Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Bday Cake

Dear Turkey,

As you know, my mom ALWAYS makes me a birthday cake with mint chip ice cream, hot fudge, and oreo crust (1 part oreo : 1.5 parts butter) [add your own cherries]. Most people do not appreciate this ice cream cake, not even my mom, who found out that she was pregnant with my sister because making it made her puke when I was 8. It still makes her want to puke...and I still force her to make it for me...ah, motherhood...

Well, my mom cleverly went on vacation during my birthday this year (ah...motherhood...), so, instead of making me a cake, she ordered this awesome-ly retro one:

It even came from this really old-school ice cream place that was a trolley car once (or something). It's by the beach and the ice cream probably has sand in it, but I couldn't tell. (I'm sure you don't want me to tell you about the night I couldn't get sand out of my retainer.)

Enough about my birthday, and my vacation, and me -- wait, this is my blog,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What Dinner Tastes Like at 9 PM

Dear Turkey,

On my birthday, I pretended to be one of those hip European people who eats dinner at 9 PM. Actually, I decided that I wanted to go running at 6 PM, so that meant that we didn't eat until the time formerly known as my bedtime.

Once I looked in the mirror and said, "Mama's old." Now my son says, "Mama's old," whenever I look in the mirror. Or whenever he fees like it, whichever happens sooner. Now that I am Old, I am working on going with the flow and enjoying life and all of those cliches. So, instead of stressing about how late it was, I lit a candle on the picnic table and enjoyed my dinner. (If you don't think this is a big accomplishment, you don't know me).

Unfortunately for you, the person who prepared my dinner firmly believes that I should only post pictures of food that I actually cook, and not pictures of food that he actually cooks (good thing you don't believe that, Mom). So, here's what I actually did:

I washed this beautiful arugula and these beautiful non-local cherries. 

And then we had hummus that you make in the microwave from Minimalist Baker, grilled cod with this rub from Budget Bytes, and grilled chickpea salad with red onion and sourdough. If you are trying to decide if you're too lazy to click on these links or not, I promise you, it's worth it.


Monday, June 23, 2014


Dear Turkey,

M&Ms + Beach + Hand (make sure it's your hand) = Vacation

I predict that by the time you read this the M&Ms will be gone.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day Challah

Dear Fathers,

Thank you for having a holiday so that I could make you a challah. I know that Father's Day isn't usually associated with challah, but I'm not usually associated with doing what the cool kids do. I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. By "adapted" I mean, "shamelessly made even easier than it already was."


1/3 c sourdough starter (optional)
5 eggs (plus one for later)
1 capful yeast (about 2 T)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c oil
1 3/4 c warm water
1 T salt (make sure this doesn't come into direct contact with the yeast)
8 c flour


Knead all of this together for five or ten minutes until a ball forms. Let it rise, covered, for a couple of hours, until doubled. Then divide into two balls, and form a braided loaf out of each ball (see the link above if you need instructions, or you can just skip this part). (It's easy if you put them on a floured parchment paper on a cookie sheet now, instead of transferring them right before baking.) Let those rise, covered, for another hour or two. Beat that other egg with 1 T salt and 1 T sugar and paint to recklessly all over the loaves (well, not the bottoms). Then bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 mins. I bet you anything it will take 45.

If you are lightweight fathers, you can freeze some.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Caprese with Beans

Dear Turkey,

The other day my mom asked me to make caprese. But she didn't have any basil. And then she left the room. Left to my own devices, I was overcome with the desire to put beans in it:

It's tomatoes, mozzarella, black beans (drained and rinsed), cilantro, Italian parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oil, and balsamic. It was really good, and, unlike many salads (if you ask me), it's even good left over. Still left to my own devices, I was overcome by the urge to cancel out all that fresh, healthy goodness with some fresh, healthy shortbread: 

In case you were wondering, this is what the M&Ms looked like post-baking (open like little clams but still perfect, just waiting to be eaten). 

I am ashamed,

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Grilled Grilled Cheese

Dear Turkey,

A wise person once said, "you've never really had grilled cheese until you've had grilled grilled cheese." They were right. With Velveeta. Which goes perfectly with homemade sourdough.

I am ashamed,

Monday, June 9, 2014

More Fake Ice Cream

Dear Turkey,

Thank you for hanging out with me and giving me three very ripe bananas. I had to declare them at US Customs, but, luckily, the lady did not make me give them to her. As you know, I am a fan of real ice cream and fake ice cream, but I'd never made fake ice cream in my real ice cream maker.

I blended the bananas, about 1/2 c whole milk vanilla yogurt, about 1 c soymilk, 1 T vanilla, and 1 T cinnamon. Then I chilled it in the fridge. I made it in my ice cream maker, and threw in some chocolate chips at the end:

It really feels like ice cream in your mouth, even when you and your toddler are eating it for breakfast.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Okay, Maybe Capers Aren't That Bad

Dear Turkey,

I know that part of my identity is not liking capers. But then today, I actually ate one. Umami sensation. How could I have not liked that for the past 30.88 years?

Also, I know I told you I don't like ricotta. But then my mom made me make this Asparagus Ricotta Tart with Puff Pastry (yes, from the freezer).

I was wrong (Mom: that is a link to the recipe). But I still don't like change.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

My New Favorite Smoothie

Dear Thirsty World,

You will be pleased to meet my new favorite smoothie. I think that I've underestimated the value of ice in smoothies: it's free, and, paradoxically, it makes them taste more like Frappuccionos:

For two big glasses (because I want two), vita mix-ify blend: 4 handfuls ice, 1 ripe banana, as much peanut butter as you can fit on one tablespoon (almost 1/4 c I bet), 2 T whole milk vanilla yogurt, 1 c vanilla soymilk, 2 T unsweetened coca. 

Now your life is complete,