Morning, friends! Greetings from sunny SoCal. This weather is working wooonders on my spirit. Though I’m out here for work, I’ve been keeping mostly east coast hours, so late yesterday afternoon I shut down my computer a little early a took a long walk along the beach. I ventured into to my beloved Lemonade for a large icey beverage, and then ventured back through the streets of Venice. Once I was in Santa Monica, I circled back to the water. And even though the sun was down and it was kind of chilly at that point, it felt so good to just sit and watch the water. To just sit, be quiet, not stare at my phone, or be on a subway. I’m planning to do a whole lot of the same today and take a little personal time for myself while I’m still here. You know I’ll be gramming, so you can follow along here. It’s been a busy one so no links this week…. but I’ll be back here on Monday with an amazing recipe that involves sweet potatoes (in the form of French fries of course). Cheers to the weekend! xoxo
In just a few short weeks I’m off to Mexico for my bestie’s bachelorette! I’m stoked. The trip could not come at a better time. Naturally, in order to prepare, I’ve rounded up all my must have beach items for some time in the sun and sand:
1) A classic floppy hat
2) A sexy black one piece to match the hat perfectly
3) A delicate gold necklace that easily goes from day to night
4) Snapseed, my current fave instagram app, to document the trip in style
5) A great read (can’t wait to dive into The Goldfinch!)
6) Bright red lips to make a statement, because I certainly won’t be wearing any other makeup
7) The cutest chunky sandals
8) A colorful graphic beach tote
9) Quality sun protection that’s paraben free
10) Some great round sunnies, in tortoise, of course.
Do you have any fun trips planned to get you through this final stretch of winter weather? Any must have beach buys? I’d love to hear!
One of the behind the scenes things I’ve been working on for the blog is a more sophisticated look to some of the content. In all honesty, when I switched from Channeling Contessa to Clara Persis, I started to feel like I was trying to force my old content into the new space. Sure, the words could be the same, but I knew I needed a different feel for the graphics. So I enlisted the help of uber talented graphic designer, Sharon McMullen of Ink & Mortar, to help me bring the images and graphics I envisioned to life. This post marks the first launch of this work, and the start of a new series that succinctly captures my month ahead. I couldn’t be more thrilled, and reallyhope you guys like it!
Now, I’d so love to hear… what do you have on tap for March?
Since this winter literally will not quit (um hi it’s MARCH), I figure I might as well do my best to embrace hearty comfort food for the time being. Case in point, this baby shells smothered in a butter roasted tomato sauce and topped with fresh riccotta. Although at this point I am literally daydreaming about spring and summer produce…. asparagus, tomatoes, berries… drool! I’m headed to L.A. for work this week and can’t decide if I’m more excited about 75+ temps (permitted the rain subsides) or gorging myself on produce that goes beyond the category of root vegetable. And then hopefully when I get back New York temps could rise above 40° for a consistent amount of time? Yes? K, thanks. That would be great.
Thank you all so much for your supportive comments on Friday’s post. While it’s been a rough few weeks, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel- and your thoughtful words are most definitely a part of that. Here’s to a bright week.
Baby Shells with Spicy Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce and Fresh Ricotta adapted from Bon Appétit
Serves 3-4 people
- 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
- 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil (or 1 tsp anchovy paste)
- ¼ cup (½ stick) salted butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more for serving
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 oz. baby shells
- Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)
- fresh basil
- fresh ricotta (the good stuff from your local cheese store!)
Preheat oven to 425°. Combine tomatoes (crushing them with your hands), garlic, anchovies, butter, and ½ tsp. red pepper flakes in a 13×9” baking dish; season with salt and black pepper. Roast, tossing halfway through, until garlic is very soft and mixture is jammy, 35–40 minutes. Using a potato masher or fork, mash to break up garlic and tomatoes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
Return pasta to pot and add tomato sauce and pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium-high heat, tossing until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Serve topped with Parmesan, a dollop of ricotta, and fresh basil.
Can we real talk for a second, guys? I have to admit… it’s been a rough few weeks. I have a few behind the scenes life things going on that are making the day to day of normal life really hard. I’m not quite in a place yet where I can share much beyond that (hopefully soon, though). In some ways blogging has been a helpful because it drives me to focus on the positive, and in other ways it’s been incredibly hard (especially since this was one of my blogging goals for the year). But I wanted to at least make mention of the fact that life has been less than cheery as of late in order to keep this space authentic. I say this not to complain, but simply to remind you that if you’re facing a wintery rough patch, too, know (really know) you’re not alone.
The most powerful thing these last few weeks have taught me is that we as humans can really withstand a lot. Life may feel so terribly impossible at times, but it does, often very slowly, get better. So wherever you are and whatever you’re facing right now, I hope you’re taking really good care of yourself. Thank you so much for reading this week! Here are a few fun links for your weekend…. xoxo.
Yep, hummus is just as good for you as you always told yourself it was.
Top looks from the other side of the pond: Paris Fashion Week
Surprising places you can find a Starbucks.
This totally makes me regret my Fitbit purchase.
12 simple decorating projects you can knock out in a day.
10 ways to up your productiveness at work (and the first one is drinking beer)
Ben & Jerry’s new “Core” ice cream flavors. #drooling
Are we all over Facebook?
Who knew how precious watching a pelican learn to fly could be?
The first lady does #TBT. Amazing
Image Source: Bryce Covey