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This pumpkin eclairs recipe with step-by-step photos use carrot juice and pumpkin spice in the dough and beer in the chocolate filling & glaze!

Pumpkin Spice Eclairs with Chocolate Beer Pastry Cream and Ganache. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Not that I pay much attention to sports in general (football utterly baffles me) but when your original hometown (St. Louis) and your adopted hometown (San Francisco) battle it out in a major league baseball series, it’s hard not to get stressed. Growing up in St. Louis I have been a longtime fan of the Cardinals but having lived in San Francisco for the past 15+ years, this is my home and with it comes all the good (excellent food) and bad (the annoying tech folks). This includes the SF Giants baseball team, and let’s face it, as much as St. Louis holds a place in my heart, I want to be where the party is. So when the Giants won the pennant, I decided it was time to celebrate by making an orange and black dessert. The result, my Pumpkin Spice Eclairs with Chocolate Beer Pastry Cream and Ganache do double duty for Halloween as well. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Pumpkin Eclairs with Chocolate Beer Pastry Creme filling and Chocolate Beer Ganache. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Of course, because baseball is involved, I felt like beer needed to be involved as well. What’s a baseball game without a cold one? Not that I’m much of a beer drinker, as I prefer my beer in the form of beer bread, but the subtle bitterness of the beer really works well with the chocolate, so much so that I couldn’t help spoon a little bit into my mouth everytime I spooned a little bit into the éclair. Totally worth the calories.

Pumpkin Eclair recipe with Chocolate Beer Pastry Cream and Chocolate Beer Ganache Glaze. Recipe and Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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This smores cocktail recipe that I call The S’mores Crunch is like a nostalgic campfire treat for adults.

Smores Cocktail Recipe, aka the S'mores Crunch Cocktail by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

I have numerous friends who are cinephiles, obsessed with the latest auteur films. They worship at the altar of Scorsese, breathe Tarantino and drop everything for the Coen Brothers. These are the people who closely follow the Oscars nominees, cursing the Academy for their ridiculous choices and cheering when they pick an appropriately obscure and under-the-radar movie. So it didn’t surprise me in the least that when the movie The Big Lebowski came out 15+ years ago, it sparked a revival within my circle of movie buff friends of the classic cocktail The White Russian using Kahlúa, the Dude’s signature drinks. In fact, it seemed for awhile that everyone I knew was drinking it. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Pouring the cream into the S'mores Crunch Cocktail. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate The White Russian but my tastes in movies aren’t quite as sophisticated. Sure I’ve watched the occasional Coen Brothers movie (in fact, I recently re-watched Fargo, mostly because of the FX TV show was rather brilliant in my opinion) but my tastes run closer to classic 80s comedies. Movies like Ruthless People, Vacation and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off all hold a place in my heart.

The S'mores Crunch Cocktail. Recipe and photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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Pumpkin Monkey Bread with Chocolate

by Irvin on October 13, 2014 · 16 comments

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This pumpkin monkey bread also has chocolate dough mixed in for a crazy looking fun treat that easy to make!

Pumpkin Chocolate Monkey Bread. Recipe and photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I stared at the last three chunks of pumpkin chocolate monkey bread and they did NOT look appealing. I hadn’t been expecting us to eat ALL the monkey bread that I made but AJ pretty much couldn’t stop eating it and I was right behind him. Between the two of us, we made short work of the monkey bread, leaving only three last chunks left. Three chocolate chunks in fact. And the chocolate chunks…well lets just say they looked like the sort of chunks that a monkey would throw at you (if you know what I mean…), NOT the sort of chunks you’d want to eat. Ha! But I finished them up completely because I wasn’t one to let a chunk of the monkey bread go to waste. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Pumpkin Monkey Bread with chocolate dough chunks mixed in! Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’ve been developing recipes nonstop for my cookbook, which means I’ve also been sharing less baking and dessert recipes here on the blog because I’m saving them for the book. Instead I’ve been posting a lot of dinners and meals, something that I’m enjoying. But I do miss the ability to share an awesome baking recipe right away and though I thought about keeping this one for the cookbook (and who knows, it might end up there in one form or another) I knew I had to share it with you right away.

Chocolate and pumpkin bread dough make this mixed up monkey bread. Recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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These Mediterranean meatballs are a lamb meatball made with Tunisian spices. They are easy enough to make for a quick tasty weeknight meal!

Mediterranean meatballs, a Tunisian meatball recipe. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

“What do you think about me making Mediterranean meatballs for dinner?” I asked my partner AJ. He looked at me as if I had just grown a second head and with wide eyes replied back “I’d think that would be awesome.” His expression clearly showing that I didn’t even need to ask that question. Meatballs are pretty much good anytime here in this household and AJ apparently was incredulous that I couldn’t remember that. I had discovered this lamb meatball recipe using Tunisian spices from the cookbook One Good Dish by David Tanis and it’s quickly become a staple in our household. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Tunisian meatballs, a mediterranean meatball recipe. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’ve been cooking a lot more at home. Partly because I desperately needed a break from all the sugar, butter and flour that I’ve been going through developing recipes for my cookbook. Partly because I realize that my towering stack of cookbooks that are accumulating on top of my desk are just gathering dust (as well as dangerously teetering on collapse onto my computer). It was time for me to start actually using them and not just collect them. I’ve been a fan of David Tanis since picking up his book The Heart of an Artichoke a few years ago and his latest small unassuming book is a collection of one dish meals that are easy to make and packed full of flavor.

Lamb meatballs with mediterranean spices. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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These Kahlúa pumpkin spice almond biscotti are the perfect treat for the Fall season.

