ready for those may flowers.

you guys. my breakfast was crazy good. i didn't know where it was all going when i started it but it turned out wonderfully. i purchased a few too many things in the farmers' market yesterday (it had been a while since i visited and i just got so excited and everything was beautiful and reasonably priced. or maybe i've forgotten what reasonable looks like--but i spent about $15 and got a big bunch of spring onions, a bunch of broccoli rabe, a bunch of purple radishes, a CRAZY huge bunch of bok choi, a pint of strawberries, and 2 cucumbers.)
in a big pan, i cooked broccoli rabe, the greens of the onions, green beans, and garlic in a bit of olive oil and liquid aminos. when it had cooked down a bit (they are greens, so they shrink), i scooped it all into a bowl and tossed with chunks of pecorino. in the same pan, i fried an egg and toasted some of the rosemary focaccia i made yesterday (see below). 

it was just wonderment. 
a note: the focaccia is alice waters's recipe from the art of simple food. i am not transcribing it here but it was super easy and the recipe is also converted to pizza dough in the book. i topped mine with chopped rosemary (i keep some growing on the porch) but you could put anything on it really. or nothing.


most of my lunches are some variation on this one: whole wheat with cheddar, tomatoes, lettuce, and mayonnaise (seriously, i love mayonnaise) + carrots + potato chips. this was thursday, april 18th but it could have been any day last week.

if it's going to look like winter

then i am going to eat like it's winter.

tuesday night = smashed potatoes + white beans with garlic and salt and pepper + sauteed collard greens and onion with a fried egg on top


cook out.

so, for many many months, i begged casey to take me to cook out every time we were driving for more than 30 minutes and never did he oblige (for the record, we don't usually pass one because they are in raleigh or outside of town). yes, yes, it's a burger joint but also there are milkshakes. like a billion kinds of milkshakes. and, apparently, if you bring them something, they will PUT IT IN YOUR MILKSHAKE. i've got nothing to bring but i bet a piece of cake would be delicious.

yes, it's not really needed because cook out has so many flavors. i got one on my way back from new bern a couple of weeks ago. it was peach pie. as in, there was peach pie in my shake. it was a little too sweet, but they are only $2. next time, i'll probably just get peach. or strawberry. i like a a fruit dessert.


april 16th: homemade whole wheat with cheddar and a fried egg, waffle chips(!), and carrots.

these weeks have been both crazy and lazy. did i mention chloe was on NPR's food blog--the salt? well, she was. pretty crazy.


the list.

saveur posted their list of the 2013 best food blogs award winners. it's a pretty spectacular group of folks. my favorites:

i use bloglovin to read/look at all the cutie and delicious blogs i like. it's easy--keeps everything all in one, organized place. you can choose to read the post or mark it "as read" so that it never comes up in your feed again. you can "like" particular posts--i use this to catalog recipes i might want to make someday. overall, it's super streamlined and user-friendly and, obviously, i totally recommend it. 


pretty much.

followed smitten's pasta with garlicky broccoli rabe recipe, but only with broccoli. but there are no photos. i was hungry.

i've got a lot of posts to come, but the photos are in my phone. soon! soon!


locked and loaded.

i made spring rolls to take on the drive to DC so that we would have lunch when chloe and i arrived. included: salt and peppered lentils, grated carrots, cabbage soaked in sushi vinegar, cucumber, and sriracha. 

a note: if you don't keep your spring rolls refrigerated for all the hours before you eat them, they WILL fall apart when you do. 
i threw all of the remaining bits chopped for the spring rolls, along with a bunch of other random items from the fridge, into a soup. included: lentils, broccoli, vegetable broth, vermicelli, garlic, spinach, soy sauce, more sriracha.

the weeknights are alright.

basmati rice with asparagus, spinach, broccoli, garlic, and onion, cooked with garlic, liquid aminos, and loads of lemon. topped with two guinea eggs.

farro with carrots, collards, onions, and asparagus, cooked with sriracha, chili oil, and garlic, topped with a chicken egg.


