Lately my thoughts have been dithering in a hundred different directions — distracted by work, family, and my own interior life. Mostly I am thinking about beginnings and endings and how the line between them is very fine.
Spring has finally settled in Boston, which, in typical New England style, means schizophrenic shifts between almost 90-degree days and below-40 degree nights. Next week it will probably snow. However, there is one constant you can count on during spring even when all else fails: pollen attacking your face hard.
It’s taken me a few weeks to really soak in just one of the many amazing cookbooks I recently purchased. First up: Momofuku Milk Bar, which is a super attractive book on a purely aesthetic level, but the story behind Momofuku Milk Bar‘s origins and Christina Tosi’s voice throughout is wry, evocative, and sheer engaging. There’s something delightfully appealing about all the trashy/delicious eats unapologetically served up here. Recipes like Compost Cookies and Crack Pie, with their reliance on things like potato chips, chocolate chips, and pretzels, are practically a stoner’s wet dream.
Grapefruit is not for everyone, sure. But, it really, really does it for me.
This recipe started as me wanting to get more use out of grapefruit, a fruit which I adore. Since I am pretty much convinced that grapefruits can only be eaten in the morning (I don’t know why I think this), I thought, why not muffins? Muffins, too, make a delightful breakfast item. Coincidentally, I can only eat muffins in the morning as well. It was clearly meant to be.
I was thinking of adding a nutmeg milk infusion when I happened to have an amazing drink of black iced tea infused with grapefruit. Suddenly, it was really, really important just then to add black tea to my working muffin recipe, because then it would be like all the best things of breakfast in one muffin. Woah.
Two words: cookbook overload.
It’s an overwhelming glut of new information to absorb, and even during the long holiday weekend, I’d find myself no sooner cracking the cover of one of them when I’d be called off to do something else. Bake this. Go to that martini party. Drink all this gin. My life is so hard. Boo hoo.
I love this video.
But I like this cover better.
This past week, I spent less than 24 hours in New York for work, which translates into getting up at 4am for a 7am flight and flying home at 5pm to collapse in my bed at 7pm and remain dead to the world until the next morning. Can I tell you how exhausting that was?
I have a few confessions to make.
- I recently stopped washing my hair with shampoo, and now I just use conditioner. My hair looks a frillion times better as a result.
- I am pretty neat in all areas of my life except my workspace. My workspace is a hopelessly cluttered mess, full of objects that do not have any meaningful relevance to each other save for the fact that I had, at one time, placed them there. For example, my workspace (which is to say, my bedroom) currently has, on the bed: A bunch of empty boxes I want to recycle for gifts, some full boxes of things I’ve received in the mail from Birchbox (Have you gotten one of these subscriptions? Delightful!), piles of unopened letters, Michael Rulhman’s Ratio, my Nikon D80 with USB cord still attached, a book on learning Korean, a menu for an Ethiopian restaurant, a half-finished baby blanket, some expired Loft coupons, the Verizon information packet to my iPhone, Amnesty International address labels, a cutting board, cupcake wrappers, black onyx cocoa powder, some Valrhona chocolates, and so many other things.
- Sometimes all I will eat for dinner is a spinach and mushroom omelet. EVERY DAY. FOR A WEEK. SOMETIMES TWO. This often happens because I am so doggone exhausted from work and don’t want to spend a lot of energy in putting something fancier together. Also, I really love eggs. A lot. They are nutritious and filling. I can’t seem to get sick of them. Omelets are the perfect food for us low-carb eaters. Sometimes I have an omelet for breakfast AND dinner. So there.
There comes a point in your baking experiences where you loosen your tight clutch on a recipe and learn to relax. Maybe even take a slightly-out-of-focus photo (see above).
You begin to experiment a bit. Substitute ingredients. Sometimes it all turns out disastrously wrong. Sometimes you create a pleasant new recipe. Sometimes you decide, on a whim, to bake something and are just too lazy to go to the grocery store to buy all the ingredients a recipe calls for.
So, the holidays are over.
Are your pants a little…tight?
Mine are. It sucks.
Why can’t eating bread and cookies and rice cake soup be slimming? Alas. I’m going into damage-control mode post-holidays, which means no carbs, no sugar, lots of protein and lots of veggies. Fortunately, I have a salad recipe that is awesomely delicious and perfectly slimming. Sometimes good things do happen.
In my family, there is a particular dish that traditionally makes its appearance at holiday dinners. In fact, it’s such a huge favorite that it often makes its way into many ordinary meals throughout the year as well.