Chocolate dipped Kahlua Pumpkin Spice Almond Biscotti. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

October is here and that means I can finally allow pumpkin spice to take over my world. I’ve been fighting it for the past month or two, with the explosion of pumpkin spice EVERYTHING starting to appear in August. But I took a vow that I wouldn’t start pinning or making anything with pumpkin spice until October. Luckily October is also the beginning of my new partnership with Kahlúa for the next few months and I jumped at the chance to work with some of their limited edition flavors, including their Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice. A blend of pumpkin spice and their signature coffee and rum flavorings, I decided to kick off our work together with these chocolate dipped Kahlúa pumpkin spice almond biscotti. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Chocolate Dipped Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice Almond Biscotti

Now I’m not a total Grinch when it comes to pumpkin spice. I get it, it’s one of those blends of spices (usually cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and all spice though sometimes you can throw in some mace or black pepper to give it a little kick) that just tastes like AUTUMN, as well as the spice blend that really screams Halloween is around the corner – a holiday that is near and dear to my heart! I’m not made of stone, I just want to enjoy and appreciate where I am, especially in late summer when tomatoes and late summer stone fruit like peaches and plums are having their last hurrah. But once October is here, all bets are off and pumpkin spice is in full force and I have no issue with that. I say bring it on folks! Bring it on.

Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice Almond Biscotti dipped in chocolate. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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Guinness Beef Stew Recipe

September 29, 2014

This easy and comforting Guinness beef stew recipe is perfect to warm you up in a cool brisk evening. As much as I am in denial about it, summer is gone and autumn is here. Having gone up to Oregon for the Feast Portland event made me realize it. Fall fruit like pears and apples […]

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Photo Essay: Feast Portland 2014, Day 3 – High Comfort

September 26, 2014

Day three rolled around for Feast Portland I was pretty much read to roll myself home as well. Though I had done an excellent job of pacing myself throughout the weekend (self-control is not my strong suit so I was quite proud that I didn’t overdo it) I knew that the final day that I […]

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Photo Essay: Feast Portland 2014 Day 2, Part 2 – the USA Pear Night Market

September 24, 2014

“Which one is your favorite bite?” is pretty much the standard question that everyone asks you when there’s a lull in the conversation at Feast Portland. I was at the USA Pear Night Market, an Asian inspired street food event, trying to sample as many bites as possible but honestly it was the hardest question […]

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Photo Essay: Feast Portland 2014 Day 2, Part 1 – Media Breakfast and The Oregon Bounty

September 22, 2014

“Why don’t you have big Cosmo hair?” I asked my new friend Helin, who I had met earlier in the weekend at the media breakfast for Feast Portland. Helin was a senior editor at Cosmopolitan magazine and in my head, everyone that worked there was statuesque model tall with windswept hair like the cover models […]

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Photo Essay: Feast Portland 2014, Day 1

September 20, 2014

A photo essay on Feast Portland’s Sandwich Invitational. Day 1 of Feast Portland’s weekend food extravaganza! “You can sleep when you’re dead…” said Ruth Reichl as she shrugged her shoulders to me when I professed how impressed I was at her stamina. We stood around the official Pork of All Ages Feast Portland after-party on […]

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Orange Hazelnut Cake & Feast Portland 2014!

September 15, 2014

This orange hazelnut cake is a winning combination of flavors in this insanely moist easy-to-make recipe with a lovely nutty texture. I always say that being a food writer, photographer and recipe developer is both a blessing and a curse. The ability to eat tons of fabulous food, photograph gorgeous meals and learn so much […]

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Photo Essay: LuckyRice San Francisco 2014

September 8, 2014

“Were you filled with Asian pride?” asked a friend of mine when I told her that I had gone to the LuckyRice San Francisco event hosted by Chris Cosentino and sponsored by Bombay Sapphire East a few days ago. In it’s 5th year, the festival has gone from just a New York event to national coast-to-coast […]

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Wedge Salad, it’s a classic for a reason

September 2, 2014

This classic wedge salad recipe is an easy crowd-pleasing dish that comes together fast and easy! I can hear his voice in my head as I plated the iceberg wedge salad and took a look at it. “I’d probably give that plate a B or B+ if I had to judge…” was how he would […]

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Bialy, the underappreciated cousin to the bagel

August 25, 2014

It’s time for the bialy, the cousin to the bagel, to rise and get some of the glory. This easy bialy recipe will impress even your jaded New York friends! True confession time, I’ve never had a bialy before making this recipe. The underappreciated sibling to the ubiquitious bagel, I was unaware of it’s existence […]

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Cookbook Week – Day 5! Plus a giveaway

August 22, 2014

Of course cookbook week has to end with desserts and baking books. As you all know I love my baking cookbooks. So far this year there have been a few great ones including a number of ice cream cookbooks as well as one from my friend Amanda of I am Baker. And, like previous cookbook […]

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Cookbook Week – Day 4! Plus a giveaway

August 21, 2014

I’m always thrilled to read cookbooks with a singular perspective in life. Whether it’s the beauty of a hand drawn and designed cookbook like The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson to Molly Wizenberg’s Delancey book that tells the story of how she built a life with her husband and their acclaimed pizza shop, cookbooks can […]

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Cookbook Week – Day 3! Plus a giveaway

August 20, 2014

I’m often drawn to specific cookbooks for their particular aesthetic and/or design. Whether it’s the stunning photography, the design of the interior or just the way the author creates his recipes in a unique individual way, cookbooks nowadays are more than just a collection of recipes. This collection of cookbooks typifies exactly what I love […]

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