Monday, February 28, 2011

Karma. And a giveaway.

I need some good luck tonight. I'll spill the beans tomorrow, but tonight... I could use your happy thoughts. Which brings me to this giveaway. See, CSN Stores (purveyor of wall art and decor, many lovely cooking items that I covet, and much more) contacted me about doing another giveaway or a review, and for the first time, I really thought about reviewing a product for selfish purposes. Had one picked out and everything - I was going to get a spice grinder, for jobs that my mortar and pestle make too cumbersome and my mini-chop makes simply impossible. But I kept delaying posting the announcement. When it came down to it, I felt weird about being selfish and keeping something for my own use. Bad karma, or something.

We are a karmic/superstitious household in lots of ways. T was a hockey goalie - a very superstitious crew, it turns out. I want to imagine elaborate glove adjustments with all the "no, it's not OCD... it's just hot"-ness of Nomar Garciaparra, but padding and a mask make any sort of movement infinitely less hot than a baseball uniform (sorry T). But his superstitions have followed him - many of which make me laugh. Me, I follow the "pay it forward" rule of life, and take that seriously. Putting good things out into the world is a nice way to receive goodness in return, I figure. I enjoy kindness. I like hosting giveaways, buying presents, doing nice things. I won a huge Minted giveaway last fall and promptly gave it away to my brother and almost-sister-in-law. I've won CSN giveaways from other blogs in the past, and always used them to buy gifts. I donate as generously and as frequently as I can to causes that I believe in. Giving is better than receiving, in my head, especially when I could use a little smile from the universe.

So tonight, send me your best energy. And please do enter my CSN giveaway: a gracious $45 gift certificate from our host, good at any of their online stores, to use for anything you please.

Here's how you enter the giveaway: continue this conversation with me. How do you feel about karma? I'd love to know.

I'll take all karmic answers through the week, and look forward to your thoughts.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday I'm in Love

I'm excited about this weekend... no huge plans, just a weekend in DC at long last, and Oscar weekend at that! I hear it might even be spring-ish, so I'm going to take some long scenic walks, maybe go fox-hunting... until it's time to plant myself on the couch, ogle the red carpet, and cheer on Anne and James, of course. I'm strangely not in the mood to write an Oscar post this year, but go check out my pal Kate's post if you're in the mood for one (and read my comment there to feel my pain about a celebrity near-miss I had last week). On that note, my three picks for the week (which actually are not all this-week finds... it's been one of those weeks). Have a fantastic weekend, folks!

Bangable Dudes in History

Huge props to Lauren for bringing the blog Bangable Dudes in History to my attention. Yep, it's as fantastic as it sounds. Case in point: the above graphic. (Click for a larger size.) See more bangable dudes in history at the blog, and proceed to weep with joy.

Back to the Future

 Props here go to Sarah for spotlighting the amazing project Back to the Future. Oh, how I'd love to set up a series of these portraits with friends and family. I could look at these for hours.

Salvatore Bklyn

Once upon a time, I dated an Italian-American for several years, who always made fun of the way I said "ricotta." Which is to say, I pronounce it without an Italian accent. All these years later, I officially have my response. It's in the form of this couple in Brooklyn who make their own ricotta and sell it to some of New York's most celebrated restaurants - as well as to shoppers at the Brooklyn Flea. They begin this video with a dismissal of ricotta pronunciation snobbery, then tempt you with their smoked ricotta on toast with olive oil, and then have you cheering entrepreneurship. Let them eat riccota!, they might as well shout from their windows. And let them pronounce it however they like!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love at first bite

I recognize that some of you may be on recipe overload after last week's Valentine's Day dinner dissection. I sympathize with you, but I'm going to have to ask you to get over it. Would I bring you any old recipe, after all? Would I waste your time with something nondescript or forgettable? Nope. I bring you this one from the bottom of my pasta-loving heart, with all the focus of Antonia, the infectious enthusiasm of Carla, and the keeping-it-real-ness of Tiffany. This is me, sharing the love.

