Food is my love language. If I care about you as a friend or family member I would like to feed you. My favorite way to do this is to find new and interesting recipes a friend or family member would enjoy trying.

Everyone’s family has dishes that are important to them. My dad’s cheesy eggs were the best. No one can top those. My mom’s carrot cake is only rivaled by her chip dip. I am certain I have eaten both within 24 hours and felt better for it.

The Arabic word nafas, translated to breath or spirit, is the energy people put into food preparation that makes it seem exceptional to the people who eat it. Bottom line is, if the person making it isn’t feeling it you aren’t going to fall in love with the dish.

My favorite cooking show is The Great British Bake Off. I enjoy this show because it is so supportive and positive. Val, a former contestant and overall angel of a human being, once stated:

The book Like Water for Chocolate covers this (thanks again for letting me borrow that, Jeca!). The narrator of LWFC told us “With a little imagination and a full heart one can always prepare a decent meal.”

Similarly, Eric Ripert, hugely famous chef and pal of my favorite chef Anthony Bourdain, once noted:

“If you have in your life something cooked by someone in your family who put love in the food — you feel something, something. There’s a sensation, and I think a lot of people have the same experience — that can make the difference in between something that has been cooked by someone who loves to cook and loves to put good energy in that food to make you happy. … It explains why you can feel the love in the food.”

From Ripert’s book 32 Yolks

Bottom line: Food made by someone who cares about you just tastes better.

Food Rituals

This post is about a serving dish instilling that same feeling of being cared about. It is a simple milk carafe from my childhood, which I have spent so long trying to find a replacement for. Then, without warning, it was on my front porch. My mom mailed it to me as a surprise! Thanks again, mama! 🙂

Here’s the carafe, which was part of my school morning breakfast routine for years:

I was an only child growing up, which meant that I had a lot of alone time. I was a kid who took her time getting ready for the day and had no younger siblings to herd or older siblings to push me through the morning routines before school.

My parents both worked and my dad left earlier in the morning to avoid rush hour going to and from work. We all shared one full bathroom, which meant we got ready in shifts. My dad used the bathroom first, then my mom. I would shower while my mom had coffee and picked out her work outfit. Then she’d go back to the bathroom to finish getting ready while I ate breakfast.

Before my dad left for work, he’d put a bowl of cereal on a placemat with this pink carafe full of cold milk. Whenever I would amble to the kitchen table, my breakfast was waiting for me! No soggy cereal. No rush. It was ideal for my stubborn “I’ll get there when I get there” childhood self.

This was not the part of the ritual I remember most (though I must admit that the satisfying crunch of freshly milked cereal is not lost on me). Usually in the morning my dad would follow me around the house, calling me princess and making jokes. I would stare through him with a hardened gaze, similar to Bill Laimbeer:

Always so angry, Bill...

Anyways, while he pushed every button possible and I glared and stomped like a four-eyed Joe Pesci, my mom would counter this with “she’s not awake yet!” or “leave her alone!” And my dad wouldn’t because pissing off a small child is almost always hilarious. And there was a pink carafe of mia culpa waiting in the kitchen anyways. He would take off for work and I’d eat my cereal, reading the back of the box for entertainment.

I think the most interesting part of this is knowing there’s no pictures of me using this carafe. It was a part of my morning ritual just like my toothbrush and backpack. It was not considered “special” but a humble part of our morning routine.

It was more than that, though. It was a gesture from my parents that said “we are all doing our own thing and the cereal is waiting for you when you’re ready.” Being seen like that, knowing that your parents are aware that rushing you is a disaster, feels like a hug. It is a gesture that shows so much love. That carafe was full of nafas.


Seeing and holding this carafe brought back so many memories. The recipe this week is a simple one for when you have too much icing. I made adorbs cupcakes for my friend and had leftover buttercream. SO- there was no choice… I had to make dunkaroos!

I bought these adorable birthday cake bunnies from Annies Organics with the hopes to use them for the Easter Brunch. Alas, they arrived after so they became dunkaroos!

Side bar- I did not pick up on the fact that Dunkaroos had an Aussie twist. But the shapes were basketballs and sneakers as well? So the Dunkaroo mascot was a sneakerhead who lived in Australia but knew how to dunk basketballs AND “arroos” as well? Strange stuff. I guess I didn’t question most commercials after Nancy Reagan made me afraid of fried eggs.

I usually sign off with my logo, but I found this when looking for a solid Laimbeer pic. Enjoy!


