Ok, yes, I know I just posted about dukkah crackers but this is different! This is just the spice mixture, which you’re supposed to keep in your cupboard, in a jar, so you can sprinkle it on anything and everything.
When I made these crackers I put the nut inside the cracker so the topping wasn’t exactly straight-up dukkah, but together it made up the flavors. I used the remaining topping in like a day. I wanted to make some regular dukkah, but this time with pistachios. I made this right after and it didn’t last long. I put it on chicken, scrambled eggs, beet hummus and even a simple lil’ boiled egg. And I know we’re like a bajillion light years away from Christmas but I think it’d be even great as a gift, too!
For the whole recipe and more photos, hop over to PBS Food.
I read one of those lame trend reports and apparently collard greens are the new kale. Did you know this? I feel like every year there’s always some sort of claim saying something is the new kale. Let’s just all be ok with the fact that kale is NEVER going away. It’s here to stay. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a moment with new greens.
I loooove collard greens. I love them braised like super Southern-style with ham hock and a side of fried chicken and I love them in this healthy iteration: blanched, air-dried and then stuffed with smooth, sumac-spiked hummus, crispy carrots, avocado, sprouts and herbs.
I could eat a million of these and it’s nice to know that it’s a-ok if I do…that’s if Amelia doesn’t steal them before I get to ‘em.
For the whole recipe and more photos, go to PBS Food.
Invites for holiday parties are started to sprinkle in. I’m always surprised when people invite me to their parties. Is that weird? I’m always like, Oh, I guess they like me? I’m a lil’ weird, I know.
Social situations where I barely know anyone make me super nervous. They make my palms sweat and they make me even more shy than I should be. For this situation I need party ammo. Things I can bring into the maybe-awkward-social situation that will work as lovely conversation starters.
“How ‘bout them nuts?! I made them!” That line will definitely make it more awkward but hopefully the person I’ll be speaking with has a sense of humor and will laugh and I’ll be fast friends.
For this post, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet. These nuts are all super easy to make, take under 30 minutes combined and make good presents, too!
The first variety is Sweet and Salty Rosemary Marcona Almonds. If you’ve never had a Marcona almond, you’re in for a treat. They’re very different from a traditional California almond. They’re softer in texture, lighter in flavor and are a bit sweeter. You can find them in the bulk bin at your local Whole Foods or (possibly) health food store.
The savory and herbaceous rosemary is lovely with the sweet and saltiness. It’s a no-brainer. And very very holiday-esque. Super into them.
The second nut situation we have are Honey Sesame Cashews. They’re sweet and salty and the sesame adds a nice nuttiness to them. If you’re feeling fancy and dramatic, use black sesame seeds. They’ll look really pretty.
A large part of me (the sweaty part) despises summer, but this year I’m like super into it. I’ve been inspired to make all sorts of stuff. Also, I’ve embraced wavy hairs.
This shrimp ceviche might be my most favorite thing EVER. It’s inspired by the ceviche I always order at one of my favorite LA restaurants, Corazon y Miel. The chef there loooves Peruvian food, you can just tell. I believe he’s from somewhere in Central America and while people like to consider it a Mexican restaurant (and sure there are Mexican influences), it isn’t completely true. It seems like he takes some of his favorite Latin American flavors and sort of does a mishmash of them, creating his own unique takes on traditional dishes.
I was born in the south and my family has lived there their whole lives but I don’t really consider myself southern, though I’m definitely southern-ish. I have a strong attraction to southern states, people and food. It was really no surprise that I went back to the south for college, North Carolina to be exact.
My first friend (and best friend ’til this day) at college was a svelte costume design major named Tre. We went everywhere together, including the cafeteria. Rumor had it that our school was just one grade above prison food, which as you know re: Orange is The New black is BAD. Naturally since we were in the south, they had pimento cheese at the salad bar. And everyday Tre would eat pimento cheese on white bread. EVERY SINGLE DAY. (I opted for cereal.) I honestly never touched the pimento cheese because if you think it looks a little scary now in my pictures, imagine how it looked at the ‘one grade above prison salad bar’. Rough.
This past weekend was ALL about girl time. And by girl time, I mean Amelia and I hanging out on the couch, going on hikes, going to the park, binge-watching Orange Is The New Black and driving around running errands.
My dude went on a dude-camping trip and I wasn’t invited. Even if I was invited, I’m not a big camper, if you hadn’t guessed. I like nature, I like waterfalls and the scenery and all that but I also like taking showers and being able to charge my phone. The real-deal camping is a lil’ tough for me.
