Back to reality, back to alarm clocks and emails and to-do lists and hashtag goals. Can we just all go back to bed? The goals thing is giving me a headache.
This break was maybe my favorite. I slept a lot, thought a lot, wrote down dreams and hopes, hung out with Amelia and Josh and my mama and friends.
And though the vacation flew by and I wish I could do it again, I’m super excited about 2016. I love fresh starts. I love clean and bright things and this new year feels hopeful. I’m kicking this whole “let’s eat healthy” phase we’re all going through with a healthy-ish recipe.
I’m not all that great with healthy (although I’m starting this thingy tomorrow, plz keep me in your thoughts) so it’s not outright healthy just healthy-ish.
Ribolitta is a Tuscan soup often thickened with bread. Some people put bacon or sausage or meat in it, but I prefer a veggie version.
I like lucinato kale and sweet carrots. I like this with more broth than what’s typical because I love slurping soup. And I love the lemon juice. I think it’s essential, though totally untraditional. And I love, love a lot of crushed red pepper. The soup is flavorful and deep yet very light.
We’re so deep into May. How did we get here? How is it Monday? How did Mother’s Day go by already?! Ahhhhh! Also, it’s peony season in case you didn’t know.
Ok, we’re gonna put my anxiety about time moving too quickly to the side because today we’re making the most carrot-y carrot soup on da planet. Ready?
It’s been a lil’ brisk in LA, which I am not complaining about one bit because I just know this summer is going to be ratchet. I’m taking full advantage of the cool temperatures and rainy weather while I can and that means soup. HOT SOUP!
A few days ago it was cloudy and drizzling. Amelia was all bummed out because when it rains I make her wear her raincoat. And I had a few bunches of carrots in the fridge with no plan so I sliced them up and cooked them slowly in butter and a strip of kombu. HEAVEN.
Lately I’ve been in search of warmth of all kinds. I’ll call my mom and listen to her ramble on about her day because I like the sound of her voice regardless of what she’s actually saying.
I’m currently obsessed with Amelia’s warm chubby paws. She has soft hair growing in between the pads of them hat sometimes the groomer trims down, but I sort of like when he forgets and it grows super long. The warmest of places is the corner of Josh’s shoulder where I retreat after a particularly terrible day. No place feels warmer.
And the thing I want to eat when it’s cold and damp and sucky is this bowl of green pozole. It comes from Ashley Rodriguez’s new book, Date Night In, which is a super pretty book all about my favorite day of the week: DATE NITE.
December is for cookies and pies and appetizers, specifically meatballs. I love meatballs.
January is for recovery. Honestly, I always feel a little silly and cliche posting healthy recipes at the beginning of the year, but right now I’m actually craving vegetables and broth and nourishing foods. December wrecked my body. I ate and drank a lot and thoroughly enjoyed it (no regrets!), but this state of recover is really necessary.
Enter: this potlikker (pot liquor?) soup.
I first learned about potlikker while watching PBS’s A Chef’s Life with Vivian Howard. Have you seen it? Oh man, she’s my new obsession. Every show ends and I’m so inspired to make the stuff she’s making. She’s fun to watch, too. Vivan strikes this perfect balance of being knowledgeable, relatable, and vulnerable. And all her ideas are really smart and interesting…even if she doesn’t think they are at first.
The weather right now in Los Angeles is cool and drafty and every pink bush, tree and flower has decided it’s time for its debut (evidence here). I’m headed to New York at the end of this week and decided to take a gaze over at the ol’ weather channel, thinking, hoping, expecting for temperatures to be very Spring-like. You know, 50s and 60s. Umm…New York is gonna be crazy cold. (Not polar vortex cold but you know…) I’m staying with my friend Tre, and I have plans to make him a big pot of soup in his barely-stocked kitchen. This recipe doesn’t require much. Just a pot and a blender, warm socks and some hope that Spring is so very close.
This recipe is a part of McCormick’s Go4Gourmet challenge. It goes like this: McCormick sent me a box of three ingredients (in this case it was their California garlic powder, chicken stock, and basmati rice) and I used these ingredients, plus any root vegetable of my choosing to create a recipe. These are the results!
