  11. Place seam-side down on a silpat mat and brush with egg/water mixture.
  12. Cover with everything bagel mix- roll the sides in the mix to get a big flavor with each bite!
  13. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until the bagel bombs are golden brown
  14. Serve warm and enjoy!!edited_1275


Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Incredibly humbled and honored to be reviewed by DC’s finest chocolate chip cookie blog, Cookies With Stephen. Although I’ve never met him, Stephen clearly has an unparalleled palate for the craft of chocolate chip cookies.


BROWNED BUTTER is the secret to this cookie. It’s what gives the dough a rich dark color, adds a little extra crunch to your bite, and leaves a sweet toffee-like taste in your mouth until you grab the next cookie!

So, the most important step to this recipe: brown the butter. Here are the five steps to browning butter. I don’t use exact times because its different depending on your stove, pan, and butter.

  • use good butter
  • melt on low, then turn heat to medium-low
  • ‘sautee’ the butter, stirring constantly while it simmers
  • as soon as you see the first sign of golden flakes at the bottom of the pan, remove from heat
  • if you’re feeling daring and think the butter needs a bit more darkening, put back on low heat. It’s better to remove the butter prematurely- as soon as one gold flake turns to black, the butter becomes burnt and you sadly have to throw it away.


– 6 oz browned butter, cooled in the refrigerator

– 1 cup brown sugar

– 1/2 cup granulated sugar

– 2 eggs

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

-2 teaspoons cornstarch

-1 teaspoon baking soda

-2 1/4 cup flour

-1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Cream butter and sugars in a bowl with a fork or rubber spatula
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla
  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined- do not over-mix.
  4. Add chocolate chips. At this point, I ditch the rubber spatula and mix with *clean* hands
  5. Roll dough into a log, wrap in parchment paper, and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  6. Scoop the dough into 1.5 inch balls. Flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup, and sprinkle sea salt on the top. If you want a rougher look to your cookie, rip pieces from the dough log rather than scooping, and don’t flatten.
  7. Bake at 325* for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.edited_1241edited_1242edited_1219