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.

See more: Announcing,
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

Continue reading friday link love.

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!

Continue reading my 12 essential tools when working on book projects.