The Broken Bread

Italian Plum Compote


These past few days have felt extremely fall-ish to me. The sun is starting to set much earlier, and the forest which flows throughout our neighborhood is beginning to shift in color. Trees that were once graced with bright green leaves are now adorned with splashes of vibrant yellow and fiery red. And now the evenings are finally getting cold enough for me to rescue my winter jackets from the tiny suitcases they have been living in for the past year. Boots, sweaters, beanies; Fall, I’m ready for you. What excites me most about the change of the seasons are all of the upcoming holidays. My birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas; this is the time of year where many cozy indoor dinners and celebrations shall be had with friends and family. Oh, and not to mention that pie-baking will soon become a weekly routine in our home. Ah! I’m already getting way too excited just thinking about it all of it. But let’s talk about these tasty Italian plums, shall we? I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but when John and I first moved into our current house, we did so only on the basis of a few Craigslist photos and a trusted word from our friends who checked it out. So imagine my surprise when we arrived and found, among many other great things, a beautiful Italian plum tree right smack in the middle of our backyard. Luckily for me, I already love these plums, so having a huge tree to feast on this summer was such a blessing.



I noticed my plum tree was getting a bit thin last week, so I ended up climbing it and picked as many plums as I could. Well, at least whatever plums the neighborhood squirrels hadn’t gotten to yet. I typically eat these plums as a snack, but I one morning I really had the urge to jazz up my bowl of yogurt, so I ended up making this plum compote. You can use brown or white sugar for this recipe, but I found that using good quality maple syrup tastes the best. I was lucky enough to get my hands on what I believe is the best maple syrup I have ever tasted. I have the people at  Hatchery to thank for that. They have such an amazing selection of culinary items, so if you are looking for some new products to add to your kitchen arsenal, then just click here. This particular maple syrup is made by a husband and wife who live in Weston, Vermont, and they make this syrup from the trees that reside on their very own property. After tasting this maple syrup, I feel as if I can envision how beautiful their trees must look and smell like because their maple syrup has such a distinct and unique flavor. I am always eager to use products that are made by people who are truly passionate about their craft, and this maple syrup is proof of this couples’ dedication to just that.


This compote is incredibly easy to make, and tastes amazing when spooned over just about anything. Yogurt, waffles, pancakes, ice cream, the options are endless. I ended up adding a hearty amount to my yogurt the other day, and topped it off with some granola I had on hand. Toasted nuts would work just as well, but keep it simple and use whatever you have on hand and enjoy.



For recipe, Read more here »

Desserts Book Release

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I am thrilled to announce that one of the books I was working on last year is officially here!!! I had the wonderful opportunity to co-author a comprehensive baking book that is filled with 68 classic desserts from around the world with step-by-step photography and ideas for variations. This book is not only beautiful, but it’s also packed with over 400 delicious recipes. It can be purchased online, or wherever books are sold.

To celebrate this release, I wanted to share a video that John and I made featuring a classic apple & blackberry cobbler recipe that can be found in this book. Hope you enjoy it!


Jalapeño, Cheddar & Onion Buttermilk Biscuits


When I was little I loved helping my mom prepare dinner. I would often beg her to let my do anything that would be considered dangerous for a girl my age, like using her food processor, or chopping vegetables. Luckily my mom was fully aware of my desperation to help, so she would usually find something for me to do that obviously had a very low threshold of danger, like making biscuits. The funny thing was that these “homemade” biscuits I would make came from a long tube – you know the kind where you pull the tab and the container pops open? I seriously loved opening those things. I’ve stayed pretty committed to those tubes of dough until I finally tried my hand at making some from scratch a few years ago, and boy do I wish I would’ve done that sooner.


I love the fact that biscuits are pretty easy to make, and the lovely people at King Authur Flour are making it even easier with their super convenient self-rising flour. This flour will make your biscuits light and fluffy, and since it’s self rising, you are pretty much guaranteed a perfect biscuit every time. There are a few extra tips that King Authur shared with me to make my biscuits even better and I included them below because I wanted to share them with you too!

Be Gentle: Once the liquid is added to the dough, be sure to avoid overworking it.

Chill Out: Make sure that whatever fat you use in your recipe is very, very cold. This will help make your biscuits even flakier.

Use a biscuit cutter: Keep you cuts clean! Dip your biscuit cutter in flour between cuts, this will help the biscuits rise higher.

