Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake


Our brother Luke turns sweet 16 during the first week of September, and since we’ll be away at college on the actual day, we decided to celebrate early with an ultra-sweet dessert. After looking through our many cookbooks and baking books, he gave a pretty low-maintenance request: something with chocolate and peanut butter. We’d had our eyes set on this cake recipe for a bit and had a feeling that it would be a hit.


Picture a Reese’s peanut butter cup in cake form, and that’s this decadent dessert. Fluffy chocolate cake layers have a bit of ganache between them, and the whole thing is filled and frosted with the best peanut butter frosting we’ve had. We really love the one that ices these brownies, but this one was perfect for this cake with its lightness yet stability and spreadability. One note- while this cake was awesome at room temperature, it was even better when chilled. Just delicious!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Serves about 16

Recipe from The Baker Chick, cake base originally adapted from Martha Stewart

We’re including instructions for doubling the frosting recipe since Audra of the original recipe frosted it as a naked cake, and we wanted a more traditional look. You’ll have a little frosting leftover- it’s delightful off of a spoon!


For the cake:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 ¼ cups sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
4½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the ganache:

4.5 oz chocolate, chopped (we used half milk chocolate, and half dark, which we really liked!)
½ cup heavy cream

For the frosting:

24 tablespoons of butter, softened (3 sticks)
2 cups creamy peanut butter
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks (do this in the bowl you plan to mix the frosting in first, transfer to a small bowl, and then proceed to the rest of the frosting so you don’t have to wash the bowl in between)

Chopped peanut butter cups, for garnish


For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3-8″ cake pans, and line with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into dry until the batter is smooth.

Divide batter amongst the pans and bake for 20-30 mins, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool.

For the ganache:

Put the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream on a stovetop until it just barely begins to simmer (it’ll be steaming). Pour over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Transfer to the fridge to cool and solidify.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until evenly combined. Let the mixer run on medium speed for another minute. Fold in the whipped cream until smooth.

Place the first cake layer on a cake stand and spread with half of the ganache. Add about 3/4 cup of peanut butter frosting (you’ll have plenty, so use as much as you’d like depending on your preferred frosting:cake ratio) over the ganache and spread. Repeat with the next layer, and then place the final layer on top. Cover the whole cake with frosting in a smooth layer, and garnish with chopped peanut butter cups. Enjoy!

Liège Waffles


Leah and I were first officially introduced to Belgian liège waffles at a restaurant in Boston called Saus, which specializes in Belgian waffles and fries with a variety of sauces and toppings. It’s one of our favorite places to go, but when we aren’t at school there is a serious lack of these caramelized, crunchy, buttery beauties in our lives. We’d been pining after the recipe/homage posted on Smitten Kitchen for most of the summer and finally got around to making them during the last week of summer vacation. liegewaffes2

These waffles are nothing like a frozen waffle, a diner-style Belgian waffle, or really any other sort of waffle that you’d normally find on a breakfast menu in the U.S. They’re made out of a rich brioche dough, which contains plenty of butter (!). After an overnight rest in the fridge, you fold in crunchy pearl sugar (we found ours at Whole Foods) and start cooking! We loved these hot off the waffle iron with just a dusting of powdered sugar, but a drizzle of nutella is also a fabulous addition. There’s nothing like these yeasted, decadent waffles…going back to regular waffles is going to be a downgrade! All waffles should have melted, caramelized, crunchy sugar in them.


P.S. Just a warning that caramelized/burnt sugar will inevitably end up stuck to your waffle iron. That’s ok…sugar is dissolved by water, so with enough elbow grease you’ll have a clean waffle iron again 🙂 It’s worth it!

Liège Waffles

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 16 waffles


1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
2 tablespoons raw sugar, brown sugar or honey (we used brown sugar)
1 packet (7 grams or 2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 large eggs, at room temperature (running them briefly under warm water does the trick!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 2/3 cups (460 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
14 tablespoons (200 grams or 7 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups pearl sugar


Warm milk and water together to lukewarm approximately 110-116 degrees F, and place in the bottom of a large mixer bowl. Add sugar and yeast and combine. Set aside for 5 minutes until the yeast starts to foam.

