I feel like I’ve told you about my obsession with the Amalfi coast and how all I’ve wanted to do recently is get on a plane, stay in an apartment overlooking the ocean, swim all day and eat all night. The dish that I’m guessing I’d eat copious amounts of is this linguine con le vongole.
Since there’s no trip to Italy in sight, I figured maybe making the dish from the place I’ve been dreaming about might make me feel better. It totally didn’t, but it did make for an amazing lunch so I figured I’d share it with you in case you, too, might be needing a dish to make you want to be in some place other than your desk/current location/grey cubicle, etc.
For this dish, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet spices because it seems like I can’t really make anything without adding a bit of crushed red pepper flakes. They are staple in my house. A ramekin of them sits right next to the black pepper and salt. I add them to EVERYTHING.
I’ve learned in the last few weeks that giving your corn headbands is a good idea. Husks look adorable still attached to corn; they just need some help being tamed so you can smash your face into the cob of corn. Headbands made of husks totally work.
I feel like I might make elote in a somewhat controversial way. A lot of people boil corn in espazote to give it a good flavor; but honestly I loooove raw corn so I say scratch the boiling step and just go straight to the grill. The juicy, fresh-tasting corn with the bits of char are a winning combo. Boiling sounds like no fun at all. I think boiling on the scale of cooking options might be my least favorite, unless it’s boiled in butter or oil; but then it’s more like frying.
Other additions that must accompany elote? Lots of cotija cheese all crumbled, lots of lime wedges, crema or mayonnaise and ancho chile powder.
For the full recipe that isn’t really all that much like a recipe, hop on over to PBS Food
Tomorrow I’m headed to Sonoma for a friend’s wedding and I’m excited to leave L.A. for three days and drink lots of bourbon and maybe dance. I also have a tight dress I need to fit into and Ice Cream Week didn’t help at all. Also, Chipotle. I dunno what it is but since I practically cook all day, with most of it being sweet, all I want at the end of the day is SALT. Like, “Hi, I’ll take the kale salad with a side of salt,” or “I’ll take that piece of healthy fish and please season it a.k.a put hella salt on it.” It’s a part of my need for balance which in this instance backfires.
There are currantly (someone told me to do that on Instagram and I couldn’t resist – so cheesy yet still funny!) like ten different flavors of ice cream in my fridge and this is the one I keep going back for. The white chocolate unexpectedly works. I usually don’t even like white chocolate but it’s really lovely.
The currant part is so pretty and pink. Dat color! It’s like cotton candy pink which is maybe my favorite shade of pink. And it’s tart! So dang tart in the best way possible.
Today I’m very (what I like to refer to as)….#Hormotional. (And the hashtag part is important.)
Do you ever have friends who teach you things? A few weeks ago my friend Lara was talking about trying to buy a new home and all the pitfalls and hang-ups that come with that, especially in city like Los Angeles where property is ridiculously priced and everyone seems to have more money than you. After a phone call of bad news from her realtor, she hung up and decided to fix up her apartment. Not because she felt like she’ll be there forever, she still intends on moving, but she felt like if she was striving for something bigger and better, that maybe it’d be a good idea to feel grateful for what she already has. Asking, striving from a place of gratefulness.
I haven’t really stopped thinking about that conversation for a few weeks now. I’m not sure what it really means for me, but I know that every day I try and with that comes anxiousness and impatience. Two traits that aren’t the most admirable in myself and in other people.
Recently, I’ve felt like stopping for a moment to say thank you. Not necessarily to a specific person or thing but just in general.
So every single day, I’ve been taking mental notes of things that make me happy in the smallest ways.
Do you ever do this? It’s one part cheesy and one part absolutely necessary.
A few weeks ago I made creme brûlée. Do you remember this? Let me preface by saying that whenever I shoot my recipes, Amelia is right there because she’s always hoping and praying that I drop something so she can swoop in and eat it. She’s eaten A LOT of things normal dogs haven’t eaten. There was this one time a tortilla chip fell out of a bra (I was going through a rough time) and she ate it within seconds of it falling onto the floor. We’re best friends.
Anyway, so I poured a few teaspoons of sugar on to each custard and ignited the torch. Right when the flame started, Amelia went and bolted to the bathroom where she started peeing (sorry I said “peeing” on a food blog but it’s a part of the story!). I quickly realized that she is petrified of the torch. So, I put it away and haven’t brought it out since, but now I think she’s confused that the torch is the same as my camera. Whenever I shoot recipes and pull out my camera, she goes and hides under the couch.
I’ve tried everything: putting snacks next to the camera, placing the camera next to me to show her that look, it’s fine, it’s JUST A CAMERA! It’s times like these that I wish I was Cesar Milan. I’m not sure how to make her not scared of my camera. I don’t want her all stressed out, especially since I practically shoot recipes on a daily basis.
If you have tips, I’m ALL ears.
Today, we are continuing ICE CREAM WEEK with this Cherry Ice Cream with a Whole Wheat Crisp. It’s fruity, sweet and creamy with a salty, slightly sweet crisp topping. HEAVEN.
ALSO, a giveaway with Whole Foods Market! If you’ve visited your local Whole Foods recently, you’ve probably noticed the cherries. They’re insanely amazing right now!
