recipes small batch sweets

I Am... Small Batch Cookie Baking Tips – Use 1 Egg in 4 Different Cookie Recipes: Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Chip, Sugar, and Ginger

Sometimes I want to make cookies. Okay, I always want to make cookies. I don't know, there's just something about making cookies that makes me happy. Sometimes I even make them when I don't want to eat them. You might think that this isn't a problem because I could easily give my cookies to family and friends, but I have major anxiety about giving away cookies. I'm always worried that they're just saying that they want them but don't really because who knows what's going on in people's lives. Maybe they're on some sort of anti-cookie diet or they're too shy to say they don't like my cookies. I run through various scenarios – usually ones where they think my cookies are horrible – and generally drive myself crazy. I've decided that the best thing to do in cases like this are to not give away cookies.

Read More →
~ 5 ingredients breakfast brunch easy grilled cheese quickie recipes snacks

I Am... The Cran-brie: Cranberry and Brie Grilled Cheese

Rolling in with a quickie: a triple decker cranberry and brie grilled cheese. I love cranberries and brie together. There's something ultra festive about cranberries and brie together. I think it might be because the very first time I ever had brie was at a Christmas party.

Read More →
bread brunch comfort recipes sunday stuff sweets

I Am... Cinnamon Roll Mugs: The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

I'm a huge fan of cinnamon buns. Or cinnamon rolls. I'm pretty sure everyone I informally polled around here calls them cinnamon buns, but the internet tells me that everyone knows them as cinnamon rolls. I mean, cinnamon rolls makes a lot of sense because they're literally rolled up. It might even make more sense than cinnamon buns, but I grew up knowing them as cinnamon buns, so I'm going to be sticking with that for now.

Read More →
30 minutes gadgets instant pot mains meat recipes that noodle life vietnamese

I Am... Authentic Instant Pot Chicken Pho Recipe

It's the most coziest time of the year which mean it's time for soup. Noodle soup, of course! I love all noodle soups, but pho has got to be one of the most satisfying. We usually make beef pho (recipes here, here, and here) but sometimes chicken noodle soup is the answer because when isn't soup the answer?

Read More →
mains meat free recipes sides

I Am... How to Roast Honeynut Squash: Honeynut Squash with Honeyed Walnuts

The other day Mike and I were wandering down the street, stopping into little shops, getting into the Christmas spirit, when we randomly ran into some old not-quite-friends, but not really acquaintances. I'm pretty sure we could end up being good friends if one of us made the move to get together, but you know how life is – everyone always says they want to hang out but life gets in the way and it never happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ What did end up happening was a half hour chat about the different merits of all the boba tea houses in town. It was a serious discussion.

Read More →
comfort mains meat recipes

I Am... Köttbullar med Gräddsås: Swedish Meatballs with Cream Sauce

Sometimes Mike and I go to Ikea just for the meatballs. And the soft serve, mac and cheese, and hot dogs. I know, I know, we're animals. Maybe we'll adult a little while we're there too and pick up organizational things, but more often than not, a trip to Ikea is kind of like going to a giant food court that just so happens to sell furniture as well. I know that the meatballs at Ikea aren't the greatest meatballs in the world, but Mike and I love them. They're super nostalgic for us. Way back when we didn't cook as much as we do now, we used to buy a bag of them every month or so and meatball night at home was the greatest thing ever.

Read More →
mains recipes

I Am... Not Quite Daube Provençal: Red Wine Braised Short Rib French-ish Beef Stew

Tomorrow is Mike's birthday and with any luck, he'll be having a great day, planned out for him by his wonderful wife, me! Really though, I'm kidding because I absolutely suck at planning out birthdays. I get mildly anxious (okay, a lot anxious) when I need to make decisions about things that I think are important. And birthdays are important! I mean, they're a day to celebrate someone's existence. And in this case, not just any someone, but my someone.

