It’s been awhile. I know. But I have a really good excuse. Eventually (this is shocking), I stopped being so pregnant and gave birth to a glorious little spitfire named Wilder. I will spare you my birth story because a. that shit is weird, b. I don’t want you to lose your appetite, and c. I don’t entirely remember what happened because I was fabulously high out of my mind. Long story short, everything went surprisingly smooth, epidurals are amazing, and I was on my feet moments later and cheersing the nurses with a crisp glass of Veuve. The terrifying part was hearing that I have the kind of body “meant for having babies” and how much easier/more fun it would be the second time around, which makes me want to OD on birth control pills.
After baby left the building, I went back to work, shooting four projects back to back like some sort of crazy lady. I planned a big wedding and got married so our child was not a Snow, we bought a house because that isn’t stressful, and then we sleep-trained Wilder while moving into said house just to see how close to the edge of psychotic breakdown I could actually get. BUT! Here we are. We have a baby who sleeps almost sort of through the night (he’s lively and stubborn and likes attention– newsflash about trees and their apples: all true), we are settled in quite nicely to our beautiful new house delightfully in the middle of suburbia, and I am ready to get back into the swing of things.
Except the swing of things is a tad different now. Priorities have shifted. Evenings full of tasting menus at five star restaurants are a seldom occurrence, and instead of sitting at a bar in four-inch heels at 7pm, I’m settling my kid into bed reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the 800th time. Nights out are planned well in advance, and weekends away for just the two of us even more so (and they’re usually work-related which means dinners at the good ol’ Hyatt before we really make the most of our evening and pass out for a much-needed sleep catchup before heading home to Wilderville the next day). My point is, this blog used to be full of restaurant experiences, lobster pot pies in Vegas, foodie tours around Paris and New York and blotto wine tasting weekends in the Napa Valley. And I adore that stuff. And I’ll still do it every once in awhile, because I think parents deserve a life break now and then, and also because grandparents looove having alone time with their grandchildren, so altogether now: “HALLELUJAH”. But the majority of my posts won’t be about that anymore. They’ll be about Life 2.0, which involves a hell of a lot of cooking in yoga pants and dinner parties that end at 10pm. I hope you’re cool with that. If not, I’m sure some drunken social butterfly is out there already having taken my place, and she probably writes a sweet little blog from her bubble bath which will go completely undisturbed, all after having slept for 10 hours straight. Cheers, girl.
Fittingly however, this blog was always more about what makes me happy, anyway. A happy opu (tummy) can mean lots of things. Sometime’s it’s filled with Robuchon’s mashed potatoes and a fine Sancerre, which makes me giddily happy indeed. But sometimes it’s just filled with a lot of love, the overwhelming kind that makes my eyes spring with weird water whenever my kid gives me an unprompted kiss, or when I sit back after combing the oatmeal out of my hair at the end of the day and everybody’s in bed and I realize how indescribably lucky I am. So I will continue to write about that which makes me happy. It’s just that sometimes the “that” is a “who”.
My, how she’s evolved.
But to make YOU happy, here’s a quick little recipe for at-home falafel, which I have stuffed into a squishy bun and paired with a bad-ass yogurt sauce. Because I’m still the carb-loving nut job you all know and tolerate.
(I got married, remember?)
For the falafel:
1 can of chickpeas
1 handful of parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
a few dashes of your favourite hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of salt and pepper
For the sauce:
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 heaping tbsp tahini paste
the juice of a lemon
salt and pepper
Good, soft buns (portuguese buns are my fave here)
pickled onions (to pickle your own, dissolve 2 tsp sugar in 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar over medium heat. Let cool, add sliced onions and a pinch of salt, and refrigerate for 24 hours)
Drain the chickpeas and rinse them under cold water. Put them in a food processor with the spices, the parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, the hot sauce, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Blend it all up until it’s relatively smooth. Taste for seasoning to see if you need a bit more salt. Form into burger patties and calm down if they look a little misshapen, they’re going in a bun, who cares.
Make your sauce and get your toppings ready. For the sauce, mix the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Slice your burger toppings so it’s all ready to go.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Carefully add the falafel patties and fry for about 3 minutes a side until golden. Warm the buns for 15 seconds in the microwave, slather with tons of sauce, and pile on a falafel and your desired toppings. How good is that? HOW GOOD?