Little Something to Refresh Your Hot, Sweaty Body
It’s bitter out there and we all need to cozy up under
a warm blanket of melted cheese right now.
After all, it’s bound to be a frigid week even in the tropical climates.
Cheesy French onion soup is a simple and easy dish that will comfort
every nook and cranny of your body and soul.
This recipe takes less than an hour to go from raw onion to steaming crock of bliss.
It’s also remarkably easy.
Don’t give me credit though.
It’s taken directly from one of my favorite cookbooks of the moment,
The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt.
All I really did here was take pictures and tell you about it.
Make a double batch and eat all week long.
You won’t even remember it’s winter.
In Greece, there is always a block of feta on the dining table, just like a basket of bread would be.
The Greeks are definitely doing it right because feta always deserves to be on the table.
It’s extremely versatile to cook with or serve on a board
and it lasts for up to 6 months in your fridge.
Do yourself a favor and clear out a little corner of your fridge, call it “the feta spot,” and never let that spot be empty again.
Here are 5 summer recipes to spark your creativity.
So many of my favorite foods are at the peak of their season right now, including juicy heirloom tomatoes. Sure, you can enjoy all of these in a salad with nothing but a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper and it will be delicious. But to take full advantage of these sweet, acidic jewels of summer with something fresh and creamy,
Here’s a phrase I hear too often: “Gosh, I’d love to have that much cheese in my fridge, but the problem is I’d just eat it all in one sitting.” Artisan cheese is one of the healthiest foods out there when you eat it in the right quantity. To pursue a diet that’s both cheesy and wholesome, we must learn what a healthy portion of artisan cheese looks like. In terms of weight, a modest serving is about an ounce. Depending on the type of cheese, an ounce can have anywhere from under 100 calories to almost 200 calories, as well as varying ratios of fat to protein. With all high-quality cheeses, however, those are going to be some of the most fulfilling, nutrient-dense calories available. Cheese has everything you need to survive except fiber and vitamin C. This makes a portion of cheese, in addition to an ideal snack to replace empty calories, an ideal main component of a dish, replacing the meat, fish, or tofu you might otherwise use.
Mozzarella is always delicious, but it’s especially tasty in the summer. That’s because the dairy cows, or water buffalo if you’re lucky, are grazing on sweet grasses and herbs that grow in the warmer months, imparting fresh flavors and unique aromas into the milk and resulting cheese. Those herbaceous notes compliment the shit out of late-summer heirloom tomatoes, which I find especially sweet. And I’ll have you know that there are some mighty surprising health benefits to mozzarella cheese too.
For almost five entire days last week, I couldn’t eat any cheese. Sure, I snuck a couple spoonfuls of yogurt here and there, maybe allowed for just a crumble of raw cheese, but for the most part I did not heed my undying desire for five solid days. Indeed, hardship is a gift to your character, but those days forced me to see a world of cruel possibility. If Monet could lose his sight, Beethoven his hearing, perhaps I, too, can lose my own gift of dairy digestion. Now, with this phase of darkness behind me, I have a new perspective on life. Carpe Diem and YOLO.
Cherish this summer in all it’s glory and eat some heirloom tomatoes and fresh lettuce. And don’t even think about using any old cheese to garnish these August gems. It doesn’t have to be bandaged cheddar, but it must be a high-quality, crumbly cheese. If you don’t have black garlic on hand, you can just use fresh garlic and balsamic.
Anxieties and worries have their place in life: without them, we’d never pay our bills, go to work, or follow through on our promises. At the same time, wallowing in stress prevents you from living your life. No matter what is plaguing you right now, go find yourself something delicious for your next meal. Savor every bite, reflect upon the joy it brings you, and smile to yourself.
When I wake up in the morning, the promise of food gets me out of bed. It’s not because I wake up starving, it’s because breakfast is my first chance to treat myself in the morning. I always spend a little extra time crafting my first meal: it puts me in a better mood for the rest of the day.
Too often, we feed ourselves with whatever is easy and nearby. Convenience has begun to define the Western diet, but you deserve more than that bag of chips or pale, spongy turkey sub. Eating is a necessity, but we should never take it for granted. If you eat 4 – 6 meals a day, you have 4 – 6 opportunities to treat yourself to a beautiful and healthy experience.
