Last week I was in New York for three short nights and I can tell you from my experience, Spring has not sprung. Being greeted by twenty-one-degree temperatures, AND after a red-eye flight is kind of a brutal (but I had a pretzel later so all was ok). Luckily Spring is near. I’m not a groundhog or anything but I’m staying positive for all of you east coasters.
I’m sure many of you still dealing with Winter’s lingering attitude can’t wait for brunches. Is there anything better than sitting outside, eating with friends while the warmish April sun looks on? I guess when I think of weekend brunching, I think of Spring. It’s that time when we’re just itching to do everything outside, which includes eating. Cocktails and appetizers and pancakes mixed with lunch food. I probably love the mix of foods most about brunch. It’s not just breakfast, but a healthy mix.
I baked some cheese for when you’re ready to do this occasion of brunching. I’m hoping you’ll be able to do it soon. (If not, don’t worry because baked cheese also eases sorrows. Trust me.)
My dad paid me a visit in late February, while on a 2-day layover to Kuala Lampur. I drove him to the airport where he boarded his Malaysian Airlines flight. Ten hours later I received a text from him telling me his flight to Tokyo was the worst of his life. He then took the second leg of the flight and said it was even worse. The pilot flew the plane straight through a bad snowstorm; the plane jolted up and down for about an hour while the plane’s lights flickered on and off. He said he had never been so scared for his life. For his return flight, he booked another flight on another airline, despite knowing he wouldn’t be reimbursed from Malaysian Airlines. Luckily he made it home safe and sound.
About a week later, the Malaysian Airline Flight 370 disappeared and has yet to show a trace. When I heard the news I started crying. All of the what-ifs played over and over again in my mind. On one hand I felt so happy that my dad wasn’t on that flight to Beijing, but I also felt so terrible for the people whose family members are still missing.
Needless to say, March started off on a super grateful note.
Quarterly Co. is a subscription box service that allows you to subscribe to a a variety of curators like Pharrell, Angie and Ted of Poketo…and even Coco (yes, Ice-T’s gf). Today is all about Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. They own two of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles, Son of a Gun and Animal. In fact, when I first moved to LA and was super broke, my first splurge meal was at Animal. I have really good memories of that night; there was a biscuit topped with gravy and foie gras.
This quarter’s box is all about BBQ. The box that’s up for grabs includes:
1. Their recipe for the best BBQ sauce EVER (seriously, Josh has made it a few times and it’s amazing).
2. A bag of wood chips.
3. Two custom-made Hedley + Bennett tea towels.
4. A BBQ sauce brush.
5. Tin of their BBQ rub.
6. Signed note from them.
Welcome to the meal I’ve been eating almost every single day for the last few weeks. I’m obsessed with zucchini noodles. Mainly because there’s nothing I love more than normal Spagehtti and Meatballs, but since I’m trying to cut back on flour, this is sufficing…for now.
There are plenty of zucchini noodles around the web; this is my version, which I’m strangely excited to share.
Let’s start with how to make zucchini noodles. For this post, I used a Spiralizer. I borrowed it from a friend of mine because I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to a new kitchen gadget (between the waffle maker and ice cream maker and the damn pasta maker attachment, I feel like I have too many); I’m currently still gauging if I actually want to buy one myself. If you don’t want to buy one, you can use a mandolin, though be careful because they can be a bit dangerous, or you can use a julienne vegetable peeler. The Spiralizer is the only kitchen tool that will make noodles that are spirally and beautiful, like these:
I mean, I can just stare at them all day long. Am I the only one obsessed with how pretty they are?!
The weather right now in Los Angeles is cool and drafty and every pink bush, tree and flower has decided it’s time for its debut (evidence here). I’m headed to New York at the end of this week and decided to take a gaze over at the ol’ weather channel, thinking, hoping, expecting for temperatures to be very Spring-like. You know, 50s and 60s. Umm…New York is gonna be crazy cold. (Not polar vortex cold but you know…) I’m staying with my friend Tre, and I have plans to make him a big pot of soup in his barely-stocked kitchen. This recipe doesn’t require much. Just a pot and a blender, warm socks and some hope that Spring is so very close.
