Tuesday, 29 January 2013 | 33 comments

Braised rapini with harissa & preserved lemons

I’ve been walking this fine line between total irreverence and over-seriousness, lately, when I sit down to write. I am living my own special brand of crazy, admonishing myself, “It’s just an EGG, Sarah.” Case in point: I just backspaced an entire draft of this post that referenced and quoted a political philosophy book of mine from college. (I’m feeling a special affection for the hungry little blinking cursor that ate up those words.) » Click to read more

Sunday, 6 January 2013 | 74 comments

Roasted cabbage “wedge salad”

I am a bit mulish. I am wary of the Next Big Thing. This time of year, it’s difficult to keep this part of me in check. The lists. I hate all the lists. This Big Thing was cool in 2012, but all these Big Things will be SO IN in 2013. And so on. I am starting to sound like your cantankerous grandpa, so hear me out: We are smarter and more creative than this. I can’t help but think we all need to swallow down a hefty dose of I-don’t-care-what-the-eff-anyone-else-thinks.

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Wednesday, 11 April 2012 | 39 comments

Feeling full + a warm lentil salad with red wine

This week, thoughts banged against the walls of my head. Certain moments hit me in the gut. I wanted to tell you about a dream I had: I stood in the kitchen with my mom, frying up strips of bacon in a cracked ceramic dish. They crinkled into little abalone, seashell-like cracklings. We ate them, our fingers greasy. They were salty and good. I woke up crying and craving bacon. » Click to read more

Monday, 30 January 2012 | 23 comments

Charred carrots with griddled goat cheese

While Ben and I were browsing the most amazing bookstore I’ve ever seen in Buenos Aires, I stumbled upon an absolute gem of a cookbook. Siete Fuegos, written by famous Argentine chef Francis Mallman, draws on his upbringing in Patagonia, cooking over outdoor fires with gauchos. It’s fresh and authentic, and I loved it as soon as I flipped it open.I didn’t have room in my carry-on only luggage to buy the book and carry it home, but I jotted down a few ideas and vowed to look it up when I got back. It was beautifully photographed and I sighed a little, jealous of people whose lifestyles let them spend whole days, weekends even, cooking over outdoor fires. Back in the States, Ben’s emails started arriving, describing the Uruguayan vineyard in which he’s spending the harvest. Everything sounded a little familiar, and I realized that Ben is living the Uruguay version of Siete Fuegos.

We went for a swim after work, and then lounged around in the shade of the courtyard [...] At this point, they started getting the fire ready in the massive parilla (giant outdoor grill) and we soon enjoyed the smell of onions, eggplants, chorizo, morcella (blood sausage) and huge cuts of beef grilling slow and steady. By dusk, we all sat out in the courtyard at one long table and ate and drank for the next two hours.

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Friday, 16 December 2011 | 10 comments

Breaking rules

Do you make rules for yourself? I started to write this post, and then realized that I might sound a little crazy, talking about lists of rules I self-enforce. I don’t mean self-denial or masochism. They’re silly rules, but they’re useful. For instance, there is a growing list of publications I’m no longer allowed to read on the train home, because I am statistically more likely to stop at the grocery store and impulse-buy ingredients for recipes that I need to have if I read them. No looking at the Anthropologie catalogue, ever (for similar reasons). No drinking an entire bottle of red wine by myself on a Sunday. I’m joking about the last one. Sort of.Similarly, there is a list of states in which I should not allow myself to go to a farmer’s market. There was that time I was starved for color during a week of grey days and bought radishes just because they were so rosy. Or the time I got peach-drunk on the promise of summer and brought home a bushel of peaches. Then, when summer was waning, I became a bit obsessive about wringing the last drops out of the season, and bought every single forlorn, split tomato from a farmstand. I am a woman that needs a little structure, if nothing else, for the sake of my budget. » Click to read more

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