I love Bon Appetit magazine. If you're reading this blog, I'm sure there's a good chance that you do too. I tear the plastic wrapping off each month, excited to see what I'll find inside. I know there will be beautiful photographs, ah-ha! tips and tricks, top-notch restaurant nods, and dozens of recipes. But what I most look forward to discovering in its pages is inspiration--a different way of looking at peaches, or burgers, or cheese that makes something in me shift.
When it happens, it's like a presence that sweeps across all of my senses at once--I can't yet see, smell, or taste it, but I can feel that it's there. Slowly, it becomes an actual thought, takes shape, comes into focus. Most often it's only a single element, or a concept, that then begins to sprout delicate fingers that probe the corners of my mind and pull out tiny pieces of color and flavor, assembling them together into something whole. Something that all of my senses can fully imagine. Something that I then must create. Mmm, yes. This is where recipes are built.
And while I often turn the pages for this rush alone, there is occasionally that one recipe that gives me pause. That does not send my creative mind into a hungry frenzy, but quiets it instead. Back in April, I stopped upon one such recipe and it has been clinging to the walls of my brain ever since. Occasionally, it will stick its little foot out, wriggling its toes in the middle of everything else I'm trying to sort through, just to let me know that it's still there--I'm waaaiting.
So I gave in. How long can one really hold out against cake anyway?
I finally did it--I think. I'm a bit nervous to share. Maybe it could be better. Oh, but it's pretty good. Actually, it's exactly what I wanted it to be.
Not an oily, delicate, too-sweet cupcake in a muffin disguise. No, these muffins have a firm, slightly coarse yet tender texture. They're just sweet enough to be considered a treat, but hearty enough to be a viable, protein-packed snack. And they're mine.
We spent the morning easily, comfortable in knowing that we didn't have to be anywhere. Days like these feel rare, but maybe it's in part that we so rarely take advantage of them. After breakfast and a load of dishes, we grabbed the books that we've each been reading and walked out to the park. The sun was bright, casting a warm white light, the sky a clear and even blue. Last night's thunderstorms had wrung the humidity from the air--this is what summer should always feel like.
Since I went gluten-free, at least half a dozen people informed me that I needed to try Risotteria. It was on our list of GF restaurants, and looked like it would be good, but we never made the time. Also, it is located in the West Village, and we just don't seem to be in that area very often these days.
A couple weekends ago, Chris and I took my very good friend Carolyn and her unbearably, make-me-laugh-till-my-stomach-hurts cute daughter to go see The Little Mermaid on Broadway. It was in part a belated birthday gift to the tot as well as a going away present. You see, my two favorite TriBeCa fashionistas will soon be embarking on a southern adventure! Though I will miss them both very much, I am also incredibly excited for them, and now have a wonderful excuse to visit Texas again.
After a post-show dinner at our go-to GF joint in the theater district, Nizza (more on that at a future date), Carolyn asked if she could thank us by taking us to dinner as well. "Are there any GF places that you haven't tried yet?" Many, yes, but I thought of one in particular. Risotteria.
After a week and a half of being completely overwhelmed at work, Chris and I drove down for a couple days of fun and relaxation with his family on the Jersey shore. The June-long rain ended with the month and the weather was perfect for morning cereal on the deck, strolling the boardwalk, and lazing with a book on the beach. During our trip, we had meals ranging from barely edible to decent; a couple tasty appetizers and cocktails at sunset on the last night were a memorable reprieve.
But after only two days away, I missed my kitchen terribly.