illustrated recipe

Coconut Vanilla Lime Pops | tinyinklings.comI have to admit, we are such babies here on the Central Coast of California when it comes to actual weather.  If it drops below 50, people go crazy with the scarves and hats.  If it starts to rain, stay off the highway.  Seriously, people do not know how to drive in the rain.  And, perhaps, worst of all, when temperatures “soar” above 85, everyone starts to complain about the heat.  The trick is having a secret stash of tricks to beat the heat.  Mine include a fan, a sprinkler and bathing suit in the back yard, going to the beach, and ice pops.  Lots of ice pops.

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You guys know me, though.  I can’t just go out and buy popsicles.  Not only are the store bought ones often (not always), loaded with refined sugar and other unpronounceable ingredients, but it’s so easy to make your own, you’ll wonder why you never did.  This time around, I dug through my pantry and found a can of coconut milk, a jar of honey, and a jar of vanilla bean paste (graciously sent to me by the folks over at Singing Dog Vanilla).  I had two limes left from a party the previous weekend.  Perfect.  All these ingredients were just begging to be put together, so I obliged.  The result is a creamy, limey ice pop with a hint of vanilla.  Perfect for days when hot means 80°.  I know.  Wusses.

Coconut Vanilla Lime Pops | tinyinklings.comCoconut Vanilla Lime Pops by Kayla King |

Coconut Vanilla Lime Pops
makes 4 ice pops


1 can full-fat coconut milk (organic if you can find it)
juice of 1/2 a large lime
zest of 2 limes
1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste*
1 tsp. organic honey**


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Pour mixture into ice pop mold and Freeze until solid.  Enjoy on a hot day!

*If you can’t find vanilla bean paste, substitute 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste for 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded.  Increase honey to 2 tsp.

**Make it vegan and swap the honey for agave nectar!


by Kayla on 07/08/2013

tagged as , , , , in FOOD + DRINK

Lavender Cream Biscuit Recipe Card by Kayla King | tinyinklings.comLavendar cream biscuits with classic peach jam |
Sometimes there are those really productive weekends where the house gets cleaned, all the laundry gets done, the dogs get walked, and a nice Sunday dinner is prepared. Those weekends feel great. You go back to work on Monday feeling like all is right with the world (or at the very least there won’t be a mound of dirty laundry waiting for you to wash when you get home).

And then there are those weekends when all you want to do is sit around in your pajamas and watch episodes of Breaking Bad.

Guess which kind of weekend I had?

To be fair, sometimes it’s easier for me to have a lazy weekend because my husband is a firefighter and I often find myself with a weekend alone. And while I miss having him around, it can be really nice to have time to do all the girly things I want to do. Like make jam and biscuits.

Our friend brought us two giant boxes of peaches and apricots over the weekend, and while I would have liked to have chowed down on as much as I could stuff in my face, my tummy certainly doesn’t fare well when bombarded with fruit. TMI? Moving on.

So what to do with all of it. Why, make jam, of course! And you can’t have jam without a flaky pastry. That should just be illegal.

Our lavender bushes out front are going crazy right now, so I thought I’d infuse my favorite sweet biscuit recipe with lavender and see what happened. Hot damn. I almost OD’d on biscuits, you guys. Almost.

Lavendar cream biscuits with classic peach jam | tinyinklings.comHalf and half gets infused with lavender blossoms on the stove and then integrated into the biscuit dough. The floral flavor is subtle, but really lends a nice flavor to the whole thing. Almond flour stands in for part of the all-purpose flour, and of course our friend butter makes an appearance. The dough comes together very quickly and bakes up into a nice flaky biscuit with a crunchy top. Straight out of the oven, these are really great. But add a dollop of homemade peach jam and you’ve got something really special.

Lavendar cream biscuits with classic peach jam | tinyinklings.comLavendar cream biscuits with classic peach jam | tinyinklings.comFeel free to omit the lavender if you prefer, these biscuits are equally great on their own. I use this same dough without the lavender infusion as a topping for fruit cobblers. If you’re allergic to nuts, omit the almond meal and use 2 cups of all-purpose flour.

Lavender Cream Biscuits
makes 6 large biscuits


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
scant 1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup half-and-half
4-6 fresh lavender blossoms


In a small saucepan on the stove, combine half-and-half and lavender blossoms. Heat over medium flame until steamy, but DO NOT boil. Once the mixture is hot, remove from heat and cool in the refrigerator until very cold. Remove flowers after 20 minutes of infusion. This step can be done up to a day ahead of time.

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small bowl combine egg, vanilla, and infused half-and-half. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all-purpose flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add butter cubes and pulse until the size of the butter resembles small peas. Pour flour butter mixture into a large bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. Mix until just incorporated. This is a sticky dough, so don’t be alarmed if it seems really wet.

Divide dough into six equal pieces, about 2 inches in diameter, using your hands to shape them into rounds. Slightly flatten each biscuit into a disc.

Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the biscuit comes out clean. Cool slightly and enjoy warm.

These biscuits will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but they are best the day they are baked.

