Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.
Today is a very special Sunday! It’s Asher’s 12th birthday! I feel like by now most of you Sunday Favorite’s readers are well aware of who Asher is. But just in case any of you’re newer, Asher is the youngest Gerard, my only little sister, and well, pretty much everyone has a major soft spot for her. Meaning she’s a true “last-child” and has everyone in the family wrapped around her cute little (ring filled) fingers.
We love her!
Sadly she’s with my mom and a few of my brothers in Lake Tahoe this week living her best life and soaking up that California sun. This means I’m not going to get celebrate with her today. But don’t worry, she’s celebrating and eating cake, I can promise you that! My mom is baking her our favorite chocolate birthday cake and you know she’s going to enjoy it in her most stylish outfit. More photos below because she’s just the cutest. I felt like we all needed a little Asher in our lives today!
Moving along now. Happy last Sunday of August. Tuesday marks the start of September and I’ve never felt like time flies more than I do now. I think the older you get, the faster time goes. Anyone else feel the same?
With the start of September, I very much have fall on the brain. No matter how much I’ve really loved this summer, I’m still so excited for fall. And it’s slowly starting to set in around here too. We had the rainiest day on Friday that brought in cooler temps and you could feel the shift in the air. I hate the rain, but the thought of autumn apples, pumpkin spice, and Halloween has me pretty excited.
Question: What is one thing everyone is looking forward to most this fall? It can be anything! I’d just love to hear! I have so many things I could list. So. Many. Things. Fall candles, pumpkin spice, apples, cozy fall sweaters, boots, the crisp leaves, pumpkin carving, baking Halloween treats, mixing up Harry Potter cocktails. I could go on and on, but please, tell me what you love!
Anyway, we have a busy week ahead of us, but it’s going to be a good one…though I have to say, I am a little anxious! We’ve got a big photoshoot this week, so I’m prepping and cramming, checking things off my list before the shoot. It’s going to be so much fun and a nice change of pace too. We haven’t had a big photoshoot in a while and I can’t wait to spend the day shooting again with my friend Kristen (who photographed me for the HBH Super Simple Cookbook). More to come on this very soon!
Coming up this week on HBH. I’m slowly starting to transition into cozier recipes, but with summer produce still very much in mind! I’ll be sharing a new staple chicken dinner, a fun casserole style recipe, a delicious new corn recipe, and a dinner roll fit for Sunday night.
If you’re catching up on blog posts from the week, be sure to sign up for our daily newsletters. They’ll help you to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here, as well as fun content you’ll only get via email. If you’re meal planning today, don’t forget to check out my menu below (it’s # 9 on the favorite’s list). You can grab the full grocery list for this week’s menu in our special Sunday newsletter.
1. Happy Birthday Asher!!
Oh little Asher! She’s grown so much over the years and I wish she’d just stop growing. She’s more like an adult than a twelve-year-old and wise beyond her years. I’m not with her to celebrate today, but we have plans to celebrate in a couple weeks when she’s back home. We’ll just be extending the birthday week into two full weeks and then some! I have major plans to bake her up a cake, but just not sure what kind yet. All I’m very sure of is that it needs to be heavy on the chocolate…chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Per her request, of course!
Thought I’d share some photos, since she’s cooler than I could ever be! Enjoy!
Serious Question: what is your favorite Birthday cake? Need to know!
2. The Most Popular Recipe of August.
Most Popular: Cheesy Zucchini Chicken and Rice Bake
YES. I am thrilled you all love this recipe so much. It’s certainly my favorite too. Funny thing? This was a spur of the moment, very last minute switch up. I was going to make pasta, but then I decided on a rice bake. Twas the right move. Made using healthy vegetables and herbs, this bake is so darn easy, and so darn delicious. And the best part? It’s made entirely in one pot and in under an hour.
This one is fun! And so full of flavor. A really nice switch up to the average weeknight dinner…and I have to say I am so happy you guys love this too! Lightly breaded chicken seared until golden in a creamy, spicy, cajun style sauce that’s truly delicious. This chicken is made all in one skillet with corn and a squeeze of lemon. It’s simple, quick, and such a great use of the late summer corn.
