Admittedly, I knew nothing of the Cook Islands before this challenge. That’s exactly why I’m doing this! These recipes were the most fun to read through so far, so even if you don’t plan to make any yourself, I suggest reading them for their charm. I set out to make the tiopu kuru (breadfruit stew), but the elusive breadfruit was impossible to find in Philadelphia. I even spent a few hours in Chinatown with a dead phone (I needed you, Google translate!) and no luck. Plan B was to buy as many Cook Island ingredients I could remember reading about and hope they were sufficient for at least one recipe. That’s how I ended up with a papaya, mangoes, limes, three forms of coconut, turmeric root, arrowroot, bananas, and yucca (I was guessing at this point).
Basque Country is not a “country” in the traditional sense, but a region that spans between Spain and France. There is a Basque culture and language and people. In its own language, the region is called Euskal Herria. They have stunning beaches, lengthy history, and rich food. After researching this area, I’m intrigued to learn more through first-hand experience.
I’m such a sucker for brunch. I love waking up lazily on a Saturday morning and wandering to a new place to essentially eat dessert first thing in the morning. Eggs are great too, but put pancakes in front of me and I immediately melt into a puddle of warm, buttery syrup. I’ve shared with you some of our top sweets around Philadelphia, and today I have some of our favorite brunch spots in town.
I’m starting this week with a one-way ticket on the Crazy Milkshake Train. I’m jumping on board and not coming back. I hope you’re not sick of this trend because it’s too fun to quit. Ice cream and dessert and fun toppings and a giant mess? I’m not normally a huge fan of milkshakes, but I think these excessive drinks literally whisper in my ear while I sleep.
Sometimes you wish you didn’t have to learn things the hard way. Baking will always be a game of trial-and-error, but having some tips can make the process go a little more smoothly. Here are some pocket-sized pieces of advice I’ve gathered through my years of baking:
Diet. I hate that word. Not the word itself, but what it often means at first glance. Low fat. Low carb. No sugar. Clean foods. Greens. Juicing. Grass-fed. Almonds. Chicken. Whey. Cardboard. Sadness. Frustration. I think I hate it because I like to talk about my “diet” without it being assumed that I’m on a diet. Hey guys, my diet is for life.
My diet wasn’t always for life, though. I once decided I was going to do a beauty pageant. I had three months to be bikini-ready on stage. I didn’t really have a plan, but I cut out all sweets and most fat. I lived off things I considered “good” foods: Clif bars (apparently not sweet) and grapefruit and salads. I didn’t fly off the handle afterwards, but I definitely wasn’t going to keep up that “diet.”
I came across this stunning idea on Pinterest while working on a recent bridal shower with a pineapple and palm frond theme. The process was pleasantly simple with a striking result. I loved the natural nod to the theme without having to tint frosting and pipe shapes of pineapples. Continue reading →
This adorable corner bakeshop has some of the cheeriest, sprinkle-ridden baked goods you can find in the city. Plus, it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re given a bubblegum-pink bag to carry home. You can get your fix of pretty little cupcakes, or you can get fun sweets like cookie dough brownies (!) and funfetti confetti cake batter bars (!!).