Browsing Tag


0 In food

recent eats

I’ve been testing recipes and making lots of delicious things to eat while I’m home in my kitchen. I miss cooking when I’m on the road! I wanted to share some of the yummies we’ve had around here lately… a little food porn is a good thing.

furikake popcorn

Roy Choi is one of my fave five chefs, and not just because he is such an incredible human. He’s masterful at creating harmony from dissonant flavors, and this popcorn (served at A-frame) is a perfect example of that.  Kettlecorn is mixed with corn pop cereal (I use Buc-ee’s beaver nuggets because I have a serious addiction), crispy bacon crumbles, and chunks of dried pineapple.  It’s drizzled with brown butter, then showered with wasabi furikake for the most craveworthy salty-spicy-sweet-savory combination. I’ve been known to make and eat a batch, calling it dinner- it’s killer with prosecco or champagne.

cheese souffle

I’m dying to go back to Paris to do some more exploring and eating, but that’s totally not in the budget right now. I put some delicious aged gouda into a cheese soufflé to soothe my wanderlust and it was a scrumptious life choice.

steak and blue cheese sweet potatoes

This is a go-to dinner in our house- David grills steak and asparagus, and I roast sweet potatoes dusted with cumin, greek seasoning, smoked paprika, s&p. They get tossed with crumbled blue cheese while hot, and spicy pecans add crunch.

blueberry dutch baby

I made some blueberry Dutch babies for breakfast, I’ve been making this recipe since college, and it’s practically foolproof if you pay attention.  I up the cardamom, because I love it, and also add ground ginger and the zest of a lemon.

homemade carnitas burrito bowl

I can do some serious damage at Chipotle, so we had burrito bowls at home. I topped cilantro-lime rice with crockpot green chile carnitas, black bean ragout, Trader Joe’s corn salsa, cheese and avocado.  So so good.

pepperoni and mushroom pizza homemade

We grill pizza weekly when the weather’s this nice- homemade dough is just too easy not to.  Some weeks it’s fancy, like roasted chicken, Gorgonzola, peaches, and arugula. But we kept it super simple most recently, with fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, red onions, pepperoni and basil.

homemade bacon and eggs

Since the girls started laying, we’ve been eating lots of their delicious eggs.  They make an easy bacon-and-eggs breakfast extra delicious, especially when that bacon is home-cured and thick cut.

homemade pasta carbanara

Those two ingredients also combine into an epic carbonara, bright yellow from the grassfed yolks.

lamburgers eggs shrimp orzo salad lamb burgers

We also had backyard eggs (along with purchased quail eggs) on these delish lamb sliders. We ran a lamb shoulder through our grinder with a bit of beef, adding shallots, garlic, rosemary, and a feta core. The Hawaiian rolls were toasted, then smeared with garlic confit and harissa ketchup before we stacked the burgers with arugula and fried eggs.  Cucumber-feta-shrimp orzo, one of our favorite pasta salads, was on the side.

 blueberry basil bacardi punch eggslut brunch

My college girlfriend Elyse came to visit the same weekend as one of David’s groomsmen, so we had a group over for a little brunch. David helped me mix up a sparkling blueberry basil lemonade rum punch, and I had frozen basil sprigs into ice cubes. Inspired by Eggslut at Grand Central Market, I poached eggs layered with parmesan-chive mashed potatoes and served them with warm flaky buttermilk biscuits. A platter of gorgeous fresh fruit with maple yogurt and a big pile of bacon rounded out the spread. And every time I entertain, I’m grateful to my mother-in-law for gifting me gorgeous heirloom silver. I’m so old-fashioned sometimes, but it just makes me smile every time I use it.





