Wednesday, June 29, 2011

hummus

hummus

It is, without a doubt, a real necessity to get out of the city as much as possible in the summer. And this year, we just might accomplish the feat of being away nearly every other weekend of the season. There are weddings, wedding planning, family weekends, friends visiting from abroad, and a vacation to boot.

Last week we went to Vermont, with Andrew’s family, for a wedding that took place right over the border in New Hampshire. We stayed in Quechee – a town so pretty and picturesque, it’s as if New England threw up all over itself and made this perfect little New England town, down to the white church steeples, a red barn, and a hardware store that sells just about everything you might need.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

cucumber herb buttermilk soup

cucumber buttermilk soup

This morning, Andrew and I are off to Vermont for the weekend. We’re meeting up with his family and going to a wedding up there. Charming, picturesque, pretty New England, here we come. Give me white steeple churches and Shaker-style houses! Give me rural farmers’ markets and wild flowers! I’m ready for my break from the New York and my little home office.

These days, I do a lot of work from home. It can be totally amazing because when you work from home, you can pretty much start working as soon as you finish your coffee, still in your pajamas, and shower when you’re ready. Like when you’re taking a well-earned mid-morning break. You can also sneak out to the gym for a little bit, come back, and continue to work well into the late hours of the day because this is your time, and your time allows you to manage it your way.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

coconut green curry mussels

Green Curry Mussels

Before I started working professionally (i.e. for a living) as a recipe tester and a kitchen assistant, and began to spend the work day hours making six to eight dishes in quick succession, I didn’t really contemplate why people who were cooking all day long professionally liked to order take-out upon getting home. I remember talking to one private chef and recipe developer, and I asked her what she was making for dinner that night. Her response was succinct – there’s a great Thai place around the corner that makes excellent pad Thai. After being on her feet for eight hours, chopping, sautéing, and cleaning up, she was not about to get home and do it all over again. And until I started cooking all day long myself, I didn’t quite get why. But the simple truth of it is this: after a complete day of cooking, even frying an egg on toast just seems a bit much.

You know what else is hard after being on your feet all day? Everything. It just zaps you – intellectually and physically. Your body sort of aches and grows a little heavy as the day wears on. You check yourself in the window on the train ride home and realize you’re a hot mess. Your hair develops a bit of a frizzy halo, your forehead shines like a beacon in the night, there’s some pancake batter in your hair. But you don’t care – you wear your fatigue like a badge of honor. You’ve earned it. And when you get home, you just sort of want to sit on your couch with your feet up and unwind a bit. And you’re so grateful that there’s someone out there who is willing to cook you food and bicycle it over.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

frittata with asparagus, cremini, and scallions

breakfast is served

In a few days our household is going to grow by one more. No, there’s no bun in the oven, so to speak – we’re not having a baby. If you start seeing recipes combining peanut butter, pickles and ice cream, you should start to get suspicious, but you can rest easy for now. Our household is temporarily expanding because Andrew’s younger brother, Russ, is coming to live with us while he is studying at the Cooper Union for the summer. One bedroom, an air mattress, and three people. Sounds like a script for a prime time sitcom.

Someone asked me the other day if I was dreading it – adding another person to a small New York one bedroom. I know that many people would be. I know that given my anxiety over clutter and disorder – I should be. But I’m not. I love a full house. I love the extra commotion and the noise that comes with it. While it’s nice to be just the two of us, but with another person it’ll feel like an actual family.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

carciofi alla romana

carciofi alla romana

Who was the first brave soul to tackle an artichoke? I ponder this every time nowadays, when I find myself trimming, pulling, and scraping the prickly vegetable. And while I might never find out the daring gourmand who is responsible for this bounty, I am certainly grateful – artichokes are delicious and are totally worth the trouble they give.

I’m a fairly new to making artichokes at home. Like many of you out there, I suspect, I’ve always been intimidated by them. I’d be at the grocery store, holding them in my hand, and then I’d place them back – they didn’t seem all that friendly and looked like a lot of work. Sometimes, when I wasn’t careful, I’d accidentally hook the tip of my finger on one of the sharp leaves. Once or twice, my fingers bled. How many vegetables can you say are actively out to get you? Artichokes were clearly sending a message – do not eat me.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

cucumber cooler

a toast!

Hello, New Yorkers and lovely East Coast folk, are you sweating yet? Have you wondered what just happened with our seasonal transition? Does the mere thought of having to go outside make you break out in sweat? Welcome to Wednesday. And come tomorrow – it’s gonna get even hotter.

I had to go out and get groceries this morning, and by the time I walked half a block (half a block, people!) I was already sweating. It’s terribly unfair, I think. New Yorkers don’t get a fair shot at spring – we move onto summer almost instantly from the doldrums of winter. Instead of wanting to be outside, I’d rather be indoors, where I have control over the heat. Though truth be told, while we make out like bandits in the winter almost never turning on the heat, in the summer, we pay through the nose. Our southern facing apartment starts feeling oppressive as early as April and so it goes until late into October, when we can finally stop and out the air conditioning to rest.

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