Another pasta dish, you whine? I"ll say it again: get over it. This recipe rocked my world. It's only right that I try to rock yours, too. This pasta dish was a revelation for me. No exaggeration there - I wanted to make out with it, in all its gooey yummy glory. This dish showcases egg pasta at its absolute best, and it highlights one of my very favorite ingredients - chestnuts - in a way that elevates every bite. It begs for red wine. It whispers sweet nothings of elegance and earthiness in your ears. It romances and nurtures, suggests slipping into something more comfortable. Make it at home for a special night in, and tell me if it doesn't lead to something special. (As of now, anyway, making out with dinner dates is less frowned-upon than making out with pasta. It's a judgmental world, what can I say?)

Egg Pasta with Chestnuts, Pancetta, and Sage
Adapted from Gourmet Today

3 ounces pancetta (Italian unsmoked bacon), chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 lb bottled peeled cooked whole chestnuts, coarsely crumbled (about 1.5 cups)
1/2 lb dried egg tagliatelle or egg fettucine
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely

Cook pancetta in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and 1 tablespoon sage and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in chestnuts and remove from heat.

Cook pasta in an 8-quart pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt) until al dente. Reserve 1.5 cups cooking water and drain pasta.

Add pasta to pancetta mixture in a skillet, then add 1 cup reserved cooking water, cheese, and butter and cook, tossing constantly, over high heat until pasta is well-coated (add more reserved water if necessary), about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with parsley and remaining tablespoon sage. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Crazy like a fox

This morning I was on my way out of town to our Virginia office, sitting at a red light on Constitution Ave, in between the White House and the Washington Monument. It was a gorgeous day, bright and sunny, hinting that maybe, just maybe, the weather will warm up soon. I was the first at the light; traffic was stopped. Suddenly, from my right - The Ellipse of the White House - a gorgeous red fox appeared at the curb. Its tail went up, it put down its head, and it raced across the lanes of traffic toward the Monument, directly in front of my car. Once on grass again, the fox raised its head high and raced up the hill.

I was flabbergast. My head shot to my right; the guy next to me was on his phone and didn't appear to have noticed. The drivers in the traffic lanes across from me looked zoned-out and bored. Had I really been the only one to see this gorgeous creature dart across traffic in the middle of the city, racing from one green oasis to the next?

I'm taking this morning's fox as a stroke of luck, a good omen, a sign of magical moments to come.

North Carolina was certainly full of them last weekend: a terrific folk art show with my mom, a new painting to call my own, a day spent shopping with the whole crew for my cousin's prom dress. There's nothing quite like 12 hours of family shopping time to test everyone's goodwill toward one another. But wouldn't you know it, we were laughing all the way through. 

So DC, then, which is feeling rather un-magical this week... We halfheartedly bid on another house yesterday. We only liked it, didn't love it, and I think more than anything else I wanted to stir the karmic pot a bit, throw something into the universe and see what I got back. Our lowball offer reflected our low level of excitement, and we didn't get it. Which is fine and all... I just needed to do something. I suck at waiting. Our location of choice has such a deficit of listings right now you could throw tomatoes on the real estate map without the splatter hitting something for sale. T's studying for another certification exam. I'm realizing the Oscars got away from me a little bit this year, and playing in the kitchen instead of going to the movies. I'm okay with that. But all of this, really, just feels like me biding time. Which again, I don't do well. Quietly waiting for change to happen upon me makes me nervous; I'd rather have a hand in creating it. I want to be like that fox, hurdling myself across danger, racing into unknown territory, launching new chapters with force of will alone. I also wouldn't mind having super-cute ears.

Mrs. Fox: "You know, you really are fantastic.
Mr. Fox: "I try."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Folk art weekend

I'm headed back to NC for the weekend for an event I've been wanting to attend for years now: the Fearrington Folk Art Show. My mom's a regular there, but I've always lived too far away to attend easily... until now! We're going to the collector's preview tonight, which will feature a panel discussion on the storytelling power of art... right up my alley. Think of me this weekend while I lovingly gaze at folk art, pretending I have both the money to start building a real collection and a house suitable for displaying one. Sigh... I kid. It's going to be great. Some day, some day!

The Fearrington Barn: I think we all know where I would've had a reception had I gotten married at home in the Triangle instead of the Outer Banks...

