Apricot and Pistachio Olive Oil Crisp For Two

by Kailey Kramer in

Apricots somehow became the theme of my summer and I'm already dreading the very foreseeable end of their season. For someone who has historically always been team veggie and/or savory rather than team sweet, I've just never really been intensely passionate about fruit.  But at last, I finally found my fruit -- and eventually, perhaps even my jam?  

Without fail, even with the lovely blueberries, plums and even melons moving in on the scene in the past few weeks, I always end up with a quart of apricots in my bag after a visit to the farmers's market. Despite my love for the little guys, I found myself in a something of a rut.  Sure, they're great snacks eaten by their lonesome, chopped into some almond milk and cereal in the morning or shaved into an arugula salad, but none of those things are very creative on my part, nor properly showcase all they have to literally bring to the table.  These crisps were my solution -- my way out of the apricot rut, or rather, pit. 

I had one of my closest friends over for dinner. Liz covered the green market salad while I was on risotto duty, working out of the Rose Bakery cookbook on their signature aubergine and roasted tomato variation.  (To die for and highly recommended.)  In the midst of all the stirring which the diva that is risotto demands, there wasn't much time to make dessert so I whipped up these little crisps for a quick dessert before she came over and popped them in the oven to re-heat while we were eating dinner.    

Ripe apricots have such a delicately sweet and tart flavor that pairs so well with the savory-fruitniess of the olive oil and the vanilla notes from the molasses. Using nuts as the "flour" for the crispy topping also adds another dimension of flavor and makes it gluten-free for kicks.

So easy to make and the perfect amount of sweet to end a meal for two.  

Enjoy your stone fruits while they're still around. KK xx

Apricot and Pistachio Olive Oil Crisp For Two

Serves Two, but the recipe can easily multiplied x4 for an 8x8 baking dish or multiple ramekins.  

For the filling: 

2 C. fresh sliced apricots

1 T. black strap molasses

1 t. vanilla extract

1 t. Chinese five spice*  

1 t. cardamom  

1 t. ground cloves

1/4 C. toasted pistachios, roughly chopped, reserve a few for later

For the topping: 

1/2 C. toasted almonds and walnuts

2 T. rolled oats

1 T. buckwheat groats

1 T. good olive oil  

1 t. black strap molasses

pinch of sea salt

a handful of chopped toasted pistachios

 Coconut milk ice cream or a dollop of marscarpone for serving. 

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Combine the apricots with the molasses, spices and chopped nuts in a bowl. Stir to coat apricots and divide the mixture into individual ramekins.  

For the topping, add the nuts into a food processor and pulse until you have a flour-like consistency (if you like, you could also just use about 1/4 C. almond flour if you have it on hand). Add the oats and pulse until they are also finely ground into the mixture. Move the nut/oat  flour mix to a bowl. Add the chopped pistachios buckwheat groats, olive oil, molasses and salt and mix the crumble with a fork. The mix should resemble something like a pre-baked granola. 

Spoon the crumble over the apricots. Bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until just brown on top. 

Drizzle with a bit of olive oil on top and serve with a bit of something cold and creamy. 

*Chinese Five Spice is a lovely, warm blend of anise, cinnamon, and a few other spices but if you don't have or can't find it in your local market, cinnamon will work fine here.  

Grapefruit Brûlée

by Kailey Kramer in

They say your tastebuds change every seven years or so and I'm more than inclined to believe whoever 'they' are, are correct. Amidst a few other of my now favorite foods (olives, fennel, pickles) I used to despise grapefruit. But can you really blame me? It's a pretty counter-intutive food, if you think about it -- so let's: bitter, sour, alarmingly yellow skin. Decidedly, grapefruits rank high on the list of most difficult foods to eat. Scraping our their juicy insides is no easy task and literally, an incredibly sticky one. Not to mention, in what other circumstances would we ever stick a jagged edged spoon anywhere near our tongue?  Natural selection clearly favors these fruits but somehow, their efforts in protecting themselves from the voraciously hungry human go unrewarded and we dine on, armed with nothing short of intimidating cutlery in hand. 

Well, snack on, really. Here's a quick one I made the other day. The yogurt and honey take the edge off the grapefruit's acidity and the whole thing can be thrown together about all of 5 minutes. So, if you've a got a grapefruit lying around in your fruit bowl, now you've something to do with it on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  

Now go show that fruit who's boss. 