P.S.-If you have no idea who Bill is or why he’s so angry- watch this

Come and knock on my doooor…

That reference may be dated, but I love John Ritter.

I LOVE baking, but some weeks are busy and other times I want to see what other people are doing or making. I am inspired by everything on Instagram, but I cannot eat those things… though full disclosure- when I finish my mileage for the Trail Racing Over Texas Trans-Texas Virtual Run I WILL be ordering these cookies from Levain bakery:

I took this picture from their Instagram. WUT.

Generally speaking, I am the one who knocks (shout out to Heisenberg) when I mail treats. But, I know this shocks NO ONE, I also like eating baked goods from the mail. 🙂

So, this post is dedicated to my homies at Farmhouse Delivery. I have tried a few of their baked goods over the past few months and wanted to share them with you here. There’s no baking required (except for the last one and WORTH IT). Like all other Farmhouse items (including fresh flowers, eggs, etc.), these bad boys just show up on your front porch. And you even get a text so you know to awkwardly hover near the door. Ha!

Blueberry Muffin

Farmhouse deliveries include local farmers AND local businesses. Texas French Bread has several offerings in their bakery section, including this amazing Blueberry Muffin. The thing weighed like 40 pounds.

One of the reasons I was SUPER excited for this muffin was…. Well first we should cover the fact that I put butter on all fruit filled muffins. I used to get this BALLER orange muffin from Marshall Fields restaurant and I put butter on that. And Blueberry muffins. I just do, okay.

Anyways, sometimes the cold butter rips the muffins. That’s where a BUTTER CROCK comes in. You put cold water in it and it keeps butter soft on the counter. It took its maiden voyage for this blueberry muffin moment:

Full disclosure, taking pics of this buttered muffin was similar to a dog balancing a treat on his nose (which are always labradors. Labradors are too polite sometimes, man…).

If you do not have a butter crock, my dad used to put his hot coffee cup on a pat of butter at restaurants (wrapped in foil, obvs). Perfect spreadable butter. Freakin genius.

Cinnamon Sugar Croissant

This croissant is also from Texas French Bread. It was delivered in my CSA box and I was NOT disappointed. Look at the sparkly sugary goodness! It actually looks fake. But I know it was not because I ate it. Promise (like you had doubts).

I know that Paul Hollywood is all about laminated dough when it comes to pastries like this, so I also have a shot of how this looked when cut in half:

Texas Strawberry Pies

These beautiful bebes are from Flourvine and were SO DANG DELICIOUS. They even put a little note inside asking me to slice a few holes on the top before baking. Thanks, friends. I did and it was perfect. I added some egg wash and turbinado sugar before baking because I am that guy who says “this is great! I modified it though…”

I would also like to add that those baller strawberries that were basically the size of these hand pies were also Texas strawberries from Farmhouse. They are the best, y’all. 🙂

My “To Try” List

There are still several items on Farmhouse Delivery’s baked goods/desserts section that I have yet to try. I have several weeks of baking plans on lock, but when those are finished I am going to try some of these bad boys:

Sausage and Jalapeno Croissant from Texas French Bread

Raspberry Croissant

Bake at Home Buttermilk Biscuits

I had the kit Farmhouse sold this fall, where you made the dough using ingredients in separate containers (from Dai Due). It was SO good! I don’t see that one anymore and like the idea of a square biscuit. So this will happen.

And Finally….

This is called “Late Night Fridge Grab Dessert Box” and I have ZERO chill. Pun unintended, but I am amused and it stays. This looks SOOOOO good, but I would need to buy it for a night where I am hanging out with friends so we could all try a bit of it. I cannot imagine this would end well if these were all in my fridge for just me.

I don’t have to imagine, it is written in stone. I would eat all of it at 2 a.m., then Jon would find me in the morning covered in cookie crumbs laying on the kitchen floor sleeping whilst smiling.

Even so, I will wait until I can share it.

Thanks, Farmhouse!

I love how all of these items are local. There are also baked goods from Easy Tiger, Sugar Mama’s, Rockstar Bagels, Slow Dough, and Tiny Pies! We had the Texas Pete pie from Tiny Pies, but I did not include it in this post because that was a savory pie. I didn’t want to have to check the “savory” tag, then disappoint people when there was a post full of sugar. 🙂 Anyways, the pie was vegan and delicious. I look forward to slowly checking everything off this list as groceries are conveniently delivered to my door.


