these little chocolate cookies are beautiful and cute but oh-so dangerous. the light chewy texture and single bite size make them very easy to eat way too many of way too quickly. they crack as they bake, making for a pretty surface and are best when eaten still warm but not hot - it's a good test in patience to wait ten minutes after they come out of the oven before devouring a pile of them.

Cracked Cookies

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup hazelnuts
80z dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup confectioner's sugar
preheat oven to 350 degrees F. combine almonds and hazelnuts on a sheet pan and in the oven for 10 minutes. cool completely and grind in food processor until they become a fine meal. while nuts are cooling, combine chocolate, vanilla and butter in a small saucepan and carefully melt over low heat, stirring constantly. combine eggs and 1/3 cup sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 12 minutes, until foamy and pale yellow. pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whip until just combined. switch to the paddle attachment and add flour, baking powder and crushed nuts. mix for about 30 seconds until everything is combined. cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to 3 days).
preheat oven to 325 degrees F. remove the dough from the fridge and scoop into tablespoon size balls, rolling each one in your hands to make round. place on an ungreased parchment lined sheet pan and put in the fridge for 5 minutes. pour 1 cup granulated and confectioner's sugar into 2 separate bowls. roll each ball first in granulated sugar and then in confectioner's sugar. bake 15 minutes or until they have expanded and cracked.


eggs & bacon

shirred eggs can be one of those little simple treats that can warm the start of your day. and who doesn't love adding a little heavy cream to anything?  the idea for this recipe came from the wonderful baked eggs we had at a new friends house in brooklyn last week.  their twist was some amazing truffle oil added at the end.  ours happens to be the idea of the more bacon the better...

Shirred Eggs

4 strips bacon, cooked
4 eggs
salt & pepper
1/4 cup fontina
1 tbs chopped parsley
1 tbs chopped chives
2 tsp heavy cream
preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  grease 2 ramekins and place on a sheet pan. crumble 2 slices of bacon into each ramekin, covering the bottom completely. break two eggs into each ramekin and season with salt and pepper. bake for 10 mins.  top each with fontina, herbs and cream. return to the oven 7-10 mins, until whites are set but yellow is still a bit runny.  serve with toast. indulge!


herbs & nuts

i'm not exactly sure if pesto has to be made with basil & pine nuts to be called pesto but you can really make it with all kinds of other herb & nut combinations and it's equally as amazing. for this recipe i didn't have quite enough spinach so i threw in a little parsley too. one of my favorite vessels for pesto is farro (a nutty italian grain) - try it with pesto and roasted butternut squash! here are two recipes from the photo - pesto farro and a really easy yogurt sauce that's perfect on salmon. enjoy!

Farro with Spinach Pesto

1 cup spinach
1 cup parsley
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted & cooled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb farro
3 cups chicken broth
in a food processor, combine spinach, parsley, garlic, cheese, lemon and walnuts. pulse a few times and then slowly add oil while running. cook farro with chicken broth and 2 cups of water, simmering for 20 minutes. toss warm farro with desired amount of pesto.

Yogurt & Dill Sauce

1 cup greek yogurt
3 tbs dill, chopped
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
combine all ingredients and serve with baked, grilled or pan fried salmon.



i have a soft spot in my heart for rice pudding. i grew up with two amazing grandmas who knew a whole lot about all things cooking and baking. grandma grabe always had at least three different kinds of cookies in the cupboard and a fresh batch of rice pudding in the fridge when she knew i was coming over. we love chinese takeout. but i've never understood exactly why they give you SO much rice and we always have leftovers. so here is an easy and delicious recipe to utilize that leftover rice next time.

Chai Spiced Rice Pudding

2 cups cooked rice
3 cups milk ( i tried this with vanilla soy milk but use whatever you have on hand)
1/3-1/2 cup sugar (adjust the sugar depending on what kind of milk you use)
pinch of salt
1-inch knob ginger, peeled & cut into chunks
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves
20 black peppercorns
ground cinnamon, for garnish
combine rice, milk, sugar, ginger and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. put cloves and peppercorns in a tea infuser or make a small packet with cheese cloth and string and place in saucepan. bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. cook for 15-25 minutes, until desired consistency is reached. dust with ground cinnamon to garnish and enjoy!



the few dwarf citrus trees we have in our backyard decided to all produce ripe fruit at the exact same time this year. fresh meyer lemons, mexican limes and pommelo with a little tangerine from farmer's market seems like the perfect way to bring a little summer sunshine onto your winter table for dessert. plus a granita is like eating flavored snow! use whatever citrus you have on hand and adjust the sugar depending on the sweetness of your juice.