KK xx

Grapefruit Brûlèe

 Serves two

1 grapefruit, halved

1 C. plain greek yogurt or yogurt of your choice

4 T. good honey 

2 T. toasted buckwheat and granola (I love any á la Purely Elizabeth -- here, I used the Original blend but the Pumpkin + Fig is a personal favorite) 

If you don't have a mini-blowtorch handy, preheat the broiler. Slice the grapefruits in half and drizzle with honey, top with yogurt and drizzle with more honey. Sprinkle granola. Place grapefruits beneath the broiler until the honey begins to bubble and brown -- don't take your eyes off it though, broilers work quickly. 

If using a blow torch, brûlée the grapefruits until the honey is caramelized and brown to your heart's desire. Top with more granola or buckwheat. 

Serve and enjoy.

Aduki Bean Espresso Brownies

by Kailey Kramer in

So, if you bake someone brownies with the dark chocolate bar that same someone gave you for Christmas, is that technically re-gifting?  Because if so, I'm definitely guilty on this one. Although, "re-gifting" sounds so cheap. I much prefer "sharing the wealth."

But not counting the über dark German chocolate bar I received in my stocking which remains properly unpronounceable to me, these brownies have a more important incognito ingredient that slyly baked its way in. And thus I ask you another question: Is it considered completely underhanded if you make dessert for your family and don't let them in on the fact that there's actually legumes in them?  

I would say you'll never guess the secret ingredient but it's in the title of this post and pictured in the slideshow, so I'll suppose I'll insult your intelligence some other day. And by the way, speaking of slideshows -- what says you about the new layouts and formatting? Comment! I've enabled you, given you agency on this site, given you a voice! Talk to me, talk to me, talk to me, baby. See the addition of the new comment area down below? Get a Disqus name if ya don't already got one, people. Gmail and the like works too -- and if you don't have one of those by now, that should definitely concern you more than Disqus. And let me be the first to welcome you to 2-0-1-3. Big things with the site's new face lift. Ironically, she looks older and more mature, but ain't she pretty? 

I digress, but yes, you guessed it. Its beans. Really cool beansAduki, to be exact. While it seems an entirely absurd, even approaching disgusting, proposition to most westerners to incorporate something so savory as a bean into dessert, it's neither a novel idea or as preposterous as it sounds.  Asian cuisine tapped into it centuries ago and had been sweet on their beans ever since with sweets like Dorayaki. Red bean pancakes, anyone? Anyone? Yes, please and may I have another. Well, those red beans are, in fact, simply sweetened aduki beans. So, stick that in your pancake and eat it.

Really, it all makes sense. When combined with sweeteners and say, a bar of decadently dark chocolate and a cup of sugar, who's to even know there's a bean in the batter? The flavor is essentially a blank canvas and the moisture levels and proteins bind while keeping things moist. Plus, the introduction of yet another cool bean, namely espresso, renders the aduki beans a footnote in the batter while your still reap the health benefits of their detoxifying, fibrous, B-vitamin-clad existence. 

And so when life gives you aduki beans, (that is, when Whole Foods puts them on sale and you buy instead of black beans) make some brownies. Make some really fudgy brownies and add extra chocolate chunks to compensate for all the non-vegan ingredients you're leaving in the fridge. Dark chocolate also happens to be good for your heart, brain, is full of antioxidants and originally comes from a bean. I might be exploiting the theme a bit too much on that one -- But cool beans, right? 

Toot, toot, yum, yum,

KK xx 


Aduki Bean Brownies

These are also literally the easiest brownies you'll ever make. Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and line a baking dish. The hardest part is waiting for them to cook. Black beans could surely be subbed for aduki.  Also, if you're looking to make them totally vegan, egg replacers could stand in and so could chia eggs ( 1 T. chia seed + 3 T. water or 1 T. ground flax + 3 T. water); however, I haven't tested it so I'm not sure how it would affect the texture.  But by all means, give it a go! 

