Sometimes you think you know how much you love something or someone, and then they do something that surprises you and makes you love them even more. Like when you come downstairs in the morning and discover that your husband has done all of last night’s dishes and taken out the garbage and made you a pot of coffee. (Yep, it doesn’t take much for me, folks. It’s the little things.) Well, these Brussels sprouts are like your husband doing the dinner dishes.
Last year, I told you all about how I made these amazing simmered Brussels sprouts and I kind of thought it was crazy how good they were. Because it seemed so simple, and yet… they are so good. They tasted so different from any Brussels sprout I had ever known. I kind of fell in love with them. And these are the same, but the opposite. Where the steamed ones were light, buttery, and fresh, these are nutty, rich, and a flavor explosion. Both delicious and mind-blowing, but in a totally different way. Continue reading
Since my maternity leave ended, I’ve been working from home, so I can also be at home with the baby. Now, when we came up with this arrangement, I knew I’d be more than a little sad to not be in the office anymore, chatting with people, taking our little tea-time breaks everyday, deciding what we should do for lunch, etc. But, I also told myself, on the plus side, that I could make myself delightful, simple little lunches a la Canal House. In my fantasy, I’d work until 11:30, then whip up a light lunch of smoked salmon tea sandwiches and sorrel soup, or perhaps I’d flit down to the farmers market on Wednesdays and come up with a salad of local, organic produce. Then, of course, I’d be back to work around noon and still have time to bake up a batch of ginger cranberry scones for an afternoon break. Oh, and in case you were wondering, my fantasy also included a child who sleeps for 22 hours a day, and spends the other 2 hours gurgling, smiling, cooing, and being generally delightful.
I think we can all see where this is headed. Continue reading
After a week of cooking things that left me feeling a little bit… dissatisfied, I think maybe I just need to go back to the basics. Something that time after time, turns out well and makes me think that maybe I’m not a complete cooking failure. Experimentation is all well and good, and admittedly, how I’ve come upon some of my all-time favorite recipes, but sometimes I need to take a step back and make something that won’t frustrate me, that won’t betray my hopes and dreams for it, and that won’t taste like a waste of time.
Enter Chicken Marbella. Is there anyone out there who hasn’t made this? I hope not. It’s one of those things that while somewhat impressive, is simple to make and really delivers in the flavor department. Also, for some reason, it always makes me feel vaguely nostalgic. I don’t really know why; I don’t remember eating this as a kid. Actually, I’m positive I didn’t eat this as a kid, because there would have been no way that I would have eaten something with both olives AND prunes in it when I was a child. I think it’s because it’s from the Silver Palate Cookbook, which was always on my mom’s kitchen counter. Just the site of the book, with all its gorgeous pictures, brings me back to the house where I grew up. Isn’t that strange? They say that smell is most closely tied to memory, but I guess cookbooks do it for me, too. Continue reading