Whisk in eggs and vanilla, then stir in all but 1 cup flour using a spoon or the dough hook of a stand mixer. Add the salt and combine. Using the dough hook of a stand mixer, add the butter, a spoonful at a time, thoroughly mixing in each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed before adding the next until all of the butter has been added. Add remaining flour and knead with dough hook on low speed for 5 minutes, or until glossy.

Now, the dough has to rise! Smitten Kitchen noted 2 ways to do this (we followed the fridge first method):

For room temperature first, cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 2 hours until the dough doubles. Stir with a spoon or spatula to deflate, re-cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge overnight, or up to 24 hours.

For fridge first, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight, or up to 24 hours. The dough will not look fully doubled when you take it out. Then, bring the dough back to room temperature for 1 hour, stir to deflate, and let rise again for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Next, knead in the pearl sugar. Divide dough into 16 pieces.

Heat your waffle iron over medium heat. Greasing it shouldn’t be necessary if your waffle iron is nonstick. Place the first ball of waffle dough on grid and cook according to waffle maker’s instructions. Cook until bronzed and caramelized, which will take 3-5 minutes, and then carefully transfer with tongs or a fork to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining balls of dough, adjusting temperature of waffle iron as needed to get the color you want.

Keep waffles warm in a 200 degree oven if you plan to eat them immediately, while you cook the remaining waffles. The waffles will harden as they cool because of the melted sugar, so these are best served warm! Enjoy!




Zucchini, Corn, and Poblano Tacos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa


One of our favorite meals ever! 

We’re not vegetarian, but we have a lot of fun cooking vegetable-based meals for our family. We lucked out because our parents and 2/4 brothers eat everything we make, and the boys don’t complain about having meat-free dinners. For us, one of our favorite parts about cooking vegetarian is the creativity involved. Take a look at these tacos, for example!  They’re pure genius. Zucchini in tacos might sound a bit strange, but somehow it all just works. Perfectly spicy, a little bit creamy, and filled with crisp-tender veggies. There’s something about them that’s completely addictive, and if there’s anything that we’ve blogged about that you should try, we’d recommend these!

An awesome accompaniment to the tacos was roasted tomatillo salsa. We grabbed enough tomatillos at a farmer’s market to try two different recipes, and this one emerged as the favorite! Roasting the veggies makes the depth of flavor unbeatable. The recipe calls for cooking the veggies in a saucepan, but we’d like to try popping them under the broiler next time (minus the garlic) to see if we can streamline things a bit.

Zucchini, Corn, and Poblano Tacos

Recipe from More Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless via Annie’s Eats

Serves about 6


4 poblano chiles

3 tbsp. olive oil (divided)

1 large yellow onion, in 1/4-inch thick slices

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

3/4 cup Mexican crema, sour cream, heavy cream, or even Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 lb. zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup corn kernels (fresh is best, but you can use frozen!)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Crumbled cotija cheese and sliced avocado, for serving

Warmed flour tortillas, for serving


Preheat the broiler, and set the rack about 6 inches away from the top of the oven. Line a baking sheet with foil and broil the poblanos, flipping occasionally, until blackened on all sides. Remove from the oven and wrap with foil for about 15 minutes. Once cool, peel the skin from the peppers and slice into cubes. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring every so often, until browned but still crisp-tender. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook until fragrant. Add the poblanos and the crema/sour cream. Stir to combine.

In another skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini , and cook, stirring frequently until the zucchini is browned. Add the corn and cook until the corn is well-browned. Stir in the poblano-onion mixture, and then add the cilantro once removed from the heat.

Serve in tortillas with plenty of cotija and avocado slices. Enjoy!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Recipe from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless via Pink Parsley


8 ounces tomatillos, husked and washed (about 4-5)

2 large garlic cloves, peeled

1 jalapeño

1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro

1/2 small white onion, chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Salt to taste


Heat a nonstick skillet, and add the tomatillos, jalapeño, and garlic in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the tomatillos are well-browned and soft, and flip the veggies. Cook until the other side has browned as well.

Remove the tomatillos and garlic and put into the bowl of a food processor. Continue to cook the jalapeño until it’s blackened on all sides. Once it cools a bit, remove the blackened skin and removed ribs and seeds. Roughly chop  and add to the food processor.

