Posts tagged no recipe
Friday, October 24, 2014

friday link love

Bump.

Hi friends, happy Friday, and no I haven’t forgotten about this site – or you. I simply just can’t fit everything in these days, and am doing my absolute best to prioritize. Work, wellness, and family and friends, of course, come first. And everything else winds up being a bit marginalized. So with that in mind, a few of these links are quite dated, given that news doesn’t stay “new” for long, but I still found them to be interesting enough to include – I hope you agree.

Last week, we had our apartment painted and revamped our home office. The painting meant that we had to take all our books off the shelves and move them from room to room (after work at night) while the painters painted certain rooms. As a result, we’re still unearthing things and still finding new homes for them. This is what happens when you get home at 7:30pm and still need to eat dinner, make some calls, answer a few emails. The home office installation – I’ll take some pictures in once we settle in – came from Elfa and the folks at the Container Store. They were having a massive sale, and we decided to make an investment into our work space. Andrew works from home enough for it to be meaningful, and I may do some work from home as I get closer to my due date. The old set-up wasn’t working for us – such a small room needed built in shelving and smart use of every single inch of space.

A few of you have emailed me to ask how I’m feeling and what we’re doing to the nursery, i.e. can I share pictures and decorating ideas. I’m feeling, generally, pretty great, knock on wood. It’s getting hard to bend down to tie my shoes, and I’m finding new and creative ways of doing it, but it is funny to find yourself faced with this problem all of a sudden. As for the “nursery” – trust me you do not want to see the mess that room is in. In general, I don’t think we’re going to get the room ready before the baby. We’ve registered for the necessities, we’re hoping to start out with less than with more first. And we’ll see what we need. The one thing we’re both really keen on, however, is artwork. While neither one of us is an art connoisseur, we’ve decided that we don’t want any art that the baby will ever grow out of. We’re hoping to hang a few things that will look good in any room down the road. I’m a huge fan of these as well as this (the framed pieces). And we’re keeping the room white with grey trim at the bottom. That’s about as much of an update as I can give.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough. To the links! Enjoy your weekend – we’re away, belatedly celebrating Andrew’s birthday. I hope there’s some apple picking in our future! And then, the upcoming week, there’s lots to do at work, my cousin is coming to visit from Israel, and I have two of my books to edit (one I’m given less than a week for – ha!) – I guess I better rest up! xo, olga

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, October 3, 2014

friday link love

If you know nothing else about my workplace, know this: it's the kind of place that keeps communal pickles for a snack. And that's all right by me.

Hi friends, happy Friday! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I missed you and this space. How was your September? Mine was a blur: I started work at Phaidon; I edited two books I wrote this past year; I went to London for work and came back with a cold so fierce I’m still fighting it.

On the other hand, Andrew got the beloved yo-yo biscuits from Ottolenghi* as a souvenir. This doesn’t seem fair to me: I get a cold; and Andrew gets biscuits, but I suppose jet lag + suppressed immune system (thanks, pregnancy!) is a perfect combination of ingredients to yield something resembling a cold, except this was so much worse.

Something is going around here and over on the other side of the pond – some vicious bug – that takes hold of you and makes you cough for about three weeks, no matter the medicine, rest, what have you.

So – between work, two books, a cold, and this tiny human I’m growing, September wiped me out. And so here we are, October 3. Erev Yom Kippur. Guess who’s not fasting?

Guess who’s also barely figured out how to make dinner on weeknights? That’s right – me. It’s not the cooking – well, sometimes when I get home late it is – it’s the planning, the balance of full time work + freelance book work I am committed to completing, that get me. And things come up. Lovely friends come through town last minute and you drop your homemade dinner plans to see them. Or you get held up by work and come home entirely too late, so you cheat and call takeout. But we’re slowly falling into a pattern here, and I’m happy about that.

If you’re observing Yom Kippur, I wish you an easy fast. Otherwise, have a lovely weekend, and hopefully we’ll meet back here again next Friday if not sooner. xo, olga

Continue reading friday link love.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

baby burrito – a tiny announcement

This needed to happen today.

Hi.

I’m looking at the calendar — it says that it’s August 28, and my brain can’t process that. I could ask where the summer went, but it went by while I was working on two books – that’s where. Somewhere in there, I also landed a dream job, and now, like a kid before her first day of school, I’m full of anticipation, sharpened pencils and all. On Monday, I had a pre-work meeting with my boss and we talked about specific books and projects on the docket, and I walked away with a level of excitement somewhere in the eeeeeeee! stratosphere. I can’t wait to get started.

