Category Archives: comfort food

Cream Cheese Monkey Bread


Craving something cinnamon-y, chewy, creamy and comforting during this holiday season? (Not to mention simple, affordable and easy to make!) I’ve got the perfect solution for you. You only need six basic ingredients! CREAM CHEESE MONKEY BREAD. It will make all of your dreams come true.

I think I spent a total of less than $6 to make these. Spectacular right? The biscuits and cream cheese were majorly on sale at the time, which made a huge difference, but I can’t imagine having to spend more than $10 total any given day. It’s basically a quick and easy trick for a frosted cinnamon roll craving. It tastes just a Cinnabun but without all of the yeast rising waiting business. I bought a new bundt pan especially for this recipe, but I’m sure you could just as easily glob the biscuits together in a round springform or cake pan. This is amazing heated up for breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee, but especially straight out of the oven!

You’ll sleep good the night after you eat this!

Cream Cheese Monkey Bread

Serves 12

Recipe adapted from Pip & Ebby

  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • dash of nutmeg (optional)
  • Two 12-ounce tubes refrigerated flaky buttermilk biscuits
  • One 8-ounce package neufchatel cream cheese, cut into 20 cubes
  • 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the sugars and spices; set aside.
  2. Slice 10 discs of dough from each tube of biscuits. Set discs on a flat surface and set one cube of cream cheese in the center of each piece of dough. Wrap edges of dough up and around the cheese so all that is visible is the top side of cream cheese cube. Place 10 dough-wrapped cheese cubes, cheese-side-up, in bottom of prepared pan. Top with half of the sugar mixture and half of the butter. Top with the remaining dough-wrapped cheese cubes, cheese-side-down, the remaining sugar and remaining butter.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter and serve!

Stuff for the Soul


Today has been a very fulfilling soul-nourishing kind of day.

Went to study over a cup of “bowl of soul” (fig and cinnamon steamed tea, soy milk, and honey with lots of delicious froth… I’ve died and gone to heaven) at Verve for several hours, sang this song out loud (very, very loud) about four times, eating lots of delicious chocolate tea cookies, drinking more tea out of my favorite mug, and it’s raining. Thank GOD for the rain. Oh yeah, and dreaming about Portland. Yeah. There’s always that, though. Check this out:
Picture 3
As I quickly scanned the list, I realized I’ve been to about 40% of these places (and some more than once).
Not bad for just 3 visits.
I know what shit’s good.
So yeah, I imagine this is going to be a pretty rad book that I will never need but of course will pick up and thumb through every time I see it at the bookstore.
Oh hey! And a rad illustrated guide to mixing your own cocktails.
Oh yes, and here’s some Etsy drool.

Oregon State print. NEEED.
These are a few of my favorite words: douglas fir, NO SALES TAX, microbrews, mountains, PORTLAND, loggers, runners, mushrooms. Love it.
Always sound advice

(But not for $1,200, thanks.)
Speakin’ of teeth, my summer anesthesia class is going quite well.
I started off with this:
Mr. Hot Dog responded well & is profoundly numb.
and progressed to a real human yesterday and ROCKED IT.
Gave an infiltration and ASA injection all in less than 5 minutes.
I wasn’t nervous ONE BIT. I didn’t shake. I didn’t pull blood.
Have I done this in my past life already or something?
Oh and let me introduce you to my new loves:
I haven’t owned a pair of Campers since FOREVER.
Yay for being able to switch up my shoe routine and not having to wear Dankos every single day.
Yummy foodz, pretty photography.
More beautiful food porn here and here.
New favorite cutie girl blog alert.
Oh yeah and I made ghee on the full moon two weeks ago. And NAAN! For the first time!
Nothing better than making deliciously spiced indian flatbread and straining butter in the middle of the night with good company.
If you haven’t heard about all of the benefits of making ghee on the full moon, allow me enlighten you. In the Vedic culture of India, ghee is made on the full or waxing moons, which is known as “shukla paksh”, the “white part of the moon”. All of the qualities the moon represents increase to their maximum during this phase of the moon cycle, and since the moon is considered to rule/control “soma” (the juice or essence of life and plants) and the Vedas speak of milk as the essence of grass or plants and consider ghee to be an essence of milk, this apparently plays an essential role in producing the very best possible ghee with all of it’s encompassing properties. Yeah, call me crazy, but at least it encourages me to make sure I get my ghee-making time in once a month.

