Ham and Cheese Buckwheat Waffles

DSC_2243

ham, cheese, chivesbuckwheat waffle batter

Ham and Cheese Buckwheat Waffles

“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

– Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Ham and Cheese Buckwheat Waffles Ham and Cheese Buckwheat Waffles

Read more »

Apricot and Pistachio-Oat Bars

DSC_2095

Here is a pocket missive: I’m sitting at the scrubbed wooden table in my parents-in-laws’ garden, among a riot of chirpy birds, colorful flowers in stoneware pots, patches of herbs, an artichoke plant, a cherry tree, some browning grape vines, and a fig tree that seems to ripen on the hour.

The day was bright and hot–we jumped into the icy blue water in the craggy village port at high tide–but it’s September and this close to the ocean, late afternoon cools considerably. The almond-colored stones under my bare feet are noticeably cold.

We’re getting married for the second time on Saturday. Friends from the States, some of whom live far away from New York and I barely get to see, arrive tomorrow. I’m thrilled. It will be a strange, happy colliding of normally disparate worlds.

I hope, wherever you are, you’re enjoying these last scraps of summer.

apricotsApricot and Pistachio-Oat Bars

Apricot and Pistachio-Oat BarsApricot and Pistachio-Oat Bars

Apricot and Pistachio-Oat Bars Apricot and Pistachio-Oat Bars

Read more »

Berenjenas con Miel (Eggplant with Honey)

DSC_2135

In about an hour, we’re due to leave for the airport. We’re off to France to visit the Frenchman’s family, but also–to have a second, French wedding. We’re trading wedding cake for pièce montée, vanilla extract wedding favors for dragée, and the city for the seaside. I’m wearing the same dress because come on, but I did buy new earrings and lipstick.

Have you ever taken a wedding dress in a now very-puffy garment bag on a plane? Me neither, but here we go.

For reasons both mundane but also exciting-I-can’t-mention-yet, work feels especially crushing at the moment, which makes me a bit nervous for this trip. I’m worried that relaxing will feel irresponsible. If anyone has advice for overcoming this feeling/really enjoying time off when it’s presented, instead of obsessing over all the things you could be doing, I’m all ears.

Lastly for the moment–in my never ending search for exercise I actually enjoy–I’ve been taking this class. I’m by far and away the least fashionable/flat-stomached/coordinated person in there, but it’s so hard, and so much fun.

eggplant Berenjenas con Miel (Eggplant with Honey)

Berenjenas con Miel (Eggplant with Honey)

Berenjenas con Miel (Eggplant with Honey) Berenjenas con Miel (Eggplant with Honey)

Read more »

Lime-Grapefruit-Basil Gin Punch

gin, basil, grapefruit punch

“Repotting a plant gives it space to grow. Repotting ourselves means taking leave of our everyday environments and walking into unfamiliar territory—of the heart, of the mind and of the spirit. It isn’t easy. The older we get, the more likely we are to have remained in the same place for some time. We stay because it’s secure. We know the boundaries and, inside of them, we feel safe. Our roots cling to the walls we have long known. But remaining inside can keep us from thriving. Indeed, without new experiences or ideas, we slowly grow more and more tightly bound, eventually turning into less vibrant versions of who we might have been.

Repotting means accepting that the way is forward, not back. It means realizing that we won’t again fit into our old shells. But that’s not failure. That’s living.”

― Heather Cochran, The Return of Jonah Gray

basil Lime-Grapefruit-Basil Gin Punch

Something very exciting has happened! The lovely people at Bloglovin’ have nominated me for their 2015 Bloglovin’ Awards in the category of Best Food Blog, along with Manger, Smitten Kitchen, Sprouted Kitchen, and Honest Cooking. It’s illustrious company, and I’m thrilled to be nominated. If you like, you can vote for me here. Thank you!

In other news, I’m preparing for a few weeks of travel, first to Alaska (!) and then to France, where I will marry the Frenchman for the second time. I’m hugely looking forward to both trips, and will post about each in time.

Lately, on my hour-long commutes to work, I’ve been gobbling up books on tape. In the past few weeks, I’ve hungrily run through The Poisonwood Bible, Magonia, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. I’m quickly reaching the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, narrated beautifully by Claire Danes, and I’m heartbroken about it. Do you have recommendations for what I should listen to next?