Over the last several weeks, I cooked a lot of different things from blogs, books, and magazines. Something to the tune of a dozen, and not a single one is worth mentioning here. They were solid recipes, but not anything I’d tell you to drop your planned dinner for or anything that I’d repeat – some had good potential but were only so-so in the end; others were lacking balance, like a touch of acid, or a light punch of heat. The last of these recipes, Butter Chicken, from the Sunday New York Times Magazine, was a solid recipe, but it needed (forthcoming) some major tweaking. I was promised a dish “astonishing in its richness and depths of flavor”, but in the end, it tasted a bit bland on my palate – rich in texture, but lacklusters overall – and I wanted more flavor, more intensity, something that would stop me in my tracks.

Stay tuned for that, I’m not done with this one yet. But if you do attempt your hand at it, do make it with ghee instead of butter – and use Heidi Swanson’s excellent primer.

My cooking plans for August, derailed as they were (I get easily distracted!), were dead simple: lobster rolls (check), lots of salads and eggplant caponata (check and check), Swedish cardamom buns (one unsatisfactory attempt to be continued when it’s not 90 degrees out), Dutch baby pancakes (I keep forgetting), and burrito bowls (check, again). On the whole, it’s safe to say that I’ve consumed more burritos (and burrito bowls) this summer alone than collectively in my entire life, and there’s a good reason for it besides the fact that burritos are supremely delicious and gratifying on their own. There was that one day when I had two burritos for lunch and one for dinner – and that was a very, very good day. (Also, if I am forced to count burrito bowls, then the estimates of burrito consumption are far higher…)

Which brings me to this next tiny announcement… I’ve never been good at these sorts of things, and I don’t like to beat around the bush. I’ve been known to bury the lede in the past; I don’t do it intentionally, so let’s just get right to it, shall we?

Continue reading baby burrito – a tiny announcement.

Friday, August 8, 2014

friday link love

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My month of loafing has been off to a non-loafing start. Let’s hope that after today loafing commences at full force, though I’m not so good at doing nothing, so knowing me, I’ll probably reorganize our hallway closet or something. Because I was busy tying up a few loose ends for one of the books, I was a bit preoccupied and didn’t read as much – hence the short list of links. At least I got to cook a fair amount this week – always a good thing – eggplant caponata, broccoli slaw, blackfish with olives and lemon, a black currant streusel cake I’m testing (still have a round or two left to tweak), lobster rolls, lots and lots of pesto to make good use of the most immense pile of basil I got at the market. I made lobster stock with the lobster carcasses – and now I’m thinking of ways to use it up. Lobster + corn risotto? Fancy seafood chowder? Any other ideas, friends?

I hope you have a great weekend ahead. We’re off to Home Depot – again. Hoping to finalize our balcony door solution – the frame, as well as the door, are rotted through and through – and we need to do something about it. Until next week. xx

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, August 1, 2014

wellfleet mini-vacation

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Hi friends, I don’t have any links for you today. None. Zilch. Nada. I spent a few days in Wellfleet on the Cape, finishing up two books and trying to squeeze in a little r&r in there too. There was a trip to the beach, a trip to the lake, a rainy trip to Provincetown where we ate at Canteen (terrific food, you ought to give it a try if you’re in the area!).

And yesterday, after working in my pj’s since five thirty in the morning, I submitted both books about twelve hours later. And then I took a shower and watched Law & Order SVU reruns until Andrew came home. At around eight thirty pm, I put my pj’s back on and read a book on US foreign policy, because this lady here knows how to party. And at nine thirty, it was lights out.

So what, if not links, do I have today? How about some images from the trip? That’s about all I’ve got, and I hope it’s okay with you. I need a good, solid weekend of rest, and I am really hoping that August will be my month of loafing. I’m pretty terrible at doing nothing, but I’d really like to have the opportunity to try.

A couple of places we really like in Wellfleet and Provincetown (this is just a short list):

  • The Canteen – Provincetown – great food all around and super friendly owner + staff! Andrew and I had lobster rolls that were very good.
  • The Nuthouse – Provincetown – serves excellent ice cream by Toscanini including my personal favorite Kulfi flavor.
  • Mac’s Shack – Wellfleet – I know any restaurant that serves x along with sushi is suspect, but Mac’s does it really well. Fresh fish, delicious food, excellent Wellfleet oysters, and great cocktails.
  • Box Lunch – Wellfleet – their John Alden sandwich (turkey, cranberry sauce, etc) is really terrific, along with other fantastic lunch options. Great to grab and head to the beach.

    Continue reading wellfleet mini-vacation.

  • Friday, July 25, 2014

    friday link love

    image

    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.