Holiday time is coming, which means ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IS BAKED GOODS! Delicious pies for Thanksgiving, cookie parties with friends, and all of the fabulous chocolate desserts for Christmas. It seems everywhere I go these days, there are adorable little holiday treats calling my name. And, how do you say ‘no’ to a pumpkin spice macaroon?!

This year, I am buckling down and trying to be a better holiday eater…and by that I mean, not eating everything in sight. So, thanks to my new resolve, I have been munching on healthy snacks – like this insane savory rosemary nut mix – to help lure me away from visions of sugar plum everything.

savory nut mix snack via lauren kelpBest part? This nut mix is insanely delicious! Beyond simple to whip up, perfect for a healthy snack to grab & go, or set out at your next party…and don’t even get me started about how good this mix is on a cheese board – INSANELY GOOD!! So, what do you say, give it a quick peruse & let me know what you think! Trust me, you’ll be hooked!

  • Ingredients
  • 2 ½ Cups of Mixed Raw Nuts (pecans, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, macadamia, almonds)
  • 2 TBS Unsalted Butter
  • 2 heaping TBS Fresh Rosemary – finely chopped
  • 1 TBS Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp Pure Maple Syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
  2. Place the nuts in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, cumin, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized sauté pan, over medium low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup. Add the nuts to the sauté pan, stir and toss to completely coat.
  5. Transfer the seasoned nuts to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until nuts are toasted and light golden in color, about 10-15 minutes, tossing once half way through baking. Allow the nuts to cool on the pan for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl or a container with a tight fitting lid.

savory nut mix snack via lauren kelpLooking for another fun way to be mindful this holiday season? Erica from Everything Erica is sharing how to repurpose all your holiday leftovers at the Macy’s on State Street in Chicago this Thursday (Nov.17) at noon! Interested? Learn more here!



Hello, hello, my favorite festive friends! How has your fall been? Can you believe we are already half way through October?! Holiday season is officially around the corner & we are talking all about how to get the jump on party planning today (it involves wine so you know it’s going to be good!) host a candy making party this holiday season via lauren kelp

The holidays can get so hectic & while everyone wants to get together for parties, potlucks, and mini gift exchanges, your already busy schedule can’t handle much more. Sound familiar? It’s true! We are busy birds but we also love a good get together, so that is why we are throwing a candy making party!

That’s right…. A CANDY MAKING PARTY!

It’s almost too good to be true, right? Wrong! It’s the best idea ever! Whether you want to be fabulous & make your own Halloween candy, try a dry run for Christmas presents, or be extra prepared and get a holiday party on the books, this candy making party is legit & perfect for so many reasons.

host a candy making party this holiday season via lauren kelp


Everyone loves a good get together, but everyone loves it more when good wine is involved. You know I am right! For the perfect candy-making recipe & an even better wine pairing, hop on over to our friends Kendall-Jackson.

Here is a hint, it involves delicious chocolate, sliced almonds and the most perfectly paired Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet you’ll ever had. The rich flavors of dark chocolate paired with the complex oak and cherry notes of the Cabernet are legitimately divine!

host a candy making party this holiday season via lauren kelp


When sending out the invites for your fabulous candy-making party ask your guests to bring their favorite chocolate bark, toffee, or caramel recipe to share with the group! Grab some index cards or print off this recipe card (made by the amazing Ashley Cooper Design) for your guests to do a fun recipe share!

For our get-together, we had the ingredients of two of our favorite bark recipes – white chocolate and cranberry bark & a dark chocolate and almond bark – already prepped & set out. This way, while your guests are swapping recipes, pouring wine, and catching up, you can have some candy already set out & ready to whip up!

host a candy making party this holiday season via lauren kelp


Whether you’ve got a big island that everyone can gather around or a tiny little galley kitchen, it’s important to create a designated candy-making space. Since my kitchen is the latter, I clear off my dining room table and have everything all laid out and ready to go. That way, my friends can sit around the table, drinking wine & catching up, all while making their own little tin of candy from the pre-prepped ingredients on the table.

Not interested in going the individual tin route? Have a few bigger baking pans & have everyone work on those. Once the candy is done, you can break up & divvy up then.

host a candy making party this holiday season via lauren kelp


You are hosting a candy-making party, of course there has to be goodie bags! Luckily, they are wildly easy & most of the work is already done for you.

Grab a few clear plastic bags (your local grocery store should have them in the baking aisle) and a packet of twist ties, & if you are feeling really fancy you can make or buy little name tags for your bags!

