I feel like baked brie is kinda basic bitch-ish. It’s not all that revelatory. It’s nothing new. But I feel like this version–while not groundbreaking–is SO good.
This thing also gets more points because it’s really easy to throw together. It takes like five minutes to assemble and like ten minutes to bake. It also doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.
And the payoff is HUGE! The soft walnuts and crunchy pistachios with the warm figs are delicious. The thyme adds a nice aroma and the honey adds some nice sweetness.
This appetizer isn’t super sweet, so if you’re in the mood for more sweetness, toss the figs in a teaspoon of brown sugar.
I served this whole thang with Bubs + Grandma bread, which is a local Los Angeles bread maker. If you live in LA, you can get it often times at farmer’s markets or at Cookbook (in Echo Park). But if not, then this would be delicious with any good bread or crackers.
Are you feeling fall vibes?! It’s been so hot lately but I’m super excited for fall to arrive.
I took a sabbatical last week, mainly due to me losing my memory card with all sorts of posts on them. And then I was like whatever, consider this my summer vacation that I’m not going on. So I’m calling it a “memory card summer vacation.”
Tomorrow I’m hopping on a plane to speak at Blogher in hot and humid Orlando, Florida. Should be fun! I’m there for like 24 hours so unfortunately I won’t have time to go to Disney World. I have a lot of fun memories of Disney World, especially grad night where all of us loaded in a bus and drove 3 hours up north to attend. They shut down Disney early and us kids, like a thousand 16 year olds hung out during the middle of the night.
There were SO many kids doing things they shouldn’t have been doing. Luckily my school threatened the day lights out of us with the idea of not possibly graduating so I’m pretty sure none of us brought alcohol/did bad things because the wrath of failure and parents was too much to deal with. FEAR IS WHAT DRIVES MANY OF US! Sometimes it’s not a bad thing.
Anyway, I’ll be back before you know it and then I’m headed to Palm Springs for the weekend with my friend Cassie and of course Amelia is coming because when a pool calls, homegirl is there.
This weekend! There was a good dose of work sprinkled throughout the weekend but there was also time to try a new restaurant (Maestro) in Pasadena (very good) and go and see Wonder Woman (double-thumb ups).
I love going to the movies and I try and go as much as I possible but the past few months there has literally been zero that I even remotely wanted to see. So I’ve been keeping busy with Netflix and I have to say: I highly recommend The Keepers (VERY CREEPY!) and the Thanksgiving episode of Master of None. If you don’t watch the entire season, it’s totally fine, just watch that episode. I made me teary and warm inside. I loved it so much.
Another thing I’ve been researching and thinking about: the Instant Pot. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been very skeptical. I honestly don’t make a ton of beans and I don’t braise a ton of meat so for a long time I was like, who cares!?!? but then I wanted to make hummus and Billy offered to bring over his Instant Pot for hummus-making, so I said, “let’s doooo it.”
These beans cooked in like 30 minutes—it was insane! While they cooked in the Instant Pot, we did other things like talk about how crazy Ramona is and how Sonja ate a whole block a cheese and Luann’s wedding and we also talked about chocolate chip cookies. But we still saved so much time using that thing. I can’t recommend it enough…except I haven’t bought one for myself. Continue Reading
I feel like this week is my week of giving you practical thangs to eat (see: Monday and Wednesday)!
I love gawking at those crazy cheese boards all over Instagram but realistically most of us won’t make one of those. Or maybe we will but it’ll be for a big party or around the holidays when we have twenty people over.
But sometimes I want to eat a cheese plate for dinner but it’s just Josh and me. Or maybe it’s just for a girlfriend/dude friend and me. Or just me and my mom.
I could eat appetizers for dinner and do all the time (especially when Josh is working late or out with his friends and I’m on my own).
Seriously, me wanting to eat an appetizer for dinner is Josh’s worst nightmare. Nothing makes him give me a gigantic eyeroll more than when I tell him, “I’m not really that hungry, I kinda just wanna snack.”NO. He is a meal person. I understand. Most of the time I am too but sometimes I just wanna eat this!
For him, this type of situation constitutes as pre-gaming.
Regardless, I figured I’d share how I build a cheese plate perfect for two:
Ok, so the main objective when I go to the store for something like this is to NOT spend a million dollars.
1. Two cheeses. I like to pick two cheeses that are complementary but opposites. One soft cheese and one hard cheese.
For this plate, I went with a an awesome Irish cheddar (for an affordable/delicious option, I love Kerry Gold cheddar—so good!).
The one soft cheese is from Boursin (it’s another affordable/delicious option). But you could also do brie, goat cheese, camembert. (If you’re feeling baller-istic, I love Epoisses.)
2. Nuts. You only need really one kinda nut snack situation. My favorite are macrona almonds. They’re Spanish and fancy and delicious. The bulk-bin is perfect for the right amount of nuts.
3. Carbs. You need a vehicle for that cheese. On this particular day I had grissini/breadsticks so I included those. But these rosemary salted crackers were also a great option. I think one cracker and one bread item is good.
4. Something pickled. Or sweet. Or both. I went pickled on this particular day so that meant corichons, olives and sweet drop peppers (they’re SO GOOD!). The olive bar at a grocery store is your best bet because you can buy exactly the amount that you want/need.
Some sweet options would be dried apricot, honey, dried cranberries, fresh fruit (apricots, pears, etc.) and/or jams.
