cod with potatoes and salsa verde


Guys, this dish was so good that I ate it in less than 5 minutes. If I had cooked for more than one, I would have gone back for seconds. I have zero self-control so I think it is a mere miracle that I didn't just make more of the potato and onion part.


I had originally planned to make this dish on Sunday evening... but then obviously made Mexican Chicken Soup. Monday night came around and I was so hungry that before I could thinly slice potatoes... I had faced a bunch of cheddar cheese, pretzels, and meats. According to the internet, fresh fish is only really good for 2 days in the fridge which meant today was the final day.

I wouldn't have thought this was a week night meal going into this honestly. I recently decided to make a concerted effort to cook more from the multitude of magazines I get (Food & Wine, La Cucina Italiana, Bon Appetit, Cooks Illustrated, and Cooks Country). So this weekend I piled a few in my bag before I set out for some light city adventure. Adventure = eating pizza and reading in the sun. I found this recipe in Food & Wine and loved it for the simple ingredients ... and seemingly simple prep.

Mexican Chicken Soup... for Fall


I originally had plans to make a seared cod tonight for dinner... and I'm pretty sure that's the opposite of a Mexican chicken soup. I even procured all of the ingredients for both at Whole Foods this afternoon. But, this afternoon slipped away from me ... and some how it seemed much more rational to cook one dinner and drink wine and listen to Spotify than cook dinner and make soup.

It took me much longer this year to make the transition to soup. I know because I get a daily digest of all my social media postings from the prior years... and by this time last year I had already made the full switch to Fall. Meatballs were made. Cauliflower was roasted for soup. I think Fall feels slower this year for a few reasons of which weather is one. My mentality was still in Summer / early Fall mode until last week ... now? It's Fall. 

Mexican chicken soup isn't exactly Fall - but it's soup and it's really good. A while ago I made this Peruvian Chicken soup ... and it was real good but this is a million times different. It's only been 3 hours but I'm a fan of this version. It has just the right amount of heat / kick / spice for me. It feels different, but it still rather easy.

brown butter peanut butter rice krispy treats

People often ask me what kind of a cook I am? I don't think they are asking if I'm bossy in the kitchen. They are more often asking me to define the general type of "cuisine" I conjure up and then subsequently push on guests and frequently give away. I'm rather hesitant to define myself in the kitchen - but I think I'd say that I most often like to cook meals or recipes that are approachable and yet a little different. I don't think anything I make is really complex. If it appears complex, it probably just requires a bit more patience and reading. Maybe.

So this weekend I was invited to a Halloween party in the burbs and knew I needed to whip something up for the occasion. I rarely feel comfortable showing up empty-handed... it's probably my mom's voice in the back of my head. That being said, you are welcome to come to my house that way. A Halloween party isn't a place for an apple clafoutis or merengue nest with strawberry sauce - it's the place for something sweet that feels a little bit sinful... and maybe even comfortable? Enter rice krispy treats. 

Pig-free Powisset Farm


I'm a Summer baby through and through. I like the long days filled with sun and warmth. I like the activities that come with summer. Reading in the sun, cooking on the grill, bike rides for fun, bike rides to air dry from swimming, bike ride with cocktails.

But there is something about the transition to Fall that makes me want to take nice walks slash hikes in nature. A few weeks ago, I went back to Norris River Reservation with Ruby May the puppy for her first "hike". Since then, I haven't really been seeing what Fall had to offer... which was probably why I tried so hard to pack it all in this past weekend. Saturday at Appleton Farms and Plum Island. And Sunday... at Powisset Farms in Dover .

I kinda of knew from the minute I got home on Saturday that I was going to try and see another farm on Sunday... but didn't really pull the trigger until I woke up. I first saw the farm featured on the Trustees of the Reservation Facebook page ... and it looked compelling. Although I would say I had a far different experience than what I was anticipating. 

brown butter apple clafoutis


Good things happened yesterday and less good things happened as well.

The good things were delivering hot sauce to friends, walks in the "country", reading on a bench in the sun ... and making this dessert (and eating it for dinner). The less good things? I think my allergies are back. My throat is itchy, so I'm not sleeping well, so I'm not interested in running in the morning, so I'm less enthusiastic about the day. It's all a chain reaction thanks to nature and the changing seasons.

But guys, this is really about making a BROWN BUTTER apple clafoutis. Just like galettes, I have no idea how to say clafoutis but I think I really like them. I did a bit of research on them in advance because I was like clafoutis sounds like a disease that can be passed around and not a french dessert - which it actually is.

