Have you ever had an, “I have to make this” moment? You know, when you’re out to eat and you order something new. You casually take that first bite, freeze, and you think to yourself, “OMG . . . that’s delicious! I MUST figure out how to make this!” And there you sit, deep in thought, pondering food-relevant expletives, as you slowly begin to chew. Perhaps you’re sitting alone, or like me, out for lunch with your 2-year-old daughter, who’s now staring at you like you’re some sort of possessed stranger. Yep, this all happened to me just a few weeks ago when I first tried the butter bean and roasted Delicata squash toast at Bartavelle Cafe. Avocado toast is out of season, so I thought I’d give this one a try. Boy am I happy I did!! It’s one of those dishes that tickles your pallet a dozen different ways – the heartiness of the butter bean, the sweetness of squash, the zing of the lemon, the savoriness of the marjoram oil, the spice of the chili flakes, all dancing together with each bite atop a thick, crispy slice of levain. Ahh, I love it! Here’s my attempt at recreating this magical toast. I tried my best to do it justice, but I still highly recommend you try the original if you find yourself in Berkeley. Oh, and make sure you invite me along if you do! 😉
I know everyone makes fun of California(ns), and rightfully so, for overreacting to a little rain (this clip comes to mind). But there’s no denying that we had a potent little storm this past weekend, and there’s more on the way! So what better way to remedy this cold, gloomy weather, than cozying up with a rose and earl grey tea latte. I have to admit, my predilection for coffee has stunted my relationship with tea, among other compelling non-alcoholic beverages. I’m making it a goal to get more creative with my elixirs this year (Lily & Tracy come to mind). So far I’m off to a good start because I’m thrilled with how this tea latte turned out. I don’t drink much Earl Grey – not because I dislike it, but because Audrey was raised on English breakfast, so naturally that’s what we drink. However, in this case I wanted a black tea that was a bit more delicate, so as not to overpower the rose. Earl Grey was the perfect choice. The result is a luscious, warm, and insanely aromatic cup of tea. All I wanted to do was hold it in front of my face all weekend. For the garnish, I took a few styling tips from The Rabbit Hole Tea Bar, who do a lovely dusting of rose petals atop the silky foam. All in all, I can’t think of a better way to hide from the rain. I hope you feel the same!
2017, I’m ready for ya! After spending the last two weeks plagued with various illnesses, I’m finally ready for a fresh start to the year. I spent the weekend re-organizing my bedroom closet and kitchen pantry (something I’ve put off for way too long) and I’ve been planning healthy meals that I’ve promised myself I’ll sustain past January 31st. If you’re looking for a hearty salad full of winter seasonal fruits and vegetables, this salad is it. It has my favorite combination of fennel, grapefruit and avocados and salmon, radishes and mint. I used Bibb lettuce here, but you could use any salad mix or lettuce you prefer. I’ve made this before with baby kale and either work great. If you want to make this salad even heartier, you could add cooked grains to it like quinoa (I’m a big fan of adding grains to salads). The great thing about this salad is it’s super flexible — so really no excuses!
I think we can all agree, 2016 left a lot to be desired. It hurts my brain just thinking about it. Yet, as much as this past year has been filled with pain, loss, fear, and uncertainty, there were some pretty magical moments as well. For instance, I became an uncle! My little nephew Easton is the sweetest, most dapper little 10 month old I’ve ever seen. Fiona is in love. They spend the day together on Mondays, and it’s been such a treat seeing her interact with her little cousin. Speaking of which, it’s been truly incredible to watch Fiona mature into toddlerhood (wow, there’s a word I never thought I’d write). Seriously, it’s mind-blowing! She’s talking in full sentences now — paragraphs even! “Night night Daddy. Tomorrow we wake up in morning, together, make coffee and milk, and eat oat oat boo boos (oatmeal and blueberries). O’tay? O’tay!” It just melts my heart 🙂 I fall more in love every single day (is that even possible?). As I say each year, thank you so much for your loyal readership. Thank you for all your comments, messages, shares, and link-love. Thank you for supporting our partnerships, and the brands that keep HonestlyYUM up and running. Thank you for taking the time to make our recipes, and if you haven’t, I hope this is the year you give one a try. In fact, how about starting with this golden beauty!
This is my take on the classic Twentieth Century Cocktail, originally named after the 20th Century Limited train that ran between Chicago and New York City from 1902 to 1967. The 20th Century Limited was luxurious, sophisticated, and often advertised as the most famous train in the world. In fact, it’s thought that the phrase, ”getting the red carpet treatment” came into popularity because a crimson carpet was rolled out for passengers boarding the 20th Century Limited. Don’t you just love cocktail history?!! Just as it’s namesake, the 20th Century cocktail is elegant in its own right. While the list of ingredients (gin, Lillet Blanc, creme de cacao, and lemon) doesn’t exactly imply sophistication, I can assure you it’s all that, and
more! So with my utmost respect, here’s my 21st century take on the 20th Century cocktail. I switched the Lillet Blanc for Cocchi Americano, which is more bitter, and many say a better representative of the original Kina Lillet formula. I replaced the lemon with citric acid for clarity, and added a touch of edible gold dust as a celebratory nod to the new year.
Wine granita is one of our favorite desserts. Actually, any time we can combine alcohol and dessert— we do! Granitas are so easy to make and can be prepared a head of time, great for entertaining. For New Years Eve, we’ve teamed up with Elouan to make this rosé granita. Elouan rosé is a crisp wine with hints of ripe raspberries and strawberries and hints of citrus and perfect with creamy vanilla bean ice cream. Rosé is often considered a summer wine, but rose is appropriate for any time of the year in our book. Pair this dessert with glasses of chilled rosé and you have yourself an amazing New Years Eve night!
I’ll be honest, 2016 has been a rough year. It’s been a busy and stressful year with a lot of personal and professional ups and downs (hey, they can’t all be winning years, right?) But, I’m ready to end this year on as high a note as possible and am so looking forward to spending time with my family for Christmas. Our family really gets into the Christmas spirit. For us, it’s all about the trees, lights, gifts, baking and holiday magic, but more than anything, it’s about spending a lot of time together– for better or worse. We usually plan a large dinner on Christmas Eve (also my sister’s birthday!) and follow it up with an early morning watching kids tearing through gifts and nursing hangovers with single-drip coffee my dad patiently makes for everyone cup by cup. We eventually all get around to making a delicious and decadent breakfast, typically with lots of eggs and popovers. This year, however, I’m planning on making a biscuit spread featuring these incredible buttermilk biscuits inspired by a stellar recipe from Bon Appetite. This genius recipe layers pieces of the dough so that when it bakes it you get those beautiful distinct layers. For this biscuit spread, I’ve provided savory and sweet options. Jam, butter and honey are a must for biscuits, but what I prefer is making a breakfast sandwich out of these biscuits. Spread a layer of Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs cheese, top with a runny sunny side up egg and top with crispy bacon. Or top the biscuit with Boursin cheese and a couple thin slices of smoked lox. Ohhh, it’s soooo good!!! Decorate your spread with plenty of winter fruit like satsuma oranges, pomegranates, persimmons, apples and pears and you’ve got yourself a Christmas morning-worthy brunch!