Cocktail: Blood Orange Paloma

If I’m being honest, I would have a paloma over a margarita any day. Not that I don’t like a margarita, but a paloma just feels more in tune with what I like in a cocktail:

  1. I’m always interested in a grapefruit cocktail and it’s definitely my favorite cocktail “flavor”

  2. Sometimes margaritas give me an acid reflux-like feeling when i drink too many of them

  3. Usually a lighter cocktail since there’s bubbles in it

I also know it’s springtime but I had a bowlful of blood oranges and a grapefruit sitting around just looking to be added to tequila. So a blood orange paloma was born right their on my kitchen counter.

And if you’ve never had a paloma, think of it as the margarita’s lighter, bubblier grapefruit-y partner. It’s good, just try it!

Blood Orange Paloma

Makes 1 drink

  • 2 oz blood orange juice

  • 1 oz grapefruit juice

  • 2 oz tequila

  • splash of lime juice

  • 2-4 dashes of grapefruit bitters (optional but recommended)

  • lime seltzer

  • coarse sea salt for rim

Rim the glass: on a small plate, pour out the coarse sea salt. If you want to seem even fancier, add a tiny amount of chili powder and mix together for a slightly spicy rim. Wet the rim of your glass and press it into the salt. If you are having trouble getting the salt to spicy, try using a small amount of honey or agave syrup to the rim and pressing that into the salt mixture.

Make cocktail: In a cocktail shaker with ice, add blood orange and grapefruit juices, tequila, grapefruit bitters, and squeeze of lime juice. Shake until combined. Add ice to your salt-rimmed glass and pour the cocktail over ice. Cheers!

Recipe: Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake Truffles

Do you ever just need a weekend to fully reset? Mostly no social plans, just a few items on a to-do list and a lot of time to hang by yourself, get stuff done, and go to bed early? As much as I love an action-packed weekend with endless plans and dance-until-3am nights, I treasure a reset weekend wayyyyy more and my body and mind thanks me for it over and over again.

Over this reset weekend, I was able to spend some time in the kitchen working on a few treats for y’all and photographing them, cleaned the house up, getting laundry done, catching up with a friend, hanging out with my parents and getting rid of an extra bed that was clogging up our spare bedroom, and mainly just hanging in the house, eating pizza on the deck and getting into bed before 9PM. I mentioned in one of my recent posts that I’m currently loving being home and that love affair continues, which is helping me save money and stay on top of things.

BUT today we’re talking about these little pops of sugary-cinnamony sunshine: Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake Truffles!

These no-bake treats are incredibly simple and there’s just something about them (I’ve previously shared a recipe for regular White Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles) that seems so much more special than just white chocolate and cream cheese blended together. The flavors melt together into a sweet, creamy cheesecakey center that can be liken to truffles purchased at a fancy candy shop. All from your own kitchen with no baking and minimal effort. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake Bites

Yields 2 dozen

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

  • 24 oz white chocolate chips, separated into 8 oz and 16 oz

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tablespoon cake seasoning (if you don’t have this, replace with 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip cream cheese until smooth. Melt 8 oz of white chocolate chips in the microwave and add into the cream cheese, along with the vanilla extract and spices. Mix until combined and refrigerate for 1 hour or until filling is stiff.

Remove from the refrigerator and roll your filling into small balls about the size of a large marble. Place on a plate and freeze for 30 minutes to hardened slightly.

Melt the rest of the white chocolate and begin dipping your filling into the white chocolate. Remove each ball with a fork, slightly shake off some of the extra chocolate and place each truffle on a piece of wax paper or a nonstick baking mat to dry. You want to make sure the entire filling ball is coated in chocolate. Decorate with a dusting of cinnamon and let the chocolate set completely before enjoying. Store in the fridge or eat quickly.

Recipe: Pistachio and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

So as it turns out, it’s HARD to dig back into baking. As much as I love baking and I feel fairly good at it, it’s never been something that I’ve been supremely confident about. I generally like to bake things that make me, or the people around me, happy. I’m a 100% self-taught baker with a dream of taking some night classes in pastry or cooking. So when I bake something 3, 4, 5, times and can’t seem to figure out the problem, it’s extremely frustrating. I just feel like I lack the tools to learn and grow.

