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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

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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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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

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Friday, June 6, 2014

friday link love

Ramps are pickled. Andrew can rest assured his future steak will come garnished with these beauties.

Hello, friends! I can’t contain my excitement about this weekend – because for a change it’s going to be all about relaxing. Andrew’s brother and his girlfriend are visiting and we’ve plans to eat lots, walk around, take in sights – the works! I’ve so much work piled up, but I’m so excited to be “forced” to put it – and all my tools – down for a bit. Here’s to a refreshed brain by the end of the weekend!

Separately, I have about 45 egg whites sitting in my fridge – any suggestions what to do with them? I have a short list, but I’m always curious to see what others are doing.

My morning is looking pretty busy – lots of work + a breakfast meeting before family arrives, so here are the links from this week – and I hope you all have a terrific weekend ahead. xo, olga

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

my 12 essential tools when working on book projects

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As I get more and more entrenched in book work, I find myself, unfortunately, spending less and less time here, sharing recipes. My days are dedicated either to recipe testing for my books or writing the actual book: narrative, headnotes, tips, editing recipes, and doing lots of research. What that means, at the end of the day, that recipe work, for the blog, falls by the wayside.

I do, however, like to hang around this corner of the web, and even without a recipe, I hope that this can still be an interesting place for us to congregate. As I focus more on paid work, this means that the blog has to change to reflect my current life and time management. I’m thinking about experimenting more with posts without recipes, anecdotes from cooking life, tips, and more informal recipes. In general, I’ve been gravitating towards a rougher feel for this space: Less formal, less styled photos, shooting with my phone, and sharing recipes that I cook for Andrew and me during the week. I’ve become disenchanted with styled food – it’s been looking the same for quite some time. Same props, same concept – and nothing that looks like food you would serve to someone in real life. I don’t want to get negative, but for me, personally, this approach rings false, and so I’m hoping to attempt something else.

Anyway, today, I wanted to share with you my 12 essential tools for book projects. These are tools that keep me organized and efficient. If you’ve worked, or are currently working, on a book, what are your essential can’t-live-without-them tools? I’d love to know!

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Friday, May 30, 2014

friday link love

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A bleary-eyed happy Friday to you, friends. Last night around 2am, our smoke alarm decided to go off, and of course it took us a few good minutes – while it was emitting the most gut-wrenching high pitched sound – before we figured out what was making this horrible squeal and subsequently disabling the thing. I don’t know about you, but the sound of those smoke alarms pierces to the depths of my soul – it is a sound I can’t stand. It took me another two hours to fall back asleep and then, less than two hours after that, my wake-up alarm went off. Needless to say, this is going to feel like a long, tough slog of a day. If anyone has any recommendations on smoke alarm/detectors that don’t scare you half to death in the middle of your REM cycle, I’m all ears. And before anyone recommends Nest, keep in mind that they’ve just recalled nearly 500,000 units.

I’m going to try to put together that final kitchen reno post that will tally up the cost. A few of you emailed me curious about how on-budget we stayed (we didn’t, but I can explain why) and what the bottom line was (not that much, given everything, but more than we were prepared to spend, which is probably why everyone tells you to take your budget and add 50% to it because – you never know). So hopefully, I’ll post that sometime early next week.

Anyway, without further ado, here are a few of the links I found thought-provoking and engaging this week. I’m going to go and drink that second cup of coffee – I’ve earned it. Have a great weekend. xo, olga

Continue reading friday link love.