36 hours in new york, new york.

about a week before this adventure, dominic, my friend and husband of one of my bestest friends, emails me to ask if i would be interested in coming to new york to surprise yelena (said bestest) for her birthday. he's throwing her a surprise party in their apartment and would like to get me a plane ticket to doubly-surprise her. of course i agree. he asks about my dissertation; i tell him that it can wait for another weekend. and thank him all the times for the offer. (a note: yes, this is an ode to the nytimes "36 hours" series in its travel section.)


1. ready already.
i actually look out the window as the plane touches down at LGA, already a little nostalgic for it all. though i was in new york last summer, it feels like decades ago, and i know i won't be back until the fall. i had planned to take a bus to y+d's apartment but i am too excited and get in a cab. i text dominic, who is at murray's cheese. i am happy to meet him there (doesn't everyone love that place?), but he'll be home by the time i get there.

2. the one person.
since i am to be a surprise, i have pretty much told no one i would be in new york (except for my friends in north carolina who i have begged to watch chloe (one of them agrees) and take me to the airport, which i end up paying someone to do, and my mother, who would lose her mind if she later found out i got on a plane and she didn't know). the one person in new york who knows i'll be there is april, who i am hoping is grossly pregnant but mostly looks like she just ate a burrito (it's too soon for the giant belly anyhow). she nervously meets me at y+d's apartment and we go to mile end for lunch, consuming much of the vegetarian items on their menu.

we also venture to gristedes to pick up items for the party and i almost lose my mind because they sell tins of charles chips and mallomars, both of which i do not buy. because it's ridiculous.

3. the constant surprise.
at this point, i am mostly hanging out with dominic, cutting peppers and making barefoot contessa's onion dip, which something i promised to do (i used to make this dip if i was throwing a big party; it's always a hit and it's really important not to think about how fattening it probably is.). he gives me myriad instructions about setting out food, who is coming over, and how this will happen. i am nervous about the potential for late-arriving guests and early-arriving yelena, who is texting him to pick her up early from work. it's easter weekend and everyone's gone and it's her birthday, for christ's sake (she wasn't that demanding).

friends begin to arrive (i am a surprise each time, to varying degrees of excitement), as does the cake (and cake plate!) and strawberry shortcake decorations and streamers. we begin drinking who-knows-what. a note: we later learn that yelena does not know who strawberry shortcake is, because, well, USSR.

4. yes, yes, they are in the building.
it's all actually a surprise. she had no idea. it's insane. dominic's web of lies lead her to the apartment and we were all there with loads of drinks and foods and lots of vine-ing and cake and chatter and helium sucked from the balloons and suddenly it was 100am and friends are having very serious, very drunk conversations on marriage.


5. we've got to do our taxes.
we caffeinate. y+d go to have their taxes done (i know this is going to happen before i even arrive. moving this tax appointment would have added to the complexity of the surprise.) i need to buy jeans, as i am wearing a pair with a repaired hole in the crotch and another one forming (i blame the bike-riding), and am happy to walk around and look at people who don't look schlubby (get ahold of yourselves, UNC students) and remind myself that new york is lovely and remains the nombril du monde.

the new jeans already have bike grease on them.
6. all the merry.
we reconvene at five points because they have pitchers of bloody marys and eggs rancheros. it is at this moment that i remember that brunch in new york could probably be had as late as 300pm but in north carolina, we are lucky if anyone serves it at all (or it's worth leaving the house for).

7. not opening ceremony.
the three of us stroll around soho and its surrounding hoods, sucking down australian coffees (i had a flat white) from happy bones and looking for the next, newer opening ceremony. yelena buys a shirt that resembles a shirt she was photographed in when she was four (not to be confused with 3-year-old yelena at the top of the post).

we pass pearl + ash, a restaurant apparently named for me (y'all know yelena calls me pearl, right?).
we've barely finished brunch at this point and are thinking about dinner, but decide against this place because it's so meaty (she later reports back that it's pretty awesome if i want to consume some animals).

