I’m a bit on a grilling kick. I don’t own an outside grill so instead I use my big griddle that has a side that is like a grill pan. It’s almost like reversible sheets. Or reversible shirts, which were popular for a very short while in the 90s. I think they should come back because seriously, how useful! I also had a shirt that would change different colors if you breathed on it. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to work like mood ring but it failed completely.
Anyway, grilling…fruit. The two surprisingly go hand and hand, AND grilling cheese is an even better idea. The requirement is that the correct cheese be used. A lot of cheese can easily be coated in breading and fried but not many cheeses can be grilled. If you’ve never cooked with haloumi, I can assure you that it’s really really good and super easy to grill. It won’t get all melty and crazy, it’s really hard to mess up AND it’s delicious and salty. I love to pair it with something sweet and something smokey.
I spent the long holiday doing all sorts of exciting things like making sweet corn custard and binge-watching Cesar Milan, which has made me realize that perhaps I’m not what he calls “pack leader.” It’s a devastating realization, actually. I’m guessing it feels similarly when your kid tells you to “shut up, mom” in front of other people. I’m not sure what to do with my beast of a child but this week I’ve vowed to be “calm and assertive”—not my best attributes.
In other news, there’s this perfect summer lunch or dinner. And a giveaway! First, let’s talk about the recipe.
Chicken Milanese might be one of my favorite quick meals EVER! The chicken is pounded to be super thin and then dipped in light, panko bread crumbs. The chicken is pan-fried in a pretty small amount of oil, resulting in delicious, crispness. The salad that usually accompanies chicken milanese is pretty normal; usually some sort of lettuce. Instead of going the ol’ normal route, which I’ll admit is also delicious, I wanted to do something a little bit different.
Watermelon radishes are maybe the most beautiful radish in existence. If the season’s change, or if you can’t find watermelon radishes, feel free to swap them out with another type of radish. Watermelon radishes are mild in flavor–just a little bit spicy, so they’re perfect to eat all on their own. I mixed in a bit of flat-leaf parsley and fresh tarragon for added flavor (I love tarragon and chicken together!). The whole salad is tossed in a easy combo of lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Super simple.
It’s no secret that I adore Le Creuset products so it was no surprise that I loved this 3 quart sauté pan. The pan is light yet sturdy and conducts and spreads heat evenly resulting in chicken that’s perfectly cooked.
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.
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.
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.
Say hello to the dinner I plan on having at least once a week for the entire summer. This is all I want to eat right now and it’s all thanks to summer quickly approaching, my love for tuna and my new obsession with fancy brown rice.
I’ve never been to Hawaii (sad!), but in my dreams I’m sitting by a roadside-hut in my bathing suit and flip flops, eating a big bowl of poke. And then after poke, I’ll go scuba diving with Amelia and she’ll befriend a gigantic tortoise, ride on his/her back and they’ll end up becoming besties. Of course, I’ll Instagram the whole thing and collectively we’ll want to throw our phones across the room because the cuteness will just be too much to take.
Until my dream becomes a reality…we’ll have to just make the poke bowls in our own homes…homes that are sadly VERY far from Hawaii.
But don’t worry, because dreams do come true and this will happen.
I have a feeling that none of you would be my friend in real life if:
#1 You could hear the voice I use when speaking to Amelia. We all have animal voices. Mine is just REALLY bad. And strangely enough, it’s gets more grating the more tired I get.
#2 You could see me (sometimes!) reach into my dirty hamper and take out dirty socks and put them on my clean feet because ‘they’re not that dirty and I like black socks to match my black Nikes.
#3 You could see how many dishes I dirty when making simple things like a salad, lettuce cups or coffee. ‘Working clean’ is for fancy chefs or people who are more organized in their brains than me.
#4 You could see how many times I open the fridge/freezer, take a swig of something and then return it (versus, you know, pouring myself a glass). But really, I live with only one other person and we make out all the time so it’s totally fine if I double-dip, right…
And now, hummus.
This hummus is a labor of love. I’m afraid that you’ll hate me because of this hummus recipe. I’ve made a super simple thing kind of more complicated but I think it’s worth it so please hear me out. Please!
This recipe starts with shucking a bunch of peas, which I honestly like doing. There’s something about repeating the same motion over and over that is soothing.
And then, I juiced the jackets! Whaaa! If you don’t have a juicer, you can totally skip this step, but I wanted the hummus to be as green as possible and I love the notion of waste not want not.
I’m pretty sure this has been the first year where I actually do a big time spring cleaning. Most years I just fantasize about spring cleaning, wishing I was one of those super organized people with a label-maker and the energy to organize everything. But most of the time, organizing overwhelms me. This year, as in this past Saturday, I took action and murdered three of the most disorganized, embarrassing closets I’ve ever had in my life.
I called them the “death closets” because if you opened them, who knows what could happen. An avalanche of stuff might just pour out, crushing you to death. Death closets.
They’re gone, now. They don’t exist. The only thing that exists are three very tidy closets, ridden of all of the junk they were holding; junk I didn’t need, use or like. UGH, BE GONE.
Have you done any spring cleaning? I swear it’s good for your soul.
These thing-ies. These lettuce cups are literally what I eat nearly every single night. I know that may seem like an outrageous claim but it’s not.
I eat them because they’re healthy and delicious and spicy. They’re the perfect 15 minute dinner that you can eat by yourself at the end of a warm day. That’s not a glamorous picture, but it’s a real one.
I despise talking about the weather, but excuse me while I talk about the weather. This past weekend it was a cool, brisk and a very perfect temperature of 65 during the day and in the 50s at night. This is the kind of spring weather that inspires one to wear shorts with a sweater. It’ll inspire you to make a big batch of soup and eat it outside with a blanket draped over your shoulders. It’s dreamy weather, really.
Los Angeles is currently experiencing some freakish heatwave at this very second and if only I could go back to the dreamy blanket-over-shoulder-while-eating-soup-weather. I’m not going to complain about Los Angeles weather because that’d be silly. Instead, I’m going to wait for it to pass, so I can revisit his soup which is oh so perfect.