Not pictured: the birthday cake crumb and the empanada meat mixture chilling out in the fridge.

I was all ready to wax philosophical on you all on how I like to plan for parties…but I’m in the midst of party planning and can’t do that just yet. Above is a glimpse of what I’ve been up to in our kitchen, and I can’t wait to share the details with you in the new year because that’s probably when I’ll finally have a chance to sit down and write in earnest. Read More

Lemon Confit from The Craft of Cooking

Lemon Confit from The Craft of Cooking

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

Casarecce with bell pepper sauce

Casarecce with bell pepper sauce

One thing I’ve been dying to do once the tomatoes started coming in and really taste good was to walk over to the big Baltimore Farmer’s Market on a Sunday morning and get some heirlooms or other interesting-looking ones to take home. Unfortunately, either to us traveling or Michael going to the gym late, that didn’t happen until one of the last Sundays when tomatoes would be good, and even then we were walking in there at 11:57 when the market technically ended at noon. Thankfully I was still able to get some tomatoes along with some Kirby cucumbers and four fantastic orange peppers before all of the vendors were gone, and I was able to get a good deal on the peppers to boot: 2 for a buck. Read More

 

French Marble Two-Tier Server from C&B

French Marble Two-Tier Server from C&B

The notion of writing a gift guide this year feels kind of, well, superfluous given that everything that’s happened, but at the same time, I fully endorse finding items that give you and your loved ones joy, and I think that we need to arm ourselves with equipment that will help us cook great food in the next four years, and in my humble opinion, it totally calls for fabulous serveware too.

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm: Honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t sung the praises of this device sooner. I bought one of these a few years ago for Michael for Valentine’s Day, and it’s been worth its weight in gold and then some ever since. This is the same company that makes the ThermaPen–a product avid watchers of Good Eats would recognize easily–and Alton Brown likes to tweet about how great this thermometer is as well. (Full disclosure: he is NOT endorsed by them and therefore isn’t paid to sing ThermoWorks’ praises. He simply believes in their products that much.) This is the thermometer you can insert into a piece of meat, set the desired temperature accordingly, and then set an alarm for when it gets to that precise cooking time, thus saving you a metric ton of worry on whether something is cooked to the proper temperature, and it also comes with a timer because I find you can never have enough of those in a kitchen. Read More

Turmeric Gin Sour

Turmeric Gin Sour

Well, I have good news and I have bad news: we’re less than a month away from the first day of winter. For some, that may be great news, especially for my skiing enthusiast friends, but for most of this this is simply a harbinger of gloom, doom, and darkness. (OK, I may be a bit dramatic in saying that, but STILL.) A few weeks ago when I realized that I had exactly one more night to get in a good daylight photo after 5PM before Daylight Savings ended, I decided that I couldn’t go without taking a photo of one of my favorite autumnal cocktails, and one to consider for your celebrations over this holiday weekend: the turmeric gin sour. Read More

Pressure Cooker Pho Ga from Serious Eats

Pressure Cooker Pho Ga from Serious Eats

So how are you all doing? Last week was incredibly rough (if you follow me on Instagram you know who I voted for), and it’s taken me some days to process it all. I’ve been writing every day, but I couldn’t bring myself to write about food until the weekend. Instead, I’ve been writing to my congresspeople begging them to publicly and loudly denounce all of the hate speech and hate crimes that have been unleashed in the last few days (and blaming a certain person for it) as well as to continue to fight for the causes I voted for, and writing a thank-you note to my preferred candidate for taking on this shit-storm of a campaign cycle. Read More

Char-broiled oysters in the style of Drago's.

Char-broiled oysters in the style of Drago’s.

The first time we went to New Orleans I wasn’t expecting to encounter so many oyster houses when we were there. I don’t know why I didn’t think to anticipate this, but as our cab drove us to the Hotel Monteleone and we passed by a few I knew that our first meal would be oyster-centric, if not completely oyster-based. Between that trip and our subsequent trip last October to NOLA we’ve covered some good territory on the oyster front, so I wanted to share some of our experiences on where to score excellent mollusks. Read More

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