Chilaquiles verdes made with homemade Roasted tomatillo salsa, fried tortillas, and baked in mini cocottes.Continue reading “Mini Chilaquiles Verdes with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa”
Roasted citrus compote with honey, vanilla, and cardamom. Served over plain Greek yogurt and sprinkled with pistachios for crunch!Continue reading “Roasted Citrus Compote”
This Bacon Hash Skillet with runny eggs and harissa will definitely be the highlight of my Christmas brunch this year. As a bonus, You can make them in advance! that way, all you have to do is pop on the coffee before everyone arrives.
Hello from stormy Seattle where I’m spending the next few days doing all kinds of fun things like working a coffee trade show (!!!) and researching the best whiskey cocktail in the city. The next few days will be absolutely crazy for me, because I get to see all the insane coffee companies I
stalk follow on Instagram and meet some really amazing people making strides in the industry! I’m going to drink twenty shots of espresso a day and then die by way of over-caffeination. After that’s over, I’m going to head over to the Upers and Downers section where they keep the booze, and I’m going to schmooze and pass out my business cards to anyone who will take them at the after parties! My first day back to work on Tuesday will be rough af, but that’s what sleeping on the plane is for right?
In other news, I think Seattle is the most wonderful place. It’s rainy in that romantic way where I just want to carry a really expensive umbrella and hail taxis all day. One of my favorite scenarios is when a bunch of lights reflect across the rainy ground, and the roads look like a van Gogh painting. I think Seattle in itself might have been dreamt up by van Gogh. Should I start a conspiracy theory about this??
For Christmas this past year, I got a jar of Coffee Blossom Honey from work, and for someone who has never liked honey, I’m actually a huge fan. The company works directly with farms to source raw coffee-flower honey from micro-lots to promote sustainability and transparency. Basically, the idea is that bees = pollenation, pollenation = more healthy coffee trees, healthy coffee trees = more coffee for us! I was trying to figure out something to do with it in relation to coffee, and then I thought of how toddies use tea, and I think you know where this is going.
(P.S. not a sponsored post, just really stoked on this honey).
Coffee toddies are for people who like the idea of drinking cocktails during Sunday brunch but also need black coffee in the morning. If you are someone that guffaws at anyone who orders cold brew or an iced latte in the morning, this is for you. If the idea of drinking vodka prior to espresso makes you want to die, coffee toddies are for you. If you just like the idea of coffee + alcohol, this drink is for you!! A coffee toddy essentially combines all of my loves, namely coffee + whiskey. I chose to add grapefruit juice rather than lemon juice, because I like how the flavor of grapefruit combines with coffee. However, any citrus would taste great; next time, I’m going to try orange. For the coffee, I would highly recommend getting something with brighter, citrusy, fruity, and/or floral notes; avoid anything too dark, chocolatey, and nutty, or you will end up with a strange flavor the combination that no one is asking for. I went with a Nicaraguan that has notes of orange blossom + peach, and it balanced really nicely with the sweetness from the honey and of course, the grapefruit juice.
On another note, I’m convinced that this coffee toddy is the best way to fight a cold. Coffee and honey have antimicrobial components, grapefruit juice has vitamin C, and whiskey cures broken hearts so … it’s basically a health drink! I know it’s spring and all, but it snowed in Reno this past week, so basically no one is safe from rhinovirus’s wrath. #science
16 oz. fresh coffee (I brewed with a Chemex)
Two 2 oz. shots of whiskey (I used Bulleit)
4 tsp. grapefruit juice
2 Tbs. honey
Grapefruit, for garnish
Add one shot of whiskey, 2 tsp. of grapefruit juice, and 1 Tbs. of honey to each mug. Add 8 oz. of hot, fresh coffee. Stir until honey is completely dissolved. Garnish with grapefruit. Serve immediately.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Lost my Head there by Kurt Vile
Yesterday, we had a rare March day with wonderful weather, and it was also the first day in three weeks that I haven’t felt like utter garbage. I am currently in the midst of the longest sinus infection of my life, but even so, it could not ruin my spirits prompted by warm weather. And by warm, I mean 45* F. But, still… the sun was out for a change! I had planned on spending the day cleaning my house after looking around and realizing that it looks like my closet threw up my entire shoe collection and I have a very impressive herd of dust bunnies breeding in my hallway. But life is short, and sunny, windless Sundays are rare in March, so I forced myself to put on pants and get out of the house. I got a coffee and took Bell to run around the dog park, and it wasn’t even muddy! It was freezing, but every once in a while, the clouds would clear for a minute, and the sun would warm everything up. The air smelled so good. I always forget how lovely early spring is until it comes back around again.