0 In food/ recipes

an insomniac oven

hazelnut chocolate cake pieces

I’ve struggled with sleeplessness since high school, and am a total night owl. I sometimes work or read until the wee hours of the morning, but more often than not, midnight finds me in the kitchen.  We do mostly homemade sweets around here, so sometimes I’m getting ahead on the next day’s to-do list- gotta keep dessert stocked! But most of the time I’m just relaxing and recipe testing, so I wanted to share a few of our recent favorites.

smore pie

This s’mores pie was rich and creamy and delicious.  David doesn’t love dark chocolate the way I do, so I used half dark and half milk.  I thought it was perfectly sweet that way, but it’s not supersweet like actual s’mores- some more or or even all milk chocolate will get you there.  And seriously, if you haven’t made homemade marshmallow yet, you need too- it’s much easier than it looks!

hazelnut chocolate pour hazelnut chocolate cake milk

Deb over at smitten kitchen mentioned that Chef Suzanne Goin served this brown butter and hazelnut confection as her own wedding cake, and I totally see why now. I adore the flavor of brown butter, and it balanced perfectly with the moreish texture of the nuts and the ganache draping. The cake came together quickly and disappeared from the cake plate in the same fashion.  I’ve more hazelnuts in the fridge, so I’m certain it will have a return engagement one night soon.

profiterole shouquette dorie greenspan

I’m totally on a cream puff kick.  In all honestly, we’ve had them two nights in a row, and I’m not even embarrassed by that-  they’re damn delicious. I’ve been using Dorie Greenspan’s pâté à choux recipe (currently reading her Baking Chez Moi),  filling them with a mix of vanilla custard and freshly whipped cream, dipping or drizzling them with ganache, and devouring by the plateful.

pb and j cake sparkler pb and j cake

Elaborate birthday cakes are the norm around here, as is replacing candles with fireworks. David mentioned wanting a pb&j inspired cake this year, so I ran with that one night. I stacked peanut butter cake with strained strawberry jam, then slathered it with fluffy brown sugar-peanut butter frosting, another slick of jam, and chopped salted peanuts. It was enormous (too big for the cake bell) and phenomenal.

pb and j cake shakeAnd the better the cake, the better the cake shake! Leftover cake into shakes is one of my very favorite revamps, and I love mixing up different flavors.  This version included pb&j cake, strawberries, peanut butter, vanilla ice cream, malted milk powder, and a healthy splash of amaretto. Sometimes I even get fancy… like whipped cream and a slice of cake on top.

I guess you could say night times are good times in the Coe kitchen.


0 In food/ recipes

the friday five 004 avocado toast 

Avocado toast is everywhere, it seems. There’s a version on every fancy brunch menu, and at most coffee shops here in LA as well. A million recipes abound, all something to the extent of seasoned smushed avocado, on toasted bread. Let’s be real- it’s not freaking rocket science, but it’s delicious.

avocado lemon bread

That said, we eat unreasonable amounts of it around our house. Most days, it’s merely toasted homemade bread, the avocado seasoned with lemon, salt and peppers (black and Aleppo). But more is more. So I regularly upgrade with yummy toppings, whether for company or mere kicks.


Some of our favorite assortments:

blackberry avocado basil toastblackberries / shallot / basil / Aleppo pepper


pear pecan blue cheese avocado toastsliced pear / Gorgonzola / spicy candied pecans / hot honey


tomato prosciutto balsamic avocado toastgarlic confit / tomato / prosciutto / balsamic vinegar


radish black salt avocado toastsliced radish / smoked salt


chili granola egg avocado toast
fried egg, Bad Seed chili granola (I stockpile this when I’m in New York.)


Try one (or all!) of these avocado toasts, and let me know which is your favorite!



1 In festivities/ food/ recipes

a bacon bouquet


I may be a sucker for nearly any flowers, but not everyone feels that way. David has zero interest in almost all of my floral arrangements, that is, except for when I make a candied bacon bouquet. It’s a perfect Valentine’s Day treat for anyone, especially an enthusiastic carnivore.


