Cornbread makes my face turn into that heart-eyed emoji that I use like every single day of my life to express myself. I sort of wish I could write a whole blog post in emojis because today is one of those days when I feel like I have nothing to say. Do you have those days? When you’re sort of like, here’s a recipe for such and such BYEEEE!
This week has been hot hot in Los Angeles and I’ve been avoiding my oven like the plague. The only that that could even remotely tempt me is this cornbread because it’s more like cake than bread. And I’m not mad about that.
I know southerners are super finnicky about their cornbread but I like mine this way: a little sweet, a little spicy and soft. I like to use corn flour over corn meal. It’s more fluffy and soft. If you can’t find corn flour, by all means, use cornmeal—it’ll work. I’ve been searching for a recipe for cornbread that’s more cake like and when I found this one, I figured it would probably need a ton of work, but it’s kind of perfect.
It seems I can’t go to the store or farmer’s market without buying way too many tomatoes. Good thing they’re good on and with just about everything. My favorite way to consume tons of tomatoes? Probably on a sandwich with a swipe of mayonnaise. Incredible. I love them on their own too, with a bit of salt and pepper. And of course, I love them in every salad ever because they’re never not welcomed, especially during the summer months of August and September.
This salad is a tofu twist on an Italian classic: the panzanella. Bon Appétit asked me to create a recipe highlighting tofu to compliment Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Collection. If you flip to the back of September’s issue of Bon Appetit, there’s a lil’ link highlighting this recipe. If you’re interested in getting a free sample of the products in the mail, click here.
I’ve beens slightly obsessed with sun-drying things. I usually make kale chips in my oven about once a week because it’s super simple and I love crunchy things. But right now, since it’s summer and hot AF, I’m trying to avoid turning on my oven.
Of course there are exceptions: Hatch Chile Cornbread (coming soon), pie (always) and other delicious things. But these foods HAVE to be made in an oven, veggie chips and other things can be made in the hot summer sun.
These aren’t really recipes I suppose; instead it’s just a post to share what I’ve been up to. Maybe inspiration?
To start, I’ll say that I used these mosquito nets because I don’t like the idea of flies on my food. Do any of us?!
I took these cherry tomatoes, halved them and then placed them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I placed them in the sun for about 2 days and boom! Sun-dried cherry tomatoes. They’re so sweet and tart.
I’m excited to bust these out in November and put them in all sorts of pasta. Of course, I’m just gonna eat the chips with like a glass of iced tea.
As I stated above, I cannot live without kale chips. I eat them constantly. I loooove ’em. Have you ever eaten a bunch of kale chips and then tried to talk to someone?! There will be shards of green all up in your teeth–it’s not a good look!
I rubbed the kale leaves with a bit of olive oil and salt and set them outside for about 2 days. They were crispy as could be.
The same with the zucchini chips, except I didn’t use any olive oil and just salted them.
If you know me, then you know that I love making everything homemade, from scratch: biscuits, pie dough, cinnamon rolls and beyond.
But on occasion, I want to take shortcuts. Don’t we all? We do. Sometimes we simply don’t have the time to wait for dough to proof or time to throw together biscuits. We need our carbs now! And we want them to be tasty.
My problem with most store-bought doughs is that they’re filled with weird ingredients. I usually look at that ingredient list and can’t pronounce half of the items and that kinda bums me out. So, today, I teamed up with Annie’s–they just released Buttermilk Biscuits & Crescent Rolls biscuit dough and crescent rolls in the refrigerated aisle at Target–to share a couple ways to make good quality shortcuts.
I’m going to show you three ways to use them:
1. Breakfast – Biscuit and Egg and Maple Bacon Sandwiches. HELLO EASY!
2. Lunch or Dinner – Cherry Tomato Biscuit Cobbler. Delicious and fresh with so much sweetness and acid from the tomatoes.
3. Dessert: Salty Milk Jam Monkey Bread. Obviously this was my favorite.
You can make the milk jam the day before or you can buy dulce de leche, if you’re really looking for a shortcut.