Cut up the candy into squares & divvy them up amongst the bags & voila! Add in those recipes you asked everyone to bring & you’ve got yourself one heck of a little parting gift.

host a candy making party this holiday season via lauren kelpHappy hosting, my friends!





Photography by Constance Higley & Recipe Card by Ashley Cooper Design

This post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.

PUMPKIN SPICE DOUGHNUTS because we all need a little more pumpkin spice

Pumpkin Spice doughnuts via Lauren Kelp

Hello, hello, my fabulous pumpkin spiced friend! Are you enjoying your cozy sweaters, warm scarves, apple scented candles, and all things pumpkin? I absolutely am and have been thoroughly delighted to indulge in anything slightly autumnal. I love to bake, in fact, I am a much better baker than I am a cook, and so when new seasons roll around, I like to ring them in by having a little Kelp house bake-off. By bake-off, I mean I bake a bunch of stuff, light a bunch of candles, get totally in the seasonal spirit, and then promptly invite all my friends and family over to indulge in the glory.

This month I have had a fresh batch of these pumpkin spice doughnuts on hand at all times. Super easy to make, wildly delicious, and perfect for gift-giving, handing out at work, or just as a little indulgent, these pumpkin spice puppies are the way to go! Plus, they are easily made vegan! Just swap out the margarine for your favorite vegan butter or margarine and voila!
Pumpkin Spice doughnuts via Lauren Kelp

Serves: 10
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ Tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup Silk soy milk
  • ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. pumpkin purée
  • ¼ cup margarine
  • 2 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp.Silk soy milk
Cinnamon-Sugar Coating:
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. pure cane sugar
  • ½ Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and mix thoroughly.
  3. Combine the soy milk, vinegar, vanilla, applesauce, pumpkin purée, and vegan margarine in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and mix until the margarine is just melted. This should be slightly warm to the touch, not hot.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix.
  5. Using a tablespoon, scoop the resulting dough into an ungreased nonstick doughnut pan, either full- or mini-size.
  6. Bake for 8 to10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a doughnut comes out clean. Invert the pan over a cutting board or cooling rack to release the doughnuts. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
  7. To make the glaze, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and soy milk together until smooth.
  8. To make a cinnamon-sugar coating, combine the cinnamon, sugar, and spice.
  9. Dip the cooled doughnuts in the glaze and then roll in the sugar mixture.

Pumpkin Spice doughnuts via Lauren Kelp

And just like that you’ve got fresh, delicious pumpkin spice doughnuts right out of the oven! Plenty to share, plenty to snack on, and with a recipe this easy, it’ll be hard to resist making a fresh batch every week or so (trust me!)

I have recently been substituting Soymilk & Almond milk into my recipes more. Have you done this? Do you like it? Have you noticed a substantial change? As we move away from dairy and processed foods, I am curious to see how our menus and snacks change as well. Let me know below!
Pumpkin Spice doughnuts via Lauren Kelp

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

THE EASIEST PUMPKIN PIE RECIPE easy + delicious, what could be better?

pumpkin pie recipe via lauren kelp‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, am I right? Pumpkin colored hues, pumpkin picking, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin errythang. Truthfully, I love this time of year so much that I don’t really mind being inundated with various pumpkin flavored things – in fact, I kind of like it! To get into the spirit of fall, we whipped up the most delicious pumpkin pie recipe I have ever made. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe you like to use, now is the time. If not, add a pie crust to your shopping list & no one will ever be the wiser. The secret to this pie is using International Delight Pumpkin Spice creamer. Kind of genius, right? It was my moms idea – so thanks, Jane!

Now pour yourself a cup of coffee, scroll down, and let’s get to baking!

pumpkin pie recipe via lauren kelp

Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
  • Pastry dough or prepackaged pie crust
  • 15-oz can canned solid-pack pumpkin (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup International Delight Pumpkin Spice Creamer
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. If you have a pastry dough recipe you like, us that. If not, follow the directions of your store bought crust.
  2. Whisk together pumpkin, International Delight Pumpkin Spice creamer, milk, eggs, brown sugar, spices, and salt, then pour into shell.
  3. Bake pie in middle of oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until filling is set but center still trembles slightly.
  4. Serve cooled with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or ginger!

pumpkin pie recipe via lauren kelpSo, what do you think? Crazy easy, right? The Pumpkin Pie creamer has a lot of great spices and flavors to it, but feel free to add in some cinnamon, ginger, or maybe even a dash of nutmeg. Go crazy – it’s your recipe! To check if your local store has the creamer, check here & for more great recipes check out ID’s Instagram! 

pumpkin pie recipe via lauren kelp

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.


