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Massimo Botturra’s meat tortellini from Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, finished in sage and brown butter.

Can I take a moment and say how smitten I am with the newest episodes of Master of None? We’re slowly making our way through the season–just one new one a week–and as such I feel like we’re SO behind because the various pop culture blogs I follow have already moved on to a bunch of other shows, like The Handmaid’s Tale and GLOW. (Both are really good, and I’ll be writing about the former in this space relatively soon.) Such is the internet in the age of Peak TV, but I still prefer savoring each episode on its own especially since it’s not clear if we’ll see another season of the show, much less one anytime soon. And given the ambition Aziz Ansari and his team had with this season, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be incessantly asked when the next batch of episodes would be coming because so many people burned through the current set so quickly. Read More

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Casarecce with Pancetta, Chiles, and Ricotta

Casarecce with Pancetta, Chile, and Ricotta

Man, does it feel like this January has been trying, even if the Baltimore area is on-track to have the least-snowiest winter on record and we had one day that was skirting close to 70 degrees. Most of this malaise is due to the enormity of what’s going on in our country and around the world, but a small amount of this malaise is also due to the news that dropped on the 13th that American Apparel was sold and will be closing up its retail operation in the next 100-ish days. There’s a store down the street from where we live, so I have been making a few visits to do what Michael calls a “final buy” of the running shorts that have been my preferred pajama bottoms for the last ten (?) years along with ordering a few pairs of yoga pants. As he likes to joke, I’ll probably be wearing these damn things for decades to come. (Hey, that’s one reason why I lift!) Read More

Spaghetti all’amatriciana

This past weekend was lovely, if it also went by too quickly, because we were able to cook at our own speed and please only ourselves. While I’m grateful for everything we’ve been able to do and thankful for everyone who came ’round last weekend to celebrate Michael, I was sorely in need of a return to a more normal weekend schedule. The kind where we wake up, I read for a bit, and then Michael eventually gets up and makes us bacon and eggs and we figure out what we’re going to do for the rest of the day. If there’s a plan to head around the harbor to Fells Point or Harbor East I’ll get my workout in before we go, and then we while away the rest of the afternoon over long walks, a couple of beers, and either some bar food or barbecue (and occasionally an oyster or six). We’ll grab provisions for dinner at the Whole Foods nearby before making the walk back over to Fed Hill, and then we’ll shower and make dinner and chill out for the rest of the day. Read More

Grilled Oysters with Horseradish Aioli and Pancetta

As a lover of all things oyster, I have to admit that usually my preferred mode of eating them is raw and right out of the shell, maybe with a little lemon, horseradish, or mignonette. I’ll enjoy a good fried oyster po’ boy from time to time, of course, but I never really warmed to the idea of grilled oysters until we finally had Drago’s chargrilled oysters as part of an early evening happy hour on our last New Orleans trip. The concierge immediately directed us to the Drago’s that’s in the Hilton Riverside, and while the decor there screams that you’re eating in a hotel bar, the food is far better than what you’d get at a normal hotel. The original Drago’s is in Metarie so it’s not as easy to get to if you don’t have a car, so for many visitors the Hilton location is a good compromise. Read More

Spinach Salad with Prosciutto and Valdeón

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette, Prosciutto, and Valdeón

It’s been a while since I’ve recounted a week sabor de soledad, even though Michael has had several trips taking him all over the place in the last year or so. Two weeks ago he was in the fabulous city of Tokyo on a last-minute trip, and I have to say that I was pleased with the dishes I turned out while he was away. It’s funny—I’ve become more of a salad person over the last few years, but I’m never so prolific in making them until I’m on my own. I can only account the follow reasons as why I’m so Team Salad:

  • Easy to scale down to one person.
  • Cheese is often involved, especially the cheeses I love but only rarely indulge in.
  • They are relatively fast dishes to prepare.
  • Oh, I guess they are allegedly healthy too.

I feel like such a traitor to both Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson, but unlike fictional characters, eating vegetables on a regular basis is an unfortunate necessity.

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Pan-Fried Striped Bass with Pancetta and Parsley

A few months ago, right around Valentine’s Day, one of my coworkers asked me for some advice on making paella, and if I’d mind lending him a cookbook with a recipe in it. That night found me pulling my various Spanish cookbooks and reviewing the paella recipes contained therein; I wanted to give him one that was authentic but presented in an accessible way. I ended up bringing in my copies of The Barcelona Cookbook and Made in Spain for him to peruse, and between the two he was able to cobble together a recipe that would work for him.

My point of this story? When I went and pulled all of those cookbooks off the shelves, I realized I had upwards of at least fifteen dedicated to Spanish and//or Catalonian cooking. And that only counts the books we keep downstairs–the less-often used go upstairs in our loft “library.”

Common sense, recollection, and this blog’s archives tell me that I shouldn’t be so surprised by this, but I am all the same. Read More

Welp. I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I hit “publish” on this blog until I saw that my last update was in May. Early May. I can offer no good explanation for this–I know when this kind of extended silence happens elsewhere in the blogosphere, it’s usually due to news of great import, but I can assure you that is not the case here at all. Between the new job, various summer outings, visitors, and finally getting into Game of Thrones, the summer has been full so far. Read More

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