 My mom chatting with artist Danny Doughty at last year's show (the weird morphing happening here between my mom's black coat and her friend Mary's black pants makes me laugh). She owns three of Danny's pieces, which you can see in the background.

Plenty of inspiration in the Village for my fantasy beach house/farmhouse!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Pretty perfect: Poached spiced pears

For proof that my blog friend Emily and her husband Nick (known in the blogosphere as The Culinary Couple) are adorable, one need look no further than their Seasonal Ingredient Challenge, where Nick challenged Emily to cook a three-course meal using a secret ingredient of his choosing. Emily knocked Challenge: Pear out of the ballpark (to the surprise of no one, I might add), and I've been thinking of her recipes ever since. Although her Pear Pizza with Gorgonzola and Carmelized Onions looks divine, and her Pear Ravioli with Pecorino and Mascarpone delectable, I decided to incorporate her final dish into our Valentine's Day Dinner. Enter: poached spiced pears!

This recipe couldn't be simpler (thank you, Mark Bittman!), and packs loads of flavor without being too heavy or too sweet. Emily featured poached pears with vanilla for her challenge, but we happened to have lots of fresh ginger on hand, a flavor I thought would blend nicely with our curried mussels. The beauty of Bittman's recipes is that he lays out a recipe framework that makes it easy to substitute other ingredients based on your tastes or what you have on hand. We adored these pears so much that we made them two nights later, using vanilla beans instead. Double the pleasure!

Poached Spiced Pears
Adapted from Mark Bittman and The Culinary Couple
Makes 1 serving to share, or increase to serve individual pears

Poached Ginger Pear

1 cup sugar
Large piece of freshly peeled ginger or 1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 big Bosc pear
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Poached Vanilla Pear

Combine sugar and vanilla with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil while you peel and core the pear.

Lower pear into boiling water and adjust heat to a simmer. Cook, turning every 5 minutes, until pear is met with little resistance from a sharp knife, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow pear to cool in liquid.

Remove pear and slice it. Reduce poaching liquid to 1/2 cup. Arrange pears and vanilla ice cream on a plate, and spoon reduced poaching liquid on top.

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    First date food, almost five years later

    Somewhere along the way, T and I decided that mussels were the perfect first date food. Maybe our focus on first dates lies in the fact that we never exactly had a first date, or maybe it's because in restaurants we love spotting potential first dates at neighboring tables and interpreting their interactions. Regardless, were we to meet again on a traditional first date that did not take place from 11 p.m. - 2 a.m. and did not involve me telling him he was ridiculous, we would choose to eat mussels.

    Mussels are adventurous and revelatory: they are not for the squeamish, and right away they tell you a lot about a person as an eater, which in turn suggests many more things you hope to learn for yourself over time. Mussels are interactive: they're shared, there's a give-and-take involved, there are fingers unexpectedly meeting in the bowl. Mussels are also messy, and they don't take themselves too seriously: any food where you are likely to laugh, have dribble on your chin, and probably make a mess at the table... that's a fun food to eat with someone, in my opinion. Mussels are also about being insatiable: sopping up the broth with great crusty bread, and going back piece after piece because you just.can't.get.enough... why not be insatiable together?

    In honor of that hypothetical romantic first date we will never have, we chose to make mussels at home this year for our Valentine's Day dinner. I'd never made mussels before, due mostly to lots of fantastic mussel spots in town a stroll away from us. But suddenly I realized that if our hypothetical first date would involve adventure and interaction and more.more.more, why couldn't our own kitchen have the same sensibility? We made a pact: every Valentine's Day, we'll try to cook something new together, something we've always wanted to try but never quite gotten around to. As such, with our first-ever mussels, we skipped a traditional white wine broth and went straight for spice and decadence. Of course we did.

