Monday, March 31, 2014

the other side.

I pretty much universally loathe everything that attempts to define "millennials," including but not limited to Buzzfeed lists about twenty-somethings, the entirety of, and the term "millennial."  Don't try to tell me about me.  Don't try to explain me to myself.  When you're wrong I get high horse-y and when you're right I get frustrated.  And maybe you're like, OMG that response is SO millennial of her, to which I am going to say: Whatever.  Leave me alone.

Naturally, then, when I saw the headline for this Bon Appetit article about millennial food and drink trends, I was all teed up to hate it.  What are we as a generation eating and drinking? I grumbled sarcastically to myself.  Food.  And beverages.  Whatever looks good at Trader Joe's and is not super expensive.  End of study.  Am I a sociologist now?  Ughh.  I was having a great time being disgruntled and annoyed as I scanned the post (couldn't help but click on it, you know how that goes) until I hit a phrase that froze my griping in its tracks.  Citing research done by the Center for Culinary Development, the piece noted that millennials are, on the whole, "health-conscious, yet prone to fits of decadent eating."

Oh.  Oh ok.  That statement is simple enough.  But I think it might also be the truest thing I've ever heard in my life.  I think it might be the mantra that I've been silently intoning since birth.  I think it might be tattooed on the inside of my eyelids.  Never a statement so real.

Yesterday my host fam threw a party, and when I woke up this morning my body was like, HAHAHA oh dear you can never eat again.  The sheer amount of meat and sugar, separately and together, that I consumed was nothing short of record breaking.  Lots of chocolate.  Lots of lamb.  Lots of mojitos.  Very bleak.  A fit of decadent eating if ever I've suffered one.  And so today I am the tails side of the millennial food coin, the one that never fails, called health conscious.

Summoning my strength and ignoring the leftovers spilling calorically from every shelf of the fridge, I whipped up a Love & Lemons chili-orange veggie bowl for dinner.  I do not think it suffered from my subbing in quinoa and withholding pomegranate, because man that sauce!  Just so perfectly spicy and bright, I'm sure I would have liked it drizzled on mold (edit: no, probably not).  A decadent fit is in my future, I know it, I cannot change my destiny.  But for now I am full of broccoli and sweet potato, one very happy whatever I am, aged 19 - 32.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

oh just some band you've never heard of.

Silence + Noise sweater; Topshop tank; H&M sloppy trousers; Coach glasses & bag; girlfriend needs new flats (Tory Burch)

Doing my best to keep the world at an arm's distance today, or so it appears from the way I decided to present myself in public (far left).  You are correct, I somehow managed to become both a vampire and a bicycle messenger in the time since we last spoke.

Maybe the dark colors/eyewear/generally hostile looking resting face is stemming from my perpetually being sick?  Its probably a good thing that I won't be living with a 6 or 9 year old again until I have children of my own and they have reached those ages; I need some time to create antibodies for the playground strains of influenza that my beautiful charges are immune to but have no problem transmitting to me on a semi-regular basis.  Wash your hands, people.  Monkey bars are terrifying.

way to salt his game, mr. cohen.

Unless you know, you don't know.  Unless you've eaten Maldon, you think salt is salt is salt.  And you are wrong, but you are also uninitiated and so for that we can forgive you.

HELLO WORLD today we're talkin BOUGIE SALT.  It's real.  It's important.  And you should convert to it right now.

This is not a story about switching up your entire kitchen game. Sometimes you need to put a teaspoon of salt in your cake batter (not a TABLESPOON ha ha ha but who would make THAT mistake oof definitely not me ever), and you should absolutely be using normal salt in that situation.  But when a finishing sprinkle is required, equal parts delicious and beautiful, capable of knocking your toast up 3 notches, that is when I'm instructing you to reach for the Maldon.

