THE.Home

GINGERBREAD SPICE & EVERYTHING NICE!

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it’s that time of year again! where the christmas music is overplayed (guilty), turtlenecks are worn in 70-degree weather and i pretend to be on the great british bake off. the best place to pretend you know everything about baking is at williams sonoma, but it’s a dangerous place to be during the holidays. they have peppermint bark, holiday mixes and lots of festive dining decor… which is how we ended up here with this blog post! i saw this holiday bundt pan and knew it’s rightful place was at home with me. it didn’t matter that i had never made a bundt cake before, i was going to make a bundt cake now. i’ll admit baking does not come naturally for me, i need a recipe and i will follow that recipe to the very last pinch of salt. so, when i saw this gingerbread spice quick bread i was at ease having the reassurance of detailed directions all along the back of the pretty packaging. this recipe was quick and simple and i can’t wait to make more for the holiday season.

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apparently, while mixing ingredients i bounce as if i’m trying to put a newborn baby to sleep…it’s a new technique.

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A CUP OF JO: HALEY NAHMAN

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photo by julia robbs 

do you like reading a cup of jo? do you like house tours?? GREAT, me too. haley nahman of manrepeller and cat, bug of bug.tv are featured on the aforementioned website talking design, cheese and living solo. for the full tour, you can check it out here.

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photo by julia robbs

 

THE GOOD: HALLOWEEN EDITION

The Good: Halloween

Image credit Emily Henderson

  • 6 days until halloween! have you decorated yet? there’s still time! here’s how to do it.
  • can’t wait to see this on the big screen.
  • this recipe is to diiieee for….did i mention i have another blog with my siblings?
  • i still don’t know what i’m going to be for halloween

Image credit Emily Henderson

JUNE GLOOM

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IT IS OFFICIALLY SUMMER! 1. because the valley feels like the surface of the sun and 2. because the summer solstice last thursday told me so. i spent my “first” weekend of summer in santa monica (bye burbank). ready to soak in that summer sun, i packed all the essentials for the perfect summer day (cheese, swimsuit, spf 100). unfortunately, once i got to the west side i was greeted with clouds and fog… sneaky june gloom! but no amount of gloom was going to stop my summer celebration! so i prepared my summer spread of fruits and cheeses and enjoyed them from the comfort of a cozy couch.

fruit-

  • cherries
  • figs
  • pears
  • pluots

cheese-

  • p’tit basque
  • bucheron*** my absolute favorite cheese***
  • gouda
  • french bread
  • crackers

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CHRISTMAS IN LOS ANGELES

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i remember as kids, my brother and i were always the first ones awake in the house, we would sneak down stairs before everyone woke up to see what “santa” had left in our stockings. one year we got caught because cody broke one of our mom’s decorations in the excitement of seeing his stocking filled with giant reese’s peanut butter cups…rookie mistake…huge. it’s interesting to see how christmas mornings change as you get older. this year we took a pretty mellow approach to christmas, with everyone waking up in different places on christmas morning, we didn’t really have an agenda. i remember someone saying, “let everyone wake up and we’ll go from there” so we did just that; woke up, had breakfast for lunch and opened presents in the late afternoon. hope everyone had a lovely holiday season.

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THE DINNER PARTY

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it’s the most woooonderfuuul tiiiime of the yeeeaaar! tis the season of friends, family and FOOD. it’s the season of telling embarrassing stories from your childhood, watching cheesy hallmark movies and going to all the dinner parties.

it’s hard to remember when my love for “dinnertaining” began but over the years my sister and i have collected a plethora of great pieces for our “perfect dinner party”. with christmas around the corner, i couldn’t wait to dust off some of these great finds. may everyone eat, drink and be merry this holiday season!DINNERDINNER 8DINNER 10DINNER 11

RECIPE: MIXED BERRY PIE

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the best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear by baking PIE. okay… to each their own but for me, nothing says “merry christmas” quite like a homemade pie baked with lots of love.

meet taylor- yoga instructor, pie baker and best friend of mine for 19 years and counting. for tay, it all started one night at home watching the food network. she was looking for something to cheer her up and decided to bake using whatever ingredients she had available in her pantry… and that’s when the mixed berry pie was born, bringing a happy tear to every pie lover’s eye. she brought the pie to work to share with her coworkers and they LOVED it. so much so that folks requested her pies for their party, their sister’s baby shower and for their thanksgiving. she sold 15 pies for thanksgiving! this pie is no joke. we’re sharing her recipe below but if you want one made special with her love and magic touch, you can message her here!

dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/4 cup of ice cold water

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in a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, one teaspoon at a time until a ball forms. Toll out to fit 9-in plate. set in the refrigerator until filling is ready.