Small Batch Classic Peach Jam
recipe from Canning for a New Generation
makes about 1 pint

Note: this recipe does not contain commercially produced pectin. The Granny Smith apples are high in natural pectin, so cooking them in the jam mixture with the seeds, stems, and peels yields a jam that sets up just fine, albeit slightly less so than if using commercially produced pectin.


12 ounces Granny Smith apples (2 large or 3 small)
4 pounds peaches, peeled and pitted (about 6 cups)
1-3/4 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. strained fresh lemon juice


Put a small plate in the freezer. Wash under hot water and dry your pint jar (or two half-pint jars) and set aside.

Cut the apples into quarters and core them.. Tie up the cores and seeds in a cheesecloth bag and set aside.

In a large 6-8 quart pan, combine peaches and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the juices just cover the fruit. Pour the mixture into a colander set over a large bowl and give the peaches a stir to drain off as much juice as you can. Return the juice to the pan along with the apples and cheesecloth bag. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the syrup is thickened and reduced by half (about 15 minutes).

Return the peaches with any accumulated juice, along with the lemon juice, to the pan. Simmer, stirring frequently, until a small dab of jam spooned onto the chilled plate and returned to the freezer for a minute becomes slightly firm (it will not gel completely). Remove from heat and stir to distribute juices. Remove and discard apples and cheesecloth bag. Ladle the jam into your prepared jars and cool to room temperature. Lid and store in the refrigerator. Preserves will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

*Note: for those who would like to preserve this jam, this is a good guide to follow. Follow the recipe above, but use half-pint jars. When you are ready to fill your jars, leave 1/4″ head space. Process preserves in a water bath for 5 minutes. Remove from water bath and set upright on a clean kitchen towel out of the way. You will not want to move the jars for 12 hours. You should hear the lids “pop” into place shortly after you remove the jars from the water. After an hour, check to see that all of the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each. If the lid can be pushed down, it hasn’t sealed and should be refrigerated immediately.


by Kayla on 06/10/2013

tagged as , , in FOOD + DRINK

Cantaloupe sorbet with mint and port |
In 2006, I spent a month after college graduation in a foreign immersion program in Paris. I didn’t know anyone going over, but I had high hopes that I’d learn some French, eat a lot of bread and cheese, and meet some new people. The day I arrived, I, and six other students in the program, were picked up by the program director via shuttle bus and taken into the city. I remember the bus driver pulling into a gas station to get fuel and coming out with a cheap bottle of champagne for us to share. A sort of welcome to Paris, if you will. On that bus ride, I met my friend, Joy. She hadn’t met anyone from the program yet, either, and after talking for maybe 15 minutes, we decided to be friends and go exploring the next day. Our classes didn’t start for a few days, so we had some free time to explore the city. We wandered up to Montmartre and saw the Sacre Cour. We took lots of pictures, and basically got lost in the city. It was fabulous.

Once classes started, I met some other friends: Val, Erik, Heather, and our instructor, Terri. Val and I quickly bonded over the excruciating heat (it was so hot that summer in Paris) and 3-4 boules (scoops) of glace (ice cream) a day. I remember one afternoon walking over to the Orangerie. We waned to check it out, but for some reason it was closed. It wasn’t Sunday, so what was up? I think it took us 10 minutes of standing and trying to decipher the sign before we realized that “fermée le Mardi” meant “closed on Tuesdays”. Duh. We decided to go get some peach sorbet in the Tuilerries instead. No bigs. We went back to check out the paintings another day.

Cantaloupe sorbet with mint and port |

Midway through our stay, our class took a trip up to the north coast of France to a little port town called Saint-Malo. There was a tall ships festival going on and sailors everywhere. This is when I remember meeting my friend Lauren. Perhaps we had hung out before, but I distinctly remember walking on top of the wall surrounding the city one evening, looking at the tall ships all lit up with twinkle lights, and watching the fireworks explode overhead.

It was in this tiny port town that I first had melon with port. Apparently, this is one of the ways the French eat it and let me tell you, they are genius. We were served half a small musk melon with the seeds scooped out so it resembled a small bowl. The servers then came around and poured a tablespoon or two of port into the melon bowl. You ate it with a spoon. A little melon. A little port.

On our last night in Paris, my friends and I took a picnic down to the Seine and feasted. There were cherries, figs stuffed with blue cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, saucisson-sec and sliced meats. Olives and bread. Cheese. And wine. Always wine. That summer was one of the best summers I’ve ever had. Perhaps it was just being in Paris, but I think it had more to do with the company that I was so fortunate to keep, the fact that we were all exploring the city together, and that we met under these extraordinary circumstances, which we knew would never be present in the same way again. And so we celebrated.

Cantaloupe sorbet with mint and port |

Cantaloupe sorbet by Kayla King |

This recipe is a riff on those musk melons with port that I ate in Saint-Malo and the “glace” all seven of us were obsessed with that summer. I urge you to try it with the wine, but the sorbet on its own is delicious as well.

