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Summer of the Spritz: Aperol Spritzes Every Which Way

Drinks

Every.single.summer for the past few summers, I’ve wanted to go to southern Italy. This urge only really happens in the summer, when photos of orange umbrellas, vangole and glistening shots of the ocean start popping up in my Instagram feed.

I immediately remember how much I loved The Bicycle Thief and 8 1/2 in college–none of which even take place in Southern Italy–but still…Italy! I remember this roasted plum cake that’s made with a delicious plum syrup spiked with balsamic vinegar and Italian pistachios.

I remember my love for aperol spritzes and how delicious they are when I’m sweating on a hot day.

I’m actually going to northern Italy in September but there’s just something about the Amalfi coast in June and July and August that draws me there like a magnet. Maybe next year. Maybe we’ll go for our honeymoon, though Josh is pushing for Asia. THO WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHEN WE’RE ACTUALLY GETTING MARRIED. SMH.

In lieu of my urge to book and flight and head to southern Italy, I figured I’d transport myself and my longing through taste. Through food. Through drank.

I’m starting this adventure with a kick-off to summer: the Aperol spritz.

And all sorts of ways. What else can we put in them besides Prosecco?

I say lots.

When I was in Copenhagen last year, I went to Baest and had one with apple cider and it was BOMB. It was very fall-like so I think that made sense. But now, as we venture into summer, I say let’s be super basic and try it with rosé.

Here she is with rosé:

I started the drink with about 2 to 3 ounces of aperol, another 3 to 4 ounces of rosé and then topped it off with some sparkling water.

And let’s talk about green olives. They’re traditionally served with green olives and at first it seems a little odd but the brininess with the sweetness from the aperol REALLY works.

And then here’s a grapefruit Aperol spritz.

There’s 3 ounces of aperol, about 2 to 3 ounces of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and then tonic or sparkling water.

I love the tonic addition but if you’re into less sweet, go the sparkling water route.

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Beer Ice Cream Floats + Burger Party!

Adventures, Desserts, Dinner, Drinks

It’s almost summer, which means it’s beer ice cream float time!

Last weekend, I invited Billy and Steve over and we made some copycat Shake Shack burgers (recipe coming tomorrow!) and served them with beer ice cream floats using some delicious ice cream from Coolhaus.

The first time I had a beer ice cream float was a few years ago, and I’ll admit that before I tried it, I thought it might be a little gross. But, umm, it was the exact opposite.

Beer and ice cream go SO well together, especially when paired properly. And of course, if you have a little kid around or someone who doesn’t drink, you can substitute the beer with cream soda. Cream soda universally will go with all of these flavors of ice cream.

For this post, I teamed up with Coolhaus. I first had Coolhaus back in the day when food trucks were new and cool. I’d go to these food truck parties and I always finished my grazing with some ice cream or an ice cream sandwich from the Coolhaus truck.

Now you’re able to find Coolhaus in nearly every grocery store—it’s so amazing to have watched them grow from small ice cream truck to what they are now. Coolhaus is a woman-owned, LA born business, straight out of the recession—YAS!

I figured I’d do the very difficult job of paring a handful of their ice creams with different types of beers.

Here’s what I paired and loved:

1. Dirty Mint Chocolate Chip with a stout – I accidentally and unknowingly bought a coffee stout. It was surprisingly SO amazing with the Dirty Mint Chocolate Chip, which uses real spearmint and little delicious bits of chocolate.

2. Bananas Foster with a hefeweizen – The bananas foster might be my favorite flavor because I love bananas and the dulce de leche swirl is bomb. It pairs well with a hefeweizen because a lot of hefes have banana-like-tasting notes and the tartness works well with the sweetness of the dulce de leche.

3. Chocolate Molten Cake with a cream ale – At first I thought that the chocolate molten cake would go well with a stout and I tried it that way but it was a bit too rich for me. I liked it better with a cream ale that has some oat-y, malt-y notes that pair well, but isn’t too overpowering, with the rich chocolate molten cake flavor.

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Coconut Hibiscus Orange Blossom Slushies

Desserts, Drinks, Healthy, Quick and Easy

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.

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Matcha Iced Latte

Drinks, Spring, Summer

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.

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Whole 30 (A Review!) + Golden Milk Tea with Date Syrup

Drinks

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.

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Blood Orange & Pomegranate Thyme Spritz

Drinks, Fall, Quick and Easy, Winter

Blood Orange & Pomegranate Thyme Spritz

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.

Blood Orange & Pomegranate Thyme Spritz

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Elderflower Lemonade

Drinks

Elderflower Lemonade

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.

Elderflower Lemonade

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Taking a Break with Naked Juice

Adventures, Drinks

Naked Juice Cold Pressed Juices

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 Cold Pressed Juices

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!

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Sparkling Rosé & Ginger & Elderflower Punch

Drinks

Rosé Ginger and Elderflower Punch

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.

Rosé Ginger and Elderflower Punch

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How to Make a Matcha Latte

Breakfast, Drinks

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.

Make a Matcha Latte

I then pour about a tablespoon of hot water into the bottom of the mug.

Make a Matcha Latte

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.

Make a Matcha Latte

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