Espresso Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Full Recipe:

-1 & ¼ cup all purpose flour
-1 tsp salt
-2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
-¾ cup chopped chocolate chunks or semi-sweet chocolate chips
-10 oz dark chocolate chips (equal to 1 & ¼ cup)
-2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
-3-4 tbsp espresso grounds or espresso powder
-1 cup sugar
-½ cup packed brown sugar
-5 large eggs, at room temperature
-2 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze (optional):
-2 tsp espresso grounds or powder
-1 tbsp water
-½ tsp vanilla
-¾ to 1 cup powdered sugar

Sugar Cookie Cheesecake

Ingredients for the crust:

  • Sugar Cookies (Crush up store bought or you can bake your own)
  • 5 tbsp Melted Butter
  • 2 tbsp Sugar

Instructions for the crust:

  • Melt butter and set aside.
  • Crush up cookies into find crumbs for two cups of crumbs.
  • In a bowl - mix together crumbs, butter, and sugar until well blended.
  • Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch round pan.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until done.
  • Set aside and let cool.

Ingredients for the batter:

  • 2 lbs Cream Cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup sprinkles

Instructions for the batter:

  • Place cream cheese in a bowl and beat until creamy.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, and sugar - mix well.
  • Mix in the sprinkles now.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared crush.
  • Sprinkle some of the sprinkles on top.
  • Place in oven and bake at 350 degrees for one hour until done.
  • The cheesecake with be slightly golden and set, but will jiggle in the middle a bit.
  • Let cool completely and remove from pan or leave in the pan.
  • Enjoy!


Navel Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Each bite of these delicious cookies has a burst of flavor from sweet navel orange and rich, dark chocolate. The hearty whole grain flour makes them slightly crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside. They are the perfect treat to serve while watching the big game. Or enjoy one as you relax with a good book and a warm cup of tea.

SERVINGS: 14 cookies

10 minutes prep, 20 minutes baking.

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon fresh navel orange juice
Zest of two navel oranges
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
¾ cup dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Add the butter, brown sugar and white sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium, and then turn to medium-high. Beat for 60 to 90 seconds.

3. Add the egg and mix for 30 more seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. Mix in the vanilla, orange juice and orange zest. Keeping the mixer on medium, add the baking soda, baking powder and salt.

5. Gradually add in the flour, scraping the sides of the bowl as need. Mix just until all the flour is combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

6. Drop by the heaping tablespoon-full on an ungreased baking sheet, about 8 large cookies per standard sheet pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges of the cookies begin to brown and centers are firm. Let cool for 1 to 2 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Black Bottomed Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake (dairy free, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free)

Full Recipe:

Serves one 9" cake

* ¾ cup Pecans
* ¾ cup Walnuts
* ¼ cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (finely shredded works best)
* pinch of Sea Salt
* 3 Medjool Dates, pits removed
* 2 tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder (sub cocoa powder if you don’t have cacao)
* 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil

* ¾ cup Dark Chocolate Chips (use a brand that uses natural sweeteners, if you can)
* ¼ cup Coconut Oil
* ¾ cup Coconut Milk (canned)
* 3 tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla

* 3 cups Cashews, soaked overnight
* 1½ cups Almond Milk (coconut milk works too)
* 2 tablespoons Vanilla (you may only need 1 tablespoon if your vanilla is strong)
* ½ cup + 3 tablespoons Maple Syrup, divided
* ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
* 2 tablespoons Sunflower Lecithin
* 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
* ⅓ cup Coconut Butter (softened)
* ¼ cup Coconut Oil, divided
* ⅓ cup Raw Cacao Powder


This post was created in partnership with Vermont Creamery. All opinions are my own.

2008 was my first year without holidays. Up until 2008, I lived with hefty doses of holiday celebration, spanning the Jewish, Christian, and vaguely pagan roster of ritual occasions. My parents were both Jewish, but their families had always celebrated Christmas along with Chanukah, and we readily observed Passover, Easter, Thanksgiving, and any other opportunity to gather and ritualize thought and feeling. My mom, in particular, was an eager proponent of ritual.

She ritualized everything, from the arrival of my first period to the transition of seasons. Christmas was an opportunity for elaborate decoration, and she ran wild with ribbons ordered from Japan specifically for the tree and boxes of ornaments she’d collected for decades. At night, once the tree was lit, we’d turn off all the lights and lie down beneath it, reveling in its quiet beauty, the subtle flow of electricity releasing scent from the tree’s bark and needles. We were warm, we were bright. We even sang Christmas carols together, good Jews that we were.

Read more and get the recipe here.


Bourbon Salted Caramel Peach Tart 

It’s so good, I actually wanted to slap someone’s mother. I also let out a few profanities in approval. 

