First of all, thanks for the kind words and encouragement for the week ahead. I'm still undecided about the whole birthday cake thing, and know I just need to see how I feel once the day approaches. Maybe I'll be in a cake-making mood, maybe I won't. What I will do is follow my instincts at the moment, and go with the flow.
Before you all begin thinking life is filled with nothing but gloom around here, though, rest assured I have many moments throughout the day that bring a smile to my face. I try to hold those moments close, and wish I could capture them in a bottle to save for a rainy day. In fact, sometimes I really can preserve the moments—thanks for the inspiration Heidi. So, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things of late with you all. Putting this little list together was a welcome distraction for me, and it's always nice to share a good find with a friend.
- Citrus Salts from 101 Cookbooks. It's no secret that I love everything Heidi cooks. Sometimes I even imagine what it would be like to be her neighbor, and have the chance to hang in the kitchen together. Take a peek at her recipe for preserving citrus zest to see why. I gave them a go this weekend, and took it a step further by adding some fresh chopped herbs to mine (the photo above is oregano citrus salt).
- I can't say enough how much I love my new bread boards from Our Vintage Home Love. Diane introduced me to them a few weks ago, and I immediately ordered a set. The kids adore having their own individual boards at night. They've also become spoiled with their own ramekins of seasoned olive oil for dipping. Dorm life is going to be a rude awakening.
- It's funny how it's been months since Olga and I have seen each other, insane actually, because we only live 10 blocks from each other! Alas, life gets in the way of face-to-face time, but our minds were both on the same thing a few weeks ago: parsnips. You'll have to wait until the second book comes out for my recipe (sorry), but go give her parsnip leek soup a try until then. Her recipes never disappoint.
- I have a handbag obsession, and once you see this one I've fallen for from Pietro Alessandro, you'll understand why. The leather is so soft and subtle, and they're made right here in NYC. I bought mine at a local shop here in Cobble Hill, but they also sell them online—I have this brownish-grey one which pretty much goes with anything.
- Breville gets my vote for the best hand mixer ever. While testing for the cookbook I wanted to use a hand mixer, since I know not everyone has a zippy 800-watt stand mixer. This little 200-watt powerhouse beat the socks off two other top brands. I love that the beaters are sturdy, not flimsy wire whisks like most other hand mixers nowadays. Making a batch of chocolate chip cookies took less than 10 minutes. For the record, this wasn't a freebie—I paid for this baby out of pocket, and it's well-worth the $80.