rhubarb rose jam

Happy Sunday!!! It feels weird to have my computer open on a Sunday but Cousin Elaine and I made this rhubarb rose jam yesterday that I am first-day-of-summer-camp excited about. I wanted to write it down ASAP so I wouldn’t forget it and also so that we can all have time to make it over and over before rhubarb season ends. 

It is based on Claire Ptak’s rhubarb and angelica jam from The Violet Bakery Cookbook, only I’ve swapped out angelica and added vanilla bean and rosewater. Rosewater might be my favorite friend of rhubarb and because I was making this jam as party favors for Rob and Hansaem’s very elegant wedding in Paris later this month, I figured rosewater would be the perfect addition. And the vanilla bean just kind of gives the whole thing a luxurious hug. 

The measurements below are for a very big batch (triple of Claire’s), this made enough to fill 25 cute 2-oz Weck jars, and my 5.5 quart dutch oven was the perfect size to hold everything. If you don’t have a jungle of rhubarb in your yard that you need to use up or a zillion party favors to make, you can either get your calculator out and calculate a third of these ingredients (the timings stay the same), or come over and take some of my rhubarb. 

In a good container with a tight fitting lid, this will keep in the fridge for up to a month, but of course you can also can it with sterilized jars and seals and the whole bit. Yesterday was my first time doing the latter! Cousin Elaine is the canning expert of the family, so she and I spent the afternoon sterilizing jars and dipping things into boiling water to kill the cooties. Canning always seemed intimidating to me when I read about it on paper but when Elaine walked me through the process it all made complete sense. So if you’re considering canning for the first time, my biggest recommendation would be to get yourself a Cousin Elaine.

Happing Jamming!!

Rhubarb Rose Jam

Makes enough to fill 25 cute 2-oz jars


1,500g (3 lb 6 oz) rhubarb, chopped into small pieces

1,125g (5 1/2 cups + 2 tb) sugar

juice of 3 lemons

1 tsp rosewater

1 tb vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, scraped


In a large heavy pot, combine the rhubarb and half of the sugar. Cover and macerate at room temp for 1 hour. 

Add the remaining sugar and lemon juice to the pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Once it comes to a boil, let it boil rapidly over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. It might get a little spitty, so be careful and wear an apron, and if it gets too wild you can reduce the heat a little bit. It’s ready when most of the rhubarb is translucent and the consistency has thickened (it will continue to thicken as it cools). Reduce the heat to low and stir in the rosewater and vanilla bean. Carefully give it a taste to see if the rosewater is where you want it. 

Spoon into sterilized jars and seal or transfer to containers and keep in the fridge for up to a month. 


olive oil cupcakes with berry buttercream

all normal things this week, it has been a very average (but pleasurable!) week. i worked regular hours, drove to the gym, listened to all of today's top hits on my iphone while i jogged at a medium pace, wore neutral colors, reacted to politics, had salads for dinner, and watched tv before bed. (i was so bored out of my mind for the first game of thrones episode that i'm hate-ignoring the second episode until i finish the second season of how to get away with murder.) 

once or twice a day i looked out my window to chart the growing progress of my rhubarb patch. the leaves are almost up to my knees, so i'm going to give it another week before i pull out my machete. i'd like to make short ribs with rhubarb, have you ever done that?

what else. we celebrated taco tuesday on a wednesday, since it was cinco de mayo eve and the end of spring planting celebration, and we ordered coronas. which was the least normal thing about this week. i don't think i've ever ordered a corona in a restaurant before. am i boring you? is this boring?

the tulips are blooming, i have a bill to pay, and two yellow dresses to drop off at the dry cleaner.

ok bye. 

normal things, all normal things. 

these are deceptively light cupcakes! true, they're filled with sugar and have a 2:1 ratio of cake to frosting, but the flavor of fresh berries, a splash of o.j., and a nice large glug of buttery olive oil makes these brighter than most. (bright. maybe that's a better descriptor than light.) all of these flavors sit so nicely on a canvas of vanilla almond cake for a perfect springtime treat. i used raspberries and blackberries for the buttercream since that's what i had access to, but feel free to use any berry you'd like! (if you have a cute berry bush with some obscure berries to spare, i'll trade you for some rhubarb??) and my olive oil of choice for these is california olive ranch's mild and buttery olive oil, which doesn't overpower and plays so well with the almond flavor in the cake.  

olive oil cupcakes with berry buttercream

makes 12



1/2 c almond meal
3/4 c sugar
1 c flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1/2 c california olive ranch olive oil
1/2 c whole milk
2 tb orange juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract


1 c fresh raspberries or blackberries or a mix
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
2 c powdered sugar
a pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract


fresh berries



to make the cupcakes:

preheat the oven to 350ºf. line 12 cupcake tins with cupcake liners and set aside.

in a large bowl, whisk together the almond meal, sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil, milk, orange juice, almond extract, and vanilla. add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. pour the batter into the cupcake tins, filling them up halfway, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean; begin checking for doneness at 18 minutes.

let cool on a rack for 5 minutes and then remove to the rack and cool completely. 

to make the buttercream:

purée the berries in a food processor and then press through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. place the berry purée in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. beat until combined. (it will look slightly curdled at first, but continue beating, eventually increasing the speed to medium high, for a few good minutes until combined and fluffy.)