2 C. cooked Azuki beans (about 1 can), drained + rinsed

3 eggs, beaten

3 T. walnut oil ( canola or your mild flavored oil of choice)

3/4 C. sugar

1/2 C. unseetened cocoa powder

1 t. vanilla extract

2 t. finely ground espresso powder / coffee beans

pinch of salt

3/4 C. good dark chocolate, coursely chopped into 1cm squares

Line a 9x9 pan with parchment or oil. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Meanwhile, drain the azuki beans and rinse through a strainer. Make sure they all excess liquid has run off and place into a food processor. Pulse the beans into a smooth puree. Add the remaining ingredients except the chocolate. Pulse until completely combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks. Transfer the batter to the pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool for ten minutes. Cut, serve and enjoy. 

Lavender and Chamomile Almond Muffins

by Kailey Kramer in

The smells of coffee in the morning are often brutally laden with bitter animosity towards the long day ahead and the warm bed, freshly abandoned. A rude awakening, at best. But really, the punchy aromas escaping your brewing device of choice, pushing you around in the morning aren't to blame -- mornings, by nature, simply aren't fun. 

So, Amidst all the unmanageable New Years resolutions laid out, why not make a simple one, inevitably yielding a better year, albeit one day at a time. Namely, by starting your mornings right. Maybe that means waking up ten or thirty minutes earlier than your 2012 alarm or by simply better managing the hour prior to heading out the door. In any scenario, a solid routine allowing just enough time for enjoying the morning, rather than feverishly watching the minutes dissipate, undisputedly facilitates a more productive day. 
And as I've said before, a huge part of this routine is eating breakfast.

I always make these muffins for brunches, particularly for Christmas morning. Actually, this previous Christmas morning, they reminded me just how enjoyable they are and how easy they are to whip up. So, if you're looking for a kinder means of motivation for throwing off the covers, take a stab at making these. 

Chamomile, generally reserved for lullng one to under the covers, alternatively, here, offers nothing short of a leisurely wake up call. There's also something, perhaps a certain sense of accomplishment interlaced in using the oven before 6PM, moreover noon. If you pre-make the batter and store in the fridge, there's just enough time wash, brush, or make-up while they're cooking. Plus, the smell from baking will fill your kitchen with warmer scents than what I imagine the 'Secret Garden,' itself, boasts. 

And if the aromas of coffee feel like a slap in the face from the gods of AM, consider the lavender in combination with the chamomile, the sweetness of the honey and the nuttyness of the almond something resembling a warm and loving embrace. Made from almond flour, these muffins also happen to be gluten-free -- giving your stomach a comparatively relaxing digestive wake-up. I adapted the recipe for Chamomile and Honey Almond Meal Muffinsfrom one of my favorites, Caitlin of RoostBlog, who cooks entirely gluten-free, to include lavender because well, I dig botanicals. And as the almond flour already packs a good amount of healthy omega-3 fats, there's no need to add much extra oil (although the added almond oil really reinforces the flavor) to ensure moisture. The honey is also a great low-glycemic and healthy alternative to white sugar. Hence, all of the purposeful ingredients keep the finished product super lower in saturated fats and calories but big on flavor. Not your average take-away Starbucks muffin.

And when they're done, after you generously drizzle one with lusciously warm honey, sit down and take a few minutes for yourself. Mentally prep for the hours ahead. Grab your laptop, iPad or old fashioned paper and read-up on a few things that matter to you. And let's be honest, while that first cup of coffee is still brewed with that morning time spite, it's not going anywhere. If you're anything like me, caffeine, after all, is essentially fueling all of my daily routines at all hours of the day. But, one of these muffins alongside is surely guaranteed to soften the blow of that punchy morning joe.

So, resolve to slow down a bit while simultaneously always moving forward. 

Happy 2013 to you and yours, 

KK xx

Lavender and Chamomile Almond Muffins
Adapted from one of my favorites, RoostBlog

2 C finely ground almond flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 T finely chopped dried chamomile flowers + 1 T lavender buds, and extra for garnish (processed through a spice/coffee grinder or finely chopped with knife) 
2 eggs
1/4 C almond oil (ghee or your mild flavored oil of choice also work) 
1/4 C good honey, plus extra for serving
Greek yogurt for serving, I like Siggi's vanilla bean for these (optional) 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet and dry until well incorporated. Pour into lined muffin tins and garnish with whole buds and flowers Bake for 25-30 or until golden brown. Serve hot with butter or greek yogurt and drizzled honey.

