Strawberry

Last Friday my stove decided to have a tantrum and stopped working. Kind of annoying…I had serious cooking plans for a picnic. Instead I just ate wine and half a cupcake. It worked out juuuust fine.

Cut to this week: still no stove…I kinda started hoping it needed to be replaced. How dreamy are those O’Keefe and Merritt stoves?! In pale blue?! Hello cuteness!

Sooo…I dug out my toaster oven and started putting stuff on toast. All sorts of stuff. Possibilities…endless.

And then, as soon as my stove was fixed, I made this poached egg and put it on a piece of bread with some salt, pepper and parmesan. Runny eggs are just swoon-worthy, aren’t they?!

Almond butter and sliced strawberries. Delicious. Sweet. Killer combo.

I’m not even gonna start by telling you that turkey bacon compares to regular bacon. It just doesn’t. It can’t. Impossible. It’s healthier, though, so there’s that.

BACON > TURKEY BACON/EVERYTHING…for life.

But I just bought a few bathing suits this week and have yet to try them on. Ugh.

So here you have it: turkey bacon, a few basil leaves, a swipe of veganaise and a few sliced tomatoes on toast.

P.S. I don’t try bathing suits on in stores anymore. The lighting is heartbreaking. So now I just buy a bunch on a credit card, try them on at my apt, and take the ones that don’t work back to the store. Total game changer. Have you tried this?

Avocado on Toast is an all time fav.  Adding some ricotta to the mix took it to a whole other level of amazingness.

In other news, this weekend I’m gonna celebrate my reunion with my kitchen by making something crazy…can we say doughnuts?! I dunno…they might be in mini form, they might be girly and pink, or they might have sprinkles in them, maybe even some amazing glaze on top. Who knows…the world is my doughnut…or whatever.

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It’s summer time!!! Well not technically, but we’re close. Super close. I think we need to do some prep work. Let’s write a list…together. #teamwork

A summer to-do list!! Here are my 10 things:

1. Plant some flowers.

2. Throw an ice cream party. (Vegan coconut ice cream. On the brain.)

3. Watch a movie outside. Watch a ton of movies outside. And drink wine while doing so.

4. Beach. Lots of beach.

5. Adopt a kitten/puppy. (Not a summer thing per se, but it’s happening. I’m determined.)

6. Whale/dolphin watching.

7. Go on a boat. Aaaand maybe wear boat shoes. And maybe a blazer. That’d be cute, right?

8. Run through some sprinklers (sans white shirt).

9. Go down a river in an inner tube. With beer in hand.

10. Drink lots of dranks. Kinda like this not too sweet sangria.

Noooow, your turn?! What’s on your summer to-do list?!

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This week I’ve been in NY being a business lady. But before I left town, I made you biscuits!!

Actually, I made them for my friends Tre and Erin.  My friend Tre and I did some apartment swap action. Perfect timing made it possible for me to stay at his cute East Village apartment while he crashed at my place in LA. Kind of amazing how it all worked out.

Since him and Erin were driving in late from San Fran, I figured I could put some near-dying strawberries to good use by throwing them into biscuits. I didn’t think there was anyway this could be a bad combo. 

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Hi there, friend. Let’s talk. What’d you do this weekend? Did you do yardwork? Any DIY projects you wanna share? I wanna hear it. I wanna hear it all. Annnnnd go!

I’ll wait…

Oh niiiice. That’s cute. All that sounds like fun. Yeah, even the chores and errands on Saturday morning. I kinda secretly enjoy those.

Oh, how was MY weekend?! Awww, that’s sweet of you to ask. WELL…

This weekend was pretty epic; it involved lots of drinks, yeah not too many, though. I went to an amazing restaurant! I made a milkshake that weirded me out (avocado milkshake–recipe to come!) which was fun. I brunched with my gay best friend. Cliche, I know. Sorry.

We rode bikes like a cute couple, and lusted after a fancy bike. I’m determined for it to be my near future impulse purchase. My weekend ended with a huge laugh fest…I went to the theater to see Bridesmaids. If you haven’t seen it, you need to put that on your to-do list. Umm…yay for girls that are smart, funny and pretty.

Second thing you need to write on your to-do list for the week? Roasted strawberries.

Whoa…good segue, right?

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Happy Friday, cute people!

I bet I know what you’re doing right now…my best guess is that you’re on your computer/couch watching replays and clips of the royal wedding, right? Yeah I got it right. Don’t worry, we’re all doing it.

Take a break, make some ice cream. Or make some ice cream so you have something fun to eat while judging Kate’s flower arrangement choices.

Look at these eggs below.

You won’t need them to make this ice cream. Make an omelet instead.

