Squash blossoms were on my list of “unicorn produce to get my hands on this season” along with romanesco, watermelon radishes, and cucamelons. (I’ve yet to find cucamelons and I’m getting pretty salty about it, to be honest.)
Back in the beginning of April, I helped my friends till and plant their garden. Like, a real BIG garden — not an urban container garden like mine (though no disrespect to container gardens, mine is blooming like mad right now!) Over the weekend, I visited said friends and paid a visit to their crop; I wanted a proud veggie mom moment. And omg. I can’t tell you how excited I was (and how confused my friends were) when I spotted these highly sought-after squash blossoms.
It sounds fancy, and it looks fancy, but if you’re a gardener and you’re growing zucchini, you know that these blossoms are accessible, easy to harvest, and meals that include them aren’t as pretentious as they look. Sometimes I struggle with making meals look approachable because I love gorgeous produce and fresh ingredients, but all of these things are easy to snag if you know where to look.
This pizza is as easy to assemble as it is pretty.
I love hitting up the patio to grill. Nothing tastes more summertime than something that’s been given the char treatment — especially when it comes to your fave proteins and veggies. But here in North Carolina, some days are just too damn hot. Too hot to fire up the grill, too hot to heat up the oven, and almost too hot to eat… but we *have* to eat.
For this reason, I think it’s super important to have a few go-to recipes that will cool you down while also being substantial and nourishing for your bod.
This soba noodle salad does just that; this soba noodle salad is LIFE.
I’ve enjoyed tuna salad sandwiches my entire life. (Does that make me weird?) But growing up, it was the mayo that reeled me in. The creamier, the better. (Does that make me weirder?)
Disastrously, mayo has become a “sometimes” thing these days because in my 30s, my metabolic rate isn’t quite like it was in my teens; I can no longer eat 6 oz of cheese with crackers or run a train on a nacho platter at 11pm. (I mean, I want to, but you know… repercussions.)
But thanks to healthy gems like avocado and Greek yogurt, I’ve been able to recreate the creaminess I covet sans guilt. Plus, finding substitutions has also compelled me to play around with recipes. Little did I know, way back when, that a tuna sandwich could be much more than a jumble of mayo and scallions. There are umpteen ways to jazz up this good stuff, and this Greek spin is one of my faves.
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.