Asparagus & Greek Yogurt Custard Galette
with Pickled Mustard Seeds & Lemon Zest

Asparagus, Cauliflower, & Greek Yoghurt Custard Galette

Do you ever have those weeks when you feel like the biggest, most accident-prone lummox alive? Those weeks when you think, “I’m going to stay right here, inside my house, and maybe just right in this chair, until I’m feeling safe enough to be around people and stuff again”? For me, last week was one of those weeks.

It all began two Sundays ago, when E and I returned from visiting NY for our Dad’s birthday. After a four hour car ride and a trip to the grocery store immediately upon returning home because I was starving, and there was no food to be eaten, all I wanted to do was put on some comfy pants and kick back with a glass of wine. If you’re a regular reader, you may remember me mentioning the overflowing dresser drawers in my closet a couple weeks ago. Being difficult to close, these drawers often just remain open, thanks to my laziness. Also, my closet (which can be referred to as a walk-in closet in only the most literal sense, as one can indeed talk a few steps into it) does not contain a working light. I’d run my shoulder into an open drawer a couple of times and thought, “ow, I should really close these more.” But on Sunday, as I went barreling into my dark closet, reaching down to grab comfy things from a bottom compartment, it was my face that made contact with the corner of an open drawer.

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Sriracha-Coconut Popcorn
with Smoked Sea Salt

I have a crippling addiction to snacks. Salty snacks in particular. It’s crippling in the sense that I will not stop eating until I’m overcome with nausea, and then left to spend the next hour slouched in my chair, thinking to myself, “why . . . WHY?” I often avoid buying bags of chips or pretzels at the store because I know that in less than 24 hours, they’ll be open on my desk, rapidly approaching empty. And then sometimes, I slip. In the throes of my toasted seaweed addiction, I bought two cases, which I then stored in my bedroom because there was “no room” in the kitchen. Those were the dark days.

Of all the snacks, popcorn is the most irresistible. I blame my mother, as she has been making giant batches of popcorn on a regular basis since I can remember. It goes from the stove top into a feeding trough large bowl, and sits on the kitchen table all day, inviting constant snacking. So while regular ol’ popcorn with salt and spices is tasty enough to shove in my face by the fistful, this stuff, oh lord — whole ’nother level. Seriously. Borderline dangerous.

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Crispy Wasp-Stings on Buttered Toast

That’s right! I know some of you are seeing this title in your email/rss feed and thinking, “uh . . . what?” Brace yourselves — things are about to get deliciously silly, because Thursday is Roald Dahl Day!

As many of you surely know, much of Dahl’s writing featured or revolved around food. This, in conjunction with his knack for dreaming up silly, bizarre, and (at times) rather disgusting-sounding dishes, led to the posthumous publishing of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes, compiled by his wife Felicity (and followed later by Even More Revolting Recipes). In the Introduction to the former, Felicity writes, “Treats were an essential part of Roald’s life — never too many, never too few, and always perfectly timed. He made you feel like a king receiving the finest gift in the land.”

I believe that, for me, being a Dahl addict at a young age instilled an early fascination with food as well. Or perhaps brought what was already there to a new level of wonder and silliness. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a sensory overload for my overactive imagination. And to this day, I can still imagine exactly what Bruce Bogtrotter’s chocolate cake would taste like. (This is also the reason why I can never, ever make the recipe for it that appears in RDRR. I contemplated it for a few minutes, but ultimately decided that there was no way anything on earth was going to taste as good as what my little 8-year-old brain had dreamed up.) But these crispy wasp-stings on buttered toast are far better than I’d imagined (and they’re actually quite good, too).

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Things To Look Forward To

Hey everybody! I have a couple tidbits of news to share, and I was hoping we could chat about them over one of my favorite spring snacks. Yes? OK!

So there are a couple giveaways in the works, and I thought I’d give you a heads up about them. (They’re both really good, and I don’t want anyone to miss out because I just threw them out there without warning.) The first is a joint-giveaway between me and Nicole Russo — a style consultant based out of NYC. Nicole will be supplying the awesome part of the giveaway (a gorgeous Alexis Bittar bracelet!), and I will be chiming in with the hey-dude-let-me-make-something-sweet-to-celebrate-your-awesome-giveaway part (French 77 lollipops). (Yes, that is how we talk to each other. Nicole and I go way back — like high school way back.) The second giveaway is a homemade bitters giveaway. Thanks to BTP’s amazing Bitters book and my tendency to become obsessed with things (especially if it means I get to design labels and put stuff in cute little bottles), I now have eight different varieties of bitters bottled up and awaiting loving homes. So jewelery lovers, sweets lovers, and cocktail lovers — be on the lookout for free things this month!

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Anatomy of a Really Good Grilled Cheese

So unless you’ve been living under a rock as of late, you probably know that it’s grilled cheese month. And if you think I’d pass up an opportunity to get in on the cheesy madness, you’d better think again!

I have some pretty strong feelings about what a grilled cheese should be.  And, at the risk of getting a bit up-on-my-soapbox-y, I’d like to share them with you. First: Butter that bread. No oils, especially if they’re “spritzed” on (good grief). BUTTER all the way! Second: Use a light, mild-flavored bread. Because the bread is just a crispy vessel that contains and delivers the delicious, melty cheese. Which brings me to my last, but most strongly-held belief: The cheese is the one and only star. I like a hot sandwich with cheese and other tasty things as much as the next person. But if you ask me if I want a “grilled cheese” and I reply, “yes!” (which I always will), I don’t want any of that extra jazz. No stringy greens smacking me in the face. No tomato chunks falling into my lap. And no, not even any delicious (but overpowering and tough-to-bite-through) slices of bacon. Just buttery bread and ooey-gooey cheese, please.

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