I feel like the last six or seven weeks has been conspicuously rainy here in Baltimore, and on the East Coast in general. Every week seems to have at least one cloudburst, and more recently it’s a matter of when, not if, a rainstorm is going to converge over us. When we were in PA to celebrate summer birthdays during a particularly nasty bout of storms we were delayed from leaving my in-laws’ because their street had completely flooded up to the curb in a matter of an hour, which was a new and unsettling experience for me. (The consequences of over-development, live in front of your window.) Read More
It’s August now (how is it August?) and we’ve been largely avoiding the oven as much as possible because it’s been either hot, humid, or both and so we’ve largely been using our Griddler and the stove and also resorting to ceviche pretty frequently too. So it may seem pretty weird to be writing about roasted chicken right now, but I guess it’s my form of solace: if I can’t eat it right now, I can at least write about it, you know? Read More
My interest in cocktails waxes and wanes: sometimes I’d rather drink something that barely qualifies as one like a kir, and other times I’ll happily pull a bunch of bottles off the shelf and mix together something elaborate and interesting. Often I’ll kind of go to the beat of my own drum, but lately I’ve been enjoying finding drinks in cookbooks and giving them a try. Inevitably these usually have me either buying ingredients I usually don’t dabble with—including more obscure liquors—but if I’m lucky, I’ll find myself making these drinks again and again. Read More
My love of Top Chef has gotten to the point that I have a section of my main bookshelf dedicated to some of my favorite judges* and cheftestants from the show—though I will admit that Tom Colicchio’s books live up in my New York section, because most of these books came out way after his did—and while I’ve enjoyed them all, I’ve been heartily enjoying Gail Simmons’ Bringing it Home as it is filled with really interesting recipes and lots of excellent anecdotes about Top Chef from foods she loved while on location to lots of interesting tips based on professional chef techniques that she’s observed along the way, along with her own insight from her days in culinary school. Gail has long been one of my favorite staples of the show because she’s a delightful mix of knowledge, insight, warmth, and the occasional dollop of well-timed snark: Read More
While I can’t believe January is almost over, I’m also relieved that January is almost over. This is my least favorite time of year, and furry blanket and globe lights aside, I’m eager for the trees to have leaves on them again and for a 60-degree day to be a normal one rather than a data point either supporting or denying the existence of climate change. At least this weekend we get a respite of sorts from football, so for the first time since September our neighborhood will not be run amok by people trolling for parking spots to hit up the bars all day. Next weekend, on the other hand, should be interesting—while the Ravens aren’t in the Super Bowl (obviously), we are close enough to Philly that there are many an Eagles fan around here too, so I have a feeling we’ll be staying firmly in our apartment after Michael returns home from the gym. We do have some excellent food plans for that day, so I’m not complaining. Read More
With the holidays over and things slowly coming back to normal, I want to get back into the habit of blogging more regularly again. So in order to do that, I need to clear out some mental clutter.
Tuesday marked the first day in about two weeks that the temperatures went significantly over the freezing point; when preparing to go out to pick up some bread for dinner, I had steeled myself for the slap of cold I had come to expect when walking outside and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was…mild. I know it’s still early-ish in January and we have a long ways to go until spring, but it’s nice to have a bit of a respite from it for at least a few days.
With Christmas less than a week away, it’s time for me to start packing up all of our stuff to bring back to PA for the holiday weekend and get a cooking game plan set for Christmas Eve. We’re leading that particular dance this year, which is great since we did zero cooking during Thanksgiving. We are going to do the seven fishes this year, but in order to maintain our sanity and to make sure that everyone can try at least a bit of everything, we’re keeping the portions small and basically treating the meal like a tasting menu. Read More