Friday, July 25, 2014

friday link love

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Happy Friday, friends!

I’m actually not the one witnessing this staggering landscape; my office faces the the back of some buildings and sits on top of our building’s garage roof. The picture above was taken by Andrew while hiking at the Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday – he’s spent the week in Boulder for work, and given these kinds of views, I can’t imagine he got much work done. I mean, would you? Look at that expanse!

I, on the other hand, have been a shut-in, waking up at five to write and edit, edit and write. It’s an all-hands on deck kind of a race to the finish line, which, if you think about it, means just my two hands, since those two books due August 1 need my uninterrupted attention. So, what’s a girl to do but work nonstop through the week and make a last-minute decision to slink away to the Cape for a few days? Have I suddenly lost my mind? Shouldn’t the next few days be hermit-like, filled with toast, hard-cooked eggs, and tomato sandwiches?

Yes – that might be the sensible thing to do, especially given the quality of tomatoes at our local farmers’ market (the very best I’ve had in awhile and certainly better than those at our last greenmarket!).

However, what I really want to do, besides finish my books in a timely fashion, is to also see my two-year old niece, whom we haven’t seen in quite some time and who is going to be sojourning, with her parents of course, in bucolic Wellfleet. She’s quite a funny kid, and I feel that with us living in Brooklyn, and her family in DC, we miss a lot of the good stuff. Important stuff.

Deadlines are important – there’s no denying it; but so are nieces and nephews who are growing up faster than the speed of light. Yesterday morning, after perhaps a bit too much coffee (my version of liquid courage), I decided that I could make the trip and meet all my deadlines. Let’s hope I’m as industrious as I’ve been while Andrew spent the week on a work trip in Boulder (lucky lucky guy).

I skipped links last week in light of the sad news from the Ukraine and the heavy news coming from the Middle East; it didn’t feel right to post, and I wanted to take the time to process. I’ll be doing that a long time. I hung on to some of the links (sorry if they feel a bit stale) but only the ones I thought might be more or less evergreen.

I hope you have a good weekend and week. I’ll be at it until August 1: editing and writing, writing and editing. Until I hit that “send” button on two separate emails, I’m singularly focused on getting things done. I have some more exciting things with you to share down the road – good things – but they need to wait. I’m hoping to an August that is calm, quiet, and still. xo, olga

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, July 11, 2014

friday link love

Midmorning snack.

Happy Friday, friends. It appears some cooler weather is coming our way – sounds crazy in July, but it seems like we might have a week or so when we’re actually comfortable outside. I’m all for it, but I do worry about what this means in the great scheme of things.

My ice cream book with the wonderful folks from Van Leeuwen is due August 1. My copy edits for the book I wrote with Marc Murphy is also due August 1. How the gods have arranged such a schedule is a little beyond me, but now is no time pontificate – but to do. But(!) to make things more interesting, I’ve been battling what seems to be sciatica inflammation for the last two days. I’ve never had anything like it, and I can tell you the pain can be excruciating not to mention – distracting. I’ve a slew of possible treatments to consider – acupuncture is looking good, and my angel of an agent sent me her person’s contact info, so I think I’ll be making a call today.

I skipped posting last Friday because it was Fourth of July and because I found myself (along with Andrew) in the depths of Home Depot researching balcony doors, door frames, house paint, in-wall a/c units (for those of you lucky enough to wind up with in-wall a/c, I feel your pain – incredibly high prices and virtually zero reviews to go on!). So these links might be a touch dated, and I hope you can forgive me. I’m trying to keep myself organized the best I can.

Have a lovely weekend. I’m whipping a draft of the ice cream book into shape to send to the VL team for review July 15. Then copy-edits. Then more ice cream AND copy edits – all until August 1. And then I get to pass out for a day before I pick up with another project – fun! But please – rest up for me, I need to know people have a better work/life balance out there! xo, olga

Continue reading friday link love.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

fish stew with fennel and potatoes

Recipe in progress. A delightful fish stew from the current @bonappetit magazine. I'm tweaking it heavily but the premise it delightful.

Friends, I’m in the deep throes of stitching together a book before I send it to my co-authors for review and edits, before we send it to our editor by August 1. There’ve been lots of early mornings that involve editing and shower comes as a reward for finishing a chapter or a task. This shower as reward thing works only so well because when I’m sitting on the couch writing, no one, that is besides Forrest and a few house flies that have somehow gotten into the apartment, can judge me. Of course, there’s me judging me but I’ve lived with myself for the past 36 years, so I can take it.