One of our favorite restaurants at home in New Orleans, Elizabeth’s, makes the most amazing praline bacon. Over the years, I’ve refined my hot-and-sweet candied bacon recipe- we served twenty pounds of pig candy on our wedding dessert buffet, and I make it regularly for friends, family, special occasions and no reason whatsoever.


For such an impressive display, it’s not an unreasonable amount of work. Yes, drilling holes in the bottom of your mini-muffin pan (wearing eye protection, pleaseandthanks) may take a minute, but that just gives you the ability to whip up a batch of bacon roses anytime.

pulling-the-petals makin-bacon-bouquet


Candied Bacon Roses



  • 1 lb thin cut applewood smoked bacon
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • cayenne pepper
  • Aleppo or other chile pepper, optional


  • mini-muffin pan
  • electric drill
  • Several stems of artificial roses (3 in pictured bouquet, from dollar tree)
  • aluminum foil
  • cookie sheet



  1. Preheat oven to 375′. Carefully drill drainage holes in the bottom of each well of the muffin pan. Wash and dry well, and place on foil-lined cookie sheet.
  2. Mix brown sugar with enough cayenne/pepper to have an intense sweet-spicy balance,  to your liking. We like ours hot, but start with a half teaspoon or so.
  3. Working with one slice of bacon at a time, dredge both sides of bacon in spiced sugar, pressing to adhere. Gently shake off any excess, and roll slice up into a rose bud shape. Place into muffin pan, and repeat until pan is full.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, until rendered and deep brick red. You may need to lift rosebuds on occasion to let grease drain. They will firm as they render, but not fully crisp until cool.
  5. Meanwhile, strip blooms from floral stems and wash stems well. Place cooled bacon roses on stems, arrange pleasingly, and spoil your valentine deliciously.




0 In food/ recipes

cookbook chronicles: Lemonade


lemonade-on-ventura lemonade-rocksbox-jewlery lemonade-salads

I can be a picky brat about eating out, especially at casual chain restaurants, but Lemonade is one you won’t find me fussing about.  I swear, we grab food there at least once a week.  The Gemini in me adores all the quality options, and I love delicious and varied ways of enjoying my veggies with minimal fuss.  A six-portion salad and a lemonade to share is perfectly sized for a lunch date!


When I saw the Lemonade cookbook at checkout one day, I knew it would be coming home with me. Having tested it in the kitchen, I wanted to share some thoughts on a few recipes I tried in this installment of Cookbook Chronicles.


Going for the namesake, I had to make a lemonade. The key to the tart richness of their lemonades is  a freshly made thick fruit purée. With so many flavor options, I chose pear basil lemonade (page 231), which I’ve never seen onsite. Pears are incredible this time of year, and I love the herbaceous flavor of basil in sweets, so this was a major hit for me.


Unfotunately, the corn chowder (page 171) was not nearly as good. I went for the Malibu clambake variation, which included seafood stock and clams, but the soup was bland and watery and just kindof boring. We tried topping it with smoked paprika, pickled red onions, jalepenos, and each helped, but nothing could fully save this soup.


Black bottom cheesecake brownies (page 201) are my favorite treat from the dessert case at  Lemonade, and I’m a big fan of the chocolate-cheesecake flavor combo in general. But I found this recipe really disappointing- the batter wanted to be clumpy, despite the tedious method, and the finished products were tougher than I’d like. For a chocolate cheesecake craving, I’d rather point you to Smitten Kitchen’s cheesecake marbled brownies for fat superior deliciousness for much less time and effort anyway.


I tend to skip over cookies for more elaborate sweets, but I made these Oatmeal-Golden Raisin Cookies (page 189) over the holidays and they were really yummy.   I love golden raisins, and they were lovely bursts of sweetness in these  tender, chewy cookies.


When I first saw the coconut cake (page 206) in the desert case, I was all heart-eyed over the coconut-milk-soaked layers, but they somehow managed to be both dry and sticky… I thought they might have been serving it a day past its prime. I felt certain I could do better at home, and I did.  The barely sweetened frosting balanced the sweeter cake and filling nicely, though I did substitute half the sugared coconut shreds in the topping with unsweetened coconut flakes.


