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Harissa via the Moro Cookbook.

Harissa via the Moro Cookbook.

In response to the executive order on immigration issued at the end of January, I’ve seen some food sites offer lists of cookbooks that celebrate the foods of the seven countries listed in the ban, with one of Food52’s selections being the book Moro: The Cookbook. I’ve been wanting to write about this book for some time, and well, now feels like an apt time to do so. It’s the cookbook companion to the restaurant of the same name in London, and the chefs Sam and Sam Clark draw inspiration from both Spain and several Northern African countries that run along the Mediterranean. There are lots of great recipes for both tapas and mezze contained therein, but to be frank, the recipe that makes this book a worthwhile addition to your cookbook shelf alone is the one for homemade harissa. Read More

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Wild mushrooms with egg yolk.

Wild mushrooms with egg yolk.

[Editor’s note: to echo a phrase from very sage person Caitlin at Fit & Feminist, it’s very weird blogging about food right now, but self-care is important in order to not lose one’s mind. If you’re as horrified by the actions taken by the current administration this past weekend as I am, please consider donating to the ACLU or the International Refugee Assistance Project if you can to help those who are affected.]

Deconstructed dishes are not the kinds of recipes you expect to find in a cookbook focused on country cooking until you consider that deconstructions almost work best in the country, given that you’re able to find fresh produce and the like.

The idea of deconstruction as a technique both intrigues and infuriates me; on one hand, it’s fun to play with the idea of, say, deconstructing a cheesecake and then bringing it all back together in a different way which I did a couple of years ago…and then there’s things like Ina Garten’s deconstructed lobster roll from one of her traveling shows in which she presents her husband a cooked whole lobster, some rolls, and some dip on a platter and invites him to “dig in!” Read More

Casarecce with Pancetta, Chiles, and Ricotta

Casarecce with Pancetta, Chile, and Ricotta

Man, does it feel like this January has been trying, even if the Baltimore area is on-track to have the least-snowiest winter on record and we had one day that was skirting close to 70 degrees. Most of this malaise is due to the enormity of what’s going on in our country and around the world, but a small amount of this malaise is also due to the news that dropped on the 13th that American Apparel was sold and will be closing up its retail operation in the next 100-ish days. There’s a store down the street from where we live, so I have been making a few visits to do what Michael calls a “final buy” of the running shorts that have been my preferred pajama bottoms for the last ten (?) years along with ordering a few pairs of yoga pants. As he likes to joke, I’ll probably be wearing these damn things for decades to come. (Hey, that’s one reason why I lift!) Read More

Garlic chicken/pollo al ajillo

Garlic chicken/pollo al ajillo

Over the years I’ve acquired many, many Spanish cookbooks but one of my eternal favorites was one I bought way back in the day on a whim at Crate and Barrel: Spanish Country Cooking. (Yes, I paid retail for it.) I’ve written about it here before in singing its praises for inspiring one of my favorite soups and a fantastic bass recipe fried in pancetta, but probably my favorite recipe to cook from it is a simple garlic chicken number that I’ve loved for years but never shared with you. Well, that stops today, because it’s too good not to enjoy, and when paired with a side salad you won’t feel like you’ve abandoned your resolve to eat a little lighter if you so choose. Read More

Confetti cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar.

Confetti cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar.

Happy 2017, my friends! My year started off inauspiciously with my phone suddenly not working, so I have to send it to LG to see if it’s salvageable. (At least my old Razr smartphone is functional so I’m not completely without a phone right now. Here’s hoping it can hang on until August when my upgrade is finally available.) The weather hasn’t helped much in that it’s been dreary and rainy for the past few days, and while I know we need the rain, it doesn’t help with the whole getting back in the swing of things all that much. Read More

Grilled Chicken with Warm Salsa Verde

Hubris is a funny thing: leading up to our move, we didn’t do much in the way of packing because I think we were feeling a bit superstitious about all of it, and so the most I did was clear out two closets’ worth of boxes and other assorted items and move them downstairs so that they would be ready to go come that Friday afternoon as soon as we had the keys. Those were quickly transported downstairs in short order, and that started what seemed like a marathon three-week push to wrap, pack, and move all of our possessions one measly floor down in our building. We squeezed in some painting too–just a few accent walls for now–along with two trips to IKEA, but in the end we were mostly moved out by the last week in April and so we had a little time to make sure we hadn’t missed anything. (We did: an old robe I had on the back of our bathroom door was kindly left at our new door by the listing agent for the old one.) It was exhausting, but ultimately pretty satisfying, work. Read More

Wireplay candleholder illuminating our NYE ’14 spread.

One downside of starting a new job in December means I am expecting to be really busy with learning the ropes of my new role and therefore likely won’t have nearly as much time to shop for holiday gifts as I normally would, so I’ve actually gotten a head start this year and have several gifts not only purchased, but even wrapped. No, I don’t know who I am either being this prepared.

Needless to say, my mind has been focused on finding cool stuff for all of the people in my life (and OK, definitely a couple of things to put on my wish list) and so I wanted to share some of the cool things I’ve found recently that I really love. (Note: this is not an excuse to post a bunch of affiliate links or anything–I just really love these products and thought you might too.)

So without further ado, please find my 2015 guide to cool stuff you might like for your kitchen and home or to give to someone else: Read More

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