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…]
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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…]
Things have been the usual kind of nuts lately. Our days have been busy, spent juggling deadlines and this and that. Yesterday, we made last minute dinner plans with friends, and sat down to a perfect winter feast that included these roasted chicken legs (my fourth go around on the recipe – it’s that good), plus a batch of savory cheddar waffles (recipe coming later in the week), and a green apple and spinach salad with shallots and garlic. We made palomas and sampled great tequila. All that revelry has left me a little behind today, but no matter – it was totally worth it.
I wish I could tell you the night was capped off with a slice of this pretty chocolate layer cake with a kumquat glaze, but we devoured it long ago. [Read more…]
I needed thyme on New Year’s Eve and walked out to the garden to see if my plant was hanging on. It had lost its vibrant color, but there was still lots of fresh, fragrant thyme to be had. It was a cold morning and the frost had settled into the tiny leaves to form glistening rosettes. [Read more…]
Holidays in years past have been epic affairs. Thanksgiving practically required a spreadsheet to organize, and Christmas needed Swiss precision as we rushed from this place to that. All that planning and coordinating made it hard to enjoy the holiday as it unfolded.
This year, Brian and I decided to make some changes. Our Thanksgiving featured only the four of us, Brian, me, and our two girls. In typical fashion, we sat down an hour later than we’d wanted to, but it didn’t matter in the least. After dinner, we had pie, put our littlest to bed, while our older daughter got to stay up late to watch It’s a Wonderful Life with us. We had to pause a lot and explain things that don’t come up much in a 7 year-old’s life, like the difference between a building and loan and a bank, World War II, bank runs, the Charleston, and the nature of greed, but still, it was a lovely time. Right after that, our weekend spiraled out of control a little bit with sickness and the like, but nobody had to go to the hospital so we count that as a victory. [Read more…]
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Every week there’s a night where my deadlines combined with Brian’s work and an avalanche of homework or playdates or projects converge, and we don’t make it to the kitchen. Pizza is the easiest food to procure in a pinch, but we change things up by adding sushi or Mexican food to the mix. Recently, in a moment of rare lucidity, Brian and I discussed how much better it would be if we just planned to eat out once a week, instead of making the same desperate decision each Wednesday night at 6pm. We know there’s going to be a night when things are just too hectic, so why not plan for it and take away some of the stress and guilt involved?
A pizza confession may be an unusual way to begin a post about healthier families, but I think it raises an essential point: no parent is perfect. [Read more…]