As you know, summer is usually a slow burn for me. It takes me a bit of time to welcome the unrelenting heat and mosquitos. I’m more of a winter person, you know this. But this summer I’m excited. I’m excited about outside BBQs and cubing up watermelon and maybe jumping in a pool. Summer is weeks away but we all know that Memorial Day is the unofficial kicking off point for summer.
For this post, I teamed up with ALDI, where you should go for all your summer food needs. They have everything from fresh meats to BBQ and fresh organic produce for pies. It’s a one-stop shop for summer!
I’ve been wanting to make hot chicken, but in slider-form for a while now, so I figured what better time than now to unofficially kick off summer.
My favorite part about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a fryer or a big pot of oil. This is in the oven, baked, the whole time. I know we’re not fans of lots of oil so this one is pretty simple.
Are you planning on watching the Royal Wedding? I know a lot of British people think Americans are so weird for being obsessed with their royals but we are. And I have to be honest, I definitely pay attention–I think it’s kinda fascinating.
Have you heard of procrastibaking? It’s a new term coined by the New York Times. Honestly, I feel like I invented it. I feel like I made a whole career from procrastibaking. That’s what made me start this blog! I WAS RUNNING AWAY FROM MY JOB!
If you work from home, you really can spend your days procrastibaking. I mean that’s probably what the majority of you are doing right now anyway…I’m a way for you to avoid work. Lol.
Consider me flattered!
This recipes comes from my love of those childhood cartons of pink milk at the cafeteria. Honestly, my mom always made my lunch so I wasn’t really allowed to eat at the cafeteria. I had Capri-Suns anyway so I rarely was able to drink strawberry milk. VERY SAD!
But this is a love letter to strawberry milk because it’s so good. And when we made it for this, we still thought it was fantastic and dreamy.
I realize that I kinda owe you an apology because before this recipe I realize I’ve never really posted gluten-free desserts. For me they’ve always been a challenge, mainly because I can eat gluten so I’ve never really taken the time to understand gluten-free baking. Also, the recipes I usually come across are annoying looking. Too many ingredients, xanthum gum, etc. Like, it feels like I need a million ingredients, ones I probably won’t use again.
SO, when I opened Sweet Laurel by Claire Thomas and Laurel Gallucci, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the recipes seemed. Their book is full of grain-free desserts, all of which are made with minimal amount of ingredients. I settled on this almond crusted strawberry coconut cream tart because it was as simple as can be and your girl looooves coconut.
This tart is SO simple to throw together. The only prep is to make sure you have a can of coconut in the fridge so it’s super chilled because the filling is coconut whipped cream.
It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday! YAY! When I asked my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day, she responded that she wanted a little picnic in the park. Wish granted! I think these would be a great picnic dessert and if they get a little smashed you can then call it an Eton’s Mess. Simple. Classic. Chic.
These meringues are my favorite because they’re airy and crispy on the outside and super chewy on the inside. This is my favorite texture when it comes to meringues.
Before I moved in our new home, I could never make meringues. Our old, janky oven couldn’t hold a temperature of 200 degrees F to save its life. It would always fluctuate up to 350 degrees F randomly and them come back down. I would bake batch after batch and they’d all turn a dark brown and I’d scratch my head. It wasn’t until I put a thermometer in there and realized what was happening. At 350 degrees F my oven was completely fine but put it down to 200 F and it was all wrong—so frustrating.
This new oven tho is perfection and it holds the temperature where it’s supposed to.
RAMPS! So very seasonal! Their seasonality is sort of dramatic. Especially here in Los Angeles where ramps don’t grow locally.
Most ramps you’ll find in LA are from the Pacific Northwest because they need like forest-y type of terrain and they need a lot of rain and water.
They’re a spring time produce and they’re so delicious. They’re really good with so many things.
A few years ago was the first time I tried a ramp and I was, like, what is all the fuss about?!?! Well, if you’ve never had them I’ll describe them like this:
Think very garlicky but without the spice. They’re a very smooth flavor but strong. It’s hard to describe but they’re really just this delicious garlicky/onion-y type flavor but don’t feel intense or bitter or sharp. It’s smooth AF.
This meal obviously could be made without the ramps. This is a classic cacio e pepe pasta. Cacio e pepe is super easy to make. It’s all about technique tho and really the most important thing in this recipe is the pasta water and the black pepper and cheese.
Saturday is a big day for the United States. There is Cinco de Mayo AND The Kentucky Derby. WHAT DO THE AMERICANS DO?!?
I usually don’t celebrate The Kentucky Derby but this year I’m actually going to my friend Whitney’s Derby Party! I can’t wait because I’m excited about drinking a mint julep, fried chicken and a few of these cookies (again).
I’m not really a big gambler because I’d much rather spend gambling money on guaranteed shoes and purses. BUT I’ll be sure to do some research by Saturday. I usually pick the horse with the saddest most emotional story. I want a tear-jerker of a story.
That’s the horse I usually root for and it’s usually the one that loses—so who knows!