Fresh Citrus Granita

4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup meyer lemon juice
1/2 cup tangerine juice
1/4 cup pommelo juice
in a saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. let cool completely and then stir in citrus juices. pour into a 9x9-inch pan and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. scrape with a fork to loosen and serve.



we've been getting dwell magazine for years and love tearing out inspiration for our dream house. just recently discovered they had a blog and then laure joliet discovered pictures and pancakes. check out our interview here and thanks again to laure and dwell for their support!


santa barbara

here are a couple tears from the santa barbara magazine we got in the mail yesterday.  on the left, a shot of the beautiful begonias i was able to shoot a few months back.  everything i shot that day was stunning, all the colors were just mesmerizing.  on the right are a few shots i took from todd mossman antiques and design.  todd was nice enough to let me photograph some of his amazing treasures.  it's always nice when a subject has a passion for the things you are photographing.  thanks to all the girls at sb mag for doing such a wonderful job with this magazine issue to issue.  check out the current issue with a gorgeous cover shot by the wonderful and talented coral von zumwalt.



mexican food is one of those cuisines we can't eat too often - breakfast, lunch or dinner! and we probably take for granted that we live in a town with fantastic authentic mexican food all around us. here's our take on huevos rancheros - it uses a roasted tomatillo sauce instead of pico de gallo or a tomato based salsa. it's nice and mild so add a little heat with your favorite mexican hot sauce or up the amount of jalepeno.

Huevos Rancheros Verde

3 cloves garlic
2 onions, cut into chunks
1 jalepeno, seeded & roughly chopped
2 pasilla chilies, seeded & roughly chopped
14 tomatillos, husk removed & quartered
3 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 limes, juiced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 tbs white wine vinegar
4 small corn tortillas, warmed
1 can black beans
4 large eggs
1/2 cup queso fresco
preheat oven to 400 degrees F. on a sheet pan, toss garlic, onions, jalepeno, pasillas, and tomatillos with olive oil and salt. roast 25-30 minutes, until soft and slightly brown on the edges. let cool slightly and blend with lime juice, chicken stock, a handful of cilantro, and vinegar. season with salt and pepper to taste. to serve, place a warm tortilla on a plate. spoon tomatillo sauce on tortilla, sprinkle with black beans, top with a sunny-side up egg and garnish with queso fresco and chopped cilantro. the recipe makes more tomatillo salsa than needed for 4 servings but keeps well in the refrigerator and is good on almost everything!


winter salad

in an effort for a healthier 2009, i've been trying to come up with interesting and delicious salads for lunch every afternoon. we had this yesterday and it's one of my favorites so far. it's a nice combination of wintery flavors, creamy dressing, and uses the easiest cold weather cooking method - roasting! i also just found the most beautiful wild arugula at trader joes which was very exciting. see, eating healthier isn't as bad as it sounds.

Winter Roasted Salad

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into 1-inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into chunks
3 tbs olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 cup walnuts
2 tbs goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of ground cumin
3 cups wild arugula
1 small pink lady apple, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
preheat oven to 425 degrees F. toss squash and onions with olive oil, salt and pepper on a large sheet pan. roast until squash is tender, about 25 minutes. add walnuts and toss. return to the oven for 5-8 minutes. in a small bowl, whisk together goat cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and cumin. season to taste with salt & pepper. lightly toss arugula with olive oil and place on a plate or shallow bowl. top with apple, roasted vegetables and drizzle with dressing. enjoy! 


domaine de canton

after a month or so of complete libation mode, full of heavy reds, great scotch and a few hot toddies, it's time for a drink that blends a little of the winter with a little of the summer.  this drink combines the cooling flavors of lime and grenadine and brings in the nice warming flavors of ginger and bitters.  we have been wanting to try this canton ginger liqueur since we sampled it in napa a couple months back.  we came up with this slightly sweet tasty little number.  i hope you enjoy!

the ginger

2 oz. canton ginger liqueur
5 oz. orange flavored soda water
1/2 oz. grenadine
3 dashs peychauds bitters
add all ingredients to a glass filled with ice and garnish with a squeeze of lime


so this is the new year

happy new year to all our readers!! we are still on the road but should be home very soon - ready and inspired to cook and shoot our little hearts out. here are a few polaroids from our road trip between california & arizona. we were reminded how beautiful the desert is.