Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns

Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #holiday #desserts #breakfast #pastry

We’re down to one nap. Have we talked about this yet? We’re down to one nap. And while it’s a helluva lot easier to schedule our days around a single snooze, it’s a doozy for my personal time. And my email inbox. And the taking of photographs during (diminishing) daylight hours. Oh, and also my sanity. See again: lack of personal time. Remember the days when Lana would snooze on my boob to the tune of a Pretty Little Liars marathon? I’m pretty sure I was still too busy fuh-reaking out about new parent shit at the time to fully appreciate the glory that was the nurse-nap, but man, that was a sweet deal. These days, I’m lucky if I can get the dishwasher loaded and a single episode queued up before the distinct dahhhhhhh-dah-dah-dah of a freshly woken babe trills from down the hall. Good thing she’s so gosh-daggin’ cute. Despite the shorty nap, Chris and I are rapidly learning how fun it can be to have an older kiddo on our hands. There’s the whole ballet thing we talked about last week, which, in its second week, is still charming as hell. There’s the way she picks up, inspects and … Read More

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit (DF/GF)

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert

Alanna (The Bojon Gourmet) and I met when I was just baaaaarely pregnant — those first days when you’re still wincing at sneezes and consulting your sustainable seafood app for fear of mercury poisoning at every turn. Both of us being only somewhat formally employed at the time (note: if you’ve read the tale behind the name of her blog, you’ll know she takes no offense to this; note-within-a-note: she is now a bonafide cookbook author!!! while I am still…whatever the hell I am…), we met up for a weekday brunch at Plow where I promptly broke out into a cold sweat over how to slyly avoid bacon, runny eggs and booze at a meal traditionally designed around all three. “Should we get champagne? Mimosas!” she suggested. (Clearly we were designed to be lifelong friends.) “Oh, how fun! But I’m driving back right after this. Plus, you know…Asian. Low tolerance. I turn sooo red…….” I wet blanketed back. Which is why I didn’t have the heart to confess, when we ordered a delicately dressed salad topped with an undeniably soft-cooked egg, just how many early-day preggo fears were wrapped up in that taut little trembling sack. But what kind of food blogger doesn’t eat runny … Read More

no-bake mini vegan nutella cheesecakes

No-Bake Mini Vegan Nutella Cheesecakes recipe (via the pigandquill.com) #dessert #chocolate #valentinesday #dairyfree

I have no idea how it happened, but Valentine’s Day is upon us. Six months ago, I thought I’d be prepared. I’d take Lana to one of those under-frequented paint-your-own pottery spots, stamp her fat little hand print on a saucer for Chris, and call it a day. In the evening, per tradition, Chris and I would cuddle up with big bowls of Kraft mac n’ cheese, a tray of Scotchmallows and the Mad Men finale — or something equally decadent. And one night in the week that followed, we’d celebrate more formally, pulling up chairs to a tiny table at our favorite neighborhood restaurant and sipping a bold, jammy red from wine glasses blown as big as my head. But here we are, less than 48 hours from cupid’s big day, and I’m stunningly unprepared. No cutesy baby crafts up my sleeve. No Kraft mac in the pantry. And as someone who can sniff out that sweet, honeyed bon-bon from a mile away, I can tell you with absolute certainty there are no Scotchmallows to be found in this house. Date nights out have been few and far between. And, surprisingly, I’m kind of OK with that. Instead of jacking up expectations over one or two big … Read More

cider poached pears with apple cider caramel + toasted pecans (vegan)

Cider Poached Pears with Apple Cider Caramel + Toasted Pecans recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegan #sweets #dessert #caramel #fall