I do not know the science here.  I know Maldon is a UK company (making boxes not normally in Spanish), and I know that somehow their salt is...saltier than other salt.  This is my professional opinion.  Salty-ass salt.  You only need a pinch to make magic happen.  On your avocado toast.  Chocolate chip cookies.  In cute little travel tins.  Finishing natural peanut butter!  Eggs, obvi.  Radishes, if you are a fancy person or from Norway.  The final touch on a salad or to add a kick to homemade caramel.  Flaky sea salt is "harvested," I guess, with... I don't know, doesn't this look like a rake? I'm literally just looking at the pictures and not reading any information because I want it to remain a mystery to me forever.  The point is do yourself a favor and invest in a box of Maldon.

And yeah, it is not lost on me that this stuff goes for about $1.50/ounce.  When Ina Garten says to use "good" things, like in her recipes she writes "good olive oil" or "good bread" (which is famous-chef-from-the-Hamptons speak for "treat yo-self"), this is what she means.  Good salt.  If Ina and Aziz agree, you best be getting on board.

Tell me someone understands. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

one big pan, full of bad bitches

Some of my favorite things about this city are the produce stores that, in less fancy neighborhoods, can be found on nearly every block.  Empty storefronts by night, fruterías are essentially the non-bougie brothers of farmer's markets: long, disorganized tables overflowing with produce delivered early that morning, open and ready for business every day of the week.  My favorites are the crowded and very well stocked markets of Tribunal, helmed by a dude with sometimes a cash register but often just a fannypack full of money, and a scale.  The fruits and vegetables in these places are weirdly of much better quality than in the supermarkets, and there is a notably larger variety of things.  Additional upside: crazytown cheap.  Like delicious eggplants for 20 cents cheap.   I'm confused how these places exist, but I'm not upset about it.

I forgot to buy basil when I went to the frutería this morning --- mostly because I didn't know I needed basil because I didn't really have a plan beyond Get Your Hands On That Eggplant --- so learn from my mistake and pick some up.  Then make this:

Eggplant and Tofu in Red Wine Basil Sauce
adapted from Earthly Feast

1 block extra firm tofu, cubed
1 medium eggplant, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (the original recipe uses canned tomatoes with chilies, but to nobody's surprise, I couldn't find that. I was obviously heartbroken to have to add sriracha instead PSYCH so happy)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 dashes soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
2 teaspoons dried basil (don't be like me, use a big bunch of fresh basil)
1 big handful spinach, chopped
1/4 cup red wine
lots of salt and pepper

Stir fry tofu on high in olive oil, adding soy sauce partway through.  Reduce heat, add onions, and cook until they are translucent, and tofu is browned.  Add eggplant and zucchini and continue to sauté.

Add can of tomatoes with juice, plus sriracha, dried basil (wait until we add the spinach to add fresh basil, if that's what you're using) and garlic.  Cover.  Allow this to cook and bubble and get pretty for like 8 minutes.  Add greens, wine, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.  Cook uncovered for about 5 more minutes.

geometric grains, maybe.

Reformation dress; Free People socks; Sam Edelman boots

Celebrating good weekend weather with a tried and blue party dress and a handful of exposed leg inches.  Its so lovely out that I am not even sorry about that pun!  Or my stank face in this picture!  Everybody put your hands together for March.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

reality television.

My body is currently operating at a number of degrees that is higher than it should be, so this post is coming in HOT (yesss) from a fever-dreamy bedridden situation.  I do occasionally get up to be a human (refill water bottle, eat entire box of imported Kraft Mac-n-Cheese) but I would much rather take advantage of my weakened state to go full tilt Comforter Nest Maker.  I also look really good, if you are into sweaty people.

Ok cute so now that that's done!  Here's a roundup of pretty things that I'm looking at to delay my inevitable start of True Detective.

This Scalamandré "Zebra" wallpaper.  In my dreams this is what my living room looks like, but then I also have a gown or pencil skirt or something in the same pattern, so I can match my house like Mariah Carey did on Cribs.

The big ol boots at the Topshop Unique show last month, I'm still thinking about those.

Archives from food photography duo Peden + Munk.  Now that they're engaged to each other, I can't stop looking at pictures of raw meat that they took for The Grilling Book and being like, "They're so in love!!!!"

This is the fever talking.  This whole post is the fever talking.

People of whom I need to stop looking at pictures because honestly how do they exist for real in the world.

