French toast, pancakes, waffles . . . that was always order of preference before having kids. Motherhood has a way funny way of changing you – even when it comes to personal breakfast choices. Quincy and Coco (who just recently gained two front teeth!) love waffles. So now, of course, I do too. In all honesty, it was Karen’s yeast-raised waffle recipe that won this waffle skeptic over. And if waffles are already your jam, these raise the bar. They’re malty, airy, crispy and versatile enough to experiment with some savory accouterments. We love the idea of serving up a do-it-yourself waffle bar for Sunday’s celebration. Simply cut up fruits, toast up some coconut, fry up some chicken and bacon and warm up maple syrup and caramel sauce. Just be sure to make several batches of the waffle mix the night before so that the yeast has time to do all of its magic. So good, so worth it. Happy Mother’s Day!
I fell in love with mezcal at first sip, 15 years ago at my favorite local watering hole in Santa Cruz, CA. My best friend (still to this day) and I, ever adventurous at the bar, were curious about a colorful palm fiber basket tucked away on the top shelf. While I assumed it was merely a decorative piece, he insisted it contained a bottle. A bottle we had to try, no less. Upon our request, the bartender eagerly brought down the basket, and proceeded to pour us two shots of Del Maguey.
I’d be lying if I told you that I remembered the village of origin, but what I can tell you is that those were two of the most heavenly sips of alcohol I’d ever tasted. We were both already tequila drinkers, albeit inexperienced, so to taste something so familiar, yet also so intensely rich and smoky was truly a game changer at the time. There’s no doubt it sits on my Mt. Rushmore of alcoholic spirits (whatever the heck that means). Fast forward to today, mezcal continues to be my friend’s drink of choice; ever since that fortuitous day at the bar. And, it just so happens that said friend also obsesses over flan (and all things custard for that matter). So for his birthday last month, Audrey and I made it our mission to combine these two loves into one heavenly bite. Neither the orange, nor the mezcal are overpowering here. Rather, the subtle pop of bright citrus perfectly compliments the smoky undertone of mezcal.
- Combine 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar in heavy saucepan and place over medium-high heat without stirring. Let come to a boil and watch carefully for the color to change, swirling gently as needed if the sugar isn’t cooking evenly. When medium golden brown in color, off the heat and very slowly and carefully pour in the mezcal [seriously, only add just a few drips at a time while whisking, as it will will bubble intensely and create a very hot steam], whisking until the bubbling stops. Immediately pour caramel into ramekins, distributing evenly. Set aside.
- Warm milk and cream together over medium-low heat until steaming but not boiling. Off heat and add 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside until lukewarm.
- Whisk eggs and egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in lukewarm milk until combined. Strain through fine mesh strainer and divide evenly into ramekins on top of the caramel.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Separately, boil water. Place roasting pan in the oven and then place your ramekins in it. Pour your boiling water around the ramekins, letting the water come about half way up the sides. Cover the whole roasting pan with aluminum foil. Bake in the water bath for 35-40 minutes, or until just set. Remove from oven and let cool for at least an hour. Once cooled, run a knife around the edge of the ramekin to release the flan, then top with a plate, invert and serve!
(images by HonestlyYUM)
Mexico City has been on the top of my travel list for a very long time. There are many reasons why this trip was long over due. Mexico is one of my favorite countries and having traveled throughout Mexico pretty extensively, I still couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been to its capital. The food alone is reason enough to visit. With some of the best restaurants in the world to street eats around every corner, we went with an appetite and focus on making sure we tried as many things as possible. Yes, there are amazing street foods like churros and tacos but there are innovative chefs using traditional Mexican ingredients in the most incredible ways like ant larvae, unique herbs like epazote, pulque (an alcoholic beverage made of fermented maguey), maguey worms, mole– the list goes on and on! I went with a few girlfriends for a four-day weekend, which was do-able but hardly enough time. We crammed in as much food and mezcal as we could, running around from place to place. I wasn’t too bummed about the short time there since I kept think over and over how I would have to come back– and I plan to! I hope these photos inspire your trip to Mexico City!
There is goat’s milk is this cocktail . . . and it’s @*%$ delicious!! I first heard about milk punch back in my cocktail catering days. Not only is it a delicious flavor modifier, but it’s a great way to preserve a cocktail. That’s right, you can mix up a bottle of milk punch, and keep it handy in your fridge for months (possibly years)! The process of adding acid to milk to clarify/preserve has been around for centuries. But as you can imagine, milk punch surely has its place in today’s flourishing cocktail scene. It’s a great way to premix cocktails for bartenders to keep ready in the well. As mentioned, it’s also a unique way to affect the flavor of a cocktail.
