So I’m on this sort of diet thing. It’s not a diet, exactly. It’s more of a don’t-eat-everything-you-want-which-includes-two-doughnuts-in-a-row kind of thing. I’m basically just trying to eat a bit healthier, though tomorrow I’m totally sharing something fun with you.
In the nature of this blog, which is a reflection of what I’m eating and obsessing over, there might be some more healthier recipes popping in and out over the next few months. This will never be a healthy-type blog; I simply love butter too much, but I am almost relearning how to cook and eat in a way. My default is always to finish things with a bit of butter. Bolognese? Finish it with butter. Sear a steak? Top it with a bit of butter? I’m learning how to not cook with so much fat.
I always know I feel better when I work out but it definitely takes effort to get in your car and drive somewhere to work out. I tend to make so many excuses. But right now I’m into it so I’m riding the wave. Also, if all this healthy/workout talk is boring, I’m sorry. Tomorrow I have pop tarts, ok? POP TARTS!
But today, fries that aren’t fries. They’re frauds. Delicious little frauds topped with lemony, garlicky yogurt, Italian parsley and sweet pomegranate seeds.
Drop biscuits are the lazy person’s biscuits. That’s how they should be advertised. There’s no kneading, no rolling out, no cutting out. No nothing. Just mix, drop and bake.
I’m currently in hardcore planning mode for my boyfriend’s birthday bbq this weekend. He wanted something low-key with just his closest friends and family so I said, OK, but I’m going to create a Pinterest board and maybe get a little psycho about the decorations because I’m me! He’s breaking out the smoker to smoke some pulled pork and beans and of course I’m making biscuits, Arnold Palmers and putting together a Bloody Mary Bar.
I was playing around with some other ideas besides my favorite classic biscuit recipe. I wanted something that had a bit funkier taste and I love the salty bacon.
My dad was in town for a few days and even though he bosses me around, wakes up way too early and always tells me my car needs to be cleaned, I had the best time ever. Living across the country from my parents is hard. When I see them, I see them differently, and after they leave I always tend to think a lot about my childhood.
My dad and I have always baked together. It’s the thing we share. My dad isn’t a pro-baker or anything like that—he does it strictly as a hobby, and for many years it was his favorite hobby. A few years ago, over a holiday break, my dad and I spent two days baking gougeres. We had no idea what we were doing, but we followed a bunch of recipes, tweaked a bunch of stuff and after two days we finally ended up with a batch we deemed totally perfect.
After my dad left town all I wanted to do was make something that felt familiar and something that reminded me of the man who taught me to how to change a tire and the man who taught me the value of never quitting.
Gougeres are made from pate a choux. If you’ve never made it before you may think it’s a weird and wrong.
The recipe begins by cooking butter with water, flour, and in this case, beer. And then you mix in eggs–even though they might not feel like they can actually be incorporated into the dough. They eventually do.
Oreo decided to be super nice and send me their two new soon-to-be-released cookies: Cookie Dough and Marshmallow Crispy. So of course I ate like 10 in one sitting and felt sick and terrible about myself. I contemplated not eating for the rest of the day just to make up for it, but quickly admitted to myself that I could never do that. I’m not a girl who goes on cleanses. They’ve never worked out for me. Instead I just eat some carrots.
Last year Josh whipped me up a snack of roasted carrots, whipped goat cheese and carrot-top pesto. I remember having my mind blown a little bit. Up until that point I don’t think I had eaten the tops of the carrot before; I’m pretty sure I usually just threw those things away with absolutely no remorse. But why? I used beet greens in stuff before, why not the tops of carrots?
I know this week I’ve thrown you some renditions of Thanksgiving classics, but when it comes to cranberry sauce I like my stuff simple. Classic. Don’t throw sage in my dang cranberry sauce. Don’t put bacon in my cranberry sauce. I’ll get an attitude.
I have very fond memories of buying cranberry sauce from the can and plopping it onto a plate and carefully slicing it in between the can-rivets. I loved it. For years, even after I got into cooking, I’d still buy cranberry sauce from the can–it was emotional, I think! But now I just can’t do it, especially considering how simple and easy and delicious homemade cranberry sauce is.
