I’m pretty sure I’m in a bit of a summer slump. I’ve been wearing the same short/t-shirt combo with birkenstocks for what feels like FOREVER and I feel like I’m somehow always sort of sweating. It’s a summer rut, I think. I’m not all that surprised it’s here; we’re close to August and the season has worn out its welcome a bit, amirite? We’re officially in those Dog Days of Summer.
The thing that still makes me excited about summer is scoring produce like sour cherries, bright yellow peaches and these super pretty red currants. There’s a small Armenian produce market not too far from my house and they always have some killer fruits and veggies.
I don’t go in there that often but whenever I do, I’m always being introduced to new-to-me types of plums and pears. (Last year I made this Sour Plum Brown Butter Upside Down Cake with sour plums I got there.)
Late last week I couldn’t keep my eyes off these currants. They were really beautiful and I figured their wonderful tartness would be awesome in a sweet clafoutis. I haven’t made one in a while but gosh whenever I do I wonder why it’s been so long.
For this recipe I teamed up with Almond Breeze, making the recipe ultra special because it’s completely dairy-free.
This week is popsicle week on internets, if you haven’t noticed. My friend and fellow lover of reality TV/gifs, Billy, is hosting popsicle week for the second year in a row (last year I made these Cherry Lambic pops, which are still a big favorite of mine). To see a big list of all the participants and delicious popsicles check out his blog, Wit & Vinegar.
This year I teamed up with Almond Breeze to bring you your favorite childhood sandwich in popsicle form. That may sound weird but I can’t sing the praises of frozen peanut butter milk enough. The almond milk mixed with sweetened and salty peanut butter is like heaven. I could drink it by the glass, and I plan on doing so in the future, but I think my favorite version of it is in frozen form.
The concord grape jelly needs to be added sparingly, almost like how I prefer my PB&J sandwiches. I always make my PB&Js with a slight smear of jelly and a TON of peanut butter. Sloppy PB&Js were not my thing.
The almond milk marries so well with the creamy natural peanut butter. And both of them freeze really well.
When I fly home, I always get a call from my mom right before my flight takes off, “will you be wanting animal flesh for dinner.” She’s not kidding…haha. My mom has been vegan for a long time now and while I can’t imagine being vegan, her body has never felt better. I remember, as a kid, she’d always get stomach aches and feel sick after she ate meat and dairy. It really does prove that everyone’s body is different and what works for one person, won’t always work for another.
Luckily these vegan pancakes don’t taste vegan. They’re fluffy, tender, soft and are pleasantly sweet. If you’re vegan, you’ll be delighted that they’re dairy and egg-less; if you’re not vegan, you won’t be able to taste a difference, I promise.
I’m not gonna be home with my mama this Mother’s Day (I mailed off this box a few days ago!), but if I was, I’d make her a stack of these pancakes. She has a recipe similar to this, that I created for her so she can get her pancake-making on.
This stack is a bit fluffier (I played with the leavenings a bit more), a bit sweeter than my typical pancakes (I think it pairs well with the tart blueberries) and there’s a hint of almond flavor thanks to the almond milk.
Amazing things always happen to me when I’m at Michael’s. This one time I saw a Marisa Tomei and I was freaking out because I grew up loving her. My Cousin Vinny? I was way too young to waatch it but that didn’t stop me from taking peeks from the hallway. I would do that as a kid: sneak out of room at night, sit in the hallway that allowed me to peer straight into the living room while still being out of sight, and watch the movies my parents watched. They had no idea that their “date for two” in front of the TV actually included a third wheel.
Then there was this other time that I saw an older gentlemen in a fly fisherman’s outfit have a meltdown because the coupon on his phone wasn’t working–it was a sight. And then yesterday, as I was shopping for candy-making materials, I turned around to see an old dude slap his wife’s behind. She laughed and playfully slapped him back. While it was a little awkward to witness, it actually made me smile. When you’re young it’s hard to imagine what being married for a long time must be like. Everything is so new and fresh and first-timey at this age. But when you’re older, perhaps flirting with each other is even more important.
I went on my run and thought about them, imagining how much life they’ve lived together, how many kids they’ve raised and wondered how many hardships they’ve survived. I do that sometimes: imagine people’s “stories.” I sometimes think going through that much life together can either tear you apart or bond you in a way that is unbreakable. We all wish for the latter. So, him slapping her ass made me happy is all…haha. It made me believe that perhaps love lasting a lifetime really can happen.
I came home and made a rendition of this smoothie bowl. It is, after all, what I have most days either immediately after my workout or for breakfast.
They say you can tell a person’s true colors in the darkest of times.
That moment for me was early Monday morning when the Los Angeles earth decided to shake rapidly in the middle of the night. I was mid-crazy dream. I was in the South of France. Amelia and a cat were fighting. I found a Sriracha bottle (how a bottle of Sriracha was just laying on a French country-side road is unknown) and started to throw it at the two of them to quit it. That’s when the earth shook, the doors to my closet trembled and my inner-self went into pure panic mode.
Petrified and confused out of my mind, I jumped out of bed, pushed Josh to wake up and bolted out of the bedroom door. Josh screamed (a very manly scream, I might add), “WHAT IS IT?!?” and him, me and Amelia headed for the bedroom door. Apparently, he thought there was a squirrel in our bed. Why a squirrel, I have no idea…so as we were running out of the bedroom door, he threw the blankets on top of each other, as to try and catch the non-existent squirrel and slammed the bedroom door shut.
Amelia was not to be left behind. She was right there. The trembling stopped and I immediately started doing this weird cry/laugh thing I always seem to do when I’m embarrassed/scared/confused.
Josh explained his fear about the small animal in our bed and I just started laughing hysterically. I couldn’t stop.
There are only a few things that can calm my panicked-self. French toast is one of them.
Breakfast is my main chick. My main steeze. My main squeeze. My major.
But so many times I skip breakfast, decide to eat a cup of coffee instead, sit at my computer and next thing I know it it’s noon and I’m so angry. I’m hangry.
So, in 2013 I didn’t have any major resolutions. I’m not good at those. But I did decide to eat breakfast more regularly. And I to travel to far away places.
One of my main problems in the morning is that I’m not that hungry. I don’t wake up ravenous; I wake up wanting water and coffee. And Instagram. I have to force myself to consume something at 8am. This banana milk a good option. It’s nutritious, tasty, and super easy to make.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been partying hardcore with butter and cheese and more cheese. You’ve been here to witness all of them, and some of you lunatics even participated. Thank you for that.
But sometimes my body needs a butter and cheese break. I didn’t make any crazy plans or goals or get on any weird diet…I just woke up on Monday morning and didn’t want a ham and cheese croissant with my coffee. CRAZY!
Instead, I walked into my kitchen, looked in the cupboards and took out all of the ingredients for exactly what my body was calling for: Olive Oil Granola.