Spring Salad with Strawberries, Haricots Verts, and Shaved Leeks

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I can practically feel your darling little faces asking what happened to the fun me.

pring Salad with Strawberries, Haricots Verts, and Shaved Leeks. Champagne vinegar dressing with honey, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Vegan, clean eats!

You know, the me who was all, “Hey party people, butter-flavored ice cream: we’re gonna put that on a baguette like it ain’t nothing” last week.

She won’t be gone for long. Meanwhile, hear me out: Balance isn’t just for adorable circus animals. Sometimes we have to do that thing where we try to avoid death by heart attack at 35, right? Because–who knows–maybe 36 will be THE year we finally get the hang of liquid eyeliner or grow a solid beard or whatever. Aspirations: we’ve all got ‘em.

pring Salad with Strawberries, Haricots Verts, and Shaved Leeks. Champagne vinegar dressing with honey, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Vegan, clean eats!

I can’t live (for very long, anyway) on cake, and neither can you, probably.

This isn’t even the kind of salad that needs me to make excuses for it. It’s an interesting one–an exciting one, I’d venture to say. Ripe strawberries, crisp haricots verts, toasted almonds, shaved raw leeks (!), plus a sweet-tangy dressing with poppy and sesame seeds galore: this is worlds away from a sad bowl of sad greens at a sad desk in a sad life. 

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Salted Butter and Strawberry Jam Ice Cream Sandwiches on Baguette

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Um, so. I don’t know what to tell you.

Salted Butter and Strawberry Jam Ice Cream Sandwiches on Baguette

Water is wet. The sky is blue. Ice cream on a baguette is insanely awesome–as you might imagine.

I mean, as far as lovechildren go, I’m not aware of any bread-with-butter-and-jam/ice cream ones. To be honest, this is just me adding the butter-and-jam bit to this peanut butter and chocolate situation from the New York Times. Plus, it was inspired by a gluttonous Twitter conversation with my (invisible internet) friend, whose blog just won Saveur’s editors’ choice cocktail blog of the year (BFD!!!), and which you should read immediately.

Salted Butter and Strawberry Jam Ice Cream Sandwiches on Baguette

So yeah–this is barely “mine,” but you need to know about it. It’s a world I never thought possible–and you might be in the same boat. There’s a better boat, friend. There is always a better boat, and in that boat, there are no limits to the ways in which carbs and ice cream can be friends. Butter is the skipper, obvs.

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Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Hazelnut Gremolata

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Are you mad at me because I should have brought you something more fun on Tax Day? Like an Uncle Sam-themed cocktail? Or maybe a giant green cake named It’s All About the Benjamints?

Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Hazelnut Gremolata. Healthy, nutty, vegan comfort food!

(Note to self: ideas for next year.)

(Note to you: Steal the Benjamints Cake idea and watch me come after you.)

(P.S. to you: Just kidding. I don’t know where you live. Also: lover, not a fighter, etc.)

Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Hazelnut Gremolata. Healthy, nutty, vegan comfort food!

Anyway. All I have for you on this April the Fifteenth is soup, but it’s a really, really good one. This is high praise considering that I’m usually ambivalent about pureed soups. I can chew my own food, you know? What am I, a toddler with a W-2? I don’t think so.

Plus, there’s the whole thing about varied textures and colors. I’m into that thing.

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Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with Candied Jalapenos

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I like to think that I’m a reasonably smart lady (stop laughing).

That said, as it turns out, I need a tea towel–or some other convenient kitchen reminder–which says “Don’t touch your eye after handling jalapenos, you know what happens, you never learn, GOOD LORD woman, you are the reason I drink.” Or something to that effect. 

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with Candied Jalapenos

Maybe it would help, maybe it wouldn’t–but nothing will make me love a hot pepper less. Nuh-thing. 

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with Candied Jalapenos

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with Candied Jalapenos

This is not news; I’ve put spicy serranos in ice cream before. I liked it. In this version, I went ahead and candied the jalapenos–less crunch, more chewiness. Actually, no crunch, all the chewiness–plus the nice effect of a more delayed heat. Either way, when something fresh and spicy is hiding in a scoop of something cool, creamy, and sweet, it’s a wonderful thing.

This ice cream is a wonderful thing. Make it, eat it–but don’t put it on your eyeballs. Life will suck so hard for you, my friend.

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Savory Breakfast Farro with Leeks and Spinach

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Sometimes–rather incorrectly–I seem to think that my ideal breakfast involves carbs, on top of carbs, plus bacon, and a mimosa the size of my head. 

Savory Breakfast Farro with Leeks, Spinach, and Dill, topped with a poached or fried egg. Healthy, bright, wholesome spring breakfast!

See, it’s all fun and games until someone pokes an eye out, as they say, and in the case of such a breakfast, it’s all fun and games until the starch-salt-champagne coma sets in. When that happens, I can practically feel the day running away from me, arms flailing, and laughing maniacally at all my grand plans to, um, do stuff.

Savory Breakfast Farro with Leeks, Spinach, and Dill, topped with a poached or fried egg. Healthy, bright, wholesome spring breakfast!

 For better or for worse, at this point in my life I hate days when I don’t do stuff.

As such, this is the breakfast my life needs now, and my word, you guys. It’s fantastic. Good all throughout, inside out, up and down, left and right: nothing to dislike here for any reason. Thoroughly vetted through every lens, know what I’m saying? It is downright delicious, without hidden sugar crash traps. It’s built on a solid foundation of hearty, filling whole grains that don’t stop you in your tracks an hour later and whisper “YO–doesn’t a nap sound soooo gooooood right now?” Refined white flour: I’m looking at you.

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Very Peachy Peach Layer Cake

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Put on your rebel pants! Here’s a peach cake I made–in April. 

Very Peach Peach Layer Cake (made possible out of season with freeze-dried peaches, canned peaches, and peach liqueur!) #cake #recipe

Well, late March–not that it matters. “Peaches in spring” amounts to first-degree seasonality sacrilege in this hemisphere either way, but you know what? When your momma loves peaches and has an April birthday, thou shalt do what you gotta do in order to say, “Hey, thanks for letting me hang out in your belly for nine months and doing all that other awesome stuff afterwards too. Good follow-through, ma’am.”

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