I typically find relief in January. There are no parties to attend or gifts to buy. The children have made merry and are happily back at school. Without the clutter of Christmas, our little house feels clean and airy. The brilliant January sunlight streams through the frosty windows beautifully. But I also find myself nostalgic and a little fumbling as I set a course for the new year. [Read more…]
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The most common reaction to chicken salad is a sigh followed by a reluctant “I guess so.” And generally, that’s the appropriate reaction to chunks of cold, dry chicken and mayo. Still, I’ve tried not to let chicken salad’s rep deter me from an easy lunch staple and am here to tell you that chicken salad can be really good. [Read more…]
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We don’t need to be saints about eating good food. In the past, I thought that eating kale meant going full-throttle healthy and serving it with just a squeeze of lemon and a side of filtered water. It’s the same impulse that drives people to eat unseasoned steamed vegetables to make up for past indulgences. Sometimes, those things are good, but I think we should all be a little more comfortable making healthy food taste delicious. After all, it dramatically increases the chances that we’ll actually eat our vegetables. [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…]
Let’s make it official, shall we fall? We’re kicking off the beginning of jacket season with a roasted everything salad featuring garden carrots, plus CSA chard, beets, and garlic. [Read more…]
I decided I’d only worry about the garden through July. After that, I let it all surrender to the squash bugs, at least one groundhog, a few squirrels, possibly a deer, and powdery mildew and blight of all manner. But even as they weather the onslaught, the tired-looking plants still spew fruit. Most of my outdoor plants have had a banner year, especially considering my gardening-in-Virginia track record. All the plants, except the fig. [Read more…]
Let’s begin here: I hadn’t really meant to take a break from the blog, but it just kind of happened. At first, I was taking a little time to think about my blog and what it’s for. There are So.Many.Food.Blogs. And lots of them are the work of incredibly talented and passionate people. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to keep throwing my stuff out there, hoping that amidst all that greatness, my tiny slice of this huge internet will continue to be meaningful. (And please know, I am totally not fishing. These are just the cruel facts, people.)
So it started in March with me thinking I should take a small break. Meet some of the other pressing deadlines for my freelance stuff and give myself time to think on things. I’ve had a few ideas floating around for a while now, but never seem to find the pause button I need to see them through. [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…]
My first Brooklyn apartment had a distant view of the Chrysler building. You had to climb out the kitchen window and stand on an adjacent roof to see it, but still it was there. Brian and I would sit out there in the evenings, filled with all the optimism that young love and any kind of view of the NYC skyline inspires, and dream our dreams. We planned to take the city by storm. We’d also talk about having kids and all the things we wanted for these potential humans. [Read more…]
Antoine-Auguste Parmentier, for whom potage Parmentier and a host of other potato dishes are named, is the rare agronomist whose life makes for an interesting read (George Washington Carver is another and after that I’ve got nothing.) While we now think of the potato as central to European peasant cuisine, that wasn’t the case in Parmentier’s time, prior to the French Revolution. An import from South America where it was a staple for the Indians of the Andes, the potato hadn’t caught on as human food in Europe and was thought to only to be edible only for animals. [Read more…]