ireland

holy smokes, ireland is a dream. it's not leprechauny or saint patrick's day 24/7 (and i'm a bimbo for ever having that impression), it's basically home to what i imagine would be the greatest somersault ever in the history of mankind. because there are endless rolling hills that are covered in the greenest fluffiest grass you ever did see, they're dotted with zillions of huggable cuddly little lambs*, and when you're done with your miles-long somersault, you could probably just brush the dirt off yourself and walk into a pub and make a million new friends because everybody in ireland is the nicest person you've ever met. it's so cozy there, physically/socially/mentally, it's impossible not to be extraordinarily happy, even outside in the rain with an open container of labneh that's getting soupy. it's very hygge. i think i'm using that word correctly...?

*in my somersault fantasy the lambs don't poop. 

the food was another part of my trip that was completely unexpected. i mean, i came for the butter, and i got the butter, which i ate with total abandon. but i also had meals filled with rhubarb, dainty asparagus, gorgeous greens of every kind (even from the sea!), and the most flavorful gooseberries from the gardens of wherever my group ended up. everybody we met had these massive healthy gardens and the way they used them, how they didn't just pluck a few herbs to put on their supermarket things but rather centered their whole meals around whatever was looking ripe that week, made me determined to come home and finally figure out what to do with all of the chamomile, chive blossoms, and other random plants that popped up in my garden without me even asking them to. i also revisited the idea of getting a pet cow to put the butter making skills that i learned at the butter museum to good use. everything i ate in ireland tasted so pure, there was nothing too complicated or frilly, it was just honest and good to the bone. 

my trip and my liver ended at the ballymaloe literary festival of food and wine, which was next level. i spoke a little about it here and here, but to recap: i can't imagine a food festival getting much better than this. ballymaloe is a little like ireland's stone barns in that it has a huge insane garden and greenhouse that grows everything, even nuts and kiwis, for their restaurants, cooking school, and farm shops. during my days at the fest i learned from yotam, francis, and claire, and at night the place turned into a wild face-melting techno club. i loved every second of it. i took notes, obviously, in hopes that maybe one day there will be an eggboy and molly farm litfest of food and wine.

eeep i can't wait to go back. see you at litfest next year??

-yeh!


one hundred million thank yous to kerrygold for inviting me on this trip!! thank you also to the longueville house and castlemartyr resort for the wonderful hospitality.

everything i ate and drank on maui

(or, most of it!)

the freshest poke bowls i will probably ever have, from the back of a liquor store, gobbled up on the beach under the dreamy influence of westbound jetlag. it was our very first stop and it was the perfect stop. 

spam musubi. tons of it, and not nearly enough.

a spring break-style fishbowl cocktail with four straws at a restaurant called --wait for it-- humuhumunukunukuapua'a. (now say it out loud! you can do it.)

a man made out of fondant who starred in the fanciest turn down service on earth. lily and i named him don. i miss don. 

millions of garlic and onion macadamia nuts. i kept them in the glove compartment, right next to my map, just in case anyone got hangry. 

a very coconutty squash soup that is making me wish i had a squash right this very moment. we all wore flower crowns while we ate it and it was part of a beautiful supper club called feast, which was so whimsical and great. 

saigon fries: peanuts, cilantro, hoisin, aioli, and sriracha on crinkly fries, slayyyyyyyy meeeeeee.

perfectly crispy pork belly from the magic mind of jimmy bannos, jr., who was on the island at the same time we were. it was so fun running into a part of chicago so far from home!

a mountain of croissants after an early morning spent watching the sun rise from above the clouds, on the mars-like dormant volcano, haleakala. we groggily ate our croissants in lily's childhood yard, which felt right out of willy wonka, if willy wonka was a tropical fruit factory. 

wedding cake flavored shave ice on a bed of mochi and macadamia ice cream, under a blanket of condensed milk. it was the best afternoon pick-me-up. i wonder what it would take to get someone from maui to come and open up a shave ice place in grand forks. we have so much snow, i can make the mochi, and whatever wedding cake flavored syrup is, i'm sure we can make it happen, right?

the new object of my obsession: japanese breakfast. my rice cooker has gotten a workout in the days since i've been back! sushi rice, miso, pickles, furikake. and i've been adding an egg and an avocado. so tasty. 

taro leaf pesto, goat cheese tempura, gnocchi mac and cheese, and many other delights at cane and canoe

a deliciously doughy rhubarb empanada from the cutest little place in the cutest little town.

shakshuka! it wasn't on many menus on maui, but obviously when i spotted it i went for it. and it was filled with chickpeas! i'm into this. gonna add chickpeas to my next shakshuka. 

one of the thousands of taro breeds in existence (did you know so many existed?!) at this beautiful taro farm.

a new-to-me fruit, the longan! chewy, lychee-like, totally cute.

a big juicy pineapple freshly yanked from the ground, chopped with a machete, and enjoyed near the presence of a one-legged rooster. and then washed down with macadamia nut rum


...and when we weren't eating, we were singing and laughing and telling secrets in hot tubs. and listening to the bird calls from the hammock grove and attempting to dance hula. we strolled through lavender fields and swam in the ocean and even made new whale friends and goat friends! believe what everyone says, maui is a dream. i loved it so much and i can't wait to be back.