Add the onions, cilantro, and lime juice to the food processor and pulse until a coarse puree. Add salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!



Berry-topped Buttermilk Cake


Ever since we made a wedding cake last summer, we’ve been meaning to blog about the buttermilk cake recipe we used. It’s by far our favorite cake recipe, not only because it is superbly delicious (because it really is!), but also because it holds up well to frostings and fillings and slices like a dream. It’s become our go-to vanilla cake recipe and I can’t imagine switching to another one.

It has a rich flavor from the buttermilk and vanilla, and a tender crumb thanks to the cake flour, and it has always turned out perfectly. We made it recently for our brothers’ graduation party (see the pie we also made), and thanks to our parents’ wedding anniversary this past week, we had another opportunity to make it. Our family just moved, and this is also the first cake we baked in our new house! Although finding all the measuring tools and ingredients was a bit of a struggle, we are happy to say that our new oven is more than up to the task of cake baking.

We have typically frosted this cake with Swiss meringue buttercream, but this time around we wanted to save the hassle of separating eggs and instead make a more standard American buttercream. Smitten Kitchen recently posted a classic buttercream, but brilliantly added sour cream, which imparts a richness to the frosting and a very subtle tang to cut the sweetness. You can’t taste the sour cream itself, but it really adds a special something to the frosting. We topped the whole cake off with berries (inspired by this pic on Bouchon Bakery’s Instagram), which were a phenomenal addition. We especially love strawberries with this buttermilk cake (which is the pairing we made for the wedding) and next time we’ll probably slice some to go in between the layers. Do yourself a favor and make this cake before the end of the summer, while berries are sill in season!

Buttermilk Cake with Buttercream and Berries

Cake recipe and frosting from the always fantastic Smitten Kitchen

Makes 1 3-layer, 8 or 9 inch cake


For the cake:

3 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup buttermilk
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting:

2 cups (455 grams or 16 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature                                         7 1/2 cups (just under 2 lbs.) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy                                                        1/2 cup (120 grams) sour cream, plus more if needed                                                                            1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract

Plus…a variety of fresh berries to top (we used strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. But raspberries would also be great!). You can also add some between cake layers. Make sure your cake is well-chilled before serving if you do add fruit between the layers, to ensure stability.


For the cake:

Preheat your oven to 325. Butter 3 9-inch round cake pans (we used 8-inch pans and had no problems with them spilling over, though they were a little thicker and took slightly longer to bake). Line the bottom of the pans with a round of parchment paper and butter the paper, too. Dust the pans with flour.

In a large bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend for 30 seconds with an electric mixer on low speed (you can use a stand or handheld mixer for this cake). Add butter and 1 1/4 cups of the buttermilk. Blend on low speed until combined, and then beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and yolks, vanilla, and the remaining 1/3 cup of buttermilk until well blended (we recommend beating well to remove any strands of egg whites, because these can be a pain to fold in at the end and you don’t want to overmix the batter).

Add 1/3 of the egg mixture into the cake batter at a time, and fold in with a spatula completely after adding each addition.

Divide batter between pans evenly–we’ve found that pushing the batter towards the edge so there’s less in the middle will prevent the cakes from doming too much and result in nice and level cakes. Bake 26-28 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Turn out cakes onto wire racks and let them cool completely before frosting. Level if necessary.

For the frosting:

Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat again. If necessary, add an additional tablespoon or two of sour cream to soften the frosting. Frost the cake and top with berries. This frosting gets soft somewhat quickly, so if you’re piping, we’d suggest periodically putting your piping bag in the fridge. Also, because of the sour cream, make sure you store this cake in the fridge up until shortly before serving. Enjoy!

Chocolate Silk Pie


Dusting off the blog again…there, that’s better! We didn’t mean to go a month without posting, but it’s inevitable when your brothers graduate high school and then the rest of your family moves an hour and a half away (we’re staying in our area for now to work, but we’ll join them in mid-August before we head back to school). All of this chaos has meant less time for cooking new things, but we still made time for some special baking. We served this chocolate silk pie (along with a buttermilk cake with Swiss meringue buttercream and lemon curd) at our brothers’ graduation party, and every last crumb was enjoyed!