Reaching balance is on my to-do for spring and summer. It’s obviously something that I’m not always great at. I love cake. I love pasta. And I honestly don’t see anything wrong with having those beautiful things in my life. They’re not going anywhere. But I also have been trying to eat healthier on a day-to-day basis. Having lots of fresh produce and ingredients on hand has been a huge game-changer for me.
Did you know May is also National Salad Month? To celebrate, I teamed up with Rubbermaid to create salads for my entire week! The FreshWorks Produce Savers keep produce super fresh and crisp in the fridge! The CrispTray at the bottom of the container elevates produce away from moisture and promotes airflow to help reduce spoilage. After 5 days of being in the fridge, the radishes were crispy, the arugula alive and well and the green onions were snappy! I love going grocery shopping and then storing everything away in their Rubbermaid home until I’m ready to use them.
Here’s what I like to keep on hand!
3. Cherry Tomatoes
4. Green Onions
6. Italian Parsley
These ingredients make it easy to make a bunch of different salads. I like variety in my routine and it’s way easier to do that when you start with about 6 or 7 different types of produce.
Carrot Sheet Cake – This carrot sheet cake is a winner. I love it so much. The brown butter cream cheese frosting is a dream and you don’t need to make the buttercream flowers if the idea of piping flowers stresses you out. Sprinkles will do just fine!
Roasted Rhubarb Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze – I’ve seen rhubarb at the markets but I haven’t used it this season yet! Not sure what’s wrong with me but these scones would be a good start. They’re delicious and the vanilla bean glaze is SO good.
Matcha Strawberry Battenberg – This was inspired by The Great British Bake Off. I can’t imagine making this with a camera in my face bc I said a lot of curse words out loud. If you’re up for a challenge, this is it! The payoff is huge because the slices are so beautiful and the flavor is moneyyyy.
Mint Vanilla Iced Coffee – The best thing about warmer temperatures is it becomes iced coffee season!! I love me some iced coffee and this mint vanilla simple syrup is SO good.
Butter Mushrooms – Like butter chicken but with mushrooms. I like this for vegetarian, meatless Mondays. It’s so good.
S’more Twists! – This is screaming to be made and brought to a Memorial Day party. It’s really easy (it uses store-bought puff pastry).
Roasted Ancho Chile Cauliflower with Avocado Crema – Okay here me out! I’m going to make this cauliflower but I’m gonna put it in lettuce wraps with the avocado crema. I can’t wait. I’m honestly super excited about making a slightly healthier option of these.
1. At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking – I’ve always loved Nigella Lawson’s easy, casual cooking.
2. Bravetart – Stella Parks hit out of the park with this classic baking book. If your mom loves to bake, this is an amazing book all about American classics.
3. How to Eat a Peach – Menu planning and musings by Diana Henry.
4. The Year of Cozy – Give the gift of ME for Mother’s Day!
5. Magnolia Table – Joanna Gaines’s new cookbook. Everyone loves her, including my mama.
6. The First Mess – My mom eats mostly a plant-based diet and this cookbook has been an wonderful addition to her cookbook collection.
7. Love Real Food – If your mom loves vegetarian recipes then this cookbook would be a great gift. Check out the reviews–everyone loves it! Kate makes cookable, delicious recipes that everyone loves.
8. The Perfect Scoop – David Lebovitz re-released his classic ice cream book. Can’t wait!
9. Gather & Graze – I’ve never had the opportunity to visit Stephanie Izard’s restaurant so this is the next best thing!
1. Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Sheet Mask – Dr. Jart sheet masks are my absolute favorite. I love to pack them for long flights and put one on when I arrive at my hotel room.
2. Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Hand Cream – This hand cream smells so delicious. It’s everything you want in a hand cream, too: thick, rich and ultra-hydrating.
3. KitchenAid Architect Stand-Up Mixer – If your mama loves to bake and cook, this is a must. This color Pistachio will always be my favorite. Always.
4. Adidas Swift Run Sneakers – I swear by these shoes. I bought myself a pair for Christmas (I got the black and gold) and wear them nearly every single day. They’re so comfortable and look great with jeans or workout clothes.
5. Cuyana Zip-Around Wallet – I’ve been searching for a new wallet and this one fits the bill. It’s pretty and has the perfect amount of space. I feel like mom would love it, too.
6. Danse Lente Mini Johnny Leather Bucket Bag – If mom is hip to game, she’ll love this purse. I have this purse in black and it’s so beautiful in real life.
7. Cuyana Cross Body Bag – This bag is so simple and pretty. Every bag I buy for myself OR for someone else has to have a crossbody feature.
8. Chanel Nail Polish in Origandi – This color looks good on a wide range of complexions.
9. Summer Fridays – This is a night cream and mask in one. It’s multi-functional and it feels like butter on. I LOVE IT. I wear it every night and I wake up with super hydrated skin.
10. Shashi Necklace – A simple and pretty necklace.
11. Black Dodgers Hat – LA FOREVER! I love this black iteration.
12. White Matte Le Creuset – This white matte le creuset is my favorite. I love their matte collection. A plus (in case your mom is a food blogger lol), I photographs beautifully because ZERO shine. Continue Reading