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Summer

Eggplant Meatballs over Cauliflower Puree and Pesto

Dinner, Healthy, Healthy (ish), Summer, Vegetarian

Meatballs might be my favorite food in the entire world. I strive to eat them ALL THE TIME. It doesn’t always work out but I really do try.

I eat healthy ones when I’m vibing that paleo/Whole 30 lifestyle.
I like legit ones that I like to think I would eat if I lived in the movie Goodfellas.
And then there are these fine things: eggplant veggie meatballs.

You can serve them to all your friends who don’t like meat but also don’t like fake meat. Also people who like meat love them too.

If you know me then you know that I was LATE to the eggplant game. I lived my life for years hating it but I love it SO much now. This sabich is still one of my favorite things to eat and the thing I love most on that sandwich is the deng harissa eggplant—it’s too good!

These meatballs come together pretty easily.

We do have an extra step and that’s cooking the eggplant down a bit and then blending it all up in a food processor with a bunch of other delicious things.

I like to use a non-stick pan for this so that I don’t end up with crumbly-broken meatballs. These are definitely more fragile than your traditional meatball.

I served this over cauliflower puree and pesto and it was the perfect healthy meal. If you’re looking to cut down on some time, serve it with store-bought pesto and some sautéed cauliflower rice.

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Late-Summer Peach Galette with Baklava-like Filling

Desserts, Pie, Summer

Are you guys chilling this weekend? After a little bit of a crazy few weeks, I was lucky enough to be able to relax most of the weekend. I slept, I tried to stay cool (it was literally 105F every single day, help us all!), tried to stay away from the crazy fires, washed clothes and went to a bbq for a friends birthday. It was all good.

This weekend I’m headed to Seattle for Create + Cultivate and I just learned that Issa Rae is the keynote speaking and it has me a little scared/shy/excited to meet her!! EEEE! I love her so much. I’m actually leaving before she hits the stage so who knows if I get to meet her BUT if you haven’t watched Insecure DOOO ITTT!

It is my favorite show on TV right now; it has be DYING every single episode. And every time an episode is done I’m like UGGGHHH I wish there was more!

Let’s turn our attention to this late-summer galette because it is SO good. At the base of the galette, underneath the peaches is a baklava-type of mixture and it is B O M B. It’s spiced and crunchy and flavorful. It gives the entire thing such a good flavor and texture.

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Creamy Elote (Mexican Corn) Pasta

Pasta, Summer


Ayyyeeee! This pasta was SO SO good.

I will admit that it’s a teeny bit indulgent but tastes delicious and it’s something that surprisingly doesn’t feel super heavy and I think that it having no meat helps a lot with that.

This week has been full of food shoots and getting everything done and ordered for our kitchen renovation, which I’m going to tell you about TOMORROW! WOOHOO.

Before I do that though, I wanted to give you this late-summer recipe because I feel like corn has been so delicious this year. If you’ve had Mexican street corn before (also known as elote) then you know that it is delicious. It’s super simple with ingredients that complement each other so very well.

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Plum Nectarine Pistachio Upside Down Cake

Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts, Summer

This summer, I’ve made only sheet cakes and zero pies. I have no idea what’s gotten into me. I think I’m reserving my pie muscles for fall. I also think I’ve been super lazy (and really busy) this summer, and I haven’t had time to sit and braid pie dough for hours and hours. I’ve been into more quick and easy recipes with big payoff. Like sheet cakes…and this upside-down cake.

Upside down cakes are underutilized in my very humble opinion. For this post, I teamed up with ALDI, where I go for all of my baking needs. When you go there, be sure to stock up on all the high-quality flour and sugar and brown sugar that will fit into your cart. I always do (I get bags and bags of stuff), and I always use it. Click here to find the closest ALDI to you!

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Fluffy AF Cornbread Blueberry Pancakes

Breakfast, Pancakes, Summer

So I’m proably the last person on earth who is now watching The Good Wife but let me tell you, it’s pretty good!

I’m very into the whole situation where the wife isn’t all that “good” and divorces her husband because he sucks. I think that’s a great bang to begin a series with, to be honest. Who knows where it will go because I’m literally only on episode 3 but we shall see!

Another thing I’m very into right now are fluffy pancakes that taste like cornbread, speckled with little blueberries. GAH. Brunch dreams right now.

Let me tell you truly fluffy pancakes are a little hard to achieve. If you add too much leavening then you end up with fluffy pancakes that then fall. You want just the right amount of baking powder to liquid.

The ratios are really important! I think I got the perfect ones in this recipe. The pancakes taste like cornbread with honey and the blueberries are so deliciously sweet and tart. I’m going to miss them dearly come the end of summer.

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Payday Lobster Cherry Tomato Pasta

Dinner, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Summer

Hello! I am here. Is today (or next Friday) payday for you? I hope so because this pasta is something that I hope you make when you get PAID! This is a treat yo’self kinda pasta because it has lobster in it.

Pasta is usually on the cheaper end of the food-money-spending spectrum but lobster makes it pretty indulgent.

I went to the market and bought two lobster tails for about $20. I definitely was like “dang, ok. lobster is legit expensive.” And I still had to buy all of the other ingredients. I think my total bill came to like $30 or $35 dollars for this entire meal, which if you actually compare to a restaurant, it’s still cheaper.

But whatever you do, don’t overcook/mess up the precious lobster ok?!

I’m going to be honest again and tell you that I grew up eating lobster because my family loved it. And I knew when they brought home lobster someone was having a good day/bills had been paid/we were living!

