It’s hard to believe that July is winding down already, but then again so much of it passed by in a blur. I’m grateful that we’re still slightly less scheduled for August (just one weekend trip planned) but instead I’m taking on the rather enormous task of pulling together a 35th birthday party for Michael just under a month from now. We’re not new to hosting larger affairs–back in New Haven we hosted an annual Hall Benedict Food and Wine Classic every fall–but it’s frankly been a long time since we’ve been host to more than four or five people at a time and frankly, I’m a little scared. The only way to handle this (at least for me) is to make a ton of lists, so I now have a Google Sheet spreadsheet populated with everything from menu ideas to guest lists and timelines so I can figure out what I’m going to do on the days leading up to the big day. Read More
Back when spring was easing into summer, I really didn’t fully appreciate just how much we had planned in the first few weeks of the season, and here we are in the middle of July. One thing I resolved on doing this summer was to spend some time revisiting my favorite Catalunyan dishes since we wouldn’t be making our biennial trip over to Europe this year, what with us buying a house and me buying a new car, but with everything we’ve been up to it’s been awhile since we could devote a couple of days to anything more fun than a typical weeknight meal.
With a weekend looming on the horizon with no plans but our own, I decided to give us a chance to relax and give ourselves a mini Caldes d’Estrac vacation, at least with food if not in beach time. Rosado would be poured, caftans donned, and my hope was each dish would bring us back to those warm days we would spend along the Mediterranean coast. Read More
You guys, my ass is tired, both literally and figuratively.
We’re coming off a streak of weekends where we were either hosting guests or being guests ourselves, and while it’s been a lot of fun, it’s kind of sapped my inspiration for cooking. That’s not to say that we haven’t been cooking of course, but we’ve definitely relied on old favorites rather than new recipes, and I’m hoping that this upcoming weekend I can rectify that and spend some quality time with my cookbook collection. During this same time I’ve had some pretty intense workouts (this is what happens when you watch the kickass women in the Crossfit regionals) so there have been several days where I tend to walk like Frankenstein’s monster after getting out of my car or a chair. Read More
If I could pick any word to describe our holiday weekend, that word would be rejuvenating*. It was so nice to put in a half-day’s worth of work before the office closed, take care of some errands, and then go out and get some food on Friday afternoon. I was able to hop on the free commuter boat over to Harbor East and then headed eastward to Fell’s Point and it was so nice to feel the harbor breeze on my skin during that short ride. Grabbing a stool just about ten minutes before the kitchen would close for the rest of the afternoon, I quickly put in an order for escargots along with a small platter of oysters and clams. I had considered getting something more substantial, but it had been a hot walk over and the second I bit into one of those Delaware Salts I knew I had made the right decision because it was exactly what I had wanted. Paired with a nice white (and a rose with the escargots) and the latest issue of Cherry Bombe, it was the ideal relaxing late lunch. Incidentally, I also found a bunch of things I wanted to make in that issue, so if you’re at all interested grab it up immediately if not sooner. Read More
The day after our big move down here, I sat down on our couch and turned on the TV to see what food programming Hulu had to offer that could satiate my normal ritual of watching Food Network no matter how much (or little) I liked the actual shows. Almost immediately I found Nigellissima–a love letter from Nigella Lawson to Italian food–and I immediately fell in love. Much like Made in Spain, she splits her time between being in Italy and back in her London flat for cooking, and every episode–all six of them–is as comforting and soothing to watch as you’d expect from a Nigella show. Read More
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
I’ve written about fifty drafts of this post, not wanting to commit to one lest something happen, but I guess it’s finally time to let the cat out of the bag since I already did so on Instagram: we’re officially homeowners.
As people who have rented our entire adult lives, this is momentous less for the buying of the house itself and more for the decision to intentionally stay in one place for a while. We didn’t necessarily intend to buy so soon, but a combination of factors led to this decision. Read More