You guys…these are the pop-tarts of my dreams. My dreammzzzz.
I was that kid who would sleep over your house and eat all of the pop tarts and watch tons of television. I grew up deprived of fun things so now that I’m an adult, I make pop tarts whilst watching trashy television. (I can see my mother doing her famous eye roll right now.) I’m just making stuff like this to recover from my structured childhood.
For the recipe (the crust is my favorite!) and more pictures, head over to PBS Food.
So I’m on this sort of diet thing. It’s not a diet, exactly. It’s more of a don’t-eat-everything-you-want-which-includes-two-doughnuts-in-a-row kind of thing. I’m basically just trying to eat a bit healthier, though tomorrow I’m totally sharing something fun with you.
In the nature of this blog, which is a reflection of what I’m eating and obsessing over, there might be some more healthier recipes popping in and out over the next few months. This will never be a healthy-type blog; I simply love butter too much, but I am almost relearning how to cook and eat in a way. My default is always to finish things with a bit of butter. Bolognese? Finish it with butter. Sear a steak? Top it with a bit of butter? I’m learning how to not cook with so much fat.
I always know I feel better when I work out but it definitely takes effort to get in your car and drive somewhere to work out. I tend to make so many excuses. But right now I’m into it so I’m riding the wave. Also, if all this healthy/workout talk is boring, I’m sorry. Tomorrow I have pop tarts, ok? POP TARTS!
But today, fries that aren’t fries. They’re frauds. Delicious little frauds topped with lemony, garlicky yogurt, Italian parsley and sweet pomegranate seeds.
My whole goal in life is to take ordinary dishes I ate as a kid and make as fancy and fresh as I possibly can. Today’s project: quesadillas. Don’t get it twisted, I’ve indulged in the classic (very American) version of a quesadilla. It usually involved me, after school, needing some sort of snack. I’d sprinkle a gigantic flour tortilla with hot sauce and fill it with a ton of pre-shredded cheese. And there was usually a glass of lemonade and Total Request Live (TRL!!). I always had a soft spot for Carson Daly–he was almost too nice.
Today’s version is different. There’s pretty kale, Alpine-style cheese, a blistered anaheim pepper, a spoonful of beans and a sprinkling of corn. It’s the fancy quesadilla of my dreams.
So they did. And I began tinkering, playing around with different recipes. I love recipe writing, developing, making. It’s maybe one of my favorite things to do ever. And the fact that I can call it a job is dreamy.
My absolute favorite recipe I made are these Rosé Roasted Olives with Blue Cheese. I’ve been wanting to make roasted olives for such a long time. And seriously, the warm blue cheese with the sweet and dry rose and the olives. Ahhh! Best appetizer ever.
There was this Bacon Potato Habanero Cheese Soup that was dreamy, too. It’s the thing you want to eat on a cold day. It’s like eating a gigantic baked potato but lighter and daintier.
And there’s more!
For more cheese-centric recipes, here is the full list:
The Strata listed above is probably tied with the roasted olives. Before trying it out, I’d never made a strata before, which is essentially a baked bread pudding but savory and less bread-heavy. It’s the dream breakfast for house guests. If you’re throwing a bunch, make that! It’s one of those dishes you can make a few hours ahead and then bake-off when people show up.
Basically, make all of these cheese recipes because cheese is the best and is my favorite cure-all.
A few years ago I posted this recipe. For some people, it worked great. They loved the filling, the dough was perfect. You know, general hand claps all around. But then, a few other readers stated they had issues with the dough. It left me scratching my head and giving me anxiety. What went wrong? Were some people using corn flour and others using cornmeal? Was that the issue? Was the recipe the problem? I couldn’t figure it out. I took the recipe down, vowing to retest it to figure out the problemo. It kept getting pushed onto the next day’s to-do list until admittedly I forgot about it. UNTIL!! someone emailed me a few weeks ago saying WHERE IS THE RECIPE I LOVED IT!
So, here they are. Recipe reworked!! This is a recipe redo.
Holy! How is February over?! It feels like it just started.
February was a month full of brainstorming, idea building and seeking inspiration from all sorts of places. Maybe in the future I’ll post about inspo and where I get it (we all draw from different places, don’t we?!).
These are the current things I’m loving, buying, wanting and watching.
1. I saw Cutie And The Boxer. Have you seen it? (It’s available on Netflix.) LOVED IT!! I love honest portrayals of married life.
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.
When I was a kid, my favorite American dish my mom made was Broccoli Cheese Casserole. I’m pretty sure she learned it off of the back of a soup can and every year when my birthday rolled around, I’d request she make this casserole. There was boiled shredded chicken, a few cans of soup (cream of mushroom and cream of chicken!), lots of cheddar cheese and broccoli. It was maybe one of the only ways I’d voluntarily eat broccoli.
I feel like we all have a dish we requested for birthdays or special occasions; it probably wasn’t fancy or elevated or all that impressive, but it just reminds you of home.
This tartine is inspired by that casserole dish and I first ate it at a bakery here in Los Angeles. I was so pumped that their iteration of my mama’s casserole had taken a whole new life, albiet a bit fancier one, it took me back. Way back.
For the full recipe and stuff, head over to PBS Food.
Sundays are somewhat of a double-edged sword. On one hand, they’re lazy, relaxing and involve Bloody Mary’s and long brunches. But then, as the night sets in, you feel the impending week full of to-do lists and getting up early just looming…
As a kid, Sundays were depressing. It was usually the day when I had to buckle down and do homework. You know, the homework that I had thrown to the side all weekend long because I was busy having fun. There was usually lots of whimpering and pouting and being a brat. There was usually a gigantic cloud over Sunday night. The only things that usually made it better was the tick, tick, tick sound from the opening credits of 60 Minutes and the smell of something mom was braising in the oven.
It was the day before Valentine’s day and I was contemplating what I should make for Josh as a present. I settled on doughnut ice cream and was taking Amelia for her right-before-evening walk. I started contemplating the execution: soaking the doughnuts, infusing them in the milk vs. pureeing them in a blender with the milk and cream and then straining them.
We walk past the elementary school and out walks Sebastian. He’s six-ish, wearing a backpack that’s filled with way too many books, making it practically the size of him. He waves at Amelia and she immediately starts shaking her body with excitement like she’s doing The Twist. Sebastian asks if he can walk her to the corner and I say ok. We start to walk and he begins to tell me how he loves corgis and how they’re The Queen’s dog. He then asks if he can run and have her chase him in the field attached to the school. I say ok again and let her off the leash. He bolts down the field, she takes off, trying her hardest to catch up. They both run in the street and almost give me a heart attack, which makes me scream at both of them, asking if they’re lunatics. They come back and my stomach reenters my body. They run back and forth back and forth. Staring at their young energy makes me feel old, it makes me wish I was the one who was running, which is absurd because it could be. All I’d have to do is just run.
Sebastian falls to the grass and Amelia starts licking his face and he’s laughing and saying ew and laughing some more until finally Amelia stops and lays next to him. The sun is setting in this way only Los Angeles can set a sun. Hues of pink and blue and coral shoot out from the horizon making me contemplate God and nature and everything I say I don’t believe in. It’s transcendent.
I sit in the grass with them and listen while Sebastian tells me a confusing story, the way six-year-olds tell stories. I listen and nod and smile and listen some more and say to myself this is what good is. Sebastian’s brother calls him and they head home. Amelia and I walk off in the opposite direction to finish our walk.
And then I come home and make some of the best ice cream I’ve ever made.