So it’s been a little hit-or-miss as far as experimenting, but I’m certainly liking having the recipes on hand to some of my favorite salads and homemade dressings. I’m pretty sure more than a few Lemonade recipes will be making it in to the regular mealtime rotation.




2 In festivities/ recipes

vanilla squared marshmallows 


I’d always been intimidated by homemade marshmallows, until I discovered that they’re astonishingly easy with the help of a candy thermometer and stand mixer. I first made these marshmallows last holiday season, and they may have ruined me for commercially-made ones forever. They’re irresistible by the handful,  super soft and flavorful, and they quickly go molten and so delicious when roasted or topping a hot drink.

marsh-sugarpour punchC-bourbonmarsh-vanillascrape

The name’s a bit punny. For serious flavor, I use homemade bourbon vanilla, along with scraping in a whole vanilla bean and adding a touch of almond for the NOLA nectar homage. I cut them into cubes mostly for speed and ease, and I find being generous with the starch-and-sugar mixture super helpful- I even fill a shaker with it.

marsh-cutting2 marsh-boxing1 marsh-boxing2 marsh-boxed

I’m all about the edible treats as holiday gifts… I make and share small batches of goodies all season long. So I filled sweet little holly-print boxes with marshmallows and curled shiny red ribbon for festive treats to be given to friends.

marsh-cocobythetree wrapping-RC marsh-tripodshot marsh-cocobythetree-close

These marshmallows melt so incredibly, they elevate simple hot cocoa to a fantastical treat. I behave like a five year old and just keep piling marshmallows into my cup.  Despite sticky-fingered snacking and the distraction of Elf, we even managed to get a few presents wrapped, so I’ll call it a winter evening success.


Vanilla Squared Marshmallows

(adapted from Alton Brown’s homemade marshmallows


  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon bourbon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • nonstick cooking spray



  1. Empty gelatin and 1/2 cup of the water into bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and powdered sugar.  Spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. Add some of the sugar-cornstarch mixture and shake about to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return excess to the bowl, set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, attach candy thermometer to the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, about 7 minutes. Watch carefully and immediately remove from heat.
  3. Start the mixer on low. While running, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture- be careful! Once all of the syrup is added, increase speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes- it will be steamy at first.  Add the vanilla and almond extracts during the last minute of whipping.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using an oiled spatula if needed to spread evenly. Dust the top with enough of the sugar-starch mixture to lightly cover, saving the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  5. Once set, turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board or counter dusted with sugar-starch. Cut into strips and then squares using a pizza wheel. Lightly dust all sides of each cut marshmallow with the remaining mixture. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.


The cocoa I serve is adapted from this one– I add cinnamon and a sprinkle each of cardamom and cayenne. It makes a rich semisweet cocoa that is perfect with the melting marshmallows. Feel free to thin with more milk or sweeten further, but homemade cocoa is so easy and delicious the packets simply don’t compare.





0 In festivities/ home/ recipes

home for the holidays


As much as I love latkes, I can’t eat them for 8 nights straight if I want to fit into my clothes. So I make a point of experimenting with and serving other foods with Jewish and Israeli foods as we celebrate Hannukah.


Having made several variations of chocolate babka in the past, Smitten Kitchen’s simplification of Yotam Ottolenghi’s krantz cakes are hands down the best. I decided to up the ante a notch by raiding/catching up on my Valrhona x Trader Joe’s chocolate calendar  and including several different dark varieties, and it was a scrumptious life choice.

decktheH-bobka-1 decktheH-bobka-2braid decktheH-bobka-rising

The cutting and twisting stage can be a little iffy, but refrigerating the dough to stiffen the butter makes all the difference. And as long as you get it into the pan in some fashion, it will rise up just dandy. And yes, I have to use a mug of water to humidify my microwave as a rising drawer- even in sunny SoCal, our house is an icebox.