Ingredients for Fruit Topping

Sliced peaches and blueberries (or other fruit, optional) 

Ingredients for Tart Crust

1 ¼ cup all purpose flour

½ cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

8 tbsp cold butter chopped into cubes

2-3 tbsp ice cold water

Ingredients for Cream Filling

1 block of cream cheese (8 oz), softened to room temperature

1 tbsp heavy cream

½ cup of granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon 

1/8 tsp ground cardamom

Pinch of salt

Ingredients for Bourbon Salted Caramel 

1 cup granulated sugar 

5 ½ tbsp unsalted butter 

½ can coconut cream 

1/8 cup Bourbon

1 tsp vanilla extract 

2 tsp sea salt 

Directions for Fruit Tart

Preheat your oven to 365 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a food processor or large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

Add in the cubed butter and process until you have small pieces of butter running through. Add in the egg yolk and ice cold water (as needed) until your tart dough comes together. If using your hands, follow the same instructions using two knives or a pastry cutter.

Remove the dough to a well floured surface and form a ball.

Press the dough into your tart pan making sure that everything is even.

Depending on your oven, you will bake the tart crust anywhere from 12-18 minutes – until the edges of the crust are golden.

Remove crust from oven and let cool completely.

Directions for Filling

Combine all ingredients and mix until creamy and completely smooth. This will take roughly 4-5 minutes.

Directions for Caramel 

In a deep sauce pan over medium heat, melt your sugar, stirring with a plastic/silicon spatula or whisk. 

Once your sugar melts/dissolves into a light amber color, slowly add in the butter and stir until melted. 

*The mixture will bubble when the butter is added. 

Once the butter has melted, slowly add in the coconut cream while the sauce pan is over the heat. 

Once incorporated, let the mixture come to a boil for 1 minute. Add in the bourbon during this boil. 

Remove from the heat, add in the vanilla, and stir in the salt.

Let cool and thicken completely. 


Once the tart crust has cooled completely, fill it with the cream filling. Mix in a little bit of the caramel and swirl. 

Assemble the fruit in the design of your choice. 

Drizzle with caramel and add a dusting of powdered sugar (optional).

Slice and serve.



I’ve been going through the motions. I get up. I stare at a wall. I remember what’s happened in our country. I think about this Twitter thread, and this one tweet in particular:

Trump’s presidency is a result of us not really seeing each other or our country for who we are and what it is.

We can fix that.

5'7 Black Male (@absurdistwords) November 9, 2016

…a result of us not really seeing each other or our country for who we are and what it is. I’ve been going through the motions of a relationship with a country I thought I knew, a place I thought was closer to me and my heart than it ever actually was. I was living in a dream of denial.

@absurdistwords goes on to say that our path to fixing this is through empathy. For many white people, like myself, this is the first time we are waking up to feelings of disenfranchisement, marginalization, disorientation, and fear. His reminder that these feelings are the very same that people of color and other minority groups feel and grapple with upon waking every single morning is sobering.

Read more and get the recipe here.


I’ve always loved surprises, though I don’t think I’ve ever told this to anyone. It’s a little secret I’ve held between my ribcage and my lungs and my heart. The idea of someone going to considerable effort to surprise me with something that will (hopefully) bring me great joy is thrilling. I haven’t had many surprises in my lifetime (yet!), but this birthday week (the day itself was last Thursday) came replete with a singular and literally very large surprise.

Many of you will remember the saga of my downstairs neighbor Alice, who was nearing the end of her life over the past few months. And some of you may also remember my last post about her, about our final visit, and the discovery of her piano. I sat and played for her that day, and for the first time in months, she seemed to come alive. The music elicited all kinds of images—she told me she saw horses, and neighborhoods, and people having block parties. Her last words to me, as I walked out the door into the LA heat that day, were, “Little by little, I want you to get that piano into your apartment.”

Read more and get the recipe here.

4th of July Double Berry Cream Pie!

Though I could never blindly declare that all our nation’s woes were suddenly absolved, I will say this: It’s been an ok week to be an American. Last Friday’s gay marriage ruling was a massive victory for so many I love. Though I’m not affected by it directly, I feel one step closer to a nation that truly acts on its supposed belief in equality.

Growing up in Hawaii, I’ve long been awake to the weight of privilege. I was a foreigner in a land that white people once attacked and colonized, a land that still caters to white privilege as much as it disdains it. I grew up feeling, for lack of a better word, other. With my red-hair and white skin, I didn’t stand a chance at fitting in. I was mocked for my appearance, and learned that being made to feel different felt, well, awful.