Remarkably, this past weekend involved little book work (!) and lots of home improvement. We’re slowly painting our apartment white – as the previous owner thought that a yellow cream in gloss is the way to go. Additionally, the previous owners must have been smokers, or something, because the molding on the bottom turned a sickly shade of yellow. Not to mention, the previous painters (from a few paint jobs ago) didn’t believe in borders, and a part of the floor that’s next to the molding is where there are remnants of this yellowing paint. Kind of makes me want to demolish the walls and start anew but that is not in our budget (not to mention probably is a violation of our co-op rules).

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So, Saturday and Sunday, because we spent our 4th of July at Home Depot researching balcony doors and what it’ll take to the the door and the frame a lot (hint: a lot of $$$!), we painted: first a coat of crisp white (three cheers for Benjamin Moore Super White!!) and then the molding and details a dark, charcoal grey. All this takes a remarkable amount of time and – whenever dark paint is involved – precision.

Continue reading fish stew with fennel and potatoes.

Friday, June 27, 2014

friday link love

Summer!!

Happy Friday, friends! I have a compact list of links for you today partly because I’ve not had too much time this week to do much external reading, i.e. reading not pertaining to books I’m working on. I did read this current issue of the Atlantic magazine cover to cover, but that was because I spent a good chunk of time this week riding the NYC subway to and from various meetings, so I wanted to put my idle time to good use. If you’re not a regular subscriber, it’s a great issue through and through – I found just about every article interesting and engaging. I get to play for a little bit today – there’s dim sum in the works and an improv show Andrew and I will check out. But most of the weekend is very much about work (I sound like a broken record) and will be this way until August 1 and then, hopefully, it’ll be a bit more measured – or so I hope. Have a great weekend! xo, olga

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Continue reading friday link love.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

brita’s roasted salmon with green herbs

the easiest and tastiest salmon recipe. it's a staple in our house and it's supper tonight. #sundaysupper

I had such lofty plans for August. No, really, I did. I was going to take it easy. Luxuriate, if you will, for the first time in I can’t even remember how long. Take a month to just have a little kinder schedule. Run. Do yoga. Cook more. Write – for me (now that’s a novel concept!) Wade through Union Square Greenmarket. Take a vacation. I boasted about it even; I was so proud that I figure out a summer month this year, to scale it back a notch. And then, a project fell into my lap.

Continue reading brita’s roasted salmon with green herbs.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

friday wednesday link love

We're just getting started. #sundaysupper

Hi friends, I skipped links last week because life and crazy. Also, I spent last Friday running around, mostly soaked in the torrential rain (with sopping wet shoes and socks, no less) and getting boring things done (like changing my legal name at the bank – two years after getting married). For all your single business owners out there, turns out changing your DBA (doing business as) aspect of your business banking is harder than it seems. I thought I just had to go in there with a marriage certificate, my new social security card, and my passport, and voila – name change done! But apparently you have to go to the county clerk’s office and get a letter that summarizes the said DBA which you then bring to the bank. Kind of a pain if you ask me.

This week, I’m afraid I’m not faring much better. Some intense ice cream testing along with possible new projects starting up fast and furious. How busy has it been? Well, it’s been solidly a take-out week, and tonight’s no different. I was just having coffee with another fellow writer and we were both laughing about the misconception that food writers eat these amazing, elaborate meals at home. “You’re so lucky to cook all this amazing food,” people say. If only they knew how much toast we consume on a regular basis – let’s just say folks on those low-carb diets will surely shudder.

When I get this crazy with my schedule, it’s truly tiny things that make me stop and pause and smile. Like this white nectarine I had with my lunch today – it was so lush, so ripe, and so fragrant, that I had to just take a few moments and savor each bite. And thanks to that nectarine, I took a few minutes to breathe and just zone out – a truly wonderful thing!

So, even though it’s Wednesday, already it’s felt like a full week! I’m away tomorrow and Friday (and mostly off the grid – work related, I’m afraid) but I wanted to post this in advance – it’s short but to the point. I wish you all a great rest of the week and a restful, lovely weekend! xo, olga

Continue reading friday wednesday link love.

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