Warmth and Sweets

Our heat had been out for three days over here in LA - not that it's Santa Fe status (a nice 7 degree wake up) but it definitely put a chill in my fingers and toes for a bit. We simmered a large pot of water over the gas stove during the mornings before the sun was up, and it was surprisingly effective! Our windows became romantically fogged up and my hair curled thanks to the humidity, but I added some lavender drops to the pot and the whole house became filled with a sweet lavender scent.

I also baked. A lot. So that meant dipping into the abundance of wonderful food blogs and searching for a purpose for the 8 lbs of carrots I have tucked in our fridge. Carrot cupcakes! I was pumped to find the food blog Smitten Kitchen filled with beautiful photos, and lively punctuated recipes. The way she writes makes me feel like I'm cooking with a friend. Give a go on the carrot cupcakes, I swear you won't be let down, they are really fantastic. Let me tell you, as I hung out by the pre-heating stove warming my ass, hand grating those carrots, my mind went all over the place - from why the hell is my heat out, to I wonder if this is what it was like to be a cook back in the old days, to "back in the old days" is a really antiquated and probably offensive phrase I shouldn't use it if I can help it, to how did someone decide to use carrots in a cupcake in the first place, to holy shit this carrot grating thing is not a quick process... 

My carrot cupcakes, with the best icing job I've ever forced myself to do (it also helped keep me warm).

I also drank a lot of hot cocoa. We picked up a few rounds of Taza Chocolate, which can be eaten as little chocolates on their own - soo delicious - or used to make Mexican Hot Chocolate (Taza has a beautiful and simple recipe for this too here). And this rich dessert has pretty much been my lunch for the last week. The ingredients are simple: single origin Dominican cacao and sustainable grown raw sugar cane. And the packaging is sublime. Simple, graphic, deliciouuuus, what's not to looove? 

How pretty is that?! I felt like I could swim in it and imagined that it was like a velvet blanket that I could eat when I wanted. Weird? Blame it on the heat. 

Hope you are all staying warm and enjoying some sweets during this holiday countdown!

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