I offer a simple premise: the holidays are a heavy time filled with chances to fail, or feel lonely, overwhelmed, or inadequate. When we strive for perfection, we can only lose. After barely making it through Halloween – going through all the motions of making costumes, carving pumpkins, and trick-or-treating – hoping all the while the girls didn’t notice our hearts weren’t in it, Brian and I realized we need to be vigilant for the upcoming holidays. Starting now, we’re protecting ourselves from anything but the most pressing obligations, the pressure of excess, and all the other things that take us away from the actual moments spent with those we love. You should too. [Read more…]
When you work for yourself, when a hobby turns into a job, it’s tough to measure success. And, where the internet is concerned, it’s nearly impossible.
My friend Kelly, the talented woman behind Design Crush, has an ongoing project to share a quote a day everyday this year. I must confess to kind of hating the typical quote sharing on the internet and can guarantee that I do not follow your inspiration board on Pinterest. (It’s not you, it’s me – if I never see the Keep Calm meme again it will be too soon.)
Kelly’s quotes are different. They move beyond the fluff and hint at the best quiet, focused, or selfish bits of driven people. They reveal truths, minus the saccharine. And occasionally, the smart words she shares stop me in my tracks. [Read more…]
For a while now, I’ve felt like the TV boyfriend checking his phone on a date –– like I’m not really present here. For one thing, moving to Virginia has changed me. I used to be positive that I wanted to live the homesteading life out here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, but I’m slowly realizing this city girl might not be cut out for all that. There have also been some pretty major changes in routine –– no coffee shop around the corner for a latte before I start working and no chance of running down the block to pick up some thyme for the sauce I have bubbling on the stove. I’m bad at planning ahead. [Read more…]
Brooklyn Supper’s focus is on local, seasonal foods, but we’ve never been averse to seasonal foods that come from afar, especially in the winter. As east coasters, we have non-local foods on hand like coffee, chocolate, and lemons. And when it gets cold out, you can be sure we have pounds and pounds of oranges on the counter and a couple containers of dates in the fridge.
Date season peaks in the late fall, and so now is the time to get your hands on some if you haven’t already. Look for a box of delicate Medjool dates, which are almost overwhelmingly sweet. They’re sticky and yielding, with a hint of smokiness and a depth that’s surprising for fruit. After eating several straight out of the box, that intense sweet and smoky flavor got me thinking that dates would be an excellent addition to some boozy ice cream. I was totally right. [Read more…]
I spent Christmas Eve building a gingerbread house with my oldest daughter and it was an absolute joy. I made this gingerbread recipe, drew up my own plans, and went for it. Then, with the help of two containers of very cheap grocery store frosting and lots of candy, we constructed a pretty charming little cabin. I liked making this one with minimal planning, but already I can envision a future in competitive gingerbread house building. It fulfills my 9 year-old self’s dream of being an architect, except with frosting. So very much frosting. Then, I made a cheesecake for Christmas dinner. [Read more…]