I'm certain the pictures will turn out better, if nothing else

This week I decided to go back to doing that thing where I grab a random cookbook from the library and put it through its paces, although I maaaaaay have tiredly foregone randomness in favor of known-quantity-ness this round. I have to say, as much as I have loved me some Pioneer Woman in the past, flipping through the actual book was kind of uninspiring right up until the page where she says I can serve a bowl of beans and describe it as "dinner."

She was right!

I live in Austin, I have eaten a lot of migas, most of them taste the same to me, that is not a bad thing.

Migas are migas. Migas are good.

This Potato-Leek Pizza was delicious. Don't know if it was the potatoes or the leeks or the eight chunks of bacon per bite or…?

Food chemistry is mysterious.

From what I can tell, Anna's kindergarten class has been celebrating Constitution Day for two full days in a row now.

As someone who made a B+ that was bordering right on an A- in Con Law, I approve.

Anyway, I have to go pack, Regan and I are headed up to Seattle for Super Social Food League Weekend Roadtrip Extravaganza tonight. We're actually so committed to taking in all the beautiful calories of the Pacific Northwest that we signed up to run a half marathon while we're there, just to ensure peak appetite-revving. Of course, between the two of us in the past couple of weeks, we have managed to:

  • aggravate a hip injury
  • aggravate a foot injury
  • vomit a little bit
  • infect a sinus
  • eat somewhere on the order of five dozen cookies, that I know of

So unfortunately it seems that the likelihood that this run will be a more enjoyable experience than our last adventure together has been reduced to 99.7, maybe 99.8%. Wish us luck!


I know someone out there needs to get rid of a pile of brownies

Oh wow, do you guys remember when I offered to take any unwanted non-paleo-approved foods off of your collective health-conscious hands? Well, 20 months later someone finally took me up on it! I KNEW IT WOULD WORK.

Now I have these graaaaaaaaaains.

Okay, so amaranth and lentils aren't EXACTLY the forbidden fruits I was after (and I believe fruit is mostly allowed anyway), but they are still very much appreciated. Thanks, Theresa!

Some optional toppings for lentil soup include: yogurt, croutons, leftover butter-basted salmon with hazelnut relish.

And remember, if any edibles in your household are threatening to bloat or otherwise inconvenience you, we have an open (pantry) door policy here. Send them right this way.

Yesterday Anna came home from school and immediately flopped on the ground in order to tell me about her day, almost as though she had not eaten lunch since 10:24 am.

I think the idea is that most kindergarteners are on hobbit time anyway.

Ivy doesn't really tell me about her day, but I assume if preschool is issuing awards for "crayon wrapper removal" or "having hair," she is cleaning up.


Es muy triste.

 But at least it's not too late to VOTE, GUYS.


Fanfare, etc.

Hey guys, remember how I was cooking through an entire summer issue of Bon Appetit again? Yeah, I also got very bored with that, so I went ahead and finished it up for us. Happy Friday!

BA #43: Butter-Basted Salmon with Hazelnut Relish. This was probably the most restauranty of all the recipes, in a good fancy-fatty sort of way. Crispy skin! Hazelnuts! Pure class.

BA #44: Black Sesame Carrot Cake. I don't know, it got eaten I guess. It was vegan. You could tell.

BA #45: Simplest Asian Dressing. It is as promised.

BA #46: Caffé Shakerato. I really, really like both coffee and sugar, but this seems like a weird thing to do to either of them.

Look, girls! Mommy finally found tarragon after three months of searching and made BA #47: Blackberry-Tarragon Paletas! Yaaaaaay!

Also, it's our very last recipe! And frozen dessert season is winding down!


Okaaaaaaay, soooooooo, technically there are "48 Summer Recipes" and technically that is "1" more than I made, but if you want to spend $123.37 before shipping on the recommended ingredients for this fairly disgusting-sounding concoction, you absolutely have my blessing. It's only 1/17th of a photo book! Let me know how that goes for you.

Anyway, if nothing else, I'm pretty sure that with the right lighting a batch of those blackberry popsicles can serve as Ivy's entire Halloween costume this year.


Honestly, that redhead makes me agitated

Whew, okay, my wild 500th post festivities are finally winding down, time to reapply myself to one of the five or so projects I have in the air at the moment: The Book's Lover's Cookbook, Late Summer Edition. Look, gazpacho!

I'm not going to bother finding the recipe for you, it was very standard, but I can fully endorse its inclusion of store-bought croutons as a key component.

And also some almond-stuffed bacon-wrapped prunes!

You know what "counts as dinner"? ANYTHING I SAY.

And from whence did the cookbook authors glean these delights? Tara Road by Maeve Binchy, known previously to me only as the author of Circle of Friends, the movie version of which affected my teenaged brain so profoundly that to this day I cannot see poor Saffron Burrows without thinking "How could you???" So I knew more or less what I was getting into here, which was something that ran a bit soapy and predictable but pleased me regardless, even as I struggled not to mentally cast Chris O'Donnell and/or his Irish accent in any of the roles.

Man oh man do we like kindergarten around here.

It's nice to see Anna applying her patented expression of serio-concern to a matter that deserves it, such as proper placement of ice cream cone sprinkles.

Seriously though, this is exactly what parenting is going to be like from here on out, right? Good, good.

Oh I'm sorry, were you actually responding to that previous question, sorry, we can't hear you, sorryyyyyyyyyyyy



I am giving away a totally free blog post, for like the millionth 500th time! That's right. I just straight bait-and-switched you for no reason at all. I learned from the worst!