Read More →
~ 5 ingredients recipes restaurant recipes

I Am... Dishoom’s Chicken Biryani Recipe, Simplified

Among our small group of friends, Steph and I are known as that couple that foolishly spends every penny on travels just to eat, so we always get asked for restaurant recommendations on any random city someone is visiting, even if there's no way we've ever been there or plan on ever going there. For London, we're actually able to answer, and we always have a laundry list of restaurants we give. Usually we'll get a response back that goes along the lines of "are you crazy? I'm only there for 2 days" and then we'll reluctantly pull out our A-list of top 3 restaurants you have to visit when you come to London: Harwood Arms, The Bar at Clove Club, and Dishoom. If you know Indian food, or you know London, you're probably thinking "Two of these restaurants are fantastic and well regarded, but one is rubbish, why is it on this list?" It's true, Dishoom is not the greatest Indian restaurant in London. It's got fake lineups, its food is watered down, and there are probably hundreds of hole-in-the-walls that are better than Dishoom for less money. But Dishoom is an experience - look at that menu, there's Chicken Tikka Rolls and Gunpowder Potatoes. They've got drinks, interesting food, and a great story. If there is one thing (food-wise) London does incredibly well, it's their well-run fantastically designed tiny chains like Hawksmoor for steaks or Ottolenghi for Middle Eastern. These tiny chains carve out a niche and fill it incredibly well in a way that everyone feels welcome. Dishoom is Ottolenghi for Indian food, and it's wonderful. One of my favorite things on Dishoom's menu is their Biryani. Like all great dishes of great cuisines, Biryani has multitudes of regional variations and recipes, and there is really no correct method. This version is like if chicken and rice decided to get together and try to make a lasagna. It's got layers of rice and soft perfectly cooked chicken. It's got bits of crispy rice/soccarat where the rice was slightly scorched from touching the cast iron dutch oven. It's spicy if you like spiciness, and it's just generally the greatest thing. If you're excited, click here to skip to the recipe, otherwise, read on for some food geekiness. Dishoom is releasing a cookbook next year, and you can be sure Steph and I will be cooking from it, but meanwhile, I found this recipe online and heavily edited it. I've made it twice now, once for an Indian food party and again just because it was so good (and I'm going to make it a third time after this post goes up, because writing it made me want more). Unlike the original version, this one only has 10 ingredients and is really simple to make. I've made the original as well, I'm pretty sure that besides being easier and much much faster, most people will agree this version tastes better. Some notes:

  • Sometimes the commercial product is better than homemade, and fried onions and shallots are one of those things. Very few home cooks can match the quality of commercially fried onions. They're available everywhere (we actually got ours from Ikea of all places), but if you can't find them, replace with onions or shallots fried until crispy and golden brown.
  • The yogurt we used was Greek yogurt. Indians would use dahi, which is basically a yogurt by another name, and Greek yogurt gives the best consistency for this marinade.
  • Properly, cumin should be toasted in a dry pan and crushed with a mortar and pestle. If you have time for that, you should do so, but I made this once that way and once with ground cumin, and there was not that much difference.
  • Flat Leaf Parsley vs Cilantro: I made this with both because some people hate cilantro and I wanted to know if it made much of a difference if you sub. The answer is, no, both versions were delicious and you should use the one you like.
  • I did it once with boneless, skinless chicken thighs and once with bone-in, skin-on. The bone-in skin-on version was way better (surprise) but the boneless skinless version was much easier to eat. If you go bone-in skin-on, you should cut the thighs into thirds, or something resembling bite sized pieces.
  • The saffron is only for color and isn't necessary. We always have saffron in our house, but saffron is expensive and it's not totally necessary. If you skip it, but have turmeric sitting around, I'd add a 1/4 teaspoon turmeric to the cream.
  • The 1/4 cup of diced onions are definitely an optional ingredient. The second time around, I had the onions sitting around from something I made earlier that day and added it so it wouldn't take up room in our tiny fridge. It was amazing and added a lot, so it's here, but I don't think anyone should go out and buy an onion. It's not in Dishoom's version. It's just really good.
  • Finally, the red pepper and jalepeno. The first time, I skipped both and it tasted ok. The second time, I used two teapsoons of something called Red Chili Powder Extra Hot from an Indian spice company and a fresh jalepeno and it was amazing. To be completely honest, it was also really spicy for both of us (and we eat spicy foods) until the next day when it somehow mellowed out, but both are optional ingredients for a reason.
This recipe calls for a blender, but if you don't have a blender or a food processor, just roughly chop the parsley or cilantro and slice the rest. I cooked this in a dutch oven and truly, it's the best cooking vessel to use. You get this amazing soccarat on the sides, and the heavy lid keeps the steam inside. I probably should have also tested a conventional stainless steel pan, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. If you follow the recipe without scaling, you'll need something that can hold at least 2.5 quarts. Being December, I can honestly say this is one of the best things I've made this year, and I really hope you try this and bring a little taste of London and inauthentic Indian food home for the holidays (and the rest of the year too). -Mike
Dishoom's Chicken Biryani Recipe, Simplified Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon fried onions
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 head of garlic, peeled (about 6 cloves)
  • 1” ginger, peeled & sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup cilantro or flat leaf parsley
  • 1.5-2 lbs chicken thighs
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 1/4 cup diced onions (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 450ºF 2. Optional Step: If you’re using saffron (or turmeric), combine with the cream and set aside. 3. In a blender, make a marinade by adding the fried onions, yogurt, garlic, ginger, cumin, cilantro/parsley, and 2 teaspoons of salt. If you’re using a jalapeno or the red chili powder, add it now too. Puree until smooth, then combine with the chicken in a bowl, mix well and set aside. 4. In a 2 quart or larger dutch oven (or similar oven-proof pot with a tight fitting lid), bring 4 cups of water and a good pinch of salt to a boil. When the water is at a boil, add the basmati rice and cook for 5 minutes, than drain into a fine mesh sieve. If you don't have a sieve, try to carefully drain as well as you can and transfer to a bowl. 5. In your now empty dutch oven, put down 1 layer of chicken, then cover with half the rice, then half the cream, half the onions if using, then repeat with the remaining chicken, rice, cream, and onions again. 6. Cover and bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before opening. Mix well and serve with extra fried onions, yogurt, and chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro.

