Category — Holiday + Special Occasion Recipes

{recipe, kind of} Rainbow Rice Krispy Treats

It’s gray and dull outside, so I felt like sharing a colorful rainbow today.

I don’t understand why, but if you make rice krispy treats with Fruity Pebbles cereal instead of Rice Krispies, people will act like you are a genius. Kids, adults, whatever- it amazes them that you thought of this. And I think they taste quite a bit more exciting than run-of-the-mill krispy treats!

Here’s how you make them: Make the original, standard Rice Krispy treats recipe, but use Fruity Pebbles instead. That’s it. I stacked these wedding cake-style with parchment rounds in between to make them seem fancy. You can use Cocoa Pebbles if you prefer, or even a mix of Cocoa Pebbles and Rice Krispies, but they won’t have quite the visual wow factor that only a sugary cereal’s neon food dyes can offer!

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November 28, 2011   6 Comments

{top tips} Chef-Tested Methods & Scientific Facts for Perfect Mashed Potatoes

To me, mashed potatoes are like a blank canvas. They can be creamy and pillowy or rich and silky. They can be chunky or smooth. They can have green stuff in them. But most importantly, they can be really really really good or just so blah and boring that they’re not worth the calories.

I always make mashed potatoes a little differently, so I’m not here to share a specific recipe – but rather a group of the most important scientific potato facts and chef tips gleaned from years of experimentation and experience. Armed with this knowledge, you will never need a recipe to make fabulous mashed potatoes under any circumstances.

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November 16, 2011   12 Comments

{recipe} Pumpkin Fudge, Four Ways in One Pan

Are you from a picky family? I am. My Mom won’t touch any nut (besides an almond) with a 10 foot pole, while my Dad thinks that candy without nuts is like a body without a soul. There are lovers and haters of white, milk, and dark chocolate. And don’t even get me started on raisins.

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October 10, 2011   8 Comments

{recipe} Sexy Salted Caramel Brownies, or, The Only Brownies I Will Ever Make Again

Last night I had an esteemed guest for dinner–the mayor of Palo Alto, Sid Espinosa. With his impressive pedigree, I was expecting someone very business-like and maybe even a little straight-laced… but he took one bite of these brownies and started saying utterly obscene things about them. This blog is strictly PG and I want to make sure he comes over for dinner again, so I’m just going to leave it at that.

Another esteemed guest emailed this morning and referred to me as “maker of the most wonderful brownies known to man.”

Simply put, I don’t think I’ll ever make another kind of brownie. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a brownie that tastes better than these!

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June 30, 2011   4 Comments

{how to} Super Duper Rainbow Cakes – in a Jar

By far the most popular article on this blog is the Super Tall Amazing Rainbow Birthday Cake, a tippy, teetery, monstrosity of a cake. Attempting that sky high cake is not for the faint of heart, so I wanted to figure out an easier way to create rainbow cakes. I bring you the latest in rainbow cakery, baked in a jar to show off all the pretty colors.

Cakes in jars are great for a picnic or to bring to someone’s house, since they’re completely sturdy, sealable, and portable. Rainbow cakes in a jar are also the perfect treat for all your unicorn friends.

“What’s that, magical horsie? Oh, you’re very welcome, it was my pleasure. I hope you enjoy your cake.”

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May 14, 2011   71 Comments

{recipe + how to} Super Tall Amazing Rainbow Birthday Cake!

Note: this was the most-searched recipe on my previous blog, so I’m re-posting it here. It’s one of my earliest blog entries–from about 3 years ago–so the pictures are a little less polished than usual! They actually look like they were taken with Hipstamatic, which wasn’t invented yet, which is kind of weird. The cake is still a hit, though. -KM


When my older sister was about 9, my mom made her this legendary multi-tiered cake that was all white on the outside but with each layer of the cake being a different color of the rainbow, arranged, natch, in rainbow order. I re-created a similar cake about 4 years ago when my niece Leila turned 5, with a chocolate outside and a strong structural resemblance to the leaning tower of Pisa. Yesterday my other niece Mitra turned 5, and got her very own rainbow cake, thanks to the combined efforts of my sister and I. [Read more →]

February 14, 2011   6 Comments

{candy wonderland} Gingerbread Christmas Cabana – This Year, Santa’s in the Southern Hemisphere!

Christmas is almost here! Yay. That means it’s gingerbread time. Every year we have a theme party, which last year resulted in the Gingerbread Casbah. This year the theme is “Christmas in Summer” so we took Santa to the Southern Hemisphere with a Gingerbread Christmas cabana!

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December 18, 2010   10 Comments

{holiday recipe roundup} All The Sweet Holiday Treats That Are Fit to Print

Around Christmastime, there is no shortage of sweet treats to be had in our house. Leading up to Christmas Eve, my mom and I spend a few days in the kitchen filling plates and trays and bowls with a panoply of sweet treats. Whether your sweet tooth demands caramels, fudge, cookies, or candies, we have generally got it covered. My brother-in-law Steve has fond memories of highly specific treats from his childhood, so in the spirit of giving, I try to comply with his candy-coated Christmas wishes. One thing he loves to have at Yuletide time is Bourbon Balls. It’s amazing how crushed Nilla Wafers, melted chocolate and some booze rolled into a ball combines into such a taste treat! Use good quality bourbon and watch them disappear. Since Steve is a tequila lover, this year I think I’ll make half the batch with Añejo in place of bourbon.

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December 13, 2010   7 Comments

{recipe} Almost Thornton’s Christmas Toffee

My parents travel a lot, and on a trip to the UK last year, my Dad became obsessed with Thornton’s toffee. He went through several bags that were supposed to be gifts, and started ordering it on the internet at exorbitant prices. I looked around for recipes that might approximate the taste and texture, and last Christmastime we replaced our old standby toffee recipe with this one from Epicurious.

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December 8, 2010   3 Comments

{recipe} Chilaquiles Verdes

One of the most searched and clicked recipes on this site is Robert’s Chilaquiles. That means that a lot of people have had the benefit of my friend Robert’s wonderful recipe for chilaquiles, which makes me ¡muy feliz! Robert’s recipe for this Mexican breakfast treat involves layers of fried tortilla triangles, scrambled eggs, chorizo, cheese, and a spiced tomato sauce. However, after spending a long weekend in the neighboring Mexican towns of Puebla and Cholula, we kind of got hooked on chilaquiles verdes–made with a green tomatillo sauce in place of the red.

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November 29, 2010   1 Comment