This recipe is a part of McCormick’s Go4Gourmet challenge. It goes like this: McCormick sent me a box of three ingredients (in this case it was their California garlic powder, chicken stock, and basmati rice) and I used these ingredients, plus any root vegetable of my choosing to create a recipe. These are the results!
When I first moved to L.A. I was on a crazy strict budget. I’m talking the kind of budget where I was eating once a day and that meal consisted of, like, a few dollar tacos. It was kinda sucky, but honestly I’m really thankful for that time in my life; it gave me drive and made me more conscious as to how I spend my money. Before this, I strictly bought beauty products at department stores and Sephora. My little broke period forced me to start buying beauty products from the drug store; and you know what, I still buy A LOT of my beauty products from Walgreens. I find that many of them are just as good as fancy products.
One of the things I stopped buying during this period was Fresh’s Lip Polish; not because it wasn’t effective—it’s my absolute favorite—but because I found that it was SO easy to make at home. I made a big batch the other day when my lips looked cracked and gross and really needed some refreshing. While Los Angeles has had an oddly warm winter, it has been super dry, leaving my lips not looking their cutest.
I’ve always loved flavored butters. I think it all started as a teenager when we’d get bagels at our tennis tournaments and there were always some sort of flavored cream cheese and butters. It was usually the honey butter that’d lure me in. And I’d be there all lady-like in my tennis skirt, smothering way too much honey butter on this un-toasted (the worst!) bagel. The butter made everything better. As it usually does.
My flavored butter love affair continued in the PANCAKES book. One of my favorite recipes in that book isn’t a pancake recipe, but actually the recipe for Berry Butters. That recipe goes something like this: you mash up berries, fold them into softened butter and add a few pinches of salt. The berries are very present in the butters and it’s nice.
This is another installment of Adrianna Loves Butter But Is Eating Healthy-ish. Spring produce motivates me to eat greener, brighter things.
On Monday a pound of arugula (a pound!! that’s a ton of arugula) was dropped on my doorstep and I immediately went into brainstorming mode as to what to do with it. I have pesto and soup and a few other things planned for that arugula, but first, a salad!
Since we’re not exactly in full on Spring-mode yet, I wanted a salad that felt comforting. Something that you’d still want to have on a cold-ish day. There are a bit of beans that help with that, some feta for its wonderful saltiness, some mint and Italian parsley for flavor and the usual suspects of zested garlic and diced shallot.
This salad isn’t chock-full of unexpected ingredients or combinations that are unusual or particularly interesting. It’s just a good tasting salad.
The internet LOVES weird combos and cheese oozing out of the sides of things. And that’s ok, I do too. But sometimes, I like simple and familiar. This is a friendly salad.
The dressing might be my favorite part. Eating healthier has been a lot of me having to re-teach myself how to cook. I can’t do the things I did in the past (read: put butter in everything). A little cleverness goes a long way.
They say you can tell a person’s true colors in the darkest of times.
That moment for me was early Monday morning when the Los Angeles earth decided to shake rapidly in the middle of the night. I was mid-crazy dream. I was in the South of France. Amelia and a cat were fighting. I found a Sriracha bottle (how a bottle of Sriracha was just laying on a French country-side road is unknown) and started to throw it at the two of them to quit it. That’s when the earth shook, the doors to my closet trembled and my inner-self went into pure panic mode.
Petrified and confused out of my mind, I jumped out of bed, pushed Josh to wake up and bolted out of the bedroom door. Josh screamed (a very manly scream, I might add), “WHAT IS IT?!?” and him, me and Amelia headed for the bedroom door. Apparently, he thought there was a squirrel in our bed. Why a squirrel, I have no idea…so as we were running out of the bedroom door, he threw the blankets on top of each other, as to try and catch the non-existent squirrel and slammed the bedroom door shut.
Amelia was not to be left behind. She was right there. The trembling stopped and I immediately started doing this weird cry/laugh thing I always seem to do when I’m embarrassed/scared/confused.
Josh explained his fear about the small animal in our bed and I just started laughing hysterically. I couldn’t stop.
There are only a few things that can calm my panicked-self. French toast is one of them.