Category Archives: List Love

List Love

Well I meant to post this on Friday…oops. I was hoping by the next time I was ready to write again it would finally be spring. This weather has been so bipolar lately. Warm and beautiful one day, then bitterly cold and wet the next. Every time we catch a glimpse of spring, stubborn old winter swoops back in and reminds us it won’t relenquish its grip without a good fight. The other afternoon, the sun made a brief appearance after a day of drear, and then we had a bizarre, fleeting  fit of rain and snow at the same time. It was like spring and winter were having a quarrel. Well winter, I shall shake my fist at you (yet again), and dutifully return to the stove to make (yet again) another pot of soup. Hopefully by our last bowl, you will be out the door (for good this time). And now, as I’m revisiting this post (and finishing it), it looks like spring has granted our request. It’s going to be 70 today! 70! Hip hip hooray!

Kitchen Flowers

Kitchen Flowers

Playing around with wedding flowers in tiny old bottles...

Playing around with wedding flowers in tiny old bottles…

I’ve been in the kitchen a lot lately. I made chocolate chip cookies with all whole wheat flour and quinoa. No that is not a typo. I was bemused by this recipe, and had to give it a whirl. They were pretty good, warm from the oven, but they don’t hold up as well, and nothing well ever be as good as cookies made with good old fashioned all-purpose flour and a lot of butter. I also made my first ever gluten-free muffins (banana with chocolate chip). They also weren’t half bad, but again… But the real winner of my heart is the Irish Whiskey & Brown Bread Ice Cream I made, courtesy of ice cream king and dessert wizard, David Lebovitz . Caramelized bread crumbs from the leftover loaf of Irish Brown Bread I made (to accompany the equally awesome Shepherd’s Pie I made—recipe to come), were folded into a luxurious custard that was spiked with a wee bit of Irish Whiskey. Who are we kidding, I may have doubled it. It might be one of the best ice creams I’ve made so far. The only thing I didn’t do was add an entire block of cream cheese to the already decadent custard. I simply figured it didn’t need it, and I was right.

Shepherd in a Cottage Pie

Shepherd in a Cottage Pie

Irish Brown Bread

Irish Brown Bread

Anyhow, let’s get to it, shall we? Here are some things I’m enjoying right now…

  • I’ve been reading Stephen King’s memoir, “Stephen King, on Writing” and oddly enough, it’s the first Stephen King book I’ve ever read. I’ve really been enjoying it.
  • I want to do this to cauliflower.
  • I’d be lying if I said this article doesn’t make me feel extremely happy and validated. I want to shout it from the mountains in the land o’ lakes, “long live butterrrrrr!”
  • We made these potatoes with some walnut pesto, a grilled spatchcocked chicken under a brick, and some grilled asparagus and they were EPIC. The whole meal was.
  • I can’t get enough of this (sorta healthy) quinoa granola. The first time I tried this recipe, I tried to make them into bars, but they mostly crumbled apart. At first I was irked, but then I realized it just made some really awesome granola, so that’s how I do it now.
  • I’m not enjoying this but I would really really like to, and we’ll be in NYC in May! Very tempting…
  • Wes Anderson is such a hipster magnet. I’ve never been a particularly huge fan, but I just saw this last night and absolutely loved it. It was hysterical, and entertaining, it transports you into this wintry European storybook world, and I loved everything that fell out of Ralph Fiennes’ mouth. The one thing I will say I have always appreciated about Wes Anderson films is his knack for such flawless color palettes and the theatrical symmetry and composure of every single frame. This film makes perfect use of that. Highly recommended (even if you’re not typically a fan).

We have one of these lovely trees in our front yard, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting its bloom. Much to my elation, it bloomed just the other day! The robins and I are rejoicing. Hello spring, it’s good to see you.

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List Love

  • This late summer trifle looks so incredible, I’m determined to find an occasion to make it, ASAP. I think the fact that it’s late summer and that I’ve never made a trifle before classify as suitable occasions.
  • I’m kind of really in love with this blog and with Rebekka’s paintings.
  • Last week we made Alice Waters’s ratatouille and it was seriously life changing. I can’t stop thinking about it.
  • I have some gorgeous Italian prune plums that are begging to be made into Molly Wizenberg’s plum crumble
  • I’ve been living vicariously through the dreamy recaps of this Kinfolk workshop
  • It’s just about time for pears, and I intend to make this
  • I’m incredibly excited for the brand new series debut of A Chef’s Life, airing on PBS (nationally!) this Thursday evening (check your local listings here). It’s a unique hybrid of cooking-reality show, and each episode explores a particular ingredient and how chef Vivian Howard translates that ingredient on the plate. I’m honored to have been able to assist with some of the show’s website and blog content, and some social media, and through the process, have gotten to meet some incredibly talented people. I’ve known the show’s creator, director, and filmmaker, Cynthia Hill (from Durham) for a few years now and this woman is  talented and driven. She’s always got at least a couple projects in the works, is raising two adorable daughters, and runs Markay Media and The Southern Documentary Fund. Her partner Rex is also quite the talent. He too is a documentary filmmaker and has worked alongside Cynthia on this series. I can’t say enough about the wonderful work they do in the documentary field. And Vivian is the real deal. She’s got a true Mida’s touch, where everything that comes into her hands—be it a humble ingredient or a fancy one—turns to gold. She beholds a raw, unbridled talent for conceiving unique spins on simple southern dishes, and invested interest in exploring her southern roots and upholding those rich culinary traditions. She works with some amazing local farmers and food purveyors and has a mighty, tenacious crew at her and her husband Ben’s restaurant, Chef and the Farmer. It’s well worth driving to Kinston for the mere sake of eating there. If you’re even remotely interested in the south, NC, and/or food, you need to tune in Thursday night and watch this show.

