Favorite things, April 2017:
- Wearing bandannas as neck scarves makes me feel like a cross between a Wild West bandit and an Old Hollywood film star. I’m not sure if it’s a look I’ll regret later (#tb to the time I had a bleached pixie cut with shaved sides) but I’m loving it right now.
- I always forget how much I love the Ultrabland facial cleanser from Lush. I started a new job not too long ago (!!!) and have been trying to be an ~adult~ with a ~skincare routine~ so I got out my Ultrabland again. It’s simple and glorious and it smells like baked goods in the springtime. Highly recommend. (Not sponsored, I just like having a soft face.)
- Roasted nuts on EVERYTHING. Seriously, just chop up a handful of raw almonds, stick ‘em in the oven on a high heat until they smell toasty and look golden, and scatter them all over your life. They make an appearance in most of my meals, especially the salads I pack for work lunches.
- The Man in the High Castle: Have you seen it? Do you love its mysterious plotline (Hitler wins WWII, crazy shit happens with parallel universes, Alexa Davalos is hot AF) and questionably shoddy acting as much as I do? I recently binged both seasons and now I’m mad I have to wait until God knows when to find out what the eff is going on.
One of my favorite flavor combinations in the world is chocolate and raspberry. Growing up, I spent my summers eating chocolate-raspberry Handel’s ice cream cones with my brothers in the scorching Midwestern heat, lips stained from the dark chocolate; for my birthday each year, Betsy would make me the most decadent chocolate cake with ganache and raspberry jam. It’s a pairing that reminds me of the people I love.
Last year for Valentine’s Day, I made funfetti mini cakes and tried to pretend that I wasn’t thousands of miles away from my valentine person. While I’m not particularly attached to the holiday, I do appreciate any reason to celebrate, and the one person I wanted to celebrate with was across the sea! Consuming spoonfuls of strawberry frosting helped, but it was hard. Long distance, y’all. It’s rough.
After three solid weeks of long-awaited bliss, I’m back from Australia. I promise I’ll give you all of the details of our adventures later (with pictures!), but for now just believe me when I say that Australia is a glorious haven of food and sunshine.
Before I get into anything Australia-related, I feel the need to write a little post about something that’s been tugging at me lately. A few days ago, during one of my endless scrolling sessions, one of those short-and-sweet baking tutorial videos popped up in my Facebook feed. You know, the kind that’s shot from overhead and set to a catchy tune, with perfectly manicured hands adding each ingredient to the mixing bowl and producing a beautiful baked good in 15 seconds flat?
I’ll admit, I’m usually a sucker for those videos. Often I find them entertaining and sometimes I’m even able to draw inspiration from their recipes. But this video—well, it IRKED me, and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind.
The video showed a recipe for “healthy” brownies—with “healthy” featured prominently in the title and throughout the video. You can imagine my surprise, then, when I watched it and found that the brownies contained nearly a full cup of sugar and a cup of chocolate chips. Like, wut? It seemed that replacing the butter with oil in the batter and sprinkling some fruit and nuts on top was enough to make these brownies “healthy.” I wanted to reach into that video and (gently, lovingly) smack some sense into the people who made it.
I arrived back in London from Ohio about a week ago and have since been attempting to get into a work groove after all the intense pie-eating and relaxation that was the week of Thanksgiving. The short, dark days and my post-travel exhaustion definitely exacerbate my tendency to want to take a three-hour nap every afternoon, but I’m powering through. Mostly, I’ve got my mind on Australia.
Australia! The continent that Leo and I are traveling to for our honeymoon! To visit our Australian friends and bask in the summer sun and eat avocado toast and acai bowls! I’m so pumped to escape the bitter London winter and sweat my ass off on the beach in Sydney (and Melbourne! And Byron Bay!).
As much as I love coming up with new and exciting ideas for original recipes, a part of me absolutely adores all those “copycat” recipes I see on Pinterest. You know the kind: “Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits!” “Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie Copycat Recipe!” “Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino!” The idea of being able to make a perfectly engineered, big-name food product at home with real ingredients is undeniably appealing (I can make Girl Scout cookies at home? Year-round? Without having to chase down a little girl in a green vest? Sign me up!) .