I love my food magazine subscriptions. I love them so much that the shelf under our coffee table is stacked so full that I won’t be at all surprised when it finally slams to the floor under the weight. We keep talking about how I have to go through and get rid of some of them. We’ll probably keep talking about it too. I don’t see it happening any time soon.
The true, awful shame in the thing, though, is that I don’t even keep up with them anymore.
Each month, I fan out the current issues on top of the table. Most months they sit there looking nice...and unopened. If we’re traveling, I’ll gather up the ones I haven’t yet read and catch up on the plane or train, but that’s really the only time I get around to them. It feels too much like leisure, like self-indulgence, for me to justify sitting down and diving into a magazine when I should be writing, doing dishes, or ironing that damned duvet cover.
But I think I’ve found a way to have my magazines back and take that leisure time for myself without feeling like I’m slacking off. I’ve decided to give myself a monthly assignment.
Lately, the days of rain have outnumbered the days of sun. The gray skies might be depressing, but a glance outside remembers that the dreary weather is worthwhile because everything’s gone green. It’s time to trade in coats for light sweaters, time to leave the windows open while the air is still cool. It’s time for asparagus, fiddleheads, rhubarb, and strawberries—the latter two baked in a pie.
Just a quick update to let you know that recipes are now printable! I've also reformatted all of the posts on GF in the City. So, if you've been poking around since the new site was launched and noticed that the formatting was a little crazy on some of the older posts, they're all better now.
As always, if you find any issues or if there's anything that you feel like you'd like to see, don't hesitate to drop me a line. We'll still be making tweaks over the next couple weeks to improve things, but this one gets a post because it was kind of a biggie and something that I know at least a couple of you have been waiting very patiently for. Thanks for hanging in there. Now go print yourselves some recipes!
I’m a little incredulous that I’m posting this right now. When I started making crème fraiche, I told myself that there was no need to make a fuss over the thing. It’s hardly a recipe—not to mention that everyone and their mother has already posted the ridiculously simple method.
And then yesterday, while making a batch to accompany another recipe I’ll be sharing this week, I thought why the hell not?
People, this is sincerely the easiest thing I have ever made. I’ve tried very hard to come up with something that took even a smidge less effort and I couldn’t. And because it’s so shockingly simple, it’s almost unfair how impressed people are when you pull out a jar of thick, tangy crème fraiche and tell them that you made it yourself.
And just in case you’re wondering what one does with crème fraiche, I’ll give you a few applications: dolloped on fruit, smeared on cakes, dropped into soups or chili, slathered on pizza, wrapped around pasta, or licked straight from a spoon. Basically, any place you could use whipped cream or sour cream—and on everything else as well. Truly, I’m having difficulty coming up with something that wouldn’t be made better with the addition of crème fraiche.
You can see how it’s almost a problem that it’s so easy to make.
My dad started dating a woman named Laurie about two years ago. She’s sharp and successful and a joy to be around—and she keeps him in check, since I’m too far away to do that anymore. They’re great together. Over the past couple years she’s introduced him to many of the things that she loves, which have become things that he now loves as well: weekends at the cabin, Caribbean cruises, cats (Monumental this, since he despised the creatures back when I was a kitty-crazy little girl and all I wanted in the world was to have half a million of the things to snuggle and love forever and always. Now, as an adult, I am severely allergic to them and need to load up on Zyrtec before visiting any house that a cat has even looked at in the past ten years. There’s some sort of irony or something in that, right? But I digress….), and avocados.
During a phone call sometime last year he told me all about avocados. About how much Laurie loves them and how much he loves them and about how he bought one to slice up for a salad or something. He then proceeded to tell me about how he attempted to get into the thing. If memory serves, it involved a vegetable peeler(!) and consequently hacking the flesh away from the pit. I bit my tongue and let him describe it then, cringing, much as I’m cringing now reimagining it. Once he finished, I very gently told him that there is a far, far easier way to prep an avocado.
Which got me thinking: not everybody has spent an obscene amount of hours watching the Food Network like I have. I know so many basic cooking-related tips and tricks as a result of both that and my time in the kitchen—why not put some of it up here? I have no illusions about being an authority or the only/best resource for this type of information, but if someone that doesn’t watch cooking television shows up here and consequently never touches a vegetable peeler to an avocado? I’d say such a post will have been well worth publishing.
So, this hereby marks the beginning of a new series of how-to posts on GF in the City. I have a couple more in mind and will continue to keep my eyes open for things worth explaining, but if you have any ideas for something you’d like to see here, in step-by-step photos, please let me know.
When Nilla was a little pup, exploring the world and learning to play, she would occasionally grab her favorite toy of the moment and, after giving it a shake, she’d flip it lightly into the air to land just a few inches away.
As she’s gotten older, however, she’s gotten stronger. Her once adorable habit of tossing has turned into a habit of throwing. Ocassionally, hurling. And her aim has improved.
Or not, depending on how you look at it. I can think of one candleholder in particular that would disagree if he were still around to speak of it today.
A moment, please.
It first became apparent to us that our kid had a real talent (or issue) when she managed to accomplish this.
I’m not sure what to feel about that number. Two. In a way, it feels as though it’s been so much longer. Over the past two years this blog has seen an engagement and a wedding, a job change, it's seen death, and flowers, and a baby shower for the mommy of a little guy that I now watch grow bigger and bigger nearly every week. It feels like two years can’t possibly contain all of those things.
And yet, it feels like I’m only just starting here. Not as in, “it feels like May 9, 2009 was yesterday.” No, the above paragraph still holds true. But more like, this space is finally becoming what I never/always knew it would. Which is why, as of today, things are looking different.
I’ve known for a while that a change was in order, so I started working on a redesign for this site at the beginning of the year. I cannot tell you exactly how many iterations it went through. Three general designs, maybe, with five or so variations on each, plus a lot bit of cursing and a bazillion few tears along the way. It is immensely difficult to take something in your head, something with no shape or color, and turn it into a visual, intelligible product. It’s even further difficult to make it into something that looks polished and cohesive—and I’m not at all claiming to have done that. What I have done, though, is turned this space into something that I love, and I am hoping that you like it as well.
Also, for all the hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing that I did to get to this point, I have to say: Designers, you are awesome. I have a whole new respect for what you do. Thank you for making things nicer to look at and better to use, and props for making it look easy—because it’s totally, totally not.
Welcome to month three of the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally! If you’ve stumbled upon this post and are interested in reading more about what the Rally is all about, check out the post from our inaugural run when we all shared ratios and recipes for pancakes. This month we’re sharing our recipes and ratios for scones. Mine is below, read on to see how it came to be.
3 parts flour : 1 part fat : 1 part liquid : 1 part eggs
When I graduated from college, it was a strange sort of non-event. There was no ceremony, no Pomp and Circumstance. I took my finals, turned in papers, and was done.
A little into my second year at NYU, after juggling classes with a full schedule of auditioning and film shoots, I had decided that something had to give. I was either going to drop out and focus on my work, take a leave of absence, or kick things into high gear and get this whole school thing over with. After some parental urging, I went with option three and wound up officially graduating two summers later, just a few weeks shy of my third anniversary in this city.
So while the people I had met during orientation week were preparing for their last year of school, I was facing that wide expanse ahead called Life. It was perhaps a bit odd to have completed that one phase and entered into this other so seamlessly (there were always ceremonies along the way, weren’t there?), but it worked for me.