post50 // pumpkin spice french toast


happy happy halloween!!! i hope you aren’t still hungover from celebrating this past weekend buttttt if you are, i have the perfect thing to mop up any ghoulish liquor left in your tummy!

french toast. after making homemade brioche in class last week and eyeing a beautiful brioche feuilletée — a brioche loaf treated like a puff pastry at the end, giving it one turn of flaky dough — at le cordon bleu’s cafe, i knew french toast would be on my agenda for the week. i’m in france anyways, french toast is a must!*

but how could i forget halloween! i wanted to make a themed recipe, celebrating all the pumpkins i could find.

that was until i couldn’t find any pumpkins.


my neighborhood is a calm one relative to the rest of paris. it’s full of families and grocery shops, little bistros and schools. upon deciding to make a pumpkin-flavored french toast, i visited all my neighborhood markets and grocery stores in search for either a full pumpkin to roast or pumpkin puree.


i walked into seven different grocery stores and no one carried pumpkins or puree. what was this! at home, grocery stores essentially turned into pumpkin parties in october. (see trader joe’s pumpkin o’s that i usually buy in bulk this time of year.)

weary from aisle searching, i walked down the street in hopes of finding the winning grocery store. instead, i saw starbucks.


starbucks, the home of the infamous psl: pumpkin spice latte. could i? yes! i entered the coffeeshop and immediately googled (using starbucks’ free wifi 🙌**) the ingredients in their pumpkin spice latte: milk, espresso, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin purée! it was decided. i was to make my #basic, american-themed french toast with the most basic of pumpkinites.

given that my working recipe for a classic brioche french toast already called for milk, i substituted the milk for psl. in went the eggs to the batter, and a bit more of nutmeg, cinnamon, and then cardamom to round out the flavor.


this is one of the simplest recipes you can make. just cut your slices of brioche (regular sandwich bread works too!) and dredge in the batter. transfer directly to a hot frying pan and cook until brown and colored on each side. serve with a thick pad of butter and maple syrup. dunzo.


the pumpkin flavoring is subtle with a nice kick from the bit of espresso. it may sound odd but given that the psl consists of majority milk, it works great for working into a french toast batter.

if you’re not feeling adventurous enough for the psl mix, i’ve made notes below on how you can adapt this recipe for a simple french toast or using the pumpkin puree. (if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on it!)


aaaand in this week’s other stuff:

for anyone who is a big fan of cards, check out yellow daisy paper co. their covers are incredible!!

discovered this gem of a cafe last week.

wanna be a ceo one day? some required reading.

happy halloween and long live pumpkin spice!!!

*for those wondering, french toast is actually called pain perdu in french, meaning lost bread.

**this is not an #ad but wouldn’t it be lovely if i was getting paid! ha

pumpkin spice french toast

serves 6


6 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups pumpkin spice latte, chilled (or whole milk + 1/4 cup pumpkin puree)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

salted butter

brioche loaf (regular sandwich bread works too!), sliced to 1cm thickness

good maple syrup


frying pan


bowl for dreding


  1. preheat oven to 200 degrees, fahrenheit.
  2. mix pumpkin spice latte, 6 eggs, and spices together. place in a wide-rimmed bowl or rectangular pan that will be easy to dunk your brioche slices into.
  3. heat a frying pan to medium-high. add a pad of butter to your pan and let cook until butter browns and foams.
  4. dunk brioche slices into your dredging batter. transfer immediately to hot frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until well colored. once cooked through, put slices in an oven-safe pan and keep warm in oven as you continue to work.
  5. serve warm on hot plates with lots of butter and maple syrup. bon appétit!

post38 // french crêpes

good morning to you! or afternoon, or evening — just the time of the day you happen to be reading this. you’re in luck because whatever time it is, it’s time for a crêpe.


crêpes have never been a routine meal of mine. i’m usually eating their cousins (a.k.a. pancakes and dutch babies), which i have more confidence in cooking. my memories of crêpes are special though, associated with château montebello, a hotel in quebec that my family used to drive 12 hours to each new years eve. the endless hot chocolates and crêpes at the hotel made up for the “when are we there yet” and often nauseating car rides for my brothers and i. year after year, crêpes with maple syrup were reason enough to go back.

