Hey y’all! Jennie and Corelyn are off adventuring on the east coast for Jennie’s wedding. While they’re gone, please enjoy some guest posts from our favorite bloggers.

This post is from our friend Jessie, of Cake Spy, who we met when we were at the Bake for Good workshop weekend with King Arthur Flour! She is sweet, funny, and makes a mean dessert. We hope you’ll subscribe to her blog and love her posts as much as we do!

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Brown Sugar Ginger Pear Cake | Cake Spy, on Garlic, My Soul

With my first attempt at baking from the new book Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison, I managed to do something rather unlikely: I made a dessert which contained absolutely no fruit, seasonal or otherwise.

What I did, of course, was I flipped right to the back of the book where there is a section entitled “cakes to go with fruit”–and I chose the most rich and delicious-sounding one, the Brown Sugar-Ginger Cream Cake, which was described as having a “poundcake-like personality”. Sold! I baked it up, using part almond flour for fun (it made the texture slightly more coarse, I think, but not in such a bad way), and it came out beautifully.

But how to top it? Flipping to another section of the book, I came across a recipe for Candied Five-Spice Pecans, suggested as a great accompaniment to ripe pears; they sounded good, so I made a batch and put them on top of the cake, completely ignoring that pesky and vaguely healthy-sounding pear part. And oh, are they divine on top of the buttery, rich cake.

Brown Sugar Ginger Pear Cake | Cake Spy, on Garlic, My Soul

But ultimately I realized it wouldn’t necessarily be honoring the book’s, ah, entire mission, to not include fruit, so I sliced up a ripe Washington pear in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, stirring frequently over medium heat until the liquid had reduced and the pear had been battered into sweet, buttery submission.

And you know what? The fruit made it even better, and made me feel a whole lot better about eating it for breakfast (It has fruit! And nuts! It’s practically health food!)

Brown Sugar Ginger Pear Cake | Cake Spy, on Garlic, My Soul

Check out the recipe on Cake Spy. Let us know if you decided to make this and what you change if anything to make it even more divine!

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Hey y’all! Jennie and Corelyn are off adventuring on the east coast for Jennie’s wedding. While they’re gone, please enjoy some guest posts from our favorite bloggers.

This is a post from our friend Kelly who is the mastermind behind Studio DIY. She is always up for a collaboration, always dancing, and never ceases to amaze us with her creative DIYs and general enthusiasm for desserts. With that said, enjoy this sugary post and check out Kelly’s blog when you get a chance – you won’t regret it.

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Garlic, My Soul readers, Kelly from Studio DIY here! While Jennie enjoys being a new Mrs. (Hooray! Congrats, Jennie!) I’m popping by to answer a question you’ve all probably been asking yourselves for ages: What are some of the most awesome ways to eat sprinkles!? It’s ok, you can admit you’ve been dying to know. Now, let me know bring you five of the latest and greatest excuses for consuming this edible confetti.

Sprinkle Roundup | Studio DIY for Garlic, My Soul

1. In a milkshake: What’s that, have your sprinkles and drink them too? Yep. Try a cake batter milkshake, sprinkle rim required.

Sprinkle Roundup | Studio DIY for Garlic, My Soul

2. In polka dot form: Sprinkle patterns, it’s the next big thing! Jazz up your cakes with some sprinkle-y spots and wow your guests with your amazing new talent! (Ok, it’s actually easy but that’s our secret.)

Sprinkle Roundup |Funfetti Crust | Studio DIY for Garlic, My Soul

3. In the crust: Sprinkle up the most unexpected place… the crust of your next cheesecake! Because the crust shouldn’t be left out. (It’s the best part anyway. Am I right!?) This one is no-bake so for those of you still feeling the heat, there’s no excuses!

Sprinkle Roundup | Studio DIY for Garlic, My Soul

4. In your popsicles: Ice cream shouldn’t be the only frozen treats topped with these little jimmies, throw them in your popsicles too! This project we worked on together is one of my faves…funfetti creamsicles!

Sprinkle Roundup | Studio DIY for Garlic, My Soul

5. In your cake: For those of you that love to uphold a tradition, I bring you the ultimate guide to funfetti cake. Molly tested out all the possible ways to make the best funfetti cake out there and she’s sharing her wisdom with you. Because if you’re going to go with a classic, you gotta do it up right!

What’s your favorite way to add a little rainbow sprinkle action in your life? For breakfast? For dinner!? Let’s hear ‘em!

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Hey y’all! You may or may not know, but Jennie is getting married this month, so as we ramp up for the wedding we’re winding down the cooking…but that doesn’t mean we’d leave you hanging! We’re starting a new Thursday post dedicated to oldies but goodies while we plan away the wedding – we hope you’ll forgive us! Here’s one of our favorite appetizers – spanakopita. It’s delicious, looks great, and most people love it – kids, picky eaters, vegetarians alike!

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Spanakopita | Garlic, My Soul

Recently, Jeff emailed me from his job to tell me he wanted me to make him Spanakopita. Jeff is pretty particular about the foods he likes to eat, so when he sends me a recipe I get excited. So the other night I made us some delicious phyllo dough triangles filled with spinach and feta.