Cardamom Champagne Cookies

by Kailey Kramer in


If you wanna call anything culturally ambiguous, it's these cookies as it seems every culture and cuisine has a claim to some variation on it. From Meixcan Wedding Cookies to German Butterballs to Champagne Cookies to, everyone's grandmother has a recipe for these tucked away somewhere. Although, everyone knows Pete Scwhweddy makes the best. Trust me, I'm interrupting my aesthetic for this one.

But why mess with a good thing? Not that it's particularly hard to mess up any variation on autonomously delicious pecans, butter and sugar -- aside from minding the salt? But considering all the sweetness, even that might not be so bad....

These ones are a take on Pete Schweddy's on a recipe I found in the latest Bon Appétit. The cardamom is just enough to make them a little bit more interesting than your nut + butter combo and a nice alternative to the holiday's ubiquitous ginger spiked....well, everything. Don't get me wrong though, I wholly subscribe to all things ginger. 

As for future musings, I feel like there's a lot of potential in using coconut oil rather than butter as it might bring a new flavor the mix while keeping the cookies moist and complimenting the cardamom. Or perhaps maybe using cashews for the pecans? Coconut Cashew Cardamon Champagne Cookies? While there's entirely too many C's and in a literal sort of way I hate the sound of it, I do like the sound of the way it might taste...

The recipe yields quite a few so wrap up the little snowballs and give them to friends in little cellophane bags -- but make sure to save some for yourself to enjoy with a nice chai. 

KK xx 

Cardamom Champagne Cookies
Makes about four dozen cookies
Inspiration nod à la Bon Appétit

2 C. whole wheat, spelt or all-purpose flour
3/4 t. ground cardamom
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar, divided
1 C. pecans
1 C. (2 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter (or non-diary substitute like 'Melt or Earth Balance)
1 T. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. 

Combine 1/2 C. of the powdered sugar and pecans in a food processor. Pulse until a coarse meal forms -- this shouldn't be chunky at all, but gritty, if anything. Using a mixer of your choosing, beat the butter and vanilla in a medium bowl until creamy, roughly 2 - minutes. Add the nut mixture and beat to incorporate. Add the dry ingredient and again, mix until combined. The dough will still be a bit crumbly, but once you start rolling it into balls, the butter will pull it all together. 

Measure 1 tablespoon portions of dough and roll into balls using your hands. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing about 1/2 inch apart on prepared sheets.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through baking, until bottoms are golden after about 12–15 minutes. Sift remaining 1 cup powdered sugar into a shallow wide bowl. Douse the cookies in the sugar, roll until coated and shake off any excess.

Saffron Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles

by Kailey Kramer in

Saffron snickerdoodle_square_diptic_noborder.jpg

Turning once again to the great Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks for inspiration, I give you the most interesting combination of flavors you've yet to taste in a cookie this season. My roommate and I have been drooling over these since September and saving the precious saffron in our spice cabinet soley with these in mind. Aside from the fact that 'tis the season for cookies, I was amidst morning the death of Ravi Shankar and the time just seemed right. By chance, my other round of Christmas cookies happened to be Cardamom Champagne cookies. Evidently I was more sad about the loss of the great sitarist than I thought... RIP Ravi.

Double this recipe while you're making it because you will definitely want to freeze some extra dough and bake these on demand for yourself after gobbling the first batch. They're that good -- and really at their best when eaten nearly straight out of the oven. Not to mention, your kitchen will smell like a saffron vanilla bean dream. 

Saffron may be a bit of a splurge but no regret. Trust me, 

KK xx 

Saffron Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles
Adapted from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks via The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes by James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, and Tara Duggan. 

Yields roughly a dozen medium sized cookies

1/8 t. ground saffron 
1/2 vanilla bean
2 T. milk
2 C. all-purpose flour ( I used whole wheat for these)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 cup room temperature, or your non-dairy butter spread of choice (I like 'Melt')
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 t. kosher salt
1 egg at room temperature
1/2 t. vanilla extract

If not using pre-ground saffron powder, crush the saffron threads with a mortar and pestle until powdery or grind them in a clean spice grinder; alternatively, you can finely mince the saffron. The finer the powder, the more intense the saffron color and flavor in the cookies.

Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the pulp into a small saucepan. Add the vanilla pod, milk, and saffron and cook over very low heat, just bubbles start to appear around the edges. The milk should be a sunny yellow color.

Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl.

With a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the vanilla pod from the milk, squeezing off any liquid or pulp clinging to it back into the milk. In a medium bowl, combine the milk mixture, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk vigorously until well blended. With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg mixture very slowly, in a steady stream, and mix until well-incorporated and very smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium speed for 30 more seconds.Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until uniform in texture. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough out into an airtight container or onto a piece of parchment paper. Cover the container, or, if using plastic wrap, shape the dough into a log, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Alternatively, save for later and bake on demand :)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Roll 2-inch portions of the dough into balls, and place them on the baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake for about 13 minutes, until golden but not too dark, rotating the pan midway through the baking time. Ideally, the baked cookies will be tall and slightly undercooked in the center, and will buckle shortly after coming out of the oven. If the cookies don't buckle, don't worry; they'll still be delicious. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing. 

These cookies are best when eaten warm, shortly after they come out of the oven. However, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days. 

Alternatively, the dough can stored in the freezer for 5 to 10 days so consider baking only as many cookies as needed and saving the rest of the dough to bake another day.

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

by Kailey Kramer in

Admittedly, I'm not a great baker. I like to do it on occasion, most likely prompted by some sort of craving, but the restraints inherent in the notion of an exact measurement don't entirely suit my mix and match approach to life. Despite this, I've decided utilize my oven this holiday season for something other than roasting root vegetables; however, I turned to some of my favorite cookbooks and friends for the for the recipes.

This first one is from my friend Sam, who I believe got it from her sister. They're vegan-friendly cookies, but don't let that color your opinion of them. These are incredibly flavorful and have exactly the chewy texture you expect a molasses cookie to have. 

Great with a steaming cup of coffee on a snowy day. 

Happy baking, 

KK xx 

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
Makes roughly three dozen medium cookies. 
Note, the dough will be fairly runny. Make sure you have time to let it freeze and set so it can be rolled into balls.

2 1/4 C. whole wheat or spelt flour 
2 t. baking soda 
1 t. cinnamon 
1 t. ginger 
1/2 t. clove 
1/4 t. salt 
1 C. packed dark mucavado brown sugar 
12 t. vegetable oil 
4 T. molasses 
1 t. vanilla extract 
1/4 C. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 C. raw sugar for rolling

Preheat the oven to 325. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. In a second bowl, mix brown sugar, vegetable oil, molasses, vanilla and apple sauce. Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture and stir until mixed. 

Transfer the dough to a sheet of non-stick paper and roll iinto a log shape and secure with tape or twice. Or pur dough into and airtight container. Freeze for at least an hour. 

Unwrap the dough and break off tablespoon amount. Roll into balls, roll in the raw sugar and place onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes and transfer to a wire wrack to cool for 10 minutes. The cookies will be quite soft when you take them out, but after cooling they'll be chewy and ready to eat.

Brown Sugar and Rosemary Walnuts

by Kailey Kramer in

While I did just give you a comprehensive and materialistic guide to making people smile just under a week ago, the best gifts remain homemade. 

Bonus points if they 're edible. Sorry, kiddos, pasta necklaces don't count. 

Transparency first: This is a recipe I stole last year from 101 Cookbooks, but made with pecans. Long story short, I ate most of them in little more than constitutes a conventional "sitting." Thus, a tradition was officially instituted as I made them again yesterday, turning my kitchen into rosemary scented winter wonderland at 9 AM. Turns out, early morning baking is a pretty fantastic thing a. you can do it over coffee and b. you're probably not in a cookie dough eating state of mind and can completely dodge, "I ate way too much raw material to enjoy the real thing" dilemma. ...but maybe that's just me? 

Only thing I tweaked with Ms. Heidi's recipe was using Muscovado brown sugar instead of regular brown --.super moist and super flavorful brown sugar molasses sugar. Essentially, brown sugar's cousin on steroids. 

But, this year, instead of hoarding all the nuts for myself much like some sort of squirrel, I made them to gift. 

Roast 'em, wrap em' up and let FedEx does the rest. Easy, tasty, and affordable gift gifting. 

