I had a dream that I directed a documentary about La Croix. I honestly have no idea what prompted this insane dream. Yes, I love that sparkling water but for it to appear in my dreams as my next creative venture is a bit weird. But maybe they have an exciting backstory—who knows!
Anyway, I know that everyone is screaming FALL at the top of their lungs (especially Michael’s Craft Store. I mean they had autumnal wreathes in July). And yes, maybe I caved and ordered a slice of pumpkin loaf at Starbucks like two days ago, however, I am a huge advocate for stretching each season until the last very bit.
Tomatoes are pretty much at their best toward the end of summer. They are juicy and delicious AND the best part is that it’s not super hot in Los Angeles right now so a bowl of soup isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility.
While this soup does take a bit of time due to the tomatoes roasting, it’s super hands-off. The tomatoes roast in the oven with the hatch chiles. And then it’s just blended all up with a bit of cooked onion and garlic. One more trip to a pot to simmer and that’s it.
I miraculously have a basil plant that I haven’t killed…yet. I gave her a name. And her pet name is Susan. She is strong and vibrant and I cannot tell you how shocked I am that she’s alive and thriving under my supervision and guidance.
I’ve purchased basil plants in the past and every. single. time, I kill them. NOT THIS ONE! Here’s what I have done to aide in prolonging its life:
1. She gets all the water she needs.
2. The sun is her friend.
3. I used this thing called Trash Can that Hilton recommended. It’s compostable fertilizer and it has helped a lot.
4. And I trim her all the time, i.e, make pesto.
Every year Josh makes tomato confit and while I’ve always enjoyed the fruits of his labor, I’ve never taken it upon myself to make it…until now! This is an easy-fied version of his method. And it still tastes delicious.
Secondly, on this beautiful Wednesday morning, I made a little playlist on Spotify. It’s a cooking playlist but can be used anytime when you want to feel peaceful and escape the world around you. For me this is always at the grocery store. I always bring my headphone with me so I can be in my own world while I pick up things and put them in my cart.
Now, let’s move to this cake. This zucchini cake started with the highest hopes. It was meant to be a watercolored cake with yellow petal flower with dark green vines. Well…it didn’t work exactly according to plan. I mean does it ever? But there are plenty of happy accidents and this is one of them.
I spent my weekend drinking smoothies because I was gigantic idiot and hit myself in the mouth with a medicine ball (I thought it was a sandbag when I slammed it on the ground) and couldn’t eat for a few days. I could speak just fine but chewing wasn’t ok. ANYWAY, I’m back and recovered. Stupidest thing I’ve done in a long time; I’m glad I survived!
I also spent the weekend celebrating my mama’s birthday and took her to see The Waitress—which was SO good. I loved the movie but the play was WAY better so I highly recommend if it comes to your town.
Let’s talk cauliflower gnochhi. I’ve been seeing it all over the internets lately so I wanted to give it a try. I headed to my local Trader Joe’s and followed the cooking directions from Laura’s Insta Stories—not what is on the back of the bag and, to my huge surprise, it tasted pretty good!
I’m currently watching old BadGirlRiri music videos because I’m procrastinating from cleaning out the dishwasher. There’s a white film that’s coating all my dishes and after I did some googling I found that it must be clogged and I gotta clean it with citric acid. Sounds fun!
This is what they consider The Dog Days of Summer. Those sultry, hot AF days that feel slow as molasses. I’ve been all over the place this month—some days I feel energetic and like I can take over the world (today is one of those days luckily) and then other days where the heat and sun make me tired.
What has been keeping me energized has been the brainstorming for fall things—I can’t wait!
But first, we have August to enjoy and attend to so here’s a list of delicious things to cook in August.
1. Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Chipotle Hummus – Chipotles in adobo make everything taste good. FACT. Mix one chipotle in adobo with store-bought or homemade hummus and boom—deliciousness. And then add grilled veggies and some bread. A+++
2. Aperol Spritzes – I recently went to a new restaurant and I ordered an Aperol Spritz which came with a very heavy splash of olive brine and four olives and OMG they just read my mind. I love Aperol Spritzes and these variations make me happy.
3. Freeze Some Cookie Dough – I guarantee you know someone in your life that could use a cookie. Life is hard and lonely and sometimes really sad. And cookies never really cure anything but the gesture of dropping off some frozen cookie dough to a friend will prob make them feel loved. Do it.
