Monday, July 29, 2013

maple brown sugar glazed bacon and other advice for hosting brunch

I'm a veteran brunch host. I've hosted small ladies-only brunches, large potluck brunches, patio brunches, poolside brunches, dessert-only brunches, and farewell brunches. And now I'm sharing some of my brunch hosting advice with you! Here are my top tips for guaranteeing a happy, successful, anxiety-free brunch. (Hint: bacon is involved.)
we'll get to this in a second.
Prepare as many things in advance as possible. You want to be able to relax and impress everyone at the same time (I swear it's possible!), so we need to minimize the amount of work you're doing in the morning. You don't necessarily have to prepare the whole dish ahead of time - if you're making blackberry orange zest ricotta waffles, for example, you can make the batter the day before, store it in the fridge overnight, and make the waffles in the morning.

Write everything down. I like to create a schedule to plan ahead and help me remember all of the things I have to do, so I'm not constantly thinking about when I need to knead my bread dough or take my bagels out of the oven or how I'm going to sauté spinach and peaches at the same time when I only have one pan or whatever.

Only use recipes you've made before. And on the morning of your brunch, only use simple recipes you've made before. Even better, only use simple recipes that you've made before that you enjoy making. I adore rice, but I freaking hate cooking it because it decides to burn every time I walk away for two seconds.

Curate a cooking playlist to help you relax and keep moving. I'm at my most productive and relaxed when listening to slow or moderately paced female vocalists. Jessie Ware and Lykke Li and Lorde are my go-to artists for mornings in the kitchen. But who knows, maybe you cook better when you're listening to DMX aggressively ponder where his dogs are. Or something.

Friday, July 26, 2013

vodka tomato sauce from scratch

I like to think of myself as a pretty hardworking person, but I definitely have my limits.

For example, I've discovered I can stay at work for 14 hours before getting cranky. I can read 60 pages of Goffman before needing an xoJane break. I can spend three hours waiting for a guy to text me before whining to my roommates that I've given up on men foreverrrr. I can do two hours of calculus homework before needing a bubble bath.

I can eat, like, three salads before needing a bowl of hearty, carby pasta.

totally worth the torture of salad-eating.

Monday, July 22, 2013

bacon avocado breakfast sandwiches will change your life

One of my coworkers once had this really fun house party - I arrived solo and was looking around for a friend, when a cute guy kindly directed me toward the basement. As I started walking away, he told me I looked familiar. I figured it was the start of a cheesy pickup line so I politely told him I had no idea who he was and walked away.

Fast forward a couple hours and I ended up talking to this guy again. Turns out he's super interesting and writes about the local music scene in DC. He offered to play some music for me on his phone, so we went on the roof of my coworker's house. We were totally having A Moment when suddenly he said "I know where I know you from. You're on OkCupid."

Immediately, I started babbling "I'm so sorry! I don't remember getting your message. I get so many messages every day, and it gets so hard to keep up-" before he cut me off and said "No, I don't think I messaged you."

So, of course, I reflexively screeched "WHY WOULDN'T YOU MESSAGE ME," thus effectively ruining a beautiful moment and continuing my pattern of being The Most Socially Awkward Person Alive.

i'm going to tie this in to breakfast sandwiches, promise.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

how to mend heartbreak with homemade bagels

What if I told you you could make bagels from scratch without a strugglefest? Would you believe me? Probably not.

you should.
I know you're probably wondering what kind of weirdo makes her own bagels when you can just buy them in the grocery store?

Listen. These aren't just any regular store-bought bagels. These are life-changing, earth-shattering, from-the-streets-of-new-york-city-bagels. But beware - if you make this recipe once, you'll want to start making it every. single. weekend. It's why I don't have a life anymore. But I love these damn bagels omg.

I think you're overselling these.

You know what? Maybe. But I don't think so. And I think you really need to try them. What do you have to lose, besides a few hours and your diet?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

raspberry mousse can solve your problems

I got a little freaked out when my friends started getting engaged. How can they be so sure about such a serious decision?, I would think. They're so much more mature than I am. I still wear my pajamas in public sometimes. I still think snorting is hilarious. I stopped freaking out about it for a while. But then they started getting married and having babies and buying furniture from places other than IKEA.

And then two of my friends became homeowners. Homeowners. As in, they own a home. 

No one ever told me that these are things that I'm supposed to be thinking about and planning for. Can you guys, like, slow down for a second so I can take notes? This is a little overwhelming.

So let's talk about what I do know. Let's talk about dessert. Specifically, let's talk about the curative powers of raspberry mousse.

eat your feelings with me!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

how to make everyone like you, featuring waffles

Have you ever met anyone who didn't like waffles? Trick question! Everyone likes waffles. This is one of the important life lessons I've learned in my 24 years of existence.

Ok here's another question: what do you do when you wake up at 11 o'clock on a sunday and omg you overslept and omg you're supposed to be at a potluck brunch in one hour and omg now you don't have time to make the bagels you promised you would bring and omg how did you lose your freaking earrings in your FREAKING BED AGAIN UGH.

Stay calm. I know what to do.

do you get where i'm going with this?