Other than toughing it through the freezing-warm weather for as long as I possibly could, I spent the whole day cooking up some new recipes. I love all the produce that’s out right now, and I’m taking advantage of it for as long as I can. It inspired me to make some roast chicken with lots of potatoes and fresh herbs and then watch Julie & Julia, because what else would you watch when food is inspiring you?
Another one of my spring favorites in the produce section is all of the fresh strawberries! Strawberry shortcake has always been a very Easter-y dessert in my family. We make our strawberry shortcake with biscuits instead of angel food cake, and I am convinced it’s the only way to even eat strawberry shortcake. Also, you have to absolutely drench it in whipped cream, it’s a rule.
Like I was talking about last week, I’m trying to take advantage of my very short weekends by getting up earlier and brunching more. Without some sort of goal, I have the tendency to sleep in and then lay in bed on my phone scrolling through embroidery instagrams for three hours. SO, instead of scrolling, I’m sconing. And eggs-benedicting. And waffling. If it’s brunchy, I want something to do with it.
But I digress. This is about scones. And strawberries. And mixing it all together to create some sort of strawberry-shortcake inspired scone. And also adding cardamom, because cardamom + strawberries = lalalala one of the best combos ever!! Why didn’t I do this earlier, it’s such a good idea? Cardamom is fairly expensive, but a tiny bit goes a long way, so you’ll definitely notice a little hint of it in these scones. The strawberry curd is a little extra step, but if you don’t want to go that far, you could always just serve these with jam or chop up some fresh strawberries to throw on top! These are perfect for Easter brunch, especially because they can be made a day in advance! Aaaaand they are best served with lots of fresh coffee, obviously.
Vanilla + Cardamom Scones with Strawberry Curd
3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut in 1/2 in. cubes
1 egg, whisked
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. whipping cream + more for brushing
2 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbs. milk or cream
Preheat oven to 375* F. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Toss very cold butter in the flour. Using your hands, work quickly to break the butter into the flour until it is pea-sized. You may have some larger, flatter pieces.
Make a well in the center. Add the egg, buttermilk, cream, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Mix until just incorporated. The dough will be sticky.
Turn dough onto a floured surface. Press into a 1-inch disk. Cut into 8 sections. Alternatively, for smaller scones, you could press it into two 1/2 in. disks and cut each of those into 8 sections. Space on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Brush each scone with cream. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, whisk the powdered sugar, 1 Tbs. of milk, and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract until smooth. Drizzle over scones. Serve with curd (recipe below).
1 lb. strawberries, finely chopped
Zest + juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbs. corn starch + 2 Tbs. water whisked
6 Tbs. butter
Combine strawberries, zest, lemon juice, sugar, and eggs in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until bubbling. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat. Whisk in the butter. Cool curd and serve with scones + whipped cream.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Let it Happen by Tame Impala
It’s a rare Sunday when I’m actually human enough to have a proper brunch before noon. Beyond the mandatory sleeping in portion of Sundays, I also have to lay in bed scrolling through my phone, drink a cup of coffee, and snuggle my dog on the floor for thirty minutes all before putting on my face and some real pants. Luckily, I think Sundays always feel like morning until it starts to get dark and the anxiety of the next work day looms over me. So, brunch usually happens anywhere between 12:30 and 3 in the afternoon which means I get to sleep in and skip all the Sunday-brunch crowds. Win-win!
On the off chance that I have my shit together before noon on a Sunday and don’t think I can handle the weekend brunch crowds, I make breakfast at home and eat while cuddled up on the couch watching Friends for the hundredth time. Usually, it’s just a bagel or cheesy eggs + lots lots lots of coffee. However, every once in a while I will have my shit so together that I even have ingredients at home for a fancy brunch! Those are few and far between, but they are sometimes totally real and make me feel like an actual grown up.
I think I would like to make it a new goal to get up at least one Sunday a month and have a fancy brunch. Maybe I’ll even get into doing yoga on Sundays?! Would that make me an overachiever? It sounds a little meta….