to assemble:

frost the cupcakes as desired, top with fresh berries, and enjoy!


thank you, california olive ranch, for sponsoring this post! 

peanut butter and grape galette

haiiiiiii!!! did you all have a nice fourth of july???

i did. i cleaned, and did yoga, and substituted coconut oil for canola oil in challah (which turned out to be surprisingly super gross, but i'm doing yoga now so i'm *letting it go*). and then when it finally started to get dark out, which is so obnoxiously past my bedtime up here in winterfell, we went over to emily's house and mingled in the presence fireworks and live smooth rock from the town square down the road. it was great! side note: emily is getting married in five days and she's still hosting parties and taking down potato chips with generic brand french onion dip like a champ. so much admiration. 

in other news: mum is coming for a visit this week! yayayayay! she's going to help me with emily's wedding cakes and we'll probably eat at the blue moose and maybe even take a day trip to bemidji. i'm so excited. every time she visits though i have to get all of the peanut butter out of sight because she's allergic. i make eggboy convert to almond butter for the two days preceding her arrival, (sweat out any remaining peanut residue that might be left in his pores... jk, but srsly), and then bury all the jars in the back of some cabinet or try and use it all up in some baked goods to give away.

so i made a galette over the weekend when my coconut oil challah failed me!

it's a fancy pb + j sandwich. it's the easiest thing in the world. and it's the best warm out of the oven with a big dollop of yogurt or whipped cream. 

so if you have a bunch of grapes that are about to go bad, a peanut-allergic mum who is about to come to town, and/or a hankering to bake something simple yet satisfying, then this is a recipe for you. get to it!

peanut butter and grape galette

makes one galette


1/2 c creamy peanut butter*

2 tb honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 lb pie crust

12 oz california grapes, halved

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

1 tsp sugar

a pinch of flaky salt

*i use all-natural pb that's unsweetened and lightly salted. if you're using unsalted, i'd recommend adding a pinch of salt to the peanut butter mixture.

powdered sugar and yogurt or whipped cream, for serving


preheat your oven to 400f. 

mix together the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract. roll out your pie dough on a piece of parchment or silpat and then spread on the peanut butter mixture, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edge of the crust. lay down the grapes in an even layer, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edge of the peanut butter (so you have three concentric circles), and then fold up the edges of the crust around the grapes.

brush the crust with the egg yolk and then sprinkle the entire galette with the sugar and a pinch of salt.

bake until the crust is golden brown. begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes. finish with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and serve with yogurt or whipped cream. 



thank you so much to grapes from california for sponsoring this post!

roasted grapes with sweet labneh

one of these days i am going to be one of those people who, before leaving for a long trip, cleans out the fridge, washes the dishes, does laundry, and stocks the freezer with 12 individually portioned lasagnas for eggboy and one for me for the night that i return. 

today is not that day.

look at this pile of laundry.

what's all of this stuff on my desk.

somebody send pizza.


i am back from new york and l.a. i think this was the longest amount of time that i've spent in a city since i became a country bumpkin and toward the end of my trip i *almost* had a very real jazz freakout because wowwwww there are so many people in such a small space, but i was caught by a bed of tacos and brioche. 

in a few days i'll get to the part where i tell you all about eggboy's first meeting with an eggslut (hold your jokes!), but first i must recover from what all just happened. you know, eat vegetables, wash underpants. 

one great mess that i returned home to, however, was the giant stack of cookbooks that i received right before i left. among them was tara's book. holy cow is it beautiful! the words are beautiful, the recipes are beautiful, and where the beauty hits me hardest is the photos. they're perfect. they're not flashy or crowded, and they accomplish this wild task of showing how food should look in a very confident way. a way that i can't stop admiring.

there are so many recipes in here that i can't wait to make, like the plum macaroon cake, fig toasts with buttered honey, five-spice steak, roasted peaches with glazed sesame oats... i could go on and on. the first recipe i made was the roasted grapes with sweet labneh, because it's grape season (yay!) and you know i have a serious thing for labneh.

roasted grapes with sweet labneh

serves 4-6

adapted from tara o'brady's seven spoons



zest from 1/2 orange

1/3 c demerara sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2 1/2 c labneh*

*if you make your own, layer the labneh with sugar during its initial straining process


1 tb honey

2 tb grappa

1 lb seedless california table grapes

shortbread, to serve


preheat oven to 375f.

to make the labneh, rub the orange zest into the demerara sugar and fold it into the labneh. spread the labneh in ripples on an ovenproof plate. sprinkle with more demerara. 

to make the grapes, mix the honey with the grappa in a large bowl. snip the grapes into clusters and toss them in the mixture. transfer them to a roasting pan with a shallow rim. 

bake the grapes and labneh until the grapes start to shrivel and the labneh is set and golden. begin checking for doneness at 12 minutes. you can either place the grapes and their juices on top of the labneh and then top with crushed shortbread, or you can layer everything into individual ramekins or glasses for a little parfait situation. (for the parfaits in these photos, i used unbaked labneh so that it would be easier to get a smooth layer, but both options taste great.)



thank you so much to grapes from california for sponsoring this post!