just a little jaunt to the farm


Like I mentioned in my Memorial Day wrap-up post, I took a quick little jaunt to the Holly Hill farm in Cohasset over the long weekend. It's a cute little place that has horses, a goat, buckets of chickens, and a bunny. I'm sure there are other living things as well .... but I'm pretty much just in love with their collection of tractors and old barns. 

I first went to the farm back in 2010 right after I graduated from grad school. My parents stocked up on plants for their garden and I hung out with the horse and the wild flowers. Last year my dad happened to pick up some San Marzano tomatoes for the garden and those are my favorite. 

All of this essentially leads to the fact that I went there solely to purchase myself one little San Marzano seedling to bring back to the North End. Here's hoping I can keep it alive on my fire escape and if I can... I'll be recreating this meal immediately.

bipolar weather


I've just eaten about 7 Dove Promises and it's Wednesday ... which means it's not a long weekend anymore.

The weather this Memorial Day weekend could only really be described as bipolar. Pretty much every weather forecaster in Boston is trying to tell us that Memorial Day is the start to summer. For about 70% of this weekend it was hard to believe that... given I sported a giant yellow rain jacket and leggings and a fleece. I secretly liked the rain jacket because it made me feel like I lived on the coast of Maine and was a fisherman's wife or something. That being said, the frizzy locks popping out from the hood ... not the best look.

Baked French Toast is Delightful


Back in March, I had the occasion to be in NYC with a small group of friends. Being the early riser that I am, I mentally jumped at the opportunity have a little warm breakfast available when people slowly made their way into the kitchen.

Thanks to a big ole chili dinner the night before, there was a perfectly stale loaf of French bread for the taking. So I turned the whole thing into a baked French Toast casserole. I wish I could say I knew what went into it but in typical fashion.... I just mixed until it looked about right. Not helpful for the future.

Mother's Day seemed like a great opportunity to give it another go. Our family loves breakfast and we also love things that have limited to zero clean-up. This dish most certainly fits the bill. Hello breakfast casserole!

Just a little jaunt to Chicago


Yes, it's been far too long in between posts. And while I know that in my own heart, it's always nice to have someone else remind me.

I got this message at work yesterday from my friend's hubs:
"tell whatjendoes that she hasn't been doing anything"

Message received.

It's been a weird and busy few weeks since I got back from Italy. I feel like I've barely been in my own apartment and space. Every where I look in my apartment is a small project that I need to work on. Even my wine rack is empty. I need to fill it.

None of these things were helped by a quick trip to Chicago last week - but the trip was pretty great none the less. Yes, it was for work... and that inevitably meant some oddly timed flights that meant for less sleep and more productive work times. But the trip reminded me of a lesson that I've learned (and been practicing) for the last year or so. Making the most of the time you have.

Ginger Margarita Swordfish with homemade butter


I love cooking for specific occasions. Cooking is great and all, but when there is a theme or purpose ... it is just a million times more fulfilling. Maybe not a million, but still.

I'm particularly proud of the themed Downton Abbey dinners and the Julia Child meals last summer. There is a chance that I still haven't stopped sweating from making that chocolate mouse.

I haven't done nearly as much cooking recently and this weekend I got right back into it. Prepping for 3 weeks of vacation, taking the vacation, and recovering from missing vacation will make a pot of Mac and Cheese more alluring than a fresh batch of english muffins. A little Cinco de Mayo helped me bust out of that rut in a great way.

Making the Butter

I almost can't believe that I made butter on Sunday. In part because I love butter a lot ... and because it was really not challenging.

I'm not suggesting that I give up store bought butter on the reg but for a special occasion .... make some butter. In fact, I can't wait to have another ladies brunch and be like "oh yes, here are some scones .... AND HERE IS SOME BUTTER... I made both".

That sounds braggy, but I really don't mean it like that.

Like many of my favorite recipes, the best part about making your own butter is that (1) it shows how much you care but (2) it also is so customizable!. Like you want chive butter? Add some chives. You want honey butter? Add some honey. The options are completely endless.

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