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This ham and cheese pie are made with ham and brie, making them the perfect savory hand pie for a meal or just a fun snack!

Ham and Brie Pop Tarts! Recipe and photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

“Let’s do a guys night out!” I said to my friend Peter and Hadley one weekend while we were up in Sonoma. For most people, a phrase like that would invoke scenes of drunken revelry, picking up women and hijinks that are not suitable for a blog of this nature. But I meant an evening of shopping, a movie of Hadley’s choice (which ended up being Magic Mike XXL) and dinner out. In other words, a pretty gay guys night out, significantly less scandalous than what the phrase implies. Very little hijinks ensued but we did find ourselves at a restaurant where we shared ham and brie pop tarts appetizers. This, in and of itself, was exciting enough for me to go home and immediately make a version for myself and AJ. I mean come one. Ham and brie pop tarts folks! It’s like a ham and cheese pie that you can eat all by yourself. Genius. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Ham and Cheese Hand Pies. Photo and Recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

The night started with Peter bailing on us. “I’ve caught a cold guys…” was the text which meant it was just Hadley and me for the evening. Hadley, as you might remember, is part of an ongoing lunch that I have along with my friend Tina (who I made strawberry plum jam with) where talk shop about writing. He suggested we meet up to see the movie first. I was hesitant to actually watch Magic Mike XXL, even though Hadley really wanted to see it. Mostly because I had never seen the original but clearly this was the sort of movie that didn’t really need previous knowledge of the first movie (I Wikipedia-ed the plot anyway). Plotline and character development is thin. Clearly I expected too much.

Ham and Cheese Hand Pie Recipe. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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Strawberry Plum Jam with Rosemary

by Irvin on July 20, 2015 · 5 comments

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This luscious summer fruit jam is bursting with flavor while the touch of rosemary tempers the jam’s sweetness.

Strawberry Plum Jam with Rosemary. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

“Hey are you planning to make plum jam this season? Can I tag along for a team jam session?’ texted my friend Tina. I had given her a batch of my vanilla and bay leaf plum jam from last year (a variation of my lavender plum jam recipe) and she absolutely fell in love with it. I’m not a jamming expert by any means but I’m always happy to have an excuse to hang out with my friends. So I said “hell yeah!” and this time round, we made a batch of that vanilla and bay leaf plum jam as well as a batch of Strawberry Plum Jam with Rosemary that Tina declared was her “new favorite” jam! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Strawberry Plum Jam on English Muffins. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

AJ and I were heading out to New York in a week for me to speak at the big BlogHer conference as well to get a little downtime. So I dug around in my refrigerator and found a box of strawberries that needed to be used. Add the plums from my prolific tree in the backyard and the jam practically made itself. I had seen a version of this recipe in one of my favorite jamming books, The Blue Chair Jam cookbook, so I easily adapted it with for this jam session.

What's left of the strawberry plum jam after I canned it. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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Summer Minestrone Soup

by Irvin on July 13, 2015 · 8 comments

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This easy summer minestrone soup recipe takes advantage of seasonal vegetables for a dish that is bursting with flavor.

Summer Minestrone Soup. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Summer is in full swing and, as always, my eyes are bigger than my mouth and stomach when it comes to the grocery shopping. Going to the supermarket (or the farmers market if I can remember to head over on Wednesday when the neighborhood one is up and running) means I end up buying big bunches of beautiful vegetables and fruit, more than I can actually ever use before it goes bad. It’s a constant dash to the finish line, where last place means a bulging compost bin. But I have very little self-control when it comes to the bountiful amounts of summer vegetables and usually that means I’m always coming up with big batches recipes to use it all up. One of my favorite go-to dish is Summer Minestrone soup. I make a huge batch of it, freeze leftovers in quart ziplock bags and I can pull it out for a quick fast meal. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Summer Minestrone Recipe Soup. Recipe and photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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This arancini recipe (fried risotto balls) is an updated version of the classic Italian appetizer, using Panko crumbs for extra crunch!

Arancini Recipe (fried risotto balls). Recipe and photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

“I think I lost track of how many I’ve eaten.” said AJ when I asked him if he liked the arancinis I had made for the dinner party. That’s a solid sign that he really liked them. Our dinner guest Kevin interjected “I ate five of them!” in a statement that I couldn’t tell was shame or pride. I didn’t question further because I knew I had to get dinner on the table or they would fill up on fried risotto balls. Apparently my arancini recipe was a winner. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Arancini recipe, otherwise known as fried risotto balls. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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Ribs In the Oven Recipe

by Irvin on June 29, 2015 · 3 comments

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This ribs in the oven recipe means you can have deep flavorful barbecue ribs year round with minimal work and effort!

