Planting 5 basil plants may have been a little aggressive. After Landon and I decided to up our "adulthood" this summer, we spent what felt like 7 hours on a Sunday at a gardening center to try our hand in the domestic sport. Neither of us know jack about gardening, but it seems to be working in our favor so far, because our herbs are freakin' prolific. At some point during our haj to the gardening mecca of Lowe's, we convinced ourselves that we needed a shit ton of basil. I'm a fan of pesto, putting it in green smoothies, sprinkling it over Italian dishes, etc...so 5 sounded like the right number.
Chicken tenders made paleo are rullll easy. Chicken + egg + nut flour. Easy peasy. BUT what if you got super crazy and added shredded coconut to the floury mix? Magical things happen, that's what. These tenders are flaky and juicy and are just as delicious reheated in the toaster oven the next day. If you don't have a toaster oven, no offense, that's just dumb. Every home should be equipped with one. They are WAY better for reheating purposes than any microwave...at least when we're talkin' about reheating meats and such. I suppose if you are toaster ovenless, though, you can reheat for just a few minutes in the oven at 350 or so.
The f**k is jackfruit? Well I just used it in a recipe and I still don't really know what it is, but I saw it as a featured new product in Trader Joe's so I grabbed a can of it. The nice, bearded hipster working at trusty ol' TJ's told me that jackfruit isn't actually sweet or fruity, and that it's often used in vegan cooking as a meat replacement. He then suggested I try it for a meat-free Taco Tuesday.
Well it's been a hot minute since I've given you something delicious to feast on, but I'm not sorry because I've just come back from the most glorious vacation in Italy. Since it's no longer acceptable for me to east pasta twice a day, drink wine like I'm hooked up to a steady IV, or pound pastries and chocolate with a morning cappuccino, I'm pretty much in denial. A big ole' group of Amato's, plus a few other street urchins (otherwise referred to as our significant others), flew back to the motherland to celebrate our Nonna's 90th birthday. My god that woman has aged well. I'm telling you...that laid back, cheese-filled Italian way of life is basically a real-time Fountain of Youth.
It's been more than a week since I've given you a recipe - apologies. I've just been busy memorializing the death of my youth...which some would call "celebrating my 26th birthday." I fully acknowledge that anyone reading this over the age of 26 probably wants to punch me in the face, but I'm not really writing about the number. I'm more so calling attention to the shifts that seem to start around the 26 year mark. They aren't necessarily bad, they're basically just qualities that my 22 year-old self would roll her eyes and scoff at. Turning 26 is like trading in your fun, old Jeep Wrangler for a sub-compact Toyota Camry. Bear with me.
I love my Instant Pot. I've said it before, but this thing is magic. Being able to make a full blown, one pot meal in bulk in a swift 30 minutes by basically just pressing a button makes life so much easier. Join me in the pursuit of witchcraft and make this asian-inspired tenderloin. It's about as easy, healthy and delicious as pork tenderloin gets. No fuss. Just marinade, toss it in the pot and let your IP do its thang.
I just love a prideful Italian...it doesn't matter if you're first gen or if your father's mother's second cousin lived in Italy for one summer "back in the day" - any connection to Italy means that you've, at some point or another, bragged to someone (who, let's be clear, probably wasn't impressed) that your bloodstream is largely comprised of tomato sauce and pecorino. I'll unapologetically lump myself into the crowd who loves claiming the Italian heritage.
HIIII!!!! Did you all have a merry Christmas? Or Hanukkah? Or Kwanza? Or Christmukkah? I'm sure I'm missing a holiday and I'm sure I've offended someone by doing so. Throw a rock in the Serengeti and you're likely to hit a gazelle. Make a joke in 2016 and you're likely to insult 75% of the planet in some form or fashion. In fact, I'm sure there is a vegan somewhere out there who is drafting hate mail to send my way at this very moment..."WHAT? SHE THROWS ROCKS AT GAZELLES IN THE SERENGETI?!"
All hail chili season! It's about 40 degrees here in Charlotte, meaning the streets are filled with...no one. And the grocery stores are filled with everyone...because any temperature below 50 warrants apocalyptic shopping tendencies. "What? It's sweater weather? Guess I should go purchase 14 gallons of milk and all the wonder bread that Harris Teeter has in stock."