8. named for its hood.
part of the birthday lie was there would be a big dinner on saturday night at vinegar hill house. it was not true (ha!), but there was no reason why it didn't have to be. the only subway ride i took in my trip was to dinner and dominic even paid for my ride (he's really a catch, that guy). tracy joined us--really, it was like i had gone back in time, having dinner with these ladies on a saturday night. i can't really remember what i ate: beets, brussels sprouts, some sort of pasta something. more drinks.

by the time we left, it was late and my flight was early early. we went home and drank amaro (gifted to yelena the night before) and passed out.

9. cabbing back.
i grab a cab and head to LGA. the cabbie repeatedly calls me "princess" and makes me guess where he's from (ecuador). i am home before noon. i could've stayed camped out in y+d's living room longer, but, well, work. and i should really hammer out that dissertation already.


a pretty amazing habit.

so, casey has started bringing bagels with him from DC, usually a bunch of everything bagels for him and some rye or pumpernickel or black-and-white for me. i really don't eat any bagels otherwise.

sunday morning: toasted bagel with goat cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, and hard-boiled egg; sliced carrots (as usual), and a mix of sauteed greens--cabbage, spinach, and collards--with onions, garlic, raisins, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. it was actually quite spicy. in the best way.

and a second photo because it was just so beautiful. and delectable.


there might not have been much.

but we bought all the things that there were possible to have (that we did not already have at home) at the farmers' market.

after-market lunch = sandwich on homemade whole-wheat-flax bread with goat cheese (garbo from celebrity dairy), spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and mayonnaise (the mayo is not from the market). plus a pile of potato chips.

oh, guinea.

casey and i bought guinea eggs in the durham farmers' market. truthfully, we didn't even know what a guinea looked like (we assumed it was like a pheasant) but we wanted to try them. 
 they are small. they are all wobbly in this egg carton, but the shells are super hard. the farmer promised us that they would be richer than chicken eggs, more like the duck eggs. but, truthfully, i don't know if my palate is good enough to understand.

 they were delicious. with really large, really orange yolks.
we ate them on top of a rice, bean, broccoli, spinach, onion, garlic, spicy mixture that i threw together for a fast dinner before casey hit the road last night.


dear paris,

i will always love you. no matter what anyone says.

especially now that you are mowing lawns with sheep. they aren't goats (my dream) but it's amazing and smart all the same.

here's my favorite goat, buttermilk.

and, the nytimes magazine food issue is out. love or leave it.

because we can all make mondrian cakes.

now, this is a book trailer. and how much fun are their jobs? incredible. 

**photo credit: sfmoma

i don't know how this was done.

because casey made it. here's what i do know:

  • we got to eat two slices of this crazy seedy bread i baked from his cookbook. with butter.
  • the fried egg was super perfect and delicious.
  • the rest is a mess of what i had in the fridge, mostly chard (my fave) and potatoes (his fave). maybe there's garlic in there? maybe onion? who can remember?
i am hoping he comes back and cooks some more. because that would be awesome. 

on another note, i am reading cathy erway's the art of eating in. she had a blog about never eating out in new york and it became a book. it's super easy and fast and not really mind-blowing but keeps me reading all the same (which is more than i can say for last month's book club choice). it's kind of gimmicky but the stories are interesting and there are recipes. i requested it from the library in a weird detour from researching for my dissertation and now i bet i finish it by the end of the week. 

like a mule.

the contents of my backpack from sunday's grocery trip:

  • 3 pounds potatoes
  • 1 box Spanish rice
  • 1 bottle soda water
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 pounds carrots
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • ~ 1 pound of coffee
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tub yogurt
  • 3 pounds grapefruit
  • 2 blocks of cheese
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2.25 pounds collard greens
  • small bags of garlic granules and caraway seeds
  • 1 jar peanut butter
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 3 heads broccoli
this is possibly the heaviest grocery bag i have ever carried on my back. i did not have my panniers so i stuffed it all into the pockets of the backpack i was carrying at the time. i knew i'd have a lot of stuff, but then potatoes and grapefruits were on sale and so i bought them despite the weight. i know it does not look like a lot, and it's not actually that many items, but the weight was substantial for certain.

luckily, alex and jonathan were at my place when i got home, so that warranted a gin drink. but that's a post for another time. 


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