Yesterday I ate 1/2 of gigantic big bowl of guacamole, pet a bird, ate 1/4 of this spinach dip and then had a gigantic plate of Feijoada. (The Feijoada was beyond epic and it’s now my goal to make it for this here space.)
Basically what I’m saying is that I overate. Probably more than Thanksgiving. A dinner of just appetizers is like a dream for me. It reminds me of My-So-Called-Life when Rayenne complains about always having frozen appetizers for dinner and her mother has no idea what she’s talking about.
Eating just appetizers reminds me of afterschool snacks and tapas in Spain and my favorite television series of all time.
I live and die for this Acorn Squash Soup with Cheesy Croutons. It’s a throwback from 2011 and one of my favorite fall things to make. The soup you see pictured is like its very interesting cousin who reads a lot, is well traveled and went to a fancy college. Sometimes I just want something to be easy and cheesy and comforting and other times I want things that make me think. This is the latter. I like it A LOT.
Sage and curry need to come together more often. I’m an enormous fan of butternut squash, but sometimes I think it’s too sweet. I think the sage and curry serve as really awesome savory elements that balance out the sweetness perfectly. This soup is easy to make; I’m talking 30 minutes tops and it’s perfect for days. The full recipe for this grown-up soup is over on PBS Food.
On another super random note, do you guys know the UP Series? Have you seen it? If you’re unfamiliar, I’ll be quick: it’s a series that started in the 60s with 14 kids from different social classes and backgrounds. The kids were interviewed, talked about their hopes and dreams for the future, and every seven years they were interviewed. Initially the series was supposed to be a study about class division in England, but over the years it’s turned into so much more. The movie is really beautiful, sad and heartbreaking at times and just totally fascinating. Today on PBS the “56 UP” aires! WUUUT! All of the kids are now 56. I’m so stoked to watch it. I cannot get enough. If you haven’t seen it, please do! It’s one of my all-time favorite movies.
I really hate myself for saying this but…I’m excited for fall. I am. I so am. UGH. It’s not even September and tomorrow I’m posting a recipe that has watermelon in it, BUT you know…I’m excited for sweaters and scarves and making out under falling autumn leaves. That sounds so fun (and cheesy!) to me. This is also coming from the person who just last week got super angry when Halloween Stuff was spotted in the new Sur La Table catalog. I’m a complicated person. I go back in forth. I’m indecisive. But right now, right this second, I’m super excited to look cute in fall.
Even though deep inside my brain I can’t wait for cooler weather, I promise you will not see pumpkin on this blog until late September. I’m making a deal with myself. No pumpkin until Fall, man. It’s pepper season. I’m talking hatch chiles, pasilla chiles and of course, the plain ol’ red and yellow peppers too.
Look at this color soup! I love it. And chervil! What the heck is a chervil?! Chervil is a fancy-ass French parsley. It’s hella dainty and frilly. It’s very crochet-like, right?
Thanksgiving Madness. It’s totally a thing. When I was younger, I used to take Thanksgiving VERY seriously. I’d cook the entire Thanksgiving meal including dessert, and since I had way too much on my plate, something would inevitably fail or not turn out and I’d get super bummed.
But now I’m just like, so what, who cares. There’s a chance that the turkey might be on the dry side, you might burn something, heck, I dunno, you might even drop a whole dish on the floor (I’ve done this). I recommend to treat those moments with laughs and shrugs…and then proceed to pour a ton of gravy over the turkey–that’s what it’s there for anyway. Thanksgiving cooking is supposed to involve lots of wine, laughs and way too many cooks in the kitchen. All that makes it Thanksgiving.
If you’d like some ideas for sides and stuffing and dessert, I got some.
Stuffing Muffins – People will think you’re the most adorable person in the world if you make stuffing muffins. I mean, look at them! Cuteness central.
Last week we had a very brutal and random heatwave where it decided to be 90˙F(!!!). I had a literal and figurative meltdown that day. It was bad. But now the cold weather is here and I’m back to being stoked on life.
It makes me super grateful that we live in a world where hot weather takes a break–and allows us to stop sweating–and cold air enters. And I’m glad sweaters exists, and dogs with wrinkly faces exist, and, AND soup exists! Rad.
I love punk’n. Are you all punk’n-ed out? Hope not. It’s only October, guys. We’ve got a solid more month of this stuff.