Read More →
buying guide

I Am... 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Can you believe there are only 21 days until Christmas!? Time to get shopping. Here's a massive gift guide for the men, women, and kitchen obsessed, and cute lovers in your life. As usual, I want everything on these lists >_<

Read More →
round up

I Am... What to Make this December

It's holiday party season! Which means, you'll find me at the food table, stuffing my face with all the handheld food stuffs because handheld food is the best food! Here's a quirky little list of tasty handheld foods of what to make this December. Hand pies have got to be one of the best inventions ever. Flaky, buttery pastry around a juicy meat filling? Count me in! These guys are a Vietnamese take on the classic British pie. Try them! Once you have one, you won't be able to stop. Hello roast beef! Mini yorkshire puddings topped with thinly sliced roast beef, wasabi mayo, and sunny side up quail eggs? Holy beef, I'm in! Feel free to make these on toast too because fancy toasts are never a bad thing. Twice baked potatoes are underrated. They're so GOOD I always wonder why people don't make/eat them more. Fluffy potato insides mashed up with ranch dressing, cheddar, bacon, and green onions then baked to golden perfection. Have you ever had sausage balls?! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these balls come together so quick and are always one of the first things to go at potlucks :) Handheld lasagna! Need I say anymore? These mini lasagna roll ups are all the things you love about lasagna in a bite size, pick-up-able form. YAAAAS. Hot ham and cheese sliders. Warm and delicious, you can prep these ahead and then just pop them in the oven when you're ready to feed yourself...I mean, people. If you want to impress, make these everything bagel pretzel dogs! Soft and pillowy pretzels and snappy hot dogs are a match made in heaven. Another kind of sausage ball because sausage balls are the best! These guys have a bit of Vietnamese flair going on – they're incredibly juicy and flavorful. SO GOOD. Alright, I'm off! Hope you guys have lots of holiday parties this month. Maybe even some parties planned just for one or two? Spoken like the true introvert I am LOL. Happy cooking! xoxo steph

Read More →

I Am... Our Hokkaido Adventure

I love nature. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time in cities, but I’ve definitely discovered that there’s something about being in nature that grounds me in a way the city never does. Nature is energizing in a pure, romantic way – and by romantic I mean in the Romanticisim sense: there’s just something about the sublime beauty of the outdoors that is awe inspiring. I suppose it has something to do with the city Mike and I grew up in – there was always a forest to explore or a waterfall to hike to – the wild was never too far away.

Read More →
breakfast brunch comfort recipes sides snacks

I Am... Extra Flaky Sky High Cheddar Scallion Biscuits

These extra flaky sky high cheddar scallion biscuits are my everything right now. Are you a biscuit person? I'm definitely a biscuit person. If I see biscuits on the menu, especially if they're the kind that will come hot and fresh out of the oven, I will obviously order them. Flaky, buttery, hot biscuits are my jam. Heck, biscuits and jam are my jam. I dig all kinds of biscuits. Savory, sweet, giant, mini, just give me all the biscuits, please and thank you.

Read More →