Can I just say WTF for a second about the fact that it’s January? Of 2014? The END of January? What. The. Eff. Now whenever anyone mentions 2012, I have to think SO HARD about whether or not that was “last year.” I know people say that time goes more quickly the older you get, but 2013 was my fastest year by far. It feels like it was a little blip in the space-time continuum. For example, I have about 7 months left to plan my wedding. That might sound like a lot, but I’m freaking out on the inside (and on the outside) because I’ve already been engaged for five months and it feels like Robert proposed a couple weeks ago. So, yeah. Twenty Fourteen – you scare me, but bring it on. Here’s what I’ve been crushing on lately:
• Slumber Party with Alie and Georgia – My favorite podcast (Joy the Baker podcast) from last month’s post brings me to this month’s favorite podcast. Thank God that Joy Wilson is such a fun person who listens to tons of podcasts (like I do) and then blogs about her favorites because it brought me to Alie and Georgia (aka my two new BFFs). This podcast is plain old ridiculous. Like the Joy the Baker Podcast, it is hosted by two besties. These ladies are from the Cooking Channel and HelloGiggles.com. During each podcast, they bring on one of their internet crushes (or real life crushes) and casually interview him/her in a pillow fort while wearing pajamas. No, it’s not a video podcast, but I’m sure you can scrounge up a visual in your head. They talk about ghost stories, beauty secrets, work, food, crushes, dating, and other raunchy stuff and it is delightfully wacky and hilarious. I can’t get enough of it. (ps it’s NSFW)
• Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys – This is one of the cookbooks I got for Christmas. It’s the first one I’ve really had time to dive into so far, and I’m obsessed. I had started watching Lucinda’s cooking show when I got my tonsils out, so I was so thrilled when I received this amazing book of hers as a gift. I’ve made a few of her recipes already, both from the show and the book. I talk about the book quite a bit in this Tumblr post. I love this book because it’s a lot of “comfort food” type dishes made with easy-to-find ingredients. Included are the kind of classic meals you might make time and time again for your family, because that’s exactly how she chose these recipes – they are the ones that she makes over and over again for her husband and sons, often with their help in the kitchen. This book would be a great choice for someone just starting to get comfortable in the kitchen, or for people who struggle with knowing what to feed their family on a daily basis.
• Whipped Ricotta – At the end of December I went out with friends for another friend’s birthday, and we enjoyed a lovely meal at In Riva in Philadelphia. If you have a chance to go, I highly recommend the 3-course tasting menu. It’s a little on the pricey side for going out to eat, but the food there is out-of-this-world unique and delicious, and the tasting menu is an economical way to taste more than one item on the menu (especially if you go with a nice-sized crowd). One of the most popular dishes they have there was also a favorite of our group: the whipped ricotta with roasted onion and figs, served with grilled bread. We were so impressed by it that one of my friends who attended decided to make something similar for our New Year’s Eve party. She made whipped herbed ricotta from Food & Wine, which we slathered all over toasted bread and drizzled with honey. Most of that evening involved all of us crowded around the kitchen island, shoveling that into our faces until it was all gone. I think it was the only food at that party without leftovers.
• Warm Lemon Water – I must be a hippie now because my new favorite morning ritual is drinking a mug of this stuff. It’s really easy to make … just warm up some water (I do mine in a mug in the microwave for about 1:30), squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, and then let the squeezed lemon half hang out in your mug and drink it all up. Sometimes I sweeten it with some honey, but I like it just fine unsweetened. It might seem really tart at first, but I find it to be extremely refreshing and soothing to drink first thing in the morning. Apparently it’s really good for you, so I think I’ll stick with it.
*Prints of my illustrations are available in my Etsy shop.