Monday, May 28, 2012

cornmeal ricotta pancakes with strawberry rhubarb compote

cornmeal ricotta pancakes with strawberry rhubarb compote

Yesterday taught us an important lesson – when planning a special meal over Memorial Day weekend, reserve it in advance.

We were going to kick off our summer with some lobster rolls, made in-house, of course, with some lemony homemade mayo and brioche hot dog buns. A haute lobster roll, if you will. We showed up to our local fish store, half an hour before they closed, and saw three lonely lobsters hanging out in the tank. Victory was ours. Or so we thought. It turned out the lobsters were sold to someone who, ahem unlike the writer here and her half husband, planned ahead.

Continue reading cornmeal ricotta pancakes with strawberry rhubarb compote.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

the bee’s knees

andrew's signature wedding cocktail - the bees knees

Apparently signature cocktails at weddings are in. Or so I’m told. Long before I had a wedding to plan, I thought that having a his-and-her cocktails at a wedding would be a really fun idea. No, I’m not calling myself a trail blazer by any means, and I suppose it does go against me saying I never planned my own wedding. I suppose that the part of me that loves feeding people planned a portion of it. But that’s about as far as I got with the wedding dreaming.

If someone ever asked me what my dream wedding would be, I always said, that I’d want for it to be outside. I’d want a cookout with pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, lobsters, and potato salad. I’d want strawberry shortcake. I’d want a bluegrass band. And I’d want some bourbon.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

honey syrup – or how to make good use of that last bit of honey

Honey syrup or how to not waste that last bit of honey at the bottom of the jar

I always struggle with the honey at the bottom of the jar. Perhaps, the best solution is to just get a spoon with a handle long enough to scrape the bottom of the jar, but then I find that I wind up covered in honey and sticking to everything. Or I find that everything sticks to me, like that time, when I was walking around my neighborhood with a receipt stuck to my hip, but that’s a story for another time.

I’ve decided that my favorite way to get to that last bit of honey is to make a honey simple syrup. I could say that cocktail weather is upon us, but if you ask me, it’s always cocktail weather in my book. And just about anywhere you can use regular simple syrup, a honey simple syrup should work just fine.

Just add the same amount of hot water as you have honey, screw the lid back on, and vigorously shake the jar. Voila – honey simple syrup, which you can refrigerate and use as a sweetener to tea, lemonade, or cocktails.

I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you what I used it in!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

cornmeal-crusted fried soft-shell crabs


There are days I’m productive. Things get crossed off the list, I feel a sense of real accomplishment. I even high-five myself. In my head. Other days, I stare at my cuticles trying to remember when was the last time I had a proper manicure. “The hangnails,” I think, “are preposterous. I mean, just look at them! Look!” Those days I feel like I barely move the needle. It would seem that I am deep at work, but then I raise my head and realize I’ve typed a page. Edited one recipe. This is not an exercise in productivity, it’s just wastefulness.

On the other hand, I think, I’ve noticed that the blooms have fallen off the tree across the street and it’s now heavy with leaves. And now that it’s raining, the leaves are all wet and the tree is bending down even lower. That should count for something, right? Observing the small quotidian things. Taking pleasure in the everydayness of it all.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

ramp pesto


Hi from the depths of work and wedding planning. It’s very blurry here. I feel a little bit like I got stuck in the spin cycle of the wash, and things are swirling around me very quickly. Or I’m swirling around them. I haven’t figured out that part yet. Like I said – it’s very blurry.

I will first and foremost apologize that I’m presenting before you these Instagram photos and basically saying, “Have a nice day!” But it’s been a bit rough trying to get real work done, chase down remaining wedding items, and recipe-test-style-shoot-edit-publish for the blog. Sometimes, you just gotta let one thing go, you know? This is one of those times. So I’m sorry to give you these pictures and then expect you to get hungry.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

cannoli crepe cake with orange puree

cannoli crepe cake

I think this post should be filed under “I-Can’t-Just-Leave-It-Well-Enough-Alone”. Because, really, I can’t. Here’s the rub: while, in thirty-four years of eating I’ve eaten many a cannoli, I could count probably on one hand the number of times I have actually enjoyed it. This, coming from an Italian (and even more so a Sicilian) food fanatic, is a very sad, even embarrassing admission. But it’s true.

Continue reading cannoli crepe cake with orange puree.