Rugged but Right


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bluecheesebiscuits10“We got the hips that sank the ships from France to Peru.”

By we, I mean me. The lyrics above are from a song the girl’s camp used to sing at Camp Fitch, prior to or after the boy’s camp shouted their far less lyrical, less inspired chant at us. I’m not sure who came up with the girl’s camp cheers, but this one — an adaptation of the old song “Rugged but Right” — seems pretty risqué for a bunch of awkward, mosquito-bitten twelve-year-old YMCA campers. Especially if you knew the corresponding hand gestures and dance moves. But I loved it, because I couldn’t wait for the day that I actually HAD hips, ship-sinking or no. Well, that day has definitely arrived. It arrived years ago, technically, but I had this line stuck in my head recently when I was whipping up a batch of cheesy, buttery biscuits. Continue reading

Mixology Monday: Spiced Apple Shim


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IMG_3379Like most people, I’m one for getting as much bang for your buck as possible when it comes to cocktails. I’ll pass on the weak sauce, thank you. But for family gatherings this time of year, it’s crucial to maintain a steady buzz throughout the festivities without reaching that embarrassing, overly argumentative and klutzy state. One solution? The shim. I had never heard of shims before reading this month’s Mixology Monday announcement post but fortunately this month’s host, Dinah Sanders of, has literally written the book on the subject. Continue reading

A Very Casual New York Food Tour


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Food trucks

Food trucks at South Street Seaport

Our remaining time in New York was spent more on sightseeing and meeting up with friends than searching out the best eats, but honestly, you don’t have to try very hard to find delicious food in the city. We certainly didn’t, and I had some of the tastiest, most indulgent food of my life. Continue reading

A Spectacular Return to NYC


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Hanging out in Brooklyn - where the magic happens!

Hanging out in Brooklyn – where the magic happened!

I haven’t yet written about New York City here, which seems odd considering it has played a significant role in shaping my life for the past few years. Long story short (because I’m assuming most readers have heard this tale by now), after our last grad school finals in June 2010, Matt and I embarked on a road trip to NYC to see our respective friends there. We started the trip as relatively good friends, but by the trip’s end we both confessed (in a subway station, of course) to wanting something more. We didn’t quite define what that something was, but we were hopeful. Fast-forward a year and a half, and boom, we’re engaged. It is definitely cliché and Carrie-esque to say, but I’m always grateful that New York brought us together. New York City, and food, of course.  Continue reading

Pie Season


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IMG_3145On Wednesday, I made my first pie of the season. Pie season, of course. I’ve made dozens of pies over the years — mostly the standard apple, pumpkin and pecan varieties. Some have turned out well, and some were dried-out disasters. I’ve always been particularly obsessed with creating a perfect crust, and have had many a debate with my sister (my opponent in our annual Thanksgiving ‘pie-off’) on how to achieve that ideal tender-flaky balance. Fortunately this year I’ve done my homework, and I’m feeling confident that this will be the year of The Perfect Crust. Not only will it be buttery, crisp and well browned — no, I will not be satisfied by taste alone. It will also be visually stunning, with no weird lumps or tears or gaps where the filling has bubbled up between layers. Saveur will call me up and tell me they’d like to make my pie their December cover (obviously so enamored they will delay their print deadline). Rachael Ray will demand I do a demo on her show, and David Lebovitz, the king of pastry, will give me a shout out in his next book. These are all reasonable expectations, I think.  Continue reading