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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.

The Gourmet Kitchen

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 this cookbook for free as a review copy. I receive numerous cookbooks throughout the year and only choose to highlight and write about the ones I truly love.

I get a ton of cookbooks in the mail and most of them fall into a few different categories. I get a lot of the quick and easy sort of cookbooks that promise to get a meal on the table in 45 minutes or less, or with 5 ingredients or less. The single subject cookbook (like a book dedicated to cooking with tea or a book all about vanilla) is another popular type of book. But then there are the chef and restaurant aspirational cookbooks. These books are packed full of impossibly beautiful food photographs and recipes with a laundry list of ingredients that require their own specific recipe to create (use 2 teaspoons of carrot oil, recipe found on page 246) that make them beautiful to look at but rarely used. So when I received The Gourmet Kitchen by Jennifer Farley, I was thrilled to find beautiful, sophisticated recipes that were approachable in their direction and ingredients.(Jump directly to the recipe.)

The Gourmet Kitchen

As much as I love a giant coffee table cookbook like those chef and restaurant cookbooks, my coffee table is pretty small. So small in fact, that I can only put two or three cookbooks on it; those books tend to be large Star Wars books. But Jennifer Farley, founder of the blog Savory Simple, found a way to make a beautiful cookbook that I would actually take into the kitchen. Recipes are sophisticated like her Spinach, Artichoke and Caramelized Leek Tart or Pistachio-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Cherry-Rhubarb Compote but they don’t require a ton of time to make or a million esoteric ingredients to track down (or worse to make yourself).

The Gourmet Kitchen [click to continue…]

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Cranberry Pie from Art of the Pie

by Irvin on November 28, 2016 · 1 comment

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A new, easy-to-make classic, the cranberry pie, will make every holiday season bright and cheery when it’s served up!

Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott

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 this cookbook for free as a review copy. I receive numerous cookbooks throughout the year and only choose to highlight and write about the ones I truly love.

Dessert folks tend to be split between the cake lovers and the pie lovers. And though I will profess to love ALL desserts (other than rice pudding which is a post for another time), secretly I will always pick pie over cake. Thankfully I am not alone in this opinion and no one is better equipped to understand than my friend Kate McDermott who wrote the Art of the Pie.(Jump directly to the recipe.)

Pumpkin Pie in Art of the Pie [click to continue…]

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A recipe for a warm and inviting ginger, vanilla and quince upside down cake from the cookbook Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin.

Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin

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 this cookbook for free as a review copy. I receive numerous cookbooks throughout the year and only choose to highlight and write about the ones I truly love.

It should not surprise anyone that Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s cookbook Alternative Baker is gorgeous. She’s a trained pastry chef turned food stylist for the New York Times and a blogger at the brilliant Bojon Gourmet. This is the book for all those who are looking for outstanding recipes that use whole grains and gluten free flours. (Jump directly to the ginger, vanilla and quince upside-down cake recipe.)

Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin

Sure I could go and on about how much I love the recipes in this book. From her Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Tart to her Lemon Ricotta Biscuit Bread Pudding with Berries and Honey, I basically want to make and eat every single recipe in the book. I love how Alanna chooses to pair her gluten-free flours with the flavors in her desserts. I’ve long advocating using whole grains and alternative flours in baking not just for the health benefits (strictly a bonus for me) but rather because those flours actually have MORE flavor than regular all-purpose wheat flour.

Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin [click to continue…]

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A book signing event at Omnivore Books made me realize that we are collectively better when we gather together and share with each other.

Omnivore Books Launch Party for Marbled, Swirled, and Layered

I hadn’t really thought about the election results when I had scheduled my launch party. Omnivore Books, a cookbook bookstore here in San Francisco, was crazy busy with Fall book releases and I was just happy they had room on the calendar to host my launch party. We had planned the November 9th event back in July because that was all that was available! But with most of San Francisco reeling from the election results from the night before, I wasn’t sure what to expect at my cookbook launch of Marbled, Swirled, and Layered.

Omnivore Books Launch Party for Marbled, Swirled, and Layered

A few days before, I had warned Celia, the owner, that I would be bringing a lot of baked goods to sample at the event, and I did not disappoint with the spread. Baking is the one thing I do when I don’t know what else to do. I needed something to calm and soothe me after all the chaos of the week.

Omnivore Books Launch Party for Marbled, Swirled, and Layered

Even if no one showed up, there would be 7 different baked goods for my partner AJ, Celia, her bookseller, and myself to eat. I had baked my cover cake, a marbled bundt cake, a rosemary caramel chocolate potato chip tart, raspberry chocolate cookies, an Arnold Palmer cookie, a strawberry roasted white chocolate brownie and a pistachio swirled brownie. Sure it was a lot for just the four of us, but there’s comfort in sweets.