Today we’re making no-cook strawberry ice cream. No sitting over the stove heating up milk, separating egg yolks, or tempering and getting all nervous.  We’ll do that some other time.

Today we’re trying to get ice cream as fast as we can in our faces; sound good?

Let’s go!

Take some strawberries. Duh. Hull them, or lop off the tops.

Put ‘em in a food processor or blender and turn it on. This recipe uses a blender and a food processor. Next time I’ll just use the blender–less clean-up. We all like that.

It’ll turn into this:

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Is anyone else having as busy of a holiday season as I am? I’ve traveled from coast to coast, been all over the state of North Carolina and have seen more family and friends than I did at my wedding. I’m hitting that point where all I want to do is relax and enjoy the remainder of my vacation with a tasty cocktail in my hand. Preferably a cocktail that’s easy to make. If it comes in a pitcher that would be pretty cool too. Sangria, anyone?

Sangria is really, really easy to make. It’s also really fun to play around with. If you have some leftover fruit you need to use, or a couple cups of fruit juice you want out of the fridge, or your friends gave you 2 bottles of cabernet when you only drink pinot noir, sangria is the answer.

First, you start off with two bottles of wine. Some people will tell you to use  something sweet like a moscato or something light and fruity like a pinot noir. I disagree completely. I like a more full bodied wine such as a cabernet or shiraz. If I’m using white I tend to lean toward chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc. My theory is that the purpose of the wine is to add flavor, so use something that will come through all the other fruits. Otherwise this is just alcoholic fruit juice, although even I’ll admit that’s not necessarily a bad thing. if you want to sweeten sangria, just use some old-fashioned sugar.

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Growing up, I was a total tomboy who had to be bribed with candy to wear dresses, or fancy shoes, or anything remotely girly. And even now, I wouldn’t consider myself a super girly-girl. But every now and then, I totally give in and embrace it.  Case in point: Thursday night a friend scored tickets to the Twilight premiere, and yes I’m going. I have this weird love/hate thing with the Twilight series and am sort of excited to laugh my way through the movie.  I’ll be doing what any normal person would do at the premiere:  tweeting pictures, of course.  So if I end up getting tackled by some security dude, I’ll just blame it on all of you…

Back to cupcakes…these things taste down-right pretty;  they’re baby pink, paired with cream cheese frosting, and topped with shredded coconut. Try them. Embrace your girliness for gosh sakes, even if you’re a dude. Trust me–they’re worth it.

Here are a few other girly things I’m loving right now…

 

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Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Enough with the strawberries, right? Sorry folks, it has been a truly outrageous season for strawberries, and I can’t help but buy a full crate of them every week. I’ve debated as to whether it’s possible for me to be sick of strawberries, and the definite answer is that no, it isn’t. I can eat them every day, with every meal.

However, I can only cook so many recipes at a time before I start to lose my steam. My original plan with this week’s crop of berries was to bake up a strawberry pie. However, when I started thinking about making the piecrust and the pie filling on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, I lost momentum. So I made a crostata. A crostata is kind of like a lazy person’s pie, so we got along really well. It’s a simple dough that doesn’t require much kneading or shaping, and the filling is just berries tossed in a sugar and topped with a jam glaze. Seriously easy. And the best part? I prepped and baked this whole thing up in just under 2 hours and still had the rest of my Saturday afternoon to lay by the pool. [click to continue…]

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The first thing I ever learned how to cook was French toast.  If I remember clearly, I learned how to make this when I was jumping on my parents bed…as they were sleeping.  And in an attempt to get just 15 more minutes of shut-eye, my dad suggested that I make French toast.  I stopped jumping.  He explained.  I listened.  And then ran to the kitchen.

I imagine I was probably wearing my huuuge Tasmanian Devil t-shirt I always slept in. And I probably pulled one of those country-style chairs we had in the dining room, and positioned it up against the counter so I could reach. I’m also gonna assume that I made a gigantic mess.  I think I was pretty good at that back then.  And I’m positive that when I was all done and my parents ate it, they smiled and said it was good because they sorta had to.  You don’t really tell your eight-year-old kid their French toast is gross.

This recipe is waaay different.  I’ve grown up…not sure if you’ve noticed.

For one, my eight-year-old version of French toast had egg shells in it.  I’ll bet on that. I wasn’t a good egg cracker.  And I’m also guessing it had waaaay too much cinnamon and vanilla extract.  I didn’t understand moderation. More was better. And it was on typical, wheat sandwich bread. This one, however, is on beautiful brioche. And instead of a typical egg/milk mixture, I’ve made a little custard, creme brulee style, to dip the Brioche in prior to frying.  I’ve also topped it with mascerated strawberries–I’ll explain later…

This is what I like to call my redemption French toast.

What was the first thing you learned how to cook?

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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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