After spending a week away from home for a photoshoot there’s one way to some up how I feel. Gross.
I cannot wait to get home and actually prepare my own food again. While I absolutely love trying restaurants and eating out, it’s only enjoyable when it’s completely optional. When the question of what do you want for for dinner turns into a ring around the rosie of what place is going to dictate your portion size for the evening it loses its glamour.
This weekend will be spent picking out all sorts of veggies at the farmer’s market and getting some roughage back into my system. I will be roasting beets, washing beautiful greens, soaking chickpeas and making pesto. It will be a full on salad celebration. For me it’s like therapy. When you spend an entire week doing things for other people it’s nice to spend quality time taking care of your own chi for a little while.
Look to Martha for some inspiration: tomato beet salad; romaine salad with crispy prosciutto and white beans; and chicken, chickpea and pesto salad
It’s Monday. Ugh. After such a beautiful sunny weekend, to get up and have to sit behind my desk gives me ants in my pants. I wish I could get everything done sitting outside under all the blooming cherry blossoms. So what was necessary to sip in the sunshine? A latte of course. Just a perfect foamy latte with a touch of sugar. It went perfectly with the crisp breeze and blooming tulips (ok the breeze really could be a tad less crisp). This time of year the weather is still cool enough to enjoy coffee being hot. Once the heat picks up it’ll be time to make the annual jump to iced coffee.
Seeing as I’m getting gradually more and more into coffee maybe I should educate myself on all the different options. It can be my back up obsession to wine with all the varieties and flavor intricacies… What better way to learn than with a Pop Chart Lab creation?!
photos courtesy of Pop Chart Lab
Cooking, for the average Joe/Jane, is a learn-by-example or learn-by-experimentation skill. Adulthood sort of requires you to suddenly be procificient at it when you move into your first place or risk weight gain from excessive prepared and processed foods and/or financial paralysis from spending entirely too much on ordering in/eating out. Some find their wings in the kitchen pretty quickly or were previously interested and some struggle (can you tell which camp I’m in?). Yes, I was a struggler, but a lot of learn-by-experimentation and some learn-by-example thrown in has gotten me fairly far along.
But a little formal instruction can go a long way, so for a friend’s birthday, we signed up for a cooking class together at Sur La Table’s New York City learning kitchen near Columbus Circle to get some inspiration for our next kitchen forays. We made a roast chicken with basil pistou, creamy wild mushroom polenta (ingredients pictured above), braised fennel with shallots and herbs, finished off with a dessert of Bosch pear tartlets. No wonder cooking shows make it look so easy – the menu is set, everything is purchased and prepped in little dishes, the space is huge, the equipment top notch… cooking classes make cooking less stressful… Freedom within a framework and all that. We learned some basics in knife technique (apparently I’m not as bad as I thought I was), our chef/instructor Joel taught us not to be too afraid of raw meat and dirty mushrooms – “A little dirt will never hurt” was his mantra – and we had a great time eating everything we made (since they make it foolproof and it was delicious).
Here is us with Chef Joel. Happy Birthday Kate!
We were the kids that grew up with very few rules to live by. No curfews. But a lot of pressure to make adult decisions about what could get us into trouble. One rule we did however live by – family eats together. We never questioned that while we could go galavanting around with our friends, participating in a variety of shenanigans, then our rumps better be promptly at the dinner table daily. No questions asked. No excuses.
So many years later we continue this tradition. We relaxed the other week with a wonderfully wholesome meal at The Smith at Lincoln Center. We may have ordered the birthday cake dessert because why not celebrate every Friday with candles?
Tonight we are enjoying a family dinner with the parentals that started it all. But now that we are older we don’t need any excuses. It’s just a lovely way to decompress after a busy week.