Try and tell me you didn’t love that fabulous girls retreat that Claiborne & Lime shared with us yesterday?! Who doesn’t want to get the gals together and drink a bunch of wine, catch up, eat yummy food, and just unplug from life a bit – uhhh, I am all in!

Throw a fun getaway (even if it’s just to your backyard) this weekend with the ladies and whip up a delicious Quiche Lorraine or two. The perfect brunch food, as you can serve it hot or cold, they are highly customizable, and really easy to make. Grab the recipe below & get to hosting! You’ve got no excuses now 🙂
Quiche Lorraine recipe via Lauren Kelp

Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • • 1 single-crust pie shell, well chilled
  • • 3 to 4 ounces lean bacon (about 6 to 8 medium-cut slices), sliced into ¼-inch segments
  • • 3 eggs
  • • 1½ cups to 2 cups cream or half-and- half
  • • ½ teaspoon salt
  • • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • • pinch of nutmeg
  • • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pea-sized amounts
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the pie crust with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 9 minutes. Then remove the foil and pie weights and cook for 2 or 3 minutes more, until the shell is starting to color.
  3. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Over medium heat, cook the sliced bacon in a skillet until cooked and lightly brown.
  5. Remove and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Once cooled slightly, evenly scatter over the bottom of the partially-baked pastry shell.
  6. Next, beat the cream (and/or half-and- half) with the eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, until well blended.
  7. Pour over the bacon slices into the hot pastry shell, then sprinkle the butter dots on top. Bake in the 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, until the quiche has puffed up and browned.
  8. Let cool slightly; serve warm or cold.

Quiche Lorraine recipe via Lauren Kelp

Copy & Styling by Claiborne & Lime


Some morning you have your shit together & you got that workout class in, ate breakfast, got ready, and still managed to get to work early. Some mornings, you wear one blue shoe, one black shoe because you got dressed in the dark & still haven’t noticed halfway through the day. Girl, I get it. I have been there more than I care to admit. Plus, if we don’t eat breakfast, we get hangry. But who has time to make a well balanced meal that you can eat while walking or on the train or in the car? Not me. (Real life, I still don’t know how to scramble eggs).

I had been hearing about these amazzzzing grab & go smoothies all over the internet, and, like a good sucker for anything easy and delicious, I ordered some. A few days later this adorable box was delivered to my door & inside it….magic.

Let’s just start with the packaging – HOW GOOD, right?

Secondly, they are annoyingly delicious. The Daily Harvest smoothies save you maybe 3 trips to the grocery store, 20 minutes of your life back, and about a million nasty protein shakes you tried to make taste better but they are so gross you just have to throw them out (again, been there).
Pop off the top & behold literally exactly what it says on the ingredients list. Chopped up manga, pineapples, papayas, the whole she-bang. Right there, in real life. No powder, not a thing you can’t recognize. How amazing is that?

Best part? All you have to do is add in coconut water or almond milk (they recommend what to use on the back), toss the contents of the cup into the blender, and VOILA! The best smoothie in 30-seconds & the top even has a little spot for the straw so you can pour it back in & get out the door.

Because I am so in love with them & am telling everyone I know to get them, we are doing a fun gift code! Enter ‘laurenkelp’ at checkout & get 3 FREE SMOOTHIES when you place your first order!




Now, go get yourself something delicious! Can’t wait to hear what you think! Happy smoothie-ing, xoxo LK


Well, hello my budding foodies! If you’ve been following along, you might have noticed a slight change in recipe content. We are trying to focus more on healthy recipes that are still quick and easy, adding in gluten free options, more vegan and vegetarian content, and, if we feel like getting really crazy, a sugar-free treat here and there. This transition to more holistic, thoughtful recipes is in large part due to my dietary restrictions. Having a husband who loves a protein and two sides for every meal & trying to find recipes that fit my health needs is not always the easiest & it has lead to many a failed recipe.

For all of you who are looking for healthy recipes that don’t sacrifice the flavor, or if you’ve got picky eaters or a dietary needs, we are excited to start sharing some of our favorite finds & creations with you! First up, the delicious gluten-free flax bread! Perfect for sandwiches, as toast, or just as is!
Gluten free Coconut Bread recipe via Lauren KelpOkay, I know that doesn’t sound wildly exciting, but it’s really good! Sprinkle a little salt on top, maybe toss in some chopped rosemary (that is what I did with the second loaf, and let me just say….amaziiing) and you’ve got yourself one heck of a homemade bread.