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List Love

 

  • Forever and always, my first favorite food writer. And thank goodness she’s on Instagram, because I can’t get enough of her wide-eyed, curly mopped, cherub-cheeked baby June.
  • I’ve really been wanting to make a tomato pie lately (I’ve never made one). I’m really intrigued by Deb’s recipe for corn and tomato pie, and also this one, which I think is breathtaking, with all the multicolored heirlooms. Reminds me I have a luscious big ole Purple Cherokee waiting for me in the kitchen, just dying to be sliced up for a BLT…hold tight buddy, I’m comin’ for ya.
  • I locked myself up with Orange is the New Black and you should too. In case you haven’t been convinced you need to watch it yet…read this.

I know I said it last time but I’ll be darned if I don’t say it again. I’m still obsessed with this show, which I devoured like I would a bag of Peanut M&M’s, after a juice fast. For the record, I’ve never done a juice fast, but I imagine I’d want to devour a bag of Peanut M&M’s immediately after…if I even made it through…which I probably wouldn’t. Coincidentally I finished the last episode today—the same day they wrapped the first episode of season two. I find that very appropriate.

I can’t stress enough the admiration, fondness, even affection I have for these women and how they look out for one another. Being an avid fan of picking “favorites,” I struggled to determine which of them was my favorite. 13 episodes and much deliberation later, I still can’t decide. I realized that’s because I love them all (well, with the exception of Pennsatucky because she’s so real and awful, she just terrifies me). I don’t just love these characters; I love these actresses. I love their bravery, their humility, their gusto. I want to be friends with these women and I’m not sure if I mean the actresses or their characters. Maybe both. The LA Times was right on the money when they said, “This is the most impressive group of female characters ever assembled in a series.” Best of all, when they said “Each woman has a story, and that story will be told.” And you should listen.

Needless to say this and all its adorableness made me very happy.

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List Love

  • I’ve been absolutely, 100% enthralled by the new Orange is the New Black series, created by Jenji Kohan (who did Weeds). It’s hilarious, perverse, heartwarming, tragic, riveting, raunchy. I’m devouring it at a probably unhealthy pace. I recently heard Piper Kerman’s story on The Moth and then saw that they were about to come out with a series based on her book (same title). I could do without Jason Biggs, because I’ve always thought he was an annoying schmuck and his work in this show only further indicates his lack of versatility. But I love that just about all of the supporting cast members (stars in their own right), are unknowns and these women are just incredible. Periodic, partial flashbacks relay some of these inmates’ backstory and how they ended up in prison and we see them as more than just a number.
  • I’m going to have to make this coconut butter because I’m dreaming of this for breakfast…
  • I can’t wait for this to come out and can’t believe I have to wait a whole year!
  • I would like to make these…kind of like the Stumptown Shorty that Ovenly makes
  • These are definitely happening sometime before summer’s over!
  • I found this to be so entertaining and hysterical
  • I can’t believe this amazing concert in its entirety is available for free on youtube. She is ethereal…

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List Love

  • This article—a recap on what it is like to eat/live like Gwyneth Paltrow for 10 days is a hilarious read
  • Totally interested in trying to read several books on this list
  • I’m dying to make this summer salad. And then watch Chocolat. …Just kidding…but really, this salad!!
  • I think this is the sweetest, most wonderful story…you can also listen to Cynthia’s Moth story here
  • The other night I had the privilege to see my dear, talented friend Caitlin Watkins play a show at The Green Bean, along with my favorite subway band from Brooklyn, Bird Courage—a trio of wonderfully talented and kind musicians.  I used to hear them play in the Metropolitan station a lot and absolutely loved them. Then Caitlin befriended them and now they play shows together! You can hear two of my favorite songs of theirs here and here

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List Love

  • I just discovered this blog by some local Durhamites, called Starting Fresh, and it is beautiful. I especially want to make this beautiful cake
  • Enjoying this lifestyle blog I recently found
  • I wanna go to a garden party at Roberta’s! Well, and I just want to go to Roberta’s…

Beyond excited to go to NYC and Maine in a couple days! Planning on revisiting some of my favorite old haunts and conquering some new territory—(i.e. Abraco, Lucali, Mighty Quinn’s, Bob White Lunch and Supper Counter, Il Laboratorio del Gelato).

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List Love

  • I am over the moon excited for this movie and reunion of one of my favorite onscreen couples. I’m a huge fan of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset and have giant crushes on both Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. When I was living in NY, every time I found myself in Chelsea, I hoped I would bump into him. And Julie is just brilliant. I love her as an actor and writer, I find her really inspiring and she’s such a natural beauty.
  • I have mixed feelings about the Kentucky Derby. I worry for the animals’ welfare with all of the grueling training and the strain on their legs and lungs. It’s sad to me that they’re bred for this kind of a life, of constant training, showing and work and they don’t have a choice in the matter. However, I have Kentucky in my blood and part of me is drawn to this odd, fanciful tradition of horses, hats and mint juleps. So I made this Kentucky Bourbon Butter cake and it was divine.
  • Thug Kitchen has to be my new favorite blog, purely for the humor. I can’t get over how hysterical it is. Plant Nachos!
  • Oh this movie…it lingered with me for at least a few days after seeing it. It was like a modernized Greek tragedy. I’m always fascinated by stories involving human connection—how we can be connected to people we don’t even know exist and how our decisions and actions can affect them.

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