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Summer

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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Strawberry Sheet Cake with Rhubarb Meringue Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Spring, Summer

I had a full-blown, real, non-working weekend. There was a good dose of working out, dinner at a newly-opened neighborhood restaurant (highly recommend it)! I helped my friend Hourie with her charity bakesale that was sold out in an hour (!!!). There was also loads of salsa and smoothies and working out.

Moving onto cakes, specifically this one. Easter is this weekend, which really is the kickoff to spring brunches. There’s Mother’s Day and spring weather, which makes for ideal brunching-weather.

If you love cakes but can’t find the energy/skillz to decorate them, then the whole ‘sheet cake category’ is for you. They are ridiculously easy. All you’ll need is a proper baking pan and a spatula and a handful of sprinkles.

This strawberry + rhubarb sheet cake is the complete opposite of this Neapolitan number. That cake requires a few cups of coffee and some concentration (or at least the decorating part does).

This cake is made up of the most delicious white/strawberry cake combo ever. I could eat it over and over. And the rhubarb frosting is delicious tart and smooth.

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Snack Board with Three Dips

Appetizers, Healthy, Snacks, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian

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.

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Olive Oil Cake Cookies with Blackberry Frosting

Cakes, Cookies, Desserts, Summer

Olive Oil Cake Cookies with Blackberry Frosting

CAKIES! I learned this term from Izy’s book. I’m not sure if she invented it or if it was around before then. It’s hard to pin-point the origin of very sophisticated terms like that…but if you’re unfamiliar, it’s when a cake meets a cookie.

These are delicious spongey-cake-like cookies that are super floral thanks to olive oil. I used average-ly fancy olive oil. It’s hard for me to buy a bottle of $30 of olive oil AND THEN USE IT, you know?

When I bake with olive oil I still use stuff that’s not THAT expensive. Josh tries to talk me into using nicer stuff but it’s so so hard. I leave the fancy stuff for drizzling on salads or veggies.

Olive Oil Cake Cookies with Blackberry Frosting

Olive Oil Cake Cookies with Blackberry Frosting

I’m currently (trying) to stock pile recipes for fall. I have a feeling the season is going to swallow me whole so this was one of the last summer-ish recipes that I wanted to make.

I’m obsessed with adding fruit to glazes and frostings. You may think that some sort of artificial coloring was added to this frosting but think again, my friends.

ALL BLACKBERRIES.

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Late-Summer Succotash with White Bean Puree + Brown Butter

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

Late-Summer Succotash with White Bean Puree and Brown Butter

I feel like a basic b first thing in the morning (every single morning) because this is basically what I make (give or take the white bean puree or eggs). I’ve been eating something like this, a rendition of it, for like the last two months.

I’ve recently learned a few things about myself lately:

1. I need breakfast. It sets me very straight. And makes me genuinely happy.

2. For breakfast, I tend to lean more savory than sweet. (At least during the weekdays when my days need to be productive and want to feel good.)

3. Italian parsley + lemon juice will forever be my favorite flavor combination. It’s so fresh and delicious. Add a good amount of salt to balance out the salt and it’s something that should be put on every single thing.

Late-Summer Succotash with White Bean Puree and Brown Butter

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Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

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

Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

As I thrust this only half indulgent recipe toward you, I’m currently on Class Pass (I’m a new joiner) scheduling out all of my workouts for the next week. This is an attempt to balance out my grilled cheese crouton eating with cycling, kicking and boxing and dance moves in this West African dance class I’m contemplating on trying.

These grilled cheese croutons are straight out of Pinterest 2012. It’s not an idea that I invented by any means but when I saw it loooong ago on Pinterest, I thought: GENIUS! It took me forever to actually do it but I finally did; I think it’s best I waited so long. The idea is so old, it’s almost new again.

Just like recycled fashions.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

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Strawberry Rye Loaf with Buckwheat Groats

Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts, Spring, Summer

Strawberry Rye Loaf with Buckwheat Groats

This wasn’t supposed to be a rye loaf, but it just happened because when I walked into IRMA (like a mini, Danish Whole Foods), I was mesmerized by how pretty everything was designed.

