i had never made meatballs until about a year ago and now i’ve made them 10 times. they are so simple and can be paired with so many things – arugula salad, brown rice, pasta, roasted veggies and now cauliflower mash. the addition of toast was unnecessary but i went to jon and vinny’s a few weeks ago and had their meatballs served with toast and have been completely obsessed ever since. if you’re in los angeles you have to go and try them. this whole meal is ideal for a group, meatballs come together quickly and you can set them out on a platter with a mound of ricotta cheese, roasted tomatoes, some grilled bread and a bowl of cauliflower mash. there’s something for everyone! – joanie
i use Alice Water’s Italian meatball recipe from The Art of Simple Food as the base and edit it depending on what i have on hand. meatballs tend to be very forgiving, measurements don’t have to be right on, you can use turkey instead of beef, or onion powder instead of garlic, add tomato paste or use panko instead of country bread and it will all work out in the end (for the most part).
what you’ll need:
• 1 lbs ground grass-fed beef
• 3/4 pound ground pork shoulder
• 1 cup torn-up pieces of day old country style bread
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 small yellow onion -grated on the large holed side of a box grater
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 garlic gloved pressed into a paste (or finely chopped)
• 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
• pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
• 1 egg lightly beaten
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
– preheat your oven to 400 degrees. mix the milk and bread crumbs together and set aside to soak. season the ground meats with salt and pepper and then add all remaining ingredients. mix gently with your hand, do not over mix. add the bread crumbs, squeezing out an extra milk and mix again. gently form the meatballs by hand, place on a baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes until just cooked through.
• 1 head of cauliflower
• half a stick of butter
• 2 oz cream cheese
• 2 teaspoons sea salt
• 2 tablespoons milk
making the cauliflower mash
• in a pot bring 3-4 cups of water to a boil. cut the cauliflower into florets and cook for about 10 minutes, or until it becomes very tender. drain all the liquid and add the butter and cream cheese. stir constantly to melt the ingredients. transfer the ingredients to an emersion blender. blend on low speed and slowly add the two tablespoons of milk. add the salt.
roasted tomato on toast
• 8 small tomatoes on the vine
• olive oil
• 6-8 slices of bread
• chili flakes
making the roasted tomato on toast
preheat oven to 375. on a baking sheet, lightly coat the tomatoes with olive oil. garnish with salt. place in the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until skin has puckered and tomatoes are a bit soggy.
brush olive oil on the sliced toasts and pan fry them. brush a layer of ricotta onto each toast and lay 2-3 tomatoes. garnish with olive oil and chili flakes.
styling by: joanie cusack and ivan solis
photos by: ivan solis
my boyfriend is from new orleans and was telling me about the mardi gras indians this morning over coffee. i was super inspired when i saw photos of them. i would love to see this parade in person! just look at these amazingly intricate costumes…
i could write four posts on t-shirts alone because that’s how much i believe in them as a wardrobe staple and how much it impacts your closet to have a few strong go-to options at all times. black, white, grey, a stripe and a couple of low key graphic ones if that’s your thing. they are the key component to so many outfits and you’ll feel like you can get dressed much faster if you have t-shirts that you love and that fit well. you can layer them under jackets, sweaters and even dresses, wear them with everything from causal jeans to overalls and fancy skirts. i promise that a great t-shirt is always a welcomed addition to any closet and most likely something you’re missing. you’ll notice that almost all of inspiration picks show a crew neck t-shirt but if you are busty (like myself) a v-neck is generally more flattering. i also like to have few sleeveless options too. – joanie
– Velvet v-neck tee ($70) – i really like the tee’s from Velvet. yes, i know they are $70 but they often have great sales and you’ll wear the heck out of it. i have included a lot of budget friendly options but also some that’s i’ve tried and love that are expensive too. i also love the black scoop neck tee.
– Zara tee with full sleeve ($10) – i love the romantic touch of the full sleeve that is slightly gathered at the shoulder. it’s sweet without being too girly.
– H&M linen t-shirt ($7) – i love a linen t-shirt. they have a worn in look that is hard to achieve with other fabrics and they really lay nicely against the skin and they also wear in well with time.
– Zara cropped Ramones tee ($20) – i think there is a time and a place for a graphic t-shirt. i like this one because of the subdued colors and i’d like it paired with a full skirt or under a fitted jacket.
– Which We Want ribbed tee ($48) – cropped, ribbed and super fitted. this is a killer layering piece. and i love ribbed anything!
– Re/Done pocket tee ($80) – i’m annoyed with myself for liking this $80 t-shirt. i bought one at a re/done sample sale and i wear it all of the time. the cotton is perfectly worn in, thin but not too thin and the pocket is a nice touch. i like bigger t-shirts tucked in, gives you some definition at the waist with a casual ease in the fit.
– Elkin Asshole Tee ($72) – i was gifted this by a friend and have worn it non-stop since. it’s currently sold out but you can leave your email address and they’ll let you know when they re-stock.
– Brandy Melville Tee ($16) – this is one of my favorite t-shirt finds of all time. this store is geared toward teens but they happen to make amazing basics. they only come in one size (small/medium) which is a bummer but if that’s your size you’re going to be thrilled to know about them.
– Topshop t-shirt ($48) – i love the off white color and the seamless shoulders. the cut of it has an effortless relaxed feel.
and some inspiration…