Things have been a little/lot quiet around here as I twerk on the book (coming down the home stretch!) but I figured enough was enough so I’m here today to shout from the rooftops about my friend Shauna‘s new book Real Sweet.

The book is great, Shauna’s great. I don’t even want to think about the amount of work and testing that went into all the recipes, and to really place the diamond in the crown, every headnote makes me smile. She knows her way around funny.


The whole idea behind the book is that you’re baking with all natural sugars, nothing super refined, which is great because Shauna basically just did all this work so I could feel better about eating more desserts. Most of the recipes call for sugars that are new to my kitchen, which very much excites me in a weird way, but before I went out to get those I decided to take this beast for a spin. I mean, come on. Caramelized. Honey.

Am I the last one to this party? If I am it sure as hell is fashionably late. tbh I really don’t like honey in it’s bear to table state, there’s something about the flavor that I’m just meh about, but I figured I’d try cooking it down and ohmygod you guys. Total game changer. Total Ramonaeyes.


It takes on a sort of nutty profile that I just want to try and put in a million different desserts. Let’s not cross our fingers and friendship bracelets, but I feel a frozen yogurt with this treatment in the near future, and also this to sweeten a cream cheese frosting would be so great.

I know some of you reading this are like thanks asshole for this summer dessert when it’s snowing here but honestly it’s shorts weather already here in Southern California and I just want to lay around with no pants on and watch Broad City.*

*that last bit is kind of an everyday thing.

Last bit! GO BUY SHAUNA’S BOOK. If you like baking or want to experiment then this book is perfect. Go over here to Shauna’s site for even more of a book run down, and an awesome giveaway (!) that’s still good for a few more days.

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Grocery List 41 // Wit & Vinegar


I know everyone has the feels when it comes to the v-day where maybe you’re excited or maybe you hate it or maybe you look forward to sitting at home listening to Robyn by yourself (daily ritual) but at least we can all be happy that it’s another holiday to get cheap candy the day after ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

When it comes down to dinner for the day I can only suggest skipping the lame restaurants and awful 50 shades of grey viewing and having a meal at home with a couple drinks and a nice ass dessert where the bedroom’s only a few steps away instead of a car ride.

Luckily all the cool kids went and put together some meal ideas for us to make goodness for the v-day and I’ve scattered some of them around here:

Adrianna has not one, but two different meals for two: fancy ass pot pies and a kewt baby lasagna. I’d have both.

Jon has a meatball mashed potato situation that has satisfaction written all over it.

Sticking to the ball theme with Izy and meatballs and non meat meatballs and some pilaf.

Gab knows nothing says I love you quite like a giant slab of meat. Stare into each other’s eyes while you cut off strips and feed your date.

Brandon has pasta puttanesca aka slut’s spaghetti with roasted cauliflower. 50 shades of pasta, amiright?

Now that dinner’s over we can move on to all the desserts, starting with this insane tart cherry cheesecake ice cream from ice cream queen Megan.

Graham has the red velvet captain’s hat with some flourless red velvet marble cake.

I think cupcakes are always a good idea because I can have a few at a time and there’s zero guilt. Cindy paired chocolate and cherries for these bebes.

Dinner Was Delicious girls with dem orange chocolate date truffles. zero dairy. zero accidental farts.

I actually really really want to try this beeramisu from Stephanie. Always good to try new things.

The drink! Sydney has this blood orange punch that’s beautiful. Almost as beautiful as your date.

And as if all this wasn’t enough, Sarah went and threw together a list of unconventional v-day dishes that you can go run your fingers through.

For music this week, it’s just guaranteed that it’s Rocket, right? JK We’re keeping it classy and cute and running with some Jessie Ware. I love love love her new album and this is one of my favorites and it’s something you can listen to while you cook dinner together or eat a pint of ice cream all alone while watching housewives. To multitasking!


Salted Espresso Caramels // Wit & VinegarYou guys, we need to talk about Procrastmas but first I just want to say that the alternative title for this post was Turtle Time because Ramona is my spirit animal but it’s close to Christmas and I want to help you guys out with da gift giving. We need to focus on Procrastmas.

It’s now less than a week until Christmas hits and if you’re anything like me (super fabulous) then you’ve probably done approximately zero presents shopping. It’s a combo of me always procrastinating and me working in a mall and having shopping at the bottom of my have-to list.

We’re calling it Procrastmas.

Salted Espresso Caramel Pretzel Turtles // Wit & Vinegar

I’m helping you/me out this year by giving a project for this weekend that involves hot sugar, butter, pretzels, all the love, maybe a bottle of wine, and some ribbon. Procrastmas shopping is OVER. An afternoon of some quality caramel time means a lot of edible presents that nobody will turn away unless they’re vegan/gluten free/allergic to nuts. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The caramels are just the ever so popular fleur de sel caramels from Ina with a fist bump of instant espresso powder that I always have in the cupboard to boost the shit out of desserts. Caramels are a little daunting but don’t let the caramel smell the fear, get a good candy thermometer, and everything will go smoothly.

Salted Espresso Caramel Pretzel Turtles // Wit & VinegarTruth be told, these turtles actually happened because I hate wrapping caramels. I needed a vessel that didn’t require precision and baby squares of parchment paper. Enter pretzels and chocolate and cue the love making music.

If you aren’t feeling the turtles then go ahead and just give some really good salted caramels! parchment paper is a good wrapper material, you just need to cut it down. Also I wouldn’t kick you out of bed for making some salted caramel cups. Maybe we can tackle those on Monday?

