I spent my teen years outside of San Diego during what may have been a fish taco renaissance. But, because I was a vegetarian in those days, I’ve never actually had a legendary Baja or Baja-style fish taco. Instead, my first best fish taco happened years later at the Bonita on Bedford Ave. Everyone insisted you get the fish tacos. And so you did, and then you were indoctrinated and went on to only order the fish tacos pretty much every time. Even when you didn’t, the decision not to was excruciating. [Read more…]
Generally speaking, I hold a winter without snow in very low esteem. Still, when temperatures hit the sixty degree mark this weekend, we surrendered to nature and decided to grill. Likewise, I typically frown on early chives or premature forsythia blossoms, but decided to embrace things and reserved a spindly bunch of early chives for the weekend’s cooking projects.
Brian likes to take a book outside and watch the grill while it gets going. Then at some point, I’ll set the girls up with an activity (just kidding –– it’s tv) and sneak outside. If there’s bourbon, we drink some. We dodge the smoke and talk. The girls usually make their way out too. And for just a while, we all hang out before things descend into the usual pre-dinner chaos. [Read more…]
Brian and I had our first daughter almost exactly 10 months after our wedding. We both knew we wanted kids and people kept telling us that it took a lot of trying. So as soon as we were married, we figured we’d better start trying. But in our case, there wasn’t really much trying involved. We were blessed with a honeymoon baby. Except that we took our honeymoon two months after the wedding and four weeks into my pregnancy, so Brian drank wine for two, bought great breakfasts, and wandered around Paris alone while I finished sleeping for 12 hours each day.
At the one year mark, we managed to celebrate our wedding anniversary at home with a lovely meal of steak, vegetables, cake, and wine. Only, after a half hour of trying to eat together, we had to eat the now-cold food separately while the other tended to our fussy two month old. Around this same time, we went out to meet friends at a bar with our little one nestled in a baby carrier. The couple in question were loving and affectionate towards each other and I remember thinking, “Ahhh, newlyweds.” Only later did I realize that they had gotten married around the same time we did. We were newlyweds, too, but in the midst all the chaos and mild terror that comes with a first baby, we’d kind of forgotten. [Read more…]
I’ve never been one to sneak vegetables into food. I want my girls to embrace foods of all kinds and eat them gladly. But wanting things and having those things are not the same. And understanding the ever-changing likes and dislikes of a seven and three year old isn’t a science –– a dish one will eat in its entirety one week can easily go untouched the next. So it was a relief to see that both girls loved this pesto shells and cheese recipe. [Read more…]
Certain winter vegetables feel like they are only for the most devoted seasonal eaters, with turnips and rutabagas at the top of the list. Ugly, with radish-y undertones, it’s not surprising these homely roots don’t make their way onto a lot of home menus. But, by this time of year, seasonal vegetables come down to a choice between bracing brassicas and sweeter vegetables like beets and sweet potatoes, or winter squash. And after all the sweets and rich foods of the holidays, the slight bitterness of brassicas make for a welcome change of pace. The humble turnip, for example, doesn’t just have to be buried in a stew. It can be a delicious base for a fresh salad. [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…]