Omnivore Books Launch Party for Marbled, Swirled, and Layered

But then people started to show up. And as the night went on, the shop got more and more crowded. Suddenly, nearly every single chair was filled. Then it was standing room only with people still sneaking in as I answered questions about writing my first cookbook and all the trials and tribulations involved. A quick glance over, and I saw the baked goods were being snatched up by folks and I wasn’t worried about leftovers; I was worried that I hadn’t brought enough food! People needed something to come together for after the events of the night before, and my book was a great excuse.

Omnivore Books Launch Party for Marbled, Swirled, and Layered

I looked out to the crowd of folks who came to my event, some with bright shiny eyes that were still not dry from crying all day, and I can’t help but love them all even more than I thought was possible. My heart was simultaneously broken apart AND swollen with the love I felt from everyone who showed up. Celia kept on saying how astonished she was by the number of folks that showed up, and how it was exactly what she needed, to see people gather together and eat cake and cookies.

Omnivore Books Launch Party for Marbled, Swirled, and Layered

We may be broken as a nation but we can start to heal by being there for each other. And in the following days, when I started to fall down the dark tunnel of depression or get trapped in the black hole of Facebook, I thought of that evening, when my friends rallied to come out and support me. It’s a small little thing, nothing earth shattering when you think about it. My cookbook, filled with recipes to make marbled cakes, layered caramel chocolate tarts and swirled brownies, isn’t going to solve our country’s problems. But my food and cookbook brought folks together when we all needed to be together the most. And though I continue to struggle with the direction this nation is taking, I know there are no easy solutions. We need to ask difficult questions and we need to have uncomfortable conversations with people who are close to us. It’s too easy to hide in our bubble behind the computer screen, reading our curated social media feed that is tailored to our own viewpoints. But maybe, with the lure of a slice of cake or a couple of cookies, those conversations can happen in real life where these discussions need to be.

Omnivore Books Launch Party for Marbled, Swirled, and Layered

I’m doing a number of signings, events and baking demos here in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento as well as a baking demo in Chicago and a signing event in St. Louis (at the awesome bookstore that I used to work at!). I would love to meet you and talk in real life. Here’s a list of events and place you can meet me at. I hope to see you there.

FRIDAY, November 18, 7-8PM
BOOKS INC. Santa Clara
2712 Augustine Dr #120, Santa Clara, CA

SUNDAY, November 20, 3-4PM
DOG EARED BOOKS
489 Castro St, San Francisco, CA

TUESDAY, November 22, 7-8 PM
GREEN APPLE BOOKS
w/Alanna Taylor-Tobin author of Alternative Baker
506 Clement, San Francisco, CA

SATURDAY, November 26 4-5 PM
MRS. DALLOWAY’S LITERARY AND GARDEN ARTS
2904 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

SATURDAY December 3, 1-3PM
DIESEL, A BOOKSTORE
The Cookbook Extravaganza w/Heidi Gibson and Nate Pollock, authors of Grilled Cheese Kitchen
2419 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, CA 94939
(If you live in Los Angeles and would like to pick up a signed book from Diesel, a Bookstore in Brentwood, please contact their Brentwood store at 310-576-9960 to place an order before December 3rd. Books will be signed at the Larkspur store and sent to the Brentwood store.)

THURSDAY, December 8, 6-8PM
in SACRAMENTO
AVID READER AT TOWER
1600 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818

SATURDAY, December 10, 11AM 
MACY’S SAN FRANCISCO UNION SQUARE
Baking Demo and signing
Cellar Kitchen (lower level), 170 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco

TUESDAY, December 13, 6:30pm
in CHICAGO
READ IT & EAT
Baking Demo and signing
2142 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

THURSDAY, December 15, 7pm
in ST. LOUIS
LEFT BANK BOOKS
399 Euclid Ave, St. Louis MO 63108

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Marble Rum Cake

by Irvin on November 7, 2016 · 4 comments

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This Marble Rum Cake is easy to make and packed full of rum flavor because it uses 3 types of rum in it making sure it every bite is moist and tender.

This Marble Rum Cake is easy to make and packed full of rum flavor because I use 3 types of rum! Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love, author of the cookbook Marbled, Swirled and Layered

Every year I think about what sort of dessert I can make for AJ’s birthday and every year I end up circling back to either a cheesecake or a chocolate layer cake. So this year, instead of doing one of the old standby desserts (which he admittedly adores) I opted to do a riff on a rum cake. When AJ was a child, he always begged his mom to make him a rum cake for his birthday. And though I’ve made rum cakes before for him, this time I want to figure out something a little bit different. In celebration of his birthday and my first cookbook, Marbled, Swirled, and Layered, I opted to make a marble rum cake to celebrate! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

This gorgeous and easy to make bundt cake is a marbled rum cake in disguise! Just wait until you slice into it and see the gorgeous swirls. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin, author of the cookbook Marbled, Swirled, and Layered.

