Lately I have been doing a ton of cooking and baking. Every night I seem to be testing out some new version of my favorite recipes to suit my (kinda, almost) mostly sugar and grain-free diet. Sis coined this as "Paleo Adjacent" and I think that's a perfect description. Turns out, Sis and I like our Paleo Adjacent desserts more than their earlier, traditional incarnations. This Dark Chocolate Pudding is taken from the most INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS recipe from The New York Times. I've substituted the sugar for maple syrup but I do love it with real milk and cream. I've included a non-dairy version that is really delicious too. The original recipe also called for corn starch which I replaced with arrowroot powder and optional grass fed gelatin. The texture is thick and smooth. Make this for your Valentine and I'm sure you'll get lots of X's & O's. 


Serves 8

1 large egg, plus 2 yolks

6 oz extra dark chocolate 70-85% (or darker if you prefer), roughly chopped

2 tablespoons butter (use ghee for a dairy-free version)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups whole milk (use full-fat coconut milk for a dairy free version)

1/2 cup heavy cream (use coconut cream for a dairy-free version)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 tablespoon grass fed gelatin (optional)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for garnishing

whipped cream for serving (whip up the leftover heavy cream from above with a dash of vanilla and a splash of maple syrup)

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together egg and yolks. Set aside.

Place chocolate, butter and vanilla in a food processor or blender (I use my VitaMix) but do not turn on.

In a medium pot, whisk together milk, cream, maple syrup, cocoa, arrowroot, gelatin and salt until smooth. Bring to a full boil, whisking, and let bubble for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let it burn. It will start to thicken. When it does, remove from heat. 

Pour a little of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly to prevent them from curdling. Do this a few times and then pour the eggs into the pot with the remaining mixture. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture just returns to a bare simmer (one bubble is plenty). Immediately pour into the food processor or blender. Run the machine until the pudding is very smooth (the hot mixture will melt the chocolate).

Pour into individual bowls or one large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refridgerate until firm and cold. At least 4 hours for individual servings or 8+ for a large bowl. One chilled and ready for serving, remove from fridge. Sprinkle with medium-sized sea salt granules. Top with fresh whipped cream. I also love this with fresh berries.

 I hope you love it as much as we do! xoxox!

Seersucker Napkin: Hedley & Bennett

Wooden Tray: West Elm

Wooden Bowls: Target


Our friend and amazing personal chef, Kimi Reichenberg, was kind enough to share her delicious butternut quash recipe with us today. It is my favorite soup and works with almost any diet/dietary restrictions you might have -- it works with paleo and/or vegan diets. And if you don't have any restrictions, it's still just plain old tasty (and perfect for a chilly fall day)!


1 Medium Organic Butternut Squash Peeled and Cubed

4 Cups Organic Vegetable or Chicken Stock (preferably homemade) 

1 Small Organic Yellow Onion, roughly chopped

1 Organic Shallot, roughly chopped

6 Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped

1 TBS Ghee or Coconut Oil


Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a large soup pot. Sautéed onions, shallots and sage until onions are soft and slightly golden. 

Add squash and stock. Bring to a boil. 

Turn heat down to low. Cover & simmer until squash is fork tender (about 30 minutes). Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, purée using a hand blender (or blend in a regular blender in batches). 

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Kimi Reichenberg is a personal chef based in Los Angeles and cooks (any and all) specialized diets. To see her food blog, or contact her for orders, click HERE. xx!


Recently we attended the adorable mini apron launch party for Hedley & Bennett. Their new kids collection is just as stylish and wearable as their adult aprons, but smaller (and beyond cute)! We celebrated the line's newest additon at founder/designer Ellen Bennett's beautiful Los Angeles home. Complete with great food and lots of arts and crafts for the kids, the shindig was a lot of fun. All images by Mary Costa Photography

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

We were greeted by a bright and beautiful food spread by HeirloomLA. Colorful goodie bags awaited each guest.

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

Sweet Clementine's Popsicles were the perfect party treat.

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

All of the stellar party sponsors. Follow them on Instagram for your viewing pleasure.

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

Moms and dads got to relax and sip on mimosas while the kids enjoyed all of the activities.

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

This stylish cutie did some tie-dying.

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

Ellen's chicken coop was a popular attraction too.

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

Joy Cho of Oh Joy! and her adorable family.

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

Mila and Brixton played "Hey Jude" whether other guests enjoyed it or not. ;)

Photo by Mary Costa

Photo by Mary Costa

Thanks for having us, Ellen! xx


This is a recipe I found and adapted from Saveur a few years back, while preparing for a cocktail party. Frankly, this is one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. Learn how to make this well and you will never need to learn another appetizer recipe again (unless you are serving vegetarians, of course). It is the perfect combination of salty and sweet. It's even yummy enough to be a dessert. And you only need four ingredients! No seasoning or oil! The only thing I would say is use the finest, highest quality ingredients available. The main difference I have found between a good bacon wrapped date and a bad one, is the quality of ingredients. Since there are only four, make them all of the highest quality. 

For each single bacon wrapped date, you will need:

1 Slice of Thick Bacon

1 Date

1 Almond

About 1/2 Teaspoon Goat Cheese

Optional: Toothpicks (Makes for easy serving)

(When making them for a party, I would plan on 2-3 per person)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. With a small, sharp knife, slice one side of the date lengthwise.

Place an almond inside.

Fill the rest of the date with goat cheese.

Wrap a piece of bacon around the date and secure with a toothpick. 

Repeat the above steps until all of the dates are stuffed and wrapped, placing them on a roasting tray as you go along. Bake about 10-15 minutes, until bacon is completely cooked and golden brown. Cook a few minutes longer if you like your bacon extra well done. If you bacon is burning (looking more black than brown) turned oven down to 425. 

Your guests are gonna flip! xx


After having Blue Apron recommended to me by several friends, I decided to give it a whirl. I think it's a great idea -- having fresh food, already measured and accompanied by a recipe, delivered to your door each week. I had three meals-worth delivered but was only able to cook two. The two dishes that I made each took about 45 minutes to make and tasted good. The part that I liked the best was that they inspired me and gave me ideas for future cooking at home. I actually used the roasted veggie/kale salad idea (from my second meal) when cooking for a dinner party a week later. My one gripe -- They don't offer an organic option. Other than that, I think Blue Apron is a great way to learn and inspire new home-cooked dishes. I enjoyed it!

Ingredients and recipes delivered to my door in a cold, insulated box.

Making maple-glazed carrots was simple and yummy.

NIGHT 1: Pan-Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Maple Glazed Carrots.

NIGHT 2: Steak and Miso-Roasted Vegetable Salad

If you need a little inspiration, I think Blue Apron is an easy, inexpensive way to up your cooking game.