First, a disclaimer: I am writing this in a haze of post-Daylight Saving Time exhaustion. If you have children — particularly small children on whom the concept of “sleeping in” is completely lost, you feel my pain. Add in teething and a sudden desire to skip a third nap (despite offering every indication that a third nap is, indeed, just what the doctor ordered), and you end up somewhere close to here. Welcome to my semi-functioning, yoga-pants-as-real-pants, peanut-butter-pretzels-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner reality. THANK GOD FOR CARAMEL SAUCE. Caramel sauce, I have recently discovered, can be the antidote to a myriad of woes. I say this as if I didn’t know so already, but I think somewhere in the giving-up-of-dairy, I forgot. Those thick, lustrous ribbons of creamy amber syrup. That lingering note of nutty, candied sugar sharply complemented by mouth-watering sea salt. Just go ahead and put it on all the things. And while you’re at it, I’ll take my own personal vat, please. Maybe, like, a keg. A little mini caramel keg. You know, for emergencies. Backed out of the garage without closing the hatch? Just add caramel! Split the seam of your jeans while doing squats* with your little one? Just add caramel! Buoyantly respond, … Read More

mini blum’s(ish) coffee crunch cake

Mini Coffee Crunch Cakes recipe (via thepigandquill.com) Chiffon cake layered with coffee coconut cream coffee crunch honeycomb | #cake #coffee #recipe #desserts #dairyfree

Babies, I have determined, are perhaps the best drug on Earth. In their presence — with just one whiff of sticky-milk cheeks, a gentle raking of fingers through downy soft hair, the trill of a new voice finding new volumes — time both stands still and speeds up, a pinwheel turning wildly in the wind. Your own future becomes both vastly clear and deliriously blurred. Those newborn nights you were certain would never end; the physical pain of complete and total exhaustion that you thought you were prepared for, you silly goose now hardly more than a “remember when…” in the wake of even more sticky-milk cheeks and downy soft hair and a too-rapidly maturing voice that has found not only new volumes but baaaaahs and goooohs and even multisyllabic, sing-song coos that I swear resemble the words “let’s get french fries.” (No lie. Chris heard it, too.) It’s all you can do to stop and ponder — aloud, perhaps, in the middle of a grocery aisle — how the past day or week or month has possibly fallen underfoot when you can hardly recount how you passed the last 60 minutes. It’s a wonder they let new mothers operate heavy machinery. Clearly, the sweet … Read More

earl grey chocolate pots de creme with honeyed coconut whip

earl grey chocolate pots de creme with honeyed coconut whip (via thepigandquill.com) #dessert #recipe #dairyfree #chocolate

Let me tell you a story. I’ve never actually met Akiko Graham, but I can tell you with a fair degree of certainty that, in addition to being a phenomenally acclaimed ceramist, she’s an excellent human being. Generous and thoughtful and soulful and sweet. And while I’ve never met her children, either, I’d also bet she’s a pretty spectacular momma. Reminds me a bit of my own, actually. A couple of years ago I was managing communications for a renewable fuel company when the phone rang. It was an unusually cold winter in the Pacific Northwest, and the unexpected drop in temps had caused our pump’s auto-shutoff valve to malfunction, so Akiko Graham was standing in a pool of biodiesel while the fire department mopped things up around her. And she was apologizing to me. Amidst helping Akiko fill out an incident report over the phone (all the while assuring her that the spill was in no way her fault), I noticed that her email address referenced her pottery website and proceeded to stalk her talent for the next two days before deciding that everyone on my gift list needed an Akiko piece of their own for Christmas. Since that first fateful order, I’ve … Read More

blueberry key lime cheesecake tart with gingersnap crust

blueberry key lime cheesecake tart with gingersnap crust recipe via thepigandquill.com | #baking #sweets #dessert #summer

Hi guys! Just a quick one this week because the long weekend beckons! Around here, that means firing up the grill, strolling the streets of the Peninsula’s many charming downtowns and farmer’s marketing until we can’t take it any more. We’re also keeping up the tradition of mixing a little Ohio into our 4th of July weekend — although this year, Ohio is coming to us in the form of my bestie, Amanda. It’ll be her first time snuggling the bug in person and I have a feeling seeing two of my favorite people ever meet face to face will have this momma’s tear ducts in overdrive. Something else that’s got me crying these days is this tart! One, because it’s too dang pretty. (And too dang easy! Because I don’t make complicated bakenanigans…) And two because I’M OFFICIALLY OFF DAIRY CUE ALL THE SADFACES. At least for the time being. Lana’s either got a mean case of reflux or a mean case of dairy aversion. Or a mean case of momma’s milk is shooting down her throat like a fire hose and if you were fed with a fire hose you’d have indigestion, too. Yep, it’s a thing. It’s called “heavy … Read More