The cereal boxes and flours were like impeccable, everything was just SO beautiful. I couldn’t stop staring.

When I finally got it together and it was time to buy flour, I was like a little scared at all the flour options, and especially scared because they weren’t in English. I reached for my Google Translate app but I didn’t have any service in the damn market so I took a gamble. I went for a big bag, figuring it was most likely all-purpose.

Strawberry Rye Loaf with Buckwheat Groats

The rest of the grocery shopping was interesting. Baking powder is “bagepulver“. I sorta figured it out. My milk purchased was assisted by an older woman who thought it was kinda funny that I was almost buying kefir. LAWD.

When I got home and started putting all the labels in google translate, I was like OH I BOUGHT RYE FLOUR OK.

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Hatch Chile Summer Squash Queso Fundido

Appetizers, Holiday, Quick and Easy, Snacks, Summer, Vegetarian

Hatch Chile Summer Squash Queso Fundido

I’m currently hanging around Copenhagen with Yossy and Michelle. Recap coming very soon!

Before I left I had this idea to combine my two favorites things: vegetables and chz in a spicy concoction that screams summer!

For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to eat on the healthier side because it’s so easy to do in the summer time. Every morning I’ve been getting up, sautéing some cherry tomatoes over super high heat and throwing in green onions, zucchini, crushed red pepper flake and lots of garlic. I’ll eat this with a couple of eggs and it’s perfection! It makes me feel all powered for the day, especially when I have like two almond milk lattes.

Hatch Chile Summer Squash Queso Fundido

Hatch Chile Summer Squash Queso Fundido

This isn’t all that healthy I suppose but it’s SO good and tasty.

You start with cooking and caramelizing the zucchini. This may seem a little strange but don’t worry. It taste so creamy with the cheese—it’s delicious!

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Blueberry Cardamom Coffee Cake

Breakfast, Desserts, Summer

Blueberry Cardamom Coffee Cake

I realize that I might be the worst packer in the world. Namely because I want to take everything but I want it to fit into a carry-on because waiting for bags at LAX is SO boring. It all just takes so long. When I land after a long flight, I generally want to get out of the airport as fast as I can. I also love the idea of traveling super light, being one of those people that could survive off of nearly nothing.

But I’m not like that deep-down because I like options! And jackets and shoes. Who knows what I’ll want to wear on any given day, you know?

Blueberry Cardamom Coffee Cake

So, I wrote a list this time, and I’m trying very hard to stick to it. We’ll see how I do. In other news, coffee cake!

I usually put coffee in my coffee cake but this time I thought that might be a little weird so I went with fall spices like cinnamon and cardamom. I love fall spices with summer fruit.

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Blueberry-Blackberry Turnovers

Breakfast, Desserts, Pie, Summer

Blueberry-Blackberry Turnovers

I’m leaving for Copenhagen on Friday! WHAAA!! Yes, I’ll be there for a whole seven days to eat my way through a city I’ve never been to. I’ve always dreamed of going. My dad actually worked in Scandinavia for a big part of my childhood so each time he’d return, he’d have stories about the people, the food, the culture, the politics. It’s a bit of a dream that I’m going and sort of still can’t believe it.

I knew that before I left, I had to make these. They’ve been on my to-make list ever since the Bon Appetit came in the mail and I spotted my homie Nicole Rucker’s spread in there. It’s seriously one of the prettiest I’ve seen. So white and clean with beautiful pops of purples and blues.

Blueberry-Blackberry Turnovers

These turnovers stood out to me because I glaze looked so drippy and delicious and when I peeped the recipe, I was super stoked at the ingredient list.

This is the first time I’ve tried the vinegar/syrup added to pie crust before, which I had seen a few times, but never attempted. I’m into it! It’s dope!

Blueberry-Blackberry Turnovers

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