I hope everybody had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving holiday! For my celebration, I headed over to a Friendsgiving where we had Asian hot pot. I know—my friends and I are weird! None of us are crazy about traditional Thanksgiving food. But don’t worry. I still made sure there was at least one pie at the table (I chose this black bottom chocolate pecan pie, though it was a tough decision between that recipe and this chocolate chess one).
Additionally, I spent the week mostly offline (with the exception of helping some of you guys troubleshoot my recipes on Wednesday). It was incredibly rejuvenating and made me realize that I should scale back on the content calendar I had planned for December. Because last month, I felt like I was killing myself to get a bunch of Thanksgiving recipes lined up for November. And while many of you did make my recipes like (My Better Version of) Libby’s Pumpkin Pie, Black Bottom Chocolate Pecan Pie, and Chocolate Chess Pie, some of the ones I prepared didn’t get as much love and attention (like this Salted Honey Parker House Roll recipe, which y’all are definitely sleeping on, and My Best Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe, which, I kinda get—nobody’s ever that excited for vegan pumpkin pie, lol).
But that’s totally okay! I know you guys are overloaded with options, and I’m happy to be a part of your table whenever I can be. But it just made me realize that there’s no point to churning out recipes two to three times a week like I did last month. Baking is still a time consuming hobby and privilege for most folks!
So instead of focusing on providing quantity over quality, I figured I’d spend December focusing on just a few holiday baking recipes that I really love instead. Like this ube crinkle cookie recipe—it’s an old recipe, but I make it yearly. So watch out for it on Instagram (or maybe even my fledgling TikTok) soon!
In Case You Missed It: New Recipes and Posts on Hummingbird High
And in case you missed it, I published the following new recipes and posts on Hummingbird High. Here’s a round-up of everything new:
- Candy Cane Grasshopper Blossom Cookies (These were holiday cookies that unfortunately had to be published SO EARLY due to my sponsor’s request; I think they’re a better fit for this month since they’re super Christmassy. If you’re looking for a unique holiday cookie, definitely check out this recipe this month!)
- My Best Chocolate Birthday Cake + Ten Years of Hummingbird High (In case you missed it, Hummingbird High turned TEN last month! If you have the time, definitely check out the post—I talk about the different years of blogging and how Hummingbird High has evolved throughout it all.)
- My Favorite Pie Cookbooks (Not a blog post, but a TikTok and Instagram Reel video showing off my favorite cookbooks for pie recipes.)
- Salted Honey Parker House Rolls
- My Best Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- My Favorite Cookbooks for Planning Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides (Not a blog post, but a TikTok and Instagram Reel video showing off my favorite cookbooks for pie recipes.)
- Milk Bread Rolls
- Black Bottom Chocolate Pecan Pie
- The Best Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes on Hummingbird High (This is a great one to bookmark if you ever want a roundup of the best Thanksgiving dessert recipes on this blog—it includes links to all my favorite pie recipes, as well as other non-traditional Thanksgiving desserts like the Burnt Basque Cheesecake I made for my Friendsgiving celebration.)
- Vanilla Mille Crepe Cake
Food For Thought
This past month, I also spent a LOT of time thinking and reading about food beyond the baking recipes you see on this blog. Here are the ideas and issues that resonated with me:
- “Who Owns A Recipe? A Plagiarism Claim Has Cookbook Authors Asking” in The New York Times. I think I shared something similar last month, but this is another great article talking about the ownership of recipes and how their creators often don’t have the power to exclusively own the recipes… with the exception of the anecdotes, headnotes, tips, and tricks that accompany them. You know, the stuff that people complain about because it makes them scroll for too long (why yes, I am feeling ✨spicy ✨as I write this).
In any case, maybe we should all pull a Taylor Swift and “re-record” our master recipes with even more writing and detail, lol. Kind of like the 10 minute “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version From The Vault)” that everybody seems to love. Except you know us food bloggers would just get more people telling us to shut up. And on that note, I’ll shut up now, lolllll.
- “The Loss at The Heart of Guy Fieri’s Entertainment Empire” in The Atlantic. I’ll admit, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Guy Fieri himself. I’ve always found him to be shrill. I also know a handful of restaurant owners and their staff members who have been featured on the show; none of them had particularly heartwarming things to say about him. Despite this, his show apparently does a good job of showcasing a diversity of cuisines made by folks from all different backgrounds… maybe it’s time for me to rewatch?
- “How To Make Really Good Bread” in The New York Times. Famed food writer Mark Bittman talks about the shifting mindset towards bread in the United States, exploring how the pandemic explored more folks to bake bread at home. He also hopes that whole wheat bread baking will be the next big thing after our collective sourdough craze. I definitely agree!
Recipes and Resources To Save
And here are the recipes and cooking-related resources I saved these last few weeks:
- “Why You Shouldn’t Make Your Own Vanilla Extract” in Lifehacker. Apparently those recipes for homemade vanilla (the ones where you steep a bunch of vanilla beans in some vodka to make your own extract) are completely junk. Huh.
- “The Best Store-Bought Pie Crust You Can Find in the Freezer Aisle” in Epicurious. I used to be such a snob about pie crust. But then I noticed that many of you were more likely to bake my pie recipes if I used store-bought crust. So then I embraced it! But not all store-bought pie crust is created equal.
New Cookbooks To Try
So many of my friends, acquaintances, and peers wrote amazing cookbooks that came out last month (or are about to)! Here are a few of my faves:
- A New Take on Cake: 175 Beautiful, Doable Cake Mix Recipes for Bundts, Layers, Slabs, Loaves, Cookies, and More! by Anne Byrne
- Big Little Recipes: Good Food with Minimal Ingredients and Maximal Flavor by Emma Laperruque
- Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave) by David Chang and Priya Krishna
- Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Shelf Love: Recipes to Unlock the Secrets of Your Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer by Noor Murad
- The Ultimate Baking for One Cookbook: 175 Super Easy Recipes Made Just for You by Kelly Jaggers
Finally, On A Lighthearted Note
- I deeply enjoyed this French creator’s TikTok lesson on how to spot a good baguette.
Okay, whew! That’s all for now, folks. I hope you all are staying safe and healthy! Please let me know how you’re doing in the comments below, and feel free to share the ideas and issues that are floating around in your heads, too.