The essence of a clafoutis is essentially a custard / flan like baked pie style dish... with fruit... that is served warm. Also, it's not hyper photogenic - or at least mine isn't... but it's also delicious and I'm going to eat it for dinner and dessert and probably breakfast for the next several days. I didn't eat mine with ice cream, but I think that would probably be a great touch. Think of it like a bread pudding ... maybe.

escaping to the farm in the fall


I watch the news each morning before I go to work. And each day this past week, those ridiculously cheerful weather people told me how amazing the weekend was going to be. It was like they were advance shaming me for just reading magazines by the harbor.

So, I was borderline determined to savor the Fall weather a bit, see some foliage, and if I was lucky a stone wall or two. 

I really had no idea where to go for a brief adventure. I didn't want to drive for more than 45 minutes and I would prefer to not see crowds of people. I stumbled upon Appleton Farms after clicking through a couple of options that I found on the Trustees of the Reservation website. It fit all of my qualifications and more. It was a working dairy farm! This means baby cows in addition to Fall foliage. Although I felt pretty confident in my decision to venture out to Appleton Farms, I stumbled onto this article on Edible Boston about "happy cows" and was even more convinced. 

embracing the weekend


This weekend was a little bit of everything.

It was boating, birthdays, cooking, wandering, running, and picnicking. There was no cleaning, organizing, or de-cluttering. Sunday alone, I had pork FIVE ways. Yes, five. That is what type of weekend I had.

The past two years over Columbus Day I've run away to Vermont (here, here, and here). I get so excited to gawk at the foliage during the long drive. Sitting on the porch with a hot mug of coffee is always a highlight wrapped in fleece and trying to talk through how we can make beeswax candles. This year, I ended up staying local and doing my best to see some foliage and try a few new things. I can safely say that I did something (slightly) new each day that I hadn't done before.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Rigatoni


A few weeks ago I was home and scavenging in my Dad's garden for produce. I ended up coming home to the North End with a whole pile of jalapeños, assorted other hot peppers, the rest of my favorite tomatoes... and a solo eggplant.

I never turn down fresh produce. Especially if it's free... or insanely cheap. I mean, this is how I ended up making tomato jam that one time. I don't think I've ever cooked with eggplant before this but I figured it never hurts to try things once. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do with this little gem but thankfully the internet happened to serve me up the inspiration just in the nick of time. Feed Me Phoebe originally intended this to be a vegetarian dish ... and not baked ... and deconstructed. Although I rarely stick to a recipe 100%, I strayed pretty far from Phoebe's intentions. I ended up adding bolognese sauce I had ... and baking it.

Homemade San Marzano Sauce


It's officially the end of garden fresh veggies.

As of last night I have finally cooked or eaten, all of the hot peppers, tomatoes, and the lone eggplant that were produced from my fire escape or my Dad's suburban oasis. Earlier this week, I plucked what I think will be the final tomatoes from the fire escape. I didn't keep track but I think I ended up with a dozen tomatoes from the fire escape, despite the rough start with the blossom end rot. I think I'm prepared to do battle with San Marzanos again next year having learned a few lessons.

Homemade Hot Sauce


I'm not one for spicy foods normally. It's like self-inflicting pain that I'm just not normally one to be a part of. I've gotten more accepting of "hot salsas" but the idea of spicy Indian food or the equivalent isn't exactly in my "taste palate wheel house". Is a "taste palate wheel house" a thing?

BUT, a few weeks ago when I was at my friend Anna's I learned about homemade hot sauce. I saw all these hot peppers in her garden and asked what they did with them... answer is hot sauce. Genius. Especially for someone like myself who had access to a whole lot of hot peppers of about a million varieties because of my dad's very fertile garden. Seriously, I have no idea what half these peppers are so I had to google "types of hot peppers" and try to match them up.

It took me nearly two weeks to get my act in gear to make hot sauce... but that isn't because it's hard... because it isn't in the least. Making hot sauce is almost as easy as making pesto ... but with the additional roasting step. Peeling the skin from the bell peppers isn't super cute but it also isn't hard. A few weeks ago I made a Vietnamese salad and as a result couldn't wear contacts for nearly a week... so this time I made sure I purchased some latex gloves from the hardware store in advance. It was a great 86 cent investment.


Lately I've been having wistful dreams of going back to Italy.

When I think about the days I spent wandering towns and taking pictures of doors and old people .... I wish that was going to be tomorrow. Going to Italy was an amazing and relatively spontaneous trip of a lifetime. I love everything about my trip, except Tuscany. Tuscany was hard because I was alone and apparently people don't "do Tuscany" alone. People do Tuscany on honeymoons and in cars, not with backpacks and on trains. Lesson learned.

In anticipation of someday returning to Italy, I actually enrolled in an adult education class for Italian a few weeks ago... but that is a topic for another day. Today is my 600th blog post and like other (relatively) big posting thresholds... I thought too much about this one and as a result haven't been writing. I'm quite sure that it only matters to me that I've written 599 other times.

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