Cantaloupe Sorbet


1/2 medium-sized cantaloupe or musk melon, seeds and rind removed, cubed.
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp. vodka (this keeps the sorbet from getting too icy in the freezer and gives it a nice soft and scoopable texture)


Puree cantaloupe in a blender of food processor until very smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Stir in honey and vodka. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Process in an ice cream maker. Scoop soft sorbet into a container and freeze until more solid, 3 hours or preferably overnight. Let sit at room temperature at least 10 minutes before serving.

To serve, pour a Tablespoon of port in the bottom of a small bowl. Place a scoop or two of the sorbet on top. Tear mint leaves and sprinkle them over the sorbet. Try and get a little bit of each flavor in each bite. Enjoy on a hot day.


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by Kayla on 05/28/2013

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Cardamom plum and vanilla bean paletas |
Can I just be honest? I’ve watched the movie Pitch Perfect about 8 times in the past four weeks. It was one of those movies I wasn’t sure I was gong to like (probably coming off my Les Miserables fail), but I ended up LOVING.  Synchronized lady dancing to a Mariah Carey chart topper?  Yes.

I may or may not have made this song my ring tone.  Don’t judge.

Other things I’ve done in multiples this month?

Consumed too many Americanos.

Made these cookies.

Listened to Tegan and Sara’s new album Heartthrob.

Dreaded Mondays.

Made ice pops and ate them out back in the sunshine.

Cardamom plum and vanilla bean paletas | tinyinklings.comTruth be told, these paletas came about from a need to use up some plums that were looking questionably wrinkly.  While they hadn’t gone bad, there we’re a bit too unappetizing looking to eat fresh.  I could have thrown them to the chickens, but decided to make a quick plum jam instead.

In a pan went plums with lemon juice, honey, water, and a pinch of cardamom.  Had I not been making paletas, I would have sterilized some jars, made a double batch, and preserved this business.  The jam is fantastic on it’s own, but combined with cool and creamy Greek yogurt, it’s on a whole other level.

I used natural sweeteners here to keep this recipe a little cleaner, but feel free to use any sweetener you like.  Or shortcut it and straight-out buy vanilla Greek yogurt.  Make it yours. Recipe after the jump. [click to continue…]


by Kayla on 05/20/2013

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Gluten-free chocolate chip coconut bars |
Mondays are hard. I made you some treats! Truth be told, I made two batches of these in the span of one week. Whoops. I guess it could be worse. These treats are on the healthier end of the treat spectrum (Treat spectrum? Totally a thing, yes?), although, as with any treat, you I should probably eat them in moderation.

Gluten-free chocolate chip coconut bars | tinyinklings.comAlmond flour forms the base of these cookie bars. In with it goes sea salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. For the wet ingredients, we combine, an egg, some coconut oil, a bit of honey, and vanilla extract. Yum! Coconut shreds and dark chocolate chips join the party at the end. A cameo appearance if you will. A quick 15-minute bake in the oven and I dare you to not cut into these while they’re still cooling in the pan. Oh, and P.S.? Crossfitters will be happy to hear that these treats are PALEO! Cookie beast mode. No? Okay. {Recipe after the jump}

[click to continue…]


by Kayla on 05/13/2013

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Lemon lime ginger ice pops |

Summers around here generally consist of short shorts, cold beer, and a blanket and umbrella thrown in the back of the car headed for the beach.  Last weekend was a doozy of a summer preview.  Mid-eighty degree temperatures had me craving all of the above, and while I didn’t make it out of the backyard, I did read a fantastic book and made you these popsicles.  You’re welcome.

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It was CINCO DE MAYO!!!! and my thoughts turned to tacos, tequila, and Tapatio (the trifecta in our house). Tacos were consumed, guacamole was devoured, and while I layed off the tequila (probably wise – I’m such a light weight), I did indulge in a beer to wash everything down.  And then I had an ice pop for dessert.

I made these ice pops with some of my favorite things: limes, meyer lemon juice, and ginger.  The ginger gives it a little kick, while smooth honey sweetens everything up without the use of refined sugar. I plan on having a stash of these in my freezer all summer long.  You never know when the heat is going to sneak up around here, so it’s good to be equipped with frozen treats to hand out to friends on a hot day. They just might reciprocate with a cold beer. Win-win.

Lemon lime ginger ice pops |

I wanted to try something new: combining my illustrations with my recipe posts. I made a little illustrated recipe card for these ice pops. Let me know what you think. I might keep doing them, if for nothing else than to keep practicing, which is always a good thing.

Fiesta Ice Pop Recipe Card by Kayla King

Fiesta Ice Pops
Makes 4 popsicles

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon/lime juice
2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup honey-ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to combine.  Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze.

Honey-Ginger Simple Syrup
Makes about 2 cups

2 cups water
1 cup honey or agave syrup
6-inch knob of ginger, chopped

In a small saucepan, combine water and honey or agave syrup. Heat over medium flame until the syrup is dissolved.  Add the sliced ginger and simmer over very low flame for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Strain and and let cool completely to room temperature.

You will have some syrup leftover after making the ice pops.  Suggestion? Make homemade ginger ale! Just combine 1 cup club soda, 3 Tbsp ginger syrup, and ice.  Squeeze a lime over the top and enjoy!

Homemade ginger ale |


by Kayla on 05/06/2013

tagged as , , , in FOOD + DRINK