since those days at montebello, i haven’t spent much time eating crêpes. until now! just two months ago i was invited over to my friend stella’s apartment, which she shares with her sister sarah. sarah is a francophile and has lived in france on-and-off over the years. she has a wonderful host mother from paris, who was visiting new york at the time. given my impending move to france for the year, the sisters thought that i should meet sarah’s host mum and experience a true french crêpe.


aside from learning so much about paris, i learned how to make (and eat) many french crêpes that night. fast forward two months and sarah is now living with my family for the summer in washington, d.c. (her own american homestay of sorts!). within her first week here, crêpe ingredients were added to our grocery list.


crêpes are an anytime meal. while we made these ham, egg, and cheese crêpes for dinner, they could just as well be your breakfast or lunch. the batter itself is simple, as sarah says, “think 4-4-2: four eggs, four cups of milk, and 2 cups of flour.” a bit of salt and vegetable oil added complete the batter and next is just the fillings. both sarah and sofie, her parisian host mum, cooked off the entire crêpe batter, kept the cakes warm, and then prepared the fillings right before serving. this is the best way to ensure your crêpe comes out hot. the batter will be much thinner than a normal pancake batter, so don’t be afraid if it looks runny! sarah describes that the consistency is best when it coats a wooden spoon upon lifting, but still drips back into the batter bowl.


once you’ve cooked off all your crêpe batter and have a stack of eager cakes waiting to be filled, it’s time to load on the toppings. a couple good tips for fillings are to keep them thinly sliced so that they don’t overwhelm the crêpe, another being to spread your crêpe with sour cream (for flavor!) before adding the fillings. if working with uncooked eggs, cover your pan so that the egg can cook off while the rest of the toppings are melting together.


folding the crêpe together at the end is a simple envelope fold. visually divide the crêpe into three, fold the bottom third up and fix it together by folding the top third down. you can use a little sour cream to seal. by this time, your egg yolk will have burst and it is seriously time to sit down and eat your crêpe.


very soon, i’m sure you’ll be reading about all the different types of crêpes i’ll be trying in france. until then, i’ll be working on my own crêpe-making skills.

au revoir!


p.s. this week’s other stuff!!!

i’ll admit to singing this with the windows down very loudly this past weekend. one of my favorites

obsessed with this account and their shop in greenpoint, bk

the drink of my summer (recipe comin’ soon to foodstuffs!)

french crêpes

makes 12 crêpes


4 eggs

4 cups milk

2 cups flour (all-purpose is fine)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (+ more for coating the pan)

1 teaspoon salt

sour cream

toppings: parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, nutella, powdered sugar, maple syrup, etc.

special tools

a medium-sized fry pan


  1. mix the milk, flour, eggs, and salt together to form your batter. heat the fry pan over medium-high heat. prepare any toppings such as slicing or shaving the cheeses.
  2. pour a large spoonful of batter into the pan and move it around so that the entire pan is coated in a thin layer. let warm until the bottom side turns lightly brown. turn and repeat. take the crêpe off the burner and let it rest on a nearby plate. repeat until you’ve baked off all the crêpe batter.
  3. you can eat your crêpes now as is with sweet toppings but if you are looking for a more savory crêpe, keep your fry pan warm and add a crêpe back to it.
  4. top crêpe with a thin layer of sour cream. add your egg immediately to the center of the crêpe. as the egg begins to cook, add other toppings around it. cover pan until the egg cooks off and other toppings have melted.
  5. fold the crêpe in an envelope manner, as i described above. visually divide the crêpe into three, fold the bottom third up and fix it together by folding the top third down. you can use a little sour cream to seal.
  6. serve immediately and enjoy!

post37 // homemade bagels

hear, hear! homemade bagels! sure, going down to the corner deli and grabbing a bagel is easy when you live in bagel capital of the world. but if you live in a bagel desert or prefer a homemade version, keep moving your eyes down this screen for a week’s worth of heavenly bagel breakfasts, cream cheese not included (but highly recommended).