I’ve been recipe testing these lemon shortbread cookies for weeks and can’t get them to behave correctly. And as you can clearly see, I’m not bringing your lemon shortbread cookies today at all. Because the recipe still isn’t right. But it’s sometimes in those situations when I get creative and think up sometime else to get myself out of that rut. And these cookies are BOMB. Lightly crisp around the outside and bottom, chewy and soft on the inside and filled sweet and salty bits.

So that’s what we’re making today. And maybe there will be lemon shortbread cookies down the line, but in the meantime, I’ll be shoveling these oatmeal gems into my mouth in full force.

Pistachio and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Yields 2 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1 egg, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cup flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 2 1/2 cups oats

  • 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredient to the butter mixture, until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, mix in oats by hand. Once combined, add in chopped pistachios and dried cranberries and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Place rounded tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet about an inch and a half apart. Bake 8-10 minutes until the edges and bottom are golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before cooling fully on a cooling rack.  

Cocktail: Blood Orange Mule

Can we just forget about last year? Ok great. Thank you!

All in all, last year sucked. Like really sucked. The kind of sucked where you can’t do anything but buckle down, try and get as much done as you can, and try your hardest to enjoy the little moments of peace and stress-free calm you have. So that doesn’t leave a lot of time for personal growth or baking (let alone styling, photographing + writing blog posts). I’m trying to inch back into it. Little by little until this piece of the internet fits back into my life.

In the meantime, I’ve brought you booze. This is valentine’s day week (which doesn’t really mean that much to me, tbh) so I wanted to throw together a simple, fruity and delicious cocktail perfect for a valentine’s day dinner at home. Because who’s really got time for overly crowded restaurants and prix fixe menus.

Welcome back to my little corner of the internet. I hope we get to spend a little more time together this year.

Blood Orange Mule

Makes one drink

  • 2 oz vodka

  • 2 oz fresh-squeezed blood orange juice

  • 1-2 oz ginger beer

  • squeeze of lime juice

  • gummy candies for garnish

In a glass with ice, add vodka and blood orange juice. Stir and top with ginger beer and a squeeze of lime juice.

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Drizzle

It’s starting to feel really cozy in Philadelphia these days. I can tell because not only is it chilly out, but I’m making and craving soups, drinking bold (+ sometimes funky) wines at night, and spending most of my days underneath our heated blanket wondering how I lived life without a heated blanket. PLUS I’m bringing you back-to-back pumpkin recipes because it’s the best time of year (baking-wise).

Recently I’ve found myself revisiting some of my favorite recipes, making an Apple Crisp the last weekend, as well as my favorite I’m-spending-Friday-night-in cookies: Funfetti Cookies. But I didn’t want my favorite baking season to fly by without another pumpkin recipe. I don’t usually share a recipe that I found someplace else, but this Pumpkin Bread recipe is just too good not to share. You can find it below, or on the Bon Appetit website.

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Drizzle

Adapted from this recipe

Pumpkin Bread

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ½ tsp. grated nutmeg

  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin purée

  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp finely grated ginger (from about one 3" piece fresh ginger)

  • 1½ cups plus 1 Tbsp. sugar

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cream Cheese Drizzle

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Make your bread: Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly coat a 9x5" loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment, leaving a generous overhang on both long sides.

Whisk flour, cinnamon, kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl.

Whisk eggs, pumpkin purée, ginger, and 1½ cups sugar in a large bowl. Stream in oil, whisking constantly until mixture is homogeneous. Gently fold half of dry ingredients into egg mixture until no dry spots remain. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients, stirring to combine but being careful not to overmix.

Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top with a spatula. Bake bread, rotating pan once halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, for me, this took more like 90mins to 2 hours to cook thoroughly (even though you can tell from the photos that I could have left it in a few minutes longer…)

Let cool slightly. Using overhang, transfer bread to a wire rack and let cool.

While your bread cools, make your drizzle. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons on milk. Add more milk until glaze is slightly pourable. Once bread has cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cake and serve.

Bread can be kept for several days. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. A note, I know this bread looks a little undercooked in my photos. In our house, we lean for towards undercooked than overcooked. The cooking time in the recipe leaves room for your perfect doneness.

pumpkin cake 4.jpg