roasted pistachio ice cream

roasted pistachio ice cream

Yep.

Oh, sorry, were you waiting for me to say something? I got distracted by the close-up of homemade ice cream. Really delicious, super creamy, pistachio-full ice cream.

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grilled Hatch chile and tomato salsa

hatch chile and tomato salsa

While I ate ridiculously well on my road trip, all those days in a row of eating out were starting to wear on me. Since many of our later hotels didn't have fridges, I felt obligated to finish my dinners, so a lot of nights I was so full it was a bit painful. So, on the plane, I browsed through my food magazines on my tablet, in between using the free TV to watch Food Network (yeah, everyone nearby probably thought I was ridiculous).

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road trip photo recap

So I did this thing, where I flew out to Seattle, met my friend Jen, and then we drove (well, Jen drove, I can't drive a manual) all the way down to Los Angeles, stopping in Portland, Eugene, San Francisco, Monterey along the way. We enjoyed the elevation of I-5 and the ridiculous coastal beauty of Highway 1. Then, I came home and tried to write a blog post about, and hadn't even gotten to Monterey three days later, and realized this was impossible. I've already made two things I want to blog about!

So I present a sample of the hundreds of photos I took on my trip, with brief explanations. You'll probably enjoy this more anyhow. And look, not that many pictures of food!

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pistachio chai muffins

pistachio chai muffins

I have two suitcases lying open on my bedroom floor, stuffed with more clothes than I will possibly need over 8 days. Tomorrow I leave for Seattle, where I will start a road trip that finishes up in Los Angeles. The night before a road trip, when it happens to be 95 and sticky outside, is no time to be baking muffins; fortunately, I made these muffins a week ago and am finally, finally not stuck with horrendous writer's block.

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stir-fried eggplant with thai basil-garlic sauce

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Eggplant drenched in stir-fry sauce is really hard to make look pretty in photos. I tried. No matter. It's delicious! As good as your local Thai takeout, really. Maybe better, depending on the quality of said local Thai place.

When I first started trying to make Thai flavors at home, I learned pretty quick that I'd better stock up on fish sauce. If you've never worked with fish sauce, just…don't take a whiff. The crushed souls of thousands of tiny fish are quite pungent. Anyway, this sauce uses a lot of fish sauce. And lime. Not making any claims to authenticity here (in the slightest) but the flavors are on point.

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old-fashioned blueberry coffee cake

old-fashioned blueberry coffee cake

I'm honestly not a big fan of eating blueberries straight, but I still buy tons of them at the farmer's market, because I do love them in baked goods. Particularly of the breakfast-y variety.

I have to be real with you, my life is a wreck right now. I really, really don't feel like going into it. Like, you have no idea. But I'm fatigued as fuck and I lost 3 pounds in a week thanks to a shitty appetite and I am angry at the world for fucking excellent reasons. I regretted picking this recipe almost immediately, because it's fussy and has a lot of steps and I thought I was going to pass out in my kitchen. And then I fell asleep without trying it.

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Burgers with blue cheese and sherried Vidalia onions

burgers with blue cheese and sherried vidalia onions

I grew up in Chicago, so there's not a part of me left that can be surprised when the thermostat shoots right past 90 in July and the air feels like it sticks to you. I have learned many a coping mechanism, central air foremost among them. I can recommend popsicles, a dash through the neighbor's sprinkler, baring more skin than you cover, and doing all of your cooking outside on the grill.

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red, white and blue no-bake cheesecake tart

red, white and blue no-bake cheesecake tart

Happy Independence Day!

I love the Fourth of July. Honestly, it's a ridiculous celebration but just so American. Celebrating the birth of our nation with explosions and absurd amounts of food cooked over fire while hanging out outside? I love it. Someone go get me some sparklers.

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little whole wheat strawberry cakes

little whole wheat strawberry cakes

I do hate to post back-to-back strawberry recipes. Wait, no I don't. Here in the Midwest, this week is probably last call for strawberries, and the end of the season berries are hard to beat for sweetness. Plus, these cakes received rave reviews from all who sampled them, myself included, so I figured it was my duty to share them as soon as possible.

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snapshot fridays – on the lake

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Taken yesterday, up along the Chicago lakefront. It was hazy and hot but the breeze and the shade made it seem beautiful. I picked out a picnic spot and looked up to see this rainbow kite tangled in the tree.