This week has been a lil’ bananas. I’m doing a video series for a project today (YAY!) and just getting everything in order from location to what I’m putting on my body has been a good amount of mental work. I’m used to just making things and taking photos of them, not really concerning myself with how my hair looks. ITS HARDER THAN I THOUGHT!
In other more important news, Amelia is about to be wrangled by a new trainer, that we consulted with over the weekend, because she’s caught a bit of separation anxiety, i.e., has a full-on toddler meltdown when I put on my shoes. It’s made leaving the house a bit challenging. If you know corgis, then you know that they’re kind of wild, feral animals.
She also had to turn down an opportunity to be in a commercial for The Crown because the requirements were that she actually had to obey all commands while being in front of camera, while being next to a herd of corgis. She. Can’t. Do. This. It’d be too stressful and the experience of taking video of her in this environment did not outweigh the stress. ANYWAY, my best friend works for Netflix so I’ve kindly asked for an invite to set that day.
NOW, let’s turn our undivided attention to these gorgeous slushies from my dear friend Lily’s gorgeous new book KALE AND CARAMEL.
They are seriously the dessert I will make over and over this summer because:
#1. They are so easy to throw together. Seriously, all you need is an ice cube tray and a blender.
#2. They are healthy-ish. They’re sweetened by honey and orange juice, they’re dairy-free and are so so delicious.
#3. Who doesn’t love the gorgeous pink color from the hibiscus syrup.
Sometimes when I use matcha….actually, make that ALL the time, I ask myself: “Am I being basic?” The answer might be yes. I’m not completely sure. But still, my insecure self returns to it time and time again because it’s DELICIOUS!
And in the afternoon when I need a bit of a pick-me-up and know I can’t handle coffee or an espresso beverage (I’ll be up all night), a matcha latte is the perfect go-to.
And it’s so pretty. And it tastes great. So I guess the answer is that I might be basic. And matcha might be overplayed. But who cares. Trendy things are only lame if they only sorta taste good. (Also: to a lot of people, matcha is not trendy—it’s been around for centuries. And to them, the rest of the world is just late.)
There is a new matcha bar that moved into my neighborhood and it’s so good but most days I don’t feel like driving down the road so instead I like to make a my own version at home.
This couldn’t be simpler.
You put a few teaspoons of matcha powder in a measuring cup and add a few tablespoons of hot water. Whisk it until the matcha has dissolved and then you pour in the remaining water and whisk some more. I transfer it to the fridge or freezer to chill for about 15 minutes.
OMG Whole 30 is officially out of my life and I am happy but still sort of doing it? Yes, I know that’s strange, right? Like if I’m so happy it’s over why keep doing it? The truth is that eliminating some foods for me has been a huge plus.
Ok let’s start at the beginning. I’m going to breakdown my feelings and sentiments thought the process because they weren’t always happy and they weren’t always glowing. There were many times when I really hated Whole 30. And not just because I missed sugar.
I will say that flat-out, if you don’t eat that much meat (I don’t), there will be times where the thought of meat will make you sick.
Ok but let’s start at the beginning:
Day 1 to 5:
This is the part when most people want to die. Haha. You’re sort of in the hangover stage because you miss sugar and alcohol and carbs. But surprisingly this was my easiest time. I think because I was genuinely SO excited to start that I didn’t miss many foods during this time. I ate a lot of meatballs and spaghetti squash.
Tomorrow I have a book signing at Anthropologie in Santa Monica from 2pm to 4pm. There will be cookies! After that I have to race home, change clothes into something fancier and a lot less cozy and head to my friend Teri’s wedding. Phew!
This past week has been HOT HOT in LA. And last weekend I was in Atlanta and it was hot there, too. And this past week it was v v warm in NY. I don’t know where fall is but I’ve been craving something super refreshing yet still very autumnal. For this post, I teamed up with Truly Spiked & Sparkling which is a new-to-me spiked sparkling water.
You know when your mom tells you the same story over and over and over and you just nod your head and act like you’ve never heard it before. This is called being nice. I do this all the time. Love that woman but OMG.