Also, this means I can’t binge-watch Orange is the New Black, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. Doesn’t it make prison look like fun?! I know prison isn’t fun but the show doesn’t make it seem all that bad. But mainly I like that the characters are flawed and interesting and are usually really good people, just people with off-kilter ethical compasses who made bad decisions.
Ok, less talkie about TV and more talkie about this asparagus.
When roasting, I always try and go for the thicker asparagus. I find it less stringy and fibrous than the super skinny asparagus.
I mixed a bit of white asparagus in this, too. But you definitely don’t have to.
The mayonnaise! AHH! This dish is technically paleo because paleo peeps looove a good homemade mayonnaise. I personally like how paleo ppl make mayonnaise too. No blender. Just one of these immersion blenders.
Add everything to the jar or cylinder container and then pulse. Everything will come together. It feels magical. Hazelnut oil is a little expensive, so if you don’t want to use it, don’t! The actual hazelnuts will make it super nutty.
Last Friday I bought a $13 movie ticket, along with a small bag of $6 popcorn, and joyfully watched the new Jon Favreau movie, The Chef. I loved it! Sure, there were problems with the movie, like the relationship between him and Sofia Vergara (seems a little unrealistic) but whatever, I took the ride.
Not to give too much of the movie away but part of it was shot in South Florida, where I grew up the majority of my life and it made me miss home in a way I never do. I miss my family, but I rarely miss Florida. My meh-ness toward Florida can usually be summed up with one word: humidity.
Despite the excessive moisture in the air, Miami does have a vibrancy and energy that I really do love. And I love all the Latin people (and food) in South Florida. It made me want the food of my peeps. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been obsessed with this Peruvian Aji.
If you go into a Peruvian restaurant, most likely it’ll be on every single table. We eat it with everything. The ingredients can be tough to find. There’s usually a bit of black mint and fresh aji amarillos peppers in the sauce. So, in order to make it as assessible, I altered the recipe below to be as United States-friendly as possible.
Aji amarillo past might be the toughest ingredient to find, though if you live near a Latin American market, it’ll most likely be there. It’s also online. If you can’t get a hold of it, you can always add a bit more jalapeño.
I have a feeling that none of you would be my friend in real life if:
#1 You could hear the voice I use when speaking to Amelia. We all have animal voices. Mine is just REALLY bad. And strangely enough, it’s gets more grating the more tired I get.
#2 You could see me (sometimes!) reach into my dirty hamper and take out dirty socks and put them on my clean feet because ‘they’re not that dirty and I like black socks to match my black Nikes.
#3 You could see how many dishes I dirty when making simple things like a salad, lettuce cups or coffee. ‘Working clean’ is for fancy chefs or people who are more organized in their brains than me.
#4 You could see how many times I open the fridge/freezer, take a swig of something and then return it (versus, you know, pouring myself a glass). But really, I live with only one other person and we make out all the time so it’s totally fine if I double-dip, right…
And now, hummus.
This hummus is a labor of love. I’m afraid that you’ll hate me because of this hummus recipe. I’ve made a super simple thing kind of more complicated but I think it’s worth it so please hear me out. Please!
This recipe starts with shucking a bunch of peas, which I honestly like doing. There’s something about repeating the same motion over and over that is soothing.
And then, I juiced the jackets! Whaaa! If you don’t have a juicer, you can totally skip this step, but I wanted the hummus to be as green as possible and I love the notion of waste not want not.
No matter who you are, you’ll like this recipe. You’ll LOVE this recipe if:
A. You grew up in the 90s and used to go to TGIFridays with your friends where you’d eat appetizers only.
B. You and your parents would go out to dinner at Olive Garden and you’d order fried calamari and the tentacles would terrify you, but you’d still play with them and give them voices.
C. If you went to Macaroni Grill and loved drawing (borderline offensive) things on the paper tablecloths in crayon.
I know I just described my 12 year old self here but I also did all of these things in college, too. Very little spiritual growth happened for me during that time.
When I first moved to LA, and for the first time was completely on my own in this world, I freaked out if I spent more than $10 a meal. So, I did what any penny-pinching new college graduate would do: I found the cheapest most delicious meal at a Mexican-hole-in the wall where I could order three taquitos for $4. Not only was I pumped about saving a bit of money but I was also super stoked to be eating super delicious crispy taquitos. I’m big on texture so I’ll always order the crunchy variety of anything. Crispy tacos over soft tacos, etc., you get the idea…
Sometimes I look back at those times, and while I was super scared about how everything was gonna turn out, they were some of the best times. What’s not to love about being 22 years old and eating $4 taquitos in an alley with friends. Now, I prefer to make my own taquitos because I can control the flavors, quality of meat and most importantly, quality of tortillas.