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Coconut Macaroon Brownies // Wit & Vinegar


JK but seriously where has this year gone? This post is loooong overdue because it comes from Izy‘s beautiful book Top with Cinnamon that came out a couple/few months ago. I seriously love the book and I’m not just saying that because Izy’s my friend, but because it is legit beautiful, the recipes are great, and the quality of the paper turns me on.

Coconut Macaroon Brownies // Wit & Vinegar

I went through the wholed book and did my post it note thing to mark all the options for the blog and there were just sooo many, one was the ever popular swedish chocolate cake, but the one I ultimately landed on was the coconut macaroon brownie. YOU GUYS, IZY COMBINED A BROWNIE AND A MACAROON. I’ve made them 4 times since (first time was a test, second I tried sweetened coconut, third burnt up) and finally managed to show you guys. Fourth times the charm.

Coconut Macaroon Brownies // Wit & Vinegar

It’s an easy one pot deal with the brownie, then it’s topped with a quick macaroon topping and broiled with a close eye so we don’t have burnt coconut. It’s a simple dessert that has some bam and it’d be a great thing to give someone as an edible gift, as long as they like coconut. If they don’t like coconut then you should either a. burn the friendship contract or b. gift them Izy’s book with pink post it notes that let’s them know what you like.

But seriously don’t trust anyone that doesn’t like coconut.

I’ve got plans to give your cute faces some edible gifts over the next couple weeks but until then we’re gonna have to make 4 batches of these brownies.

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Grocery List 40 // Wit & Vinegar

Before we get started with this weeks list (FINALLY) I want to give a huge shout out to all the love and hugs and face touches you guys gave with the announcement of the book. I managed to keep that secret long enough where I think that might be more of a triumph than the book itself (LOLJKYOUGUYZ).

Now, we can continue with this weeks post thanksgiving grocery list and dance to Bruno Mars and  pretend I’m not doing this at Target every day.

First up is mah girl Adrianna with super easy soup for those super difficult days where you wish someone would just make and shovel food in your mouth for you aka my M-F. (via A Cozy Kitchen)

Megan went and recapped her thanksgiving with some serious light/taxidermy that turns me on maybe a little more than the BABY BOURBON MOUSSE PARFAITS. (via Take a Megabite)

Molly has some cutest tootesy timez with GINGERBREAD TERRARIUMS. Everything in there is edible and I stared for way too long at the first shot soaking it all in. (via my name is yeh)

Cindy is on the beverage train with some next level hot chocolate that I want to bathe in. I want to bathe in a lot of foods. (via Hungry Girl Por Vida)

Stephanie went and grabbed her own round up of grilled cheese sandwiches because I guess she knows that is like one of the holy grails for my mouth. (via i am a food blog)

Side note: I just got distracted by a jersey shore where are they now slideshow.

Graham went and made me an entire sundae with crazy ingredients and named it the salty pilgrim and I’m like, I’ll be your Pocahontas? (via Glazed & Confused)

Dana and John managed to slam a gingerbread cookie into a granola that actually might get me to be semi-healthy at breakfast. (via Minimalist Baker)

I’d flashdance water scene this apple cinnamon infused bourbon from Tracy. (via Shutterbean)

I’ve been feeling my oats lately when it comes to chicken thighs and these wine and mustard braised thighs from Jon sound like they’d be perfect on my face/maybe some rice. (via The Candid Appetite)

Sarah likes big bundts and she cannot lie and she made us one with maple and ginger, and I’m not talking about a couple of strippers. (via The Sugar Hit)

I hope to get you guys a little edible gift to hand out soon for christmas but until then Melissa’s got us covered with a stunner of a bark. That first glamour shot has me feeling things. (via The Faux Martha)

Erika has apple cobbler that looks crazy supreme with a topping that looks just like my grandmas (a recipe that I’m more than happy to have in the book) and I want a whole pan to myself. plus a quart of vanilla ice cream. duh. (via Southern Souffle)

Ending all of this weeks madness is Phyllis over on Food52 with 4 variations of brown butter blondies. I would like to eat all of them, even if the one I have in the book has all the walnuts in the world and then some. Don’t tell the others. (via Food52)

For music this week it’s dance central USA with Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. I no joke listened to this about 50 times after I saw their SNL performance and got all the kool and the gang tower of power gives me life vibez. This has powered me through so many batches of chocolate chip cookies I can’t even handle. Also how do I move into this music video?


Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping // Wit & Vinegar

Oh, hello.

It’s just me showing up fashionably late to the thanksgiving blog scene but it’s cool because I brought this ‘rustic’ dreamboat pie and my ass looks flawless in these jeans. Priorities.

Truth is, I didn’t drum up a whole buffet table for you guys because a. my book is one of those babies that throws up everywhere, and b. I only plan on making this pie and enough stuffing for a small family, aka me myself and I. Steve’s claiming to roast a chicken but all I really care about are those two staples plus maybe some gravy. Basicbitchgiving for the win.

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping // Wit & Vinegar

Growing up pumpkin pie with a big-ass dollop of cool whip gave me all the thanksgiving feels. It still does, and I really can’t do thanksgiving without some pumpkin pie or cheesecake and some sour cream laced whipped cream.

This pie though. This pie is basically pumpkin pie 2.0 supreme. Classic but creamy pumpkin pie underneath with a gooey blanket of pecan praline on top. Kind of like a mullet pie if someone with a mullet was lying down? Idk, let’s think about it.

The recipe comes from Joy‘s new babe of a book, Homemade Decadence. It’s beyond insanely great, I want to make all of it, and I might have already bought my sister a copy for christmas. If you love sweets and baking and being a decadent cool dude then this is da book for you. Go out, buy it right now/right after we make some pie.

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