Friday Favorites for “Winter”

Photography by Todd Porter and Diane Cu on

We really don’t have a “Winter” down here in the Orange County basin of Southern California. In fact, we might have 2.5 seasons, most of which is mild to warm weather. The other .5 season is pretty much what we’re getting right now, cool dipping down to 48 degrees F this week. Brrrrr. When we get down to 48 degrees, we’re pretty much wearing sweaters and will occasionally adorn a scarf and gloves in the morning. We’re spoiled to be able to go to the beach and romp with the pups in December, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t yearn for snow and colder weather. 

Our Winters are filled with what most of the country sees in Fall: leaves changing to hues of reddish/yellow then brown and a nice crisp/cool chill fills the air. It’s the Winter that we know and we love it. 

Photography by Todd Porter and Diane Cu on

Even when we drop below 50 degrees F, we’ll pretend we’re in the midst of a blizzard. We’re in Winter mode and crank up the oven to bake lots of warm comfort food. A pot of tea is on the stove and we’ve got the fireplace crackling with wood to warm up the living room. It’s fun to pretend that like that and indulge in our favorite warm foods yet not have to scrape any snow off the driveway or on our window shields. It’s nice to have the best of both worlds: great holiday Winter foods and a clear driveway. 

Photography by Todd Porter and Diane Cu on

We wanted to share with you some of our “Winter” favorites we’ve been enjoying this week, along with some great new finds that we purchased and can’t wait to share with our friends who are coming to dinner: 

Jennifer Perillo’s fantastic new recipe journal, Simple Scratch Cooking, filled with wonderful easy, everyday means for the home cook. Her first issue sold out so fast, thank goodness she followed up with another issue for Winter so quickly. 

Are you ready for these incredible recipes? Gruyere Cheese and Rosemary Biscuits, Chewy Oatmeal Allspice Walnut Cookies Gingerbread and Chocolate Streusel Cake and more!

Treat yourself to her print edition here or her digital version here. Make her recipes as soon as you can. You’ll be making them for years to come.  


Matcha Tea by Breakaway Macha: Our go-to shop for hand-selected, quality macha by Eric. Our latest curiosity lies in his cold-brew mocha tea, which is a very rare organic mocha. The color is spectacular.

We’re also in love with his collections of mocha ceramics and teaware. We just ordered his set of macha creamers and can’t wait to write about those when they’re in our hands! 


Music. and more Music. Over the last year we’ve been filling every room of our house and studio with the Sonos music system. For Winter, we’ve been listening to Christmas music 24/7 and really just don’t get tired of it. Yet. When the holidays come around, cozying up to our fireplace and listening to Christmas music makes it feel like there really is the blizzard outside! 


Elise’s prime rib recipe looks like it’s screaming out to be on our Winter table. We’re going to add some special spices (aka fish sauce marinade) and make it have our own little personal touch. Can’t wait. 

These holly cookies are like works of art. In fact, everything she does on a cookie looks epic. 

Double yes to David’s Cranberry Raisin Pie

Tofu enchiladas never looks so sexy and delicious. 

 Happy Winter everyone!

-diane and todd 




{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Lizthechef

    Winter in San Diego is my favorite season, especially since our rain gauge has already measured 5 inches of liquid gold – cheers!

  2. Deepa@onesmallpot

    Nice list! Here in Australia we enjoy a scorching hot Christmas. In the past few weeks though, we’ve had some incredible storms that have called for staying indoors and wintery comfort food. Any excuse I guess!! Happy Holidays!

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