weekend brunch picks

orange poppy olive oil muffins

Years ago, when Isabella was a wee little one, we had a neighbor who insisted on counting her son’s age in months up until he was three. Mikey and I laughed so hard at the idea of that. Imagine someone asking how old your kid is, and replying 32 months. It just sounds odd, right? I’m guessing that mom’s rationale was wanting to hold onto her son being a baby as long as possible. I get it. Oh man, do I get it, especially these days. In just two weeks, my babies will turn five and ten. I feel like I blinked and life tapped me on the shoulder, then screamed SURPRISE!

This whole way of counting has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. People often refer to Mikey having died a year and a half ago, or almost two years ago. Me? I refer to it as what it is—20 months ago. Unlike my old neighbor who wanted to cherish her babies early years, I’m trying to stay close to Mikey. The more time that passes since his death signifies the growing distance between my old life and my new one. Continue reading »

finding my mojo {apple allspice muffins}

I wish I could tell you I baked that muffin up above. I did some time ago, two years to be precise. That's when I first developed the recipe. It's a good muffin, that much I promise you. I think it even has the power to break me from this malaise I feel every time I glance around the kitchen these days.

I wouldn't exactly call what I've been doing cooking lately. It's more surviving, making the same few things I can practically prepare with my eyes closed. It's all homemade stuff—marinara sauce and mac n' cheese have been staples. We've also been ordering-in once a week, which is huge considering before Mikey died, we barely had takeout once a month.

Right now it feels like I'm in limbo. The house is littered with moving boxes, each room a little done, but not quite complete. The first box was the hardest—it was our cds. Music was as vital to Mikey as oxygen, and knowing he wouldn't be listening to them anymore, or taking his guitar off the wall to play for us had me in tears almost instantly.

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asparagus & creme fraiche “crepe”

As I reached into the pots and pans drawer for a skillet, my hand took hold of the crepe pan. Good sense stepped aside momentarily, and I knew this would not create a traditional omelet as I'd set out to make. I knew the eggs would quickly roll to the edges, creating a paper-thin sheet, more akin to a flourless crepe than the fluffy texture of an omelet one would expect from a recipe titled as such.

Still, I moved forward, unable to control myself. I was curious, and that is always good in the kitchen. It is what moves us to create something new. The disasters and flops are the pitfalls and rights of passage as a recipe developer.

So to create the best possible image as we talk about this, let's agree to call it an egg crepe, okay? Before I set out to make my egg crepe, I prepped the asparagus. See, that's really how this all started. I bought my first bunch of the season at the farmers' market a few days ago, and was eager to do something with it—just a few spears to tide me over until I could use them more substantially.

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concord grape muffins

 

I felt pangs of guilt during my farmers' market shop last weekend. I mean, I'm supposed to love spring and summer, right? After the long frost of winter subsides, the glimpse of a scarlet hued strawberry sends me giggling with excitement. In fact, there are still some available, an oddity, really, for this time of year.

And the raspberries and blackberries. What are you guys still doing around? Don't get me wrong, it's been a lovely summer, plucking piece after piece to eat as-is or bake in a tart. But you've had your turn. It's time to call it a season and let others have their day in the sun.

Usually my first visit to the market after vacation is filled with regret. If only I'd canned one more jar of peaches, or made fresh tomato bruschetta more often. This year, though, a wave of excitement washed over me. While I've been a firm believer in eating locally and seasonally, this is the first time I'm really okay with saying goodbye to my summer loves.

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make your own “eggy”

I love starting the day with a good egg dish—especially now that our local Greenmarket is open and the fridge is stocked with Grazin' Angus Acres eggs. My favorite, quick, healthy prep is to poach them, but that "eggy" you see above has been making a play for the number one spot at our breakfast table. It's basically a spruced up frittata that finishes in the oven instead of a death defying flip in the pan.

I first saw this dish on Martha Stewart, prepared by Darius Salko, chef at Tini in Providence, Rhode Island. It looked lovely as-is but I decided to go in a different direction and jazz it up a bit. My version is a never ending carousel of ingredients since I add whatever leftover sauteed vegetables I have in the fridge. I also changed the spelling because I think "eggy" looks so much nicer than "eggie", don't you?

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lemon blueberry muffins + half white flour

There is a fine line between being a "know it all" and a confident learner. Life has too much to offer to think we can possibly consume, let alone understand it all before our physical time on this earth is done.

And yet, there is an exceeding pressure, on kids and adults alike, to be perfect. It's an unrealistic goal. And a boring one too. Heck, if we become perfect, what pleasure would there be in waking each morning?

Three years ago when I ventured out on a freelance career, I had one main goal in mind—never miss a school event, recital or bringing birthday cupcakes to my daughter's classroom ranked pretty high up there. I knew what kind of mother I wanted to be. I wanted to be active and involved. I wanted to pick her up from school each day and talk about her favorite part—always lunch and recess, and her least favorite—none to report so far, which is good, I think.

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smashed brown potatoes + weekend brunch picks

Now that the Thanksgiving dishes are done, I have a few minutes to let you know my brunch picks for the weekend. The picture you’re looking at above is my version of hash browns using leftover mashed potatoes. Next week I’ll share my recipe for the best cranberry sauce ever. If you think the garnet-hued stuff is just for turkey day, this recipe will change your mind. I’m stocking up on cranberries and plan on canning some to give as holiday gifts this year.

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weekend brunch picks

Thought I’d start something new this weekend, so here are a few brunch picks from past posts. Whether you’re having a cozy breakfast with your family, entertaining friends or lucky enough to get an invite where someone else cleans up the dishes, here are a few of my favorite recipes that’ll brighten up the bread basket this weekend.

apple allspice muffins

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brown butter bourbon banana bread

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cinnamon buns