I’m headed to London, TOMORROW! The past week have been me frantically scrambling, setting up Amelia-walkers, finding an umbrella to take with me, packing scarves and all sorts of other fun things. And pies! So many pies have been made, which are coming very, very soon. But first, we need a Thanksgiving appetizer. This should probably be made the day before so when you’re all cooking and gallivanting in the kitchen, you can pull this baby out of the fridge and snack on it all day long.
For this post, I partnered up with Reynolds Kitchens. I actually wrote a few Holiday-inspired recipes for them. I love all of them, but the one that’s near and dear to my cheese-loving heart is this Pimento Cheese Ball. Nothing says let’s have fun like a cheese ball—they’re the life of the party!
I’m currently battling the worst summer thing ever: the summer cold. Is there anything worse? Yes, there is. But this sucks. All I want to do is lay in bed right now and wrap myself in covers but then I get hot and frustrated and want some iced tea.
This carrot cake comes from earlier this week when I was psycho enough to turn on the oven. I actually turn on the oven all the time because it’s sort of my job, but you get the idea! My mantra is this: don’t turn on the oven for anything that isn’t fun to eat.
I miss the south sometimes. A lot of times actually. I miss the summer rains, the golden leaves in fall, the beautiful flowers blooming in spring and the biscuits. Oh man, the flakey biscuits. Whenever I don’t know what to cook, I’ll usually think of something super boring and then give it a southern twist.
I like to think that this is a dish a southern girl would make after she spent the summer backpacking through Europe. Maybe she spent a few weeks in Switzerland, maybe she had a fling with a Swiss dude (think Before Sunrise-like) and during that fling she ate at a restaurant and was introduced to the wonderfulness that is raclette.
This isn’t the “right way” to eat raclette. It’s usually cheese that’s cooked over an open fire, the cheese gets super melty and then the cheese is scraped onto awesome things like a variety of meats, vegetables and carbs.
A few ex-boyfriends ago, I learned an incredibly valuable less: how to properly make a tomato sandwich. I am forever grateful.
During the summers we’d drive to Virginia to his family’s lake house. It was there where I’d buy big-ass tomatoes from old men who sold them out of their pick-up trucks parked alongside the road. They were beautiful and warm from the sun (the tomatoes not the old men). There’s something about a southern tomato that’s just really special. They’re kinda magical.
The first step to a glorious tomato sandwich is salting the tomatoes and allowing them to sit and drain on a few paper towels. This makes it so the tomato sandwich doesn’t end up being soggy. NO SOG ZONE.
I learned that tomato sandwiches MUST be eaten on white bread.
One of my favorite summahtime memories was in college. I got a job on a film set in Maryland for a few days and instead of flying, which they offered, I took it as an opportunity to go on a solo road-trip through the south.
It wasn’t too far, actually, maybe six or seven hours. And instead of opting for highway only, I went for the route that took me on a lot of one lane roads, running straight through a bunch of small towns in North Carolina and Virginia.
I packed a large sweet tea, made a super long mix-CD and filled up my Jetta.
Nothing crazy happened. I stopped off at a diner, had hoecakes and ate Western North Carolina BBQ. At dusk, fireflies helped light up the roads. I listened to music my parents did. But mostly I remember thinking that everyone seemed so happy and normal and maybe this whole idea of moving to Los Angeles to work in the film industry, which is inherently sort of abnormal, was maybe flawed. Maybe they had it right and I had it all wrong.
I was born in the south and my family has lived there their whole lives but I don’t really consider myself southern, though I’m definitely southern-ish. I have a strong attraction to southern states, people and food. It was really no surprise that I went back to the south for college, North Carolina to be exact.
My first friend (and best friend ’til this day) at college was a svelte costume design major named Tre. We went everywhere together, including the cafeteria. Rumor had it that our school was just one grade above prison food, which as you know re: Orange is The New black is BAD. Naturally since we were in the south, they had pimento cheese at the salad bar. And everyday Tre would eat pimento cheese on white bread. EVERY SINGLE DAY. (I opted for cereal.) I honestly never touched the pimento cheese because if you think it looks a little scary now in my pictures, imagine how it looked at the ‘one grade above prison salad bar’. Rough.