as the daughter of a new yorker who lived in brooklyn before it was “brooklyn,” bagels have always been a part of my breakfast appetite. growing up, each trip to visit my aunts and uncles and (many!!) cousins in long island included a very large bagel breakfast with buckets of cream cheese. at home, sunday breakfasts to this day mean bacon and eggs, mopped up and sandwiched between bagels from pumpernickel’s, our quasi-new york deli down the road.



i’ve always been curious to know how bagels are made. i truly didn’t have a clue until i decided to make them myself. all i could imagine was dipping the bagel dough in seeds or toppings like doughnuts when they’re fresh out of the fryer. and i wasn’t that far off! but there’s a lot more that goes into the dough-making and shaping of bagels before that step. above you can see my bagel dough after it’s been proofed. the dough itself is super simple = flour + salt + water + malt. i’m telling you, you can do it!



the hardest part is shaping the actual bagels. as you can see, my rolled out dough isn’t *totally* symmetrical. but that’s okay! just attach your two ends together, roll ’em a bit to stick, and no one will care if your bagels are proportional. (this is a bit different if you work in a bakery 🤣.)  next comes the actual making of the bagels. for those of you who didn’t know how bagel dough is baked/cooked/made (like me), it’s first poached in boiling water, dipped in toppings (if necessary), and then baked in the oven. voila! that’s it, you’ve made bagels!


my favorite part of homemade bagels is the diy toppings! you can add how much, whatever, or absolutely nothing to your bagels. they’re good in every way. i loved coming up with my toppings, mixing classics like sesame and poppy seeds with anything i could think up: lemon zest and sugar becoming my homemade bagel frontrunner.





once baked, make sure you have cream cheese, butter, lox, jam, whatever your bagel vice is on hand. “fresh out of the oven” is a real thing and you’re going to want one asap.




beware: once you tell your friends you made homemade bagels there will be lots of visitors to your house. i had friends show up in droves, just “stopping by” because they were “in the neighborhood.” and who doesn’t love bread.

last but surely not least, this week’s other stuff!!

this corgi cake by adrianna of acozykitchen is recipe #goals

my favorite bagel deli in nyc

this song is everything

okay, now go and have a bagel-filled day!!

homemade bagels

makes 8 bagels (slightly adapted from peter reinhart’s whole wheat bagels along with food52’s homemade bagels)


4 cups bread flour

3 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 tablespoon barley malt

1 1/3 cup lukewarm water

1 tablespoon baking soda

4 tablespoons of each topping (cinnamon sugar! sesame! poppy! salt! lemon zest!)

cornmeal/semolina flour for baking sheets

special tools

baking sheets

parchment paper


  1. mix the bread flour, 2 teaspoons salt, yeast, malt, and lukewarm water by hand or with a mixer. either works!
  2. knead your dough on a lightly floured surface for 3-5 minutes. i used a marble board but you can use your counter or a cutting board, just make sure flour is on it. knead until slightly tacky.
  3. shape dough into a ball and plop it in an oiled bowl (just clean and use the same bowl you mixed with). cover bowl tightly with plastic and let rest in a dark, untouched place on your counter for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. in the meantime, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. once the dough has risen and swelled, turn it out onto a (very) lightly floured counter and divide it into 8 pieces. to shape bagels, roll them out into a foot-long log. moisten each end of your log and press the ends together, rolling together so that they stick to each other and seal. put prepared bagels on the parchment paper, at least 1 inch apart. let them rise for 30 minutes!
  6. heat oven to 425 degrees. remove proofed bagels and their parchment paper from the baking sheets. replace sheets with fresh parchment paper and evenly scatter a layer of semolina or cornmeal on sheets.
  7. fill 1/2-2/3 of a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. add baking soda and malt. drop bagel, one at a time, into the water. after 30 seconds, flip over, and after another 30 seconds, remove from water with a slotted spoon and place on the prepared baking sheet. sprinkle topping on bagel right away! repeat until you’re finished poaching all your bagels.
  8. place baking sheets in oven and bake for 12 minutes. rotate your baking sheet and bake for another 8 minutes. great tip from peter reinhart: “If bottoms are getting too brown slide a second baking pan underneath the first one for insulation after first 12 minutes.” remove from oven, let cool (maybe), and feast!