I’ve been wanting to devote and entire post about ghee and how to make it, but for now I’ll leave you with this. And if you’re just so inspired to make some naan along with it, here ya go. The next full moon is July 15. Mark your calendars 😉

Portland, You’ve Blown Me Away (Again)

I went to Portland to end the year of 2010 and to begin the year of 2011.
I miss it.
More than you can imagine.
It was definitely the icing on the cake for 2010 being one of the best years imaginable.
And it was also a great beginning, foreshadowing what I have to look forward to in the future…
It’ll be there waiting for me.
(Pictures and restaurant reviews of the best food you could possibly imagine to come soon.)

Pumpkin S’mac


Invented by yours truly. It’s rare that I actually make up my own dishes from scratch. Usually I tweak and add my own flair to things, but this, this is pretty much the product of a lot of foodie thinking. This is what happens when I meditate on a few ingredients and acquire inspiration throughout my days working at a grocery store and going out to dinner every now and then. I am so, so proud of this dish, I cannot lie. It turned out INCREDIBLE. I had so many ideas and ingredients I wanted to incorporate into creating a creamy pumpkin pasta dish and this was the final product:

(Pre-panko bread crumb broilage…)
How it turned out after put under the broiler a few seconds too long…
Yeah, so basically this is my dream dish come true. Freshly roasted pumpkin, orecchiette, sage, thyme, truffle oil, creamy comforting yumminess in a single-serve dish. The idea was inspired mainly from a dish that I always order at a local restaurant, a version of mac n’ cheese made with truffle oil and some amazing smoked gouda cream sauce. And I wanted to be able to make it on my own, but take it to the next level. And that’s exactly what I did. I also have to thank Country Living’s Pumpkin-Sage Cream Sauce for inspiration otherwise it wouldn’t have been the same…
Pumpkin S’mac
(Serves 1-2 people in a single-serve dish, or you can save for leftovers, or divide it up however the heck you’d like)

Roasting the Pumpkin:
-1/2 sugar pie pumpkin, deseeded, skin peeled, and cubed into 1/2″ inch pieces
-1 teaspoon walnut or olive oil
-salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cube the sugar pie pumpkin and toss with the oil and a bit of salt to your liking. Place squash on a baking sheet and roast for about 20-25 minutes, until somewhat browned and crispy, or until you’re able to pierce squash easily with a fork.
Meanwhile, make the sauce, and fill a medium sized pot with enough water to boil the amount of pasta you want to use (I used about 1/2 box of orecchiette) and put on “high” on the stove.
Pumpkin-Sage Truffle Cream Sauce:
-1 cup heavy cream
-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
-1/4 cup freshly grated grana padano Parmesan cheese (this stuff is BOMB, my new favorite Italian cheese, discovered thanks to an evening dining at Greens Restaurant in SF)
-1/2 cup any other cheese(s) that suits your fancy (I used a mix of smoked gouda, sharp white coastal cheddar, and a semi-firm goat cheese)
-16 sage leaves, sliced into thin strips
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
-1 tablespoon truffle oil
Combine the cream, pumpkin puree, Parmesan, other cheeses, sage, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer the mixture until slightly thickened, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in truffle oil. Set aside until pasta is cooked.
Cooking the Pasta:
Once your pasta water is boiling and ready to go, add the orecchiette and a pinch of salt and boil according to directions (usually about 12 minutes, until al dente).
Putting it All Together:
Use any kind of oven-proof dish that you’d like (mine was ceramic and about 5×5 or something like that), place as much pasta and some roasted pumpkin that will comfortably fit into the dish and toss, and pour the pumpkin-sage sauce over that. I also added a little fresh thyme to mine as well, for some extra flavor. Now you could leave it at that and place it under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes to get a little crispy, or you can sprinkle some panko bread crumbs on top for an extra crunch, if you’d like. Just be careful and don’t do what I did, which was putting it under the broiler for more than 1 minute because I smoked up the whole house and the fire alarm went off. I’ll never do that again!
Take it out when it’s ready and hot and prepare for your eyes to roll to the back of your head.
(Feedback is very much appreciated…)