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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

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

Parsley-Sage Pesto-Rubbed Chicken Thighs

Parsley-Sage Pesto-Rubbed Chicken Thighs

Is there anything better than coming home and making something tasty for dinner after a few days on the road for work? I had a whirlwind two-city trip over three days last week, going to focus groups in Atlanta and Chicago with barely any time to realize where I was each day since I was sequestered in the dark back rooms of each facility. I was able to get out and about a bit during a three-hour break in the afternoon while in Chicago, giving me enough time to run a few errands and get some fresh air and sunshine before going back into the darkness for the rest of the day and evening. Read More

Shrimp and Spicy Chorizo with Garlic

When I was planning the menu for our big party a few weeks ago, I had it in my head that I would save a few of the dishes to make while people were there, if only to provide a bit of spectacle and give me a chance to retreat from everyone so I could focus on cooking. The problem with this idea is that inevitably everyone likes to gather in and around the kitchen, whether it’s open or not, and so that doesn’t leave for a ton of space in which you can maneuver. Fortunately it turned out that we had way more food than we bargained for and didn’t need either of these dishes, which worked out well for yours truly because I could never decide on a good time to prep them and as a result, I didn’t waste any food from either dish. Score! Read More

Tomato, Burrata, Prosciutto, and Basil Salad with Sherry-Garlic Vinaigrette

I don’t know what’s worse: having to go on a work trip immediately before or immediately after a vacation. Michael had to fly down to Jacksonville, FL the day after we got back from our little sojurn in Rehoboth, and so I was looking at a few days of making food just for myself. On the drive home from Delaware I devised a little menu for the two nights he’d be gone, deciding on ricotta dumplings (because it’s been too long since I’ve made them) and initially, the arugula-prosciutto-orange salad I made a few times back in Stamford. The ricotta dumplings were as delicious as ever, and made better from using some of the herbs growing on our window sills, but to be truthful I wasn’t really feeling the arugula salad the next day. I mostly blame this on the fact that the package of arugula I got was really disappointing, but let’s just say there were other factors involved as well. Read More

Snails in salsa arribata

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

Grilled Chicken with Warm Salsa Verde

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

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