Pear + Cheddar Salad

New year. Who dis?

Ok ok bear with us. We’ve been absent, yes. But it was January, also known as the month of no inspiration and the month that Hannah moved to Chicago. (insert sassy dancing emoji of joy)

And here I am with a salad “recipe.” I guess it counts. Mostly I made this, loudly exclaimed about how Good I Am At Salads throughout dinner, and wanted to share. Don’t hate me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bosc pears (THE FLAVOR OF THESE BAD BOYS)
  • 1/2 head of romaine lettuce
  • sharp white cheddar, cut into tiny cubes or crumbled if you have that kind of time
  • roasted, salted almonds, roughly chopped
  • Pear Champagne Salad dressing (Trader Joe’s is LIFE.)

Roughly chop up that romaine, cube the pears, cube the cheddar, and chop up some almonds. If you’re doing this for lunch and you want more protein, add some roasted/grilled chicken! Toss into a bowl that’s bigger than you think you need with less dressing than you think you need (add more if you want).

For now, please, I beg of you, use the Trader Joe’s dressing. It’s got champagne vinegar, gorgonzola cheese, pear mush, and evoo in it and it’s to die for. I’ll be working on making my own version over here in the Chicago test kitchen, but for now, use it, love it, drink it. (just kidding about one of those).

I would also like to take this moment to share an amazing service I just started using, called Imperfect Produce. Every week I get a cute little cardboard box full of veggies that have been deemed “unfit,” “uggles,” or “imperfect” by some people who think that grocery store veg should live up to Vogue standards. I have yet to receive any produce that is truly ugly. Mostly it’s just really delicious and really cheap. Last week I got 1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 bunch of organic swiss chard, 1 bunch of kale, 2 bosc pears, 4 kiwi, 2 cucumbers, 2 peppers, 4 beets, and a pound of potatoes. For $15. You read that right. $15. So if you live in a big city, I’d recommend them to you.

Egészségedre!

Hannah

Friday Faves: Gathering


In this day and age of social media, it becomes so easy to assume we need special dishes, a theme and countless other things to make a dinner party look pretty. The truth is, once you have the people, everything else is unimportant. We truly mean that. Please don’t worry about the food, the place settings, or making your home perfect. Just invite those people over, plop some sort of food down in front of them, and get going with the good times.
For example, last year, Essie and her husband had moved into their new home and had no furniture and extensive renovations going on in most rooms. It would have been so easy to not let anyone see the mess. But instead they had some of the most fun gatherings, sitting on blankets on the floor with friends and family.
Please don’t be intimidated by other people’s beautiful pictures or the illusion of perfection. If you’re second-guessing your party-throwing abilities, chances are SO IS EVERYONE ELSE. We’ve put together a simple menu below + guide for hosting a gathering of your own this holiday season and hope it may give you a little push to start hosting and partying like the crazy kids you are.
A couple Common Sense tips to Gathering
  • Don’t worry about the table setting. The pictures we took for this post were created with Airbnb dishes, a scrap piece of fabric, and a potted plant we got at Trader Joe’s (have we mentioned that we love TJ’s? Too often, you say?). Use paper plates, your every day dishes, or pull out that wedding china you registered for and never use. It doesn’t matter. We just ask that you try not to buy anything extra for a gathering. A jar of roadside wildflowers or random greenery from in front of your house, a half burned candle, a plant you already have, a pretty scarf, a handful of pine cones, or just about anything can be spread out on your table, floor or counter to create a lovely atmosphere.
  • Keep the food simple. We love cooking, run a food blog, and dream about our kitchen at night (yes, really. We’re a couple nuts.), but neither of us would have an issue serving a salad kit and ordering pizza for a quick and easy gathering. There is nothing wrong with easy and simple. You’ll be happier and more relaxed for your friends, and everyone wins when that happens. Let go of the “supposed to”s and “should”s.
  • If you want to have new friends over for the first time, but you’re worried about it being awkward (something Hannah thinks about on the reg #halp), make dinner interactive! Let your guests help you by mixing the salad, chopping up fruit for a pie, or even have a make-your-own-pizza night!

If you’re feeling up to a bit more cooking, may we recommend this menu:
—- salad
—- good wine
—- something sweet
The brilliant thing about serving two roasted things is that you can cook them at the same time, at the same temperature. We love easy easy recipes. You can find our roasted chicken recipe here and our roasted veggie recipe there. Pop the chicken in at 450 and pop the veg in an hour later, then just leave ’em (don’t just forget about them – baste your chicken and turn your veggies, but you know what we mean). For a salad, we recommend the Veggies + Greens salad kit from TJ, mentioned here.
Good wine doesn’t need to break the bank; most people know what they like and what they don’t like. We love a good, robust red wine, so we recommend the Rodney Strong cabernet. Hannah found it at her local TJ for $14, which is a great price for an even better bottle. Other favorites include Trader Joe’s Coastal syrah, Josh cabernet, or an oaky, buttery chardonnay (try one from Wente!).
To finish the party, haul out some ice cream, a bag of Dove chocolates, or, if you’re like Hannah and Very Into Pie, try your hand at making a galette! We’re coming out with a recipe for a pear + cranberry galette next Monday. #getpumped
PARTY LIKE IT’S 2009. (We’re not sure what we mean by that).
Hannah + Essie

Dressed Up Turkey Sandwich

With turkey day tomorrow, I just had to share one of my all time favorite sandwiches. I really hope your turkey is so huge you’ll have leftovers for weeks and weeks. When you have that many leftovers you get sick of the same flavors over and over again. In case that happens here’s the perfect change up.

Brie and Apples. They’re like flavor soulmates. When you add balsamic glaze, a bite of onion, and some mild turkey, avocado, and naan, it’s like the two started a family, dressed all the kids in their Sunday best, and everyone gets along. Exactly the sort of thing you want around the holidays.

Once you know how much you love these flavors together, it’s easy to switch them up and incorporate them into a salad, wrap, omelette or anything else you might dream up.

Give it a try and thank me later.


  • Ingredients:
    • 2 pieces naan bread
    • 1 cup shredded turkey (or 8 slices deli turkey)
    • 1 sweet apple, sliced
    • 4 oz brie cheese, sliced
    • 1 avocado, sliced
    • 2-4 green onions, chopped
    • 1 cup spinach
    • dried cranberries
    • balsamic glaze
  • Directions:
    1. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to broil.
    2. Lay naan flat on a cookie sheet. Stack turkey, apple and brie (in that order) on one half of each bread.
    3. Toast in the oven until brie is melty and naan is warm.
    4. Pile avocado, green onions, spinach, and dried cranberries on top of brie.
    5. Drizzle balsamic glaze over it all, then fold second half of naan over the toppings. Nom.
  • Alternative: Dressed Up Turkey Salad
    1. Chop and warm turkey, apple and brie on cookie sheet.
    2. Pile on top of a bowl of greens along with the rest of the ingredients.
    3. Use balsamic glaze or a balsamic dressing to dress.