Basil

Did you ever forge your mother’s signature? I did. Once. And of course I got caught. Duh. That’s how it always goes.

I was 10 years old and got a detention. I’m not afraid to say that my mama scared me when I was little. I didn’t mess with her. So I figured it’d be way easier and less terrifying to just forge her pretty yet complicated signature. She did (and still does) have a really beautiful signature. Think writing out of Downton Abbey (I’m obsessed!).

So, I sat in my room and practiced and practiced and practiced. After about a hundred attempts I totally nailed it. Feeling successful, I turned in the signed detention and started serving my time. I was having fun, actually. The teacher who supervised detention didn’t have anything under control and I remember laughing and joking with kids in the back of the room. It got sort of quiet for some reason and I remember hearing high heels clacking down the hall. At the door was my mama, looking super sharp in a business lady suit, giving me a glare that was SO scary. OMG did I stop laughing. She was truly terrifying.

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I like to think that galettes are like lazy, messy, casual pies. You only sorta have to roll them out. You only sorta have to make them look pretty. But really, the messier the better. It’s about the easy.

I can’t really think of a meal of the day where easy is most welcomed than on a cold, hazy January morning.

Let’s have pie for breakfast. But let’s leave the fruit for the summer. It’s January. So, pie…with runny eggs, lots of cheese and salty bacon.

Too good!

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Hi!

I know a few days ago I was totally publicly flirting with Fall, talking about pumpkin this and cuddle that and apple cider whatever…and here I am posting this recipe with slices of heirloom tomatoes and fresh pesto.

I’m sort of all over the place, but that’s what you get during this awkward period between seasons. My brain isn’t sure what’s appropriate. My heart knows to look for cheese for the answers…

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Sometimes I do things I’m not so proud of. This is true.

Like…putting ice cubes in white wine. I’m impatient. I dunno…in the privacy in my own house I like “mom” wine. Gross.

I sometimes buy three bags of groceries and then decide I don’t want to cook and go out to eat instead. Total brat.

I’m also known to back out of Saturday night plans…because sometimes sitting on the couch internet stalking–for some reason–sounds like WAY more fun. Lame. Totally lame.

I’m really bad at returning library books. I found two under my bed. I’m guessing I now owe LA County Library like thousands of dollars for two $10 books from the 70s. I’m also pretty convinced that those fees are going to end up at the DMV. LA doesn’t play.

Sometimes though…sometimes I do really good things.

Like look at my friends dead in their eyes and tell them that I love them. This makes them super awkward and squirm in their seat. And then they usually just tell me to shut up.

I really dig telling strangers “bless you” when they sneeze. They’re always pleasantly surprised.

Whenever a boy, who I don’t know, opens the door for me, I look at them in their face and smile extra hard. And not in a I-like-you-let-me-make-you-eggs-and-bacon kind of way, but in a thank-you-for-being-a-damn-gentlemen way…now let’s get married!! JK.

No, no. I just like saying thank you the proper way, that’s all.

If I’m feeling particularly rich, I’ll put $2 (instead of $1) in my barista’s tip jar. They totally deserve more. Maybe more money and a hug? I’m a handful without coffee.

I can also turn a sandwich into a pizza. I think this qualifies as one of the good things I did recently.

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Did you see the movie Morning Glory? It’s okay if you didn’t, but let me just tell you there is a lovely scene where Harrison Ford makes a frittata and gives a dissertation on how wonderful they are. I love this. Because I love frittatas and I really, really love Harrison Ford. He can make a frittata for me anytime, even if he is in his 60s. Oh, Han Solo…

Okay, sorry about that. Moving on.

Wanna know why frittatas are awesome? Because you can use them to clean out any vegetables in your fridge that are about to go bad. Because you can cook eggs until they’re brown and tough and they’ll still taste good. Because you can put the frittata between two pieces of bread and call it a sandwich. I did this. True story.

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Remember when you were a kid, and on special occasions your mom would make chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast? This of course meant you got to eat chocolate for your main meal and didn’t have to wait for dessert. That was super cool. One time I was actually allowed to eat chocolate chip pancakes for dinner. I thought my little kid head might just explode.

It’s kinda how I feel about this panini. A panini with brie is nothing new to me, but chocolate? Oh my lord does that sound good. And now we’re adding basil? Yeah, I think my adult head just exploded.

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Don’t think of these as popsicles, think of them as the perfect summer afternoon snack. Here’s my issue with snacks: they totally fill me up. To the point that I’m not hungry at dinnertime. Yeah, sometimes I think it would be a good thing if I still had my mother around to remind me not to spoil my dinner. I’m not so good at it on my own.

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Not sure if you all recall, but a few months ago a reporter asked Kate Moss what one of her favorite quotes was. She replied with: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Umm…isn’t that hilarious…and sorta sad? I mean, I’m grateful for her honesty. Thank heavens she’s not that skinny while scarfing down hamburgers and fries on a daily basis. I’m glad she came clean about depriving herself of all things awesome.

When I’m really super bored, I sometimes dream about what I would feed her. My first instinct is to whip her up some pancakes. Lots of them. But what I really think would make her to cave in are these Baked Portobello Fries with Basil Aioli.  You see, the word “baked” means they’re healthy.  I think she’d dig that. I mean, I did.

I saw them on a menu at this restaurant across town, but didn’t order them since I wasn’t in the mood for something fried. I was kinda feeling like Kate, so I ordered a whole pizza instead.  I couldn’t stop thinking about them after that night, vowing to drive over there just for them, but it never worked out.  That’s when I decided to take my craving/curiosity into my own hands and make them myself. And boy, am I glad I did.

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A few months ago Adrianna and I attended a picnic hosted by fellow LA food blogger Joy the Baker. There were a hay bales on a rooftop. There were cupcakes. There were other fun food bloggers. There was Joy in an adorable pink dress. Overall, it was a good time.

So, when Adrianna and I heard that Joy was now part of On The Lamb, and would be popping up all over LA with more fun events, we got a little excited. When we heard the three lovely ladies would be at the fabulous Surfas, cooking up some strawberry recipes, we were salivating. Strawberries? Surfas? Free Samples? Where do we sign up?

I wish I had some photos of the demo to show you, but to be honest, we were a little too engrossed in what they were cooking to think of anything else, including taking photos. That, and we were a bit distracted by the woman next to us who thought it appropriate to talk on her cell phone during the demo. To the woman next to us – you were very nice, but please don’t distract me from the culinary goodness going on next time, okay? It might get ugly.

Despite unavoidable distractions, we still took a lot away from this demo. First off, I learned how to properly remove the top of a strawberry. See, you use a paring knife to simply cut out the white part, leaving all of the juicy red berry behind. I know, right? Simple things just seem like magic to me. [click to continue…]

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Everyone is always on the look out for a weeknight meal. Sometimes I feel like telling people to relax and just eat a bowl of cereal like I do.  But then I remember that a lot of people have kids and dogs and Franklins, and bowls of cereal just won’t do.  Rather than being concerned about a weeknight meal, I’m always more concerned about an easy weekend morning breakfast.  When I wake up a little late and maybe recovering from the night before, going to the store to get fresh ingredients and slaving over the stove doesn’t sound too appealing.  Lucky for you, my weekend breakfast can also be your weeknight meal.  This, like the Croque Madame I made a few weeks ago, is a unisex type meal–it can be breakfast, lunch or dinner. And with only 3 main ingredients, (bread, eggs and a can of plum tomatoes) it’s the easiest thing in the world to make.  You can do it hungover, super sleepy, or super stressed. All is well!

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