*Trees with funny faces on them.
*Leaving work when it's still sunny out. Ahhh.
*These dark chocolate-covered almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar from Trader Joe's (fancy!). Seriously, so good, you guys.
*Smoothies made with coconut milk. Far superior to smoothies without coconut milk.
*The return of Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley. HBO junkie 4 lyfe.
*Dirtbag Winston Churchill and his excellent jammie game.
I have not been keeping up with the blog posts.
Part of this is because I've fallen down the rabbit hole of reading wedding blogs and aslkdf there's a lot of ish out there. I open one message board and then five hours go by before I come up for air again, glassy-eyed and slightly crazed. How do people plan weddings while also working full-time jobs? And how does anyone afford any of this?
One day I will figure this out, but so far there's been very little concrete planning or decision making; instead, there's been lots of reading about other people complaining about their future in-laws or discussing the etiquette of place cards. My eyes now glaze over when I look at more pictures of impeccably decorated tablescapes and beautifully lit garden ceremonies. I have been enjoying reading Another Damn Wedding, less for ideas or inspiration and more just because she writes with such a sane, funny, honest voice about all of this madness.
This weekend we finally got to spend some time outside. Friday night was a fun birthday party at a deep-dish pizza place in the West Village that served their beer in baby pint glasses but charged grown-up prices, which is not cool. But the pizza was good.
Saturday was a barbecue at a friend's house in Red Hook, starring a delicious home-smoked brisket that disappeared in seconds and a good ol' Cajun crawfish boil. I would have taken pictures, but the first batch of crawfish didn't come out until maybe 11:00 at night, at which point it was too dark out to take pictures and I might have been a little bit drunk. But the crawfish were insanely good.
Also, I took a boxing lesson last week. It was SO FUN. It turns out that hitting things as hard as you can over and over is really good stress relief.
How was your weekend? Are you enjoying the newly blooming world, or is the pollen driving you mad?
Since the cherry blossom festival in D.C. wrapped up this weekend, I'm posting some pictures from when J and I went to the cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden a few years ago. It's one of my favorite places in New York, but especially when it's a riot of flowers and colors in late spring.
Roasted veggies are well and good, but I was willing warmer weather to come with something lighter and fresher. I keep coming back to this broccoli slaw recipe from Smitten Kitchen, so I adapted it to use what I had in my refrigerator.
I started with two hefty bunches of broccoli, roughly chopped and then run through the food processor in batches. You could use a mandolin, or grate them, or even just finely chop them.
Next, I grated three carrots and added them to the bowl.
Thinly slice two shallots, or half a red onion, and toss that in there too.
Three scallions, just the white and light green parts, chopped up and added to the mix.
I stopped here, because J doesn't like fruit or nuts in his slaws, but when I packed leftovers for lunch the next day, I added one of these guys to the mix. The roasted nuts (walnuts, pistachios, pecans) and dried cranberries added some great contrast - a little crunch, a little sweetness - and because I mixed them in right before eating, they didn't get soggy sitting in the dressing over night. So I would recommend adding probably half a cup each of roasted nuts and dried cranberries, but only just before serving.
To make the dressing: one third cup buttermilk, one third cup mayonnaise, and two tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Mix the dressing well, then incorporate into the slaw, then salt and pepper to taste.
We've been on a little mussel kick lately. And since they're rated a best choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, are often on sale for a song, and are a delicious and quick dinner, there's really been no reason to end our streak.
This time, I made a spicy, garlicky tomato sauce as a base.
I started by thinly slicing four fat garlic cloves and chopping one half yellow onion. I sauteed them briefly in about two tablespoons of olive oil, along with a generous shake of red pepper flakes.
Next, a 28 ounce can of peeled tomatoes goes into the pan. Salt and pepper and let that simmer away for about twenty minutes before adding two pounds cleaned mussels. Cover the pan and cook for three to five minutes, or until the mussels have opened.
To serve: put some pasta in a bowl (we used whole-wheat linguini), ladle plenty of mussels and tomato sauce over the pasta, and then scatter some roughly chopped parsley on top. Dinner's ready!