You make me wanna be a better pan

I have renewed In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite from my library twice now. I have cooked twelve recipes from it. Despite having explored it so extensively and finding Melissa Clark's recipes to be pretty widely available online, I am still strongly considering purchasing it because I feel it would make my house a better place. Seriously, this book is Helen Hunt and my kitchen is Jack Nicholson right now. FURTHER EVIDENCE:

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon. I love lentil soup. This was an especially nice one.

I can tell, because Dan said "This is good" in that borderline-offensive-to-previous-meals way more than once.

Braised Pork Chops with Tomatoes, Anchovies, and Rosemary. Dan isn't nuts about pork chops, but for some reason I can't stop making them. I guess I figured throwing in the skeevy leftover anchovies haunting my fridge would…help?

Somehow this was good, I swear. Of course, there were no spousal proclamations of such. So…grain of weird little salty fish.

If I'm being honest, I think one of the things drawing me to Clark's recipes is a deep nostalgia for the time in my life when olive oil was the best and healthiest thing in the universe. Remember that? I would totally watch VH1's I Love The Olive Oil. (I also long for the days when that was a current reference that made sense.) I know olive oil is out of favor now, at least in terms of cooking (as opposed to drizzling), but those were simpler times. And she even let me FRY EGGS IN IT! Nice and hot. Tasted like the good ol' days. Two more entries in the Olive Oil Hall of Fame:

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake. Tastes juuuuuust grown-up enough that your kids will only steal about half of your piece.

And Olive Oil Granola with Dried Apricots and Pistachios. All I can tell you about this recipe is (incoherent mumble, mouth completely stuffed with granola).

Anyway, when I'm not cuddling ITKWAGA, I am making some progress on Cold Mountain, so my goal is to finish that up by the end of the month. Is anyone else reading it? It's pretty great!

Anna has started demanding that the dolls watch Wheel of Fortune with her, as she is obsessed with it in a way that only a four-year-old can be obsessed with something.

A doll-badgering sort of way.

And we're all just really, really enjoying Ivy's third year so far.