Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

by Irvin on March 27, 2017 · 3 comments

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These chocolate hot cross buns are stuffed with dried cherries and chopped dark chocolate – a fun chocolate twist on the classic treat eaten on Good Friday! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

I’ve been tinkering with a hot cross bun recipe for some time now. It’s a strange little baking project for me, a Taiwanese-American boy who was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Hot cross buns seemed like something only British (or Australian) folks ate though I’m sure other folks ate them as well. But because of the symbolism behind the cross and the spices in the bread, I figure if you were America and ate hot cross buns, you were probably Catholic.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

Now Protestant folks aren’t really big on all the symbolism and ritual that the buns seem to represent. At least not the Presbyterian church that I went to growing up. The hot cross bun’s spices were suppose to represent the spices used to embalm Jesus and the cross on top, well that seems self-explanatory. All of that symbolism wrapped up in a tasty yeasty sweet bread. I guess it makes much more sense than a rabbit running around giving out chocolate and laying multi-colored eggs.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

Of course because I associate chocolate with Easter, I decided the world needed a chocolate hot cross bun. Apparently this is not an original idea (though I swear I thought it up first) with chocolate hot cross buns being quite popular over in Australia and New Zealand. Or at least that is what Wikipedia said when I decided to look up the origin of the hot cross bun. And if it’s on the internet, it must be true right?

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love [click to continue…]

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This easy biscuits and gravy recipe uses bacon and cheese in the biscuits along with sage and thyme in the sausage gravy, making it a great brunch dish! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Bacon and cheddar biscuits with sausage and herb cream gravy. Recipe and photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

This post was sponsored by Bisquick. I’m teaming up with Bisquick to bring you fun and innovative recipes using Bisquick. I was compensated for this post and for developing the recipe. However all opinions below are completely my own and not endorsed by Bisquick.

It’s not the electric third rail of Southern cooking (that would be cornbread) but biscuits and gravy is pretty high up there in terms of opinions of what should and shouldn’t be done. When I asked my friends on Facebook about the cream gravy for said dish, they had opinions. LOTS of opinions. And everyone had their own take on it. From going all out and adding herbs and fancifying it, to the straightforward, no-frills bacon grease, flour and milk with salt and lots of pepper.

Bacon and cheddar biscuits with sausage and herb cream gravy. Recipe and photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Turns out gravy is almost as polarizing as other traditional Southern dishes like fried chicken and cornbread. Being born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri I identified as being from the Midwest, with some southern influences. Strange it may seem, most East coast and West coast folks view Missouri as the south. But ask anyone in the deep south and they’d just sneer at the idea of Missouri as the south. Nevertheless, biscuits and gravy was something I ate at diners all the time in St. Louis; usually after going to the bars, slightly tipsy and always ravenously hungry. Ah youth…when I could dance all night long and eat with abandon.

Bacon and cheddar biscuits with sausage and herb cream gravy. Recipe and photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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This Carrot Honey Cheesecake inverts the classic carrot cake and cream cheese frosting into a creamy honey cheesecake with beautiful carrot spiced swirls. (Jump directly to the Carrot Honey Cheesecake recipe.)

Carrot Honey Cheesecake with Almond Cinnamon Crust. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin.

“So are you off of grains completely?” I asked my friend Tina. She had just celebrated a milestone birthday and my friend Peter was throwing a small dinner party to mark the occasion. As usually, I was on dessert duty but she had mentioned to me in passing awhile ago that she was trying something new with her diet. She text back that the dinner party was her “cheat day” so the sky was the limit. I dug a little deeper to see if there was any sort of dessert that she actually liked.

Carrot Honey Cheesecake with Almond Cinnamon Crust. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin.

“I’m not a huge chocolate fiend.” She texted back and I immediately started to question our friendship. But to each their own I guess, and more for me and all that. Then her next text got more specific. “I love carrot cake. Cheesecake. I love almond flavors. I like sweet and savory.” Now those are parameters I could work with! Challenge accepted!

Carrot Honey Cheesecake with Almond Cinnamon Crust. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin. [click to continue…]

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These salted caramel bar have an adult twist with a kick of smoky Kentucky bourbon in the dark chocolate ganache!

Salted Caramel Bars with Bourbon Ganache by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

“CONGRATULATIONS!!!” said the text from my friend Shauna. I hadn’t a clue what she was congratulating me on but anything that merits three exclamation points must be exciting. This was not the first time that I had an odd feeling of excitement and confusion. When I responded back “Wait. Congrats for what?” Shauna immediately called me. Apparently the news that I was nominated by the International Association of Culinary Professionals judges for a finalist in the category of Best Recipe Based Food Blog was important enough for her to actually call and tell me on the phone, not via a text once she figured I didn’t know. I may or may not have screamed out “SHUT. UP.” to her on the street corner as I nearly walked into a street sign because I was too preoccupied with sheer, giddy happiness. Shauna has also been nominated for her work on the amazing A Splendid Table radio show, so we immediately started planning on being the power couple at the award ceremony. Expect us to have coordinating outfits and to wear sunglasses through the evening.

Salted Caramel Bars with Bourbon Ganache by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’ve been planning on going to Louisville for the annual IACP conference for some time now. It’s happening this coming weekend and I will be on a panel about content creating for brands as well as leading a small hands-on workshop on Snapchat and Instagram Stories. If you follow me on either of those channels, expect to see some ephemeral Louisville goodness as I eat and drink my way through the city. It’s always a great conference (this will be my third one) and tons of fun. Maybe I’ll even do some Snaps and stories about the award ceremony. Who knows?

Salted Caramel Bars with Bourbon Ganache by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

In the meanwhile, my friends over at Anolon (who are sponsors of the IACP conference), approached me to develop a recipe using their cookware. I decided to go with a slight Kentucky riff on a recipe from my cookbook Marbled, Swirled, and Layered*, a Salted Caramel Bar with Bourbon Ganache on top. The original recipe is in my cookbook, but this version is pretty fantastic as well. Bounce on over to the Anolon website to get the full recipe!

Salted Caramel Bars with Bourbon Ganache by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

* BTW, my cookbook sadly did NOT get nominated for an IACP award but I’m OK with that. My friend Anita totally said I was like the Beyonce of the food world for not getting the nomination and I’ll take that!

I’ve teamed up with Anolon to create this recipe for their site. I was compensated for developing the recipe on their site as well as this post and all Anolon products were provided by them. However all opinions above are totally my own and are not endorsed by Anolon.

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These easy-to-make sweet and tart lemon lime bars have crushed pistachios in the crust and will give you a huge smile when you bite into them

Lemon Lime Bars with Pistachio Crust. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

This post was sponsored by Bisquick. I’m teaming up with Bisquick to bring you fun and innovative recipes using Bisquick. I was compensated for this post and for developing the recipe. However all opinions below are completely my own and not endorsed by Bisquick.

California has been in a drought for what seems like forever but with all the rain that we’ve been undergoing, I think we might finally be coming out of it. It’s been raining now stop here in San Francisco for what feels like months. And that means I usually hunker down in the kitchen and cook and bake. And though winter feels like a time for heavy chocolate desserts, when I want something bright, I reach for the citrus. Which is how I ended up making these bright and tart lemon lime bars with pistachio crust. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Lemon Lime Bars with Pistachio Crust. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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Strawberry Coffee Cake with Pistachio Crumb Topping

February 13, 2017

This easy-to-make strawberry coffee cake has a pistachio crumb topping and is not too sweet, making it perfect for afternoon coffee or tea. If you’ve ever been to my apartment, you know that I am not a tidy person. My partner AJ, however, happens to be extremely tidy. After living together for 15+ years, we’ve […]

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Mixed Berry Galette with Chocolate Crust [Sponsored Post]

February 6, 2017

This individual mixed berry galette with chocolate crust are pretty enough for a celebratory dinner but easy enough to make for a casual meal. I’ll be honest when I tell you that AJ and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day that much. It’s not that we aren’t romantic (a friend of mine once called AJ […]

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Spicy Cajun Fried Chicken Wings [Sponsored Post]

January 30, 2017

The Spicy Cajun Fried Chicken Wings are super easy to make because they use Bisquick as their coating! (Jump directly to the recipe.) This post was sponsored by Bisquick. I’m teaming up with Bisquick to bring you fun and innovative recipes using Bisquick. I was compensated for this post and for developing the recipe. However […]

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Roasted Mushrooms on Toast from Small Victories

January 9, 2017

Roasted mushrooms on toast is an easy to make but elegant to serve appetizer for any dinner party! I’m late to the party but things have been hectic in the Eat the Love household what with my book promotions and the holidays. But one of the cookbooks that I’ve been obsessing over (other than my […]

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Favorite Cookbooks of 2016 (part 2)

December 23, 2016

I mentioned in my previous blog post that this was an ridiculously good year for cookbooks. I’ve fought tooth and nail to get my own cookbook, Marbled, Swirled, and Layered noticed by folks. And I’ve been thrilled with the press it’s gotten, especially with SO many cookbooks released this year that are just stunning. Here’s […]

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Favorite Cookbooks of 2016 (part 1)

December 21, 2016

I’ve been obsessed with cookbooks for YEARS, even before I started my blog and so obviously writing my own cookbook, Marbled, Swirled, and Layered has been a dream come true. But the blessing and curse of having a cookbook come out this particular year was made apparent when I started looking at all the other […]

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Marbled, Swirled, and Layered is EVERYWHERE!

December 19, 2016

If you’ve visited this blog at all you or follow me on my social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, you know that I wrote a cookbook, Marbled, Swirled, and Layered, that was released on November 1st, 2016. I haven’t had a chance to share any recipes from the book on this blog […]

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Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust [Sponsored Post]

December 15, 2016

This eggnog cheesecake recipe with gingersnap crust will make even the ardent eggnog hater fall in love with the classic holiday drink. This post was sponsored by Clover Stornetta Farms. “So did you grow up with eggnog?” I asked AJ right before I bought a carton of Clover’s organic anniversary eggnog. He kind of shrugged […]

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The 2016 Gift Guide

December 12, 2016

“NO MORE GIFT GUIDES”, shouted my friend Shauna on Facebook, who apparently was channeling the spirit of the Grinch. I cringed, because I had yet to publish my annual gift guide here on Eat the Love. But in the end, I decided she’s not the boss of me. Plus my gift guide is awesome. Because […]

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Pumpkin Sage Drop Biscuits from The Gourmet Kitchen

December 5, 2016

These easy-to-make pumpkin sage drop biscuits are packed with Autumnal flavor and are perfect to accompany a hearty soup or stew in the wintertime. This post is a part of a series of cookbook posts that I’ll be running from now through December. I was not monetarily compensated for this post but I did receive […]

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