Sometimes when she's mad she crumples up paper, like a lot of it

Okay. Good weekend. Very chill.

The spice of the week is harissa, which is a delicious pepper blend that hails from North Africa, as many lovely things do. Ahem. First test, as always: how is it with eggs?


Sometimes it is hard to know what to talk about in this space because many things are very scary in a way that is sort of complicated or requires a lot of context, and I genuinely feel more exhausted than I have since the girls were babies. So today I am just going for the low-hanging fruit tree that is Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary. When asked about a 5-year-old child who had been detained away from his mother for several hours this weekend, he very sensibly replied: 

"To assume that just because of someone's age or gender or whatever that they don't pose a threat would be wrong."

Mmmmmkay thanks Sean! 

Here is my own 5-year-old child, who is admittedly kind of a handful

Yet inexplicably roams free


The best, classiest week, just tremendous

Hey guys! One week down, just two-hundred seven weeks to go! And, come on, that wasn't so bad right? I mean, sure, The Economist downgraded the United States from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy," but that democracy part is still hanging in there, you know? And honestly, I've always thought that our flaws are what make us beautiful anyway. So this is kind of alternative good news, if you think about it. 

And, okay, if you read the full transcript of this interview with the man we put in our nation's highest office and come away with any word other than "unhinged," then I feel that your literacy, at the very least, is called into question. But remember: we've had lots of presidents who were fully hinged! This country craved change. Not to mention, our other choice was EQUALLY BAD. You haven't forgotten the EMAILS, have you? Never, never forget.

Plus, fine, The Doomsday Clock is now closer to midnight than it has been since 1953. And that definitely sounds bad! But please keep in mind that the current iteration measures not only the threat of nuclear catastrophe, but also disasters related to things like climate change, and a full 3% of the world's scientists know that climate change isn't even real.

***stares catatonically at the screen for half-an-hour***

Wednesday night was Burns Night, so I made Cock-a-leekie Soup as usual because that's a funny word and a Scottish recipe and the sort of thing I used to care about and am trying to pretend that I still do.

I am sorry that I can feel nothing for you right now, funny soup

Anyway, I guess we should all just...

Try to keep on, you know...




I'm sure everything will be fine #alternativefact

I have to admit that it feels weird to be blogging about food from inside of an absurd Orwellian nightmare, but I mean...The Resistance gotta eat, right? Here is what I have learned to do with dukkah: sprinkle it on top of stuff.

Little bit on here

Little bit on there

And thus ends our section on dukkah. It tastes good. I am distracted.

On Saturday I hung out at the capitol with about 50,000 friends. It was a good hang! It's hard to overstate the restorative value of suddenly realizing how not alone you are.

Not alone

At all

They're feeling me

We got this

There is a lot of #WhyIMarch afoot, and my short answer is "for my two daughters who do currently/will soon attend public school and also have gotten used to breathing air and drinking water."

My longer answer is just a linkstorm.

Descriptions of our president's temperament in the first, easiest days of office are unsettling
Like, people close to him have to manage him like he is a small child
When The Gray Lady uses the word "lie" in a headline that's really really bad
Also when the dictionary is laying out some sick Twitter burns
Alternative facts oh no oh dear someone help us
"Ah, yes, the classic accidental hiring of paid actors"
If this does not terrify you then you did not do enough reading in school

Anyway, uh...time to do something about this, I guess.

The Indivisible Guide is "A Practical Guide for Resisting The Trump Agenda"

The 65 gives a Weekly Call To Action, with helpful scripts

Swing Left shows you where your closest swing district is so you can focus attention/resources there in 2018

Listen to Pod Save America. And The 451.

Don't feel alone.



I think that beaver was whispering "resist"

Hey guys, today is a rough one. I'm basically just trying to cobble together some workable grim determination out of the dumpster of misery in my brain and it's pretty ugly, but honestly these pictures helped just a tiny, tiny bit. In the meantime, Ivy and I have hit the road, for candle-supply-restocking/reality-avoiding reasons.

It's fun!

We're having a great time.

Just another Friday.


We even spotted the elusive double-heart bear

Okay y'all, I think it may be time for a new spice. I've made a--well, not visual dent, exactly, but a spiritual dent in the paprika. Like, I know and the paprika knows that some of it is missing. Also the paella may have broken me. Time for dukkah!

If you're not familiar, dukkah is an Egyptian spice and nut blend, and from what I can tell it is mostly for dipping things into or for sprinkling on top of things. Egyptian Lentil Soup, for example.

This was good, although I have literally never tasted a lentil soup and thought anything other than "This is good," so YMMV.