    Spicy Curried Mussels for Two
    Adapted from Gourmet Today
    (can easily be doubled to feed a table)

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
    1.5 teaspoons curry powder (adjust depending on spiciness of your curry)
    Pinch of red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
    2 tablespoons medium-dry sherry
    2 pounds mussels (soaked, scrubbed, beards removed)
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    2.5 tablespoons water
    A scattering of fresh chopped cilantro
    Crusty bread

    Soak mussels in a large pot or bowl of water for 20 minutes. Lift mussels out of water after soaking, rather than pouring everything in a strainer (there will be sand and debris left over in the pot). Discard any mussels that opened during the soaking process. Scrub mussels and remove beards, if any.

    Melt butter in a large wide pot over moderate heat. Add shallots, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sherry, bring to a simmer and simmer, stirring, for 1 minute.

    Add mussels and cook, covered, over moderately high heat until they just open wide; check frequently after 4 minutes and transfer opened mussels to a bowl. (Discard any that have not opened after 8 minutes.)

    Add cream and water to pot, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 1 minute. Add cilantro and salt to taste, pour over mussels, and toss gentle. Serve with bread for sponging up the sauce.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Crushable winter fruit: Blood Orange Salad

    I adore blood oranges. While all manner of citrus is a welcome burst of brightness during seasonal winter eating, blood oranges in particular always call out to me from the market. They're so lush, vibrant, and well... sexy. See what I mean?

    Since blood oranges are everywhere right now, here's a simple way to prepare them that's sure to please. I found this recipe via the fantastic local food blog The Arugula Files, and quickly incorporated it into our Valentine's Day meal. It's going to be a standard for us, I can already tell.

    Blood Orange Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
    Adapted from The Arugula Files

    For the Salad:
    Mix 5 oz salad greens with 2 sliced blood oranges, 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, and a sprinkle of sliced red onion.

    For the Dressing:
    1/4 cup champagne vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon orange zest
    Juice of half a sweet orange or one small clementine (I almost always have a pile of clementines on hand when they're in season, so that's what I use)
    1/2 teaspoon honey
    1 teaspoon minced shallot
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    Sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste

    This should be the perfect amount of dressing for a small 5 oz box of salad greens. Feeding a crowd? The dressing doubles perfectly for a larger salad.

    Looking for more blood orange inspiration? Take a look at Pan-Seared Cod with Fennel and and Blood Orange Sauce, Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake, and Blood Orange Margaritas.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Meal of Love

    I celebrate Valentine's Day in. Snuggled up, laughing in the kitchen, sharing a bottle of wine, wearing pajamas, IN. Honestly, just the idea of eating out on Valentine's Day is painful to me. All those people, all the reservation drama, all the elbows at too-close tables? While I'm a split personality extrovert/introvert, I am decidedly introverted every February 14. Last night was no exception. We made a glorious meal, so yummy that I thought I'd share it here.

    We loved this meal so much, I decided to feature these recipes all week long. It'll also give me a chance to give shout-outs to some of my favorite food bloggers whose posts inspired our meal.

     This year's card, courtesy of my perennial fave Egg Press

    Cooking a meal together, it seems, is our established Valentine's Day tradition. We added an additional element this year: cooking something new... but more on that soon. Any Valentine's Day food traditions in your house?

    Update: This is too good not to share. Francis Lam continues to delight me to no end, as he live-blogs the top internet searches for Valentine's Day restaurant meals. Hilarity found here.

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Valentine's Day advice from my grandmother

    Valentine's Day is an appropriate day to kick off remembrances of my grandmother. She loved romance, and gifts of red roses or "jewels" (even if it was just a trinket) from my grandfather delighted her to no end. If you were to meet my grandmother for the first time, she'd coerce you into sharing details of your love life before you knew what hit you. She loved surprising people with nosy questions or bold statements. Case in point:

    In high school my cousin got married in Atlanta, and Grandma and I were getting ready together in a hotel room. I had an ugly rash on my chin and cheek, and was trying in vain to cover it up. Grandma stepped in to assist. She gently touched the rash, surveyed the area, and with a twinkle in her eye, she stepped back and pronounced, "Maggie, you and I both know that what you have on your face is a case of beard burn, and nothing we can do in this hotel room is going to cover that up. I hope you had fun getting it, because it's not going to be fun getting rid of it." She was right, of course. I'd been ruined by a boy's stubble. We laughed and laughed. All throughout the wedding, she'd make beard gestures at me from across the room, having a ball making me blush.