When mixed, the acid of the cocktail curdles the milk. The resulting curds are used to filter the cocktail, stripping most color and any cloudiness from the drink, and softening the harshness of the alcohol. Please, I beg you, give the technique a try; experiment! For this particular cocktail I tried both goat’s and cow’s milk. The goat seemed to result in a more luscious cocktail. All in all, quite the magical process, don’t ya think? Just another reason to love cocktails (as if I needed another reason).
- Add the goat's milk to a 4-cup measuring cup and set aside.
- In a separate measuring cup add the tequila, Chartreuse, pineapple gomme, lime juice, and grapefruit juice. Stir to combine.
- Slowly pour the cocktail mixture into the goat's milk. Let sit out at room temperature for one hour.
- Using a fine-mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter, a nut milk bag, or another similar very-fine straining device (I actually used a Chemex pour-over coffee drip, lined with a Chemex paper filter and it work great), gently pour out the cocktail and milk mixture to strain. It is critical that this process is done with care, as it is actually the milk curds that create a nest and filter the cocktail. This process will take a long time to drain. Do not stir. Let the curds and gravity do the work.
- Once completely drained, discard the curds, and transfer the cocktail to an empty bottle or container and store in the fridge. Serve in an old fashioned glass over one large ice cube. Garnish a couple pineapple leaves.
(images by HonestlyYUM)
It comes as no surprise, but Fiona has become obsessed with Easter eggs. All she has wanted to do this week is decorate eggs while boasting about how the Easter Bunny is going to bring her all sorts of chocolate eggs, gummy eggs, and other egg-related candy. Strangely, I don’t ever remember having a talk about the Easter Bunny, nor all the sweets she’ll apparently soon be consuming. Sounds like Mom must be involved . . . needless to say, the girl loves her eggs; whether sweet, or savory like these beauties here!
These particular eggs are inspired by a visit to Octavia across the bay in San Francisco. They prepared a dish that they simply call “deviled eggs”, and it was one of the best bites of the evening. Octavia serves their eggs whole, atop a Fresno chile relish (yum!!). Instead, we halved our soft boiled eggs and served them atop a spread of labneh – similar to çilbir. The Aleppo chile/spice blend isn’t truly spicy, but definitely bursting with flavor. The perfect dish for brunch, or well, any time of day, really! My little Fiona would be proud 🙂
For the ground spice blend
- In a pan over medium heat, toast the spices/seeds to be used in the ground spice blend. Once the spices become fragrant, remove from heat. Allow the spices to cool, and then grind to a fine powder using a spice grinder. Set aside.
- In a pan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, poppy seeds and black sesame seeds to be used in the chile mixture. Remove from heat, allow to cool, before adding the Aleppo chile flakes, the paprika, and the ground spice blend. Mix everything together and set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a simmer, enough water to cover the eggs. Gently lower the eggs into the water with a spoon to prevent the eggs from cracking. Simmer for 7 minutes. While the water is boiling, fill a bowl with cold water and ice. After 7 minutes, strain and place eggs in the ice bath to cool the eggs down.
- Add the minced garlic and a large pinch of salt to the labneh and stir to combine.
- Peel the eggs and cut them in half. Spread the garlic labneh on a plate and place the eggs on top of the yogurt.
- Drizzle the top of the eggs with extra virgin olive oil, top with the chile/spice mixture and a pinch of sea salt.
(images by HonestlyYUM)
Full disclosure, I don’t like cooked carrots. Well, to be more accurate, I used to really hate cooked carrots and I’ve warmed up to them over the years ever since I realized what I actually don’t like are overcooked mushy carrots– bleh! They also are the kind of veggie that needs a lot of help. There’s really nothing worse in my opinion than plain steamed or boiled carrots. I actually stumbled upon this recipe after being so sick of my go-to roasted veggies. I couldn’t make roasted cauliflower AGAIN! So I just used the same seasoning but on carrots instead and, to my surprise, loved them! These carrots are coated in ras al hanout, which is a Moroccan spice blend. Every spice brand has their own recipe but ras al hanout typically contains cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon among many other spices– the cinnamon in the ras al hanout goes really well with the sweet carrots. I’ve served mine with some creamy labneh and topped them off with some dried rose petals and pistachios. I mean how gorgeous will this look on your spring-inspired Easter table? Just saying . . .