tomato pancetta basil quiche


I'm getting tired of tomatoes. It pains me to even admit it. I've waxed on and on about how much I love them at times... but I'm getting tired of cooking them.

I don't want any more caprese salads. I guess that means it is really Fall. I want my mozzarella melted in my lasagna and not cold with balsamic. Hi Fall.

But tonight I was hungry and feeling lazy. I get in these places where if I know I'm hungry but I don't eat, I get cranky and start to actually feel terrible. The clock was ticking on my stomach... and the pile of tomatoes I have accumulating. By some miracle my brain flashed to this meal I made last summer for my lady friends. Tomato + egg + oven = Dinner.

it's fall?


I think normally people go through this cleaning phase in their life when it is Spring. It's probably why they call it Spring Cleaning. I don't think I'm afflicted with this guilt complex but I do seem to be suffering from "Fall Cleaning". I have this incredible desire to purge my life and my apartment of unnecessary things.

I started to purge last night but got distracted with watching the Cosby Show on Hulu. That happens to other people I presume. But today it was raining when I woke up ... and so it was perfect cleaning weather. I got myself a breakfast sammy and made a pot of coffee ... then proceeded to ruthlessly attack my linen closet. Linens have less feelings than sweaters and coffee mugs.

Before I knew it, it was 2pm and the sun was shining. It seemed silly to waste the rest of the day organizing back issues of Food & Wine magazine so I scooted out to see my friend Anna in the "country". Anna promised a fair at a nearby farm and I was ready to accept that promise. The fair was probably the most wholesome activity I've seen outside of Vermont. There was a hula hoop contest and an egg toss. I was also denied the right to purchase a piece of pie by a 10 year old because she only accepted tickets, not cash.

Life Lately


So it appears it is now Fall. About 3 months ago, I bought tissues from CVS. My qualifications were that they be on sale and not terrible. Several days later, I realized that I had inadvertently purchased the tissues that were infused with Vick's vapor rub. It was a terrible mistake... until today. I am not normally sidelined by allergies but today I feel rather terrible.

So, I'm sitting in my apartment hugging a bottle of water. I'm a mere hour away from strapping on an embarrassing (but amazing) breathe right nose strip and hitting the hay. I've also learned that Eleanor thinks tissues are for eating? and this disturbs me.

Before whatever satanic allergen bloomed this weekend, I've actually been having a great couple of weeks. There has been a fair amount of cooking - both documented and undocumented, walking, running, breakfast sandwiches, and cheese. So it seemed like a fair time for a good iPhone picture post.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins


I'm not really a muffin person. And since we are disclosing things, I'm also not really a cupcake person. That being said, I'm not going to turn down a cupcake really. They are pretty great - but not as good as strawberry shortcake or a piece of pie or cheesecake. Muffins feel like a convenience food. They are great for "to go" food and most certainly have their place. I think I prefer my muffin to be buttered and tossed on the grill. There aren't many things better than a grilled muffin?

The pros to muffins are that they are great for sharing and for the mail... exactly the two things that I was hoping to accomplish with this blessed batch of baked goods. While I would have loved to use my extra buttermilk from last weeks scones on some breaded chicken... that I would smother in buffalo sauce ... I elected to make these oatmeal blueberry muffins. The catch? The oatmeal is soaked in buttermilk overnight. Overnight oats are all the rage these days with mommy bloggers and Pinterest pinners ... and I'll admit that I'm a fan as well. The oats becoming amazingly plump and pretty much the opposite of instant oatmeal.

lavender blueberry scones


pic courtesy of the bride from Instagram

One of my favorite things in the world is sending mail. One of my other favorite things is getting mail. If the postal service ever shuts down, I'll be a sad girl. I believe people think sending mail is hard but it really isn't. It can be as easy as sending a Postagram. I'm not sure anyone actually dislikes receiving mail... but there are certainly times when it can be extra exciting. Birthdays. Valentines Day. Christmas. Those might be my favorite.