Not your everyday street nuts. 
Enjoy and share with good company. 

KK xx

Brown Sugar and Rosemary Walnuts
Adapted from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks 

Recipe can be easily doubled, if needed.

1 C. Muscovado dark brown sugar 
2 t. fine grain sea salt
1 T. chopped rosemary leaves
1/4 C. sesame seeds
2 large egg whites
4 C. walnuts
1/3 C. chopped dried figs

Preheat an oven to 300F. Then, combine the sugar, sea salt, rosemary and sesame seeds in a bowl and mix well. In a separate large bowl, loosen the egg whites a bit and them add chopped figs and walnuts. Using your hands, toss the figs and walnuts in the egg whites making sure they are completely coated so the sugar sticks. Then, using you hands again toss with the sugar mixture -- add in 1/2 C increments in needs. 

Spread the mixture evenly (no layering! very important) over a few parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes Transfer to a cooling rack. The sugar might still be a tiny but sticky when you take them out but will solidify as they cool.

Battle Tea Paleta

by Kailey Kramer in

Brown vs ....slightly less brown.

Secret ingredient brought to you commercial free by the The Republic of Tea.

During my previously alluded to popsicle-making fever a few weeks ago, I originally planned to make green tea matcha pops; however, plans changed after crossing paths, but really aisles, with the chocolate mate tea at my haunt, the lovely, West Point Market. Doubling up on the antioxidants made the choice to go for the choco-mate a no brainer. 

After going home and opening the delegated tea cupboard to make myself an actual cup, I found a zen army of tubular tins, all worthy of being infused and subsequently frozen. Decidedly, I called upon one lying nearly the complete opposite side of the tea spectrum from chocolate mate -- obviously with the intention of pitting them against one another for the ultimate tea paleta face-off and thus, making myself the chairman of my personal kitchen stadium.

Say it with me now, Allez-cuisine!

Just kidding, I'm the chairman, this is my blog and that's my line. 

While I suppose you could just brew uber-strong tea and freeze for a calorie-free pop, there's no fun in that and it's nearly the equivalent of eating frozen water. Seriously masochistic shit, people. Cue the yogurt stat. Using some almond milk (coconut or hazlenut milk could also stand in nicely) and almond yogurt these tea pops have creamy texture after being frozen without becoming an ice cream treat on a stick and staying true to their paleta-selves. Infusing the tea is easy and be done with whatever kind you like. It's as easy as, well, steeping tea. Simply heat the liquids over the stove and allowing the tea to steep in a sauce pan. I like using loose tea leaves but here I stuck to bagged -- which actually made things a bit easier as the mixture didn't need to be strained. This vanilla bean paste is a must and, if you have the means, a baking ingredient I highly reccomend investing in it. A. Becuase vanilla is everything and B. because it gives the nice little vanilla specs without having to de-seed a bean -- which also gets pricy for a pack of two or three. 

After infusing each yogurt with the respective tea, the pops were sent to the cold to battle it out. I must say, because the vanilla tea is actually a black tea, the contrast in color is comically underwhelming. Regardless, who will freeze to become to champion popsicle of domestic kitchen stadium? 

Turns out they were both pretty damn good. Although, this is a battle and thier must be a winner and for me, that winner was the chocolate mate paleta. It was a bit richer in flavor and the creaminess of the yogurt combined with the chocolate made for a great balance. Vanilla almond, literally on the other hand, also came out quite well, just not champ-status. 

Enjoy moth-lickas, 

KK xx


Double Chocolate Mate Paletas
Makes roughly 4 pops

1/2 C. Unsweetened almond milk, feel free to sub any milk you like
1 C. vanilla or plain almond milk yogurt, I like Almond Dream or Amande
1 T. vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean
Double Dark Chocolate Mate tea bags or 5 T. loose tea
2 T. brown rice syrup or agave nectar, optional


Vanilla Almond Tea Paletas
Makes roughly 4 pops

1/2 C. Unsweetened almond milk, feel free to sub any milk you like
1 C. vanilla almond milk yogurt, I like Almond Dream or Amande
1 1/2 T. vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean
Vanilla Almond Tea tea bags or 5 T. loose tea
2 T. brown rice syrup or agave nectar, optional

Combine the almond milk, yogurt, vanilla bean paste (or seeds of bean and whole bean) and tea bags over medium heat in a sauce pan. Heat just to a boil, about 5 minutes, and cook until tea is throughly infused. Taste test to your liking. Stir in brown rice syrup or agave nectar if the sugars in the yogurt isn't sweet enough for your taste. Pour into mold and freeze for at least four hours. Run mold until hot water for 15 seconds, pop out and lick on.

