Last year I went on my first trip to Chicago and had da best time evrrr! It’s definitely one of my favorite cities in the country. Josh and I actually thought about moving to Chicago after that trip but the winters…oof.
I began to envision myself walking down the street in January with two handfuls of groceries, with wind and snow and more wind all up in my face and it sort of stressed me out. So, for now, I’m just gonna make Chicago dogs.
Fourth of July is this weekend and I figured it was the perfect time to make one! If you’ve never had one, man, you’re in for a treat. On that trip to Chicago, I had my first Chicago dog and it was so memorable.
For this post, I teamed up with ALDI. Last week, I headed to ALDI and bought all the accoutrements necessary to make the best Chicago dog. They had nearly everything for these dogs, and basically all things summer-y at super affordable prices.
We’re currently going through an insane heatwave in lovely El Ley. I made these cute things last week when going outside in the early mornings required a fluffy sweatshirt and turning on your oven didn’t seem like an insane thing to do.
In the world of empanada land, I would say that these are more similar to Argentina-style empanadas. The dough is flakey and baked, not fried. I love this dough because while it’s flakey, it’s not exactly like pie dough. It’s more toothsome than that. And the filling is SO good that I often times will just make the filling and pair it with cauliflower rice or something. This is if I’m trying to be healthy. If not, I eat it this way…
Last September I went to Nashville (here, here and here) to work for Renaissance Marriott. Luckily, I was in New York just before that and my friend Ben told me every place to hit up. Prince’s Hot Chicken was at the top of the list and right when I landed, I took my nondescript rental car straight there. I ordered the HOT but immediately regretted my choice when a local woman sat down and told me she would never EVER order the HOT, “it’s too hot for me,” she said.
I was like uhhhh ok. I’m screwed. When it came, I ate it and it was totally tolerable for me, delicious in fact. But, I did grow up with a Peruvian mama who loved eating spicy food so my brother and I, like, love heat.
You know that saying, I’m working for the weekend. I’ve always thought that sentence was SO depressing because it made it seem like weekdays can’t be fun.
But right now, that’s sort of my reality. The next two weeks are jam-packed with deadlines and long to-do lists and recipes I need to nail. So, while I’m definitely not working for this weekend, I’m sort of working for Memorial Day Weekend. I’m headed to Palm Springs with a few friends and I’m super excited about swimming in the pool with Amelia. My friends Cassie and Burke are bring their pet bird, Ludo, which is sort of strange but whatever!
I’ve been thinking a lot about chimichurri recently.
Back when I was a senior in high school, in Florida, I spent that entire year mostly eating (surprise, surprise!). I grew up mostly eating cuban, Colombian, Peruvian and of course, American food, but this was the year where I really sought after different types of food on the regular.
If there’s a deal to be had, I’m down. When I first graduated from college and was on a serious budget, I came across an article where Jaques Pepin talked about how he would walk into a grocery store and only cook from the items that were on sale.
I looooved that idea so I started to do that, too. At first I thought it was going to be super difficult, but having things narrowed down actually ends up being oddly helpful.
A few weeks ago I visited ALDI in Arcadia and pretty much did the same exact thing, except everything is practically on sale.
Lately I’ve been playing this super fun game called How Many Episodes of Fixer Upper Can I Watch In a Row. Another game I like to play: How Many Iterations of Enchiladas Can I Make.
I’m great at both games! As a person who lives in LA and deals with housing prices that make me want to cry (especially for what you get), this show makes me want to move to Waco, Texas allllll the time. (Except I’m not sure if I could live in Waco, even tho a craftsmen for 30k looks amazing!)
The other game, the enchilada one, has proven to be pretty delicious. This one is filled with your favorite spring vegetables: asparagus, fresh peas, baby spinach and tons of flavaaaa.
This weekend was a celebration! The bees successfully packed up their belongings and moved their hive to Pasadena and we got honey! Woot woot! The honey is dark amber, delicious and rich. It wasn’t enough to make a whole dessert from but it was just enough to drizzle on some ricotta slathered on a piece of toast. Good enough for me.
And! And! Joshua is back from a 2-week stint in Asia so I celebrated by baking cookies and making a whole bowl of good things: sautéed artichokes, asparagus, brown rice, an avocado sort of shaped like a rose, and a bunch of bloosmdale spinach.
And then I decided to make these baked falafel balls because I’m allergic to frying things (sometimes).
I learned a trick from Mark Bittman. The trick to good baked falafel is to brush a baking sheet with a few tablespoons of olive oil so it almost pan fries in the oven. The result is a nice golden brown crust all on the outside. Genius, right?!
I’ve seen cauliflower pizza crusts around for a while. And each time, I shook my head like oh hell no. Because I’m what you call a real pizza lover type of person. I like real crust, real gluten, real carbs.
But for the past few months (since the beginning of the year), I’ve been working out like crazy (mainly because I’ve started to really like it) and have been searching for something healthy-ish to eat at night when I want pizza.