Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.
Last Sunday of April, and yup, we are all still under quarantine. This has truly become our “new normal”. Six weeks ago I’m not sure I could ever have imagined that we’d still be sheltering in place. Even for someone like me, who is a hardcore homebody, this is a long time. I’m doing my best to keep busy and really take advantage of this time to share more content and connect with you guys! It keeps me going! So thankful to be able to so easily work from home. The only tricky part are the grocery runs, which we’ve limited to once a week. It’s getting harder and harder by the day. Making it work though!
Speaking of keeping things stocked, having fresh herbs and edible flowers in the fridge has been a game-changer during this time. I’ve been ordering from Gourmet Sweet Botanicals (this is not sponsored, just my tip) at least once a week. I’ve been stocking up on herbs and flowers (and even added a Saturday delivery). This might seem crazy, but having the added color and flavor from the herbs have been so helpful when creating more “pantry” focused recipes. A pop of color adds so much to a colorless bowl of orzo or a skillet dinner. If you’re feeling bored with your recipes, I would highly suggest ordering some fresh herbs. I’m always surprised by how much inspiration I get once I open up that box.
This week I’m looking forward to an exciting zoom call about a project that we are excited to be working on this year. It’s something we’ve never done before, but I’m hoping you all will love what we create. More to come! And no, it’s not a TV show…which is the number one question I get these days… “why don’t you have your own cooking show? That and “when’s the third cookbook coming?”.
Also, looking forward to more time in the kitchen with Asher. She’s been hanging out with me at the studio a lot more. She is very bored, but she’s been having fun trying some new recipes, and most importantly baking all the brownies. Her new request? Molten chocolate cakes.
Coming up this week on HBH, we have a few Mexican inspired recipes coming your way with Cinco de May being May 5th. A new, fresh homemade take on a childhood classic. And we’ll be ending the week with a simple sweet cake that’s not like any other cake I’ve shared before. And for Cocktail Saturday? My favorite cocktail I’ve created this month. It’s light and springy and so very delicious. I can’t wait to share all of these!
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Question: What’s one thing you guys are either cooking and or baking today? I love when you guys share your Sunday recipes with me on Instagram. I’m excited to see what you make this week!
1. things i’m loving, wanting, and excited to try…
loving…my Staub grill pan. I love using this year-round, but especially in the spring and summer months.
obsessed…our baby goats – they are SO adorable to watch hop around!
excited to try…these candles. Have any of you tried them? Thinking of ordering a few.
wanting…to bake my Bursting Blueberry Lemon Thyme Tarts.
excited to watch…Making the Cut, Asher, Mom, and Dad all enjoyed this.
loving…the idea of sending a spring cookie gift box to send to friends. Anyone interested in details?
obsessed…my roses from Grace Rose Farms (pictured above). So pretty.
loved listening to…Armchair Expert with Sheryl Crow. I listen to this podcast weekly, but love this fun and honest interview so much.
2. the most popular recipes of April.
Official Most Popular: Crinkle Top Brownies
I shared this recipe back in February of 2018, so it’s not technically April 2020’s most popular recipe, but it is THE most popular recipe of the month. If you’ve not yet made these brownies, you must try them. Like today. Sunday baking anyone?
Most Popular (of April): Spicy Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken Fingers
YES. I love these chicken fingers, and for once we all agree this was one of our better recipes of the month. These are so fun, so easy, and SO GOOD. Added bonus? Your kids will love them too. They’re seasoned with homemade honey mustard, breaded in salty pretzel crumbs, oven-baked, then dipped in a spicy-hot honey sauce, followed up with a cooling ranch.
I just shared this recipe on Monday and it’s looking like it might actually end up being the most popular of April…but as of right now, it’s officially sitting in the number two spot. It’s a quick-cooking chicken, tossed in a sweet, tangy, and spicy Thai style black pepper sauce with plenty of broccoli, cashews, and basil. It’s served over saucy garlic butter rice noodles. Delicious.
Fun note about this recipe? Shay Mitchell made it on Instagram stories this past week, which was obviously very fun to see and watch. PS. and if you’re wondering, she is just as cool and kind as she comes off on her Instagram.
Also have to Mention: Crispy Chicken Tinga Taquitos with Salty Lime Avocado Crema
Everyone’s favorite Mexican recipe of the month…and probably my personal favorite. Well, maybe. I actually LOVE all these recipes and am really excited you guys do too!!
OK. Last One: Whipped Coffee White Russian
Because it’s just so fun. Have you made it yet?
And with that, what recipes do you want to see in May? Taking all requests!
3. Mother’s Day Gifts…
Mother’s Day is two weeks from today, here are some of the things I’m eyeing for my mom.
If you live in LA or the surrounding area, The Little Market partnered with Home Boy Industries. They’re delivering freshly baked goods in Los Angeles County. Perfect to send to friends or for Mother’s Day.
Ariel is offering 25% off through today on all pieces. Her jewelry makes for the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Here are some of my favorite picks.