Ribs in the oven recipe. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

“I hope ribs are OK for dinner” I said to AJ as I had picked some up on sale at the grocery store. His eyes widen in excitement and that was all the answer I needed from him. I had been making a version of David Lebovitz’ caramel ribs ever since I got his book My Paris Kitchen last year. But I have yet to blog about it mostly because each time I make it, I tweak the recipe more to my personal liking. Also because we usually end up eating the ribs immediately, which means I never get around to actually photographing them! But this time I was determined to take at least one or two photos of them before we ate them. This ribs in the oven recipe is pretty darn fabulous. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Ribs in the oven. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’ll tell you that I’m a sucker for good ribs. I grew up in St. Louis where pork ribs are king. In fact, there’s a cut of ribs called St. Louis ribs that I tend to buy. Sometimes called spare ribs, the St. Louis cut ribs are meatier with a higher fat ratio. The baby back ribs (sometimes called Loin Back ribs) are smaller, less meaty but more tender and often slightly more expensive. I love both styles, but being from St. Louis my loyalties (and wallet) are with the St. Louis style.

Ribs in the Oven. Recipe and photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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How I learned about the SCOTUS ruling, legalizing same-sex marriage for 50 states.

June 26, 2015

Deep in slumber, I dreamed about a boring conference I was attending. Trapped in the middle of the 2nd row of black chairs, the person next to me was spilling his papers all over the place. I impatiently reached for my cell phone for the millionth time, anxiously awaiting the SCOTUS ruling on legalizing same-sex […]

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Asparagus salad with radishes, peas and fresh mint

June 22, 2015

This fresh and easy composed asparagus salad had steamed crisp tender asparagus with thinly sliced radishes, peas and fresh mint. “So they’re not REALLY vegetarian. Just sort of vegetarian.” said AJ when I asked about what I should make for dinner. Our friends Alic and Kevin were coming over and it was just this sort […]

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The Forest Negroni, and a visit to the Sunset Magazine Campus in Menlo Park

June 15, 2015

The Forest Negroni is a modern outdoorsy inspired version of the classic negroni cocktail. About a week and a half ago I had a chance to head down to Menlo Park to visit the campus of Sunset Magazine to get a sneak peak preview of their Sunset Celebration Weekend. A weekend of demos, seminars, music, […]

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Homemade English Muffins with Brown Butter

June 1, 2015

These rich homemade English muffins are world’s better than store bought because they’re made with brown butter! The alarm I set on my iPhone went off this morning with an annoyingly chipper 60’s song that I had apparently had set in a misguided attempt to make waking up from a deep slumber a little more […]

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Photo Essay: Meals on Wheels’ Star Chefs and Vintner’s Gala 2015, part 2

May 18, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I shared a number of photos form the Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vintners Gala that I attend back in April. They raised an astonishing $2.6 million from that event alone, which is just fantastic. My partner AJ and I tried our hardest to run around and take as […]

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Photo Essay: Meals on Wheels’ Star Chefs and Vintner’s Gala 2015

May 4, 2015

The first of two photo essays for the Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vintner’s Gala fundraiser of 2015. AJ and I were prepared for our favorite food event of the year, the stellar Meals on Wheels’s Star Chefs and Vintners Gala. Last year it was mad rush for us to drive up from the […]

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Photo Essay: Taste of the Nation 2015

April 6, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend one of my favorite food fundraising events in San Franciso. Taste of the Nation featured over 60 restaurants and raised $225,000 to help feed hungry children in the U. S. $225,000 is huge! That’s over 2.2 million meals for children who need it most! Here are […]

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Photo Essay: Willis Creek Slot Canyon Hike, Utah

March 23, 2015

Southern Utah is a magical place, filled with beautiful and majestic spots to explore. AJ and I have been there twice, in the summer of 2013 and the summer of 2014, trying to see as much as possible. We feel like we barely scratched the surface. Though there are gorgeous National Parks in Utah, one […]

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Call for Recipe Testers!

March 16, 2015

Hello friends and fellow readers! I’ve casually mentioned that I’m working on a cookbook called Marbled, Swirled and Layered for the past year and the time has come for me to ask if you any of you all would be willing to help me out? I need recipe testers for the cookbook and I would […]

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Taste of the Nation 2015 – Tickets available, with 20% discount

March 9, 2015

Hey there San Francisco readers! I just wanted to give you all a heads up on the Taste of The Nation fundraising event happening Thursday, March 26, 2015. Taste of the Nation is one of the coolest food events happening here in San Francisco, with beneficiaries including 18 Reasons, Children of Shelters, California Food Policy […]

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Japchae Recipe

March 2, 2015

Korean Japchae is basically Korean pasta salad made with chewy, naturally gluten free sweet potato noodles. This tasty japchae recipe is super easy to make. My partner AJ and I love to visit Los Angeles as often as possible. We have some great friends down there which we adore and try to see at least […]

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Best Belgian Waffle Recipe (Yeasted Belgian Waffles with Bacon)

February 23, 2015

This is quite possibly the Best Belgian Waffle Recipe, featuring a yeasted batter and the addition of thick cut bacon! I’ve mentioned before that I’m quite the maximalist when it comes to food. It’s one of those affections of mine, where every time I make a recipe, I try to figure out how to tinker […]

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