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.
My dad was in town for a few days and even though he bosses me around, wakes up way too early and always tells me my car needs to be cleaned, I had the best time ever. Living across the country from my parents is hard. When I see them, I see them differently, and after they leave I always tend to think a lot about my childhood.
My dad and I have always baked together. It’s the thing we share. My dad isn’t a pro-baker or anything like that—he does it strictly as a hobby, and for many years it was his favorite hobby. A few years ago, over a holiday break, my dad and I spent two days baking gougeres. We had no idea what we were doing, but we followed a bunch of recipes, tweaked a bunch of stuff and after two days we finally ended up with a batch we deemed totally perfect.
After my dad left town all I wanted to do was make something that felt familiar and something that reminded me of the man who taught me to how to change a tire and the man who taught me the value of never quitting.
Gougeres are made from pate a choux. If you’ve never made it before you may think it’s a weird and wrong.
The recipe begins by cooking butter with water, flour, and in this case, beer. And then you mix in eggs–even though they might not feel like they can actually be incorporated into the dough. They eventually do.
One of my favorite “single-person” meals is a baked sweet potato with about three tablespoons of butter on top. It’s the most delicious thing to eat when all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch a TV show. I love the act of eating something and watching something. In film school, I’d go to Chipotle right before class and sneak a burrito into the theater and sit in the back while watching some super artsy movie. It was very much against policy to eat in our school theater, but I couldn’t help it–I wanted to watch the movie AND eat.
Whenever I do go to the movies now, I always try and convince Josh to get a burrito before, but he always wins because his argument about sitting down at an actual restaurant like a real human versus sneaking burritos in my purse is a valid one, you know. Sooo…now you know my single-person/gossip TV meal. This gratin is a hella fancy version of that…sorta.
This is Thanksgiving-table worthy. It’s cheesy and slightly sweet and delicious.
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.
I’m doing this thing–not sure if I told you–where I cook alongside Bravo’s new show, Around the World in 80 Plates (which airs each Wednesday at 10pm/9pmc on Bravo!!). Wherever they go, I go…kinda sorta.
Each week they’re in a different international city cooking away and competing, stressing out and being judged, while I stay home, turn on some music, make a dish (corresponding with each city), all while intermittently checking Instagram and texting away–it’s fun!
This week’s show takes place in the gastronomy capital of the world, Lyon, France. Um…this location had my brain in knots because it’s like the equivalent of someone letting me loose in fifty combined Chanel boutiques and saying, You can have whatever one thing you like. Too many options! Too much pressure!
I had lots of elaborate dishes on my brain, but I kept circling back around to my favorite salad ever: Salade Lyonnaise. This salad is everything. There’s frisée tossed in a bacon mustardy vinagrette topped with a perfectly poached egg. And sprinkles of salt and pepper make it extra pretty. Nothing fancy. Total simpleness at its best.