Not everything that I make is suitable for the mail... in fact most of it isn't? Can't really put a cup of soup in the mail. If I could figure out a way to send bagel bombs, I would have several friends getting them immediately. But scones are perfect for the mail ... sans glaze of course.

Which leads me to my latest baked good concoction... I have a childhood friend who is getting married in a few short weeks and I wanted to put something in the mail to her and her fiance in NYC. I took a quick poll of my lady friends to see whether a bride would rather have scones or muffins and went from there. Having just come from Maine I had these slightly romantic notions of wild blueberries but that didn't quite work out... Whole Foods Charlestown wasn't on board with my vision. So I stepped up my game with some lavender, who doesn't love lavender? Boys apparently. When I mentioned at work that I had made scones the night before, girls responded with "delicious" and boys responded with "why the lavender?". Silly boys.

caesar kale salad


I have always loved caesar salad. I think I even like bad caesar salad. It's just so creamy and sinful but yet there is lettuce... so it's this fake feeling of healthy decision making. I wouldn't say that I'm one to make really healthy eating decisions but I'll never forget getting a peeksy at the nutritional facts one day. Yikes.

Fast forward to last January when I saw this version of a kale caesar salad on Feed Me Phoebe. It looked crazy intriguing and I wanted to be on board ... but was slightly apprehensive about a kale salad. Kale seems trendy ... and I'm the opposite of trendy. Then, I went to Maine and we made this amazing kale salad and I was completely on board.

So that's how I ended up roasted an entire head of garlic solo in my apartment on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Roasted garlic is seriously amazing provided you aren't anticipating getting cozy with anyone for about 12 hours. If you are... Altoids?

beer clams + heavenly kale salad

Birthday dinners are rather important. I'm not saying they need to be fancy - but there needs to be thought behind it. I'd be perfectly happy with a pizza for my dinner because then it'd be about the atmosphere or getting to binge watch my favorite shows on Netflix while we ate.

But, one of the best things about seeing my lovely friends Meghan and Sarah is that they also love to cook and appreciate thinking about meals. I mean, I am always thinking about my next meal ... and especially when it is a birthday dinner for someone we all love.

So this is what we whipped up while on the coast of Maine...
- Beer clams
- Heavenly Kale salad
- Faux margarita swordfish

pesto crusted baked cod (and clams)


Cooking in the summer is not for the faint of heart. Cooking in the threat of summer is almost worse. See, technically we are on the tail end of summer... it could be hot one day or not at all. But since the threat is still alive, I still need to think about whether it would be advisable to think about turning on my oven for a dinner. I don't look at the weather for rain... I look for heat.

Planning meals is something I absolutely love to do - but it also sometimes has me spinning more than my non-existent washing machine. Do I need a side? But how big of a filet do I really need? What if they hate garlic? Does anyone have a nut allergy? Seriously.

simple summer tomato sauce


Guys, there was this time in Italy that I wanted pizza but instead got gnocchi. The gnocchi was served in this knock your socks off tomato sauce that was so simple yet so flavorful. I remember when it was brought to the table, I was like.... wait, this is it? But it was phenomenal.

I'm not going trying to say I've made your grandmother's Italian tomato sauce but I did make a really flavorful simple tomato sauce ... from scratch. Like most things that I attempt to do, I thought it was going great... then it seemed like failure was imminent .... and then it all turned around some how and I had tomato sauce. Rather reminiscent of the chocolate mouse, butter, or french macarons experiments.

greek-ish orzo salad


I'm always a big fan of trying to do things myself once or twice - or at least attempting it. For this reason, I have a pile of clothes in my closet that I refuse to throw out / donate because I'm moderately convinced I can hem / alter them myself.

I can nearly guarantee that I will fail at that - but I'm going to try none the less.

When it comes to food, I've attempted things like focaccia, english muffins, donut muffins, and butter for the same reason. In recent history, I've taken quite a liking to the Whole Foods Spinach Orzo Salad in the prepared foods section. Nearly without fail, I pick it up anytime I'm at a WF ... and that is between one to two times a week. That equals $6 for a pile of small noodles and some olives. And a few other ingredients.

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