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.
Ayyyyeee! Last week I was sort of barely here on da blog and on social (even tho I’m always on the insta stories). I’ve been planning a fun lil’ thing that I’m excited to share with you. Hint: I can cook in it and I’m gonna make it look as pretty and functional as possible! MORE SOON!
In the meantime, I have a ton of new-to-you summer recipes to share. The past few weeks have been filled with lots of cooking and I took all of your suggestions into account.
You all asked for easy and sort of healthy weeknight dinners AND you asked for some desserts using blueberries, pies (coming soon!) and more cakes (you speakin’ my language).
This obviously falls into the blueberry category and not the healthy, weeknight dinner.
Let me start by saying thank you so much to all of you who pre-ordered my new book, The Year of Cozy. Your support truly means the world to me.
Have you ever had someone be very skeptical about something you’re making. These people can also be referred to as H8TERZ. They drink haterade as they sit there and h8te.
When I was discussing this recipe with my boyfriend, as I often do, he was h8ting HARD. He didn’t like the peach. He didn’t like the bourbon. “It’s too common of a combination.” Blah blah I don’t care. It’s a delicious combination that’s why you see it a lot and I’ve never seen it on ribs so let me live!
Izy’sbook arrived in my mailbox a looooong time ago, nearly a month ago. I’ve been waiting to cook from it because when it showed up on my doorstep, it was only available for purchase in the UK (it’s available tomorrow!), and it just so happened to be the opposite of fall in LA.
But on Saturday, all I wanted to do was bake. The weather was brisk, the light sorta cloudy and moody and I was particularly in a good mood. The kind of mood I’m in is a result of Amelia letting me sleep in, a little.
As I thumbed through her book, deciding amongst all the beautiful baked goods what I should dive into, I was stopped at this Swedish Chocolate Cake. I’ve been on a weird brownie kick lately, so much so that I’m totally guilty of falling victim to the lure of a box mix at Whole Foods. No shame in that game; though that game often results in a bit of disappointment. There shouldn’t be any leavening in brownies, I’ve decided. I want them to be gooey! and rich! So rich that a glass of water needs to be served along side them.
For the past few weeks, everyone has begun gushing about the commencement of fall, and all I could think about was ice cream, cold drinks and basically dunking my entire head into a vat of iced water. We just finished up a pretty intense heatwave and pumpkin spice was the furthest thing from my mind.
Now that the weather has stopped being an a-hole I feel like I can honestly entertain the idea of soup and squash and stuff. And plus, now I’m actually beginning to see gourds that have leprosy and cute baby white pumpkins (always a favorite). I’m excited!
The fall-inspired recipes will start soon, I promise, but I’m thinking this year I might ease into it rather than start with a big pumpkin boom!
These cheez-its are an example of me scootin’ into the season. There’s nothing fall about them, they’re just some crackers for snackin’! Just some schnacks.
When I first started cooking and baking, crackers were the thing I loved to make the most. I’d make them after work and bring them in the next day and people’s minds were blown, “You made crackers?!” My co-workers thought I was genius, but what they didn’t realize was that crackers might be the easiest thing to make EVRRRRR.
For this recipe I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet. These crackers call for a bit of hot Hungarian sweet paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper. The cheddar and paprika are made for each other. It’s a union that in my brain makes sense but should be exploited more.
These are like fancy adult cheez-its. If you have chillren, then I say bring down the paprika and get rid of the cayenne all together.
Sometimes I’m so hungry I feel like I might die. I know I’m being super melodramatic because people can go days and sometimes weeks without food but something happens where my blood sugar levels dictate my mood…and brain. I become angry, desperate…and then super creative.
I begin pairing ingredients that are strange and on the verge of not-so-pleasant. But a few weeks ago, I came across a freakin’ gem. I peered in my fridge, saw some tortillas, cheese and some leftover shredded chicken. That is when the first child from a quesadilla mother and taco father was born. QuesaTaco!
I’m an inventor…or so I thought. I googled it and realized some stoner kid on Reddit had already done it. SO, I didn’t exactly invent it but I still feel pretty proud of this recipe.
This recipe starts with a super quick cooking situation with diced summer squash, ancho chile powder and ground cumin. That’s the filling.
Then I made a bunch of quesadillas.
The quesadillas were then topped with all sorts of stuff…like a taco!
I’m not what you would consider an avid-shopper. I try my hardest to spend my money on experiences like meals at new-to-me restaurants, vacations or day-trips. I figure my money is better spent in those areas…except for this time of year. I’m currently trolling these internets for sales like a crazy person. Right now if you asked me what site is having what kind of sale, I’d totally be able to tell you. And, I probably be able to offer the latest legit promo code.
I also love, LOVE tracking packages. I think this goes back to my love of the Domino pizza tracker – I think I just love the idea of knowing where something is, expecting its arrival, being updated and then it finally arriving. AHHH!
I ordered Amelia and my childhood dog, Chuck, Barkboxes for Christmas and I’m so psyched to know that the packages are currently in New Jersey. Like, thank you for telling me that. I love that.
A life full of grilled cheeses is a good life. If you can enjoy a grilled cheese and some tomato soup, I’m pretty sure it means you know how to chillax. I’m not gonna lie, this holiday season has beat me up. Being sick, alongside too much stuff to do, too many impending deadlines, too many social obligations and too many emails about sales ending soon, has beaten me up. It has all made me crave the week between Christmas and New Years. That week is my favorite week of the entire year; it’s the one week when the emails stop completely, and the thing we’re all supposed to be doing is nothing at all. No guilt about not working.
I recently read an article about guilt and it hit me to the core a bit. I think when you work for yourself, nothing is ever done; you could always be doing more work. This article talks about actually scheduling time in the day to do nothing—it seems strange, counterintuitive and honestly, kind of depressing. Have you tried this?
I jump the gun on fall EVERY YEAR! Every year. It just happens. I’m like an overzealous high-schooler who’s giddy over a crush. We’re one week away from the first day of fall and Los Angeles has just now started to cool down. I’m pumped. I celebrated the cooler weather this week by making pancakes and all other sorts of fall kinda things. You guys, I’m excited for the next few months. I have some fun stuff in store.
We’re a week early, but I wanted to share this clafoutis with you. Pears are all up in the grocery store right now. They’re on point. Delicious. Actually this recipe is great for super firm, not-quite-ripe pears; they’ll keep their shape and the oven will transform them into having the perfect texture. Sure, pears and ginger are in this clafoutis, but there’s so much more going on.
Omygoodness. I feel like I’ve been gone forever. I wasn’t. I was very nearby, I swear. And I have excuses.
First there was the bout of heat exhaustion that resulted from the terrible Los Angeles heat wave (that has since subsided thank da heavens), combined with a trip to the vintage store to try on, like, twenty, gigantic dresses and getting my hair blown out in a salon that just had their air conditioning break. I felt funny, woozy and started getting cold and sweaty all at the same time. I had a feeling I might be sick, but became even more worried (and sort of depressed) when Josh told me I looked like I was dead, which exactly what you want to hear from a boyfriend. Cute.
Then there was the situation with my server and session files and var files. Good gracious. How boring and confusing all of it is to me. Cheese is so much more exciting, especially when pretty flowers are involved. Zucchini is everywhere, which means so are their flowers. We find zucchini and squash blossoms so very rare and exotic, but in Mexican cuisine they’re actually super common. The taco cart near my house sells zucchini blossom tacos—nothing fancy!