homemade tim tams + weekend scenes

...and when i say "weekend scenes" i really mean "a whole bunch of other tasty shit that i ate this weekend plus a snazzy beautiful letterpress calendar from kenden." because! this weekend i made the wedding desserts for randi and her new mister and then spent all day sunday with brisket and challah and apples from our trees. it was a dangerously tasty weekend. so tasty that i wasn't even that jealous when donny live texted his dizengoff hummus experience to me. (look at it. it was essentially a sext.) 

details on some of the things in these photos are top secret because they are going in my book! but the chocolate chip cookies are from samantha's new book and they've got coconut and pistachios in them and they were so effing good, i wish i would have periscoped the drunk reactions i got to them when i brought them to a bar on friday night. people went cray.

and then the round chocolate sandwich cookies are my very extremely un-australian interpretation of the tim tam, by way of sarah's bright new book. i mean *i know* that a tim tam should be rectangular, *i know* that they're supposed to be fully covered in chocolate and not just half covered in chocolate, and *i definitely know* what a tim tam slam involves. (i did approximately 30 of them in one sitting in high school when jon the drum major returned from australia with tim tams by the ton. (and if you haven't done a tim tam slam, you have an assignment. due yesterday.)) but ok, these guys are round because my rectangle cutting skills are subpar and i'm a dumb american with a shiny set of round biscuit cutters. i don't know, i don't really have an excuse. i'm sorry, sarah, i'm sorry, australia.

they taste mighty good though!! they are essentially a homemade oreo that's been covered in chocolate (what is not to love???) and i added a bit of peanut butter to the filling for fun! 

tim tams

makes 14

from sarah coates' the sugar hit!



1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

1/2 c sugar

1 large egg

1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1 c flour

pinch of salt


1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

1/4 c peanut butter (optional)

1 c powdered sugar

1 tb unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tb malted drink powder (like ovaltine or horlicks)


7 oz milk chocolate

1 tb coconut oil



cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. beat in the egg. add the cocoa powder and beat until smooth. fold in the flour and salt until incorporated. turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment on a work surface, top with another piece of parchment and roll out to a large rectangle about 1/4" thick. put the dough on a tray and freeze for 30 minutes.

preheat the oven to 350º and line 2 baking sheets with parchment. 

take the dough out of the freezer and slice it into 1 1/4" x 2 1/2" rectangles. separate the rectangles and spread them out on the lined baking trays. bake for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


cream the butter and peanut butter (if using) until soft, sift in the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined. spread a heaped teaspoon of filling on half of the cookies. top with the remaining cookies, then put in the refrigerator to chill while you make the coating.


place the chocolate and coconut oil in a heat-proof bowl and melt together in the microwave on high in 30-second increments, stirring after each. once the chocolate is mostly melted, remove and stir gently until smooth.

take a chilled cookie and carefully coat it in the chocolate. place it on the lined baking tray. chill until firm. enjoy!


ricotta stuffed whole wheat challah (and everything else that i ate over labor day weekend)

one uncrustable pb + j // at adult summer camp, to soak up the fireside marshmallow vodka and to fuel a late night game of heroes' quest with my new camp friends. i was the wizard! i named him frank and killed an ork with my sword and we totally crushed that game. 

one breakfast beer // if you've ever been sad that your summer camp days are behind you, just sign up for adult summer camp and then embrace the nice bearded guy at the breakfast buffet who is dispensing fancy breakfast beer from a keg.

another uncrustable pb + j // in the car on the way to minneapolis!

a pile of cherry tomatoes from our garden // also in the car on the way to minneapolis and while considering the idea that cherry tomatoes are nature's gushers. would you agree?

a vegetarian jimmy john's sammich // i think i'm becoming a vague vegetarian.

coconut bacon // no really, i actually think i'm becoming a vegetarian.

a roasted cauliflower and chickpea taco // prepared by none other than a couple cooks!!!! **happy dance** 

an ottolenghi's black pepper tofu taco // i brought tofu to a party. who am i. 

a boozy beef banh mi taco // melissa made beef and when melissa makes beef you stop entertaining the idea of becoming a vegetarian. 

pie, cookies, one luxurious bite of a morning bun // the details of which i must keep secret because they were test runs of recipes for sarah's book (!!!!) ohmygah, you're going to absolutely *need* that book. 

a variety of swedish pancakes // savored in #thefauxhouse over blog shop talk, glorious blog shop talk <3

one bite of many different glam doll donuts // with my brunch club ladies! 

a pile of salad // from whole foods on our drive back from minneapolis. our options were: stop at the state fair for dinner of fried things on a stick or stop at the whole foods for vegetables and more vegetables. we chose the opposite of yolo-ing on that one but now we have really fantastic hard-to-find-in-our-little-town vegetables for the week and i am so excited about it. 

ricotta stuffed whole wheat challah // i made these mini loaves of challah for the drive to summer camp on friday night! they were kind of in celebration of friday pizza night, because when you eat cheese stuffed bread with a fresh tomato, you basically have pizza. 

you can go a few different directions with these little loaves. i made a few personal-sized rolls and a few that are perfect for sharing with a friend (or perhaps... a date!). you could also make one large loaf, but that's not as fun. i tossed a bunch of za'atar into the dough to add extra flavor, and topped them with pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds for protein and prettiness. the seeds also add such crunchy textural fun to a fluffy challah and creamy ricotta party. these loaves are round because rosh hashanah is coming up (!!!), and yeah, with the whole wheat and seeds and everything they're definitely healthier than last year's marzipan challah and brown sugar challahbut you should go check those out too because the more challah the better the new year!

