With a chill in the night air and a few recent professional disappointments, the past couple weeks have been a time for long, hot showers. At night, the bathroom all steamy, I listen to the BBC News, which focuses on Africa in the evening and often serves as a reminder that, with my safe home and clean water, I’m still ahead by more than any of us deserve. No one can blame me for being rooted in my own life –– it’s an essential part of being human –– but remembering that all I have is mine by chance is good way to keep things in check. [Read more…]
If I were a gambler, I’d wager you don’t have any preserved limes in the fridge right now and your grocery store doesn’t carry them and the stock boy will look at you funny if you ask about them. What I’m saying is– I know preserved limes are something of a specialty ingredient. But I’m here to tell you that these preserved lime bars will give you all the reason you need to make a batch of your own. Preserved limes provide an unexpected and wonderful blend of tastes and sensations and these bars present them in their fullest. They’re bright and briny, sweet and salty, buttery and bracing. [Read more…]
In the continually-evolving saga of life with two kids, we find ourselves, once again, at the hospital. This time around, we’re here for our 5 year-old. She gave us a serious scare, but got better quickly, and will likely be heading home tomorrow. And that’s really good, because we like her there. [Read more…]
Almost two weeks ago, I wrote this post from a plane while en-route to Sonoma County for Mighty Summit. Billed as a gathering of women in media, the summit is an annual event that brings together a group of super-cool ladies who run companies, generate innovative ideas, have incredible blogs, and create fantastic work. The weekend was dedicated to three important things: getting to know each other, cultivating a concrete list of life goals called the life list (and supporting and facilitating the goals of the attendees), and having the best time ever. [Read more…]
And so here we are, in the absolute middle of winter, with cold winds blowing and month-old, sooty snow piled high outside. My initial zeal for fresh root vegetables, citrus and kale is waning. But the things is, the year more than most, I want fresh vegetables and the creamy, buttery gratins of the season just don’t sound appealing. So, for now at least, we are still eating vegetables, even as they become harder and harder to procure.
Unless you go to the grocery store–there you’d hardly know it was winter at all. They even have tomatoes! But you know, I have my standards, so I walked right by the tomatoes and picked up a beautiful purple radicchio. And then this salad was born. I wasn’t sure what I was after, I just wanted something bright, crisp, and fresh. And that’s just what we have here. A vivid salad with tender leaves, a hint of lime, a little bit of pecorino, and a classic mustard-lime vinaigrette. A perfect counterpoint to the heavier dishes of the season. [Read more…]
As I’ve mentioned before, I recently took a jam making class at the Brooklyn Kitchen Labs with Kelly Geary of Sweet Deliverance. I loved the class and now really feel like I can make jam. My second attempt went very well and I am really happy to share this recipe for a small, 4 cup batch of blueberry grapefruit jam.
Grapefruit, especially ruby red, has such amazing flavor; it’s well-rounded, hitting tangy, bitter, and candy-sweet notes all at once. Combined with the blueberry, this jam has a rich, buttery flavor. Though we couldn’t wait more than a week to have some of the first jar, I am going to stash the other three in the back of the cabinet and savor the bright flavor on some snowy January morning. [Read more…]
I am not sure when my love of mint chocolate chip ice cream began. Likely on one of our regular family trip to High’s Dairy in Centreville, VA. There were a few places we went for ice cream back then, and I love a summer tradition of waiting in a long line and then standing around on steamy asphalt, or strolling along looking in windows while you lick a rapidly melting cone.
This mint chip takes things to the next level. Made from fresh mint, it has a bright, clean grassy-ness that you can’t get from the more standard peppermint oil. There’s also the delight of channeling your inner Pollock and splattering the chocolate over the cream. When it comes to ice cream, I turn to David Lebovitz and I tend not to tinker with the ice cream master. I used markedly less chocolate than the recipe calls for, but that’s because I’m in it for the mint, not the chocolate. Find his recipe here.
Brian and I are semi-vacationing with old friends in Virginia. I say semi-vacationing because I am printing up a storm in a wonderful print studio in Charlottesville, and Brian is taking care of our toddler all day. Still, the warm weather, good friends, art, and daily thunderstorms have been wonderful. We’ll be back in Brooklyn soon.
I have a pretty serious thing for cheese crackers and cheesy goodness in general. Because most crackers are really not that good for you, I have tried to put some distance between me and my beloved crackers. But when your two year-old shares your love and talks about them all the time, you get to thinking about cheese crackers.
And so yesterday my daughter and I made these crackers together. The recipe is straightforward and forgiving. Just use plenty of flour while rolling out the dough. I put some red pepper flakes and hungarian hot paprika into the dough, and though the crackers are delicious, you might want to add them sparingly for kid friendliness. I made my crackers into stars, but you could roll the dough and cut into strips for cheese straws.
Homemade Cheese Crackers (adapted from the Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook)
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 stick room temperature butter
2 tablespoons quark, sour cream, or half and half
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon hungarian hot paprika (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a food processor combine the cheese, flour, spices, and butter. Pulse several times until everything is combined and crumb-like. Add the quark and give a couple of pulses. Check the salt levels, add more if needed, then lightly knead into a ball, divide into two flats, wrap in plastic and set aside for a few minutes.
Roll one of the dough rounds on a well-floured surface. Cut out into your preferred shape (I used 1″ stars and rounds, but strips or larger round would be great too). Place the shapes onto the cookie sheet and bake until set and slightly firm for 10-12 minutes.
Carefully remove from cookie sheet and serve. Store in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.