You don’t have to put a lot of work into cooking for yourself, just do what ever makes you happy. Beautifying your diet is as simple as choosing the most vibrant fruits and vegetables when you’re shopping at the store. You taste with your eyes first, so take pride in the dishes you present to yourself. Treat every meal like you’re going to put it on Instagram, even if you’re eating an apple with nut butter, try arranging the apple slices in a fan and garnishing your nut butter with cocoa nibs or dried fruits. Add fresh cucumber and mint leaves to your water bottle, simply because it makes hydration more fun.
Treat meal times as a sacred offering and ritual. Spoil yourself with something delicious, nutritious, and beautiful because you deserve it. All of the extra care and attention that you pay to your nutrition is an investment into your future
Baby Spinach, Apple, and Cheddar Salad
To make the dressing, combine vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt. Whisk until combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continuously.
In a small bowl, toss the apple in the lemon juice and set aside.
Add spinach to a salad bowl. Sprinkle with apple, cheddar, and pepitas. Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad, and toss to combine. Garnish with black pepper.
Well, I’ve made a lot of false promises to my blog this winter. I was stuck in a depression: working a job at a restaurant I loved with people dear to my heart, but finding myself creatively stunted and unfocused all at once. I felt like I was in a shell, surrounded by unreasonable expectations and growing tasks lists that I couldn’t escape. I started dressing less to impress, gaining weight, and procrastinating even the most menial of duties. Basically, my soul was crying for change, and that prayer was answered.
Two weeks ago, I got a new job at Intro, the newest concept by Lettuce Entertain You. It’s a gorgeous restaurant that houses one up-and-coming chef for a period of three months. It’s an educational experience meant to sculpt a chef into a restauranteur: while they are granted free reign to create their own fine dining experience, LEY nurtures and supports their talent. It’s a wonderful concept and their first chef in residence, Chef CJ Jacobson of Top Chef and Girasol in LA, has created a gorgeous and sophisticated menu that I will ruefully never experience myself. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I can’t afford it and I don’t work there anymore.
You see, I went to Intro under the expectation that I would be the food runner who simultaneously managed all social media. I’m naive in the 24-going-on-18 kind of way. Like an inexperienced teen on her first job hunt, I didn’t ask enough questions during my interview. Like many fine-dining establishments, the food runner at Intro, while an integral cog in the efficient machinery, is quite low on the totem pole. The duties include polishing silverware and wine glasses and silently placing dishes before guests. If I actually were that age which my actions portray, this would be a really great job. The pay isn’t bad and it’s mindless work. However, at Longman & Eagle I was a part of the guest experience. I enjoyed the intimacy involved in my descriptions and interactions. I loved the responsibility and the glamor of being entirely front of house but still close enough to the kitchen. I also made way more money. I had left the job I loved in search for greener grasses, tripped, and fallen fac-flat.
Intro didn’t lie to me. I misunderstood them and it didn’t work out. Now I’m unemployed. I’m scared, bumbling, and cold calling all of my favorite restaurants for openings. Don’t think I’m too proud to go crawling back to Longman, either, because I tried to George Costanza my way into that. I was planning to cover the uncovered shift I saw on the schedule and pretend like I never quit. It was all a misunderstanding, I LOVE MY JOB HERE. But they weren’t in need. They were overstaffed before, now they’re set for success.
I was terrified at first. I found myself at Table, Donkey, and Stick, discussing with Jacob the various internships I could pursue and the cheese shop we’d open down the line. In between sips of champagne and bites of raw cow’s milk cheeses (I know how to make myself feel better), I realized something. This is where I need to be right now. This is the push I needed to rediscover the passions that had evaporated throughout the winter.
Preheat your oven to 450° F. Peel your sweet potato and cut into 1 ” chunks. Rinse kale and wrap in a clean towel to dry.
Add sweet potato to mixing bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Drain sweet potato, leaving excess oil in bowl. Spread out potato onto baking sheet, ensuring pieces don’t touch. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and the flesh is soft but with a little resistance.
While sweet potato roasts, de-stem the kale and rip leaves into 1″ pieces. Toss in the remaining oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the sweet potatoes and roast for 5-10 minutes, until the kale is crisped to your liking. Let cool and enjoy.