curried peach hand pies

curried peach hand pies recipe | via thepigandquill.com #summer #fruit #baking

It’s peach season peeeeyotches! Holla if ya hear me. Peaches make me think of two things: 1) Face/Off. Which, despite Nick Cage’s sickko one liner about, um, peaches, remains one of the best worst movies ever. 2) PIE! When I was a kiddo, our neighbors had a Babcock peach tree with a limb that draped liberally into our yard and sagged heavy with juicy, white-fleshed fruit, ripe for the poaching. In summer evenings when the valley heat calmed down a beat, my mom would throw open the windows — thus inviting inward the sweetest delta breeze to ever kiss my pillowcase — and dial the oven to pie baking temps. Because baking hot as shit pies on a hot as shit day is what you do when the fruit begs it of you. My mom’s peach pies are of the old-fashioned variety: tall and lumpy with heaps of fruit and enveloped in two flaky crusts, the top of which is lacquered and ambered and adorned unapologetically with a little cluster of hand cut pie crust leaves and the likeness of the fruit within. It’s the thing that, today, would bring a tear to those hipster-maker-types’ eyes. Pinterest, eat your heart out. Unfortunately, the baking … Read More

mini meyer lemon cannoli cream tartlets

mini meyer lemon cannoli cream tartlets with honey + chocolate chips | via thepigandquill.com

You guysssszsszzz! Mother’s Day is this weekend!! Somehow that means it’s FREAKING MAY ALREADY. Yikes. And new this year: I totally get to participate in MoDay stuffies as a momma. Yikes Part 2. Or maybe Yay Part 1? Because crudsmugglers, this whole parenting thing is spectacularly spectacular in the full-blown, John Leguizamo-as-The-Magical-Sittar kind of way. It’s at once beautiful and terrifying and easier and harder than I ever imagined and the last two weeks have passed in what I can only describe as a state of quasi-hypnosis. I’ve never been more fixated on another living thing. I’ve never been more fixated on my own boobs. I’ve never had more pride in or respect for the moms in my life. Speaking of moms, this Sunday, The Moms — who, blissfully, are buddies and actually elect to endure things like long car rides together — are making the trek to our place to spoil us with a feast of traditional family-style eats: chicken enchiladas and potato salad for Chris; Chinese sausage fried rice and BBQ pork ribs for me. Boobs for Lana. (Sorry, husband. Gone are the days.) If I can sneak into the kitchen between feedings (that is: stuffing both my own face and … Read More

grain-free mini persimmon spice cakes (+ eggnog parfaits)

Two recipes in one! Perfect little giftable cakes and festive parfaits perfect for the holidays. Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #grainfree #holidays #recipe #baking #christmas #newyears #eggnog

It’s Christmas Eve! Around here, that means prepping for the in-laws’ annual tamale feast and perhaps the most competitive pirate’s gift exchange that ever was. Our particular version features plenty of red wine and tequila and a particularly obscene vase that makes a comeback every year. It’s a raucous good time and one of those small things I know we’ll enjoy savoring in its current glory before things like an unfortunate floral receptacle that seriously resembles a vagina and nothing else takes a backseat to our inevitably lovely little piglet. How well do you feel like you know my family right know? I’m just going to jump right into persimmons. Is it persimmon season where you are? (Super graceful.) We’re getting to the end of it here, but for the last few years, without fail, I’ve come home from Thanksgiving at my grandparent’s house with at least one hulking sack of hazy, fiery-hued Fuyus. For those unfamiliar with the persimmon family tree, those are the little flat guys that can be eaten while crisp, like an apple. I prefer them drastically to the more teardrop-shaped Hachiya that are eaten once the flesh becomes soft and almost custardy. They sound intriguing and even quite … Read More