The recipe is easy:
Oven Temperature: 350
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

1 bag fresh spinach
1/4 red onion
3-4 ounces feta, crumbled
butter for brushing
1/4 tsp nutmeg
phyllo dough
s/p

Instructions:

1. Chop red onion and saute over medium low heat until sweated. Then, add spinach and cook until just wilted.
2. Let cool, and then squeeze out excess water. Mix with feta in a small bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and pinch of salt and pepper.
3. Take a layer of phyllo dough and lay out on a cutting board. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush dough with butter, then add a second layer of phyllo dough.
4. Cut phyllo into about 1-inch thick strips – I ended up with four long strips, but it’ll depend on your phyllo.
5. Fill the top of each strip with about a teaspoon (maybe a little more) of filling. Then fold the phyllo down (like a flag) until it’s in a final triangle. Place on a cookie sheet and repeat with remaining phyllo strips, then repeat steps 3-5 until filling is gone.
6. Brush all triangles with butter, then stick in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Spanakopita | Garlic, My SoulSpanakopita | Garlic, My Soul

These guys were delicious – we ate them right up hot (although they’re good cold, too.) I can’t wait to make different fillings (I hear cinnamon pumpkin calling my name, anyone?)

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Arugula Pesto Bruschetta | Garlic, My Soul

2014 was a good year for food movies. I don’t just mean films that involve some form of comestible but this year we saw a number of movies that use as their center, the culinary experience. Which I, of course, just die for.

Trip to Italy is my most recent obsession. Combine anything artistic with food and I’m in heaven. But comedy and food? Forget it. I’m a goner.

In fact, I was so in love with the film that it lingered on me for days. I kept seeing the meals and the all-too-short shots behind the kitchen walls. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, of course complete the picture with their insane impressions and cranky charm.

It’s just perfect.

Arugula Pesto Bruschetta | Garlic, My Soul

So I went out and filled my kitchen with Italian culinary staples the very next day.

However, food imitation can smack with hints of the impossible. Having tasted those simple but life-changing Italian meals I knew all too well there is just no recreating them.

But in the process I discovered “inspired by” can be just as wonderful. I trolled the Internet and flipped through my cookbooks and came across something I had never thought of before: that you can make pesto out of anything.

I mean, basically anything. My spidey sense would lead me to assume that whatever fill-in-the-blank ingredients would have to pair well with olive oil, garlic and your optional pine nuts. But that leaves the door wide open, ahem, vegetables.

Arugula Pesto Bruschetta | Garlic, My Soul

So the recipe that follows is my California-in-100-degree-heat Pesto, the searching-for-a-bit-of-Italy-in-LA Pesto and let’s not forget the whos-Michael-Cane-impression-is-better Pesto.

This recipe made a wonderful new variation while I await the next opportunity to propel myself across the Atlantic. I hope it can serve similarly for you. And in the meantime, go see Trip to Italy right this very minute.

Ingredients

3 cups arugula
½ cup basil
½ cup spinach
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 clove garlic
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 baguette (gluten free or otherwise)

Directions

1. Place arugula into food processor. It may take some packing or piecemeal adding. 2. Blend until finely ground.
3. In the same fashion, add the basil and spinach…
4. …as well as the pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese.
5. Through the safe lid of your food processor, drizzle in olive oil, while blending, until you reach your desired texture. I don’t oversaturate mine as I like it to still have some body to it.
6. You’re all done. Remove from blender, spread on baguette with a colorful heirloom tomato.
7. But be careful, it may cause you to attempt impressions of Hugh Grant for an extended period of time.

Arugula Pesto Bruschetta | Garlic, My Soul

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It’s time to mix things up a bit! LA has just been SO HOT that I wanted to try something revitalizing and healthy for this Sweet & Caffeinated post. Enter: Moon Juice Shop! This Venice-based cold pressed juicery has been making waves across the city for their 100% organic products and unpasteurized elements.  
Mary Costa Photography for Garlic My Soul | Moon Juice Shop Venice | 001
Mary Costa Photography for Garlic My Soul | Moon Juice Shop Venice | 002Moon Juice makes more than just juice – they have a ton of healthy snacks to try too! 
Mary Costa Photography for Garlic My Soul | Moon Juice Shop Venice | 003I decided to try (from left to right) the Watermelon, Tomatoes & Lime cold juice, the Silver Strawberry almond milk, and the Carrot, Lime & Coconut cold pressed juice. They made for delicious snacks over the next few days. 
Mary Costa Photography for Garlic My Soul | Moon Juice Shop Venice | 004 Mary Costa Photography for Garlic My Soul | Moon Juice Shop Venice | 005 Mary Costa Photography for Garlic My Soul | Moon Juice Shop Venice | 006The awesome thing about Moon Juice is that all of their juices are hydraulically pressed, which basically makes the most nutrient-rich possible drink. One bottle of Moon Juice is equivalent to three pounds of raw fruits and veggies – amazing!
Mary Costa Photography for Garlic My Soul | Moon Juice Shop Venice | 007 Mary Costa Photography for Garlic My Soul | Moon Juice Shop Venice | 008The Watermelon, Tomatoes & Lime juice was super smooth and refreshing. The Silver Strawberry almond milk was so tasty and felt like an extra special treat! The Carrot, Lime & Coconut had a bit of zest thanks to the ginger element, but I also loved it! Honestly, all three were a win – and a good pick-me-up from this heat wave!
Mary Costa Photography for Garlic My Soul | Moon Juice Shop Venice | 009Moon Juice is also sold at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles and at their shop in Silver Lake. I’m eager to try more flavors soon!

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