Once upon a time I loved my daddy a whole lot. We’d sit on the couch together and we’d watch sports I didn’t care about. The only thing I cared about were all the snacks he had. He always had the best snacks. There was ice cream and saltine crackers and of course, plantain chips, straight from the bag.
We were best friends then, him and me, and these chips. I never really thought about the chips again until I moved away, far away from home, far away from him and far away from any Cuban and South American food.
I was working a boring desk job when a lunch menu was plopped on my desk. It was for a Cuban restaurant nearby.
My bratty cynical self about Cuban food in LA started to scan the menu, stopping at my favorite: ropa vieja. When my food was delivered I was right about the ropa vieja but so wrong about the plaintain chips that came for free.
They were thin as newspaper, crispy AF and slightly salty.
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.
Lately everything has been happening too soon. Holidays, birthdays, ends of months, beginning of seasons, etc. Everything.
I don’t know if that has to do with me living in a big city like Los Angeles where everything just moves so quickly or it has to do with this part of my life, when it’s busy-busy and there’s no time for slowness.
I’m trying to figure out ways to stop time a bit. One thing I’ve been doing lately is going to the farmer’s market on Sundays and cooking with what I get that day. I try for it to be as leisure as possible, I play music, loudly, I invite my friends over. I drink wine. I eat cheese.
For this post, I teamed up with The Laughing Cow because I can eat like twenty of their wedges of cheese and not even think twice. Out of all their flavors the new Creamy Asiago might be my favorite. I have good memories of asiago bagels so maybe this is why I love it so much.
This month is the best month because it’s Grilled Cheese month. I’m not sure who comes up with these official months but instead of questioning it, I’m embracing it by giving you my dream grilled cheese on National Grilled Cheese Day: Spinach Artichoke Dip Grilled Cheese.
I thought the flavors of my all-time favorite dip in a grilled cheese would make eye-heart emojis go off in my brain and I was right.
I could write a dissertation on how I think shredded cheese is the ticket for grilled cheeses but I’ll keep it short. If you want a gooey, melty, irresistible grilled cheese, you need to do three things:
#1 Use shredded cheese. And use one that’s really melty. Enter: Fine Cut Shredded Mozzarella!
I’m really good at overeating deviled eggs. And let me tell you, they’re sort of not such a great thing to overeat. Pie? Ok sure. Ice cream? Alright. But deviled eggs? A little gross.
My motto with deviled eggs: Proceed with modesty and I’ll be ok! These were inspired by this recipe for naturally pickled eggs that my friend Hourie sent me from Epicurious. I was like daaaaang, so beautiful. I’ve made beet pickled eggs before. But never cabbage and turmeric. And let me tell you, the colors these two ingredients leave behind is so ridiculously beautiful.
The turmeric combination might be my favorite. The cloves, cardamom pods and black peppercorns make for a really delicious flavor combination that you can really taste in the eggs.
The process is simple: you combine the vinegar, water and sugar with the different type of pickling items you’d like. This liquid is boiled and then brought down to room temperature. The boiled eggs are dropped into the pickling liquid and then they sit in the mixture for about 24 hours, or up to 2 days.
How was your long weekend? I ended up staying in the apt all weekend long with the oven cranking, testing Valentine’s Day recipes. Yeah, that holiday is flying towards us quickly, have you seen the drug stores?! They’re like Valentine’s Day vom-ed everywhere.
I’ve also continued my diet situation and I’m feeling really good…except for those moments when a chocolate cake is on the counter and I have to stay N-O. DA STRUGGLE.
One thing that I feel super chill about eating is this banana bread. The coziest of cozy foods will always and forever be banana bread. This is a bit of a healthier iteration utilizing spelt flour (my favorite) and oat flour. The butter was replaced with olive oil. There’s only a lil’ bit of brown sugar to make it taste delicious but it could easily replaced with coconut nectar or brown rice syrup, if needed. And I love the additions of cocoa nibs, millet seeds and dates. It’s a banana bread that’s yes, moist (shudder), but filled with great texture and flavor.
A monsoon has arrived in Los Angeles. Not sure if you’ve heard. I’m sure you know because every Angeleno is posting photos on Instagram as if they’ve never seen rain before. I understand, it is pretty mesmerizing and soothing and peaceful.
This week I’ve vowed to stay on this cleanse and I’m doing pretty great so far. Granted it’s only been like a day. But still! The best part about this cleanse is that I can eat because I have to chew! I don’t know if that makes sense at all but the hardest part about those psychotic juice cleanses is that you never eat. At least with this one I can have food.
This recipe is tweaked from Goop and it tastes exactly like the ginger carrot dressing at Benihana. If you went as a kid, you’ll remember it well.
Every single birthday party for at least 3 years took place at Benihana.
I think it’s safe to say that I love English things. I have an English dog (hi Amelia), an English car (hi Mini Cooper), I love baking scones and drinking tea with a splash of milk in it and I love reading English literature. I also grew up watching English dramas on PBS, including most recently Downton Abbey.
Next month I’m headed to London with Grey Poupon to visit a few Downton Abbey locations, including Highclere Castle. Imagine forty exclamation points because I feel like that expresses my true excitement. I can’t wait to sip tea in the same rooms as Edith and Mary and Sybil. (I miss her!)
To kick things off, I’m sharing this recipe for Welsh Rarebit.
Now, when I first heard the name of this recipe I swore it had rabbit in it or something. I dunno! It’s confusing! Rarebit…rabbit. They sort of look alike.
If you don’t know what it is, Welsh Rarebit is basically a beer sauce that’s typically poured over a piece of toast. I love melted leeks so I added that to the bread for a bit of an onion flavor.
I was watching the new season of Mind of Chef the other night and it’s goooooood. Oh man, I want to make and eat every single thing Gabrielle Hamilton makes on the show. There was an episode that especially stood out to me; it was all about “garbage” and waste. She, like, many chefs is constantly thinking about waste. It’s pretty incredible how many times she uses a broth over, how she reuses scraps and how she uses “waste” in other dishes in new and unexpected ways. It shows how clever and smart and conscious she is.
I, too, think about waste. Running this food blog, I’m often left with leftovers. I think about storing them, rolling leftover ingredients into another recipe and blog post. This means fresh herbs are stored in bags with a damp paper towel (do you do this? they last SO much longer), cheese are stored in bags and containers help with leftovers.
Today I’m teaming up with Glad to talk about World Food Day, which is next week (October 16th). World Food Day is about taking a stand against worldwide hunger. The mission is to protect food so it stays fresher, longer. It’s about being a bit aware of our consumption and of our food waste.
For each black & white food photo you post and tag #GladToShare, Glad will donate $1 to international charity Free The Children to provide a nutritious meal for a person in need in communities around the globe. Visit Glad to learn more about how you can take a stand against global hunger in honor of World Food Day.