Let’s start with my favorite meal the of day: breakfast. I brushed bacon with a bit of maple syrup and topped it with a ton of black pepper. I always bake my bacon because it’s easier and super hands off. When it comes out, all that needs to be done is to fry off some eggs.
I like my eggs super crispy. Then the assembly happens. I had some fresh basil leaves around because if you can believe it, I haven’t killed my basil plant. It’s actually flourishing. The fresh basil leaves are highly recommended.
These biscuits are buttery with just the right amount of salt (my favorite). They take about 8 minutes to bake up and like two seconds to eat. Pour-over coffee must be served. And maybe orange juice, too.
I’m currently hibernating in air-conditioning because we’re experiencing a horrid heatwave and I hate the sun. My friends think it’s cool to lay out by the pool in a bathing suit and get some sun and I think it’s the most horrifying idea ever. Wrinkles, skin cancer, wrinkles. You just can’t get me to do this ever.
Instead I think a good time is being inside eating slices of semifreddo with the air conditioning blasting in my face while I drink a glass of rosé full of ice cubes. This is fun!
I’ve been searching for flavors to put in a semifreddo that excited me. I’ve seen a ton of awesome ones on da internets but I wanted to obviously try something different.
I turned to my childhood obsession for inspiration. When I was a kid, I couldn’t go to a Thai restaurant without begging my parents for a Thai iced tea. And I’d drink it in like two seconds because I was obsessed with sugar of all kinds because I was deprived.
These popsicles are inspired by one of my favorite food blogs of da moment, Lady and Pups. She posted these fig popsicles a few weeks ago and I couldn’t stop staring at them. I mean…they’re just visions.
I’ve been looking for ways to use kiwi because I’m pretty sure there are absolutely zero kiwi recipes on this entire blog and I thought that was a bit strange. But then, I realized something: kiwis are best eaten exactly as they come. They don’t need to be ground up or baked or mixed with other fruits or oats. They’re best enjoyed in their very natural and fresh state.
I didn’t do much to these except peel them and slice them in half (so they’d fit in the molds properly). The surrounding mixture is just sweetened coconut milk. I used light so it wouldn’t be overly creamy. And on a really hot day (read: everyday rn in LA) these hit the spot. They really do.
In other news, are you one of those psycho people that can bite into popsicles. Because you freak me out. Josh can do this and every time he bites down on one, I have to turn away because it’s a horrifying sight.
Anyway, this weekend + you + these popsicles. Get into it. Or them. Get into them.
Corgis are broken up into two categories: Welsh Pembrokes and Welsh Cardigans. Pembrokes are either tri-colored or that crouton, light brown color you’re probably used to seeing. I get a lot of corgi related questions and emails so I figured I’d put a bunch of things here.
1. Corgis are nosey. I grew up with dogs all my life so I know most dogs are nosey but OMG I swear Amelia is the nosiest dog I’ve ever met/owned. She wants to know everything.
She wants to know what’s in your bag, what’s in your pocket, the last you thing you ate, she wants to know all your secrets. When people come over they have to put their purses on the table because she’ll stick her head in my friends’ purse and pull everything out. And plus, who am I kidding. I love nothing more than to talk about my dog.
2. Corgis bark. A LOT! Corgis are used to herding (mostly) cattle. In order to move that cattle, they have to bark A LOT and loudly! They’re not afraid to bark to get their point across. Basically, Amelia barks at everything: sounds outside, when she’s hungry, when she’s moody, when she’s excited. Ugh.
3. Corgis shed. If I saved all of Amelia’s fur hanging around the corners of the house, I probably could’ve knitted an incredible throw by now.
4. Corgis are affectionate/needy. Amelia is a cuddlier which is nice because that’s why I have a dog. I want to live with animals that love me!
5. Corgis are bossy. Amelia likes to be in control. She wants to be the boss all the time. But I’m da boss so this is our daily struggle. She barks and cries and whines until she gets her way. Unfortunately for her, I am kinda patient and good at blocking her out and ignoring her.