I lose all self-control around this yumminess- that little pan of ends was history before I’d even finished glazing the loaves. With Hanukkah falling early this year, we’re celebrating the miracle of light as we prepare and decorate for our annual holiday open house, which we’re hosting this weekend.


The babka made for some scrumptious Hanukkah bush decorating fuel. The moist and tender brioche was swirled generously with melted chocolate, and warm slices paired perfectly with glasses of icy cold milk.


We don’t go too overboard with holiday decor. As much as I love the way it looks, I have limited patience for the untangling and wrangling, putting up and taking down, organizing and storing, and David even less so.  My mom is a holiday superdecorator and I’m nowhere near her level,  so I’m just grateful that she gifted us the majority of those gorgeous vintage glass ornaments.


But I loooooooveee the smell of a live tree in the house, so every year we wind up at the tree lot. It’s the same story, different year- I try and talk David into a 9 footer or the like, he laughs in my face. Then we inspect no less than a dozen (more reasonably sized) trees until I find the perfect one. And once we get it home, I’m hanging onto the mantle or teetering on the arm of the couch to perch the sparkly fleur de lis on the top.


There’s a lot of love on this little table. The chanukiah was a wedding present, and my mother in law crocheted the tablecloth as a gift for me. We collected the pinecones hiking in Big Bear during our 2nd wedding anniversary getaway, then cleaned and glittered them.  I can’t help but smile when I see it all- it’s simple but special.

decktheH-menorah-openingpresent decktheH-kendras

David got me a new MacBook Air last month, and his new camera body arrived a few weeks ago. Since we’re already using and loving our big gifts this year, we’re exchanging  smaller treats each night. Some are useful, like the previous night’s Restoration Hardware foot duvets (graphite for David, grey for me), some are indulgent, like these gorgeous rose gold and brown abalone Kendra Scott earrings, and some are silly, like the box of practical jokes and disguises David proceeded to open.


With all the travel I’ve clocked this year (24 round trips in 2015) it’s been really amazing to have put up the suitcases for the year.  To just spend some time around the house, making it fun and festive, just gives me all the warm and fuzzy feelings.


0 In recipes

toasted fruit and nut muesli

This toasted cereal is a favorite around here. Chock full of nuts, seeds, and fruit, it’s gently spiced, not-too-sweet, and totally crave worthy.  I love including jars in care packages and gift baskets, and I generally double, if not triple, the recipe when I’m making a batch. 

I have a tendency to snack on this muesli by the handful- I can’t help myself! I also keep it simple- bowl, milk, spoon. It makes a scrumptious topping for hot cereal, the perfect textural contrast. And most mornings,  a bowl of greek yogurt, homemade preserves, and this muesli is David’s first breakfast.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s infinitely adaptable to mood, taste and pantry contents.  Use whichever nuts and fruits you’d like. I’m sharing my current favorite mix, but every blend I’ve tried has quickly vanished from the pantry. Let me know your favorite variations! 


Toasted Fruit and Nut Muesli

adapted from The Garden of Eden (via Whole Living October 2012)


  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup whole millet
  • 2 1/2 cups oats (not instant)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or chips
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • Scant 1 cup raw mixed nuts (I use slivered almonds and whole pepitas)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • A few dashes of each allspice and cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1 heaping cup dried fruit (always golden raisins and tart cherries, blueberries also this batch) 
  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºf.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over millet, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes. 
  3. In a large bowl,  mix the drained millet, oats, coconut, seeds and nuts with the maple syrup, agave nectar, olive oil, salt, and spices. Stir to coat. 
  4. Spread the muesli mixture out onto the baking sheet.  Bake, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the mixture is golden, about 30 minutes. 
  5. Let the muesli cool and then add dried fruit. Stir to mix. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. 

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