Freeze before baking: Freeze your biscuits ups to 20 minutes before baking, the will improve texture and rise.

I hope these tips help you as much as they helped me! Now you are only 6 ingredients away from making a batch of savory biscuits that will knock your socks off!


For the recipe, Read more here »

Blackberry, Mint & Cucumber Gin Spritzer



Can you believe there are only a few weeks of Summer left? That means now is the time to squeeze in as many of your favorite summer activities before Fall is officially here. I still have a pretty long list of things that I want to do this summer, but to be honest I just want to eat as many peaches and plums as I can before they are out of season. You might already be thinking of the different ways you plan on enjoying your last days of summer. Maybe you want to take one last trip to that lake you love? Or how about that hike you have been wanting to go on? I am sure the options are endless, but may I humbly suggest carving out a night where you and your friends get together, make a fleet of summery drinks, and watch the sunset. Sounds pretty good, huh?


Summer cocktails are the best, aren’t they? I mean a margarita tastes great anytime of the year, but a frosty margarita on a hot summer day? Perfection. So you might already by thinking, “oh yeah, a cocktail sounds great right now, but I don’t know what to make”. Well my friend, you are in luck!  The lovely ladies Sherrie, from With Food + Love and Renee from Will Frolic for Food have gotten a group of incredible bloggers together who have each created a delicious seasonal drink for you to make and enjoy. There are so many summery drinks for you to choose from, so find one that tickles your fancy, make it, and enjoy each sip while you enjoy a warm and pleasant evening. To check out all these recipes, simply click on the links above and you will find a list of over 30 creations from fellow bloggers that will show you how to make the drink of your dreams.


For my contribution to this virtual cocktail party I present to you this ever-so refreshing blackberry, cucumber & mint gin spritzer. What’s great about this drink is that it tastes just as good without the liquor, but you know you want that gin in there.



Remember this is the time to enjoy that sun and #drinkthesummer!

For the recipe,  Read more here »

Blackberry & Peach Cornbread Buckle


Since I grew up in California I was never in fear of a time where the sun wouldn’t show its face, but as I got older I quickly realized that I took many of those warm sunny days for granted. I kind of regret that now because California, although sometimes a bit too hot for me, is really such a lovely and wonderful place to live. I really do miss it. Since moving back to Seattle I am fully aware of the fact that summer won’t last forever, so I am doing my best to enjoy every minute of it. There are so many wonderful things to do in this state, so John and I often find ourselves acting like tourists, trying to make the most of each day because we both don’t want to take one day of this gorgeous weather for granted. If we only have time for a short walk around the lake, we’ll do it. Or, if we need some time to relax and wind down from the day we try to head down to a waterfront bar were we can grab a drink and watch the sunset. We made a promise to each other to be outside as much as we can and we are going to try our best to do just that.


Another way I’ve been enjoying the Seattle summer is by eating all of the wonderful produce that’s in season! Berries, stone fruits, tomatoes, I swear everything I love is in season right at this very moment. With berries taking over my refrigerator as of late, I have been making my share of cobblers and crisps, but I wanted to try something different. I began searching for other ways to use my insane amount of fruit and I eventually found a few recipes like crumbles, grumps, and buckles. What the heck is a gump you ask? Well, check out The Huffington Post because they explain it all.


The one recipe that caught my eye was a berry buckle, which is a cake with a bunch of berries dumped right in the middle. Sounds amazing doesn’t it? There so many versions out there, some with a streusel topping, others with the berries mixed in as opposed to dumped in the middle. Of course I wanted to put my own spin on this classic treat so I made a batter using both all purpose flour and cornmeal. The added texture and flavor of the cornmeal really makes this a cake/cornbread hybrid, which I am really into. I would say that this recipe leans more towards the cake side than cornbread side in terms of flavor, so if you prefer more of a cornbread vibe then simply swap out 1 tablespoon of flour for cornmeal and you will be well on your way to a slice of comfort.


Feel free to use any berries you have on hand for this recipe; I am sure blueberries and raspberries would taste just as delicious. I hope you are all having a lovely summer!