This past week(end), I had probably the worst cold of my life. I felt like one of those wavy inflatable tubemen, but instead of being filled with air, I was actually filled with mud and also I was at the bottom of a swamp. I practically drowned myself in cough medicine and Gatorade, and I ate whatever I wanted since I was feeling sorry for myself. After watching approximately 200 episodes of The Office, I finally peeled myself off the couch and managed to get out of the house long enough to get some good coffee. Also, I’m sending many blessings to past Sara, because when I opened my freezer, I had some of these mini galettes wrapped up! (Ugh, past Sara can be a real MVP sometimes). Since it was the first warm day we’ve had in ages, I swigged some Dayquil and enjoyed these galettes with plenty of fresh coffee at our local arboretum.
These galettes are super easy and a fun play on the French croque madame. When I was in France this past summer, I was utterly obsessed with croque madames and ham and cheese baguettes. Why is it that the French can make a ham and cheese sandwich so amazing and mine taste like they came out of a vending machine? Anyways, I decided to take these ingredients and combine them with another one of my favorite French treats – the galette. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m totally obsessed with galettes, so it was about time that I made a savory version.
Oh, and I put everything bagel spice on the crust, because I pretty much want everything bagel spice on everything in my whole life.
Croque Madame Galettes with Everything Crust
Makes 4 large servings or 8 small servings
2 – 9 in. pie crusts, store-bought or homemade
1/4 c. dijon mustard
8 oz. ham, thinly sliced
6 oz. swiss cheese, sliced or shredded
1/4 c. everything bagel spice*
Sliced chives, for topping
Preheat oven to 350* F. Divide pie dough into 4 equal parts, and roll them out until they are about 6 inches in diameter. Spread 1 Tbs. of dijon in the middle of each crust. Place 2 oz. of ham and 2 slices of swiss (or 3 Tbs. shredded) in the middle of each crust. Fold the crust edges over. It doesn’t have to be perfect since they are supposed to be rustic!
Mix 1 of the eggs with about 1 Tbs. of water. Brush each of the crusts with the egg wash, and sprinkle each galette with 1 Tbs. of everything bagel spice. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and break 1 egg over the top of each galette. Bake for about 10 more minutes, or until the white is set and the yolk is still fairly runny.
Sprinkle each galette with the chives and serve!
*To freeze, wrap each galette in tinfoil and store in an airtight container in the freezer. To reheat, throw the wrapped galette in a 350* oven for about 30 minutes.
*I have a jar of everything bagel spice in my cabinet, but if you’re not one of those people, you can mix together 1 Tbs. poppy seeds, 1 Tbs. sesame seeds, 1 Tbs. dried garlic, and 1 Tbs. dried onion together. Sometimes, I use a mix of black and white sesame seeds for fun!
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Heart in a Cage by The Strokes
If you’ve been on Instagram any time recently, and you have some American friends, you’ve probably noticed a couple of trends within our posts:
- Women are really stepping up in our political climate (woo!!), and
- We’re obsessed with rainbow foods
While the first trend makes my heart soar, the second one is a big “meh” from me. Although rainbow food is probably the happiest food ever, and it look really nice on Insta posts with a NYC cityscape in the background, I don’t know if I could handle eating something with those colors. Does anyone know if those dyes do something funky to your insides? Do all those foods taste like chemicals? The amount of food coloring added to get those vibrant colors just has to be astonishing…
However, my opinion has insufficient impact on the subject, because people are rainbow-ing literally everything they can get their slippery food coloring into. U.S. restaurants and bakeries are a unicorn’s freaking dream – try as I might, I can’t get away from it. And what do you do when you can’t beat them? Join them! And what do you do when you refuse to add entire bottles of dye in your food?
– which is a totally acceptable and subtle form of rainbow-ing food. (I would know. I have an expansive sprinkle collection).
Once the rainbow-food-trend got exponentially out of hand, and we Americans claimed it as our own, Australians were kind of like, “yo, wtf?”, because it turns out they’ve been eating a colorful treat called fairy bread basically this whole damn time. In case you missed it, fairy bread is strictly just white bread + butter + sprinkles, and oh, it also has the cutest name everrrrr. Anyway, I decided to do some extensive research on the subject, because these are the things that I care about, and I’ve learned a few tips from multiple articles that I have read – basically, Americans have a few things wrong:
- It’s never been called fairy toast, it’s fairy bread – a very important aspect.
- It’s not eaten as a snack or breakfast – it’s used as a birthday cake replacement at children’s parties.
- When making this treat, artisan breads, hand-rolled butter, and organic sprinkles are unwelcome. Seriously, it’s just white bread, a pat of butter, and nonpareils.
