Roasted Beet Hummusfeatured

Well, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve had the chance to post a new recipe up here. Pardon me! It has been a crazy few months full of fun projects, including a steady stream of photo work and some recipe testing for Bar Tartine’s new upcoming cookbook (more on that in the months to come, trust me, it’s going to be totally fresh and unique).

I’ve finally come up for some air and have just the recipe to make it up to you! I’ve had this Roasted Beet Hummus in my back pocket for ages. (Sorry for holding out on you.) You are going to fall in love with it.

A single roasted beet brings an unexpected va-va-voom to your ordinary hummus. Rich, velvety, earthy, and sweet. And that color. Hello, gorgeous! This is a party-perfect dip. It is so easy and utterly impressive. Seriously, people will flip out.

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Scenes from Mercado Central de San Pedrofeatured

Markets are the heart of a place. The sights and sounds, the smells, the tastes. You can feel the heartbeat of a place and the people who live there when you go to a local market. When we arrived in Cusco, the first place we tracked down was the bustling local market, Mercado Central de San Pedro.

We were rewarded with stalls literally overflowing with vibrant and exotic fruit, all the freshly squeezed juice I could dream of, and a peek into the everyday life of local Peruvians. We saw stacks on stacks of Andean cheeses, slabs of alpaca jerky, bins spilling over with quinoa, and more types of corn than I’ve ever seen.

The women working at the market were remarkable too. Women of all ages, busy selling their wares, cooking, gossiping, even butchering and handling all sorts of offal without the slightest sense of trepidation. Strong, hardworking, and fearless these Peruvian women are.

Come, take a stroll through the market with me and see for yourself!

Warning: some images from the offal aisle are pretty graphic, so avert your eyes if animal parts make you queasy.  You gotta hand it to them though, they really use every part of the animal!

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Peru Food and Travel Guide: Cuscofeatured

I’m back from 15 days of traveling throughout Peru and I am still reeling from what an incredibly diverse country it is. From breathtaking mountains to pristine lakes, from vibrant cities to a desert oasis…we experienced it all! While planning for this trip, I gathered lots of recos from friends and friends of friends who have either traveled or lived in Peru. I feel so lucky to have gleaned these gems from my team of Peruvian experts, so I thought it would only be right to pay it forward.

This guide includes travel tips, good places to stay, and of course, since all my itineraries in life typically center on what/where to eat, if you’re looking for eating recos, I’ve got you covered (claro)!

View Map: Lick My Spoon: Cusco

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Chewy Sugar Cookiesfeatured

Every year I have grand plans of being super on top of things, with homemade gifts at the ready for friends and family, holiday cards done and mailed well in advance, and nothing to do but admire twinkle lights and watch Love Actually and Elf on a repeat loop. I dream of a stress-free holiday, where I throw festive dinner parties during which I have done all my prep ahead of time so I’m showered and primped for guests instead of frenzied and a little sweaty. I fantasize about making beautifully wrapped presents with things like DIY pom poms and handcrafted gift tags.

Alas, a girl can dream.

This year, I was able to accomplish a fraction of these things, all while frantically getting my last minute travel plans together…to PERU!!! That’s right, friends! As we speak, I am in the land of ceviche and pisco sours. I’ll be headed up to Machu Picchu in a few short days, and then can’t wait to cook and eat and shop with a fellow food blogger in Lima, the lovely Morena of Peru Delights! I have also already made the delightful discovery that alpacas are indeed my spirit animal.

So, I’ll be going dark until the new year. But before I go, I wanted to leave you with this classic sugar cookie recipe. I love it because not only does it give you a delightfully chewy sugar cookie (which is rare), it is so simple and absolutely no fuss. You can whip this up in the midst of holiday craziness no problemo – no electric mixer needed, you don’t even need to have softened butter ready (because, let’s be real, who has time to plan ahead for things like softened butter this time of year).

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