tahini hot chocolate

we picked the song for our first dance: the bird and the bee's cover of the bee gees' "how deep is your love." i really really want to listen to it over and over but i'm afraid that i will get sick of it! it's in my head though and sometimes i start singing it, but the lead singer's voice is so high that i end up trying to do it in falsetto and it is so bad. oh well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

i feel like "how deep is your love" should segue into huey lewis and the news' "the power of love" because back to the future, but eggboy is gunning for "boom clap." (such hip, that boy, i can barely keep up.) either way, i can't hardly wait to wiggle my bum on the dance floor as the new mrs. egg.

throughout all of this weddingness, i've been trying my best to be in the holiday spirit as well. we don't have our little tree up yet, but i did kick off hanukkah last night with cauliflower gouda latkes (like these but with gouda instead of feta) and those turkey zucchini cumin meatballs from jerusalem. i topped them off with some sumac greek yogurt and oooooooh yeah baby, sooo delicious.  

in another world, i'd continue on down this path paved with latke nachos, sriracha cheddar latkes, poutine latkes, and maybe the thanksgivukkah brussels sprout latkes, but over these next ten days (!!!!!!!) i've got an entire dessert table to bake, a zillion pies to prep, and vows to write. and come this weekend, visiting family members and a donny to hang out with!!

so here is a simpler wintery festive treat: hot chocolate. until embarrassingly recently, i'd only ever made hot chocolate from a store-bought mix, and that might have been why i phased it out of my life. most of those mixes are soo wildly sweet that i always felt like i'd have to choose between hot chocolate and sufganiyot or some other holiday dessert, out of fear of sugar overload. but a hot chocolate recipe from hemsley + hemsley, which uses coconut milk as the base and just a touch of sweetener, inspired me to revisit my old friend. of course, as with nearly everything in my life, i added tahini. the result is nutty, rich, not too sweet, and crazy easy to make. 


tahini hot chocolate

makes 2-4 servings

ingredients

1 (13.5 oz) can light coconut milk

1/4 c cocoa powder

3 tb tahini

2 tb honey, or more to taste

1/4 tsp salt

a splash of vanilla extract

a pinch of cinnamon

 

clues

whisk all ingredients together and warm over medium heat. serve with whipped cream, marshmallows, a cinnamon stick, candy canes... even a little cookie cake*!


*the mini cookie cake in these photos was made using hampton creek's just cookie dough. omg you guys, it's so good. it's dairy free and egg free so obviously, yes i've been eating it raw with a spoon. for the mini cake, i baked some in my mini cake pan with sea salt on top and it was magical.  

-yeh!


thank you so much to hampton creek for sponsoring this post! all opinions are mine mine mine! 

taiwanese meat sauce + a giveaway

i had a startling realization two days ago when eggboy made an observation that some friends of ours are well read. it occurred to me that, as someone who spends her days playing with sprinkles and spent her college years playing the xylophone at an institution where some teachers nearly pat you on the back if you almost fail your one non-music academic class in the name of more practice time, i am extremely far from being well read. extremely far.

but that wasn't my startling realization.  

my startling realization came when i told myself that after the wedding, by gum, i will read more with the intention of becoming better read, maybe even well read. and so i envisioned myself after the wedding, reading books and... suddenly having one million less things to stress out about, and a much much much shorter to-do list. and. ok. that was startling. 

what will i do when i don't have 1,000 feet of bunting to make? a seating chart to puzzle together? zillions of pies to bake??? where will i go on my monday nights that's not to my dress seamstress's house??

what do people do after they get married?1?!?!!!! 

i'll read things that aren't benedict cumberbatch gossip blogs, i'll go on a honeymoon, i'll write thank you cards, i'll sweep up all the sprinkles that people throw at us after we smooch. but then what? is getting married like getting into college, when you receive your acceptance letter and then only do dance dance revolution for the next four months until orientation? 

you guys, help!

should i join a curling league?

i guess i could start thinking about dinner more. i love making dinner, i just get into these ruts sometimes when i get carried away decorating a cake and then get so hungry for salty food that dinner becomes whatever i can make the quickest. (it's usually a vegetable and a starch covered in sesame sauce.) so when i'm a married woman, yes, i'd like to plan ahead for meals like this taiwanese meat sauce that requires over an hour and a few more utensils but is worth it in every way.

the first time i made it, i was such an impatient patty that i didn't even wait to get the proper ingredients. breakfast sausage was subbed for ground pork, onions for shallots, and rice noodles for egg noodles. it was great, but then when i finally got to the store and made it with all of the right ingredients, its secrets were revealed to me: the gloriousness that is chinese five spice, super soft egg noodles, all of those shallots... consider me in love.

this recipe is slightly adapted from short stack's brown sugar edition. if you don't know short stack editions, you must check them out! they're adorable little cookbooks centered around one main ingredient, and a new one comes out every other month. i imagine they'd make great holiday gifts :) 


taiwanese meat sauce

slightly adapted from short stack, vol 12: brown sugar

makes 4 servings

ingredients

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 lb ground pork

1/3 c fried shallots (fry your own or purchase them at an asian grocery)

1/4 c soy sauce

3 tb dark brown sugar

1 tsp chinese five spice powder

1 tb rice wine vinegar

1 tsp black pepper

2 c pork stock or water

4 hard boiled eggs, peeled

6 c steamed rice or 1 lb cooked egg noodles

thinly sliced scallions, for garnish

clues

heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat and cook the pork, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes. add the shallots, soy sauce, brown sugar, five spice, vinegar, black pepper, and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

add the stock or water and bring it to a boil. pierce the eggs with a fork in four places and add them. 

cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for an hour. the sauce will still be very thin.

pour over egg noodles, garnish with scallion, and serve.