This giveaway is for a $150 gift certificate. To enter, do this:
I’m so excited to share with you a bunch of fun ice cream recipes. My hope is that you’re super sweaty and so over summer. Think of this like a reboot because we still have a month or so to go and I don’t want to hear anything about fall. I’m not ready, we still have ice cream to make/eat!
This has been the summer of beer for me. I’ve had a good amount of it–with most of it not being suitable for a float of any kind, except lambics, which are forever my favorites. (Remember last year when I made popsicles with cherry lambic?).
Peach and bourbon or whiskey is pretty much a no-brainer combination and I figured a peach-flavored beer and ice cream spiked with whiskey would be a sure-fire win.
If you’re unfamiliar with lambics, here’s a quick download: Fruit Lambics (because they’re not all made with fruit) are Belgium beers fermented with wild yeasts and bacteria. Often times, during their secondary fermentation time, fruit is added, i.e., peaches, strawberris, cherries, etc. The beer is tart and takes on the flavor of the fruit it’s fermented with. Think one part shrub and one part beer. It’s effervescent and very, VERY summer-y.
This ice cream is a dream. It’s creamy and balanced, slightly salty and the whiskey prohibits it from.
A few thoughts on ice cream:
1. I use this Cuisinart ice cream-maker. There are better ones out there, but this one is pretty economical, especially if you’re not making ice cream everyday.
2. I insist everyone get a digital-read thermometer. It makes ice cream-making SO much easier. No guessing as to when the custard is done!
3. I use these deli cups to store ice cream because they’re cheap and easy.
4. There’s a cute wooden handled ice cream scooper pictured, but I really love these sturdy ones.
Look at those little speckles of vanilla bean. INSERT EMOJI HEART EYES!
YAY FOR ICE CREAM!
Peach Lambic Float with Whiskey Ice Cream
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 pint of ice cream
Serving Size: 4
1/4 vanilla bean
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
Bottle of peach lambic
To a large bowl, prepare an ice bath by adding a heaping handful of ice cubes to a large bowl and topping it off with a few splashes of water. Set a slightly smaller bowl inside the larger bowl and place a sieve or strainer inside. Set the whole ice bath contraption aside.
Add the vanilla sugar, whole milk and brown sugar to a medium saucepan. Turn the heat to medium and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the milk is hot to the touch. Whisking the entire time, add about 1/4 cup of warm milk to the beaten egg yolks. Return the egg yolk and milk mixture back to the medium saucepan and place over medium low heat. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the thermometer reads 170 to 175 degrees F and the custard appears thick and coats the back of a spoon.
Pour the custard through the sieve into the bowl. Stir in the heavy cream until completely incorporated. Next, add the whiskey, stirring until completely combined. Keep mixing until the mixture is room temperature. Place plastic wrap on the surface of the custard, which will prevent the surface from creating a skin, and transfer to the fridge for 4 to 5 hours, until very cold.
When the custard is cold, churn the mixture into the bowl of your ice cream maker, according to the maker's instructions.
Transfer the ice cream to a quart container and freeze until the ice cream is firm, about 4 to 8 hours.
The first half of this month was maybe the worst two weeks of the year. Luckily things only went up from there and the last two weeks have been so much better; they’ve been full of lots of hope and better news. I’m still super deep in recipe testing for da book (aka The Year of Cozy) and am having lots of fun. Right now it’s all about Christmas cookies which is sort of strange considering I’m wearing nothing but tank tops and shorts.
The month kicked off with lunch at Gracias Madre with Kimberley and Gaby. I ordered the ginger ale thinking it was gonna be on the lines of like Canadian Dry and then this beautiful arrived and I was like WHOA!
I ate this delicious canele. It was full of these cute little craters.
I’m having a moment with sour cherries. They never pop-up too much in LA. In Michigan, yes. But here, not so much. They’re pretty infrequent but OMG do I love them.
They’re the prettiest hue. Regular ol’ cherries, which I love, are usually much darker in hue, but sour cherries are the prettiest of pink. And their flavor! The perfect balance between tart and sweet. Sandwiched in between two pieces of flakey, buttery pie crust is a good move. A VERY good move.
I’m pretty sure I’m in a bit of a summer slump. I’ve been wearing the same short/t-shirt combo with birkenstocks for what feels like FOREVER and I feel like I’m somehow always sort of sweating. It’s a summer rut, I think. I’m not all that surprised it’s here; we’re close to August and the season has worn out its welcome a bit, amirite? We’re officially in those Dog Days of Summer.
The thing that still makes me excited about summer is scoring produce like sour cherries, bright yellow peaches and these super pretty red currants. There’s a small Armenian produce market not too far from my house and they always have some killer fruits and veggies.
I don’t go in there that often but whenever I do, I’m always being introduced to new-to-me types of plums and pears. (Last year I made this Sour Plum Brown Butter Upside Down Cake with sour plums I got there.)
Late last week I couldn’t keep my eyes off these currants. They were really beautiful and I figured their wonderful tartness would be awesome in a sweet clafoutis. I haven’t made one in a while but gosh whenever I do I wonder why it’s been so long.
For this recipe I teamed up with Almond Breeze, making the recipe ultra special because it’s completely dairy-free.
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.