Vegan Summer Corn & Tomato Linguine + Monday Blues

I’m really slow on the climb up the Monday morning ladder this morning. You know that thing where the better your weekend is, the worse Monday is? It’s that today, times 84. Planes, cars, boats, country music, beers, fried chicken, pizza, kittens, and a complete adoration of everyone around me was just one slice of the weekend–capped off by a 4 hour flight home in an airplane that was trying to replicate a winter wonderland environment with an internal temperature of about 34 degrees and that was so dinky that tray table was about as big as the beeper I had in 7th grade. No wonder the ticket was in my budget (holler, Spirit Airlines!)

And as entertaining as it was to watch the woman next to me try to hoist up her big ol’ first generation iPad on the miniature tray to play her shadow puppet game (don’t ask me,) me attempting to place my $8.90 snack pack and $3.10 water bottle on said novelty table, took all amusement out of the situation. By the time I landed, shuttled, drove, and crawled into bed at midnight, I had a sore throat and was looking quite unhappily at the week ahead of me. What is it about having the happiest times that sometimes only makes you even more unhappy when it’s over? Boy, I sure am ungrateful sometimes. Well, I’m allowing myself until noon (central standard time–just to be neutral) to gripe and then it’s back to a sense of positively and a focus on how absolutely wonderful my life is right now. Furthermore, I need to undo those beers, that fried chicken, pizza, and this little cold I’ve got brewing–so, this week, is going to be beautiful food, an active body and mind, and only a bit of a whiney attitude. 

Today’s recipe, is the perfect summer meal. The noodles are tossed in the most magical thing, that is cashew cream sauce, and topped with a light, fresh, and rustic sauce made from summer corn, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Cashew cream, if a foreign concept to you, is a preparation that is beyond worthy of a try–even if its a skeptical try. The cashews are soaked and softened, and then blended with just three other simple ingredients at a high-speed to make the silkiest (vegan!) pasta sauce ever. Put this guy on the weeknight dinner list this week and know that if you do, somewhere out there in Los Angeles, you’ve made me a little less cranky. Click to read more below the pretty picture.

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Sorrel & Mint Pesto Pasta + Dream Journal

In recent conversation, I told a certain someone “I rarely remember my dreams”, with conviction. So, of course, every night since I made that declaration, I have dreamt to remember. You know how some people keep a dream journal? Or maybe that’s just a thing that people talk about that you’re supposed to do but never actually do–you know, keep a notebook by the bed and as soon as you wake up, flip on a light, grab a pen, and jot down the dream so that you don’t forget it. Side note, can you imagine sleeping over at someone’s house and at 5:02 am, they flip on a light, grab a pen, and start jotting down their dream? I’m totally doing that, just for the comedy, next time someone sleeps over. I digress.

My point in all this is that this blog, given that it’s 6:04 am right now as I write this, is serving as my dream journal. And to be honest, I didn’t have much else to say this morning to pair with this lovely pesto recipe. Alright, dream journal. In the dream, I had just had a baby–it wasn’t clear in the dream that I was a single parent but there was no specific guy around for what happened in the dream so, I guess we’ll never know. So, it’s a cold day and I’ve decided to go out with my new baby but I hadn’t bought any warm clothes or socks for my child. So, I called the one person I knew that had a kid and even though their daughter was now was 8 years old, I figured they would have some hand me downs. Then because apparently I’m going to be an amazing mother, I left my child sleeping at home in my bed to drive over and pick up the socks and jacket. Then on the way home, I got a really bad flat tire and had to call an Uber to get home. I woke up before I found out if it all worked out. It would seem that the years I spent being a nanny did nothing to increase my dream smarts about childcare. I mean, if this dream is a premonition that I’m going to be a careless new parent one day, then based on Monday night’s dream–I’m also getting a pet hippogriff. For you non-potter fans, a hippogriff is a creature which has the front quarters of an eagle and the hind quarters of a horse. 

And the only thing I love more than Harry Potter, is pasta. That was one of the best segues I’ve ever written. To get serious though, classic basil pesto pasta is quite overdone in my opinion. It’s tasty, sure, but I am such a huge fan of pestos made from other herb combinations. Sorrel peaks in late spring/early summer and is a tart, lemony herb. It’s paired with mint, garlic, lemon juice, and raw almonds to make a bright and clean pesto that is then mixed in with hot pasta and fresh asparagus. Click through below the photo to read more about the pasta and less about my dreams.

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Homemade Potato Gnocchi + Simplifying

Project minimize and simplify has begun around here. Physical clutter, emotional clutter–it just collects. I mean, am I really ever going to re-read old handwritten love notes over a cup of english breakfast and blissfully reminisce about how someone used to have feelings for me? I’m more likely to read the stack of manuals from my vacuum and DVD player.  Either way, they’re both in my drawers to apparently serve two purposes–to remind me that I maybe, maybe, might someday need them again and then to remind me I definitely will never, ever need them again.

As I’ve been going through my apartment, section by section (I am finding this to be quite manageable and realistic) and throwing everything into garbage bags that I haven’t missed, noticed, or used in the past 365 days, I have come to a happy realization that a meal, can never be clutter.  It’s my art that doesn’t stack up or collect dust. I can create and create, cook and bake, and then it’ll just be consumed in preparation of the next idea. Sure, leftovers can technically create clutter, if uneaten in a timely manner but they have to be thrown out due to direct, impending consequence of nasty. I wish my magazine, books, and clothes started to smell bad if I wasn’t using them often enough. Now, if only the dishes did themselves–yesterday, I strongly considered hiring someone just to come wash them. 

This homemade potato gnocchi (dumpling) recipe takes a little intuition and a dose of patience but it’s worth every minute and is absolutely delicious. Yukon Gold potatoes provide more flavor than your usual Russet. Baking the spuds (on a bed of kosher salt) instead of boiling them, prevents any water logging and leaves them fluffy and moist. A touch of olive oil, instead of just potatoes and flour, makes a silky dough. Drying the dumplings for a couple hours before quickly boiling them in salted water, ensures the finished texture isn’t gummy but rather are just right. Since simple is the theme, the flavors on the finished gnocchi are right in keeping–a little butter, chives, parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of salt. Click through below, to read and see more.

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