4. favorite questions of the week.
q:Tips for keeping calm in the kitchen? I am easily frustrated when I comes to cooking.
a: Remember that cooking should be fun! It’s just food, not brain surgery. If something doesn’t turn out perfect the first time, just try again another time. You learn the most from the “mistakes” and sometimes the mistakes can actually make the recipe BETTER. Honest, a lot of times my mistakes end up making a the recipe better and even more unique…unless of course I use the broiler, which really never ends well. Blackened bread anyone?
q: What’s your favorite kitchen appliance?
a: My Breville espresso maker for sure. Also love my stand mixer of course. And then my food processor. And that’s kind of it. I don’t use a ton of kitchen appliances really. Well I do use my instant pot and slow cooker often, but love my Staub skillets more and if I had to choose one item to have, it’s my skillets.
q: What food do you not like?
a: I am really not into tofu.
q: How do you feel when others use your recipe and don’t credit you? Do you want to be informed?
a: I honestly don’t pay attention, so it doesn’t bother me at all. It is really not worth the energy or time. Plus, I share recipes so that others can recreate them, if I inspired someone to make something new that is great! That’s how I like to think about it 🙂
5. newest recipe video.
Asada Mushroom Tacos with Lime Smashed Avocado…plus pineapple salsa too. Always with all the toppings and sauce too.
And on Instagram stories…
25 minute Thai Black Pepper Chicken and Garlic Noodles…because everyone needs easy + quick + good.
Skillet Strawberry Bourbon Cobbler…everything you could ever want out of a cobbler.
20 Minute Orzo Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Burrata…classic creamy Italian carbonara, but updated
Lebanese Chicken with Charred Lemon Cauliflower…plus garlic yogurt sauce too.
5 Minute Molten Chocolate Mug Cake…sometimes you just need a warm, melty chocolate cake.
6. What things (normal or weird) do you do to feel better?
I know many of us are having moments and days when things are feeling hard. The uncertainty of everything is what gets me the most. When I start to think about things, it can be a lot and it can feel really overwhelming. I read this post on a Cup of Jo this week where they asked the question, What Weird Things Do You Do to Feel Better? If you have a minute read the comments on that post. Some of them are incredible.
This got me thinking about the things I do to feel better, normal or weird. I couldn’t think of anything that weird, but here are a few of the things I do when I’m feeling down and need some comfort.
- I love sitting on the floor in my kitchen up against the stove. This is truly my most comforting spot. When I’m stressed or feeling down, I’ll just go sit and work on the floor, next to the warm stove. Do I have a fireplace? Yes, I do. Do I have blankets and heaters? Of course, I live in Colorado. But for whatever reason, I love this spot. Something about being huddled on the floor, away from the world feels comforting to me. Like a “safe” place. It’s weird, but it works for me.
- Lighting candles while I work at night. This is the nightly ritual that I look forward to most
- Sending flowers to friends, family, and co-workers. I just did this last week and if you haven’t sent someone a small gift during this time, I’d highly recommend it if you’re able. It makes their day and yours too. And while you’re at it, be kind to yourself and maybe send yourself something special too 🙂
- Baking all things. Of course.
- Harry Potter Marathons…I’ve watched the series start to finish more times than I can count.
And with that, I’m opening it up to you guys: What things (normal or weird) do you do to feel better?
7. a few links i’m loving…
Your Quarantine Personality, According to Your Sign…I’m Hermione Granger and I am OK with that.
For Leanne Ford, the pandemic gave “forever home” new meaning…found a lot of value in this article.
4 celeb-mixed couch cocktails…certainly must try that dirty martini.
32 Cooking Tips So Good…they’ve Been Passed Down For Generations.
33 good habits to start…this is embarrassing, but I need to make flossing my habit.
17th century British factory is transformed into an Avant-garde home…so unique, so pretty.
14 at-home date nights to try this weekend…if you need to start switching things up.
Mother’s day might look different…but your gift can be better than ever.
23 movies and shows we’re watching while HBO Is free…what should I watch? what do you love?
17 bread recipes you can make without yeast…four words, 5 ingredient beer bread.
34 gift ideas…plus other things to enjoy while at home.
15 hobbies You can start at home…I’d would love to learn photoshop.
10 Instagram Accounts to Follow for a Mood Lift…if you need a smile.
13 national parks you Can virtually hike to avoid cabin fever…Virgin Islands for me. can’t wait.
30 Netflix hidden gems that will save your weekend…wanting to watch
a restored Puglia home…beautiful.
10 easy recipes to change things up…excited to try some of these.
10 Marie Kondo approved organization tips for working from home…if you need some tips.
how to organize your spices…so you don’t lose your dang mind.
8. My favorite easy spring styles…
9. this week’s dinners…
Friday: Baked Egg Crepes with Spring Herbs and Avocado (breakfast for dinner!)
Saturday Drink: Blueberry Lemon Thyme Smash
Sunday Baking: Skillet Strawberry Bourbon Cobbler
Finally, check out all the past Nine Favorite Things posts here.