There are about a million and a half things that I love about having a day off. I love not having to wake up early or shower (yay, hygiene!) or put on makeup. I love drinking a cup of strong coffee curled up on the couch watching an episode of The Office. I love the feeling of productivity at home — laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting. And, my ultimate favorite thing about a day off? Cooking!
Last week, I took a day off of work to do all of those things, and I kicked off my spontaneous day of relaxation with a recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings.
Continue reading “Dutch Baby Pancake”
Skyler and I are not great at executing on a meal plan. I’ll use our Whole 30 experience as an example.
On Whole 30, it’s absolutely critical to plan your meals, because the ingredients that you’ll need to use are weird and expensive and hard to find, and because if you don’t have a plan, you’ll be overcome with the desire to call it quits and order a pizza or you’ll eat a steamed bag of broccoli for dinner, and literally no one in the world actually wants to have a steamed bag of broccoli for dinner. So, we planned! We made a weekly calendar and hung it in the kitchen. Monday: shepherd’s pie. Tuesday: sweet potatoes stuffed with buffalo chicken. Wednesday: salmon and brussel sprouts. Etc. Etc. Etc. And then Monday would roll around, and it would be the kind of Monday that really actually feels like a Monday, and my desire to spend an hour making shepherd’s pie and then clean a heaping pile of dishes would be 0. And then on Tuesday, Skyler wouldn’t be in the mood for buffalo chicken. At the end of the week, we would have existed on a random assortment of compliant foods that made zero complete meals, and we’d have a fridge full of fresh vegetables that were no longer very fresh.
And that fridge full of leave-me-in-here-one-more-day-and-you-won’t-be-able-to-eat-me vegetables is a thing that we just can’t seem to get ahead of. Until today, when I threw all those ingredients into a lip-smacking quiche!
Continue reading “Mix and Match Quiche.”
Every morning, I eat a salad for breakfast. A bean salad, to be specific. Coffee bean salad. Okay, every morning, I drink coffee. A ton of it. I don’t actually eat breakfast.
I know, I know. It’s the most important meal of the day. But during the week, breakfast just isn’t a priority. But on the weekends? Well, that’s a different story. I love breakfast (and especially brunch) on the weekends. So, when my sista from anotha mista Brittany came into town, we decided to spend our Saturday morning in the kitchen, whipping up some breakfast grub. (I mean, what else is there to do the morning after the Pirates take down the Braves 3-2? Besides binge watch How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, of course.)
Armed with a short grocery list and hungry stomachs, we hit the grocery store for the supplies we needed to make Baked Cheddar Eggs & Potatoes.
Ingredients: 3 tablespoons of butter / 1.5 pounds of diced red potatoes / Minced parsley / Salt + pepper / 8 eggs / Extra sharp cheddar cheese, or your preferred flavor
Directions: Preheat oven to 400˚F. / In an ovenproof skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. / Add potatoes, and cook until golden and tender. / Stir in parsley, salt and pepper to taste. / With a spoon, create four wells in the potatoes. / Break two eggs into each well. / Bake for 9-11 minutes. / Remove from oven, and sprinkle with cheese. / Bake for an additional 1-2 minutes. / Serve immediately with a mimosa. Or a manmosa. Or a bloody Mary. Or just your favorite breakfast cocktail. / Enjoy with a good friend.
The morning after anything is (almost) always my favorite. For example, the morning after I graduated college, I woke up to the quiet clamor of my family moving around in my apartment, feeling somehow like an entirely new individual — an adult — and feeling really proud of myself. The mornings after I learned that my great-grandparents had passed away, I cherished that quiet time to myself to reflect on all the things they had taught me in life.
Whether it’s the morning after something wonderful or the morning after something not-so-wonderful, to me, there’s always been something powerful about being curled up in my blankets, light softly dancing across my room, reminiscing about whatever it was that happened the day before, and having an entirely new and blank slate of day in front of me.
So, when Sunday rolled around, the morning after a great day spent with family, I was content. I woke up slowly, Buxton softly purring on my chest, and thoughts of La Gourmandine, a small bakery and pastry shop a few blocks from our house, dancing through my head.
Stepping through the doors of the bakery, it’s hard to imagine that you’re not in a small hole-in-the-wall viennoiserie in Paris. The food, sound and smells are so authentic. To please my palette for sweetness, I ordered un croissant aux amandes (an almond croissant) and un tortillons de chocolat (a vanilla creme-filled twist with chocolate chips)!
And because I genuinely enjoy savory foods, I added a croissant du jambon et fromage and a slice of quiche Lorraine to our order. I walked out with my boxes of treats and went home, anxiously anticipating a hot cup of coffee and our breakfast. I curled up on the couch with our smorgasbord of food in front of me, House of Cards playing on the TV, and Buxton playfully tossing her cat nip-filled fish in the air. A great morning after a wonderful day isn’t something I’ll ever complain about.
There’s something wonderful about starting your day off on the right foot. Sometimes that means a hot cup of coffee, a good book and a cozy blanket. Other times it means having a good hair day and not being rushed for work. Today, it meant a breakfast date.
When the sun started to peak through the window and Buxton started biting at our toes, we finally cracked open our eyes and started our day.
We put our name on the list for a table at Waffles INCaffeinated, a new-ish waffle shop in Southside, then walked down the street for a cup of coffee from Peet’s.
30 minutes later, we took our seats in the small, bustling restaurant. There’s not much to say about their speed of service or atmosphere, but the Croque Monsieur I ordered is a slightly different story.
In traditional French culture, a Croque Monsieur is a simple grilled ham and cheese sandwich, whose name loosely translates to Mister Crunch. Cute, right? Waffles INCaffeinted transformed this traditional sandwich by pulling it apart to create two open surfaces, where they topped the ham and cheese with roasted asparagus, greens, a fried egg and béchamel sauce. The meeting between the crunch, earthy asparagus with the creamy sauce, and the savory ham with the smoky Swiss cheese, created a well-rounded sensation of flavors in every bite.
After breakfast, we went back to our daily grind, but like I said, there’s just something wonderful about starting your day off on the right foot.