This is the perfect bread to bake over the weekend to use during the week. It takes a little bit of time, but most of that is waiting for the dough to rise. Plus, good homemade bread is always worth it. Can’t wait to hear what you think!
Gluten free Coconut Bread recipe via Lauren Kelp

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 loaves
  • 4½ tsp active dry (baker's) yeast
  • ⅓ cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm Silk Original Almond
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 6-6½ cups gluten free flour
  • ½ cup flax seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F & while your oven is pre-heating, put the warm water in a large bowl & add in the yeast. Let stand until the yeast dissolves and foams (about 10-15 min)
  2. Stir in the Silk Almond milk, oil, honey, molasses and salt. Add 5½ cups flour, mixing well.
  3. Mix on low speed (to knead the bread), adding a bit more flour (if needed) until the dough is smooth and elastic. Slowly mix in the flax seeds.
  4. Gently form the dough into a ball & place inside a lightly oiled bowl. Sprinkle a little extra oil on top and rub around to coast. Place a clean dish towel over the bowl and let sit on the counter until it's doubled in size (1.5 - 2 hours).
  5. Once ready, punch the dough down and separate into two loaf shaped pieces. Place each piece into a greased 8" loaf pan and cover with a clean towel, letting it double in size again (about an hour).
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Turn out of the pans and let cool on racks.

Gluten free Coconut Bread recipe via Lauren Kelp

lauren buttonRecipe inspired by The Candida Cure cookbook

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.


Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpHappy Fall, my fabulous entertainers! Are you ready for cozy sweaters, reading by the fireplaces, and lots of other deliciously autumnal things? I know I am! See ya later humidity, hello scarf weather! Here is the best part about fall – entertaining! Call me crazy, but it’s my favorite time to gather a bunch of friends, drink good wine, eat great food, and hang out all night. Gone are the hectic days of summer and the mania of holiday season hasn’t hit yet, it’s a sweet spot where schedules are free, the weather is great, and the stars align!
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpToday we are talking all about why you should host a fall picnic (yes, outside) and what to serve at it! I mean, come on, just look at that spread above – who wouldn’t want to spend the evening with friends noshing on that? Guess what – it’s totally attainable, easier than you think, and won’t take up your whole Saturday prepping. Interested? Of course you are! Well pour yourself a glass of wine, scroll down, and let’s get this party started! Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpWe are talking all about my love for outdoor entertaining in the fall over here, but it deserves to be re-enforced. Having a bunch of friends over and dining outside with the crisp fall air in the trees, drinking wine, and catching up is just about as magical as the Midwest can get. So, now that we’ve convinced you that a) you need to host a dinner party this weekend and b) it has to be outside, it’s time to talk about the menu!

Here is the best part about a fall picnic – the spread! The small plate spread is totally undervalued and is a total show stopper. Pick a theme (for this we did mediterranean mezze) and if your guests ask what to bring, you can tell them something on theme.

When our guests asked, we had them bring olives, a few cucumbers, a bunch of carrots, or a packet of pitas. We put the olives into a cute little dish, sliced the carrots & cucumbers up (for dipping in the spreads), and voila! A fun spread that your guests helped curate!
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpNow, it’s important to pair the menu with the perfect accompanying wine & let me tell you, nothing is more delicious than a cold glass of Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon-Blanc on a fall day with a delicious spread. Typically, a Sauvignon-Blanc is thought of as a summer wine, but with the rich flavors of the Mediterranean seasonings, the crispness of the white wines cools everything down a bit and makes for a really delicious pairing.  I love pairing foods with complex flavors or unique spices with K-J’s Sauvignon-Blanc because it doesn’t wash out the spices but almost enhances them.  Warm up those pitas, put out some spreads & accouterments, pour those glasses of wine & hop to it!

Looking for some good spreads to whip up? How about a batch of homemade hummus! Super easy, delicious, and everyone loves a good homemade spread. Five minutes in the kitchen and a small stockpile of hummus later & you’ve got yourself a party!
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren Kelp

Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
  • ½ cup tahini (sesame paste), optional, with some of its oil
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
  1. Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and begin to process; add the chickpea liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning (I often find I like to add much more lemon juice). Serve, drizzled with the olive oil and sprinkled with a bit more cumin or paprika and some parsley.

Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpSo, what are you waiting for?! Let’s get this party started! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren Kelp

photography by Constance Higley & recipe by Brendan McCaskey
lauren button


the perfect summer cake - the mary ann cake with mascarpone and berries via lauren kelpHello, hello summertime warriors! While back to school sales are around every corner, August isn’t over yet and we’ve still got some summer baking to do! Head to your farmer’s market, or local grocer and grab all the berries you can find for this delicious Mary Ann cake. Blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, heck, even cherries – bring ’em all to the party. In my opinion, you can never have too many berries for this cake.

For you Williams-Sonoma junkies out there (hey, I will gladly raise a hand), you might recognize this recipe from one of their catalogues many, many moons ago with the name sake after their Mary Ann cake pan. If you have no idea what I am talking about, this is a bitching cake that isn’t wildly difficult to make, tastes like a dream, and looks like you casually took a year off life to become a pastry chef.

Don’t get caught up if you don’t have the right pan, a spring pan works great. Besides that, put on some kitchen jams, pour yourself a glass of wine or some iced tea, and get to baking, baby! If you are looking for an excuse to try this puppy out, first day of school celebration cake, birthday cake, or even a  “hooray you made it to Wednesday” cake. See, it really is a cake for all occasions! Happy baking, babes xoxo LK
the perfect summer cake - the mary ann cake with mascarpone and berries via lauren kelp

Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 12 -16
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries
  • 4 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 6 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chilled heavy cream, beaten to soft peaks
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F & grease and flour a Mary Ann cake pan (if you don't have this kind of pan, a spring pan is perfect too).
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy (about 1 to 2 minutes). Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until blended. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 3 to 5 minutes).
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl & add the eggs in one at a time. Make sure to beat thoroughly after each egg is added. Beat in the vanilla.
  5. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour, beating just until blended and no lumps of flour remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully turn the cake out onto the rack and let cool completely, at least 1 hour.
  6. Just before serving, prepare the topping: In a nonreactive bowl, combine the berries and 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar and stir until well blended. Set aside. In a small bowl, using a rubber spatula, gently combine the mascarpone, sour cream, vanilla and the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Fold in the whipped cream. Spoon the mascarpone mixture into the well of the cake, spreading it to the edges. Arrange the berries on top of the mascarpone mixture and dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

the perfect summer cake - the mary ann cake with mascarpone and berries via lauren kelp

Photography by Constance Higley & Baking by Brendon McCaskey. Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma


Well, howdy friends! I have searched high and low in this city for Mexican food that will make my pains for Austin’s breakfast tacos and migas subside. It’s taken me almost two years, but I think I’ve found Chicago’s best Mexican restaurant – Más Tucked in the West Loop on Halsted & Washington, this gem is described as having “inventive Mexican dishes with European flair & craft cocktails in a lofty, modern-chic space,” and holy eff, does it ever.

Living in Texas & Arizona for almost 10 years gives you a little street cred when it comes to talking about what makes or breaks good Mexican food and between the made-to-order corn tortillas, mezcal cocktails, and taco happy hours – it was love at first bite.
mas_1Courtney & I popped in because we had read the reviews, we had heard about their amazing happy hours, and as former Austin-ites, we couldn’t resist the call of a good taco menu. Now, to say they have a good menu is a wild understatement!

Each tortilla is fresh & made to order & if you care about tacos as much as we do, you know that that makes all the difference in the world. All the ingredients are consciously composed and put together beautifully – presentation has always been key for us & they absolutely nailed it.

Mexican food is not normally heralded for its creativity, but as you watch the plates come out at Más, you can’t help but get inspired. And the creativity and attention to detail spreads to the mixologists at the bar. They have been highly recognized for their thoughtfully-crafted cocktails in the past and with the addition of their M, and only expanding their Mezcales de Leyenda, the cocktails are only getting better.

Side note, if you like Mezcal, give Mezcales de Leyenda a try. Each variety is named after the city in Mexico where the agave is harvested and has a spirit animal to embody the spirit of the drink. Not to mention, Más works their magic and makes a wide variety of delicious mezcal concoctions. Two that deserve individual praise, the Margarita de Sandia and the Margarita de Fuego.


You can see from our little tour-de-Más images that the presentation is impeccable and such care is given in crafting each dish. Between the cocktails, the shareable plates, and the insane desserts (the Mexican donuts killed me, they were out of control) this better be your next date night spot, happy hour with the girls (two tacos for $5 + $5 margs – like, hellllo), or new favorite neighborhood spot. Either way, you’ve got to go! You won’t be disappointed!


lauren button