No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars | @thefauxmartha

I started off 2016 with Hallie, my 2 year old, on my back. We dug out the baby carrier (the one she hated as a baby), put on our winter gear, and went out for a hike along the Mississippi. It was a warm winter day. Sunny but crisp, and cold enough to keep the fresh fallen snow fluffy. Hallie had been her typical twonager self that morning—grumping around about this and that. I’m sure I didn’t sound all that different. We were trudging through life. In that moment, I made a promise to myself. We would thrive this year.  Read more

Peanut Butter Balls | @thefauxmartha

“Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration.” —Donald Knuth, a computer scientist

I added that quote to my email signature after Kev shared it with me. He knows my struggles. As of right now, the number 8855 is barely legible, set in white text on a red background, and hovering to the right of my email application. I’m a minimalist in most areas of life except my inbox. It’s a complete disaster. It gives me hives when I think about it, so I don’t. I have trouble pressing delete and unsubscribing from reoccurring emails. I mark every email as unread. And replies take at least a couple days for me to formulate my thoughts and sentiments. I live a paralyzed life when it comes to email. Read more

Tar Cherry Pie | @thefauxmartha

“So I said, “I better start thinking about having my own language in cooking.” I didn’t invent anything really. I just went down to my knees, looked around and remembered all the tools from my childhood. I looked around a bit into the mountains and saw what the natives had been doing. I grabbed all that and I started cooking with it.” —Francis Mallmann
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Salt and Vinegar Chocolate Tart | @thefauxmartha

I had the opportunity to fly to Portland on a #chiptrip with Kettle Chips. We toured their beautiful innovation center and production facility. In fact, it’s so beautiful I didn’t believe they actually produced chips on-site until I saw chips being produced on-site. A modern building straight out of Dwell Magazine greeted us. Lush, thoughtful landscaping stood between the restored wetlands and the innovation center. Could it be possible to love Kettle Chips even more? I knew it was in the realm after having my mind blown the night before at Park Kitchen. We finished dinner with a bittersweet chocolate tart that sat above a pool of salted caramel sauce. Adjacent to the tart was a scoop of hazelnut ice cream with crunchy Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips underneath. Salt and Vinegar Chips! I’ve never fallen so madly, deeply in love with a dessert. It’s like the first 10 seconds of a Christina Aguilera song when she hits every last note. Bitter, sweet, salty, sour, smooth, rich, crunchy. I was ruined. Read more

Edible Gift Guide | @thefauxmartha

I’m certain it was Maggie, founder of Eat Boutique, who turned me on to gifting food. Aside from trading turkeys made from Keebler Fudge Shoppe cookies, Rolos, and candy corns with neighbors growing up, the idea never crossed my mind. Two years ago, when we still lived on the east coast, we made the trek to Boston for Maggie’s annual Holiday Market. (Boston locals, it’s going on now! Details here.) The shelves of the market were filled with thoughtful, beautifully packaged, small batch food items. In that same spirit, Maggie recently published her first book, Food Gift Love. It’s full of homemade recipes for gifting—from pickled cucumbers to limoncello to candied blood orange rinds. I dog-eared her Salted Dark Caramel and prayed it was the caramel sauce recipe I’d been waiting for. The one I could actually replicate. It’s been my achilles heal since the first day I stepped foot in the kitchen. Not to sweet, almost burnt in flavor. That’s how she describes it. That’s also how my first successful caramel tasted. It worked! Read more

Wine Sautéed Apples over Cake | @thefauxmartha

I have one of those market totes you’d see on the streets of Paris. It’s knit from water reeds that look like a soft wicker. The top edge is trimmed with a line of leather. It’s my co-op and farmers market bag. Walking home from the store yesterday with my tiny person in tow and a baguette and green onions poking out from the top of our tote, I realize I’m in one of those “What people think I do” collages. You know the kind that ran around the internet last year with six square images set on a black background? At first thought, I’m certain I’d appear in one of the perfectly styled initial images. Woman with well-behaved child walking home hand-in-hand from the market with a beautiful bag of produce. But as I start to break out into a run, I realize I’m not her. I chase my tiny human down praying the baguette is still intact. At least there’s a cool tote on my shoulder, even if it’s barely hanging on. There’s a picture of that in the collage too.   Read more

Hummingbird Cake | @thefauxmartha

Pineapple. A tropical fruit with a juicy yellow flesh and a thorny green skin. A DIY halloween costume. A stencil design at my grandma’s house. An upside down cake. An emoji🍍. A symbol of hospitality. The emblem Chuck Williams imprinted on his store in 1956, a store you and I know well. Williams-Sonoma. Today, October 2, is Chuck’s 100th birthday! It only seemed fitting to put a little pineapple in his cake. Read more

Fancy S'mores | @thefauxmartha

If ever there’s ever a s’mores dessert on a menu, I’m quick to order it. We’ve ordered a slice of s’mores tart on two separate occasions recently. And on both occasions, I bookmarked the idea for later. But it was the time it took to make marshmallows that put a halt in my home-made idea. And then I found myself with a surplus of egg whites in the fridge, an unopened box of graham crackers, a brick of chocolate, an extra 20 minutes, and a better idea. Read more