 


-yeh!

if you'd like to win a copy of short stack, vol 12: brown sugar, leave a comment here with your favorite use for brown sugar! open to u.s. residents. 

halva rugelach

i am stressing out right now because there isn't enough snow on the ground. i came here for the snow. i bought the last pair of bean boots for the snow. i'm having my wedding here for the snow. i ate a lot of bread and cheese this past month so that i could plump up for the snow. where is all the snow!!!!!

i've been checking the weather forecast like a farmer and there is not one unit of snow in the next 10 days. not even a subzero temperature. it will be in the 40s on saturdayi hate it. h8 it. 

all i want to do is sit by a frosty window with eggboy and a peppermint mocha as we watch herds of snow come twinkling into our lives by the foot. and then in two and a half weeks when we get married, i want to be this and this and i want to make rosemary syrup and pour it over a cone of snow served in one of the 500 snowcone cones that i just ordered from the internet restaurant store. 

does anybody know a snow dance? or perhaps a shredded coconut company that will come and sprinkle coconut everywhere? can you people in new york place some in a box and send it to me????

*at least there are cookies*

rugelach has always provided warm fuzzy comfort to me, even when it's not cold, mostly because it's one of mum's specialties. she sent me packages of it all the time when i was in college and my friends went gaga over "jody's rugelach." she usually fills it with chocolate or cinnamon sugar, but this version is filled with a pimped out version of halva spread. they are best straight out of the oven with a nice hot beverage. 


halva rugelach

makes 20-24

ingredients

dough:

1 c unsalted butter, softened

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 c sugar

2 large egg yolks

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 c all-purpose flour

filling:

3/4 c tahini

1/4 c honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of kosher salt

a pinch of ground cinnamon

egg wash + topping:

1 large egg

1 tb honey

a splash of water

toasted sesame seeds

sprinkles, optional

powdered sugar, optional

clues

in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese. add the sugar, and then add the egg yolks, one at a time. beat in the extracts, sprinkle in the salt, and then add the flour. dough will be quite sticky. divide it into two parts, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and then refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

prepare the filling by mixing together all of the filling ingredients until smooth.

preheat oven to 375. working with one half of the dough at a time, roll it out on a floured surface into a rectangle (about 9 inches by 13 inches). spread half of the filling in a thin even layer all over the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch wide space along the long edge furthest from you. roll the dough up like a jelly roll, beginning from the edge that's closest to you. cut it into 1 1/2-inch pieces and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment, 1 inch apart. repeat with remaining dough.

beat together the egg, honey, and a splash of water, and brush it onto the tops of the rugelach. sprinkle on toasted sesame seeds and sprinkles, if using.

bake until slightly browned, begin checking for doneness at 18 minutes.

dust with powdered sugar if you'd like and enjoy!


this is part of honestly yum's virtual cookie swap!! check out these amazinggggg cookies that i wish we were actually real-life swapping:

buckwheat + oat flour christmas cutouts from a brown table

salted white chocolate oatmeal cookies from honestly yum

spiced cocoa polvorones from the bojon gourmet

pine nut cookies from shutterbean

matcha coconut macaroons from i am a food blog

gingerbread madeleines with molasses glaze from the kitchy kitchen

white chocolate and cranberry biscotti from what's gaby cooking

peppermint hot chocolate cookies from bakers royale


-yeh!!

 

a gingerbread farm

here is what our farm looks like! for the most part. it's not totally to scale and it's actually a vision of what the future will look like because there is a hot tub and a few ponies romping around, and with the exception of the pink tractor, it is all edible! there are za'atar trees and matcha trees and heart-shaped jolly rancher windows... even a shameless gingerbread buick lesabre. 

i spent more hours that i'm willing to admit on this, and if i had a dollar for every time eggboy conveyed that i was a lunatic in the process, i'd have enough to buy a real pony, but it was 100% worth every second just to see the looks on all of the eggs' faces when they saw it. eggboy's lucky that i didn't set this in the middle of our living room and scatter coconut flakes all over the floor to represent the wheat fields and sugar beet fields. i will save that for next year.

i'd like it to be known that i did not throw one frustration-induced tantrum during this whole process. that's probably a given because technically i am a grown-up, but i've got an awful track record (which in past years has resulted in having to construct a house of cardboard and glue through a sea of tears), so i am very proud of myself for this. 

do you want to have a tantrum-free gingerbread house building experience? i have secrets for you over on food52! follow along this week with a series of three gingerbread house posts that cover: how to make rock hard walls that won't collapse, how to make icing that will dry like cement, and how to make fun little accessories like a blue raspberry hot tub and cylindrical pieces of gingerbread wall for a grain bin or silo. and you'll get a little tour of our farm in the process :)

go check it out!

-yeh!