I’ve been flirting with the idea of making bread from scratch for years (along with pasta, tortilla shells, compound butters… the list is lengthy). But, of course, ignorant assumptions held me back. I thought that I either a) needed a bread machine which I have no room for right now, or b) had to be some sort of artisan baker with mad kneading skills and maybe a degree in baking science.
Turns out you need neither of those things! [Insert giddy dance]
Sometimes you just need a plateful of fancy fries for dinner. And when you’re an adult, you can do these sorts of things; this is adulting done right.
This is also what eating your anxiety looks like.
You see, there’s a bit of a stressor brooding over me and I can’t seem to step from beneath it. In less than a month, a good friend and I are catering an engagement party.
I’ve never catered anything in my life. I’m excited! And I’m terrified.
This party is for our dear friends who will be tying the knot this fall. I love them and I feel like I’ve grown incredibly close to them since moving to Raleigh so of course, in true Dana fashion, I’m having nightmares about coming up short on fancy crostini, people grumbling about the sangrias not being boozy enough, or people naysaying the playlist. (For the record, I’ve never made a sangria that wasn’t boozy and I’ve NEVER made a shitty playlist.) But after staring at the menu specifics on Monday, I decided that I needed to eat my worries away.
The Italian language can make just about anything sound romantic and frilly, and this dish is a pretty great example of that. Though pasta aglio e olio sounds elegant, it translates to “pasta with garlic and oil”. Woah-hoh!
But, there is a bit more to it than that.
This dish is created by lightly simmering sliced garlic in olive oil and, if you know what’s good for you, dried red chili flakes. This oily goodness is tossed with your fave long pasta — typically spaghetti — as well as freshly chopped parsley, and some parmesan or pecorino-romano. Some recipes will tell you to nix the cheese, but not *this* recipe.
(Who denies cheese, ever? Ridiculous.)
Though my husband has always spoken highly of this dish, I wasn’t too interested until I saw David Rocco’s recipe on David Rocco’s Dolce Vita.
Two words: toasted breadcrumbs.
At first blush, I thought adding carbs to carbs was hella sinful and something I should avoid, but heck no. How many of us eat bread with our pasta?
I just now realized that with Taco Tuesday being tomorrow, and Cinco de Mayo being Friday, this is a damn good day to post a taco recipe. It likely won’t compete with the margarita round-ups and enchilada recipes circulating the Web since this isn’t the most traditional of taco recipes, but I think some folks have lost sight of what certain traditions mean anyway; so maybe this plant-based twist has a chance after all.
While people in the US are eager to plan their Mexican-themed hooplas, Cinco de Mayo has seemingly taken on a different meaning to them: the celebration of Mexican-American culture (it’s also been mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day which is actually on September 16). While some use this holiday to slam back Coronas with lime and mow down tortilla chips while drunkenly swinging at piñatas (sorry for the finger-wagging, but bros…), Mexico remembers their unlikely victory over the French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862 with military marches, music, parades, and a lot of damn good food. Though anyone from any nationality is welcomed (and encouraged!) to commemorate, consider nixing the sombrero as some sort of funny accessory. Instead, take the opportunity to learn about Mexico’s history and appreciate the celebration for its national unity and patriotism!
Okay. Take this soapbox away.
Now. About these smokey and crispy plant-based tacos that have no relation to Cinco de Mayo…
This wholesome and refreshing dish is exactly what I needed after roadtrippin’ to the North a few weeks ago.
I have a love/hate relationship with traveling.
I discovered this in my early twenties when I landed a job in the music industry working as an editorial assistant for a publishing company that issued a handful of music magazines. Within the first year, I went from hardly escaping my small Canadian hometown to jetting through the US from NYC to San Fran. I felt so alive in these new places! Well, for the first day or two. But with transient travel comes cramming too many things into a small timeframe and that, my friends, siphons the life out of me.
With my husband and I living in NC and our families being dispersed between PA and Canada, this is a regular part of life now: overwhelming short-lived trips full of company, a lot of energy, and a mass amount of food. (Gotta mow down enough of those hometown faves while we’re there and while we can.)
To say that I needed this healthful protein-packed plate of goodness when I got home would be an understatement. I’ve eaten this three times in the last week and a half.