    One story my grandmother loved telling me was from her early twenties, when she was a single gal in Edenton, NC. She was tall and she was very pretty, boasting long legs and gorgeous auburn hair, and considered quite a catch in town. Two men proposed marriage to her before she met my grandfather. "Do you know how I responded to their marriage proposals, Maggie?," she'd ask. "I laughed right in their faces."
    "Grandma!" I'd protest. "That's so mean! Those poor guys!"
    She wasn't having it. "They weren't the right men for me and they knew it, so they deserved to be laughed at."
    Harsh but fair. It was her way.

    From the first time I heard that story, I liked that my grandmother had other offers. I liked that she took her time and found the right match. I liked that she knew herself well enough to know what she wanted, and had enough confidence in herself to know that she didn't need to settle. I didn't get engaged until I was 30, but unlike all those other folks throughout my 20s who hinted that it was time for me to hurry up and get married already, my Grandma Miller never once suggested that I needed to settle. She loved the fun stories folks had from casual dating, but when it came to marriage she had only two questions: "Is he the right one?" and "Is he good to you?" He was, Grandma, and he is.

    She and my grandfather were married 65 years ago last month, and were my grandma here to dispense Valentine's Day advice today, she'd keep it simple: be true to yourself, never settle, and make sure to have lots and lots of fun. 

    It certainly worked for her.

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011


    My grandmother passed away this morning. Grandma Miller was my mom's mom, and the person for whom I'm named. Most people called her Margaret, but a few called her Maggie, and every time they did, it surprised me. My grandma had a fierce wit, sass to spare, and a general lack of concern for the opinions of others. As you might imagine, those were my very favorite things about her. She liked jokes and fun, loved jewelry, and had pristine hair and nails no matter the occasion. The phrase steel magnolia comes to mind.

    I tried to find some great photos of my Grandma Miller, but the best ones are at home in NC. I'll be with them soon enough. I do have photos here that represent her perfectly, but she's actually not in them at all. Instead, the photos are of me.

    When I was little, my grandma loved making me dresses, complete with detailed smocking, delicate embroidery, ruffles, and ribbons. Most of the dresses were red; my grandma knew even then it was my color. She entered some of the dresses in State Fair competitions, and won. Inevitably, she'd have portraits made of me wearing the dresses, and would mat them using the dress fabric. I'm the grinning kid in these photos, but she might as well be sitting beside me, smiling proudly and showing off a manicure that matched my dress.   

    I'll be leaving soon to spend the week with family: telling stories, laughing, and eating some great food. All things that my grandma did well. I have fun stories I'd like to share here soon of my grandma in her prime - they feature laughing at men and boldly going where no local woman had gone before, so stay tuned. First things first.

    Thank you for your name, Grandma, and for so much more. I'm a proud Maggie today.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    More of this, please

    Returning home from T's college hockey alumni weekend to find this explosion of awesome on our tv screen? (No, I don't mean the soulless sports anthem-producing machine known as the Black Eyed Peas Super Bowl halftime show.)

    Enter the McKinley High hockey team:

    Oh, the hair! There was a lot of hockey this weekend. And some flowing locks, to be sure. But alumni of all ages sporting full-on proud mullets, no. Sadly. A girl can dream, can't she?

    Bring it, Glee.

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Friday I'm in Love

    Okay then! That was therapeutic.

    We're off to Connecticut to party down with the in-laws, take in a little college hockey, and forget our troubles. On that note, here are my three finds for the week. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

    Zach Wahls, Model Citizen, Making his Mommas Proud

    Watch this video of Eagle Scout engineering student Zach Wahl proudly telling the Iowa State Legislature about his two mothers, and just try not to tear up or cheer. Just try. Found here.

    Cat-Scratch Sofa, Yours for $6,500

    There's so much that I love about Anthropologie. One peek into my closet proves that through and through. But this sofa? This sofa is everything that can go wrong, oh so very wrong, over at Anthro. If I wanted to spend $6,500 on a sofa, I can assure you it would not look like it had been trapped with a herd of hungry, wild cats. Further, if there is anyone out there who would choose this sofa out of all the sofas in the world that cost $6,500, I would like to meet that person. And then shake that person silly.