This delightfully decadent pie starts off with a simple Oreo crumb crust, and filled with a slightly less simple but very delicious chocolate silk filling. It’s topped off with a generous layer of whipped cream and some chocolate shavings. The filling is so rich and smooth, and goes excellently with the contrasting crunchy crust and ethereally light whipped cream. Another bonus is that, unlike with many chocolate silk fillings, the eggs are cooked so it’s safe for everyone to enjoy. We recommend making the crust and filling the day before, chilling the pie well overnight, and then topping with whipped cream just before serving. The pie is great straight out of the fridge but also can be brought closer to room temperature before serving.

Happy 4th of July!! We hope you’re enjoying a pie this good today to celebrate.


Chocolate Silk Pie

Makes 1 9-inch pie (serving 8-10)

Crust from The Pioneer Woman, chocolate filling from Annie’s Eats (originally Cook’s Illustrated)


For the crust:

25 whole Oreos (no need to remove the filling!)

4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the filling:

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

3 large eggs

¾ cup sugar

2 tbsp. water

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and cut into 8 pieces

For topping:

Lightly sweetened whipped cream (we beat about a 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a mixer with a spoonful of sugar until fluffy, and it was just right. But sweeten to taste!)

Semisweet chocolate, for shaving


Preheat oven to 350. Crush the Oreos finely (a food processor works well here, or the old-fashioned Ziploc bag and rolling pin trick). Pour in melted butter and combine. Press into a pie pan and bake for 5-7 minutes until set. Let cool fully.

For the filling, add the cream to the bowl of an electric mixer and whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.

Rig together a makeshift double boiler but placing a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring that the water doesn’t touch the bowl (this will cook the eggs too quickly and cause them to scramble). Combine the eggs, sugar, and water in the bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until the mixture has thickened and reaches 160˚ F on an instant read thermometer, about 7-10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and from the heat and beat 6-8 minutes more, until the mixture is fluffy and cooled to room temperature.

Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla until well blended. Then, beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until well blended. Gently fold in the chilled whipped cream until the mixture is streak-free. Spread the filling into the cooled crust and chill the pie for at least 3 hours until set (we refrigerated it overnight).

When ready to serve, top with a generous layer of whipped cream. Grate some chocolate over the pie using a microplane zester. Slice and serve. Enjoy!










Raspberry Lemon Bars

imageYou may have noticed before that we love the raspberry and lemon combination! Maybe it’s partially the fact that maroon and gold are our school colors, but the delicious sweet, tart, fresh taste is probably what keeps us coming back. These bars in particular are probably one of our all-time favorite desserts. The filling is similar to that of a key lime pie, but with lemon juice instead. The addition of fresh raspberries (and a thick, buttery graham cracker crust, of course) take these bars over the top. It’s hard to have any self control around these sweet-and-sour bars, and if you try them, you’ll see why. We know this is going to be one of those recipes that we make for years to come!

Raspberry Lemon Bars

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod


For the crust
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon

For the filling:

2 large egg yolks
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
6 ounces fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 in. pan with parchment paper and coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and lemon zest in a bowl and stir until evenly mixed. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes (until very lightly browned). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Whisk together the egg yolks and condensed milk until smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest; as you stir, the mixture will thicken a bit. Gently fold in the raspberries, trying to keep them mostly intact.

Pour the lemon raspberry mixture over the graham cracker crust. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until just set.

Cool to room temperature, then chill for at least an hour and slice into bars. Enjoy!


Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Avocado, Corn, and Tomato


We’re home for the summer and back in the kitchen! This semester went by far too quickly…it’s so strange to think that we began this blog at the onset of our junior year of high school, and now we’ll be college juniors in the fall. We’re approaching our 4-year blog anniversary (we need to bake something special to celebrate that!).

One significant feature of this semester was finishing up our second required year in a foreign language- we both chose Spanish. Fortunately for us, our experience of Latino cultures is hopefully just beginning. I (Celine) will be traveling to southern Mexico next winter for an immersion trip and will likely get to practice my (admittedly very choppy) language skills. More accessibly, there are so many fantastic restaurants across the country, too, as a product of the  increasing incorporation of Latino food into American cuisine. Luckily for us, there’s a pretty good Mexican restaurant right near campus, with a multitude of offerings, from burritos to horchata to salsa verde enchiladas. I spent a bit too much money there this year, but it’s hard to resist!

