hello from austin where i am in bed at 8 and living my best life, eating a room service quesadilla, extra guacamole, extra unidentified white sauce, and hoping with all of my might that pitch perfect 2 is on demand. i really really really wanted to go out tonight and eat at all of the restaurants in jeanine's austin guide but i am completely pooped after this weekend because i have been in chicago, busy celebrating (wait for it) mum's 60th birthday!!!!!!!! it was so fun. relatives came from out of town, stoopie cooked a middle eastern feast, i made a chocolate mint cake, and we showered my mama with love!! i miss everyone so much already.
now i gotta get *in the zone* for a fun video i'm shooting with whole foods tomorrow! but first, let's talk about some stuff i'm loving these days:
-the bulk pistachio bags. making things with pistachios is fun, but making things with pistachios without ever feeling like you're going to run out is infinitely more fun. i've been working on a pistachio cake for my book, and i just learned how to milk a nut! it is so great, i can't believe i went this long without milking nuts before. (see below for gena hemshaw's nut milk recipe!)
-homemade halva. i don't think i ever really told you about my homemade halva struggle, but there was a very long and hard one and a lot of tahini was lost but finally the new york times posted michael solomonov's recipe and it worked and i feel like i can accomplish anything now. even a juice cleanse. no, just kidding, not a juice cleanse.
-this lauren winter jumpsuit. my friend lydia introduced me to lauren's work and i am so obsessed with this jumpsuit for one main reason: it is a beautiful elegant dinner-appropriate garment that completely disguises the fact that you feel like you are in your comfiest pajammies. i love it so very much.
-pilates. ever since rebecca led a mat class for alana and me last month, i have been hooked. it makes me feel sooo good and tall. i've been trying out a bunch of different youtube videos but have yet to find a clear winner... do you have a favorite online pilates video??
-sitting at the town coffee shop. ok! i've been leaving the house more and more these days. about once a week, i go to the town coffee shop, sit on my computer, and type up recipes/eavesdrop on conversations about the town gossip and what not. it makes me feel so alive. and then after that i sometimes stop at the co-op to look at the farro and pet the squash.
-fresh's cocoa body exfoliator. it makes me feel like a tootsie roll from head to toe.
-this is ground's mod laptop case. until I found this is ground, I thought that my days of organizing school supplies with such systematic glee was just a thing of my Hello Kitty pencil case past. but now! i get so much more pleasure out of bringing my work on the road, to the coffee shop, to my couch, etc. there is a designated spot for everything i need and it looks so darn cool.
-how to get away with murder. it's borderline scary for my taste, so i can't watch it without eggboy but we love it.
-quin candy. i had my first taste in portland the other day and since then i have not been able to stop. i feel like a monster when i eat it because no matter how forcefully i tell myself that this is the last piece, it is never the last piece. i've had their pretzel chews, mint chews, and fruity chews and they are all the best.
-my chickens. duh. we're ready for them to start laying eggs though. come on, macaroni!!!!! hurry up!!!!!
here is the recipe that inspired me to try making nut milk! i've seen recipes for it many times before, but after looking through gena hemshaw/food52's new vegan cookbook (and picking up a nice big bag of pistachios), i finally got to work! it is such a tasty treat. it's like a milkshake but better because you can have more of it without feeling like butt afterwards. i like the weird sensation of drinking unstrained nut milk, it almost feels like you're drinking milk after having dunked a bunch of oreos in it and the oreo crumbs are at the bottom. but if you'd like to strain it, go ahead! i also like adding a little splash of almond extract. thank you, gena, for inspiring me to try this new tasty thing!!!!
makes 3 cups
1 c pistachios, soaked in water for 8-12 hours and drained
4 cups water
1/4 c maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
put all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until completely smooth, 2-3 minutes.
cover the mouth of a large container with two layers of cheesecloth, leaving a well in the cheesecloth (a new paint strainer bag or a nut milk bag will also work well). Secure with a rubber band, then pour in the blended mixture. you might need to do this in batches, gently pushing some of the pulp to the side or spooning it out and discarding it. after pouring all of the mixture in, let it sit for about 10 minutes. loosen the cheesecloth from the rim of the container and gently squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible.
stored in an airtight container in the fridge, it will keep for 2-3 days. shake well before using.