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Friday, December 13, 2013

friday link love

Looking out the window. Waiting for appliances to be delivered. #kitchenreno

Happy friday, folks. At this time, by next week, everything in our apartment will be packed up. We
will like be getting ready for our movers to arrive, and I’ll be fretting about how to transport our 15-pound cat safely to the new apartment. Lucky for us, our good friend Tina has agreed to drive me and Forrest, who will be given a sedative (let’s hope he takes it) and wrapped in a blanket for security to our new apartment. Andrew will stay behind to supervise the move and I’ll bring Forrest to his (and our) new home which already has his food station and litter box set up. I’ll bring a few toys as well and hopefully he won’t be too traumatized. [For those unfamiliar with the history of all this, Forrest is extremely scared of leaving the apartment, busts out of carrying cases (as in busts down the door with his mighty strength), and generally suffers from fear of abandonment. Poor cat.]

Meanwhile, this week, we met with our Ikea kitchen planner. We had our fridge and stove delivered. At the moment, the fridge is sitting in the living room while the stove is in the middle of the kitchen. And today, though thankfully we don’t have to be there ourselves, we are having closets installed in the hallway and bedroom. That’s going to be a post soon.

Also, I have a whole post I need to write to you on what it takes to get all the pieces moving in terms of kitchen renovation. While you’re trying to move and finish testing recipes for a cookbook, 30 of which you received the week before. These are all good problems to worry about, but financially it has been incredibly stressful. You get one estimate from the contractor and then you get the actual cost and it’s almost twice as high as the estimate with just one lump sum at the bottom, no itemization or anything, just zeros next to itemized items. Now, I’m no Einstein, but even I know that a bunch of zeroes don’t add up to several thousand dollars. Looking at an invoice like this is enough to make even the calmest of people feel their blood pressure rise.

As I write this, I’m testing a yeasted waffle recipe for a book. The batter is fermenting, rising in the kitchen. I’m hoping everything will go according to plan.* I have a full day of work and recipe testing ahead, a weekend full of packing, a trip to Ikea to pick up (and lug) a kitchen sink, hours of recipe testing ahead, and writing headnotes and such. I sincerely hope your weekend looks a lot more relaxing and lazy.

*WAFFLE UPDATE: Moving onto Round 2 of testing.

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, December 6, 2013

friday link love


Happy Friday, friends. Today marks the two week mark until our move. We should really start packing, don’t you think? I’m hoping that a good chunk of recipe testing for one of the books will be out of the way (I just need to be sent more recipes). At the risk of running a bit ahead of myself, I will try (but can’t guarantee) to post Friday links on the day of the move. Perhaps I can schedule it in advance and have it automatically publish on a certain day.

It hasn’t been the easiest week here. Besides mourning the death of Judy Rodgers, I got word that my middle school science teacher lost her battle with breast cancer. She had beaten it the first time, and then it came back, more advanced, and the treatment just didn’t work. She passed away two nights ago, still very young. One of her children is still in college.

And yesterday’s news of Nelson Mandela’s passing were, while not entirely surprising, still sad. The world lost a remarkable figure.

There’s much packing (and recipe testing) ahead for this weekend. Also, a tree-trimming party, a now-annual tradition, at our friends’ place replete with mimosas, bloody marys, and a stromboli that puts you in hibernation mode for the rest of the day. I’m thinking of bringing these cookies along. I hope wherever the weekend takes you, it is merry and bright!

Continue reading friday link love.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

judy rodgers

My favorite cookbook of all time.

Judy Rodgers passed away last night. She lost a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 57.

I found out this morning via Twitter before the news broke out across various media outlets. I’d never met Rodgers, never worked with her or for her. I don’t have a pithy story or a poignant one. I can’t write something as evocative and heartfelt as David had earlier today. What I have is a handful of memories of eating at the Zuni Cafe (the last one inspired this soup), each blowing my mind in different ways, and I have her cookbook.

It is my favorite cookbook of all time. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve cooked from it: Roasted chicken; butter lettuce with oranges, avocado, and shallot vinaigrette; shredded radicchio with anchovy vinaigrette, bread crumbs, and sieved egg; slow-scrambled eggs with bottarga (Andrew’s arch-nemesis); how to cook polenta; rough puff pastry; ricotta gnocchi; tomato summer pudding; roasted applesauce, just to name a few.