Thai Tapioca Tea Paletas

by Kailey Kramer in

Or on other words, culturally ambiguous frozen treats. Paletas to Mexico, popsicles to the most of us, whatever you dub them, they're frozen, delicious and like their dreamy cousin, ice cream, the possibilities are endless. Inspired by the folks over at People's Pops and my own personal cravings, I turned my parents kitchen into a popsicle factory last week while paying them a three day visit. My mother also invested in a tray of molds the week prior I took that as a cue from the paleta gods to go buck-frozen-wild

In addition to the PP, this recipe drew inspiration from the fine folk slaving over the burners in the BA test kitchens and their rice pudding popsIn addition to the Eastern flavor twang from the lemongrass, coconut and ginger, I decided to dress it up with more Asian flair by subbing the rice for tapioca and then confuse it my calling it a paleta. The apricots break up the frozen texture by giving it a nice chewy-ness as does the tapioca on a lesser scale. I imagine making these with boba would just be the ultimate batch of an asian theme pop but making good boba is a science. Unfortunately, one I haven't studied in depth just yet nor had the time for. So, tapioca for now. In attempts to keep these healthy, I also used almond milk and coconut almond milk yogurt for a vegan-friendly spin.

The pudding is extremely easy to make and even easier to eat on its own. Although resist licking the spatula too many times before filling the molds first. Then, go nuts and munch ( I digress but, what is the verb for eating runny substances anyway?) on the leftovers while the goods freeze. And on that note, popsicle making is not for the impatient. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

Enjoy paleta people, 

KK xx 

Thai Tapioca Paletas

Makes roughly 6 popsicles...and some leftover pudding for snacking. 

1/2 C. pearl tapioca, soaked overnight 
1 1/2 C almond milk
1/2 C. coconut milk yogurt
1 T. vanilla bean paste or 1/2 whole vanilla bean, de-seesed
1 C. apricots, chopped into quarters
1 T. ginger, finely chopped
2 small lemongrass stalks, rough outer removed and finely chopped

Soak the tapioca pearls overnight in water. Drain and rinse. 

Combine the tapioca pearls, almond milk, yogurt, vanilla, ginger, and lemon grass in a sauce pan. Cook over low heat until tapioca is cooked through for around 15 mintues. Allow to cool and stir in apricots. Spoon into molds and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Watermelon and Truffle Tremor

by Kailey Kramer in

Most accept fruit and cheese as a widely as 2+2=4. Pears and brie, peaches and burrata, dates and manchego, etc, yada, yada. So why all the fuss when watermelon steps onto the proverbial cheese board? 

Trust me on this one. The tangy, sweetness of a good creamy, potent goat cheese is comparable to that of an extremely elevated conventional cream cheese. Truffle tremor chevre happens to be one of my favorites. A soft ripened goat cheese a la California's Cypress Grove, this bad boy offers a salty and earthy bite which pairs insanely well with the sweetness of the super-ripe watermelon. I'm also hugely in support of the theory that a truffle is like the beer goggles for dining: its addition to anything just about doubles, if not triples, its initial appeal.

The two together make for a crisp and light summer dessert. Not to mention, no heat involved. Slice your melon, grab a plate and go.

And for those who want to argue that creamy chevre for dessert is anything but "light," I have some words for you. Have you seen the size of the slice of that cheese above? It measures about two inches at it's very widest point. And when split between two people while sharing a massive plate of a fruit vastly comprised of water, the calorie count on that slice of cheese adds up to but a fraction of the Ben and Jerry's you definitely reached for otherwise. (Though, no shame there - those guys make a mean batch.)

Everything in moderation, people. And that, alongside a steady stream of espresso, is precisely why French women don't get fat. 

The earthy-sweetness of the Honey Lavender Whiskey Fizz my friend Lessa and I sipped on with this also made for a nice polygamous marriage amongst the three, in case you were interested.


KK xx