We’re not really in the dog days of summer. When I think of that term I picture early August, humidity that humbles you and days that involve inner tubes, a river, a cooler full of beer and a janky waterproof radio. Those are some dreamy summer days; instead I’ll be super busy making pie after pie recipe and wishing I had central air conditioning. I’m not complaining, in fact, I’m super excited about my summer.
This week is popsicle week on internets, if you haven’t noticed. My friend and fellow lover of reality TV/gifs, Billy, is hosting popsicle week for the second year in a row (last year I made these Cherry Lambic pops, which are still a big favorite of mine). To see a big list of all the participants and delicious popsicles check out his blog, Wit & Vinegar.
This year I teamed up with Almond Breeze to bring you your favorite childhood sandwich in popsicle form. That may sound weird but I can’t sing the praises of frozen peanut butter milk enough. The almond milk mixed with sweetened and salty peanut butter is like heaven. I could drink it by the glass, and I plan on doing so in the future, but I think my favorite version of it is in frozen form.
The concord grape jelly needs to be added sparingly, almost like how I prefer my PB&J sandwiches. I always make my PB&Js with a slight smear of jelly and a TON of peanut butter. Sloppy PB&Js were not my thing.
The almond milk marries so well with the creamy natural peanut butter. And both of them freeze really well.
I’m writing a book! (I’m currently doing jazz hands in Amelia’s face! She hates it/loves it.)
The book will be called The Year of Cozy. It’ll take you through an entire year of recipes, DIYs (oh yeh, we’re getting crafty!) and ideas on how to make the best of the small, seemingly insignificant moments. (I know that last part sounds hippie-dippy and maybe it is a little, but I swear it’ll make sense.)
The book is being published by Rodale and I’m lucky enough to be working with my dream editor, Dervla Kelly (who also happens to write a super fun blog, The Curator)!! Over the course of the next year, I’ll be putting this book together, glue gun and rolling pin in hand, and will be sharing sneak peaks via my favorite social media channel ever, Instagram. I’ll be sure to be a good social media user and hashtag everything properly with #TheYearofCozy. I used to boycott hashtags because I thought they were cheesy but look at me now! (P.S.: I’ve already shared some stuff because I couldn’t help myself.)
The book will feature pictures of my favorite animal and roommate. And a few dog-friendly recipes (hello doggie doughnuts!) will also appear.
There will be kitchen crafts and projects (like this Breakfast in a Box) so your holidays can be cute.
A lot of the recipes will be project-oriented; some easy-breezy and some that will be more involved. I promise that all of them will be delicious.
I don’t want to give away too much but there will be ice cream because what else are we supposed to eat for dinner during those summer days that are too hot to cook?!
But in all seriousness, I wanted to thank you so very much for coming to this lil’ blog to read, comment and hang out. You all really are the best. I sincerely appreciate your continued support. Thank you, thank you!
Last night my clutch was stolen—and to makes things worse, it was my favorite Claire Vivier—straight out of my very unlocked car. It was a big ol’ gigantic bonehead move on my part. I blame my dad. He never locked the front door because he was raised in The South in the 70s where no one locked their doors and people actually borrowed sugar from their neighbors. I tend to shrug off the idea that people will steal from me because, well, I wouldn’t steal from me!
Luckily no real damage was done. I actually didn’t even realize it was stolen until I went to grab my wallet when I went to pick-up my takeout Chinese food at Pine & Crane. The restaurant took pity on my moneyless-self and gave me my dinner on the house. I thought that was so nice; it made me believe in good people all over again. I got all these fuzzy feelings in my tummy at how nice they were about it.
In moments like these, I need comfort. And in my world that comfort comes in form of breakfast. This is what I like to think of as a summer porridge. Something you’d eat during the warmer months.
This recipe comes from the book, The Homemade Flour Cookbook, by Erin over at Naturally Ella. In this book, Erin explores the variety of ways you can grind your own flours at home. And, it includes a ton of recipes that focuses on those flours, seeds and even beans. I think it’s a really interesting book. I thumbed through most of the recipes and fell in love with this flax porridge with peaches. I love a good porridge but had yet to try one with flax in it.
Do you ever realize that the package of hot dogs and the package of buns doesn’t equate to the same amount?
This means that you’ll often times be left with two unused hot dogs buns…and then if you buy more hot dogs, you’ll end up with no buns and just hot dogs.
Every day after school I’d come home, hungry, with a desire to sit in front of the television for thirty minutes before I started my homework. I’d wrap a hot dog in a paper towel and stick it in the microwave to cook (why I did this I have no idea). On a rare occasion there’d be a bun but most of the time there was nothing! So I’d eat it with just ketchup and stuff. This had all to do with the dilemma I pointed out above. Too many hot dogs and no buns!
This is a pure example of the left hand not talking to the right hand. Also, why didn’t hot dog companies get in the business of hot dog buns?! It would only make sense. It would’ve cleaned this problem right up.
Anyway, I’ve had chili cheese dogs on my mind recently so I decided to make a version that didn’t scare me. Sometimes hot dogs can scare me a little.
This is why making hot dogs at home is the best case scenario for me. I can ensure that I’m eating hot dogs that are nitrate-free and are made with ingredients I can pronounce.
The chili might be my favorite thing ever. It’s SO fast. No need to sit here and make real chili—that’s too much work. This one cooks up in minutes and is way thicker than the normal soupier version. I think the thicker version works way better when we’re using it as a topping for a hot dog.
I like to think that the woman population is broken into two categories: women who love nothing more than to spend hours at Target, perusing the aisles for all of the things…and women who get itchy at just the thought of having to enter.