One of my favorite “single-person” meals is a baked sweet potato with about three tablespoons of butter on top. It’s the most delicious thing to eat when all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch a TV show. I love the act of eating something and watching something. In film school, I’d go to Chipotle right before class and sneak a burrito into the theater and sit in the back while watching some super artsy movie. It was very much against policy to eat in our school theater, but I couldn’t help it–I wanted to watch the movie AND eat.
Whenever I do go to the movies now, I always try and convince Josh to get a burrito before, but he always wins because his argument about sitting down at an actual restaurant like a real human versus sneaking burritos in my purse is a valid one, you know. Sooo…now you know my single-person/gossip TV meal. This gratin is a hella fancy version of that…sorta.
This is Thanksgiving-table worthy. It’s cheesy and slightly sweet and delicious.
Hello sandwich with apple cole slaw (sans mayonnaise)!!
I’m actually not a mayo hater, I just kind of dislike it in my cole slaw.
A few weeks ago the super nice people from SweeTango sent me an email and asked me if I’d like to try their apples. Of course I enthusiastically said yes because it was sweltering at the time and I was yearning for fall to arrive.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that SweeTangos are some of the best apples I’ve ever had–they’re SO crispy, perfectly sweet and slightly acidic. As I bit into the apple and walked around my apartment, Amelia started jumping after me like a lunatic because she’s obsessed with foods that make noise. I don’t understand this, but if I’m eating crunchy chips she will not leave me alone. It’s something about the noise. So, basically my point is that these apples are crazy crispy, in a good way, of course.
While I love to bake with apples, these are better suited to be paired with something, maybe cheese, maybe in a salad or simply enjoyed on their own. I’d categorize them as fancy-ass apples. Kind of high-end, if you will. If you live in LA, you can find them at Gelson’s grocery store. If you’re located elsewhere, no biggie, they’re sold nationwide. I’d like to discuss this sandwich, please.
The summer heat has hit Los Angeles and all I want to do is turn up the AC ’til it’s totally freezing, curl up in bed and watch Breaking Bad, but I can’t…because I don’t have AC, so basically I’m dying. A lot of people think Los Angeles is this smoldering, super hot place, but it’s actually fairly mild. Like, the winters are cold and the summers are summery, yes, but the nights get chilly. I likez it.
This whole week people have been freaking about Miley Cyrus; but for me it’s been all about grapes. Sorry Miley and your stupid tongue. Also, those big mascots scared me.
There’s a grocery store that rhymes with Schmole Foods and they actually sell heirloom tomatoes in the dead of winter. (Or at least in California they do.) Heirloom tomatoes in winter go for about $9 a pound, which means that if you tried to make this jam in January, it’d cost you a bajillion dollars. A BAJILLION!
I’m not one to typically take expensive fruit or tomatoes and cook them down and make jam. I always feel like it’s a bit of a waste to use fancy produce to make jam or jelly. Eat ’em raw, put them in a salad, toss them with pasta. You know, stuff like that. Not jam. “Seconds,” as they call them, however, are kind of perfect for jam. They’re the rejects. Jam is perfect for rejects. Jam is forgiving and actually appreciates overly ripe produce that’s on the verge on being tossed. Pies are kinda perfect for rejects, too.
In another world, I’m a southern grandmother who’d love nothing more than to invite you into my rambling old house, offering sweet tea and using the persuasion of pie as a way to force you into listening to the stories of my youth. I’m probably dressed in a mumu, a floral mumu, and my house shoes are actually cute. And let’s be honest, I probably don’t have a corgi, but instead some sort of mangy, one-eyed lapdog. He’s cute.
If I did a good job and talked you into staying for dinner, there’d be some sort of salad with buttermilk ranch dressing and my absolute favorite…spoon bread. I love traditional-straight-up-no-twist spoon bread. It’s fluffy and custardy and if you make it at the right season (read: late summer), it’s sweet and rich. I love the addition of cheddar cheese and charred corn. But my absolute favorite is the sweet corn-spiked milk that is the base of this recipe. It makes it delicious. I mean, it’s practically drinkable.
If I did my job, you’ll want to make this dish in a mumu with rollers in your hair. I support this. Here’s the link on PBS Food.