For the recipe,

Read more here »

Coconut Panna Cotta


Can you believe August is just around the corner? I can’t. Time seriously needs to slow down because I am entirely prepared to enjoy this gorgeous summer weather for a few more months. It’s kind of crazy, but since my last post John and I finally made our big move back to Seattle! It was such a long process to get up here, with a few, okay, a ton of hiccups along the way, but we endured it all and I finally get to say that we are back in the city we love! Being in Seattle has felt like a dream. You know, those dreams that you are totally aware of and don’t want to wake up from. I mean, spending time with old friends, exploring new restaurants, having picnics in the park, oh, and enjoying a back yard (a luxury not readily available in L.A.)! It has all been so perfect, and my heart is overflowing with joy.




Since being back, I have had the pleasure of reconnecting with the ever so lovely Sasha Swerdloff. We met briefly before I moved to California a year ago, and thankfully our love for food and photography has kept us connected ever since. After chatting a bit, we both felt a collaboration was in the cards for us, and I couldn’t think of a better person with whom to do one. Over the years I have realized that an odd aspect of blogging is that I spend a lot of time alone, so creating a recipe and shooting it with someone as sweet as Sasha was so much fun.


Photo by Sasha Swerdloff




We wanted to create a refreshing dessert that would make use of all those blueberries filling up the markets, so we came up with this coconut panna cotta topped with a balsamic blueberry compote. The flavor combination in this dessert is insane, and it’s seriously such a delicious treat to enjoy on a summer day. This recipe has two parts, so in order to get the recipe for the compote, head over to Sasha’s incredibly beautiful blog, Tending the Table.



For the recipe,  Read more here »

Chamomile Tea Loaf


Walking through my mother’s garden proves to be a constant reminder that Spring is in full swing. Many of her trees are just a few weeks shy of letting me raid them of all their fruits, and her wild flowers seem to be sprouting up in every nook and cranny possible. Last week, I went deep into her garden and found a small shady spot where I was able to take a much needed break. I just sat there for a while, watching all of the humming birds and monarch butterflies enjoy a quick meal all because of my mother’s hard work. I appreciate the effort she puts into her garden, I know it’s not an easy hobby, but she loves it so much. And let’s be honest, I have nothing but support for her since she always lets me walk out the door with an armful of fresh flowers and produce. Just the other day I realized she had some chamomile growing in a corner of her garden. I cut a few blossoms and threw them into some hot water to make some tea, and as the flowers were steeping, I starting dreaming of other ways I could use chamomile. There are so many ways to implement the flavors of tea into a recipe, so after a bit of debating, I decided to infuse the wonderful flavor of chamomile straight into this tea loaf.

So how does one infuse tea into a baked good you might ask? Well, as I was doing a bit of research I came across this blog that broke down the different ways to get the most tea flavor into whatever you are baking. All of Stefani’s helpful tips come from Robert Wemischner (author of Cooking with Tea). He tried grinding tea and mixing that directly into the batter, steeping tea bags in hot milk (if recipe called for milk), or simply steeping tea bags in butter. All of these methods didn’t work out too well, but what did work, was steeping the actual tea leaves in melted butter, and I couldn’t agree more.


Making a infused butter might take an extra step or two, but the result is an utterly fragrant, and delicious tea infused baked treat, like this chamomile tea loaf. Moist on the inside and a little crisp on the outside, this loaf is so good. It’s sweet enough to be enjoyed on its own, but I also included a recipe for a minneola & honey whipped cream, which adds even more flavor. I made this loaf the other day and took it to my mom, where we each enjoyed a slice while siting in her garden. It was such a peaceful moment, and I couldn’t have been more thankful for it.



On another note I am SO happy to announce that my blog was nominated by Saveur magazine for Best Designed Blog. This nomination is such an honor, and I am so incredibly thankful to be nominated amongst such freaking talented people. Voting ends in 5 days, so if you have time, I would LOVE it if you would cast a vote in my favor. Click here to vote.

Thank you so much for all the love and support. Hope you have a lovely weekend!


For the recipe, Read more here »

Strawberry Muffins


I can see the signs of a new season everywhere, from my mother’s blooming jasmines to the ever-lengthening days. Spring is here and I welcome it with arms wide open, especially now that strawberries have arrived! Well, at least in Southern California for now. Local strawberry stands are popping up all over town eager to sell their bright and juicy delights, and I couldn’t be happier. I have quite a few ideas as to how I want to use these berries during their season, and I thought these muffins would be the perfect place to start. I debated on whether or not I should have added a frosting to these and treated them like a cupcake, but I really wanted the sweetness of the strawberries to shine through. So here you have it, a delicious muffin that is jam-packed with Spring’s finest.



