our big news {and the best caesar salad dressing, ever}

I’m completely aware that there needs to be boundaries set on here and that I can’t just go splashing my emotions around like paint on a canvas but we’ve had some major life changes around these parts and it’s taken a toll on me, so if you’ll pull up a seat and share a salad, I’ll spill. 

Remember this post? We’re gonna talk about it and what I meant. 

We’re moving to Salt Lake City. 

Both John and I were born and raised here in Southern California and living somewhere far from the ocean, family and friends does not thrill me. In fact I’ve been crying about it ever since we found out that moving might be a possibility. Large involuntary sobs and tears. 

I blame my tears on the fact that I hate the timing of everything. Being pregnant and then raising a brand new babe far away from everything good and familiar makes my heart break. I was already afraid that this whole "being a new mom thing" was going to super lonely, and now, well, I feel like it’s all been confirmed. New mom, new baby, new city, check; I don’t know if that’s irony or terrible luck. 

Most family and friends we've shared our big news with have reassuringly exclaimed: “It will be an adventure! At least it’s not South Dakota or Nebraska!” (Sorry if you’re from there friend, I’m sure it’s lovely.) Which, that’s true, Utah is not, but it’s also most certainly not my home. 

I’m trying to make the most of it and be cheerful, but I feel bald and raw. Like I’m moving to a place with a clean slate I never asked for. It’s like being the new girl in the worst way and I keep thinking things like: What if I don’t make any friends?! And, what am I going to do without my mom close by? 

In leu of the news my sister said “Sometimes we do hard things we don’t want to do because we have no idea what amazing things God has in store for us."

I love that silver lining of a thought, but right now, it’s all overwhelming and my heart still hurts. John's dealing with it all much better than I am. (And I used to think I was a person who handled change like a champ. Ha!)

Any advice on moving, dealing with moving to a different state while 7 months pregnant and raising a baby in a brand new city far from everyone and everything familiar, is appreciated. 

Thanks for listening to me. You're probably much braver than I am. Love you friends. xo  

the best caesar salad dressing, ever 

adapted from Gourmet magazine

makes about 1 ⅓ cups

Lunch dates with my girlfriends usually involve deep conversations and salads. This was kind of like a lunch date post, right? Right. So here's some salad. xo

note: Don’t be afraid of anchovy paste. It’s usually by the canned tuna section in your grocery store, and if you're afraid of fish, take heart that this dressing doesn’t taste fishy at all. The paste totally adds a depth of flavor that’s delicious and irreplaceable. If you have fish-phobia or mayo-phobia guests at your table just keep your mouth shut. They’ll love it I promise. 

 

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (cloves can be any size, but take note the bigger they are, the more garlicky your dressing will be… I chose pretty good-sized cloves :D) 

1 teaspoon anchovy paste 

4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed (or more or less depending on your taste)

½ teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup / 250g mayonnaise, the best quality you can afford, preferably organic

½ cup / 50g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated - the best quality cheese you can afford, please don’t get pre-grated! Get a wedge of cheese and hand-shred that stuff. You’ll thank me later. 

¼ teaspoon of kosher salt (or to taste)

freshly ground black pepper to taste  

 

Put all ingredients except your grated cheese into a food processor or blender and pulse/blend until smooth and combined. Add grated cheese and pulse. Scrape down sides if necessary. Taste to see if it needs any more salt, pepper or lemon juice. Chill for at least a few hours before serving. Dressing will thicken up a bit once chilled.

 

salad two ways:

dinner party style: Serve dressing over fresh baby heads of romaine lettuce split in half with lots of hand-shredded parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper. (I got my baby heads of romaine from Whole Foods.)

family style: Chop romaine lettuce and Tuscan kale into thin-ish strip-like (½ inch) pieces and toss with dressing in a big bowl. Top with plenty of hand-shredded parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper.