Favorite things, February 2017:
- The new season of the podcast You Must Remember This is finally out and it’s SO GOOD. This season profiles famous blonde actresses in classic Hollywood that died tragic deaths, and it’s dark and scandalous and delicious. Also, Karina Longworth’s voice makes me want to put on my finest housedress and sit next to a crackling fire drinking whiskey on the rocks.
- I’ve mentioned it on Instagram before, but I’ve been getting in the habit of making a big pot of vegetable stock every so often. I save up my scraps from the week in the freezer (carrot tops, the ends of onions, parmesan and lemon rinds, any vegetable that looks like it’s near its end), throw them in a pot, cover it all with water and let it simmer away for a few hours. If it needs a kick I’ll add some Marmite, and I usually throw in some peppercorns and fennel seeds, too. Basically, the stock contains whatever I have on hand at the time. I freeze whatever I don’t use in a few days, and it’s great to have around for weeknight dinners. (Yesterday I made a stock with a lot of veg and FOUR parmesan rinds that I had in my freezer. It was so rich—I highly recommend.)
- Though I’ve done her videos on and off for a while now, lately I am loving Yoga with Adriene’s YouTube channel. I started doing her 31-Day Yoga Revolution recently and it brightens my day. Her instructing style is approachable, positive, and motivating. It sounds corny, but her videos kind of feel like doing yoga with a friend. Adriene is able to say things like “This savasana feels really yummy” without making me want to immediately throw my laptop at the wall. It’s impressive. She’s a special gal.
- I have a hard time drinking enough water. By the time the evening rolls around, I realize that I’m parched and should have been hydrating all day. This great little article on Healthyish helped me a lot: In it, Carla Lalli Music talks about her love of drinking hot water (“I guess you can think of hot water as tea without the tea bag”). Writing at my desk all day in a cold flat, adopting this hot water habit has been ideal. It warms me up, and every so often I get up to stretch and put the kettle on again. I’ve even been squeezing a bit of lemon juice into the hot water, or pouring it over fennel seeds to make it more tea-like. It’s not revolutionary by any means, but it feels good.
- I’m SO into the new Netflix series Riverdale. As a kid I loved the Archie comics, and I have vivid memories of begging Betsy to let me buy them when we went grocery shopping at the Publix behind our house. Riverdale takes all those characters and throws them into a sexy, moody mystery that’s part high school drama and part thriller. In other words, ARCHIE GOT HOT.
- I’ve been baking up a storm since we got back from Australia, and I finally conquered my fear of using yeast. It always seemed temperamental and intimidating to me. I’m happy to say that yeast and I are now friends, and that it opens up a whole new world of baking possibilities. I made a loaf of challah bread, a delightful yeast-risen banana bread, and a no-knead focaccia type thing, but my favorite so far is this yeast-risen rosemary-garlic flatbread recipe.
These flatbreads are cooked on the stovetop, and they taste so freakin’ good dipped in hummus or used as a base for avocado toast. Sometimes I’ll make a double batch and freeze them for pizza-making (they’re perfect for ready-made crusts!). Leo has taken to just dunking the flatbread in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which I fully support. For Valentine’s Day, I made a riff on Joy the Baker’s Olive Oil–Braised Chickpeas, and we used the flatbreads to sop up all the infused oil. It felt fancy and messy at the same time. Nothing says romance like oily carbs.
I adapted this recipe from Izy Hossack’s flatbread recipe on Food52, and it’s simple to customize. You can leave out the garlic powder and rosemary altogether for a plainer bread, or replace them with other seasonings and herbs. I’m excited to try out different combinations and become even more obsessed with making (and eating!) these bad boys.
- 2¼ tsp. instant yeast
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped (dried is fine, too)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more to grease the bowl
- In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup warm water with the yeast and sugar and stir. (Make sure the water isn’t too warm, or it will kill the yeast. You want the water to be hot to the touch without it stinging your hand.) Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, rosemary, salt, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Stir until the ingredients are evenly incorporated and make a well in the middle. Pour the yeast mixture and olive oil into the well and mix until a rough, shaggy dough forms. If the dough is too dry, sprinkle in up to 1/4 cup more water and continue mixing.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Dust your hands and the dough with a bit of flour, then knead for about 10 minutes. You want the dough to become soft and elastic so that it peels away from the surface without too much trouble.
- Grease the bowl used to mix the dough with a little more olive oil. Place the dough inside the bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Set the bowl of dough in a warm area (I use the top of my refrigerator) to rise for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into 6 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a circle or oval about 1/8-inch thick.
- Place a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, place one flatbread in the pan and cook for a minute or two, until bubbles begin to form and the dough puffs up. Flip the flatbread and continue cooking for about another minute, then remove from the pan. Repeat with the five remaining pieces of dough.