Lime-Grapefruit-Basil Gin Punch

Lime-Grapefruit-Basil Gin Punch Lime-Grapefruit-Basil Gin Punch

Read more »

Potato, Corn, and Radish Salad with Crème Fraîche-Chive Dressing

Potato, Corn and Radish Salad with Crème Fraîche-Chive Dressing

A grandfather is explaining to his grandson about the internal battles that every person will face in their life. He says that there are two wolves inside each one of us. One wolf is evil – full of anger, jealousy, regret, greed, and arrogance. The other wolf is good – filled with love, peace, forgiveness, and humility. So the boy asks, “Which wolf will win?” And the wise man replies, “The one you feed.”
– Two Wolves, a Cherokee legend

corn and potatoes Crème Fraîche-Chive Dressing

My meals these days require less cooking than they do fresh produce assembly. Currently: salad, salad, salad, salad, salad, salad, salad.

This salad benefits from some time to relax, time for the dressing to permeate the potatoes. (I like to overcook the potatoes, so they sort of fall apart in the vinaigrette, but that’s a personal preference.)

You can make this salad several hours before you serve it. (If you choose the egg version, make sure to refrigerate it in the interim.) You can easily double or triple the recipe, if you’re feeding a crowd. The salad is good for up to 3 days in the fridge.

soft boiled eggPotato, Corn, and Radish Salad with Crème Fraîche-Chive Dressing

Potato, Corn, and Radish Salad with Crème Fraîche-Chive Dressing

Read more »

Coconut-Lime and Strawberry Popsicles

DSC_1105

On my mind:

I accidentally made popsicles for Popsicle Week. (Next year I’ll do it on purpose.)

This show is pitch perfect.

An aphorism to live by: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou

Blair Braverman’s stunning flash fiction.

These ice cream tips have seriously upped my at-home ice cream-making game.

strawberries strawberries macerating

strawberry puree Coconut-Lime and Strawberry Popsicles

coconut milk

Read more »

Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

–Mary Oliver

garlic scapes Garlic Scape Pesto

The arrival of garlic scapes at the market makes me Christmas morning happy–their appearance marks the start of a deluge of summer produce.

Garlic scapes are the green, curly cue shoots that grow from hardneck garlic plants, where flowers might otherwise sprout. Farmers cut away these scapes regardless, so that all growing energy is diverted to the garlic bulb growing underground. Scapes make for delicious eating on their own though, so they need not go to waste.

In the northeast, garlic scapes appear in June and July. Raw, they taste like a fresher, greener, less astringent version of mature garlic. Cooked, they have a garlicy, lemony-leek flavor.

garlic scapes

Read more »

Green-Garlic Farro Salad with Marinated Zucchini and Herbs

DSC_0713

We’ve been traveling quite a bit, but whenever I’m in the kitchen lately, all I want is summer fruits and vegetables done simply. I grate tomatoes into pan-con-tomate pulp, add a glug of good olive oil, sherry vinegar and sea salt–it’s wonderful as it is, or spooned over grilled fish. I grill olive oil-ed asparagus and lemons together–and sauce the charred spears with the deep, grilled juice. Cut corn from the cob and fold it, raw, into every pasta/grain/salad that crosses your path.

There is certain summer produce that, once it comes into season, I cook and eat compulsively until it disappears from the market. Green garlic–the immature garlic bulb that isn’t yet papery on the outside–is one example. I use a mandolin to thinly slice the bulb whole, and then saute as I would with minced garlic cloves. Zucchini is another example. This year I’ve discovered the fresh joy of raw zucchini: marinate zucchini coins/ribbons/”spaghetti” with salt, lemon juice and good olive oil until the zucchini goes wilty and soft. That’s it.

In this salad, both treatments get elevated. I love grain-and-vegetable salads for summer: they’re happy in the fridge for many days, they serve a crowd and they’re great for picnics/cook-outs/travel.

green garlic Green-Garlic Farro Salad with Marinated Zucchini and Herbs

Green-Garlic Farro Salad with Marinated Zucchini and Herbs

Read more »