Monday Mélange: Tastes of Home

I’m convinced that I have heightened senses. Walking down the streets of Paris, I always knew when a bakery was nearby due to the indescribably intoxicating smell of butter. Smells bring back memories for me; whether it’s the chalky smell of fresh paint that reminds me of the number of apartments my family moved to in Manhattan or the sweet musky smell of the Redwoods we would visit in San Francisco, smells bring me right back to places and moments.

I surprised my family this past weekend for Easter. My mom made all of my favorites (some of which I shamefully requested). These tastes – along with many others – bring me right back to being a carefree kid again, something that grows more and more comforting as I grow up.

P.S. PLEASE excuse the poor photo quality. I barely had time to pull out my iPhone for these photos before I dug in!

1. Tiramisu – Ahhhh. Little pillows of lady fingers that have absorbed coffee liqueur. Clouds of mascarpone and whipped cream. Chunks of chocolate on top. Bliss? Bliss.

Tiramisu | netflix & nutella

2. My Mom’s Hash Browns – I added these to my blog about a year ago, but nothing can compare to the ones made by the creator herself. They’re slightly crispy, still tender, oniony, paprika-y…you get the picture. They’re delish.

Hash browns | netflix & nutella

3. Cheese Soufflé – Cheese. Goat, cheddar, brie, Boursin, parmesan. If it’s cheese, it makes me happy. That’s all there is to it.

Cheese soufflé | netflix & nutella

4. Anything from Corner BakeryThis spot has been a favorite of ours since the beginning of time. The chocolate chip scones and brioche are to die for (as is the raspberry almond bar below). So is the corn and barley salad I get every time I come home. It has a little bit of a bite to it and has a scallion vinaigrette that’s so light and perfect for summery days.

Corner Bakery | netflix & nutella     Corn and barley salad | netflix & nutella

5. Gigi Salad – This delicious mix of shrimp, onion, string beans, bacon and roasted red pepper brings joy to my mouth in every bite. The name maybe reminds you of the Leslie Caron character, but to me, it’s the salad my mom makes every spring and summer that I can’t get enough of.

Gigi Salad | netflix & nutella

*The blood in my veins: My Mom’s Tomato Sauce. Something that – if there’s any justice in the world – should be jarred and on shelves one day. (I’ll work on it.) Since I was driving and not flying this time, she gave me a vat to bring home. I (not so willingly) shared with my friends in a first-night-back-chicken parm dinner to show them how spoiled I was growing up.

Chicken parm | netflix and nutella

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Monday Mélange: Sweets for Santa

I am the youngest of four children, and seeing as we have all reached our twenties – some of us living our own lives away from home – you’d think some of our traditions would have changed. We would have stopped coming down the stairs in age order to see our presents; stopped having a slumber party the night before; stopped the routine of watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Christmas Eve. There’s a certain magic that comes with this time of year, one that I don’t think any of us are ready to give up as we face the “real world” and one that I think we’ll cling to until we start having kids of our own with whom we can share it.

Though it might be silly, we still do a ton of baking this time of year, a plate of which is ceremonially left out for Santa.

Merry Christmas to all; I hope some of these treats can enable the magic to carry on for you, no matter your age.

Raspberry Oat Bars

Raspberry oat bars | netflix & nutella

Homemade Cocoa

Homemade Cocoa | netflix & nutella

Apples to Apples

Apple turnovers | netflix & nutella

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies | netflix & nutella

Candied Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

Candied cinnamon sugar almonds | netflix & nutella

 

For more baking ideas, check out my food page here!