Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tillandsia Care

One of my favorite plants right now... The  Tillandsia spp.

These rare species come from the tropics. They are found growing on trees and blending right into jungle wilderness in countries of Central and South America. They are unique in that they need no added soil for nutrients and survive without much water. In the plant world we refer to this as an epiphytic plant.

What I LOVE about these little gems...

They are an art piece in and of themselves. Setting a few on a coffee table, kitchen window, bathroom sink, or amongst your bookshelf is an easy way to add life and art to a space.

There are LOTS of species and varieties that are full of various colors and textures. My favorite right now are the one's with grey foliage.These species are what we describe as tomentose, meaning they have small plant hairs. This adaptation is meant to enable the plant to hold in moisture better than some of the other green varieties.


WATERING  is essential, as with any plant, and it is the most important factor for keeping these guys happy.

When Tillandsias are near a lot of natural lighting, for instance a window, you will need to water them more frequently to prevent them from drying out. If your Tillandsia is displayed in a Terrarium it will also need more frequent watering. For these situations water them 1-2 times a week.

 Methods to watering can change depending on the environment your Tillandsia is in. If your Tillandsia is attached to another object you can use the misting method. Using a misting bottle apply 3-4 mists to your Tillandsia every week. If you have your Tillandsias out where they can be easily moved you can run them under a sink for a few seconds and let dry upside down. The last tip is important, you do not want sitting water in the base of the leaves, this can end up rotting the plant.

Give your Tillandsias bright and filtered lighting.The higher the humidity in the air, the higher light intensity the Tillandsia is able to tolerate. It is recommended to water in the morning rather than at night. Air plants absorb the carbon monoxide from the air at night instead of during the day. If the plant it wet at night it is unable to breath.

The life cycle of a Bromeliad Tillandsia is one plant growing to maturity and blooming. Before, during or after your plant will start to produce young, referred to as PUPS. Most plants produce between 2-8 pups. Each plant will flower once in its lifetime. Flowers can last from several days to many months, depending on the species, care and its environment. Blooms are expected from mid winter through mid summer.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Scones + Toasted Almonds

My favorite new pumpkin treat | Pumpkin Spice Scones + Toasted Almonds

What do they pair well with? 
A warm cup of toasted beans (coffee, not optional)
Cozy soft slippery socks
A favorite book

Please be a good host and make your guest some of these for Thanksgiving morning... or morning after. 

Yields| 12 scones


2 cups flour
1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg
1/2 cup toasted almond bits

Preheat oven| 425 degrees


[1] Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

[2] In a large bowl [or stand-up mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment] blend together dry ingredients. Then add your 6 tablespoons cold and cubed butter. Mix until the texture is similar to coarse sand and there are no butter pieces larger than peas.

[3] In a separate bowl whisk together pumpkin puree, half-and-half and 1 large egg.  If using toasted almonds, fold them into dry mixture now. Fold wet mixture into the dry ingredients and form it into a ball. Separate the ball into two. Lightly flour a flat surface and pat out the two separate dough balls to round 1 in circles. Cut each of them to make 12 triangular dough forms.

[4] Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pecan + Coconut Crunch Granola

Homemade granola is something that should always be in stock in my pantry.  For my sweet-tooth breakfast mornings it pairs well with some slices of seasonal fruit, greek yogurt, and honey. It's also great to have tag along as a camping/ hiking buddy. Please enjoy this tasty and sweet treat!


3 cups oats
1 1/3 cup toasted + chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Time to Assemble!

1. MIX together the toasted pecans with the oats, coconut, and cinnamon. Blend together the coconut oil with the honey and drizzle on the pecan-oat mixture. While drizzling stir continuously making sure to toss and mix well. 

2. BAKE in oven at 350F for 30 minutes. Mixing after 15 minutes. Remove from oven; loosen with spatula and let cool. ( I let mine cool in a separate dish than the one it was baked in. This was done to make sure it didn't keep browning)

I hope you enjoy this along with a great pal, some hiking boots, and an incredible view. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Raspberry + Lemon Cake

--also known as Mexican Blanket Tasty Treats--

This cake made its way down to LA for a weekend with the gals. It's light, fluffy and can be enjoyed with a side of coffee in the morning, or a glass of champagne a few hours before dawn! At least thats what our conclusion came to. . . Please enjoy!

Raspberry + Lemon Cake


1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. almond extract (I substituted for vanilla)
1/4 cup greek yogurt (or plain yogurt)
1/2 cup almond milk (or low-fat milk)
1/4 cup lemon curd
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 cups raspberries
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Ready to Assemble!

1. PREHEAT oven to 325 F. Butter a 9" x 13" baking pan. In a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, salt, almond extract, yogurt, milk and lemon curd until mostly blended. 

2. ADD flour, baking soda, and baking powder to bowl and beat until smooth. Spread half of butter in pan and scatter half of raspberries on top. Sprinkle all of the coconut flakes and sliced almonds onto batter. Gently spread remaining batter over berries. Scatter remaining berries on top. 

