A bit of good news to start the day: after 6 years in our cozy West Berkeley home, we finally moved! Don’t worry local friends, we’re still in Berkeley, in fact, just a few blocks up the road. I haven’t really mentioned it here on the blog, but for months we’d been experiencing some issues with our landlord. I’ll leave it at that, but needless to say, we were in desperate need of some new digs. Those of you familiar with the housing market here in the Bay Area know that it isn’t the most affordable place in the world – especially if you have a rapidly growing 2-year-old, a 70 lb. dog, and need a photography space. So after months of searching, we finally found a new place to call home. It turns out that it was perfect timing, because when the opportunity surfaced to collaborate with Jameson Whiskey for St. Patrick’s Day, I was in full celebration mode! I’m beyond excited to share TWO NEW RECIPES with you today! First, the Green & Black cocktail, made with Jameson Black Barrel. The warm, nutty, spiced notes of the whiskey go perfect with the dry Amontillado sherry, tart green apple, and burnt sugar syrup. They’re exactly the flavors I’m looking for this time of year, as we transition from winter to spring. Next, our Irish whiskey-glazed spiced nuts recipe, made with Jameson Caskmates. After spending some time in stout-seasoned casks, the chocolate and butterscotch notes of the Caskmates are apparent, and divine. Without hesitation, I rounded up a group of friends (aka moving buddies) and shared this bountiful ploughman’s platter full of Irish cheese, meats, and all the fixings. After all, what better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with good food, good whiskey, and those you love the most! Sláinte!!
Considering the amount of fresh bread Audrey’s been baking lately (four loaves a week!!) we’ve been eating our weight in sourdough! While I’m a sucker for avocado toast as much as the next guy, I’ve been experimenting with several other flavor combinations. It’s hard to go wrong with a thick slice of crunchy rustic bread, piled high with delectable toppings . . . especially of the breakfast variety. Listed here are my recent favorites. Give them a try on their own, or make an assortment of smaller crostini for your next brunch gathering. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
I have made this soup more times than I can count. Since we’ve been having a cold winter in LA, this soup has been on heavy rotation (in fact, I made a large pot of it this Sunday and Clay and I already finished it today!). There are a lot of things I love about this soup but perhaps my favorite is the whole head of garlic with cloves kept whole and simmered low and slow so that they still keep their shape but melt in your mouth. Don’t be scared of a whole head of garlic, cooked down in this soup it doesn’t have any of that fire-y garlic kick but adds a muted sweet garlic flavor. This soup is VERY forgiving– feel like a heartier soup? Add two cans of beans instead of one. Only have ground chicken, you could certainly use ground chicken (although, I highly recommend using pork since it just tastes better). Feel like making it spicier? Add 5 chiles de arbol instead of 3. It’s your soup and your journey– I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Erica, Todd and I have our allegiances– I adamantly believe that Los Angeles has far superior Mexican food and ramen than in San Francisco and Erica and Todd could go on and on about the Bay Area’s great bakeries and Berkeley Bowl. Even though we can sometimes get into that LA vs. SF rivalry, there’s one thing we can agree upon: the Golden State Warriors and how exciting it’s been to see the team’s rise over the past few years. Now that we’re past the All Star break, guaranteed we’re going to be glued to our TV to watch the Warriors! We had a little fun with today’s curry chicken pot pie and made this in honor of Steph Curry. Also, we’re the first to admit that we’re total fan girls/boy of Ayesha Curry! This is not your average chicken pot pie– this one is infused with lots of spicy Madras curry. I finished off the pie by using little cookie cutters to cut the letters from scraps of pie dough and used a double egg yolk wash for that extra glossy finish. Whether or not you like the Warriors, you’re going to love this recipe guaranteed. (Go Dubs!)
You didn’t think I was going to let Karen make a batch of her delicious spicy chai without stealing some for dessert, did you? These dirty chai affogatos are the perfect way to get that after-dinner caffeine fix, while simultaneously slurping down a scoop of cardamom ice cream. I promise, you’ll devour it so fast you won’t even have to worry about the ice cream melting. Embarrassing fact: after we photographed this post, I quickly ate all four affogatos! “What’s the harm in 4 little scoops of ice cream?” I thought. Only afterwards did I remember the four espresso shots I had just consumed. It was worth every waking late-night minute!! 🙂
When I said last week that I love cardamom, I wasn’t lying. I remember when I fell in love with cardamom. It was during my first trip to India when I was in college and everywhere I went, we drank little cups of sweet chai. This chai wasn’t the watered-down, cinnamon-milk nonsense I remembered having in the States. This was thick, concentrated, so sweet and strongly perfumed with the scent of cardamom– it was like liquid candy in a cup. I drank chai morning, noon and night and in between. I’ve stuck with the very basic chai recipe I learned in India, just milk, tea, sugar and cardamom but over the years, I’ve developed this amazing chai recipe that incorporates more spices and I’ve made this recipe extra fire-y spicy with black peppercorns and ginger. A small cup will warm you from your head to your toes! I love my chai thick and rich so the liquid is mostly milk, and although you could adjust to low-fat milk or less milk, trust me when I tell you that using whole milk here makes a huge difference. Chai is also enjoyed in small portions so using whole milk and sugar here isn’t necessarily unhealthy here in these small portions. If you love this chai recipe, stay tuned later this week for more chai love!