After developing a fixation on Israeli/Mediterranean cuisine following our trip to Israel over spring break, we seem to have transitioned to Mexican since we got home for the summer. These tacos are in the lineup. They couldn’t be easier, nor more delicious! Shrimp is sauteed with pureed chipotle in adobo sauce, diced, and mixed with avocado (always, always a good choice!), corn, and tomatoes. This fabulous mixture is piled onto a tortilla with some greens and a drizzle of lime crema. These went over very well with our family, and we already are looking forward to round two ASAP!

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Avocado, Corn, and Tomato

Serves about 6

Recipe from Annie’s Eats


  • 1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grape/cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1½ cups corn (kernels cut from the cob or thawed frozen kernels both work)
  • 2 avocados, pitted and diced into medium-sized cubes
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped roughly
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage (we used an un-sauced cole slaw mix from Trader Joe’s and it worked well)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced baby spinach leaves
  • 1½ tbsp. olive oil
  • Corn tortillas
  • ½ cup sour cream+a squeeze of lime juice, for serving (just combine the two in a small bowl)


Place the shrimp in a medium bowl. Add the chipotles in adobo to a small bowl and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth (you can add a little water to make this go easily, though it’s ok if it’s not completely smooth). Add 2-3 tablespoons of the chipotle puree to the bowl with the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and toss until the sauce is distributed evenly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, corn, avocado, cilantro, and lime juice. Season  to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine (be careful not to crush the avocado!). In a small bowl, combine the cabbage and spinach, and combine.


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer and cook, turning once,  until opaque and cooked through, a couple of minutes on each side. Remove to a cutting board and let cool for a couple minutes before chopping coarsely and adding to the bowl with the corn and tomato mixture. Fold in with a light hand until thoroughly combined. Assemble tacos with corn tortillas, the cabbage mixture, and the shrimp mixture. Drizzle with the sour cream/lime juice mix and serve. Enjoy!




(iPhone shot from our Instagram. Characteristically, I accidentally left my real camera at school over Easter break!)

Long time, no post! Despite the radio silence here over the last few months, we’ve still been enjoying great food and cooking whenever we get the chance (which, since we live in dorms without kitchens at school, isn’t too often).

Over spring break we had the opportunity to visit Israel with a group of students and a couple of professors from our college. Everything about the trip was fabulous, but as expected, the food was a definite highlight. The pita bread here just doesn’t compare- even the homemade ones we’ve made in the past (😢). We left with a lot of recipe inspiration, and when we were home for a couple of days around Easter we decided to flip through the wonderful cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi.

This popular Israeli dish, shakshuka,  has been on our radar for a while- and not just because it has a ridiculously fun-to-say name! We weren’t able to try it while we were in Israel, so upon our return home we decided to put it on the menu.

What a dish! You might think it’s a little weird to poach eggs in a thick, flavorful tomato sauce, but trust us- this meal is pretty awesome. Shakshuka has it all, with creamy, spicy, salty, rich, bright flavors in every bite. Served on challah toast with a side of cucumber/tomato salad with some fresh feta and a dollop of Greek yogurt, it’s the perfect unique meal that is sure to wow everyone who tries it!


From Jerusalem: A Cookbook

Serves 3-4


2 tbsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                     2 tbsp Pilpelchuma harissa paste (check the foreign foods aisle of your grocery store)
2 tsp tomato paste
2 large red peppers, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
800 g canned tomatoes, gdrained
4 medium free-range eggs plus 4 egg yolks (or, use 6 whole eggs)                                           Feta cheese and chopped parsley, to top
120g Labneh or Greek Yogurt


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the harissa, tomato paste, peppers, garlic, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the peppers soften, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thick. Check to be sure that it is seasoned to your liking.


Make wells in the sauce to hold the eggs. Break them and put them into each well. Swirl the egg white with the sauce a bit. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes; the whites should be set but the yolks should still be runny. Covering the skillet while cooking with speed up the process a bit.

