For this post, I teamed up with Gevalia, a coffee brand with a Swedish heritage that is known for making fika (Swedish coffee/snack time) special and delicious.
Easy summer living has been in full effect around these parts.
I’ve been living off of summer-y salads (one of which I’ll be sharing soon!) and have been trying to make plans. We NEVER ever go to the beach. Why?! So Josh and I and a few friends are trying to set some dates down on those calendars and stick to them.
For some reason, when you live on the east side of LA, getting to the beach feels like a huge excursion and commitment but I’m trying to tell myself that sandwiches and iced coffees on the beach will be worth it.
Speaking of iced coffeezzz. We are in what I like to call “Iced Coffee Season.” It’s a season when I rarely drink anything warm, coffee included.
I immediately remember how much I loved The Bicycle Thief and 8 1/2 in college–none of which even take place in Southern Italy–but still…Italy! I remember this roasted plum cake that’s made with a delicious plum syrup spiked with balsamic vinegar and Italian pistachios.
I remember my love for aperol spritzes and how delicious they are when I’m sweating on a hot day.
I’m actually going to northern Italy in September but there’s just something about the Amalfi coast in June and July and August that draws me there like a magnet. Maybe next year. Maybe we’ll go for our honeymoon, though Josh is pushing for Asia. THO WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHEN WE’RE ACTUALLY GETTING MARRIED. SMH.
In lieu of my urge to book and flight and head to southern Italy, I figured I’d transport myself and my longing through taste. Through food. Through drank.
I’m starting this adventure with a kick-off to summer: the Aperol spritz.
And all sorts of ways. What else can we put in them besides Prosecco?
I say lots.
When I was in Copenhagen last year, I went to Baest and had one with apple cider and it was BOMB. It was very fall-like so I think that made sense. But now, as we venture into summer, I say let’s be super basic and try it with rosé.
Here she is with rosé:
I started the drink with about 2 to 3 ounces of aperol, another 3 to 4 ounces of rosé and then topped it off with some sparkling water.
And let’s talk about green olives. They’re traditionally served with green olives and at first it seems a little odd but the brininess with the sweetness from the aperol REALLY works.
And then here’s a grapefruit Aperol spritz.
There’s 3 ounces of aperol, about 2 to 3 ounces of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and then tonic or sparkling water.
I love the tonic addition but if you’re into less sweet, go the sparkling water route.
It’s almost summer, which means it’s beer ice cream float time!
Last weekend, I invited Billy and Steve over and we made some copycat Shake Shack burgers (recipe coming tomorrow!) and served them with beer ice cream floats using some delicious ice cream from Coolhaus.
The first time I had a beer ice cream float was a few years ago, and I’ll admit that before I tried it, I thought it might be a little gross. But, umm, it was the exact opposite.
Beer and ice cream go SO well together, especially when paired properly. And of course, if you have a little kid around or someone who doesn’t drink, you can substitute the beer with cream soda. Cream soda universally will go with all of these flavors of ice cream.
For this post, I teamed up with Coolhaus. I first had Coolhaus back in the day when food trucks were new and cool. I’d go to these food truck parties and I always finished my grazing with some ice cream or an ice cream sandwich from the Coolhaus truck.
Now you’re able to find Coolhaus in nearly every grocery store—it’s so amazing to have watched them grow from small ice cream truck to what they are now. Coolhaus is a woman-owned, LA born business, straight out of the recession—YAS!
I figured I’d do the very difficult job of paring a handful of their ice creams with different types of beers.
Here’s what I paired and loved:
1. Dirty Mint Chocolate Chip with a stout – I accidentally and unknowingly bought a coffee stout. It was surprisingly SO amazing with the Dirty Mint Chocolate Chip, which uses real spearmint and little delicious bits of chocolate.
2. Bananas Foster with a hefeweizen – The bananas foster might be my favorite flavor because I love bananas and the dulce de leche swirl is bomb. It pairs well with a hefeweizen because a lot of hefes have banana-like-tasting notes and the tartness works well with the sweetness of the dulce de leche.
3. Chocolate Molten Cake with a cream ale – At first I thought that the chocolate molten cake would go well with a stout and I tried it that way but it was a bit too rich for me. I liked it better with a cream ale that has some oat-y, malt-y notes that pair well, but isn’t too overpowering, with the rich chocolate molten cake flavor.
This week has been a lil’ bananas. I’m doing a video series for a project today (YAY!) and just getting everything in order from location to what I’m putting on my body has been a good amount of mental work. I’m used to just making things and taking photos of them, not really concerning myself with how my hair looks. ITS HARDER THAN I THOUGHT!
In other more important news, Amelia is about to be wrangled by a new trainer, that we consulted with over the weekend, because she’s caught a bit of separation anxiety, i.e., has a full-on toddler meltdown when I put on my shoes. It’s made leaving the house a bit challenging. If you know corgis, then you know that they’re kind of wild, feral animals.
She also had to turn down an opportunity to be in a commercial for The Crown because the requirements were that she actually had to obey all commands while being in front of camera, while being next to a herd of corgis. She. Can’t. Do. This. It’d be too stressful and the experience of taking video of her in this environment did not outweigh the stress. ANYWAY, my best friend works for Netflix so I’ve kindly asked for an invite to set that day.
NOW, let’s turn our undivided attention to these gorgeous slushies from my dear friend Lily’s gorgeous new book KALE AND CARAMEL.
They are seriously the dessert I will make over and over this summer because:
#1. They are so easy to throw together. Seriously, all you need is an ice cube tray and a blender.
#2. They are healthy-ish. They’re sweetened by honey and orange juice, they’re dairy-free and are so so delicious.
#3. Who doesn’t love the gorgeous pink color from the hibiscus syrup.
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.