4. Blueberry Lime Poppy Seed Cake with Crème Fraîche Glaze – This pound cake is my jam. I love it. I love using wild blueberries because they’re a bit smaller and you get one in every single little bite. The poppy seeds add nice crunch and the crème fraîche glaze gives you that delicious tartness.
7. Italian Pistachio Cake with Roasted Plum Frosting – This cake is one of the best cakes I think I’ve ever made. It tastes some werk, not gonna pie but it is SO good. The pistachios are rich and nutty and the roasted plum frosting is super bright and pretty.
8. Vegetable Lover’z Pizza – I love summer vegetables more than any other seasonable vegetables. I can’t be alone in this? This pizza celebrates that love.
9. Hatch Chile Cornbread – Hatch chiles are in full effect in the month of August. There’s a grocery store in Silver Lake that roasts them right outside the front doors and they get me every time. I always end up going home with a bag of them. If you, too, find yourself with some hatch chiles, then make this cornbread.
10. Agua Fresca – This is on repeat nearly every single week in my kitchen. I have had the WORST luck picking watermelons. Sometimes they’re not sweet enough, too mealy, etc. I never throw them out, no no…instead I just blend them up and make agua fresca.
Running this blog has taught me so much about people’s allergies and diets. Every time I post, there are usually a few questions like, “can I make this nut free?” “can I make this without eggs?” “can I make this meal more plant-based?”
A lot of times it’s hard for me to answer those questions because I never test recipes with variations like that, which makes it tough to get a confident, firm answer. That’s why I’m so excited with today’s post. For this post, I teamed up with JUST to show you their new product that literally blew my mind.
It is an egg-free scramble. It tastes like eggs, it scrambles like eggs and looks exactly like eggs, but it’s magic ingredient? The 4,400 year old legume called mung bean. It’s a delicious, protein-packed, non-GMO, cholesterol-free product that cooks and tastes like a chicken egg.
You simply pour it out into a non-stick skillet and cook it like you would regular scrambled eggs. It’s super simple. The color comes from carrot extract and turmeric. The texture is literally identical—it’s wild (watch this video to learn more!). I love watching the people’s reactions.
I decided to throw a delicious, low-key and easy brunch together that’s also allergen-friendly and plant-based. Everyone has a different diet these days but it’s actually a lot easier to accommodate these preferences than you think. In fact, you might be surprised how much better your meal tastes by doing so! Continue Reading
Billy has been out of town this entire week so it’s just been me trying to paint on buttercream and catching up on a bunch of computer work, i.e., watching Lauren Servido’s videos on Instagram and editing photos. It’s been a glorious couple of days in my week, I have to say. Very peaceful!
You know what isn’t peaceful is Target, man. I walk in thinking I’m going to see summer outdoor patio furniture but instead it was a huge display of back to school drama that just stressed me out. I’m not even in school, haven’t been in years, but I’m stressed for the children—let them play!
I always went back to school in September so late July just seems a bit aggressive, don’t you think? Though, I always did love a some fresh new school supplies. They felt so nice and clean.
Let’s talk this pizza! This is a full summer time pizza. It’s a celebration of tomatoes and spiciness.
It’s very difficult for me to go to the super market or farmer’s market right now and NOT buy an heirloom tomato and a pint of cherry tomatoes. I eat them all the time.
A few weeks ago I hopped on a plane and went to a place I’d never been before: Burlington, Vermont. I was super excited. In my brain when I think of Vermont, I think of maple trees and green grass, clean air and rolling hills and lots of farms. My imagination was correct because that’s exactly what I experienced and I loved it so very much.
I was invited by Stonyfield to visit their network of organic family farms, learn about their history, present day goals and future. And let me tell you, it was a fascinating experience. Their co-founder, Gary Hirshberg, was so inspiring and warm and charming. (If you want to hear more about his fascinating story, here’s a link to his episode on NPR’s How I Built This.)
The first farm we visited was my favorite because it had what I love on any farm: baby animals. And lots of them.
When we arrived to Julie Wolcott’s farm, she was tardy showing us around because two cows were about to give birth (she assists their births to make sure mama is ok). We ended up meeting the baby calves and they were only an hour old. They were so beautiful, I maybe almost cried a little.