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with the remaining dough, gather and roll out to create your own personalized stamp on your pie. IE 11

filling:

  • 2-3 cups of frozen berry medley mix
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla

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heat berry mix in a sauce pan on medium heat. in a separate bowl, mix together; sugar, flour, eggs, sour cream, vanilla until completely smooth. in another small bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar, flour, cinnamon.

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pour berries into the dough lined pie dish. pour custard on top of the berries. sprinkle the sugar and flour mixture on top and lightly mix with fork.

set oven to 350 degrees and let the pie bake for 40 min or until edges are golden brown.PIE 31

pie 28me waiting for the timer to go off…nikki keeping it real.PIE 12PIE 26

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EASTON RHETT CURTISS

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I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNTIE! kenna, the soon to be mama is one of my oldest friends. we grew up together, first on a cul de sac in eastbrook, then only a street away after we both moved to a different neighborhood. our families (and the lewis fam) were (and still are) always at an arms length of each other. it’s hard to mention one without the other, it’s been the mitchell, mccarthy and lewis family for a long time now… kenna, taylor and i even share the same tattoo to commemorate our lifelong friendship- because it’s not forever until you’ve got ink under your skin right?! i’m actually looking forward to showing our grandchildren our saggy tattoo after we all grow old… but first comes your son, baby easton. he’s due february 9, 2018 and he is already so loved. he’s one lucky dude to have you and casey as his parents.

last weekend we showered the hell out of mama and her baby boy, surrounded by friends, family and so much love.

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you were able to create your own trail mix at the “trail mix bar” which meant NO RAISINS, HALLELUJAH! i’m not saying that my trail mix only consisted of m&ms but it was about 90% m&m’s and 10% popcorn. i really enjoyed my trail mix freedom.

after folks were able to get some food and drinks, we let the games begin…BABY SHOWER 20

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ALMOND BUTTER ACAI BOWL

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ingredients:

  • 1 packet of frozen acai mix
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 2 bananas- 1 for topping
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 2 cups of frozen strawberries, blueberries and kale
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • granola
  • fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries for topping

ACAI 1there really isn’t much to this recipe. run hot water over the frozen acai packet and then squeeze into the blender. add in the frozen berries, kale, banana, almond milk and honey. once blended, i taste to see if it needs more of anything. this time around i added some fresh strawberries to the mix for more sweetness.ACAI 9i think i would skip the blueberry topping next time. it’s not their fault, i just don’t like little balls in my food. it took some time for me to even like the idea of boba….ACAI 4ACAI 10

HABANERO PEACH JAM

JAM 1my love for habanero peach jam all began after i had visited my friend in italy. she had made a batch before i arrived and it’s ALL I COULD EAT while i was there. i had to make this jam when i got back to the states. i attempted the recipe three times before having any success… yeah, it’s THAT good aaaannnddd i’m not a quitter. during one of those attempts i fell asleep (jet lag) while letting the jam sit so i’ll take responsibility for that but the other two attempts i’ll just blame mercury being in retrograde. this time around, i brought in the big guns… my sister and she didn’t disappoint! we made a successful batch of habanero peach jam! you can get the full recipe here.

ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 pint jars
  • 1 lb 5 oz peeled and pitted peaches
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • 1 lb 5 oz sugar
  • 1 lemon

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JAM 10peel and slice your peaches over a bowl to catch the juices. weigh the peaches, then weigh the sugar to the same amount. finely mince the habanero peppers, seeds and all. (wear gloves! especially if you wear contacts, i made that mistake the first time, you live and you learn right?!)JAM 14JAM 13put the peaches, sugar, habanero peppers and lemon juice in a large heavy bottomed pot. stir to combine everything and mash the peaches a bit with a large wooden spoon or potato masher. let sit for an hour. JAM 16JAM 11

bring the mixture to a boil. boil for approximately 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently. it will foam up for most of the time and eventually when the jam is nearly ready, the foam will die down. check to see if jam is ready by dropping a small amount on a very cold plate. JAM 24when it is ready it will jell as it cools on the plate. when you are satisfied with the jelling, ladle the hot jam into clean jars, almost filling to the top. screw on the lids, but not too tightly and immediately set the jars upside down. let the jars cool and then turn them right side up, refrigerate and enjoy!JAM 20JAM 19