Everything Bagels


Bagels are one of the final frontiers of baking I have yet to dabble in. We love a good bagel, but they’re hard to come by in the DC area. Whenever we go to New York we bring empty containers and fill them with bagels from our favorite shops and gift them to relatives and co-workers.

Recently the Washington Post charted a path to homemade bagels that made it seem more approachable. Sadly, the bagels just didn’t have the right chew or flavor, even when doused in everything seasoning. I’m going to blame my amateur bagel skills rather than the recipe, as many did receive good results with their recipe. I think the key is to develop the gluten more by rolling them more consistently. In the meantime, I have my eye on the more tricky looking ChefSteps version.

Grab the recipe from Washington Post’s RecipeFinder here →

Yummyholic Totoro Cookies

Totoro Cookies

Last month my friend Stephanie came down from Pittsburgh with a delicious surprise — these custom cookies from local artist Jasmine (Yummyholic).

Not only were these Totoro cookies spot on in terms of appearance, when I finally was able to bring myself to eat them, they tasted great! I’m picky when it comes to baked goods, especially cookies, and these were soft and chewy yet firm. Surprisingly, the dough didn’t taste store-bought but instead had a nice, light citrusy touch! These also weren’t total sugar bombs and had a perfectly balanced level of sweetness.

If you ever find yourself in the Pittsburgh area, don’t hesitate to get some treats. Yummyholic’s site is currently expanding, but will be back soon with an online store. In the meantime, check out her Instagram for photos to tide you over.

P.S. Sweets in the background: Fleurir ChocolatesOlivia Macaron

A New Addition to the Family


Yep, I am going to completely blame this un-intentional hiatus on the fact that in the past few months we’ve not only fostered and re-habilitated a tortie from the streets of Baltimore but adopted another cat of our own.

After losing Leopold, we were paired with a skittish declawed tortiseshell named Cindy Lou Who. We taught her to trust humans again and she regained her confidence; in return she helped our hearts heal and filled some of the emptiness losing Leo left. After 3 months we met with a family that was interested in adopting her and the next day she went to her forever home. On the day we transferred CiCi (as we affectionately called her) to her new family, we picked up Rémy (formerly Patrick) from the cat shelter. In truth, we had been courting him and visited him several times in the weeks leading up to his formal adoption.

As you can see, Rémy loves being the center of attention, which can make being on the computer difficult at times (he’s still learning what “Work from Home” means). As he continues to settle in and gets into his routines, I’ll return back to mine ^_^

Earl Grey Madelines


For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I spent a long time perusing Susan’s Australia-based blog, My Whole Food Family, bookmarking recipes such as Cappuccino Brownie Bites,  Palmiers, Pear Tea Cake,  Christmas Cake, and Caramel Cheesecake. I had my heart set on re-creating this daring Bûche de Nöel and even bought a silicone mold for it, but time got away from me.

But then I remembered that over a year ago I had purchased a madeline pan from World Market and still had not used it. Additionally, I had all of the ingredients for these Earl Grey Tea Madeleines on hand, including a brand new tin of Cream of Earl Grey.

I took a batch of these over to our veterinarian as a thank you for all of their help during Leopold’s last days.

These madeline cake-cookies were the perfect treat for tea-time. The fruit zest is bright and the madeline texture is springy without being greasy. The tea flavor was lost on me, but it might have been the tea I used (even though I added more than the recipe called for) or the fact that my lemon zest was extra “zesty”. The original recipe calls for the zest of half a lemon, but the recipe printed in Bon Appétit lists only a packed half teaspoon, which I would recommend to have more balanced flavors.

If you are planning to make these, remember to allow the batter to chill!
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Romesco Sauce

Back in August of last year our cat Leopold had a scary incident where he couldn’t walk. After a visit with the neurologist and a MRI we decided that he was having a feline vestibular episode. While we were monitoring him for the week while he was visiting with the doctor and recovering, we were under a sort of house arrest and made a few recipes, including 45-second strawberry frozen yogurt. We also made a big pot of this romesco sauce to get us through lunches and dinners.

This sauce is very simple to make, yet has a depth of flavor that tops jarred sauce. We used it as pasta sauce, topped chicken with it, and even spread it on sandwiches.