chocolate halva spread + a #mollyontherange x stewart & claire chocolate halva lip balm giveaway!

my favorite lip balm in the whole entire universe now comes in chocolate halva flavor.


i have tried every single lip balm in the world, including, obviously, lip smacker's dr. pepper, and a tragic macaroni and cheese flavor from the candy store near columbus circle. at summer camp, no care package was complete without lip balm, and in college, practically every other laundry cycle was graced with a lip balm explosion. i have since gotten better at this.

so i *know* lip balm, i am never without lip balm, i put it on morning/noon/night/16 times in between, and i can say hands down that stewart & claire's is the best. it's not sticky and it works so well, even in grand forks winters, and it's made by kristin! who just wrote the modern potluck cookbook! get one! so now i am just about bursting with glee because as part of the molly on the range book launch, it now comes in halva flavor. it's made with sesame oil and askinosie cocoa powder, and lisel's endpaper drawings are all over the label. it is a dream come true. i'm giving away a handful of these to those who've preordered (only one more week to preorder!), and if you don't win one or are in need of 12 more, there will be a limited supply available for sale on the stewart & claire site.

and! in case all of this talk of chocolate halva has left you with a massive insane craving, here is a super quick recipe for nutella's middle eastern cousin, chocolate halva spread. it's right out of molly on the range, and it's in a little spread section with white chocolate pistachio butter and marzipan butter. use this on toast, over ice cream, or eat it straight with a spoon!

chocolate halva spread

makes 3/4 cup


4 oz chopped milk chocolate

1/2 c tahini

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


melt the chocolate in a double boiler or by microwaving in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. stir in the tahini, salt, and vanilla. it will thicken as it cools.


(also hi from new york!!! i just got here yesterday, right in time for the taste talks awards. now i'm sitting in a hotel room in tarrytown silently freaking out about my first ever panel, at the nyt food for tomorrow conference. and on thursday, book festivities start with a trip to roberta's for heritage radio! and some personal news, my hair decided it wanted to start parting down the middle, so that's where we're at. book tour, commence!!)

if you've preordered molly on the range and would like to win a a stewart & claire chocolate halva lip balm, leave a comment here with your dream lip balm flavor! we're giving away 30! open to u.s. residents. enter now through pub date (10/4) and have your preorder receipt ready for if you win!


sugar beet sugar cookies + a #mollyontherange tattoo giveaway!

i covered portland in tattoos this weekend! it was the least i could do in exchange for being filled up with my favorite candy in the world, tahini drenched toast from alon shaya, and shakshuka so beautifully covered with hawaij that it nearly brought me to tears. and tahini semifreddo with sumac on top! (note to self: find a more uses for sumac in dessert) oh, it was a delicious weekend at feast. it was my first time, but i had michelle to lead me around and drive us to tusk in a little cozy coop when our feet got squishy in the rain, and jonathan and todd to film a bunch of it. we made a cute stop motion and a candy covered cake and something that required a scissor lift but that video hasn't been released yet so idk what that was about. there were also lots of photo booths:

and a nacho cheese fountain! 

and a person walking around in a costume that was either a bed bug or godzilla (??) or something of that aesthetic... 

so tattoo sleeves seemed appropriate and i felt extra cool and *in* with the chef crowd when mine started to fade and look like real tattoos. if you're wondering what the heck these tattoos are, they are all of lisel's illustrations from molly on the rangethey include the following:

-a burger

-a recipe for hawaij

-a cake

-pizza dough ingredients

-a handy dandy "#mollyontherange" which is probably going to make it onto my forehead at some point during my book tour

-and a sugar beet!

michelle wanted to give herself a sugar beet sleeve but i told her we had to save some to give to you guys (it still looks good though, no?? that is her arm and picture with the boba tea up top!) mr. beet has been called a turnip, a parsnip, a nondescript root vegetable... but no, he's a little white beet that's modeled after all of the beets that eggboy is about to pull out of the ground in just 10 days when harvest starts.

i can't believe harvest is almost here!! this will be kind of a weird one since eggboy will become completely nocturnal and i'll be in and out for the tour. i'm bummed that i won't be able to be around every day to restock the little table in the workshop with homemade treats for all of the farm workers, but i've started filling up our deep freeze with some things that eggboy can defrost and put out for everyone. 

day 1 is going to be these sugar beet sugar cookies! they are a super simple sugar cookie, iced with an even simpler glaze, and decorated in a way that caters to my clumsy inability to do detailed work. i have no idea how people in those instagram videos make celebrity faces with icing (!!). but for these i just pulled out every green sprinkle i own and mixed up some edible water color paint and went to town. i'm having trouble finding an online listing for my cookie cutter, but if you google "carrot cookie cutter" some similar options pop up.

happy almost beet harvest, everyone!! 

sugar beet sugar cookies

makes 16 beets



3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 large egg
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