However, many Australians are really being good sports about it all, even complimenting some of the quirks we’ve added to our fairy bread in America – fancy sprinkles, thicker toast, and one article even mentioned that they think eating fairy bread for breakfast is GENIUS. So, I guess it’s not all bad.
After hearing about fairy bread, I felt the sudden urge to write a blog post about it before realizing that, hey, you guys are probably smart enough to figure out how to slather butter on some Wonder bread followed by a handful of sprinklies. And then I realized that muffins are a totally acceptable form of breakfast food and thought “Why not merge the two?”
Basically, I made a dense, slightly sweet muffin, filled it with sprinkles, and added a buttery glaze with extra sprinkles on top. Is it fairy bread? No. Is it inspired by fairy bread? Absolutely. Is it just an excuse for me to eat funfetti for breakfast in a socially acceptable manner? You bet your sweet ass it is.
Do you know any fun foods that are not well-known? Comment below, I’d love to hear!
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Favorite Song by Kaiser Cartel
About once a year, I get a strong yearning for summer. The long days off, laying on the beach at Lake Tahoe, wearing light sun dresses and messy up-dos to keep the hair off my face, the smell of beer & cheeseburgers on the grill, Slurpees, riding bikes, bonfires when it starts to cool down at sunset, going on holiday, fireworks. The time normally comes around late January/early February. The holidays are over, so the snow isn’t lit up by Christmas lights, and comfort food feels too rich and loses its appeal. Winter break has passed, and I’m back in school for “spring” semester, which is really just a tease, since it’s still 40* or below outside, and I’m tired of wearing the same sweaters and coats I’ve been wearing for months. I stare longingly at my bikinis and dream of taking a roadtrip and going on hikes.
After a few days of missing summer, I normally resort back to my usual cold-dreary-weather-obsessed self, snuggle in my blanket with some hot tea, and watch a movie while the rain patters outside. I indulge myself on the weekends with pot pie or roasted chicken, enjoy the cold Reno mornings surrounded by snow-capped mountains, and sip Guatemalas or Perus at the coffee shop. Once summer comes around, I’m already dreaming of the brisk cold that sneaks in mid-September.
A couple of weekends ago, I went to Tahoe with a *special human* to see the snow on the lake, which I had never done before. I took some pictures, and we climbed on rocks at Sand Harbor to watch the sun dip completely under the horizon, which was incredible, albeit slightly dangerous. Kings Beach was filled with cute kids in puffy snow onesies and dogs prancing after tennis balls on the beach. My faith in winter was restored, and bagels were consumed over coffee the next morning.
Which leads me to the bagels. Lately, with stormy clouds blanketing Reno on my days off, I’ve taken to trying out more difficult recipes that I’ve never attempted before. Oftentimes, I find that the recipes are not as hard as I initially thought, and they taste much better and cleaner than their store bought alternatives. Such was the case with these homemade bagels. Seemingly intimidating, but actually so easy, and they take no more than two hours to make.
I’ve been staying off of the internet lately, mostly due to a recent computer update from a certain tech company, let’s call them Schmicroshoft (no names please), that refuses to connect my computer with my wifi, essentially leaving it unusable, and leaving me to try solution after solution to no avail (but also because people keep talking about politics on social media). Long run-on-sentence short, I spent 2 hours on the phone with said company, and my computer still isn’t fixed, which is why I haven’t gotten the opportunity to share this recipe until now. But I promise, it’s probably one of the most successful recipes I’ve made, and it’s versatile enough to add whatever ingredients you want. Use an egg wash, and sprinkle the homemade bagels with seeds, garlic, onion, cheese. Mix in blueberries or chocolate chips. Take one straight out of the oven, toast in under the broiler for a few minutes, and smother it with a thick slab of butter or cream cheese.
Don’t forget the coffee.
*Bagels require high gluten flour, or they do not come out nearly as well. I easily found bread gluten at my local bulk grocery, but if you cannot find bread gluten, you could also use high-gluten flour.
*If you top your bagels with seeds, onions, garlic, or cheese, you will need to brush them first with an egg wash (1 egg mixed with a little water). If you want blueberries or chocolate chips, you can mix them straight into the dough!
