Batter Licker

July 28, 2011

easy olallieberry port crumble

Mark Twain might be well-known for his witticisms, but he wasn’t joking when he said that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. While the rest of the country is melting, I have been shivering through city streets after sundown. But when the afternoons are confusingly warm and sunny, I still manage to stock up on summer produce; it’s just that a post-dinner dessert of berries with yogurt or ice cream no longer sounds very appealing when I need to bundle up in a blanket just to stay comfortable in my apartment.

After picking up some olallieberries at the farmers market on a deceptively beautiful day, I found myself looking for an easy dessert that would give me an excuse to use my oven and warm up the room that chilly evening. Having not tried olallieberries previously, I found this particular basketful quite tart. Being a bit too exhausted from the work day to fuss with them too much, I did what any reasonable person would have done: (more…)

July 20, 2011

grilled watermelon (and goat cheese salad)

By the time Wednesday rolls around, I’m halfway through my weekday routine: work, exercise, make dinner, dine, chat with Jay about our days, sleep. Sometimes I celebrate the consistency and intensity of my workouts that week. Other times I am just relieved to have heaped some unpackaged, ingredients-based bowl full of “dinner” on the table for a third day in a row. And still other times I find myself in a mid-week rut, overloaded with work but itching for some fun … or yet another weekend.

Last week, I fell squarely in this last category. But I managed to pull myself up by lugging a small-ish watermelon out of the kitchen and plopping it onto an outdoor grill. Thank you, Mark Bittman, for the timely inspiration.
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July 9, 2011

cucumber vodka and elderflower fizz

Once upon my I-vehemently-disagree-with-everything-my-mom-says -and-does teenage years, I thought I found a message from a kindred spirit in “Break Stuff,” a song Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit had channeled all his short man syndrome anger into.

About half my lifetime later, I am fortunate to have a wonderfully close relationship with my mother. But this week, a particularly trying set of phone and email negotiations with a very conflict- (rather than compromise-) oriented outside attorney made “one of those days” turn into one of those weeks.

By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was ready for a Friday night cocktail, but instead, I found serenity in preparing a vodka infusion that I could look forward to enjoying come Friday.

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