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Cava Sangria

Sangria was something I dabbled with in New York but fully embraced when we moved to Stamford–many a weekend during the spring and summer months would I make a big pitcher for us to sip on, often relaxing out on our balcony. My sangria-making frequency went down significantly since we moved to Baltimore, likely because we’ll spend many weekends either traipsing around the city looking for fun or we’re on the road to visit people. Read More

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Quasi-mushroom piadina with an Aperol spritz.

Years ago I found this recipe for piadina in an issue of Food and Wine magazine, and despite the presence of ricotta cheese I actually was able to convince Michael to make it fairly often. This was before I started making my own pizza dough so we’d use the stuff from the store, and then once I started making my own dough I think we became too preoccupied with making pizza to try making these again. Once we did use the ingredients on a full-fledged pizza, but I think it might have been too much ricotta for Michael to handle so we haven’t done it since. Read More

The view of Rehoboth from Herring Point in Cape Henlopen Park

Oh, hi there–it’s me, and yes I did go and disappear for most of July! In my defense, we’ve been really, really busy between houseguests, work travel, and taking a long weekend and heading over to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. (We have more houseguests coming this weekend so we’re ending this month as busy as it began.) It’s getting to the point where we’re looking at the next few weeks and actively planning days where we don’t do anything save for walking over and having some oysters at Thames Street or maybe a couple of beers at Max’s, because having such an active social life is not something we’re altogether accustomed to after years of being on our own for so long. Read More

Last year you may recall that I declared spring and summer to be rosé and caftan season, and let me tell you it was pretty grand floating through the apartment in a breezy caftan with no pants and sipping rosé on our balcony on particularly balmy evenings. I have no way to prove this but I’m convinced that this declaration was extremely beneficial in helping us enjoy our last New England summer. We made sure to head to the local beach as often as possible and sometimes I’d even ditch my car at the office and we’d walk home on a Friday night after a delicious dinner at Dinosaur Barbecue, and naturally we made many trips into the city. While we had no idea how chaotic things would get by August, I’d like to think that we were slightly better-equipped to handle all the change headed our way but that’s probably the hindsight talking.

Well, this year I’m going to take a similar tact and declare that it will be again a season of rosé and caftans–I even have my eye on a new one to mark the occasion–but since we’re no longer living within ten minutes of a beach, I also felt that I needed to add something new to the mix. Caftans are still all well and good for hanging around our apartment as I’ve heard that “swamp-ass” is an apt descriptor of Baltimore weather during the height of summer, but it’s also time to add something a bit more, well, company-and-outside-appropriate to my summer aesthetic. I just have to wait for something to eventually make it to my doorstep prior to writing about it. Read More

Blackberry Chicken

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a fantastic article in which a writer for Vice’s food site invited a French sommelier to test out some wines that are blatantly and shamelessly targeted at women. The results are exactly what you think they would be, as the tasting notes from both Perrine Prieur (the sommelier) and Gray Chapman (the writer) are hysterical. Prieur has no qualms in declaring one red “like a bad tank that hasn’t been cleaned, that they’re just throwing shit into,” while Chapman slayed me with several quips that I won’t spoil for you here.

It might seem like an easy premise for a bunch of laughs–ooo, the fancy French sommelier doesn’t like mass-produced wine–but it’s pretty clear that Prieur came to this experiment with an extremely open mind and was just crestfallen every time the alleged varietal was revealed to her. More importantly, she made a point of showing Chapman several wines in her own shop that were less expensive and more complex than any of the ones that were part of the taste test, and that’s the reason why Prieur has rocketed onto my list of favorite lady sommeliers along with Gretchen Thomas of the Barteca restaurant group.*

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Prosecco cocktail with poached orange peel.

Prosecco cocktail with poached orange peel.

Two weeks ago we finally decided on where we’d go on vacation this year (our first trip together since New Orleans last spring), and while I’m really excited about that, I am determined to not wish away the late spring and summer months because that will only lead to massive seasonal affective disorder/depression come November.* (For this reason I’m not going to say where we are going until the date gets closer .) Instead, I have resolved to savor everything I can from now until then: short trips to the local beaches, wearing short sleeveless caftans around the house, making delicious sangria and other cocktails, welcoming visitors, and heading into the city for various escapades.

I don’t want to feel that it’s going to be a good summer: I’m determined to make it so. Read More

Tomato Pesto over Gnocchi

Tomato Pesto over Gnocchi

I spent the last few days in Chicago visiting a dear friend, and those days were surprisingly warm. I was all ready to embrace the fall and I even packed two sweaters to combat against the wind tunnel effect, but they and the jacket I packed were completely unnecessary. It was sunny, and warm, and largely reminiscent of not only the last third of this past summer, but also of our time last year in Barcelona. Between Thursday and Friday, I walked all over Lincoln Park, and the Loop, and revisited West Loop which was the neighborhood I stayed in the first time I was in Chicago ever. As a belated housewarming gift to my friend I brought him an immersion blender, and ever since then I was kind of preoccupied with making my favorite tomato pesto because it always comes out better using that than the traditional blender.

If I also wanted an excuse to post this recipe again to tempt T into making it before the tomatoes are lousy, well, I’ll never tell. Read More

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