6. Corgis have hind legs that look like rabbits. This is cute and weird all that the same time but I swear their hind legs remind me of lil’ rabbits.
7. Corgis can hold conversations. When I tell Amelia no, she usually grumbles back at me. When I ask her a question, she usually tilts her head and whines. We have full on conversations. They’re very animated.
8. Corgis need jobs. For the first year of Amelia’s life we strapped a backpack on her and put stuff in it. She needed to feel like she was accomplishing something. We’ve also taken her sheep-herding and it’s helped a whole lot with her internal My-So-Called-Life-type of angst.
9. Corgis LOVE food. She has no idea how lucky she is that I make food all day for a living. No idea. Amelia is very food driven which is good and bad. I can get her to do just about anything for a rind of watermelon. But she also has been known to steal bagels, eat whole blog posts and has no shame in eating a moldy bologna sandwich she finds in the bushes.
10. Corgis always look like they’re smiling. It’s true. The way their mouths open when agape it always look like they’re smiling. And you know, most of the time, Amelia is smiling inside because she is one of the happiest friendliest dogs I’ve ever met. The world could be crumbling but she’ll still be in a good mood. This is why I love her so much.
Today is National Big Ass Doughnut Day, did you know that?!
You didn’t know that because it’s not. I would just like it to be. Or maybe I’m just tired of reading about anything national day and this is my way of being a brat about it.
Regardless, there’s a big doughnut just waiting to be made. It starts with a big doughnut pan set. I know. It sucks but it really does require a special pan. A bundt pan will do in a pinch. Luckily, the pan is pretty cheap.
Another thing that is required (yet fun) are homemade BIG sprinkles. Because a big doughnut needs sprinkles that are appropriate in size. So, let’s make homemade sprinkles. Of course, if you’re feeling especially lazy, you can just pour da regular kind on. NO SHAME!
I doubled my chocolate baked doughnut recipe and followed the ratios for the recipe for sprinkles from Food52. If you’ve never made sprinkles before, they are about a million times easier than you would think.
I’m not sure if you’ve heard but watermelon salad is the new kale salad. It’s everywhere. So, here I am being a super basic b providing another iteration, but one that, in my humble opinion, is superior to the others. Or at least slightly different.
There’s no feta or balsamic vinegar or parsley. Instead there’s shaved queso fresco, pickled red onion, lots of cilantro, slice of jalapeño and a bunch of lime juice. It’s a refreshing punch in the face during the most hot time in our year.
These are officially the dog days of summer. Days have been slow in my corner. I’m not that busy. Or as busy as I’m used to being. But that’s ok because it’s a nice slow down before a crazy hectic fall and holiday season. While summer is usually not my season of choice, I’m enjoying the slowness right now. I’m eating lots of bbq, hanging out with Amelia and reading. It’s been a lovely break from the madness.
Oh can we talk watermelons for a second! I’ve gone through a ridiculous amount of watermelons over the course of this summer. I don’t know why (I mean I know why) but I can’t go to the grocery store and NOT buy a watermelon. I usually don’t incorporate it into meals, instead I just eat it plain. I’ve also had a ton of bad watermelon.
Here are some (hopefully) helpful tips on selecting a watermelon to bring home with you:
1. Tap the watermelon. I should give off a deep but hollow sound. If it sounds a bit dullish, more like a boring thump, then it’s overripe. Eeeesh!
2. The weight of a watermelon matters. It should be heavy for its size.
If you’re lucky enough, you’ll open up the watermelon and it’ll be yellow! That was a good day.
1 small seedless watermelon (about 3 pounds), cubed
2 ounces queso fresco, shaved or crumbled
1/2 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1 bunch of cilantro leaves
To a small bowl or mason jar, add the red onion. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Bring the vinegar mixture to a boil then immediately turn off the heat and pour over the onions. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Transfer to the refrigerator. Pickled red onions keep in the fridge for 3 to 6 months.
In a serving bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and a few turns of freshly cracked pepper. Add the watermelon, sliced jalapeño, cilantro and toss gently until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Top with shavings or crumbles of queso fresco, pickled red onion and more cilantro.