I almost started to tell you that I go to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market every Sunday to buy produce but I feel like you know this very boring story and I’ll probably tell you this story again when I share the rest of this very spring brunch so I’ll just say that this elderflower came from the market.
One of my favorite “Live” tips in The Year of Cozy is the page all about “Doing Nothing.” I’m not the best at doing nothing and it’s taken me a long time to feel ok about it. It’s a constant exercise!
The same goes with taking a lunch break in the middle of the day. I usually skip lunch and just snack on whatever I’m making in the kitchen. (This includes babka, cookies and other baked goodies-—not the best move).
This year I’ve been consciously trying to take 10 or 15 minute breaks, eating a small healthy meal or drinking a smoothie or fresh juice. I usually never do a full meal or 30 to 1 hour lunch because I’m constantly dealing with losing light for photos and honestly, I’d much rather take a short break and just power through the work.
But I do find my short break in the middle of the day SO necessary.
Naked Juice sent me their new line of cold pressed juices to try and I’m very very into them. They fit the bill perfectly for that short break.
Probably the thing I like the best (besides the taste) is that they last much longer (with no preservatives). The ones I have expire in mid March! DOPE!
Have you been enjoying your break?! I’ve been trying to use my phone less, check Instagram less, be more present. It’s been quiet on the internet or maybe I just have been checking it so it’s been seeming like that.
I’m going to mostly go away until Monday but I wanted to pop back in to share with you this lil’ punch recipe. Hopefully it comes in handy on Thursday when you’re making out with the one you like the most.
There is nothing difficult about this. Not even a little bit.
But for some reason I’ve always been hesitant about preparing matcha at home because I was afraid I would do it incorrectly. Green tea in Japan is serious business and there absolutely is a right way and a wrong way.
To make sure I was doing it right, I tried to go to a class but then I missed it because I didn’t have my life together so I did the next best thing: I watched LOTS of YouTube videos on the subject and I feel like now I can properly talk about making a cup of warm matcha.
Let’s start with what matcha is. With most teas, you simply steep the leaves in hot water, but with matcha you actually are consuming the leaves. Matcha powder is greeen tea leaves ground up very finely so they dissolve into the water.
To start, I like to sift about 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to ensure that all of the lil’ bits of matcha are broken up.
I then pour about a tablespoon of hot water into the bottom of the mug.
I then whisk away until a loose paste forms. This part is very important because you want to make sure any bits of matcha have dissolved.
It’s hot and horrendous everywhere and all I want right now is a hot dog and some sweet tea. I made the sweet tea, I’m working on hot dog logistics!
I learned how to make sweet tea where it was invented: the south. In college, I worked at a restaurant and my side work was usually to make the sweet tea and roll a bunch of silverware. Making the tea was my favorite.
The way I made it was deemed “the Yankee” way and depending on who my co-workers were, there was usually a ton more sugar added as soon as I walked away.
I don’t like it too sweet! If you loooooove it sweet, then feel free to add another cup of sugar to the hot mixture below.
I used Lipton, though I was on the hunt for Luzianne because that’s what I always used way back when. If you want, feel free to use the free-range/pasture-raised/gluten-free black tea that you get from those fancy-ass tea shops. That stuff will be delicious, too.
Add some lemon slices and mint and you have yourself a glass of something that is really the most refreshing thing you could possibly get on a hot summer’s day.
We’re gonna be psychos and make Christmas presents in July. Yes. This is happening. A good first step to getting in the mood for Christmas is open up your freezer and stick your head in it. It’ll rev up your wintery engines. (That is not a euphemism, by the way, “wintery engines.”
Cherries are in full bloom right now. I was lucky enough to come across sour cherries and they are my absolute favorite. They require a bit of sugar to give them a nice balance, but not too much because I like to celebrate their tartness rather than just blast it out to oblivion.
I’m sure you’ve had cheap, bright pink maraschino cherries. Perhaps you had them when your mom ordered you a shirley temple and you loved them. I was the same way.
But they have no place in my adult cocktails nor my adult banana splits. (Again, that sounds bad!)
It’s time for us to grow up and make fancy-ass maraschino cherries. This step in the right direction starts with a bottle of Luxardo liqueur.