Appetizers for Dinner has always been a favorite of mine. I think it started with an episode of My-So-Called-Life when Rayanne’s mother threw some frozen dumplings in the microwave and Rayanne was super bummed about not being cooked “a real dinner.”
Since my mom was always, like, super healthy and demanded we have a very full/healthy cooked dinner, an appetizer-driven dinner always sounded like heaven to me.
I like to think that this snacking board is the best of both worlds because it’s healthy AND filling enough where you can totally eat it, be full and not feel bad about it one bit! It’s kidlike but totally appropriate for us grown-ups.
For this post I teamed up with my favorite, new-to-me vegetable ranch-flavored chips from Pure Growth Organic! You can find them at places like Amazon.com where they’re super affordable and healthy and delicious.
They’re super light; they almost remind me a bit of a rice cracker but a million times better and more flavorful.
The carrot harissa dip might’ve been my favorite because I had never ever made a dip made of carrots before. I was a bit skeptical when I went through the testing process but the texture was amazing; I mean, I ended up adding walnuts because it was borderline too smooth.
A few weeks ago, I had this idea to make traditional mozzarella sticks but with something cooler…
Immediately I thought: raclette! I instantly talked myself into it but realized when I went to the store that it would require a disclaimer. And that disclaimer is that these are not cheap. The price tag on this big block of raclette almost made me turn myself right around and walk out of Whole Foods but I kept going on with this project. I even purchased regular ol’ mozzarella sticks to test the recipe with because I was scared to use the precious raclette.
I’m currently sitting in the passenger seat with my laptop in my lap, while Josh drives. Amelia is in the backseat with her raincoat on, fully equipped for inclement weather, sleeping. We’ll be in The Bay soon.
It’s almost Christmas/Hannakuh and I have one last recipe to share with you before I peace out for the rest of the year!
One of my big highlights of 2016 for sure was going to Copenhagen. I still think about it often—everything from the politics to the food to Trivoli to the pretty and old cobblestone streets. The food was oh so good but I remember one thing that I totally didn’t find or stumble upon were ebelskivers. I looked! But it’s ok because I’ve had plenty at Broder Nord in Portland. I’ve been there a handful of times and the thing that is an absolute must to order are the ebelskivers with meyer lemon curd and lingonberry jam. They are SO good.
If you’re unfamiliar with these puffy balls of amazingness, they’re essentially Denmark’s version of a pancake. The batter is somewhat similar, except for the last step, which involves whipping egg whites until stiff and folding them into the batter. They’re light and fluffy and so delicious after having been cooked in butter for a few minutes.
I made regular ebelskivers for an Anthropologie post I did back in November but I didn’t post the recipe because they weren’t 100, as the kids say. They still needed a bit of work.
I didn’t love that they weren’t like perfect circles. They still tasted great and were fluffy and warm and delicious but it was just an aesthetic thingy for me.
Well, Josh sent me a post that Bo Bech posted, sharing how to get perfect circles! You basically add the batter to the ebelskiver cavity, cook it for a few minutes, turn it 90 degrees and add more batter. Cook it on a few more sides and that’s it. PERFECTION.
My first date EVER in my entire life was at an upscale fondue restaurant. I think I was 15 or 16 and had been to some nice restaurants before but this time I was by myself, with a boy (!!), not with my parents. For the first time, I sort of felt like an adult. It felt super fancy and I was very into it.
Halfway through the meal, after the lobster, I realized I’m not all that into boiled meat and fish. My favorite part, by far, was the bread dipped into the cheese and dessert, of course. Who doesn’t love melty chocolate with fruit?
For this very adult, fondue party, I teamed up with ALDI to score all of the veggies and cheeses. A few weeks ago I walked through ALDI trying to think of all the things I could dip into cheese. The good news is that it’s not a hard task. Mostly everything is delicious in cheese!
I feel like this is an easy winter-party situation that you can throw together. People come over, chop up some winter vegetables and tell everyone to dip them in cheese. Game over!
Wasn’t that lil’ break the absolute best? I needed it. I think we all needed some rest and chillaxation. On Thanksgiving day, there was a long walk with Amelia and Joshua, some cooking (but relaxed cooking), a nice Friendsgiving with lots and lots of wine (thanks to Whitney!!!).
The next day Josh and I went to Seattle for book signing. I LOVE SEATTLE. It’s so rainy and overcast and cozy.
BUT NOW WE’RE BACK. I don’t know about you, but I wish the holiday season lasted about twice as long. The weeks go by so quickly and I love all the decorations and the sparkly lights and the foods.
A rösti has been on my to-make list for a v v long time. If you’re unfamiliar, think of it like a latke but bigger and thicker. It’s more cake-like.
I thought about making this rosti out of other things besides potatoes, but the thing I enjoy about them the most is their crispiness. And nothing in the entire world can get crisper than a potato. It’s made for dat crisp.
If you’re asking yourself, “what is the difference between a rösti and a latke?!” not to worry, here’s the answer:
A latke is held together with a bit of flour and egg, while a rösti is only held together with melted butter. It makes the execution a bit tricker.
Latkes are also much thinner than röstis which tend to be thicker and taller. I think both have their home at certain times and certain moods. But right now, I’m all about dat rösti.
Since there is no binder, the technique is pretty imperative. I used the technique from Chef Steps because they do a lot of good work over there and it was super duper simple.