Peach Tart

Late summer is peach season, a fact that never fails to thrill me. I don’t just like peaches–I love them.  I eat them plain, in oatmeal, in yogurt…and of course, in desserts.

The other day my good friend Yiming came over. We’d planned on baking a chocolate roulade with white chocolate frosting, but we’d planned poorly and there wasn’t enough white chocolate in the house.  Luckily my mom had just purchased an enormous bag of peaches, so we were able to make this delicious peach tart instead.

This recipe is based on an apple tart recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks ever, A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson (who is the author of Manger, a wonderful food blog).

You’ll need….

1 2/3 cups flour

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, room temperature

1 to 2 tablespoons cold water

4 large peaches

1/4 cup sugar in the raw or brown sugar + 1 teaspoon for sprinkling

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 orange (for the zest)

To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut the butter into small slices and use your fingers to incorporate it into the flour mixture.  Add enough of the water to make the dough smooth and cohesive, then shape it into a ball.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Peel two of the peaches and cut them into small chunks.  Place them in a small saucepan with three tablespoons of the sugar in the raw, the cinnamon, and the zest of one orange, then cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.  Use a potato masher to crush any remaining chunks so that the mixture is pretty homogeneous, like a jam.

When the dough has chilled for at least an hour, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (375 if you have a convection oven).  On a floured surface, roll out the dough so that is about 1/4 inches thick, and place it on a (greased) tart pan, pressing it down to fit to the shape of the pan.  Cut away any excess dough.

Spoon the peach filling into the dough, spreading it evenly along the bottom.  Slice the remaining peaches finely, and arrange them in a circular pattern on top of the filling (as shown below). Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of sugar in the raw over the peach slices and bake the tart for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!


Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies aren’t just alliterative; they also happen to be amazingly addictive and absolutely delicious! I tried them out on a lazy at-home sort of day and I have never made a better decision.

You will need…

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix the sugars, salt and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Stir in the flour and baking soda, then mix in the chocolate chips. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On lined baking pans place large dollops of dough about three inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!


Oatmeal Cookies


Behold oats: one of the most miraculous foods on earth. It has given us granola, oatcakes, my favorite breakfast, and best of all….oatmeal cookies!

The beautiful thing about oatmeal cookies is that they contain several “healthy” ingredients (oats, walnuts, raisins and…um…an egg?) so as you reach surrepticiously for that fifth cookie, you can tell yourself that you are just getting your daily dose of fiber.  It’s not technically a lie!


Cookie + bathrobe + coffee on the stove = happiness 🍪💁🏾

Needless to say, I have exceeded my fiber requirement for the day. Now you can too!
You will need…

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • If you’re not a raisins and walnuts sort of person, substitute 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugars till well-combined. Add the honey, vanilla and egg.

Stir in the flour mixture, then add the oats. Add the raisins and walnuts and mix. 

Plop tablespoon-sized chunks of dough on a cookie pan and bake 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!


Berry Muffins

Nothing beats fresh baked goods in the morning (or at any time, really).  It’s a tradition in my house that we bake something for breakfast on weekends, and these muffins are a regular.  They’re quick to assemble and don’t take too long to bake, so they’re perfect if you like to sleep in.



These muffins can be made using any combination of berries, fresh or frozen. Typically we use blueberries or a mixture of blueberries and strawberries.  Be generous with the berries; they should turn the batter a nice purple color (seeing the batter go purple always gives me a very satisfied feeling, because in my opinion the more things that are purple, the better).

You will need….

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar plus a spoonful of sugar in the raw or brown sugar for dusting
  • 4 teaspoons of grated lemon or orange zest (what this means is that you take your citrus fruit and use a zest tool thingy (not sure what the name is, but it looks like a long, thin cheese grater) to gently scrape of the edge of the peel into your batter).
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of your berries of choice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sour cream


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (350 if you have a convection oven).  In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and zest.  Add the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add half the flour mixture and half the sour cream to the butter mixture.  It is important that you not over-mix muffin batter; stir until just incorporated.  Add the remaining sour cream and flour, then fold in the berries.

Place paper muffin liners in a muffin pan. Using a spoon, fill each liner until all the batter has been used up (you want each liner to be filled almost to the top). Sprinkle the tops with the dusting sugar, then place the muffins in the oven and allow them to bake for 25-ish minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the muffin comes out dry.  Enjoy!


New Year’s Day Chocolate Espresso Cake

2017 is finally here! It’s going to be an eventful year for me; I’ll be graduating from high school and starting college. It’s been a little crazy lately, what with college applications and holiday events, but today I had lots of time to experiment with my first cake of 2017.

Lately in Iowa it’s been between twenty and thirty degrees , but my outdoors-y family bundled up and headed out to Lake McBride for a hike today. I love hiking whatever the weather, but I knew from experience that everybody would come home craving a cup of coffee and something chocolaty.

This recipe is quick and so easy that I didn’t even get out a mixer, opting to mix by spatula instead. The cake comes out rich and moist, with lovely hints of espresso. I foresee that I will be making this recipe quite often in the year to come! Enjoy!


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4  cups flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you can substitute regular milk,  but buttermilk gives a richer flavor)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or any flavorless oil–I used avocado oil)
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour in the oil and vanilla, then add the buttermilk and eggs.  When these have been mixed in, add the coffee and mix well (make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl).  Pour the batter into  a tall 8 inch diameter round pan or a 13 by 9 rectangular pan and bake for around 30 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry.  If you wish to dust with powdered sugar, allow the cake to cool first or the sugar will melt (I know from experience) and your cake will be a little bit ugly (but still delicious).


Chocolate Cookie Cake

It’s summer at last!  For me, school ended a few weeks ago, but what with visiting relatives, friends visiting us, the SAT and a violin concert, I’ve been too busy to post anything.  I have still been making food, of course–earlier this week I tried out this chocolate cookie cake from a Martha Stewart Living magazine, and now I’ve finally gotten around to posting.

What really makes this cake is good quality chocolate.  The rich flavor comes almost entirely from the cocoa, so I  cannot emphasize enough how important it is not to use Hershey’s (which is just not good chocolate).  Dutch cocoa is always excellent, and  Ghirardelli also tastes great.   Once you have acquired some good cocoa, you can sit back and relax; this cake takes about six minutes to make.  Enjoy!



  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 3/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar, then add in the eggs and vanilla.  Mix in the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, then stir in the chocolate chips.  Butter a nine-inch diameter cake pan and scrape the batter into it, then place in the oven and bake for twenty minutes.



Five-Minute Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know what you’re going to say: I make too many different kinds of chocolate chip cookies.  But every time I see a new recipe, it…calls to me.  Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, my passion, my one true love.

Well, maybe they’re not quite that.  But I do love them.  And this recipe is so easy!  You don’t even need a mixer–the butter is melted, so you can mix it all with a spatula.  And unlike so many chocolate chip cookie recipes, these turn out big and thick and soft.  Enjoy!


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove, then mix with both sugars.  Add the vanilla and egg, then stir in the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into twelve lumpy balls and bake 9 to 11 minutes.  Make sure not to over-bake; they should look a little under-done when you take them out.