It is in fact my 500th missive from this particular address, not sure why I kicked it off on such a strangely sour note, oh well, what can you do, go back and delete four entire sentences? Please. I'm not going to start jacking with the process now. (Although, it was brought to my attention yesterday afternoon that Anna believed each new blog post meant that the previous one was deleted, so that there was always only one, and while my mouth said "That's not how it works," my brain said, "Probably not a bad idea.") Anyway, to celebrate, here, in no particular order, are 500 random thoughts I have had since I woke up this morning HAHA JUST KIDDING I DID IT AGAIN BUT THIS TIME YOU ARE RELIEVED. Now we're even. Instead, let's just look at pictures from 500 units of time ago because Fridays are good for resting our brains.


The Battle of Orsha. This battle was not lacking for haberdashery.


My parents were children. Children in outstanding clothing.


The last time I was at Mardi Gras. Rocking that beer/chips/different flavor of chips food pyramid.


Awwww, the girls are wearing matching Christmas pajamas! Outdoors. In…April.


Lawn en-holement, semi-annual.

Minutes (approx.):

Seems to me like things are looking up, or at least through!


A pile of can't-hits

With all due respect to Mr. Thaddeus Sebastian Eliot (I do not know what the T. S. stands for), it is pretty obvious to me that September is in fact the cruelest month, as it is the one that dangles promises of autumn in front of me while remaining TERRIBLY HOT AND SUMMERISH throughout. I am Charlie Brown and September is Lucy van Pelt and the football is a breeze cool enough to require clothing that features plaid and I fall for it every single year. In T. S.'s defense, he actually described April as the "cruellest" month, which might be a different word altogether, I don't know, this does not seem to be the paragraph where I look things up.

Having said that, the tail end of August was quite unkind itself, at least in terms of Bon Appetit recipes. You know how some combinations are basically can't-miss? Like for me it would be apples + cinnamon, potatoes + cheese, eggs + my mouth, etc. Well, I'm going to go ahead and say that barley + fennel + beets is more of a can't-hit.

Sorry, BA #41. I don't think you ever stood a chance with me.

And you know what, let's just throw anchovies + mayonnaise on that pile too.

I'm actually not even sorry for you, BA #42.

Did everybody wear all of their whitest frocks and fineries this weekend before retiring them for the season? Easter is a long way off! What's that? It's a dumb and outdated rule that no one follows? Well. Suit yourselves. I, for one, am not going to have the ghosts of mean snobby ladies from the Victorian era thinking that I'm out of the loop. You've got nothing on me, mean dead snobs.

Ivy's Labor Day outfit knows what I'm talking about.


Got her lunch packed up/ her boots tied tight

In case any of my gentler readers are concerned about how posting a picture of myself in my underwear is going to affect my, I don't know, senate campaign or whatever, I just wanted to point out that I'm actually wearing eleven thick layers of airbrushing and three or four of ironic detachment in that picture, which is probably more cover than any of you have on right now. Or else you are overdressed for August. Also, I spared you the picture that is JUST MY BUTT even though it is objectively the best of the batch by virtue of not featuring my hair or makeup.

Anyway, it has been a stressful week, so I made pudding for dinner.

BA #38: Brown Rice Porridge with Hazelnuts and Jam

And also some cake.

BA #39: Lemon Cake with Raspberries and Pistachios

Those probably would have done the trick, but I made popsicles anyway (BA #40: Cucumber-Lime Paletas), because Anna's frozen-treat modeling honestly brings me a lot of joy.

Sell it, girl.

Hey Anna, how is kindergarten treating you so far?

Doing pretty well with all that?



Guess it's "Permanently Unemployed Lawyer Mom" now

In order to celebrate the "end" of summer (School-Calendar Observed) I made the most autumnal recipe from the June Bon Appetit (#37): Slow-Cooked Salmon with Turnips and Swiss Chard. Nothing complements a hot summer evening like "slow-cooked" and "turnips"!

I assume if my kitchen falls below 80 degrees, it will explode.

Guess it's time to go back to school, Ivy's has gone into charting mode.

Are we concerned about starting kindergarten?

No we are not.

Are we concerned about the proportion of backpack to child?

Maybe a tiny bit.

You may recall that I recently had some tasteful photos done, and Regan has now posted her take on the day's events, including an experience-encapsulating picture of me well on my way to the fetal position, so definitely check that out. She also posted her actual pictures from the shoot, which feels, you know, sort of gauntlet-y. It's exactly like the ice bucket challenge except that it helps no one and involves significantly more discomfort/fewer thinkpieces. Anyway, here you go, this one is notable for the fact that it reveals Glamour Shots' belief that the existence of a belly button is a physical flaw in need of airbrushing.

Party on, Garths.


Motion Managed

I've managed to make a few recipes that were non-rage-inducing in the past few days, so that's something. Also, it has reached that special point in August for me when any activity above and beyond breathing (e.g., cooking, showering, speaking in complete sentences) is categorized under "Managed To."

BA#34: Chicken Salad with Creme Fraiche and Rye. Anna ate all of this without complaining, and then she ate leftovers of this without complaining, probably because she is impressed by the fanciness of creme fraiche and does not realize that I used yogurt instead.

You'll find "think up clever captions for the food pictures" in the "Did Not Manage To" column.

…topped with BA#36: Salt-and-Pepper Steak. I'm going to save you a click and let you know that the entire recipe is "buy a steak and put it near fire for a few minutes." WAIT, NO, PUT SALT AND PEPPER ON IT FIRST. Dang it! Recipes are harder than they look.

Anna starts kindergarten next week and she already has homework, which is exactly what she has been pining after for five years, one month, and eight days now.

Playin' it cool tho

You may recall that the end of preschool threw me a little, but if I had to rank my feelings regarding the start of kindergarten, I'd say the most dominant is "jealousy," followed by "envy," because that place smells like PAPER and POPCORN and there are PRODUCE PUNS on the wall.

Sign. Me. Up.

Anyway, it seems like Ivy is also enjoying the end of her summer.