What I learned the most from Rodgers, however, was not so much as what to cook, but how to cook.

Continue reading judy rodgers.

Friday, November 22, 2013

friday link love


Happy pre-Thanksgiving Friday, friends. This weekend will be all about prepping for the holiday (we’re hosting both of our families), and finally getting through the second pass of the Forgione book. (I will get it done no matter what.) Oh, and I’ve decided to clean out our freezer – wish me luck.

I feel a little suspended at the moment: can’t quite pack because we’re hosting families, but slowly, a few boxes have crept up here and there. I keep trying to figure out what things we’ll need in the new apartment. I keep worrying that I’ll be still testing recipes like crazy when it’s time to really pack up. Or that our Ikea planner will tell us none of our future appliances will fit. As I type this, I’m swimming in a sea of loose recipes: for the book, for the blog, for next week. There’s a harrowing pile of mail on my desk that I must get through. I no longer know which ingredients are for testing for the book and which are for next week, which only means one thing: I’ll screw it up and run out of something essential.

I’m hoping to go for a run this grey and rainy morning. I haven’t worked out all week because I was feeling dreadful but the lack of exercise makes me sluggish, anxious, and far less productive. So while I might not have much time for a run, even twenty minutes outside in the damp, fall air, will brighten me up. In fact, I’m really looking forward to it.

I don’t know if I can post anything next week. It’ll be a holiday weekend and we’ll be running around with our families, but maybe I’ll acquire some great reading links – we’ll see. In the meantime, I hope your pre-holiday weekend is restful and calming.

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, November 15, 2013

friday link love

Second pass ftw.

Happy Friday, folks. Hope your week was great and you’re ready to relax for the next couple of days. I think my greatest accomplishment for the week was to go running outside on what has been the coldest day of the fall thus far. It dipped below thirty at night and in the morning, when I set out, hat and gloves on, the thermometer informed me that while it was thirty-two degrees out, it felt like twenty-five. Nonetheless, it was precisely because I was so scared of how to properly layer for cold running weather (it’s been a few years since I ran outside in the winter), I wanted to just get it over with. And I didn’t want to be a slave to my own anxieties. So, long sleeve running shirt, thicker, thermal shirt over it, long tights, and such, I set out to see how I’d do. And you know what? It wasn’t bad. At all. In fact, it was pretty great, incredibly invigorating, and fun. And it made me think about things we are afraid of and things that make us anxious – most of the time, it’s never as bad as we imagine it to be. And even if it is unpleasant, at least we can say we faced our fear, and in some small way – conquered it.

Also, I made soup for Thanksgiving and froze it. And I can’t wait to tell you about it next week!

This past week, weekend, and next week I’m finding myself swimming in second pass edits while trying to make progress with other projects. It’s a tad daunting, I must admit. But it’ll have to get done one way or another. On Saturday we hope to measure the new kitchen thoroughly and paint a tiny room adjacent to the kitchen that will be my home office. Since the room doesn’t get much light, we want to paint it a striking white in hopes to restore as much crispness and cheerfulness to it as possible. And on Sunday, we are planning a trip to Ikea (the test of every relationship) to do some research on their kitchen cabinets, design, and approximate costs. I plan on testing a few recipes and I am hoping to get through nearly 400 pages of the second pass edits. Wish me luck!

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, November 8, 2013

friday link love

The fringe benefits of writing an ice cream book. Thanks, @vlaic for the love.

Happy Friday, friends! I hope it’s been a good week and that the weekend is even better.

For my part, I’ll be going through the second pass edits (getting close) of the Marc Forgione cookbook, writing, testing recipes, and editing, and seeing a couple of friends in between. We’re trying to make some progress with our smallish kitchen renovations – hopefully we can move forward with it early next week (there are a lot of permits and whatnot we have to obtain first, find contractors, review plans). I’m also hoping to do sit down and read some new cookbooks on my shelf: Pok Pok, Ottolenghi, and Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book – before I cook from new books I like to read them through. Do you do that too, or do you just dive right in and find a recipe to make?

Whatever your plans are this weekend (and a long weekend for some of you!), I hope you get some rest and fun in the next few days.

Continue reading friday link love.