3. BAKE until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about an hour; if cake begins to brown too quickly, tent with foil. Let cake cool about an hour. 

This is delish with a cold glass of milk or some toasty warm coffee! 

Note: If you are not a fan of almonds I would recommend cashews. Also, since raspberries can become a bit pricey in the off season I opt to use Trader Joe's frozen raspberries. 


Friday, September 6, 2013

Raspberry + Almond + Citrus Scones

Two things to love in this recipe, raspberries and making people happy. Whenever I bake there is a sense of joy that comes to me because I know I will be sharing a treat with a friend or neighbor. These scones were part of a neighborly and friend gifting that started my day with much joy! 

Raspberry + Almond + Citrus Scones
Bake| 12 minutes
Oven| 400 F
Serving| 12 scones


2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped/slivered toasted almonds
1 cup raspberries
2 tablespoons orange zest

Ready to Assemble!

-Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or food processor, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. make a well in center of flour mixture, set mixture aside

-In a medium bowl combine eggs, whipping cream, toasted almonds, raspberries and orange zest. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Using a fork, stir just until moistened. 

-Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough by folding and gently pressing it for about 10-12 strokes, just until the dough is nearly smooth. Divide dough in half. Pat each dough half into a 6-inch circle. Cut each circle into six wedges. 

-Place dough wedges about 2 inches apart on an un-greased baking sheet. brush wedges with whipping cream and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden. Remove your yummy scones from baking sheet; serve warm. 

I found these to be quite soft and not so flakey like scones I had been used to eating. They are a perfect pairing with some roasted beans, so make sure to prepare your french press while you wait for your tasty treats to finish baking. 


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Almond + Coconut + Citrus Bread

Coconut and almonds are a new favorite pairing for my breads lately. I enjoy the crunch and saltiness that the almonds provide and the pure flavor of raw coconut flakes. Recipes like this one are inspired when I have few ingredients in the pantry and want to create a dimensional bite. 

Note: As mentioned before, I pulled this one together with what I had at home, so feel free to substitute the milk, nuts, seeds, and jam for what may be most available to you at that moment!

Bake| 50 minutes
Oven|350 F
Yield| 1- 2 loafs depending on the size of your bread pan


2 cups all-purpose flour (or wheat flour)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup almond milk 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup slivered and toasted almonds
1/3 cup raw or sweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon chia seeds
2 table spoons fig butter

Ready to Assemble!

- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an 8x4x2 inch loaf pan or two 7 1/2x 3 1/2 x 2-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. make a well in center of flour mixture and set aside. 

-In a medium bowl combine the egg, milk, oil, almond extract, and orange zest. Add the egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in the almonds and coconut flakes. Spoon batter into the loaf pan(s). 

-Add the fig butter to the top by making your own pastry bag with just a plastic zip lock, or plastic wrap. I put my 2 tablespoons of fig butter into a small zip lock, cut a 1cm diameter hole in the bottom corner and it worked just fine! 

-Sprinkle chia seeds on top to add some extra power to your bite. These tiny guys are rich in Omega-3's. 

-Bake for 50-55 minutes, or if you're using 2 pans 45-50 minutes. Cool in an on a wire rack for 10 minutes. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Basil + Herb Flatbread Crackers

It's nearing the end of summer and anyone who garden's can tell you that basil is quite abundant at this time of year. I've already made plenty of Pesto and have been craving something salty to pair with it. A light and simple treat I'd like to share with you are my basil and herb flatbread crackers.

Yields| 4 dozen
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. course salt
1 tsp. sugar
3 tsp. cold butter
1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
40 whole basil leaves
handful of fresh oregano and rosemary
1 cup heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream)
1 egg (use only egg whites)

Time to assemble!

Using a food processor combine your 2 cups of flour, salt, sugar, 1/4 cup chopped basil. Blend until fully mixed, about 30 seconds. Next chop add in chopped cold butter and blend until the consistency looks like corn meal. 

Slowly add the 1 cup of heavy cream and blend until the consistency is dough-like. Once you have your dough ready hand knead it on a lightly floured surface for a short period of time. Divide dough into 4 sections, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes until the dough hardens. While you are waiting pre-heat the oven to 375 Degrees.

Roll out one piece of dough onto a lightly floured surface. You will want to make sure the dough is very thin, so about 13 x 16 inches. Transfer to a baking pan lined with parchment paper. (I chose to put the dough onto the paper first as it seems easier to fit proportionately into the pan). Brush with some of the egg whites you have set aside. Sprinkle with salt. Press into the dough your choice of herbs.

Bake until golden brown and crisp, this will take 15-20 minutes depending on how hot your oven gets. Once ready transfer to a cooling rack and start the process over with your next 3 batches.


Oh and by the way. Pair these with my pesto recipe and it is pretty tasty. I'd also recommend melted brie and fresh garden tomatoes. Yum.