In the second installment of….let’s go through my hard drive and find all the posts I haven’t posted, here is a summer-y pasta!!
Before we went to Japan, everyone warned us: THE JET LAG IS TUFF. I was scared. Will I be a walking zombie? Will I be able to enjoy my days? I assumed yes because I’ve been to Europe a few times and while I’m a little out of it and tired, I drink coffee and run off adrenaline because I’m on vacation and it’s fun!
When we got to Japan, I was a little tired. I ate some soba, walked around and then went to bed at 10pm and the next morning I woke up bright and early (I think 6am) and was totally fine.
I love a vegetable noodle dish. Real, gluten-filled pasta is my fave, but sometimes I crave the flavor of those dishes and want to skip the heaviness. (And then again, sometimes I like the heaviness haha!)
One thing I use over and over is my KitchenAid Architect Stand Mixer with Vegetable Sheet Cutter attachment. I got both of these things from Macy’s (my architect stand-up mixer is my favorite). I’ve made different iterations of this same dish, swapping out zucchini for butternut squash and even eggplant—it’s so good. The classic version of this dish used zucchini. It’s delicious and cheesy and when you’re craving something lighter, this is the move.
For this post, I teamed up with Macy’s Wedding Registry where I’m recommending that these two items have a place on it. Yep, they truly deserve a spot. As you probably know by now, I use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer daily. I bake a lot, but really it’s not just for baking. I make plenty of other things in my KitchenAid, including lasagna!
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.
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.
These bao buns are what my carb dreamzzzz are made of. They’re so delicious and soft and before now, I had no idea they were so, so, so simple to make at home.
If you make them the legit AF way, the way you’re supposed to, you’re going to take pork fat and render it and pour it into this bread dough. But, I found that butter (a bit easier to find and deal with) is just as good. I adapted this recipe from David Chang’s recipe.
Last month I made pot stickers for the first time and I have to say, I was V impressed with them. They’re now one of my favorite things to make at home and are a million times easier than I thought they were. And yes, most of that has to do with the fact that I don’t make my own dough for the wrappers; even though that also doesn’t seem that hard to make, so maybe next time I’ll give it a try.
There were some days last week that felt like summer but I refuse to let go of spring for a long time. So we’re still in full effect with spring on this here blog for a long time.
These are filled with mashed peas (and some whole peas). The addition of sautéed buttery leeks also adds a nice flavor note. These are SO good. I love them so much.
The flavor here is all about sautéed leeks and barely cooked peas. The inspiration behind these pot stickers comes from Lisa Lin’s Instagram. Do you follow her? Her food looks so good. I could stare at it all day long.
April is the month I’ve vowed to get my shit together. Every single day I have a different task assigned. I’ve scheduled a day to go through all of my clothes, props, old bills, etc. I want to purge! And tomorrow, is going to be a very fun go-to-the-accountant-day. Tax season is here—FUN! Honestly, I have a feeling it’s not gonna be that bad. But I do have a drink and dinner scheduled with friends so I’m hoping it’ll help A LOT.
I’m also trying to get things prepped in the morning for dinner at night. A lot of times people are like, “what do you make for dinner?” And I’m going to be 100% honest, I don’t always have the best answer. Sometimes it’s cereal, a salad I throw together, scrambled eggs, take-out. But I’ve made these about three times since I photographed them for the blog. They are so good and easy to put together.
This recipe comes from my friend Molly Yeh’s new book YOGURT. Yes she wrote a whole book about yogurt and it’s amazing. It’s a cute short stacks book and I just love it.
I also used her pita recipe and it was the fluffiest most delicious pita ever. I made little sandwiches with it. The past few times I’ve made the chicken, I’ve left out the pita because I try to not eat too many carbs at night. So I just paired it with a salad and bam! So good.
The chicken chills out in a bowl in the fridge with a yogurt marinade filled with a bunch of delicious things like red onion, seasoning, lemon juice and more. When you’re ready, you can grill them OR you can do like I did and just bake ‘em on a baking sheet in the oven.
You won’t get that beautiful sear or char like from a pan or grill but the oven is pretty hands off (ideal for me) so I went that route.
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
1 bell pepper and 1/2 red onion, chopped into 1 to 2 -inch pieces, to add to the skewers (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, salt, ras al hanout, sugar, harissa, oil, onion, garlic, mint, juice from half of the lemon and about 12 turns of pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon). Fold in the chicken to evenly coat the cubes, then cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight. Soak 8 wooden skewers, adding bell pepper and onion (if using) in between the pieces.
For grill or grill pan cooking instructions:
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the skewers, turning them occasionally, until they're deeply browned on all sides and cooked through.
For oven cooking instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Cook the skewers for about 20 minutes, until cooked all the way through. Rotate them at the 10 minute mark for even baking.
Squeeze with the juice from the remaining lemon half. Serve with rice or salad or in pita.
This dish smells like Sunday dinner. You know that smell…like sautéed onions, something braising in spices. The sounds are different than the smells. They’re of steam rising, some sort of adult-friendly jazz or salsa playing, and mom is screaming at you to set the table. Or at the very least, take the trash out because it’s gotten full. People are coming over and it’s time for the kitchen to go from used up to presentable. And you need to be presentable, too, so put on something nice; your Sunday best is preferred.
My mother was the best at braising things. She was also incredible at delegating and making everyone do what needed to get done. She was doing the most so it was only fair.
For this post, I teamed up with McCormick to show you how to make Easter Sunday smell and taste amazingly delicious. And to make it as easy as possible, this whole thing is made in an Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot makes this dish come together SO fast and easy. The lamb shanks are smothered in a spice mixture full of sea salt, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, mustard and black pepper. It’s seared and then placed in the Instant Pot with tomatoes and a chipotle in adobo. It’s braised with some carrots, onion and garlic.
It’s been rainy and cold in Los Angeles the past week and obviously I have loved every second of it. It’s been glorious to put on a big sweater and cook some food. This has been on my list to make because it’s so good and cozy. And yes, I will admit that it’s not the most photogenic food but whatever. It’s rice and chicken!
This differs a lot from your typical arroz con pollo. The mixture that makes it green is a big bunch of cilantro, garlic, onion, jalapeño and stock all blended in a blender. This makes a delicious, flavorful broth mixture that is combined with the rice. This is what makes it super delicious and flavorful. It tastes bright and earthy and spicy.
The spice definitely chills out as it cooks with the rice. The chicken is so good and falls off the bone. The little guy on top is killer. It’s called Salsa Criolla and my mom used to make it when we were eating really boring things like lentils or beans. It transforms anything that might be a bit mundane and not so flavorful. Lucky for us, the rice is flavorful and then you add this and it adds even more flavor. It’s amazing.
I made this dish a million years ago for the blog. When I first started this blog, I lived in a studio apartment and shot most of the photos on my patio. I had terrible lighting inside my apartment and the patio was literally the only place I could take a dang photo. I remember neighbors would pass by and always be like what is this weird-ass girl doing taking photos of her food . Lol.
I wanted to share this recipe AGAIN because I made it soooo long ago and it really deserved a makeover, Queer Eye-style. I gave it a whole new home, a new wardrobe and a good haircut. The roots were perfectly fine.