Bake Sale!

I saw that the Bakers for Change Organization was promoting chances for bakers selling goods for funds to support the Asian community after the horrific events in Atlanta. I wanted to do something, but I wanted it to be a super small scale because I am not a baker in a commercial kitchen. Instead of joining their amazing cause, I did a tiny one on my own which was available to my friends and family. Here’s the flyer I made:

I was able to send some snickerdoodles and brownies to friends and family. I also had a few people who donated to the cause without baked goods! Also, my mentor/pal Eric (long time listener, first time caller) donated to help offset the postage/supplies. So cool!!

Check out these happy little treats:

I mailed these dudes out this morning and am so happy that we collectively raised $200 for the Asian Mental Health Collective. Thanks to all who participated! If you didn’t and you’d like to, click that hyperlink to donate.

P/S- I asked Jon (aka my photographer when I need to be in the shot) to take a picture of me holding the brownies for the picture at the top. Looks great, right? Well the full length photo has me doing cosplay from PeeWee’s Big Adventure.

Have a great weekend! If you need me, I’ll be emotionally eating… I mean TESTING these cookies after that whole Francis realization… Emotional eater? “I know you are but what am I?”

Thanks again to all who donated!!!!!!


Collagen Parfait

I am a HUGE fan of NuNaturals. My cafe (which is actually an expresso machine I use in my home) exclusively flavors lattes with NuNaturals syrups. My favorite is their Chocolate Mint syrup, but there are several delish flavors to choose from!

I was sent a box of products to try from NuNaturals, which include some syrup flavors I want to put in spring recipes (perhaps a chai carrot cake?). They also sent some powdered MCT Oil and Collagen. I decided the first recipe I would make would be using the Collagen, since I was looking for a quick protein-heavy treat and their collagen literally landed on my doorstep!

Here’s the recipe card (I make the recipes in this format so I can share them on my Instagram Stories and save them as highlights so I can easily access them ASAP):

I also made an Instagram Reel I made for this! Check it out.

I made these in the evening and my husband was playing video games in another room. When he finished this little buddy was waiting for him! He prefers a high-protein snack in the evenings, so he was PUMPED when this had protein from the Greek yogurt AND collagen. Each tbsp of collagen has 6 grams of protein and mixing it in didn’t change the consistency or flavoring. 🙂

He was also surprised at the bite the vanilla ginger syrup had! I used one packet for this entire recipe, so it was just a little flavor boost on the top. We were on a one way trip to Flavorpalooza.

I am going to share a new recipe or tweak to someone else’s recipe each week. Let me know if you have any suggestions or requests!


Snail Mail

Everyone needs Cosmic Brownies in their lives, am I right?

After the red/green theme of the holiday items I sent I was feeling like throwing some rainbow sprinkles into some delish treasures to mail! There were so many reasons to celebrate: I had former students who were student teaching, accepted to law school, and coming back for their first post-holiday classroom teaching experience. Those people needed FUNFETTI SCONES!

My niece had a birthday coming up. I sent her gift directly to her, but also wanted to send some treats. I asked what she wanted and she basically said “no raisins.” I decided to put sprinkles in EVERYTHING since the treats I was sending to Montana were also celebratory. I thought it would be fun to make Cosmic Brownies, since she’s in high school and that’s a lunch box treat. I also thought I’d make Blondies for the first time… with SPRINKLES of course. 🙂

These were the LEAST photogenic, so I added that cute milk jug with a straw to help a Blondie out.

Finally, I sent a small treat to our parents because the Christmas ornaments we purchased arrived well after we mailed their gifts. They said “we miss you SNOW much” and would make less sense next holiday when we see them. Therefore, brownies. 🙂

Real talk: check out how happy these three batters look together:


We are still in Stage 5 in Austin, so I am laying low on the snail-mail baked goods for the time being. I hope to mail some Valentine’s Day items next month (TBH I already bought the supplies, so they are going in the mail at some point). I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how AMAZING the USPS has been this season.

Thank you, USPS!

I sent a billion packages over the holidays, some took like 2 weeks to arrive to their destination. I knew the USPS was hammered, so I wanted to send them a thank you the next time I was at the Post Office.

I ended up getting a dozen Shipley’s donuts. I asked the staff to put each donut in an individual bag instead of a traditional box of 12 so people would feel more comfortable eating them. I hope they enjoyed them and used some sugar to plow through the January returns people inevitably drop off.