And finally: the things I either cannot get or have a lot of trouble getting in Spain that I want to consume really a lot, right now and always.

This looks like the bad scrapbook of a crazy person.  I need more Tylenol.  Goodnight!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

fb offish.

Free People tank; Seven for All Mankind denim; Supergas; assorted terrace foliage

Now that the sun is happening full time in Mad City (nickname courtesy of my discovery of the fixie club in Malasaña called "Mad City Bikes," which they certainly must be screen printing on crewnecks somewhere amiright), I am in an exclusive relationship with my flatform Supergas.  If I am not in first place in the cool sneaks game, I am at least placing very highly.  Like two and a half inches higher than usual.

ps: Spring has totally sprung.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

i think its fly when the girls stop by.

Today I did something I hadn't done since I was 14 years old, and that I truly, earnestly believed I would never do again.

Today I went into an Abercrombie & Fitch.  And I bought a shirt.

Ugh.  Its good, isn't it?

Before you peg me as a product of late 90s/early 00s suburban California undergoing a quarterlife crisis (the first part of which, at least, is definitely correct), let me say that this purchase does not indicate the start of a total reversion to the terrible style choices of my middle school years.  I am too well-entrenched in the making of terrible early-twenties style choices to look back on simpler times.  I went into this Abercrombie & Fitch --- the only one on the entire Iberian Peninsula --- because it is a palace.

Even with an iPhone picture doing it limited justice, tell me you could ignore this entryway.  The storefront is marble.  There are spiral staircases, giant murals of what looked ancient Greece, three-story chandeliers, crazy looking gilded molding.  This store is NUTS.  It is a veritable labyrinth of navy and pink shit.  Remember how everything was navy and pink, and nothing was black?  Still true.  This is how I know I don't belong.  Remember how every breath was straight up cologne, how it hung in the air so thickly you felt like you could part it with your hands?  Still true.  No escaping it.  I can smell it in my hair even now, hours later.  Remember the music?  Remember the limited light?  To get to the dressing rooms, I had to walk down a mirrored hallway, long and narrow like in a horror movie, that reflected my own expression of uncertainty and discomfort back at me from every angle.

But yeah, so then I found this shirt.  And it was flowy and lovely and devoid of everything tell-tale A&F, like sequins, or the moose, or scripty advertisements for fictional beach restaurants.  I could imagine myself wearing it only every single day of the summer.  So I followed my breadcrumb trail back to the main foyer, and took the little wispy white thing to the register.

"Necesitas bolsa?" asked the man behind the counter, holding up a paper bag with handles for me to appraise, and I burst out laughing.  I had forgotten about the photographs of nearly-naked people they expected you to use to house your purchases.  "No," I told him, and I took my prize, and I ran out the front door and back into the light of day.  Bye Abercrombie & Fitch.  Thank you for the tank top.  See you probably maybe hopefully never ever again.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

any other name.

There are a lot of things you can learn about your blog if you just click all the random buttons on the homepage, it seems.

I would like to apologize to whomever ended up here as a result of googling "i look a lot like my mom."  Somebody did, and I'm sorry.  I cannot possibly be what you were after.

A couple things though?  Why are you googling that.  Are you curious as to why you look like your mom?  Or are you searching for a community of other people who find themselves in a similar situation?  Until you inform me otherwise, I'm gonna make a Lifetime Original Movie out of you, is that ok?  Here's the premise: You were told from an early age that you were adopted, but as time progressed and you underwent puberty (a storied LOM theme), the physical similarities between you and your "adoptive" mother became more and more pronounced.  But what reason would she have to lie?  What secrets from her past is she hiding by pretending you never spent any time in her womb? The plot takes a turn for the dark, while maintaining the awesome Lifetime lighting that makes everyone look made of plastic.  And then...I don't have a conclusion yet but I'm open to suggestions.

The ideal snack for bad TV (just LOOK at that segue, god I'm unstoppable): this batch of puppy chow.  I used popcorn instead of cereal because finding Spanish Chex would have been a Carnival miracle, and I daresay it was an improvement upon perfection.  The dearth of powdered sugar in this nation made it a true shame for my wallet, but I had a craving so here we are.