This recipe is actually an adaptation from Izy’s book, Top With Cinnamon. I doubt there is a food lover out there who doesn’t know about her amazing blog. She is a very talented lady, whose site is filled with inspiring recipes and beautiful photography. I was quite happy to get my hands on her book, and when I did I happily made her dutch apple cake, which was SO satisfying. I used this as the foundation for my muffin recipe and only made a few changes, the most notable of which being the addition of lemon zest and the use of fresh strawberries for apples.


These muffins are moist and balanced with just the right amount of sweetness; but most importantly they are surprisingly easy to make. Time has been of the essence for me lately, so these muffins are perfect for those looking to produce a batch of baked goodies in little to no time. And besides, who could reject a classic seasonal fruit muffin recipe that’s an absolute breeze to make?


For the recipe, Read more here »

Ricotta & Cardamom Citrus Cake


Sometimes I find myself bursting with creativity, and other times I find myself struggling for a clear perspective on what I want to bake next, or how I want the pictures of it to look. Most of the time I try to push through, but then I only end up more frazzled, which helps no one (just ask John). I have realized that most of the time I just need to give myself a change of scenery as a way to help me get through these seemingly stagnant times. A trip to the farmers market, a long walk, or just looking through my endless stacks of cookbooks and food magazines always seem to help me clear my mind.


Well, I was having a bit of a rough week and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make next. I had a few recipes on my mind, but nothing that I was really excited about. But, thanks to my beloved Bon Appétit that changed in an instant. I was reading through my latest edition and came across this amazing ricotta and raspberry cake, so I made it and fell in love upon first bite. I was tempted to make this cake again, but this time around I wanted to use up all of the wonderful winter citrus I had on hand, so I after playing around with the flavors a bit, I came up with this beauty.


This cake is incredibly moist with the perfect hint of cardamom. When making this cake I left the rhine on the orange slices which imparts a lovely bitterness to the cake. If that’s something you prefer not to do, feel free to cut off the rhine, I promise it will be delicious either way.


I was especially excited to make this cake, because it gave me a chance to use my new batter bowl from Le Creuset. I loved this bowl the moment it arrived, but even more so when I actually got to use it. The size of it, the convenient handle, it really is such a beautiful bowl to have on hand, especially when making cakes that only need one bowl like this one.



I am thrilled to say that the people at Le Creuset are giving me another bowl to give you! To enter simply submit your email address and leave a comment below telling me what you would create using this bowl. Included below is also an option for a bonus entry, just follow both Le Cresuet and Thebrokenbread on Instagram. Good Luck!



For the recipe, you will need  Read more here »

Tiramisu for deux


Ah, Valentine’s Day. When I was a little girl I loved this holiday. I mean what’s not to like? Up until 5th grade I remember having the best parties at school, where we had games and a card swap (which was my favorite), and reveled in sneaking a little “I love you” or “let’s kiss” inscribed on those heart-shaped candies. It was glorious. And although I still find joy in Valentine’s Day, its meaning has changed over the years, especially since I married the love of my life.


It seems like as soon as the day after New Year’s, every store begins to fill their shelves with a red and pink array of flowers, chocolates, and jewelry to remind everyone that Valentine’s Day is on its way. And though it might sound a bit silly, I am actually quite thankful for the visual reminder. Because it is all too often that life, work, or a bad mood can get in the way of how I treat John, yet each time I see those giant stuffed tigers that say “I’m wild for you,” I smile and just think about how lucky I am to have him. And so this holiday has a deeper significance for me, reminding me to love John not just on Valentine’s Day but every day.


This year, I wanted to celebrate my love for John by making something really meaningful. Tiramisu is not only one of his favorites desserts of all time, but we also enjoyed it together on the last day of our honeymoon. So at the first bite, this simple dessert can instantly transport us back to that tiny cafe in Paris, where we were making each minute last as long as possible because we didn’t want to go back home. I knew he’d love it.


With this recipe, I decided to use a whipped cream and mascarpone filling as opposed to a traditional approach that would require a few egg yolks. Thankfully, without the yolks, this recipe is just as delicious and quite a bit easier to make.


I wish you a very lovely Valentine’s Day, and hope you enjoy spending time with those whom you love!


For the Recipe,

Read more here »