*Song of the Day: It’s Real by Real Estate*
[Update 1/12/16: I made these rolls last weekend for the first time since I posted this recipe. I changed the recipe up a little bit for experimentation, and ended up liking the new recipe more. I added more butter (yikes, I know), tried traditional scalded milk instead of buttermilk, and used a different icing. The original recipe is in the body of the post, and the new recipe is on a recipe card at the bottom of the post. The new rolls are more fluffy, but if you prefer the old recipe, it’s still there, no worries! I also updated some new pictures, since my photography has gotten significantly better (but still left the old ones with instructions and whatnot). Hope you guys love! Xo.]
These are so good.
Have you ever had like, a really really really good cinnamon roll? Not like a Cinnabon one, but a really delicious, homemade cinnamon roll? It’s a special kind of experience everyone should get to have.
I’m happy to report that you may now make your own if you truly wish to experience the phenomenon of eating an out-of-this-world cinnamon roll.
I have truly done it. I have created the perfect cinnamon rolls.
They take pretty much all day to make, but they’re super easy. I promise, you can make these! Just make sure you have new yeast and everything is going to be okay. You can do anything.
Sara Lynn: motivator and cinnamon roll goddess.
Maybe that’s a little dramatic. Maybe it’s not. Maybe you should make these cinnamon rolls and let me know if you think that I’m a cinnamon roll goddess.
A disclaimer about the following pictures:
1. My nail color randomly changes from red to sparkly pink because I got my nails done while the dough was rising. I highly recommend you find something time consuming to do while you wait because cinnamon rolls take a long time to rise and a long time to make in general (but still so worth it).
2. The pictures change from good quality to bad quality because, again, they take a while to make and I ran out of daylight.
Shall we get started?
1/2 c. warm water
1 package instant yeast
1/2 c. + 1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. melted butter
4 1/2 c. flour
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 1/2 Tbs. cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbs. butter
1 1/2-2 c. powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like your icing!)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbs. milk, to thin
First, you’re going to want to mix together your warm water, yeast, and a tablespoon of sugar. Set it aside to double in size!
Mix 1/2 c. sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.
Nice and doubled! Yay!
Mix together buttermilk, egg, and butter.
Add half of the flour mixture until it’s incorporated.
Add the yeast mixture and stir together.
It might not mix very well because it’s going to be very lumpy and thin like pancake batter.
Mix in the rest of the flour and knead a few times with your hands.
Knead until smooth and beautiful.
Set aside in a warm place covered with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise for 1-2 hours.
*insert random photo and nail color change*
Roll until about 1/8 inch thick.
Brush with melted butter.
Mix together cinnamon, sugars, and salt for your filling.
And spread it all around!
Roll it up.
Brush it with more butter (sorry cholesterol).
Cut into rolls that are about 2 inches wide. You should have about 8 pretty ones.
And a few not so pretty ones 🙁 Oops!
Brush a parchment lined casserole dish with more butter.
Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and sugar.
Line the cinnamon rolls in the casserole dish. Set them aside, covered, to rise for another hour or two.
Look how pretty!!! (That top left one is so sad. Poor little guy. Still delicious).
Bake at 350* F for about 14-16 minutes, or until a light golden brown.
Meanwhile, mix together the icing! Whip butter and cream cheese together until incorporated. Add sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Thin with milk.
(Uhm, is this not just the worst picture you’ve ever seen? Did I even try? Just trust me, it’s a delicious icing).
Yay, they’re baked and beautiful!
Spread frosting over warm cinnamon rolls.
Do you see that cinnamon filling? Oh my gosh. I might go grab one of my extras from the freezer right now. They’re sooooo good.
Which reminds me, if you have too many because you made 11 cinnamon rolls and you live by yourself, just go ahead, wrap them in some plastic wrap individually and then place them in freezer bags. They’ll stay good for a few months and you can indulge in cinnamon bun goodness whenever you want!
Go make these. Right. Now.
* Notes*: 1. I use my mixer with dough hook, but these can also be made with a mixing bowl and wooden spoon! I’ve done tries both methods and either works! 2. If your dough won’t rise, try heating oven to 250* F, turning oven off, and placing covered bowl of dough in warm oven (make sure bowl is oven proof!). Leave alone for 2 hours. 3. If dough still won’t rise, your yeast is probably old. Buy new yeast and start again. 4. Rolls can be made one night, and baked in the morning! Just form the rolls and let them do their second rise in the fridge overnight (8-12 hours). In the morning, remove from fridge, and let warm up for about an hour. They will take longer to bake (upwards of about 30 or 40 minutes, so don’t worry if they don’t bake quickly! Cover with foil halfway through if they start to brown too much.)
*Song of the Day: Won’t You Come Over by Devendra Banhart