Around here, winter is a novel thing. We’re still shaking off an extended fall, and the recent foot and a half of snow that fell in Charlottesville is equal parts wondrous and exhausting. Wondrous for all the reasons you can imagine – the world suddenly transformed into a snow globe, the intense coziness of a multi day snowfall, sledding followed by popcorn and lots of hot cocoa. But it’s exhausting because experiencing and shoveling and just walking through that much snow is really hard work. [Read more…]
Over the weekend, a friend asked me what I like best about my work here on the blog. My answer surprised me – I told her I love playing with the ingredients. Before I had editorial schedules and deadlines, this blog was my place to experiment. Over time, external forces and an internal drive have pushed me to be better, more professional. I also have less time – the sun’s always setting, the food’s always wilting, and the girls always, always want me to drop the camera and make them (another) snack. Photographing raw ingredients comes at the beginning – before the sun has begun to dip, before the final dish has been made, before the girls are home from school. This conversation made me realize that I missed playing with food, without pressure (both outward and self-imposed), and resolved to make more time for fun and invention. [Read more…]
This post is sponsored by Mirassou Winery. Thanks for supporting our sponsors!
The first holiday party invites arrived before Thanksgiving. For a few weeks anyway, I resolved to ignore them – Christmas planning makes me panicky. The obligations of the season – the cooking, driving, shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping, recitals – can quickly become overwhelming. Before they do, I’m reminding myself that the trappings of Christmas are supposed to make the holiday fun; when they do the opposite, it’s time to step back and focus on the joyful moments – putting a Christmas record on the turntable; pouring mugs of apple cider and sitting on the couch with Brian; listening to the girls read their (hilarious) wish lists. These are the moments that make the season. [Read more…]
This recipe began on a cold, rainy morning. A scratchy old records and black coffee kind of day. As the rain fell, things inside were cozy and fragrant with the scent of roasting citrus. The rich jewel tones on the plate vibrated against gray skies and the golds and russets of the water-soaked landscape.
Tomorrow is the last day to vote in the Saveur Blog Awards. It’s been an incredible month, but I’m starting to feel like Cinderella at 11:55, afraid it’s all about to disappear in a poof. In two days, I may find myself alone with a pumpkin and some mice, so I’m having one last celebration. Being a finalist (for Most Delicious Food, no less) is a dream come true. Seriously. It’s been a long road – learning to take a decent picture, to write like “myself,” and to come up with recipes I think you’ll love week in and week out. Each time I hit publish and your thoughtful comments, likes, and shares start rolling in, I feel so lucky to have you here, reading and appreciating my work. [Read more…]
This post is sponsored by Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Thanks for supporting the brands that help us do what we do.
Springtime is a time of waiting. Waiting for strawberries and asparagus. Waiting for the first short-sleeve day. Waiting for lamb. Waiting for grill weather. To make all that waiting go faster, our family of four always makes a trip out to local farms to see what we have in store. We love the lambs, calves, and kids, plus all the newly planted summer crops and the spring produce almost ready for the farm stand, such as chives, spring onions, mint, nettles, and fresh lamb. As the first foods of the season are just coming to life, so do the leaves and flowers back in the city. Brian and I make sure the girls take notice of all this , so they’ll understand and appreciate the hard work and patience it takes to grow and produce good food. [Read more…]
My three year-old’s world is full of delight. The very changing of the seasons seems to amaze her. I envy her excitement over everyday sightings like stop signs or flowers. My own sense of surprise and wonder has faded somewhat, what with bills, schedules, and all that. But on the train, some of that wonder returns. Hurtling across the Susquehanna, seeing passing cities and industrial decay of all manner, or just catching a fleeting look at a herd of deer, are all quiet joys; little surprises that keep my eyes glued to the train window.
March has me feeling a little overwhelmed –– between colds, sick days, gentler weather, the time change (What is up with that? It’s been brutal this year.), and too much work, I’m feeling the crunch. But, for now anyway, things are calmer and I’m ready to head into a restorative week.
I made this pound cake a few weeks ago, when spring still felt a little iffy. But now, as the sun shines and pretty blossoms start to dot the landscape, it feels like a good fit for the times –– bright, frosty, and a last hurrah for citrus season. Head over to Handmade Charlotte for the recipe. [Read more…]
When I began this blog, summer was without a doubt my favorite season for food. I looked forward to summer highlights like piles of stone fruit, ripe tomatoes, and sweet corn all year long. But lately, I find spring is my favorite season. I love the anticipation and finding a new ingredient available each week, especially after so many months of the same roots and hardy greens. First there are chives, followed by green garlic, then ramps, lettuce, asparagus, and finally, strawberries. For years now, as I’ve savored these moments at my own farmer’s market or in my garden, I’ve also enjoyed experiencing the spring awakening through my friend Aimée.
I’m a dedicated brown liquor type and pretty stodgy in my drink ordering ways, so I was a little late to the tequila game. Like all tequila forays, it began with the margarita. Not the frozen kind, but the kind with fresh limes served over ice. And the margarita is so good, I didn’t really think to mess with it until I met the paloma. [Read more…]