Before recipe testing this, I’d actually never cooked lobster. I was super pumped that it was just the tails and not a whole, living, thriving lobster. That experience might’ve been too real for my city-loving self.

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Mint Vanilla Iced Coffee

Drinks, Quick and Easy, Summer

For this post, I teamed up with Gevalia, a coffee brand with a Swedish heritage that is known for making fika (Swedish coffee/snack time) special and delicious.

Easy summer living has been in full effect around these parts.

I’ve been living off of summer-y salads (one of which I’ll be sharing soon!) and have been trying to make plans. We NEVER ever go to the beach. Why?! So Josh and I and a few friends are trying to set some dates down on those calendars and stick to them.

For some reason, when you live on the east side of LA, getting to the beach feels like a huge excursion and commitment but I’m trying to tell myself that sandwiches and iced coffees on the beach will be worth it.

Speaking of iced coffeezzz. We are in what I like to call “Iced Coffee Season.” It’s a season when I rarely drink anything warm, coffee included.

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Peach Cocoa Nib Walnut Streusel Snacking Cake 

Breakfast, Cakes, Summer

This cake lookin’ like a snack!

I’m going through a walnut phase (which, I’ll admit, is a strange thing to say). I put them in everything. Smoothies, salads, cakes…everything.

I like ‘em because they’re soft and they really result in the most delicious, softest streusel ever.

I bought way too many peaches the other day because I have this bad habit of going to the grocery store hungry and then end up spending like a million dollars on groceries because I want to eat everything!

I needed to do something with this surplus of peaches and figured a lil’ cake that I can snack on would be just perfect.

I baked in this sorta fancy, Italian loaf pan I’d purchased but it kinda overflowed so definitely bake it in a bundt pan or round 9-inch square or round pan. Both will work great with zero overflow, zero oven drama.

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Summer Props I’m Loving!

Adventures, Summer

1. Pineapple Glasses – These pineapple glasses are so beautiful to me. They’re so tropical and fun. I don’t like to buy these that are too seasonal but I think these would look beautiful for fall, too. (Yes, fall is coming soon. I am not ready.)

2. 3-Piece Marbled Mixing Bowls – You’ll notice a lot of my favorite things come from CB2. That’s because they make SUCH pretty and affordable things. I love this set of mixing bowls. I’m pretty firm on having just simple glass ones but they’re not super photogenic. And sometimes it’s nice to go from mixing bowl in the kitchen to just straight to the table.

3. Pink Farren Tumblers – Sale alert! These are on sale right now and I just scooped up a few because I think they’re gorgeous and perfect for a big, tall glass of lemonade or iced tea.

4. Colorblocked Cotton Napkin – I love this color green. I’m going through a green phase right now where everything in my life either needs to be green or pink or mauve or brown.

5. Pink Powder Jug – Is there anything prettier to put cream in? I think not. I still swoon at all of these glaze colors. They’re just gorgeous.

6. Jupiter Pink Marble Board – I love this thing. I love pink marble—it’s so beautiful and kinda hard to find. I wanna put all the cheese and snacks on this.

7. Rose Leaf Nip Cup – Don’t ask me what a “nip cup” means. I dunno. But all I know is this glaze on this mug is gorgeous and I wanna hold that mug while I drink coffee every morning.

8. Waffle Weave Multi-Color Kitchen Towels – I have a lot of ugly kitchen towels. Mainly just plain white ones that have been stained into oblivion. I need a new set that’s photogenic and honestly just looks nice IRL, too. I have my eyes on this set.

9. Wood Handle Flatware Set – I love wood on flatware because it really warms up the space a bit. I’m drawn to a lot of modern plates and modern shapes so sometimes if my flatware is too modern, everything can feel cold. Obviously I’m the opposite of cold, I WANT IT TO FEEL COZY U KNO.

10. La Fourmi Steak Knives – Admittedly, I have a ton of dishes and stuff but one big thing I don’t have is a nice set of steak knives. These are just beautiful.

11. Pitch Dinnerware – These are Japanese-inspired plates that are simple and modern and minimalistic in the best way. I love the dark color and while I normally don’t shoot on black plates, I want to start injecting a bit darker colors into my work. I think these are an affordable way to start.

12. Vivienne Side Plate Set – I think this set of side plates is so beautiful. I dream of having colorful foods on them like melon wrapped with prosciutto, a variety of fruits and sautéed veggies. I think the neutral color is perfect for summer and fall.

13. Petrified Wood Serving Board – The edges of this serving board are SO beautiful. I love the rustic look of this board and I think everything from cupcakes to your favorite cheese would look gorgeous on it.

14. Floral napkin – I feel like the old me never would’ve liked something this classic but the new 2017 me is VERY into these rose napkins. They’re romantic and dark. I love ‘em.

Camarones a la Diabla

Dinner, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Summer

I LOVE THIS RECIPE!

If you’ve never had camarones (shrimp) a al diabla, here’s a breakdown of how it goes:

A sauce is made. This sauce might remind you of an enchilada sauce. It’s red and flavorful and in this case, a little smoky. This sauce recipe makes quite a bit and part of me wanted to halve it but I actually ended up using it for three other dinners last week.

1st dinner: I made this.
2nd dinner: I tossed it with roasted eggplant and vegetables and ate it with quinoa.
3rd dinner: I made this again.
4th dinner: Josh used it to braise some flank steak (using one of our favorite kitchen gadgets) AND then we put it in tacos for Friday taco night and it was boooomb.

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