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

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

no-bake vegan mini pb+j cheesecakes

Mini PB+J No-Bake Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #vegan #glutenfree #cheesecake #dessert

Howdy all — happy 2016! I can hardly believe this is my first post of the year, but if cheesecake is at all indicative of the general direction this year is headed, you won’t hear me complaining. (Lies. You will. Just not about dessert.) (Probably about nap stuffs. Or lack-of-nap stuffs. Although today I actually got to close my eyes with the little one and we dozed together and it was The Freaking Sweetest.) (Also, I hope parentheses are still en vogue this year.) (AS IF THAT CAN STOP ME.) (Typical.) So about these cheesecakes: not sure if you’ve noticed, but the internet is kind of rockin’ out today with a Virtual Cheese Baby Shower in celebration of Sarah’s (aka Snixy Kitchen) forthcoming #cheesebabygirl, and I couldn’t be more excited. One because Sarah is probably one of the sweetest bloggers I’ve had the joy of meeting IRL (clearly anyone who nicknames their unborn kiddo Cheese is destined to be a fast friend) — and two because HAAAAIII CHEESECAKE WHATTUP. When Alana of The Bojon Gourmet and Todd of HonestlyYUM first reached out with the idea to throw Sarah a surprise #cheesebabyshower and gently encouraged participants to bring our sweetest and/or cheesiest game, I was … Read More

olive oil brownies with candied bacon + pecans

olive oil brownies with candied bacon + pecans (via thepigandquill.com) #chocolate #baking #dairyfree

Hold on to yer hats, everybody. I’ve been baking again. And somehow I always choose to do so on days when it’s sweatstache weather. Or maybe it’s just always going to be sweatstache weather from here on out. Is this just how we’re going to roll for, like, always? Seriously, I feel like how The Rock looks in pretty much every F&F franchise movie (or, more accurately, every movie ever). That is: dripping with perspiration to the point where you just assume there’s a tiny person off camera whose entire job consists of soaking him down with a tiny mister of baby oil. Or I guess it could be an average size person with an average size mister. But regardless, that has been me. The Rock, not the Mister. Ugh. (← bad sigh) I think what I’m trying to say is just: I’m ready for it to feel like fall — but if it’s not gonna feel like fall, I’m at least gonna eat like it’s fall. And that means trading that sweatstache for sweatpants. And then filling out those sweatpants with things like sticky, candied bacon and dark, fudgy chocolate and sticky, candied bacon embedded in dark, fudgy chocolate. And … 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

tuesday links — #emspigletparty edition!

Tuesday Links + Dukkah Deviled Duck Eggs via The Bojon Gourmet // #EmsPigletParty

You’re so confused. I can already sense it. I usually do Friday Links, and that’s using the word usually pretty loosely since I apparently suffer from some calendar scheduling incapability that’s probably a close cousin of procrastination. But this week, well, THIS week is some kind of special, because yesterday I awoke to a barrage of phone notifications alerting me to the fact that the interwebs were throwing me a surprise virtual baby shower (#EmsPigletParty) for our little piglet. A surprise. Virtual. Baby shower. Because that’s a thing. WHAT! ♥♥♥ And also: awesome sauce collection! (That’s like your Great Uncle Marty’s collection of hot sauces. Minus all the ass-burning puns. Plus lots more awesomeness.) Honestly, waking up to discover that friends like Gina (So…Let’s Hang Out) and Sherrie (With Food + Love) have rounded up the internet’s sweetest, most talented food bloggers to celebrate your impending arrival is kind of an unbeatable way to start the day. (If you’re on the fence about getting knocked up, the incentive of a virtual baby shower is definitely a reason to pass GO, collect your $twohunny and be on your merry, preggy way.) My heart is so completely warmed, my tastebuds so completely tantalized, by this collection of crazy delicious posts … Read More