1. Apparently I can get five hours of sleep and be totally fine the next day, which basically means I’m turning into my dad. I think as you get older, you need less sleep. (I have no idea if this is actually true.)
2. If I follow a dog on Instagram, and then MEET the dog in person, it’ll instantly make my week. I was driving down the street, on my way to get a smoovie, when I drove right past Arrow the Corgi. Of course, I spotted him because I spot all corgis, rolled down the window like the psycho that I am and was all like, “Is that Arrow the Corgi?!?!”
3. Lastly, I learned that the only thing better than a cookie is a big ass cookie the size of my face. Also, walnuts. They so belong in a gigantic chocolate chip cookie.
I’d like to tell you the reason why you should make this is because it’s easier (no scooping out dough), but let’s be honest, scooping out dough isn’t the most labor-intensive thing in the world.
I think this cookie is cool because it’s gigantic; it’s impressive and really it’s just kinda fun.
Drop biscuits are the lazy person’s biscuits. That’s how they should be advertised. There’s no kneading, no rolling out, no cutting out. No nothing. Just mix, drop and bake.
I’m currently in hardcore planning mode for my boyfriend’s birthday bbq this weekend. He wanted something low-key with just his closest friends and family so I said, OK, but I’m going to create a Pinterest board and maybe get a little psycho about the decorations because I’m me! He’s breaking out the smoker to smoke some pulled pork and beans and of course I’m making biscuits, Arnold Palmers and putting together a Bloody Mary Bar.
I was playing around with some other ideas besides my favorite classic biscuit recipe. I wanted something that had a bit funkier taste and I love the salty bacon.
Spicy Sausage Country Gravy with Buttermilk Biscuits…because you’re worth it, gurlfrien’.
This is the recipe I want to make/eat/eat/eat before all the stupid juice cleanses, resolutions to be a better human, dog mother and eater begin. This is a good I-don’t-give-a-shit-let-me-live meal.
I don’t often make country gravy with biscuits; and it’s not because I love it, but it’s usually just too rich for me. I don’t typically go for the butter on top of cream on top of butter stuff. I need bite; I need heat; I need contrast. For me, this meal is simply just too much.
That’s why I’ve made some tweaks that I think make it a bit more interesting. First, there needs to be some spicy Italian sausage all up in it. That means there’s little instant notes of fennel, shallot and other stuff going on. Yes.
And then, Dijon mustard. Oh yeh. A bit of Dijon mustard in the gravy gives it just a hint of acid that I think the gravy benefits from. It’s not mustardy; I’d say it’s almost nearly undetectable. Of course, I ended up going back and adding a bit more and it was awesome, but you could definitely taste the mustard. The recipe below reflects pre-addition. But, add more if you like!
This dish has Christmas breakfast written all over it.
Christmas morning breakfast might go down as my favorite meal all year. ALL YEAR!
Is there any meal that’s cozier than Christmas breakfast?!! NO!
This meal is awesome because you can make it the night before, though I do strongly urge the baking of the biscuits to happen the morning of. (There’s nothing quite like a warm, just-got-out-of-the-oven biscuit.)
Hello sandwich with apple cole slaw (sans mayonnaise)!!
I’m actually not a mayo hater, I just kind of dislike it in my cole slaw.
A few weeks ago the super nice people from SweeTango sent me an email and asked me if I’d like to try their apples. Of course I enthusiastically said yes because it was sweltering at the time and I was yearning for fall to arrive.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that SweeTangos are some of the best apples I’ve ever had–they’re SO crispy, perfectly sweet and slightly acidic. As I bit into the apple and walked around my apartment, Amelia started jumping after me like a lunatic because she’s obsessed with foods that make noise. I don’t understand this, but if I’m eating crunchy chips she will not leave me alone. It’s something about the noise. So, basically my point is that these apples are crazy crispy, in a good way, of course.
While I love to bake with apples, these are better suited to be paired with something, maybe cheese, maybe in a salad or simply enjoyed on their own. I’d categorize them as fancy-ass apples. Kind of high-end, if you will. If you live in LA, you can find them at Gelson’s grocery store. If you’re located elsewhere, no biggie, they’re sold nationwide. I’d like to discuss this sandwich, please.