At the same time, though, I also learned a humility and understanding of my place in the world much different than if I had grown up on the mainland. Even still, my experience as a minority is nothing like that of people of color around the world, or those who experience minority status in other ways. 

Read more and get the recipe here.


Sweet Almond Cinnamon Rolls with Roasted Strawberry Glaze 

What says summer more than fresh strawberries?! However, I knew that I couldn’t make just any ol’ cinnamon rolls. I had to find a way to make them special, and these are special. and delicious. and buttery. and just, freaking amazing. I used my own cinnamon roll recipe with some tweaks, and these came out perfectly. The roasted strawberries give an unreal strawberry flavor, mixed with the warmness of the cinnamon and nutmeg in the dough. Just perfect

Ingredients for Dough 

4 cups all purpose flour 

2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup Silk almond milk + ¼ cup water, warmed to 110 degrees Fahrenheit 

1 package active dry yeast 

1 egg, room temperature 

¼ cup + 1 tsp granulated sugar 

¼ cup unsalted butter, softened 

¼ tsp vanilla extract 

1 tsp salt 

Directions for Dough 

Oil a large bowl and set aside. 

In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with dough hooks, combine all of the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl or mixing cup, mix the warm water and warm almond milk together. Add in the egg and vanilla and whisk. 

Sprinkle over the yeast and wait for it to activate (about 3 minutes). 

NOTE: If the liquids are too cold, the yeast won’t activate. If the liquids are too ht, they will kill the yeast.

Gently begin to mix the dry ingredients together while slowly adding in the wet ingredients. 

Once the wet ingredients are incorporated, add in the butter in increments until combined.

Let the mixer knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, until smooth.

Pull the dough together with your hands and place into the oil bowl, ensuring that all sides are oiled (so a crust does not form). 

Let rise, covered, in a dark, warm spot for 1 - 1 ½ hours 

Ingredients for Roasted Strawberries 

½ cup strawberries, sliced in half 

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small baking dish lined with parchment paper, spread the strawberries in a single layer and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. 

Roast for 15-20 minutes or until softened completely. 

Once roasted, let cool before pureeing. 

Once cooled, puree and set aside. 

Ingredients for Filling 

1 cup sliced almonds, roughly chopped in food processor 

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened 

1 tbsp ground cinnamon 

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ cup Turbinado (Demerara) sugar 

2 tbsp melted butter 


Butter/grease a 9x13 inch baking dish or line the baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. 

Once the dough has risen, remove from the oiled bowl and place onto a well-floured surface. 

Roll  the dough until it is about a 15x9 inch rectangle – slightly larger than your baking dish.

Smear the softened butter onto the dough. 

Combine the ingredients for the filling except the almonds and sprinkle on top of the dough, covering every place where there is butter. 

Pat the filing into the dough using the palm of your hand.

Repeat the previous steps with the almonds. 

Starting from the long end, roll the dough similar to a jelly roll, making sure to press the seams of dough together once you have finished rolling. 

If you want, cut the end bits off of the dough log. 

You should be able to get 16 small cinnamon rolls or 8 large cinnamon rolls from the dough. 

Place the rolls cut side down in the baking dish, cover and let rise again for 45 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When the cinnamon rolls have risen once again, brush the melted butter on the top of the rolls and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. 

Ingredients for Glaze 

3 oz cream cheese, softened 

¼ cup warm almond milk 

2 cups powdered sugar 

Roasted strawberry puree 


About 5-10 minutes before the cinnamon rolls are done baking, make the glaze by combining all ingredients except the warm milk into a bowl.

NOTE: the amount of powdered sugar used will vary depending on how sweet you’d prefer the glaze. 

Combine the ingredients and mix until the desired consistency is reached. For a thicker glaze, add less almond milk. For a runnier glaze, add more milk.

When the cinnamon rolls are done baking, let them cool for a few minutes and immediately drizzle on the glaze. 

Serve while warm. 



This post was created in partnership with Williams-Sonoma for the KitchenAid® Artisan Mini Stand Mixer. All opinions are my own.

Just over a month ago, I made a blueberry pie for you. A sage blueberry pie, which was also a pie made on request for my downstairs neighbor Alice. Some of you will remember Alice from that post—remember my (selfish) disappointment as I realized she was coming to the end of her (ninety-five years long) life, that hospice was there with her, that, once again, I was living with death. Many of you rejoiced with me at the gift of my time with Alice, too. Because I did, ultimately, just suck it up and sit with her. Talk to the hospice workers. Look death in the face, and not leave. Again.

Of course, the emotional pull wasn’t anything like what I felt being with my mother when she was dying. This time, I could leave at any moment I wanted, and I barely knew Alice. But in the occasional visits we had in the past month, instead of dread, I actually found a lot of joy.

Read more and get the recipe.