I belong to the second group. Yesterday I went to buy a pretty white floor lamp, which isn’t online or else I’d have you tell me if it’s cute or not, and I formulated a plan before I entered—I was in and out in 15 minutes! I got home thinking I was on top of my game…until I pulled the lamp out of its box only to find I had to assemble it, which normally shouldn’t be a big deal but it took me well over an hour. It was a bad scene, I hadn’t eaten, my blood sugar was low, meltdown mode was thisclose.
I kept making mistakes, which I think was partly due to the fact that I couldn’t really see (I have bad vision when it’s dark). I needed the lamp’s light to put the lamp together! It’s like when I need my glasses to find my glasses. Anyway, I got through my Tuesday night just fine, thank you for your concern.
After finally having enough light to see, I headed to the kitchen to eat this post’s leftovers. It’s a gem of a recipe from a gem of a cookbook from Kimberley Hasselbrink. Her new book, Vibrant Food, is all about eating color. Don’t you ever look at a colorful plate of food and get excited. I have to say I do. This is why I’ll always pick the purple cauliflower over the white cauliflower and why the farmer’s markets here in Los Angeles make me so dang giddy.
This book celebrates foods’ natural colors and vibrancy in a really delicious way. The recipes are easy-to-follow, the combinations interesting and the food is just downright pretty.
All of the recipes are things you’ll want to eat on a random Wednesday, which is honestly my favorite type of food to make. Very normal, everyday food, but with twists that make them special.
Sometimes I’m so hungry I feel like I might die. I know I’m being super melodramatic because people can go days and sometimes weeks without food but something happens where my blood sugar levels dictate my mood…and brain. I become angry, desperate…and then super creative.
I begin pairing ingredients that are strange and on the verge of not-so-pleasant. But a few weeks ago, I came across a freakin’ gem. I peered in my fridge, saw some tortillas, cheese and some leftover shredded chicken. That is when the first child from a quesadilla mother and taco father was born. QuesaTaco!
I’m an inventor…or so I thought. I googled it and realized some stoner kid on Reddit had already done it. SO, I didn’t exactly invent it but I still feel pretty proud of this recipe.
This recipe starts with a super quick cooking situation with diced summer squash, ancho chile powder and ground cumin. That’s the filling.
Then I made a bunch of quesadillas.
The quesadillas were then topped with all sorts of stuff…like a taco!
The other day as I was perusing my morning email, I noticed all of these offerings for Father’s Day. Tool kit this, ugly tie that…and lots and lots of golf stuff. Whose dad likes this stuff?! No, my dad doesn’t want an ugly golf tie. He doesn’t even wear ties. No, he doesn’t want a grilling brush…because, well, it’s a grilling brush! I’m sorry but there’s nothing thoughtful and interesting about a brush that’s used to scratch the gross meat-bits off a grill. I think Father’s Day needs a revamp.
While all of these companies try and throw very gender-stereotypical gifts our way, I’d like to share what my dad would really like for Father’s Day.
My dad wants to have lunch with me and hear me talk because even though he’s always told me I talk too much, we don’t see each other enough, and me talking too much is exactly what he now wants. He wants to watch a game of soccer with people who are just as excited about it as he is a.k.a my brother, his father and his brothers.
He wants to run Amelia in the park and teach her new tricks because he loves her almost more than I do. My love for dogs comes from him. And to cap the day off, he’d want dessert. No one loves dessert more than my papa. His first choice would be ice cream. Second would be something chocolate-oriented. Actually, he’s a big fan of putting chocolate things on top of his vanilla ice cream. So this recipe would be the thing that goes on top.
Most of my dad’s Colombian family now lives in Brazil and has for more than thirty years. So, now most of my family now considers themselves Brazilian. This recipe isn’t a recipe I necessarily learned from them, but it is one that I’ve been wanting to make for a long time.
It’s the kind of dessert you’ll most likely see on a buffet table at someone’s house. The preparation is super simple. The ingredients are somewhat minimal and it doesn’t take very long to do. Since I like to put twists on classics, I rolled mine in a variety of things like crushed pretzels, potato chips and finely chopped pistachios and walnuts. The traditional move are the chocolate sprinkles, which I recommend, too.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and father figures out there. I’m so grateful I was raised by a good one.
(P.S. for the full recipe, jump on over to PBS Food!)
My love for BLTs has existed since I was in my mom’s tummy. Story has it that my dad was so obsessed with BLTs, while my mom was pregnant, that a day didn’t go by he wouldn’t make one. My mom slowly became repulsed by the smell of bacon to the point of nausea, to the point where my dad was forbidden to make his beloved sandwich.
My mom is now vegan and I’ve never met a BLT I didn’t like. My dad’s BLT obsession resulted in two very different outcomes!
This Blue Cheese BLT is a fun rendition of the traditional sandwich. The blue cheese is made into a spread that goes on both sides of the bread. Then it’s sort of normal from there: good-quality, thick-cut bacon, sour dough bread, butter lettuce and a few slices of perfectly ripe tomatoes.
But here’s the thing that you MUST add: potato chips. Yes, potato chips TO the sandwich. I know the recipe doesn’t say to add them but if you do you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Potato chips to any sandwich, PB&Js included, add so much. Texture, salt, flavor…the list goes on. And on.
This recipe along with a few others are a part of a batch of recipes I developed for the company Salemville. It’s a blue cheese company whose cheese are hand-crafted an Amish community in Cambria, Wisconsin. The blue cheese is funky and creamy and so so delicious.
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.