-yeh!

thank you, maui visitors and convection bureau, for a magnificent week in maui. and further thank yous to: incase, paia inn, feast hawaii, trilogy, and of course to the wonderful bbs of #slamsquad2016! check out alana's, steph's, and lily's recaps! 

los angeles

hello from the air! i am en route from los angeles to maui with alana, who is asleep already, lily, who is crying about hunger games, and stephanie, who is dusted with a pleasant coating of furikake due to a minor snacksplosion upon boarding. i can’t blame her, we were up before the sun to catch our flight after a very wild night of meat, gossip, and backstreet boys sing-alongs in koreatown. my stop in los angeles was entirely too short but i managed to squeeze in time with loved ones and some very meaningful firsts—some more overdue than others:

  1. my first bite of spam. wow! spam musubi packs a deceptive amount of satisfaction into one compact delight. it’s, like, fried baloney sandwich satisfying and upon first bite it shot straight to the top of my list of things i’m most excited to experience in hawaii. 
  2. my first time subbing out the bagel in my bagel and lox with *wait for it* a freshly baked popover, c/o karen. it was a textural revelation since lox and popovers require a very similar amount of energy to be exerted in order to bite through them. i would do this again, absolutely.
  3. my first visit to canter’s!!! you didn’t tell me they had beaver mustard! what a jolly condiment. ordering a pastrami sandwich and an egg cream so far from new york made me a little uneasy, but from the comfort of a big squishy booth and over talk of paparazzi and time travel, i slowly settled in for a proper first canter’s experience. 
  4. my first shaved ice. which also jumped right to the top of my hawaii list. so fluffy, so sweet, so perfect with black sesame mochi bits hidden throughout. 
  5. my first time going directly from an 85-course korean barbecue carnivorgy to an alta california taco obligation where no menu item was left unordered and no hyperbolic shouts of joy were spared during the passing of the chorizo vampiros. 
  6. my first spork tattoo sighting. should i reconsider my decision not to get a tattoo in hawaii?
  7. my first dollar taco. small but extraordinarily mighty. 
  8. my first gjusta, my first olive & june, my first boozy push-up pop (!!!).
  9. my first time meeting adrianna, karen, lynn, and kelly, who are all every bit as wonderful as their internet presences suggest.
  10. my first zankou chicken garlic sauce, which looks like nothing but tastes too good to be true.

phew! i am off to go have some seconds now. seconds of water, because getting dehydrated on a plane is a fear that i have. thank you, los angeles and all of your lovely people, for a perfect pre-hawaii weekend <3 <3 <3

-yeh!

cannellini and soffritto pizza with pancetta and parmesan + a pizza party in tuscany!

we have rules in our house about friday night pizza night:

1. we have to eat pizza every friday (duh)

2. things that have traditional pizza ingredients but aren't necessarily technically pizza count. so, like, cheese on toast with a tomato slice counts. spaghetti with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese counts. a grilled cheese with ketchup counts. this is weird, i am aware.

3. if eggboy and i are apart on a friday or if we're somewhere on a friday night where there is no pizza, we either try to plan ahead and have pizza for friday lunch or makeup for it and have pizza on saturday or sunday.

4. frozen pizza is ok. take-out is ok. planning a day ahead and starting a batch of jim lahey's no-knead pizza dough on thursday night is ideal though. i should have a reoccurring reminder on my phone for this.

5. if we're apart for a week or more, all bets are off. eat as much pizza as you want, when you want, standing over the sink, while watching reality t.v. anytime, anywhere. sending blurry pizza eating selfies and surpluses of pizza emoji are noted bonuses.  

my pizza night in tuscany was a category five pizza night: it was on a monday. a monday! and it was at sunset, with a view of the rolling tuscan hills and a big hunky pizza oven that was part of our home for the week. rebecca, alana, brandiego, and i used herbs from the garden and tons of other tasty things to build soo much pizza, it was fantastic. with some inspiration from the surrounding vineyards, i made a little riff on this prosciutto + grape pizza. it had a grape smiley face.

today, as a little reunion for our tuscany trip, the other davinci storytellers and i are posting pizza recipes inspired by our trip! since i already posted the grape pizza that i made at our party, my recipe today is inspired by the amazing cannellini beans that i ate in tuscany. they were so good and fresh, i think we were there during bean season. beans have never really been at the top of my favorite foods list (unless they were blended into hummus), but with the way these tuscan ones were prepared, with plenty of rosemary, garlic, and olive oil, i saw them in a whole new way. so in the place of sauce, this pizza has a cannellini bean puree, and it's then topped with a basic soffritto and some crispy pancetta. 

and ok, i am well aware that it is not the most supermodel-y lookin pizza, no amount of casually dropped rosemary sprigs or fresh parm or even white truffle oil from the tiny tuscan town of san miniato can fix that. but listen up! it tastes like grandma's chicken soup went on a pizza and it's good. 


cannellini and soffritto pizza with pancetta and parmesan

serves 4

ingredients

1 can cannellini beans, strained and rinsed
1/2 sprig of fresh rosemary (stem removed), plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for finishing the pizza
Kosher salt and pepper
5 ounces chopped pancetta
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 batch Jim Lahey’s pizza dough (divided into 2 parts, not 4), or pizza dough of your choice
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

white truffle oil, optional

 

clues

Preheat the oven to 500ºF.

In a food processor, combine the beans, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, a good pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

In a medium skillet, cook the pancetta until crispy. Remove it to a plate, keeping the fat in the pan. You’ll want a thin coating of fat on the pan to cook the vegetables, so pour some off if needed, or if the pan is a bit dry, supplement the pancetta fat with a drizzle of olive oil. Heat the fat over medium high heat and add the vegetables with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for 7-10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Salt and pepper to taste.

On a baking sheet or pizza peel, flatten out half of the pizza dough. Top it with half of the bean mixture, pancetta, vegetables, and parmesan and bake until the crust is splotchy with brown spots. Begin checking for doneness at 5 minutes. Repeat with the other half of the pizza dough and toppings.

Finish the pizzas with fresh rosemary, a drizzle of olive oil or white truffle oil, and more parmesan and enjoy with a glass of davinci chianti!


-yeh!

as a davinci wine storyteller, this post was created in partnership with davinci wine