ricotta stuffed whole wheat za'atar challah mini loaves with pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds

makes 8 personal rolls or 4 medium shareable loaves



2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast

3/4 c warm water

1/4 c + 1 teaspoon sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

2 c all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/4 c whole wheat flour

1/4 c za'atar, optional

2 large eggs

1/3 c flavorless oil, like canola or vegetable


1 c ricotta cheese

additional shredded cheese (optional... i like using a sprinkling of parmesan cheese)

kosher salt

eggwash + topping

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water

pumpkin seeds

sesame seeds

kosher salt + black pepper



In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top. 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the salt, flours, za'atar (if using) and remaining sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil.

When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture immediately followed by the egg mixture and stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with a dough hook for 7-10 minutes, adding more white flour as necessary (but try not too add too much), until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2-3 hours. 

to shape:

Divide the dough into 4 or 8 parts, depending on how big you'd like your loaves to be. Pat them out into long rectangles (about 2 1/2" x 9" for personal rolls, 2 1/2" x 18" for medium loaves) and then spread with a thin even layer of ricotta. top with a sprinkling of additional cheese, if desired, and a sprinkling of salt. Roll up the rectangles the long way so you have long skinny snakes and and pinch the edges well to seal in the cheese. Roll the snakes into spirals to get round loaves and then let them rise for 30 more minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375ºf. 

Brush the loaves with a thin even layer of egg wash and then sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper and bake until golden brown. Begin checking for doneness after 25 minutes. Let cool slightly and enjoy! Preferably with a fresh tomato. Do the challah/fresh tomato double fist.


photo credit to alex for that second to last photo (of what melissa titled "the real housewives of food blogging" 😂), and photo credit to eggboy for the photo of me with a wooden spoon that i whittled at camp!!!! 


the county fair!

it's happened. i've suddenly found myself knee-deep in county fair culture and i don't see myself ever coming back. and i don't think i need to because there are multiple county fairs every weekend during the summer in minnesota and north dakota. multiple! is that normal? are you not technically a county unless you throw a fair every summer with fried food and creeptastic rides and 4-h ponies?

i'm really tempted to spend an entire summer only going to county fairs on my weekends for a statewide county fair tour. i think i would learn a lot. even just from going to this one, i witnessed my first cow competition, met the biggest bunnies i've ever seen in my life, and learned all about cat diabetes from a presentation by a kid who is sure to be a future veterinarian of america. there was also an actual hay growing competition

this whole time i thought that fairs were just about the fried food, but i've been proven wrong. 

i can't wait until i get to go to the state fair, where there is all of this fried madness and, rumor has it, an entire barn where you can watch animals giving birth. i meannnnnnn....whoa.

how was your weekend??


p.s. read all about what i ate at the county fair in last week's grub street diet!

pictured: bag // dress

cold mountain

oh man, oh man, i went to a photography workshop this weekend and it was like summer camp!! instead of arts and crafts we had food styling, and instead of capture the flag we had fishing, or rather sit by the river and drink beer and watch other people catch fish. we even made s'mores and told alien stories around a bonfire. (alien stories are way better than ghost stories, by the way.) it was splendid and beautiful and i miss all of my new friends so much already. 

north carolina was just as pretty as i imagined it would be, it was all mountainy and green, and i got to see some wondrous little waterfalls in the foggy brevard woods on my way from charlotte to cold mountain (thanks to lydia and ben, the best tour guides ever with the best taste in music ever). i think i would probably completely pass out if i ever saw north carolina in the fall.  

cold mountain was the perfect spot for a photo camp. eva and carey totally nailed this location. we stayed in the cutest lodgeate carey's famous baked oatmeal every morning, took awesome photography classes every day, and at night, we gossiped and yolo-ate cheez-its with red wine. it was so awesome to meet bloggers that i've been admiring through the internet for so long and new-to-me photographers from all over the country. also it was just so refreshing to be with other people who stand on the table for overhead shots and recognize the value of an artfully placed rosemary sprig. 

the weekend was topped off with the most spectacular meal made by my good friend jacob. there was brown sugar crusted pork, black walnut charoset, smashed paprika potatoes, and fancy black bean toast that had about 12 layers on it, i don't even know what they all were, but it made me want to melt to the ground. in the end there was an extra dessert course because at one point during prep jacob's delightful assistant lena mentioned that she gets antsy if she goes three days without baking a cake and i thought, you know what, me too, so shelly and i stole her away and we made olive oil cake with rosemary syrup and lemons from kelly's tree.

oh it was so lovely. 

before flying home, i managed to find room for my first north carolina barbecue and holy poop, what have i been missing all my life. in other words, i'll be back for you soon, north carolina. very very soon.

for now i need to go investigate the landline that eggboy installed while i was gone (i guess people still have those?) and see if it came with any full house vhs tapes or something...


p.s. big big hugs to all of my new friends that i met this weekend: eva, carey, jordan, rebecca, grace, shelly, patty, kelly. i miss you guys!!! 

most of the goodies pictured in this post come from: lodge, farmhouse pottery, food52 shop, finex, simon pierce, and carey's woodworker dad!