Friday, June 28, 2013

Loving Lately

Great cover art, no? And the rest of this slim little book is just as lovely.

I'm sort of a kill-joy when it comes to raunchy cartoons geared at adults. Bob's Burgers, though, is hilarious and touching. Indeed, Bob and Linda were recently named TV parents of the year by Vulture :) First two seasons are on netflix instant!

I consider myself to be a bit of a snack food afficionado. Chocolate covered chips, milk toffee popcorn, aged gouda, flax seed gluten free crackers, hummus of all types, olives stuffed with blue cheese - I could go on and on about snacks I know and love. These cheddar & horseradish chips from Trader Joes are my latest, greatest discover. They were SO POPULAR that my Trader Joes sold out of them last week (I was buying at least two bags a week to let TJ's know that they were a much loved new product, so I apologize for contributing to the shortage!). Have no fear, management assured me they will be restocked asap.  

I wanted some sturdy, cute new sandals, and these thongs from Saltwater fit the bill. (Why are sturdy, cute sandals so hard to find?!)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!! We're meeting my family in Connecticut tonight to celebrate my sister's birthday, and then going to see GARRISON tomorrow night at Tanglewood; be still my NPR loving heart.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Very Lazy Fridge Pickles

Earlier this week, Peter and I were eating dinner (in the dining room! like grown ups!), and I spotted the end of an amazing rainbow outside the window. We ran outside into the yard to take a peak, and took this picture (along with the rest of Boston!). The sun was behind us, and it was still raining, but it was that lovely, warm summer-style rain. The rainbow looked a lot brighter in person. Isn't that always the way?

Anyways, I just couldn't resist giving you guys a double! rainbow! in this post about rainbow swiss chard stem pickles. I've mentioned before that I'm always looking for the easiest/fastest way to do things. Not a perfectionist at all. It was through one of my ongoing searches for easiest whatever that I found these pickles. Aaaaages ago, I told you about these easy pickles. But that recipe seriously looks like rocket science compared to these.

Fridge pickles
Based on the Bon Appetit recipe

You will need:
Swiss chard stems from one big bunch, chopped into pieces a few inches long
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon chopped dill
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and dill until sugar is disolved. Put the swiss chard stems and onion in a tall jar or tupperware container, then pour the vinegar mixture on top until completely covered. (I needed to add a bit more vinegar to cover everything - maybe an additional 1/4 cup - this obviously depends on the size of your container). Throw them in the refrigerator for a few days, and then enjoy your very lazy fridge pickles!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Dinner: Pork Chops and Grilled Chard

On Friday afternoon, my friend Sam came into town from D.C. and we got to meet up for an amazing cheese and meat filled celebratory lunch since she's moving to Africa next month to start an amazing fellowship! Afterwards we took a walk around the Copley farmer's market. She's just visiting, so I bought enough at the farmers market for both of us. It all looked so amazing! A huge bunch of swiss chard, beets, radishes, and pork chops (Sam, I ran back to buy those after we parted and barely made my train, ha!).

The next night, after a long day of paper writing and house hunting (Oh, the panelling! The linolium! The cracked ceilings!!!), Peter whipped up that lovely drink - a dark and story sunset! Basically, it's a dark and stormy with some hot pink grenadine at the bottom. It was awesome.

For the pork chops, Peter just put a little salt, pepper, and smoked paprika on top before grilling them. I made a little pesto with beet and radish greens (blanch them for a minute first to get the sand out), pistachios and feta, and mixed that in with jasmine rice - surprisingly good.

But weirdly, the star of this dinner was the grilled swiss chard salad. I grilled kale last summer, and I guess it was fine, but I barely remember it, which tells you something. But grilled chard! Who knew. Keep the pieces very big, and don't worry about removing the rib in the center of the leaves. I put all the leaves in a bowl and tossed them with salt and a good amount of olive oil - the leaves should be pretty shiny. Put them in a grill basket and flip them once after a minute or two.

Summer Sunday Saturday Dinner: Pork Chops and Grilled Chard
  • Dark and stormy sunsets
  • Grilled swiss chard salad with sliced radishes and feta
  • Rice with beet and radish greens pesto
  • Grilled pork chops
  • Cabot's coffee toffee heath sundae (it was Saturday night, after all!)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mitchell Gold Pop-up Store

Just a little PSA if you're in the Boston area - there's a great Mitchell Gold pop-up store in the South End right now through the end of the month. Gorgeous lamps for under $100, deeply discounted couches, chairs, rugs, and pillows galore. These babies were originally $140 each (!!!) and they were on sale for $35.

(P.S. Imagine my couch moved over a few inches so that it's, you know, centered under the window...)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Sunday Dinner: Grilled Swordfish with Ramp Pesto

Are we past ramp season by now? I fear we may be.

However, this dish would work just as well with garlic scapes, scallions, or a mixture of herbs. I just tossed a few roasted ramps into my food processor with some pistachios, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, and jusjed away for a few seconds. Not too long - I like pesto to be a bit chunkier when I'm putting it on meat or fish. I had left-overs that I used as a pizza sauce and dolloped on top of paella.

Pesto season, I'm so happy you are back!

Summer Sunday Dinner
  • Whiskey sour, where have you been all my life?!
  • Grilled swordfish with ramp pesto
  • Roasted duck fat potatoes
  • Green salad with roasted beets and blue cheese
  • Lemon ice cream 
I was on the fence about lemon ice cream - I couldn't wrap my mind around it. But I decided to make it since we had lots of lemons, thanks to making sour mix. It's delightfully creamy and tart, which is difficult to achieve. If you aren't my mother-in-law who hates lemons (hi, Pam!), I think you'll enjoy it.

Happy Friday to all! Tomorrow I was roped into proctoring an ACT test (Peter's been coaching me on my serious teacher face), and I am going to see Gatsby tomorrow afternoon with a few girlfriends. Have you seen it yet? I know it won't be great, but I'm excited for all the hair and fashion inspiration.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Made it to the good part

(Please take note of the water temp - Peter still went in!)

(The couple that wears Lilly bathing suites together, stays awesome together. And yes, I have a window in my shower...)

I feel like shouting out in my loudest blogging voice, "Summer is here! We made it to the good part!" Around this time each year, I can't shake the feeling that we are right on the cusp of everything fun. Dark and stormies, Tanglewood concerts, fireworks, open windows, too many burgers, a long list of great things to read, action movies inside icy theaters, a new batch of ice cream churning every Sunday. Perfection, all of it.

The car has been christened with its first dusting of sand. Yesterday we went to Crane for the first time this season. It was windy and hot and glorious. We walked out to the far right of the beach, all the way to the tip, and I tried to soak it all in. Days like yesterday are what I think about in January when I'm freezing and it's dark outside at 5:00 p.m.

After the beach we stopped at Russell Orchards, where I bought literally everything they had on offer - a leafy head of Romaine, long, green scallions, cute pink and purple radishes, and two cider donuts. For dinner, Peter grilled turkey burgers and whisked together a sage aioli to go on top, and I used some of the scallions in a sweet potato salad. Then there was lemon ice cream and catching up on Game of Thrones while a storm rolled in, making the curtains in the living room blow around wildy, and do you see what I mean?

Perfection, all of it.

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