I also have to mention: Cinnamon Sugar Peach Upside Down Cake
If you have lots of peaches on the counter, you must make this. Made using fluffy vanilla cake and topped with browned butter and caramelized cinnamon sugar-coated peaches. Every bite is insanely delicious. Enjoy this peach cake warm, right out of the oven, with a dollop of vanilla bourbon cream. Roll your eyes back delicious!
One more because I love it so much and it came in 4th place: Everything Cheddar Tomato Bacon Grilled Cheese
No description needed, the title says it all. Make and enjoy!
3. The Cozy Fall Kitchen…early autumn finds.
Bouns: Dried Florals
4. favorite questions of the week…
q: How do you keep your recipes organized?
a: It’s messy! All my ideas are kept in a running google doc. Right now I have a list a mile long for the end of summer, early fall, and a few holiday ideas too! Anytime I think of a recipe, I jot it down or I’ll forget. Once a recipe is published, I really just use the website as my “organization”. They’re all there, labeled, filed, and in one place. And then of course the recipes in my cookbooks are in the books and I reference those whenever I need them.
q: Do you get bears near your house?
a: Not too many, but yes we definitely have them, and we come across them while hiking from time to time. My brother lives in Tahoe and they get bears a lot more than we do.
5. latest recipe videos.
Giant Salted Espresso Hot Fudge Cookies…SO. VERY. GOOD.
Instagram Reels Recap:
Lastly, Instagram Stories:
Saucy Coconut Braised Chicken with Rice Noodles and Broccoli
Lunchroom Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
6. Podcast and coffee recommendations…from you guys!
Last Sunday I shared my favorite podcasts with you guys and asked you what some of yours are. You all had so many great ones that I thought I would share some so that everyone can find new podcasts to listen too!
Starving for Attention with Richard and Jazmin Blais – an entertaining, behind-the-scenes, look at the world of food with this chef, television personality, and author.
Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio – Milk Street Radio travels the world to discover how food and cooking are changing lives and cultures.
Stuff You Should Know – Light-hearted and funny with a wide variety of topics. There’s something for everyone.
Additionally, I also shared some coffee beans I was ordering and whoa! You guys love coffee too! Here are some of the beans that were suggested.
Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee in Massachusetts – love that so many of these beans are organic. I’ve read that coffee beans actually have more pesticides than fruit and vegetables, so this makes them very important to buy organically if you can. This Mexican Chiapas French Roast sounds pretty incredible.
Corvus Coffee Roasters – local Colorado spot!
Purple Door Coffee – another specialty coffee roaster that not only sells good coffee but does great things. Purple door Coffee employs teens and young adults who have been homeless and want to leave homelessness behind.
7. favorite links i’m loving…
3 Road Trips for a Socially Distant Vacation…sign me up for route 1 and route 2.
See the Fashion Campaigns for Fall 2020…love fall fashion and those Celine boots.
A Genius Way to Upcycle All Those Coffee-Table Books Collecting Dust…love this so much, I used to do something similar with magazines
How To Look Good On A Zoom Call…certainly taking notes.
Best Way to Organize Kitchen Cabinets Like a Pro..if you need some help.
Amazon Fall Home Decor…loving this chunky blanket. Of course.
5 Ways to Handle Feeling Overwhelmed and Unmotivated…I need to put these into action.
15 Items A Health Coach Buys From Trader Joe’s…I’d pick up the shaved brussels sprouts.
The Next Book You Should Read Based on Your Favorite Movies and Shows…what is on your list?
The Most Influential Fashion Trends, Decade by Decade…love the 60’s and 70’s.
Step Inside Casey Neistat and Candice Pool’s Dream L.A. Hideaway…what a pretty home.
9 Trends That Zara Is Getting So Right This Season…ribbed knits, 90’s denim, and chunky chains.
These 5 Steps Will Teach You Everything You Need To Know About Manifestation…an inspiring read.
Tour This Picture-Perfect Villa in Provence…would love to visit someday.
19 Things Every ’80s Kid Bought for Back-to-School…taking it back. Remember any of these things?
4 Ways to Improve Your Creative Writing…always looking to improve on my writing skills.
12 Effective Hand Sanitizers That Are Actually Moisturizing…love a good hand sanitizer. Thinking of finally trying this one or this one.
8. Transitional Knits for early fall…
9. this week’s dinners…
Sunday Funday Baking: Lunchroom Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Finally, check out all the past Nine Favorite Things posts here.