    Founding Fathers: "Super-freaked out by cars"

    I have little patience for self-righteous proclamations of what the founding fathers would have wanted. Particularly because the application is typically something so modern that the presumption is impossible. Seth Meyers nails that sentiment here. And for the record? I'll sign on to his musket gun law any day. Found here.

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Pour, drink, repeat.

    DC real estate sucks.

    Whatever, I'm allowed to whine right now. No house for us. We did everything we could. Except sell organs to throw more cash at the thing. I was, of course, having a full-on renovation love affair with it in my head. There were so many weird signs that seemed to say it would be ours (how else do you explain Arcimboldo prints all over the house? I could go on...). Or not. We're 0/2 now, in case you're counting.Technically, we're the "back-up offer," but the consolation prize doesn't feel so great when they still get to hold a big check of ours and we still have no house.

    But really, I'm not looking for sympathy. We'll figure it out. And blog-as-sympathy-device is utterly lame, anyway. I'd rather make fun of something instead. And so in the manner of Dlisted's amazing takedowns of the Food Network (see "Late Night Bacon," "English Peas," and "Dark Chocolate as a Snack"), I bring you my latest Freckled Citizen recipe: "Shot of Tequila."

    Shot of Tequila

    1. Pour tequila
    2. Drink
    3. Repeat

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Decadence, just because

    You know those days when for no reason at all, you wear red lipstick, or a pair of sparkly shoes, or call for a champagne toast? That's the best kind of indulgence, in my opinion: a moment meant purely to celebrate itself. This is a dish that embodies those qualities for me. It feels luxurious, and might beg the question "Why?" I answer, of course, with "Why not?"

    I adore plane-jane brussels sprouts, and nine times out of ten roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and am the happiest eater in the world. Adding cream and chestnuts, though, takes the humble sprout to an entirely new plane. If I were you, I wouldn't cook brussels sprouts this way all the time. Save this preparation for special moods, when you deserve a little decadence. While you're at it, why not throw on your favorite red lipstick for dinner?

    Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Cream
    From Gourmet Today

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/4 cups water
    2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
    1 cup heavy cream
    2/3 cup (4 ounces) bottled peeled cooked chestnuts, coarsely crumbled

    Combine butter, salt, pepper, and 1 cup water in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Add brussels sprouts, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

    Remove lid and boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until water has evaporated and sprouts are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

    Add cream and remaining 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring. Add chestnuts, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Blog-to-mouth-to-tummy improvement

    So I have recipes here. And unless my blog stats are lying, you all like them. It has occurred to me, however, that these recipes are not always so easy to find. Making food harder... boo. Making food easier... yay!

    Today I have a new feature for you on the blog, and it came about the best way possible... from my own frustration trying to quickly access my featured recipes. These moments would usually happen when, say, garlic was starting to burn on the stove and I couldn't remember exactly how much of the next ingredient I needed. "Ahhhh! Where is that damn recipe?!" (cue burned garlic)

    Sometimes my mise en place needs work, what can I say?

    Up on my nav bar, you'll see a new section titled "Recipes." This is a new page where I've indexed my posts featuring full-length recipes. Two easy clicks, and you can find what you're looking for. For recipes I've mentioned but didn't fully feature, you'll still want to use the Search engine, browse the My Freckled Kitchen tags, or peek into my Delicious folder, where I routinely tag the recipes I'm making that come from online sources. The Delicious folder actually exists for my own kitchen-referencing purposes just as much as it's a blog device.

    Please enjoy... and let me know if this is a useful improvement. Actually, it will improve my cooking, so that's probably enough for me. Again with the selfishness.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to prepare the spice rub for Spice Chicken, after quickly referencing the handily indexed recipe... because you know I can never remember the exact amounts of coriander v. cumin I need. And my arms are so sore from Jillian-induced real estate stress relief that I don't even want to lift Gourmet Today. (Ooh, now combining laziness with selfishness!)

    Happy cooking, everyone! I wish I could smell what's bubbling in all your kitchens tonight.
    Related Posts with Thumbnails