5 month check-in

Over the course of the years here, the balance of the posts have been on personal / daily / life updates ... versus cooking. In the last two years or so, the swing has been much more towards documenting cooking adventures... and travel. It felt like the right time to chime in with an update - especially since I've had this post in draft for two months. It was originally titled "3 month check-in"...  and it's two months late... which makes it a 5 month update.

famous blueberry muffins

Muffins aren't exactly one of my favorite breakfast items - but they are pretty great. They are perfectly utilitarian for  multiple flavor combinations, travel eating, and can skew from "healthy" to "not at all healthy" in a hot second.

I'll admit that I tend to lean towards bagels (or even cinnamon buns) before I grab a muffin - but they do have a place in my heart without a doubt. Almost a sentimental fondness from Martha's Vineyard breakfasts at Mrs. Miller's Muffins to splitting the grilled blueberry muffin at Metropolis in Boston's South End. Muffins feel slightly indulgent to me. Probably because I insist on eating them warm and slathered in butter. 

chocolate hot cross buns

I'm not sure what prompted me to make hot cross buns honestly - but I'm glad I did. 

Sometimes I shy away from recipes that require elements of precision or refinement. Hot cross buns are not exactly a refined baked good... but the element of individual little buns and the crosses... and the yeast. It adds up. Then I saw a recipe for chocolate hot cross buns and I was sold. Plus, like many things I've attempted in the kitchen - it was not nearly as complicated or challenging.

Small hiccups? The original recipe was written by someone who does not live in Boston and uses the metric system. While I remembered to convert all the ingredients, I neglected to do so for the actual baking temperature. After 35 minutes in the oven at 200 F with limited progress, I realized I hadn't converted the "200 degrees" from Celsius to Fahrenheit. Idiot. But, if you follow the directions (which aren't complicated) and set the oven correctly, you'll have some beautiful hot cross buns to share.  

White fish in lemon caper chili sauce

I made this dinner so long ago that I barely remember what happened.

All I remember is that I had some brussel sprouts and mushrooms ... and while I really wanted to eat this meal again... I felt like I had to try something new. While new isn't always better, it does mean that you've at least tried something new. This white fish dish is very easy to come together... and a refreshing change of palate. It has a ting of citrus and a kick of spice from the chili. 

greek lemon soup with chicken and orzo

I tend to skew towards very hearty soups. I want something that feels like a meal - not something that requires a part two. Unless that part two is a grilled cheese or anything with cheese for that matter. All that being said, there is a season fast approaching that requests I not cover myself in fleece and hooded sweatshirts ... so I'm trying to find some healthier options. Added to that, I've been largely sedentary for several weeks as I get over pneumonia and frigid winter weather.

veal cakes over silky eggplant

Oh Sunday. You tricky little beast.

It was such a beautiful day out. It was one of those days where everyone is thinking about how few layers they need to wear and lusting after gardening items at the hardware store. Maybe those are both just me actually. But seriously, it was almost actually warm out. This winter has been nothing in comparison to last year but for some reason, I'm beyond eager for Spring and Summer to come around. The longer days, the garden fresh food, and perma-smell of sunblock just can't come fast enough.

Seared cod with pancetta roasted leeks and mushrooms

Man oh man. This was an amazing dinner. So many surprising and delicious elements - and so fast. I pulled this one (literally) from the pages of Real Simple during my winter plague. I never really believe the "30 minute meals" call out - especially for the first time you make something. So, it was surprising to me that this actually could have been a quick weeknight meal.

I managed to make this dinner on a "busy" Sunday. I went to yoga, finally packed away the Christmas stuff, and prepped for Spring plantings. I am so excited about this. With all my time on the couch, I somewhat methodically planned out how this will all happen. It's probably going to fail but at least I have a spreadsheet tracking my plan. Spring is coming though - it's in the air for sure. There were 19 people on the beach during sunset including sweet Ruby May and that is about 18 more than I've seen the past three months.

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