Dear Santa,

I know it’s July, but in case you’re keeping tabs for your Naughty + Nice lists, I wanted you to know that I’m not competing anymore. I’m on the happiness train now, which includes guilt-free pepperoni pizza. That’s regular pepperoni pizza, minus the feeling bad part, by the way.



PS: S’more cookies will be in the usual spot. That’ll never change!


I hope you’re having a super lazy Friday, with a pinch on naughty + a dash of nice.

I hope you left the office early.

I hope you’re catching this on your phone, on your way to some sort of beach.

I hope you’re wearing bright pink lipstick, if that’s your thing. Or sweatpants, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I hope you’re day dreaming about a weekend feast. I wish for us mojitos + recipes that lick the plate clean. Especially the mojitos part.

Here’s a sloooow + relaxed dish that will go well with that: Chargrilled Veggie Terrine.


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • Italian seasonings, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 11 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 ounces basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • 3 marinated artichokes, drained + sliced in half
  • 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, drained + chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste



Step 1: Prepare the eggplant. Layer eggplant + salt in a colander. Set aside for 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.

Step 2: To prepare the rest of the veggies, wash 3 glass jars with lid in hot soapy water. Rinse in hot water. Drain upside-down until completely dry. Heat a chargrill over high heat. Cook eggplant + zucchini + red bell pepper, in batches, for 4 to 5 minutes each side, or until browned + tender. Transfer to a bowl. Add italian seasonings. Toss gently to combine. Transfer to prepared jar. Add oil to cover eggplant. Seal jar. Refrigerate. To skip this step, you can buy chargrilled eggplant + red pepper + zucchini at most delicatessens.

Step 3: The next day, line a 9 x 5 x 2 1/5 inch loaf tin with plastic wrap, leaving a generous amount hanging over the sides.

Step 4: Place the ricotta + garlic in a bowl + beat until smooth. Season with salt + pepper to taste. Set aside.

Step 5: Drain the chargrilled vegetables.




Step 6: Line the base of the tin with half the eggplant, cutting + fitting to cover the base. Top with a layer of half the red peppers. Then all the zucchini slices. Spread evenly with the ricotta mixture + press down firmly. Place the chiffonaded basil leaves on top of the ricotta. Arrange the artichoke + sun dried tomatoes + mushrooms in three rows lengthwise on top of the ricotta.

Step 7: Top with another layer of chargrilled red peppers + finish with the eggplant. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the top of the terrine.



Step 8: Put a piece of cardboard on top + weight it down with weights or small food cans. Refrigerate the terrine overnight.


Step 9: To serve, peel back the plastic wrap + turn the terrine out onto a plate. Remove the plastic wrap + cut into think slices.



Step 10: Serve with a side of arugula, massaged with high quality extra-virgin olive oil.

Step 11: Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap + store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Connect with other foodies. Tag your recipe recreations @mayicarles using the hashtag #lifeismessykitchen. 

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias