maybe one of the most relaxing and wonderful weekends ever. morning margaritas, afternoon blts, talks deep into the night, daytime g-rated swim, nighttime x-rated swim, marvin gaye records, wine glass upon wine glass upon wine glass, with some of my best friends in the entire universe. sitting around a rough wooden table for literally hours on end without budging, not even a bathroom break. swapping stories and sharing laughter and giggling into the night. someone made one lame sisterhood of the traveling pants joke, but we gave her a pass and blamed the 12-pack of magic hat krazy kat (delicious IPA!) instead of her.
i cooked up a celebratory summer feast for my best friends from college. it went a little bit like this: grass-fed organic beef burgers on toasted baguettes brushed with olive oil, topped with thickly sliced heirloom tomatoes. i lit the grill by myself and everything!
a monster of a warm summer salad with white wine and lemon-braised wax beans with garlic, tomatoes and black pepper tossed with fresh organic spinach, toasted pine nuts (okay, i burnt them a little), shaved parmesan and fresh corn from the cob. finished with a homemade dijon vinaigrette made from scratch by my sous chef sarah.
garlic bread made with scallions and garlic gently melted in a LOT of butter, slathered on a baguette and broiled in the oven. pure, rich decadence.
dessert was vanilla bean ice cream and blueberries soaked in really fucking fancy brandy. yup. this is good living, folks.
happy happy monday xo
one of the sweetest voices in the world provides an unexpectedly killer summer soundtrack. i’ve always loved john holt’s version of ‘lonely girl,’ but holy shit — holt covers ‘wasted days and wasted nights”? otherwise known as my favorite freddy fender song of all time? peep the original:
wow, i can’t believe i forgot to write about this delicious meal! i guess i’ve been a little off in posting in general, and i’ve realized that i haven’t been cooking much in the last week or so. i’d like to change that — last night i made a wonderful heirloom tomato saute with cannelli beans, carrots, and red onions — especially now that summer is reluctantly wrapping up and my cooking habits will change with the turn of the season.
in any case, i bought a head of very fresh, supple bibb lettuce from the farmers market a few weeks ago. it didn’t need much, and i was inspired by a jar of fresh basil pesto given to me as a present. i made a meal for two for a friend who is a vegetarian, and this is what i came up with.
- farmers market bibb lettuce salad. with gently boiled baby potatoes smothered in basil pesto. that was it for the salad! warm & cool temperatures interplay in a wonderful way, creamy potatoes and silken, supple lettuce make for a great mouthfeel. divine, and just the right amount of decadent.
- quinoa tossed with pan seared vegetables — i happened to have zucchini and broccoli leftover from the farmers market, as well as a diced red onion — and a can of garbanzos. plenty of fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, and a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. tossed together, the quinoa clings to the exterior of the vegetables like barnacles on a ship, creating a dish that was super filling and very healthy. bonus: quinoa, as a grain, is very high in protein and a good supplement for vegetarians. good to know! (not that i will ever give up meat / dairy / seafood. ever. ever ever ever.)
- my famous guacamole. i keep it fairly traditional (i AM from san diego after all) with holding the number of ingredients to a minimum and composing it fairly chunky in texture. two avocados, mashed, with the juice of two limes (i know that’s a lot, but i really do believe that the fatty, creamy essence of the avocados demands copious acidity to balance it out), half of a very finely diced red onions, 3/4 cup finely diced cilantro (yes, i know that seems like a lot but i am utterly addicted to how fresh it makes everything taste), a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, and cracked black pepper and salt. if you were feeling ambitious you could add diced tomatoes and raw garlic, but.. i wasn’t. and it was still good! with organic blue corn chips, probably my favorite snack ever.
paper wings, all torn and bent
but you made me feel that they were heaven sent
paper wings, not real at all
but they took me high enough to really fall
Feeling deeply inspired by this quote sent to me from a dear friend. Why is it that the insecurity of others can so easily make itself manifest in our own selves? Insecurity is contagious; misery loves company. Don’t sell yourself short!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” [Nelson Mandela via Marianne Williamson]
hmmm. how could i forget to post about such a wonderful meal i cooked up the other evening? with perfect company and ice cold bottles of red stripe, it was the kind of abundance that can only be discovered in the summertime.
a gigantic side of salmon from alaska was treated with a dry tea rub, made mostly with oolong and offset with chinese five spice, ground chipotles, ginger, garlic and chili pepper. we coated the salmon with the dry rub and set it on a bbq – the salmon was wrapped in foil – for about 20 minutes on low heat, no flipping required.
the flavor of this salmon is phenomenal, with a fierce spice that creeps up and lingers at the root of your tongue, as dry and hot as the desert, with undertones of aromatic teas and spices. the salmon was wondefully rich and decadent and fatty, with much-needed citrus tang from plenty of fresh lemon wedges i scattered around the table.
everything else was fairly straightforward; now that i think about it, the entire meal was decidedly low-fuss. the salad was pulled straight from the garden, the lettuce, that is, and mixed with farmers market strawberries, toasted walnuts, and freshly grated parmesan. i whisked up a dressing with the juice and zest of a lemon, good olive oil, more parmesan and plenty of cracked black pepper, for a vinaigrette that was sharp but not overly so. i personally the think that the salad was the most addictive plate of the meal – i kept sneaking handfuls of the stuff with my bare fingers!
and finally, whole wheat rigatoni boiled to the perfect al dente, and slathered with the freshest pesto you can imagine – bales of basil, direct from the backyard.
a perfect summer evening, augmented with lively conversation, slow country waltzes & a persistent summer breeze. xo
“the world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” [hemmingway]