June is here, and in our house that means we’ve moved our bedroom downstairs for the summer, away from the stifling heat of the attic, and cleared a shelf in the refrigerator to be stocked exclusively with cold beverages until autumn leaves start to fall. I love the long days of summer but start to melt above 75 degrees. The thought of triple digit heat makes me want to buy a chest freezer just to sit in and if you need me come August, I’ll be at the dentist/movie theater/DMV, or really any place with air conditioning that will have me. Until the day comes when we spring for central a/c at home, a steady supply of cold drinks is the best method I know of for surviving — and maybe even enjoying — the summer heat.
Punch is a favorite chilled drink of mine because at its simplest it’s an easy blend of fruit juice and a carbonated element — if you use sparkling water, like I usually do, it’s more hydrating than juice alone — but the sky’s the limit. I made this sparkling citrus and honeydew tea punch with four kinds of fresh-squeezed citrus and the new Sweet Honeydew Green Tea from Stash. It’s a unique blend of mild green tea and refreshing melon — really, it tastes exactly like a perfectly ripe honeydew — that was made to be served cold. Mixing the citrus juices and the honeydew tea results in an immensely flavorful sweet-tart drink that’s less sugary and more complex than plain juice. Don’t forget the sparkling water — is it just me, or do bubbles make drinks extra refreshing? Continue Reading
I’ve been holding onto this muffin recipe — my very favorite muffin recipe — for months now, waiting until I had a little free time to put a post together. And here I am! At 4 am, standing in my living room with my laptop propped open on the mantel, bouncing a sleeping Will in one arm and typing this one-fingered with the other. Yup, this is what free time looks like with a 12 week old.
These muffins are one of the things I can pretty safely start making when I’m not sure how much time I have before Will wakes up and needs my undivided attention, because mixing everything up is so quick and unfussy. And let me tell you, the time spent making these is SO worth it! They’re fluffy, moist and flavorful — no matter how many I bake, they’re gone within a day or two. They’re kind of magical like that. And you can feel somewhat okay about eating them because they’re made with olive oil and yogurt! If you want to make them a little healthier and that much easier to make, leave off the glaze. That’s what I’ve done recently and they’re still addictive – it’s the tender, tasty insides that make them so good.
If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram you might already know that seven weeks ago, we became parents to the sweetest, squishiest baby there ever was. His name is Will and we’re madly in love with everything about him from his little hairstyle — it looks just like his dad’s — to his tiny toes. Last week he started laughing when he sees my face and he coos and smiles at us when he talk to him. All the baby love is completely intoxicating — it’s enough to make me forget I never shower anymore and my clothes are crunchy with dried spit up! Almost two months in and I’m starting to get the hang of things, though.
I can eat with one arm while bouncing Will to sleep in the other (sounds simple enough but this should really be an Olympic sport) and I even found time to do a little baking. Sure, this galette may have taken me two days to make when in my pre-baby days it would have been an easy last-minute dessert if friends were coming over on short notice. But I did it in the end, it turned out delicious, and these days that’s a huge victory!
A galette is the perfect dessert to make when you’re in a rush or not the tidiest baker but still want to make something impressive from scratch. If the crust is a little uneven or it’s not a perfect circle it’s okay, because it’s supposed to look rustic. I piled this one with fresh berries, which I think should always be eaten with either chocolate or freshly whipped cream. I chose whipped cream for this galette, and infused it with Stash Tea’s new Asian Pear Harmony Green Tea for a slightly fruity cream. The tea imparts the subtle fragrance that I love in fresh Asian pears and complements the galette’s sweet, juicy berries perfectly. Continue Reading
I made these pink grapefruit bars back around Christmas and meant to post the recipe right away. Then time got away from me, between work and preparing for baby to make his arrival (!), and here we are a month later. I wondered for a moment whether it was too late for this post when I realized grapefruit bars aren’t necessarily a Christmas dessert, or even exclusively a winter one. So, without further delay, I give you pink grapefruit bars! They’re everything I love about lemon bars – the unabashed sweetness, the buttery shortbread crust – but with a milder, more fragrant citrus flavor.Continue Reading
Happy almost 2018, friends! It’s that strange in-between week after Christmas but before the new year where we’re half easing back into everyday life, half hanging onto the holidays because they’re not quite over yet. And thank goodness! Because I have one more festive recipe to share for the season, and it’s perfect for ringing in the new year if champagne isn’t your thing. If you’ve never had a brandy alexander, it’s a smooth and creamy blend of Cognac, Creme dé Cacao and fresh cream shaken with ice until it’s nice and chilly. The combination of strong, spicy Cognac with sweet, chocolatey liqueur is pure bliss and the cream makes it a little more mellow and immensely sippable. I infused the cream with Stash Orange Spice Tea for a kick of citrus that makes this brandy alexander even more perfectly suited for winter-yum! The whole thing is topped off with a sprinkle of freshly ground nutmeg for extra spice.