Last week ushered in the beginning of a new season. For many, it was lunchbox season. For others not living in the continued summer swamp of NYC, it might have been PSL season. Football fans welcomed dip season. And the especially food obsessed, welcomed the greatest season of all: fall cookbook season!!
When I got home last Monday, after a week on Martha’s Vineyard, my doorstep was stacked with Amazon boxes. Charlie appeared horrified (the endless parade of random boxes addressed to Phoebe Lapine is on my list of “cohabitation quirks”). I, meanwhile, tried to suppress the same nerdy excitement that used to crop up every time I entered the school store to pick up my fall text books.
This Middle Eastern Seven Layer Salad in a Jar came from one of the first new spines I cracked open: Kristin Donnelly’s Modern Potluck. Continue reading
When you begin cohabitating, it doesn’t take long for your little quirks to come to light. Which, is a polite way of saying: the things that annoy the shit out of your roommate.
Mine involve never refilling our Soma water pitcher and saving lightly used tissues on various surfaces for “later.” Charlie’s include leaving his sock drawer perpetually ajar, and buying a new sack of granola, jar of special sauce, or bag of tortilla chips every time he goes shopping, even though there are several half-eaten versions of each already at home.
Unlike my “half-used” tissues, however, which seem to only benefit my allergies and, potentially, the environment, Charlie’s quirky hoarding tendencies do occasionally benefit the greater apartment good. And this week they did so in the form of a sheet pan of Mexican gluten-free eggplant parmesan.
If the tissues are any indication, I can sometimes be an unreasonable stickler for waste. In the kitchen, this leads to other hoarding tendencies. Just this morning I opened my freezer to find months’ worth of veggie scraps and chicken bones that have been patiently collecting icicles and waiting to be turned into stock. The more Charlie buys at the market, the bigger my task of trying to make sure that it all gets used. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I got an email from an aspiring food writer who was struggling to get her website off the ground. She asked me, flat out, is it even possible to make a full-time living as a food blogger? My response to that million dollar (er, thousand dollar?) question was yes and no.
For blockbuster bloggers, the answer is of course. A dip in search engine traffic isn’t going to break the bank when you’re Deb Perlman and getting millions of pageviews a month. For the rest of us a few tiers below though, the answer depends on your general financial situation: how expensive your city is, the number of private school educations you are currently (or plan on) paying for, how many weddings you’re attending every year, the scale of your kombucha addiction etc. etc. And, of course, who else is splitting your grocery bills…
For many of my peers, full-time blogging may be the dream. But given the direction ad revenue is moving in, and some of the crazy algorithmic ups and downs of 2016, it may not necessarily be a realistic one.
There is another approach, however. One that involves just a slight tweaking of that dream, and can potentially be just as fulfilling: odd food jobs.
The path of my relationship could potentially be traced in discarded oyster shells. In the case of our recent trip to Seattle, Oregon and California—and the grilled oysters from Hog Island that inspired today’s recipe—those bivalves were coupled with lots of happy food memories. But on a few occasions towards the beginning of our courtship (nearly three years ago!), oysters were the centerpiece of awkwardness–the kind that often plagues first encounters with someone you have a big, radiating crush on.
For our second dinner date, Charlie took me to one of his favorite restaurants in Brooklyn. Unsurprisingly, for I already knew he was a class A hedonist, his ideal meal from the menu consisted of a dozen oysters and a fois gras terrine to start, followed by the venison. He also told me that when he lived in the area, he often sat at the bar on weeknights and ordered the 5-course tasting menu by himself. It was, apparently, a great deal.
As I pictured us growing old together—me in the kitchen with a linen smock dress and Diane Keaten-esque shaggy lob, Charlie in the study, his smoking jacket covering a belly that had submitted to the duress of years of goose liver and camembert—the first oyster reached my lips, and this fantasy was replaced by a more pressing fear of food poisoning.
What was usually a refreshing gulp of cooling sea water and brine, had the funk of a seafood counter cutting board that hadn’t been cleaned in a week. Our faces soured in unison, and I could see Charlie’s inner dialogue fill with panic. Continue reading
My batch cooking usually falls by the wayside in the summer months, and this year was no different. For one thing, endless wedding season means I’ve been traveling non-stop. And since Sunday afternoons are usually my time to prepare meals for the week ahead, being out of town every summer weekend puts a damper in that habit. The second reason, though, is counter-intuitive. It’s that I’m actually cooking more.