3 c powdered sugar
1/4 c whole milk + more as needed

for water color effect:

a few drops of food coloring
a splash of vodka

sprinkles, for decorating


preheat the oven to 350ºf. line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. in a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium high until pale and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. reduce the speed to medium and add the extracts and egg and mix to combine.  reduce the speed to low and then gradually add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. pour the dough out onto a clean work surface and give it a few kneads to bring it all together. divide it in half, wrap half of it plastic wrap, and refrigerate it while you roll out the first half. (alternatively, you can make the dough in advance, wrap all of it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.)

dust your work surface and a rolling pin with confectioners’ sugar or flour and roll out the dough to 1/4” thickness. cut out sixteen beets with a cookie cutter.

use a small offset spatula to transfer them to a baking sheet, 1" apart. re-roll scraps and repeat with the remaining half of the dough. bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned. let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer them a wire rack to cool completely.


in a small bowl, mix together sugar and milk, adding more milk a tiny bit at a time until it's spreadable/pipeable. 


add icing to a piping bag and ice cookies as desired. for the watercolor effect, mix together the food coloring and the vodka and brush onto icing that is fully dry. don't worry, the vodka will evaporate! decorate other cookies as desired with sprinkles. enjoy!

if you've preordered molly on the range and would like to win a sheet of #mollyontherange temporary tattoos, leave a comment here! we're giving away 30! open to u.s. residents. enter now through pub date (10/4) and have your preorder receipt ready for if you win!


p.s. molly on the range tour dates are out!! click here for more info. many of the events are ticketed, so be sure to get those while you can! and i am so excited to have deb from smitten kitchen and phyllis from dash and bella joining me at a couple of the stops! 

brazil nut cookie dough cups (vegan) + a #mollyontherange preorder sprinkle giveaway!

a real live copy of molly on the range arrived late last week and i shrieked so loudly, almost as loud as when a fox tried to take a macaroni in his mouth. it was so wild and unexpected, i thought i was unboxing my new business cards and sprinkle envelopes from chelsey, but nope, it was a book! my book! the thing that's going to classify me as an author and qualify me to wear elbow patches! i carried it around with me, to seattle and eastern washington and back, and then last night we used it to make fried rice even though i didn't really follow the recipe. i was mostly just curious to see if i'd used butter or oil (it was butter, thank goodness) and then let the page sit open next to me while i chopped all of my onions. i tried to get onion juice on it as an inaugural stain. 

i'm getting off track: there are three are exactly three weeks left to preorder and that means three preorder giveaways!

first up, magic sprinkle mix! throughout the life of this book, i've dreamt of a sprinkle mix. something with rainbows, various sprinkley shapes, spices, sesame seeds, and salt. a seasoning mix on its own that's as tasty as it is colorful, and something naturally colored, like the sprinkles i keep in a jar on my open shelf. so working with india tree, who makes my favorite naturally dyed sprinkles, i developed a mix that is exactly that! it's got cardamom, black sesames and white sesames, smoked salt, and a secret mixture of their sprinkles that extends beyond their carnival mix. i am so excited about it and if you see me between now and the end of my tour, there's a chance i might have one of these bad boys for you:

why hand out business cards when you could hand out sprinkle packets?? (all of the credit for this idea goes to one of the cool dudes behind the hare's corner, who i met in ireland and instead of giving me a business card, he gave me a little packet of seeds! it was so cute.) aside from the little packets though, there are also six jars of this magic sesame cardamom limited-edition sprinkle mix up for grabs to those who've preordered molly on the range! details on how to enter are at the bottom of this post. 

first i want to show you how i've used them, on these here cookie dough cups that are vegan and inspired by the brazil nut cookie dough bars in anna jones' new book, a modern way to cook. i had never bought a brazil nut before, but when i did, eggboy flipped out! he loves them! anna's recipe calls for blending the nuts with some sugar and coconut oil and adding chocolate chips, and it tastes just like raw cookie dough, it's dangerous and addictive. in order to let these sprinkles shine through, here i've instead coated this dough in chocolate for a fancier peanut butter cup! 

brazil nut cookie dough cups

makes 12


6 oz (or 1 heaping cup) brazil nuts

2 tb sugar

2 tb coconut oil (solid)

2 tb maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

12 oz dark chocolate

sprinkles, for topping




place the nuts, sugar, coconut oil, syrup, salt, and vanilla in a food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together into a dough-like texture. it may still look crumbly but if you squeeze a bit in your hand, it should hold together. dump it out onto a work surface, divide it into 12 equal parts, and then roll them into balls and flatten them. set aside.

line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. 

melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave until smooth and then spoon about 1 teaspoon chocolate into the bottom of the liners. stick in the freezer for a couple minutes to firm up slightly. place a disk of filling in each muffin liner and then top with the remaining melted chocolate so that it covers the filling completely. top with sprinkles and let harden in the freezer. enjoy!

if you've preordered molly on the range and would like to win one of six jars of limited-edition #mollyontherange sesame cardamom sprinkles, leave a comment here with what you'd use them on first! open to u.s. residents. enter now through pub date (10/4) and have your preorder receipt ready for if you win!

developing the cover of molly on the range

as a serial book-by-its-cover-judger, determining the cover of molly on the range was more difficult than picking all of the first day of school outfits from my past, combined. in the beginning, about two years ago while i was working on my proposal, i was really drawn to the idea of something painfully minimal, inspired by the covers of vintage church cookbooks and rose bakery's breakfast, lunch, and tea. when i was little i hoarded plain white t-shirts and absolutely refused to wear any clothing item with a brand label showing, so i suppose this was very on brand. 

this is breakfast, lunch, and tea, the book that made me fall in love with food photography. source: little growing lights

"but, molly, how will people know this is a book about food??"

is a question that was raised by my publisher with the correct concerns that people might think it's a book about cow-wrangling or folk music or go-go dancing on top of a stove range.