post35 // saturday pancakes

hi friends. i realize it’s not saturday just yet. but you are likely wishing, hoping, wanting it to be saturday and soon enough it will be and you’ll be enjoying a holiday weekend, celebrating the fourth of july. whether you’re spending the holiday with a dozen drunk friends, at home with your family, or maybe on this rare occasion, by yourself, making pancakes this saturday morning is a good idea.

pancakes have always been one of my favorite things to eat. growing up, they were a saturday ritual in my house. unlike my family’s sunday breakfast routine of fried eggs, bacon, and bagels, which my dad still cooks up weekly, saturday pancakes were made by my mom. i have memories of her whipping up pancakes on the lake in north dakota where she grew up, in chincoteague, maryland before watching the pony parade, and in our house on lazy saturday mornings where i would wake up smelling the maple syrup, hot out of the microwave. my mom’s pancake batter varied from truly homemade to a quick bisquick assembly, always bubbling with her signature blueberries.

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it isn’t surprising that i developed a pancake routine of my own. when living in new york, pancakes grew back into saturday ritual status, a time when i could invite friends over for breakfast or enjoy a homemade (and cheap!) meal as fuel for the day. the photo collage up top is just a sampling of pancakes i ate while living in new york, both homemade and diner-bought.

throughout the last few years, i’ve tested different pancake recipes and experimented with add-ins. the pancake recipe below is one of those always reliable recipes, time after time producing delicious, basic pancakes. a trick to give your pancakes some fluff? whisk the egg white before you add it to the rest of the pancake batter, a trick i learned from at food52. and don’t hesitate to play around with fun toppings and fillings. lemon zest! jam! nuts! honey! coconut! add some maple syrup and a fat slice of butter — you’re set.


when breakfast duty inevitably comes up this saturday, step up to the plate and keep this recipe in your back pocket. oh, and here are some other things to do with your holiday weekend!

if you find yourself in nyc this weekend or any other, make sure to check out lorimer market for a+ sandwiches

watch this and this. not really #foodblogger aesthetic lol but hey, they’re great films

my friend sam just recommended this. next on my reading list!!!

check out this account. she makes bread = art


saturday pancakes

makes 12 four-inch pancakes (adapted from martha stewart’s easy pancakes)


1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk (i like to use buttermilk)

2 tablespoons salted butter, melted (+more for cooking)

1 large egg, separated

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 pint blueberries, or other fillings (optional)

special tools

nothing! (assuming you have a bowl, spatula, and skillet. i hope you do, call me if you don’t.)


  1. overachiever step 1 that actually pays off but is by no means necessary. i rarely do it: preheat oven to 200 degrees. place a baking sheet in the oven as it heats up and transfer pancakes to that sheet as you finish cooking to keep them nice and warm.
  2. mix all your ingredients together, with the exception of the egg white (and blueberries if you’re using them). whisk your egg white for 30 seconds and then add to the rest of the batter. remember, do not overmix. lumps are a-ok.
  3. place your skillet on the stovetop and heat to medium-high. upon heating, add a (fat) slice of butter to the skillet. wiggle your skillet around so that the butter covers the entire bottom surface, coating the pan. once the butter melts off, add two big spoonfuls of pancake batter. add more or less depending on how big you want your pancakes to be. try your best to dollop cleanly, so that you get those pretty symmetrical circles for your pancakes. if you’re making blueberry pancakes, add a handful of blueberries to the spoonful of batter you’ve just placed on the pan.
  4. cook pancakes for 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on your stovetop’s heat and how big you make them. once cooked through (you’ll see both sides browning), transfer pancake to your heated baking sheet in the oven. they’ll keep cozy there.
  5. repeat steps 3-4 until you get through all your batter. a little bit left over? make a baby pancake like you can see in the top right of the first photo. it’s a good topper for any pancake stack.
  6. keep pancakes in the oven while you prepare your toppings: heat up maple syrup, pull out the powdered sugar from the pantry, or cut fresh fruit. once ready, pull the baking sheet out and enjoy your saturday pancakes!

photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs

post34 // welcome to foodstuffs

hi friends. welcome to foodstuffs, my new blog!!! i hope you’re eating something good today.

it’s been a while since i last wrote and i’m so happy to be back at it. why don’t we play a little catch up…


my old blog chronicled six months spent abroad eating in peru. it was there that i took my first cooking classes (in spanish 🙈), ate guinea pig, and told my friends and family all about peruvian cuisine via the interweb. i loved it! every sunday, i’d sit criss-cross applesauce on my bed and start typing and translating a peruvian recipe.

when i left peru, i went back to finish college in davidson, north carolina. to liven up the food scene there, i started working at summit coffee, baked my tail off, ate too much milk bread, and wrote a food column for the student paper. i even took a course in nutrition, which explains some of the way-too-damn-healthy recipes i have in my archives. i was lucky enough to land a summer internship at food52, the james-beard awarded culinary website, which led me to my first job out of school on their marketing team.

upon moving to new york city and starting life in the real world, my blogging fell off the wagon. i was busy! too busy! really, ask anyone who saw me my first six months in nyc. this was me. but now life has changed a bit! i just wrapped up two very full years in new york, and am living in washington, dc for the summer before heading to culinary school in paris this fall. you could say i’m excited.


i’m sure you’re wondering why dough pictures are just creeping onto your screen without any acknowledgment or explanation. that dough is the beginning of my very first croissant bake! in preparation for my summer job at bread furst, a fabulous, james-beard winning bakery in d.c. that you must visit, i made homemade croissants! jokes on me though because i am now weeks into my work at the bakery and i don’t actually bake the croissants. instead, i bake loaves and baguettes all day with the bread bakers (pastry bakers cover croissants).


regardless, i’m happy i made croissants from scratch because i learned that they take a very very very long time and are a hard thing to get right on your first try (#learning). i spent little time deciding on where to pull a croissant recipe. it was to be julia child’s croissants, the queen of french cooking (with english translation).

a quick google search pulled up this throwback video that made me appreciate how informational The French Chef was and what today’s cooking shows truly lack.


i followed julia’s recipe to a tee and recommend that if you want an authentic and true french croissant, you do the same. making the croissants took a full day so i’d bookmark this adventure for a rainy weekend. the actual mixing of the dough is simple and straight-forward, with the most difficult part of the recipe coming towards the very end of your day (after multiple hours of folding and waiting). this part is the forming of the isosceles triangles, which you immediately roll into crescent shape. they won’t be perfect but if mixed and folded correctly, your croissants will be truly impressive. not to mention, buttery and flaky upon opening. what’s better than that!

below you can find the recipe fixings, special tools, and link to instructions for making julia child’s croissants. i also included a couple quick croissant recipe suggestions in case time isn’t your friend these days.


and as you could guess from the title, this blog, while mainly about food, will also include snippets and tangents on other random happenings. here’s this week’s other stuff:

obsessed with (and basically want to eat) this lip balm in coconut (h/t my friend kate)

clicking spotify repeat button on this

currently reading A Revolution in Taste by Susan Pinkard. fun fact: Susan is my mom’s best friend and her use of the word foodstuffs was an inspiration for my blog name!

and for your information:

  1. : a substance that is used as food

okay, that’s all for today!! 👋

julia child’s croissants

makes 12 medium croissants


1 package active-dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 1/2 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon and 1/8 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup tepid milk

2 cups all-purpose flour, leveled (plus more for shaping)

3 tablespoons tasteless oil (vegetable, canola)

1 stick, chilled butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon water

special tools

plastic wrap


rolling pin (a wine bottle works too!)

baking sheet


for the full recipe and instructions, see Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 2, or follow along with The French Chef video above.*

some quicker croissant recipe ideas:

croissants, martha stewart

homemade croissants, pure wow

and when all else fails, my friend caroline swears by Trader Joe’s overnight croissants

*most of my recipes are original or adaptations. for those that aren’t, i refer you to the original source where you can legally access them!

**i’ve transferred all my peruvian and nutrition recipes and blog posts over to foodstuffs. (hence this being post 34). have fun looking through the archives! 

photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs