Whenever someone makes a crack about the flimsiness of IKEA furniture I want to tell them the story of our two tall BILLY bookcases that have moved from New Haven to New York to Stamford and then to two apartments in Baltimore. They’ve held up remarkably well given all of that activity, and right now one of them is playing host to 102 of our cookbooks, plus my various issues of Cherry Bombe, Lucky Peach (RIP), Fine Cooking, and Food and Wine. When I was organizing this shelf again after Christmas, I realized that I really shouldn’t buy one more cookbook until I’ve given all of our current ones a spin, perhaps signaling any that might not be living up to expectations and could potentially be given away. Read More
We’re not even at the major December holidays yet, and already I’m pretty exhausted. I blame this on the fact that we’ve been busy either going to hang out with friends or visiting family, and while it’s been fun…the introvert in me is definitely yearning for a battery recharge. Thankfully I’ve managed to get most of my holiday shopping done, with a few more gifts necessary to make it fully complete, but we have a lot of planning yet to do for our New Year’s Eve party (menu to finalize, shopping lists written, and cleaning to do!) and as a result I haven’t been this thankful to have multiple days off at the end of the year in ages. We’re scheduled to entertain my siblings-in-law this weekend, but I’m not sure if the weather will make us postpone those plans to another date or not yet. I hope they can come, but I also understand i they don’t want to deal with driving in crappy conditions to get here. Read More
One of my favorite blogs to get lost in is Scouting New York, a blog devoted to the five boroughs and beyond framed in the context of a film scout who used to work in New York but has since relocated to LA. Thankfully the archives provide hours of reading on their own, and some of my favorites include a look at the various filming locations of both The Godfather and Taxi Driver then and now, as well as the tale of the two tiny townhouses flanking 30 Rock on 6th Avenue. There’s also a fun story on eight fake store facades, and a walk down one of the few curved streets in Manhattan. During one such internet k-hole session of my own I read about this abandoned building right by City Hall down in the Financial District called 5 Beekman. About six years ago now Scout has been given the chance to enter the building and was completely blown away by what he found inside, including a glorious atrium more than nine stories high. Built in the late 1880s, much of the building has been closed off since 1940 and was completely abandoned from 2000 through 2010, and then a few years ago a couple of hotel developers got their hands on it and decided to bring it back to its former glory. That hotel is now called The Beekman, and I had the great privilege to go there on our second night in New York to meet a good friend for drinks at the lobby bar and eventually have dinner in the then-four-day-old restaurant, Fowler & Wells. Read More
Given how limited the blood orange’s season used to be, it’s definitely a little odd still seeing them in store but if this means I can enjoy them a little longer, then so be it. I’ve been using the combination quite a bit in prosecco-based cocktails over the course of the winter to great success, but ever since my last batch of kumquat-rosemary marmalade I wanted to see what a blood orange and rosemary marmalade would taste like. In search of something interesting to accompany some cheeses I had in mind for our houseguests this past weekend, I decided that if the produce stand at Cross Street still had serviceable blood oranges I’d finally give this variation a try.
The main issue I was concerned about was the matter of the pith underneath the oranges’ skin, because unlike with kumquats, there is usually a sizable layer of the bitter white stuff between the fruit and the skin in an orange and I was worried it would make the whole marmalade too bitter to enjoy. I’m not sure what I was worried about, as we’ve cooked down lemon wheels with chicken and I’ve eaten them whole with abandon so many times, but my fears were completely unfounded. The marmalade does benefit from sitting in the fridge overnight before serving, though, because the flavors need a little time to meld together in the best possible way.
Like with all things blood orange, though, perhaps the best part of this marmalade is that it turns into this brilliant red-orange mixture, so you know it’s going to look as appealing on a board or on a cracker as it tastes. This will likely serve as a mighty fine evening snack this week for those days I need to make dinner or even just unwind a bit, and now I feel doubly intrigued to try this recipe with some other citrus fruits while they are still in the store.
In the meantime, try to find a couple of blood oranges and try this for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
Blood Orange Marmalade
adapted from ‘wichcraft
- 2 blood oranges, sliced into thin rings and then cut into quarters
- 1 small rosemary sprig plus one spring of rosemary minced
- 12 crushed peppercorns
- 1/4 sugar
- 1/4 water
Bring the water and sugar together and stir until dissolved in a medium saucepan. Add the blood oranges, rosemary sprig, and pepper and combine well, then bring the saucepan to a simmer and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the oranges are translucent and the sugar has formed a thin syrup. Add the minced rosemary and let cool, and then transfer to a container to store. Serve as desired and use within a week or so.
Signs you probably have been watching too much Top Chef via Hulu recently:
- You’re obsessed with timing and food prep, to the point where you have no issue doing significant prep work on a weekend afternoon because you’re paranoid something is going to happen when you actually get down to cooking dinner for real.
- You really, really want a GIF of Dale Talde yelling “FUCK” after his team lost the mise en place relay race before Wedding Wars because you need it to express your frustration with so many things in life. (Unfortunately it’s not in this clip but this is as close as I could get it.)
- You’re very upset that you can’t make one yourself and be done with it.
- You get very strong inclinations to make everything from Tom Colicchio’s cookbooks.
- You get feelings of anxiety when you go into your new-to-you supermarket because you know if you only had 30 minutes to shop you would be TOAST and not get half of the things you needed.
I’m not a big fan of breakfast-for-dinner because, well, we’re not big make-at-home breakfast people. Special occasions like long weekends or holidays tend to be the exception and not the rule, as regular weekends we’ll have some yogurt and maybe some eggs if the mood strikes Michael. It’s not that I have anything against breakfast food, but we don’t really have room for a waffle-maker, and pancakes just aren’t as good, and in our household bacon is an anytime snack.
So the sandwich pictured above, found in the breakfast sandwich chapter of ‘wichcraft, is about as close to breakfast-for-dinner as we can muster, and only once or twice a month at most. Not because it’s not easy to make–it’s my go-to if I need something fast on a night Michael’s working out and I need to make dinner in a hurry–but because it’s not really the healthiest thing we eat.
Don’t let that bed of frisee fool you. Read More