Anyway, our long weekend was unremarkable. Couple of birthday parties. One pretty successful grocery safari.


"Varying degrees of accuracy"

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! I buckled down this morning and devoted a significant amount of time to taking in some Real News (pro tip: I find that drawing from my Bradley Method breathing/counting experience really helps with the pain tolerance) and this was the least horrifying piece of information I could find for you: "The museum also has a room of first ladies in painstakingly reproduced inaugural gowns who are, for some reason, about a third of the size of their husbands." Get you some creepily-sized wax while the gettin's good! Why not, you know? Why not. I'm gonna build my own Cabinet of tiny first ladies, just see where it goes.

Paprika. Is still a thing that we're doing here. I thought I should showcase the sweet Spanish version, so I whipped up some paella, which is Spanish for "this rice will make your entire home smell like fish, seriously, it's in the vents somehow."

It has penetrated my very soul

To be fair, I also did not like paella when it was prepared by professionals in Spain:

I'm sorry, fishrice. I kind of tried.

Glancing through my pictures for the week, I realized that I did not take a single picture of my children, although Ivy did take one helpfully-labeled self-portrait.

What I have instead are multiple screenshots of ABC's The Bachelor. Here is one.


Like it's learning to count to 100...uh oh

I  have another paprika recipe sent in response to my plea for them, hooray! The structure of the following paragraph is a joke literally only for her and possibly two other people reading this, feel free to skip to the part where I am griping about weather again.

This Yahoo Answers Recipe was sent in by Kate, thank you Kate, and it is by...Something Has Gone Wrong, we'll call him...Jeffrey. Jeffrey asks: This dish is quite tasty, so why did it cause my children to make weird faces across the table at me?

Okay, I'm done, it's actually an Epicurious recipe for roast chicken and it is very easy and good and contains paprika, so it ticks all of my current boxes.

But honestly, the girls made pretty standard dinner faces.

Our weather has been doing a thing.

It's really keeping us on our toes, outfit-wise. We're having to explore the concepts of "layers" and "hats" with renewed dedication.


We have plenty of seasons, sometimes five or six in one day

It's in the 20s here this morning, but don't worry about us, we are fine, totally fine, we super super got this.

Our high next week is 81. That's right, it's Check The Weather Hourly season in Texas!

And who cares about that anyway, I mean, do you know what time it is? That's right, it's...


A common theme I have noticed in most paprika-heavy recipes is "meat/butter/cream," which is a terrific theme, don't get me wrong, but I thought I would take a quick detour to Vegetable Town, and thus: Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil, and Vegetable Soup.

The recipe calls for 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika, but come on, we'll never get anywhere 1/4 tsp at a time, so I would say I maybe...dectupled that? WELCOME TO SMOKETOWN.

But then I wanted to give that Hungarian paprika another chance to show its stuff, and wouldn't you know it, Elizabeth sent me pictures from an actual dadgum cookbook, and now I am showing them to you, because this is a very good goulash and you should eat it. Thanks Elizabeth!

Is there kind of a lot of butter and also some oil and maybe sour cream and does it, in my opinion, taste really fantastic over mashed potatoes which also contain kind of a lot of butter? Sure. But just think of all the countless New Year's Resolutioners out there diligently mixing up their green smoothies and remember that it's important to keep balance in the universe and sometimes that means making sacrifices.

2017, time to dig deep 



Spice World

Okay okay back to school back to work back to reading doomsayers legitimate journalism. Everybody ready?


Okay, well. Maybe some paprika will pep us up? I wanted to test-drive my three versions (Hungarian, sweet Spanish, and smoked Spanish) and the most logical test seemed to be: what tastes best on eggs? I have a feeling my entire 2017 spice journey is going to boil down to this very question. So how did the paprikas fare?

Sweet Spanish: too subtle for deviled eggs, at least the mustard-and-pickle-juice monstrosities I favor

Hungarian: flavor holds up, not too spicy, nice complement

Smoked Spanish: winner winner tastes like smoke so it wins (I should probably note that I am disgustingly biased toward smoky flavors)

I can detect the smokiness just by *looking* at this picture

I also chose the smoked version for my New Year's luckstravaganza bowl.

But it only seemed fair to give the Hungarian paprika a chance to shine in its natural habitat, Chicken Paprikash. First off, I appreciate any recipe that instructs me to season something "aggressively" because that is what I'm going to do anyway and I enjoy outside validation. Second, my children both ate more than one bowl of this without whining, presumably because it passed their strict "no excess vegetation" screens.

Off to a good start. Send me your best paprika recipes, please. I hope you also have enough spices to fortify your re-entry into the world, if not I can probably mail you some.