When I do make it to the Farmer’s Market during the summertime, especially if I’m on Martha’s Vineyard, my overbuying tendencies go into overdrive. And for the following week, my cup runneth over with cherry tomatoes and summer squash, bell peppers and string beans. Sometimes, its greens and nothing but greens. So much produce, so little time. But unlike the winter months, you actually don’t need much time at all to prepare them. A weeknight dinner, like this soup, can take less than 20 minutes. And like that soup, most of my last minute creations fall into the category of summer bowl recipes.
Though August is almost over, the strategy of bowls is something that can easily be carried into back-to-school season. And today I’m sharing some beautiful recipes from the queen of clean herself: Lily Kunin of Clean Food Dirty City. Continue reading
To say that Martha’s Vineyard is my happy place, as I often have, is an understatement. I’ve been coming to the island every summer since I was little. Basically, for as long as I can remember. And even in the peak of the August tourist season, it still holds so much hidden magic and local charm.
In addition to countless happy memories with my grandparents and extended family, I owe the island big time for my love of food. While there are many Martha’s Vineyard restaurants that will keep you well-fed during a visit, the local agriculture and farming community are what make the island such a special place to cook.
I’ve already given you many line items from my vineyard culinary highlight reel, from the fresh Morning Glory Farm corn with basil butter to the island fresca soup I recreated from Red Cat Kitchen. Not to mention all the years of seared scallops, crispy yellowtail flounder, and baked bluefish from Edgartown Seafood. Continue reading
I had some unexpected realizations during hydration month of the wellness project. Mainly, that my consumption of green juice was causing me to bleed green. I’ve since managed to balance my beverage budget. For the most part, I don’t buy coffee or coconut water out on the town. But the one bottle I’m still a die-hard sucker for is kombucha. And after I managed to spend $10 in a two-hour window on a concoction similar to this watermelon kombucha recipe, I knew it was time take matters into my own hands at home.
The scene of this spending spree was a little coffee shop in Seattle. I tagged along on Charlie’s business trip a few weeks ago, and after several days of working remotely from the hotel lobby, I decided to take FMP headquarters to greener, more organically caffeinated pastures.
As any freelancer or home-bound workhorse knows, finding a good coffee shop for your mobile office might just be more difficult than sourcing a flattering pair of white skinny jeans, bad picture of Ryan Gosling, or intelligent statement from Ryan Lochte (depending on your interests/hobbies). The coffee and free Wifi have to be strong, the music soft, and the tables amble and sparsely occupied. Starbucks never seems to fit the bill, even in its hometown. So after a few pit stops for gluten-free bread and sustainable seafood, I was grateful to find Victrola Coffee Roasters, which not only checked all the necessary boxes, but also served up watermelon-cucumber kombucha on tap. Continue reading
For a professional food babe, I’m surprisingly suspicious of kitchen gadgetry. So when my first spiralizing apparatus landed on my doorstep, designed by none other than the doyenne of inspiralization, it took me a few weeks to get up the courage to rip open the package and let the blades go to town on the bell peppers in this beef taco skillet recipe from her new cookbook Inspiralize Everything.
I’ve gotten to know Ali Maffucci over the last year through my #friendsinfood events in New York, and become slightly hypnotized by the volume and beauty of all the squiggly veggies spiraling out of her kitchen. Between that, and being a gluten-free recovering carboholic, you might think I’d have ditched the kelp noodles and jumped on the spiralizing bandwagon sooner. But I couldn’t bring myself to buy the machine. Continue reading
It doesn’t escape me that every time I post something overtly meat-related, I immediately lose about 20 Instagram followers. Sadly, this is also what happens with every picture I post of Charlie. This makes both of us sad, but perhaps some people just aren’t into hunks of man meat either?
Luckily, shellfish hasn’t been quite as offensive, but I’ve still taken your social media behavior as an implicit request to throw more veggie options into the mix. So in honor of Meatless Monday, and in the name of my post-road trip detox, I’m interrupting this month’s #summerseafoodchallenge programming to bring you a creamy vegan zucchini soup recipe. Continue reading