summer fruit pie

Summer doesn’t feel like summer without a little Midwest stirred up into it. I need a couple rainstorms, some humid air hair frizz, a porch swing, and some pie.

Life has been on excitement overdrive lately, and while I’m loving it, it’s also really nice to slow down a little. I’m sleeping in, making pancakes, reading books, baking with my mom. It’s what I wanted and I needed.

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I’m going crazy over the corresponding colors going on here. My mom picked about a million blueberries and froze them so she’s forever ready for pancakes and muffins and pie. This, combined with the amount of beer my dad has in the basement, is why I would like to be nowhere else in case of a tornado or winter storm or really any sort of precipitation.

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Do you have a summer food? Is it corn dogs from the State Fair or a huge swirly ice cream cone from the Santa Monica Pier? Tell me what it is and then go eat it. Summertime: we’re in it!

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summer fruit pie
adapted from smitten kitchen

for one double pie crust:
2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks very cold butter
3/4 cup ice water
milk & sugar in the raw for topping

for the fruit:
4 cups berries or sliced stone fruit
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons butter

Combine flour, sugar, salt in a bowl. Slice the butter into one-inch cubes and toss into the bowl. Using a pastry cutter or fork, work the butter into the flour until you have pea-sized cubes. Drizzle 1/2 cup ice water into the dough and gather with a rubber spatula. Knead a little with your hands to bring the dough together, adding up to another 1/4 cup of water if necessary. Roll into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425. For the fruit, combine berries or stone fruit, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Roll out your pie crust, place in the pie dish, and pour in your fruit mixture. Top with a few pats of butter before laying on the top crust. If you’re not making a lattice crust, make sure to cut some pretty slits into the crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar before popping into the oven for 35-45 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

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weekend link party!

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my LA partner in crime added this blog to her friday faves!

today I’m trying out this pie crust recipe

do any of you use the tastemade app?

a really nice list of outdoor movies in LA

my best friend went to vancouver for the 4th of july and wrote about it

how much every country spends on food

lovin on the dinner party download

this show was so much fun!

have we talked about the ban.do blog? good stuff

this diner in chicago is one of my new favorite places

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june was rad!

I was just writing about May and boom! We’re looking at July. June was delicious and totally fun. I’m gearing up for a trip back to the Midwest this month and a big interview (eek!) at work. If it looks like I drank a ton of coffee in June…get ready for July.

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wine at a hermosa beach event I was covering for spoonwest magazine
strawberries at the larchmont farmers market
pretty graffiti
my new favorite beer

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piƱatas and penthouses in downtown LA
santa monica looking really pretty
birthday parties at the hotel shangri-la
mariana makes the best-ever zucchini noodles with cauliflower & cashew alfredo sauce

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pre-breakfast sandwich coffee at playa provisions
iced coffee and girl talk at broome st general store
espresso ice cream cones at carmela ice cream
my favorite coffee, with love from iowa

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kimchi and koreatown

Have we talked about Koreatown?

For as much as I talk about it in real life, I’m surprised about how little I mention it on the blog.

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Koreatown is my hood. It’s a unique spot in the middle of LA that isn’t quite downtown and isn’t quite West Hollywood. It’s where Angelenos go to get lost in a fog of Korean barbecue smoke and off-key karaoke songs. I moved here last summer after a quick and confusing home hunt. I was new to LA, didn’t have a lot of money, and had even less knowledge of the city I was living in. I found a cheap studio with wood floors, checkered kitchen tile, and zero people to share a bathroom with (the things of my dreams). I bought a couch and made a really big deal about it.

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I’ve been here for almost a year and have developed a pretty giant crush on my neighborhood. The cool bars, the 24 hour tofu joints, the asian market, the kimchi. Where else can you get a dried up fish and bimbimbap at 3 in the AM for less than 10 bucks?

In the spirit of crossing things off my summer list, I made kimchi this weekend. It’s sweet and charming and a little intense, just like my neighborhood. Just the way I like it.

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homemade kimchi

2 pounds daikon radish
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
2 stalks green onion, chopped
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup hot pepper powder (available at asian markets)

Peel and chop the radish into 1 inch cubes. In a bowl, toss radish cubes with salt and sugar and let sit for 30 minutes. In the meantime, mix garlic, ginger, green onion, fish sauce, and hot pepper powder. After 30 minutes, drain water from the radish bowl into the garlic mixture and stir to combine. Mix in with the radish cubes, making sure to coat evenly. Put your kimchi into a glass jar, pressing down to remove air from between the radish cubes. Let ferment outside the refrigerator for about three days. Your kimchi will bubble and maybe even overflow, so be careful! Store in the refrigerator after three days.

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almond milk

This post is inspired by almond milk, boy crushes, and 90′s radio hits. This is my second version of this post, the one I decided was okay to hit “publish” and share with the internet. It had started out a little awkward before, with lyrics about hearts in blenders (anyone remember Eve 6…anyone?) and words from Blink 182. But for real…

…nobody likes you when you’re 23.

I had exactly zero boyfriends during my 23rd year of life. I met a lot of boys, liked a few, went on some dates, got into some fights. I drank probably more cocktails than I needed to and definitely cared more than it was worth. I turned 24 this weekend, and while that means nothing really significant, it feels big in my brain. I care more about the big stuff and less about the small stuff. Even compared to a year ago, I find myself less hung up on who’s smooching who and more focused on my own happiness.

What I’m really trying to say: if nobody likes me when I’m 24, it’s all good.

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Back to that thing I was saying about hearts in blenders…I’ve decided that 24 year olds don’t have time for that. I’m busy trying to get a promotion, to learn, to do really great work. The only thing I’m putting in a blender today is almonds. I’m making homemade almond milk because it makes for a dang good breakfast, and a dang good breakfast is helpful in kicking your day in the butt.

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homemade almond milk

1 cup almonds
2 cups water, plus more for soaking
honey and vanilla extract (optional)

Soak almonds in a bowl of water over night. Drain and rinse your almonds before placing them in a blender. Add the water and blend at the highest speed for two minutes. Strain the almond meal from the milk using cheese cloth or a nut-milk bag (available at most Whole Foods Markets or here). Sweeten with honey (agave or sugar will also work) and vanilla if you desire. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two days.

P.S. Save the almond meal! It can be added to smoothies or oatmeal, or makes a great pudding mixed with this.

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