"also, we want to put your face on the cover!"

well, hmmm. i wanted something timeless, and maybe something that you could even put on your coffee table as eye-popping room decor, and with my goal of becoming a blonde in 2016 already in the works, i did not consider a brunette 26-year-old kind-of-puffy-because-i-had-just-spent-a-year-recipe-testing-layer-cakes me to be a timeless image for the cover. 

so i did some noodling around on the internet and decided that a very empty cover with a few homespun illustrations of cooking-related objects and chickens could be nice, timeless, and informative. with my publisher, we narrowed down our list of illustrators and started doing mockups. i loved folk-y, earthy illustrations that didn't feel at all trendy or too flashy. i wanted something that would be ok getting a little roughed up by soy sauce splatters and mustard stains. i was very excited about this.

but still, i was told, my face would be going on the cover!  

oof da!! how would that work? how could a photo with an illustration look timeless and minimal and not like a third grade art project? we looked at various book covers that had done this recently, like the portlandia book. it worked for portlandia, but i definitely didn't see it working for molly on the range. i wanted to really try it though and see how it could work, because maybe there was something i was missing, so we even went so far as to hire an illustrator to do a draft, complete with super adorable chickens, loaves of challah, and an egg cracked open at the bottom of the cover. it was so fun but in the end it simply didn't mirror the content of the book. 

i became more and more eager to figure out a cover that would welcome you. there was a lot of back and forth with my extremely patient publisher, and then i think it was at a barnes and noble in phoenix where i slowly began to see things from their perspective, re: my face on the cover. as eggboy, eggpop, and eggmom perused the american history, agricultural business, and novel sections, respectively, i placed myself in the cookbook section and judged covers. love and lemons made me want to go to the farmers' market and buy vegetables, home baked made me want to cream some butter with some sugar and eat a slice of cake and then learn to take pictures like yvette and oof. the books with smiling faces on the cover made me want to knock on those people's doors and sit in their kitchens while they not only cooked whatever they wanted to cook for me, but also talked to me about their stories and thoughts behind whatever they were cooking. and that's what this book is, it's narrative. one day i'd love to write a book about cakes or baking or one very specific group of foods, and for that, a cover with no face would make more sense i think. but molly on the range is you coming into my home and me telling you about my ex-boyfriends and the real eggboy story and farts, it's one side of a theoretical pen pal-ship, and the recipe selection has a little bit of everything.

so i said to my publisher, ok let's put me on the cover, but please can it be minimal. 

they obliged, but by this time the cover design was already way, way late, so we scrambled for inspiration. we loved the kinfolk table and this and that, and wanted to make sure it was as warm and happy as possible. i booked chantell to come that week, picked up a white background from a farm down the road (made new friends in the process!), and altogether tried to stop eating salt in an effort to look my best. luckily (!!!) the sprinkle cake that appears on the last page of the book was still in my freezer and ready to be a cover model. 

we had three wardrobe options:

the first one was eliminated almost immediately because it was too holiday-specific. and between the second and third one, it was collectively decided that the blue chambray shirt was more farm-y and timeless. bingo! so they airbrushed out my fly away hairs and away we went! 

lisel jane ashlock's hand lettering for the subtitle gave it a kind of homespun quality that i love, and rae ann, my book designer, took to my obsessive requests for "a slightly more brownish grey/maybe more black than grey/maybe a little lighter but still really dark" font color with the patience of a saint.  

and there it was, just like that!

it truly took a village and i am so happy with it! it was far from what i expected when i began writing the beast, but i feel that it represents me and the feeling that i want you to get from this book.

we weren’t finished though! we still had the spine and back cover to do, but it was a total walk in the park compared to the front cover process. it was almost like this, verbatim:

"molly, what color spine would you like?"

"yellow yellow!"

"ok! and how about the back cover?" 

“can it be blank… like literally nothing except for maybe a blurb or a chicken?”

“nah, let’s put a photo on the cover. something that will tell people that it’s not exclusively a cake book.”

“oh. ok sure, what the heck!”

“how do you like these?”

“hotdish! perfect.”

“ok actually we like it but think that the tray would be more descriptive of the book’s contents.”

“umm hmmm errrrrrrm. ok”

“this good?”

“yes, perfect.”

and just like that, molly on the range was dressed and ready for the first day of school and beyond. phew!! and i've gotten the sweetest feedback from you guys! so thank you for that. just one more month until she hits the shelves! eeeeeeee it’s almost here!!!! 


(please preorder if you haven’t already!!)