AJ is firmly in his mid-40s now. I am too actually, as my birthday was earlier this month. We’ve been together for over 16 years which means we spent all of our 30s together, a formative period of our adult life. As we move into the next phase of our lives together, I marvel at how my life has shifted and changed over the years. From a broken 20-something manchild who moved to San Francisco, temping in offices and working at independent bookstores, to a graphic designer that worked with major brands to quitting my day job to become a food photographer, food writer and cookbook author, AJ has been my constant through all of it. He’s been my rock and I can’t imagine how I would have survived through all of it without him.

A stunning and easy to make Marble Rum Cake using 3 types of rum! Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin, author of the cookbook Marbled, Swirled and Layered [click to continue…]

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My cookbook MARBLED, SWIRLED, and LAYERED

October 31, 2016

I’ve been working on my first cookbook Marbled, Swirled, and Layered, for the past three years. Here’s a sneak peak of the book that will be released November 1st, 2016! There is something slightly surreal about physically holding in my hand a copy of the first cookbook I’ve been working on for the past three […]

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Not Bolognese Sauce

October 24, 2016

This savory sauce is one of my go to recipes for when I am craving pasta. Just don’t call it Bolognese sauce. Everyone will get upset with you! There are something things I try not to talk about on the internet. Abortion. Religion. Politics (definitely no politics, especially in a presidential election year…though if you […]

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Sponsored Post: Spicy Apple and Berry Cobbler

October 17, 2016

This zippy spicy apple and berry cobbler is an updated twist on a classic comfort dessert. “Whoa. Is this recipe on your blog?” asked my new friend Kellie of The Suburban Soapbox. We were in Chicago for a short whirlwind 24 hours for the #OrganicForAll event hosted by Safeway. The day was flying by fast, […]

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Marbled Pumpkin Chocolate Bread

October 10, 2016

This beautiful and easy to make marbled pumpkin chocolate bread is bursting with Autumn flavor! “Wait, you’re taking off? What about the after party?” exclaimed my friend Yvonne of Tried and Tasty as I hugged her goodbye on the way to the airport. I was in Austin for the BlogHer Food conference where I had […]

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Photo Essay: McMinnville, Oregon

September 26, 2016

This past summer we stayed at McMinnville, Oregon, an impossibly cute town in the Oregon Wine Country. We tasted wine and ate too much. This past summer AJ and I took to the road and wound our way from San Francisco through the Pacific Northwest. We eventually ended up in Vancouver to take a cruise […]

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Sponsored Post: Pumpkin Butter “Pop-Tarts”

September 19, 2016

These fun to make (and eat) Pumpkin Butter “Pop-Tarts” are the perfect Autumnal treat for breakfast or just a snack! I’m not ready for Fall. Mostly because it has been unreasonably cold here in San Francisco all Summer long and I want that sort of over-the-top oppressive heat that feels like a blanket you can’t […]

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Photo Essay: Oregon’s Historic Columbia River Highway (and a little more)

September 12, 2016

Oregon is sort of magical wonderland. Though I often visit Portland (though sadly I’ll be missing this year’s Feast Portland) I rarely have a chance to explore the rest of the state. So when AJ and I were looking at places to visit this past summer, the Pacific Northwest was high on our list. Coordinating […]

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BBQ Shrimp and Grits

August 29, 2016

BBQ Shrimp and Grits are an easy meal to make. Using stone-ground grits and cooking them slow and low brings out their savory flavor! When AJ is away I eat awful. Box mac and cheese, instant ramen, and a lot of carry out, specifically of the cheap Chinese food type. I’m not sure why I […]

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Peach and Blackberry Pie

August 22, 2016

A Midwest Summer experience: learning to fire a gun, baking a peach and blackberry pie and how food brings us all together. “If you at any point feel uncomfortable, you should yell out ‘CEASE FIRE’ and everyone will put their guns down.” Said the man in the instruction video at the shooting range. We were […]

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Cheeseburger Pasta

August 1, 2016

This made-from-scratch Cheeseburger Pasta is loosely inspired by a box mix that I used to make in college, but is WAY better! True confession time. Growing up my mom was a pretty awesome cook making sure that we had a hot homemade meal at home every single night. And though I took a class in […]

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Sponsored Post: Mocha Pots de Creme

July 25, 2016

These easy-to-make mocha pots de creme are perfect meal ending on a warm summer evening. “I would have eaten more of this if I could…” said my friend Annie as she handed off the rest of the mocha pots de creme to my partner AJ. He finished the half empty mason jar without a thought […]

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Pretzel Buns

July 11, 2016

These easy-to-make pretzel buns use baking soda to “pretzel-fy” the dough. They’re my favorite burger buns! This whole food blogging thing came about accidentally for me. When people ask me how I became a recipe developer, food writer and photographer I usually tell them that I stumbled into it. I was former a graphic designer […]

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