Friday, 16 March 2012 | 24 comments

What to eat on an early spring evening

Spring is really something, huh? No matter how many times it comes around, I still have a giddy, butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling when things start busting out and warming up. All winter, we’ve scurried from place to place, bundled up, a bit reluctant to spread out further than the warm, safe circles we inhabit. Then, things get crazy! Color, after a season of sepia tones. The time changes! It is still light out when I get home from work.All of a sudden, the world is a place where baby kale plants and tiny white flowers exist. You dig in the ground with a shovel, shyly, almost, testing the waters. Before you know it, you’re outside in your wellies, working in the garden and drinking a can of beer left in your fridge from a shindig that took place at your house with a bunch of kids home from college. There is an untold amount of mud under your fingernails. It feels good! You ignore the fact that your new house appears to have a giant wasp population setting up residence under its eaves, because you’re in such a good mood.
Spring, I’m telling you. Nothing like it.

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Monday, 9 January 2012 | 33 comments

Greens & grains gratin with browned yogurt topping

The room I’m sitting in has a bizarre, spartan atmosphere. There is a mountain of boxes still waiting to be unpacked, but I have managed to shove them out of sight and out of mind for the time being. I love being in a new space, but hate the actual moving part. This means I tend to put the proverbial cart before the horse, scribbling garden plans and designing the label for our house ale before I can even find a hairbrush (I am, sadly, serious…but who am I kidding, it’s not like I brush my hair very often anyway). The kitchen, however, is one place that is unpacked and has been in use since our first morning here. » Click to read more

Friday, 13 May 2011 | 2 comments

Tender greens soufflé

Is it already boring and passé to be cooking and eating asparagus, rhubarb, ramps, and green garlic? Is everyone already tired of spring? I’m only asking because I’m troubled by the sheer quantity of recipes I’ve seen lately focusing on tomatoes, a decidedly non-spring ingredient.

There are a lot of folks in the wonderfully overlapping fields of food, garden, cooking, writing, wine, and beer (and even some other areas, but I won’t get too philosophical) whose recipes and narratives I respect so much more than my own. These humbling individuals range from little sister Louise, who knows more about growing her own food than I probably ever will; to icons like Julia Child.
green garlic
Somewhere in between the familiar and the legendary fall my favorite food bloggers, who manage to present graceful, accessible interpretations of the life lived around food. These people get it. They’re on my wavelength. They’re able to put shared sentiments and passions down in words and recipes much more creatively/wittily/compassionately/intelligently than dilettante-me. That’s why every once in awhile, when I read an article or recipe that seems not to jive with that shared sentiment, it’s jarring.

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Friday, 4 March 2011 | 2 comments

Pizza with red onions, spinach, & mushrooms

I’ve never been a huge pizza fan. I’m not really sure why–the main ingredients make up the majority of my diet: bread, veggies, and cheese. I think all of the greasy, gluey abominations out there—and living one memorable year in college with four boys who ate them often—ruined the idea of pizza for me. But in recent years, I’ve started to warm up to the idea of fresh, thinner-crust, neapolitan style pizza.

After reading Smitten Kitchen’s awesome post(s) about simple pizza in your own kitchen, I went home after work one day and made one for Ben and Chuck. It was good. Really good. But the crust wasn’t quite right. I resolved to try again, soon. And trying again became somewhat of an obsession, as the following night’s pizza was also really good…but what if I added lemon zest to the ricotta? and what if we used a honey & wine pizza dough recipe?

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