July 4th

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake by Thomas Keller

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake by Thomas Keller

I didn't grow up eating Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Like most foods that I now love, my Mom likely tried to introduce me to it back in the day. No frosting? That wasn't cake! My husband on the other hand, did grow up eating it thanks to my Grandmother-in-law. He recently started reminiscing about how delicious it is so I decided to buck up and make it. 

Watermelon Margaritas with Tamarind Pepper Salt

Watermelon Margaritas with Tamarind Pepper Salt

On a recent trip down to Punta Mita, Mexico, I was introduced to the watermelon margarita. Where has it been my entire adult drinking life? In comparison to its traditional cadillac margarita sister, the watermelon margarita is less acidic, more refreshing (aka you can drink many of them for better or worse), and the bright color is pretty lovely to boot.

Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint + Honey

Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint + Honey

On a fruit obsession scale of one to ten, I'm about a twenty, give or take a few points. Until about 10 years ago, "salad" in the traditional greens sense was not something I put in my meal rotation. However, given my passion for all things fruta, I have always been a connoisseur of the tried and true fruit salad. When I lived in Madrid, I think I startled my Señora with the sheer volume of "Macedonia de Fruta" I could consume. It's a gift. 

Joy the Baker's Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies + Coconut and Oatmeal

Joy the Baker's Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies + Coconut and Oatmeal

Ever since Joy the Baker posted her "Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie" recipe, I've considered her a baking goddess. Since CCCs are a staple for me, I'm always on the lookout for new and improved recipes. While I was perfectly happy with Jacques Torres's "Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie", I wasn't a huge fan of waiting the recommended 24-36 whole hours to bake.

Bon Appétit's Smashed Fingerlings with Jalapeños Potato Salad

Bon Appétit's Smashed Fingerlings with Jalapeños Potato Salad

I have never considered myself a potato salad person - primarily because of my lifelong dislike for mayonnaise. The oddest part is that I love all of the individual ingredients that go into mayo. Eggs? Good. Lemon juice? Great. Olive oil? Why not. While I've warmed up to the stuff over the years, it's still not something that I like to chow down on in large quantities. So therein lies my challenge with classic American-style potato salad. 

Barefoot Contessa's Palmiers (Elephant Ear) Cookies

Barefoot Contessa's Palmiers (Elephant Ear) Cookies

Despite the fact that there was a pastry or chocolate shop around every corner in Paris, I felt like my apartment's kitchen would have gone to complete waste if I didn't bake at least once.  After finding a tart pan in the kitchen cabinet, I came up with grand plans to assemble a strawberry tart with fruit I purchased from the market. 

Barefoot Contessa's Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Barefoot Contessa's Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Jam Thumbprints are one of my top three favorite cookies - this is only meaningful because the number of cookies I have consumed in my lifetime is great. This is a classic shortbread style cookie - just butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, salt. I will look for any excuse to make these cookies. So when I decided to have a few friends over for dinner, it seemed like the perfect post-dinner treat.