Remove from the heat and top with the feta and parsley. Serve with challah toast and spoonfuls of the yogurt or Labneh. Enjoy!




Caprese Skewers with Garlic Crostini


Happy New Year! We hope that everyone had a great 2015 and is looking forward to the new opportunities and adventures of 2016!

While neither of us are the most ardent New Year’s resolution-ers, we always have the goal of eating more mindfully, particularly fresh food (sometimes this goal is achieved better than at other times!). Since this is a pretty common resolution, what better way to start off the year on our blog than with a plate of caprese skewers? These were truly fantastic, especially when served with crisp, garlicky crostini and a hearty drizzle of balsamic reduction and olive oil. While this plate is rather summery, cherry tomatoes are wonderful year-round and fresh food seems to taste extra good after the many indulgences of the holidays. They couldn’t be simpler, either. These would make for a lovely appetizer at a party, but they’re equally great as a light lunch!

P.S. Still no functioning camera, so this picture is, again, from our Instagram.

Caprese Skewers with Garlic Crostini

Recipe for the crostini from Ina Garten’s “Make It Ahead


1 loaf of baguette

Olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, peeled and halved

Cherry tomatoes

Mozzarella balls

Fresh basil leaves

Balsamic vinegar


For the balsamic reduction, pour in your desired amount of balsamic vinegar (keeping in mind you’ll be reducing it) and simmer over medium heat until it’s thickened and reduced to about half. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the baguette into slices on the diagonal and place on a baking sheet. You’ll get 20-25 slices. Brush lightly with olive oil and top with a sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the bread has crisped slightly. Rub the tops of the bread with the cut side of the garlic clove.

Skewer the tomatoes and mozzarella balls on a toothpick. Nestle with a leaf of basil, skewering one end of the leaf. Top with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Serve the skewers drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, with the crostini aside (we made little open-faced sandwiches as we ate, which worked out well). Enjoy!

Spice Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting


(Please excuse the picture quality! My beloved camera’s memory card slot is sadly broken, so in the meantime while I decide to fix/replace it, I’m just using my phone. This pic is from our Instagram account.)

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays! Leah and I are home from school after a busy and productive semester. We are thrilled to be back in the kitchen and are also enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. The Environmental Studies major in me cringes a little, but boy, is it nice! A couple days after we both got home we wanted to bake something both pretty and delicious to usher in the Christmas spirit  (something that tends to be a little lacking after a stressful week of final exams and papers).

These cupcakes were just the thing! A tender spice cake, infused with the pleasant flavor of apple cider, is topped off with a decadent swirl of brown butter cream cheese frosting. We also opted to make the recommended sparkly sugared cranberries as a fun and delicious decoration. The entire family (with the exception of persnickety Henry, who does not enjoy cream cheese frosting) loved these. I think they’d be great to bring to a New Year’s party, particularly because of the wonderfully sparkly berries,  but they’d be undoubtedly welcome at any holiday table.

Spice Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats

Makes 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

2 cups apple cider

3 large eggs, separated

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup all-purpose flour (114 grams)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/3 cup (65 grams) vegetable oil

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons water

For the frosting:

½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 ounces (227 grams) cold cream cheese

1 cup (126 grams) sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Sugared cranberries


First, reduce the cider (this will take about a half hour, so plan ahead). Pour the cider in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer and let cook down until about 2 tablespoons remain. Stir frequently towards the end so that the syrup does not burn. Set aside to cool while preparing the rest of the batter.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip on low speed until the whites get foamy, and then increase the speed to medium/high and whip until medium peaks form. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside. In the now empty mixer bowl combine the egg yolks, oil and sugar. Mix with the paddle attachment until combined. Pour in the water and cider reduction and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites a third at a time with a spatula until fully incorporated into the batter.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each well about 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake until golden brown and set, rotating the pans halfway through baking. They should take 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for several minutes before removing the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and aromatic, about 3-5 minutes after the butter is fully melted. Pour the brown butter into a bowl (quickly, because it goes from brown to burnt pretty quickly) and let cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cooled brown butter and the cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt and beat for another minute or two. Add in the cream and whip on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the frosting is very light and fluffy. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and frost the cooled cupcakes. Top with sugared cranberries as desired. Enjoy!!