Red Bell Pepper, Lemon, & Basil Soda

Red Bell Pepper, Lemon, & Basil Soda

Earlier this week, while enjoying my usual early morning routine of sipping coffee, catching up on blog posts, and postponing looking at my work email for as long as possible, I happened upon Lan’s question: What color would you describe your days right now? It made me pause, not in search of an answer, but in surprise at how quickly mine came to me.

Lately, my days have been a little grey. This is due, in part, to the much-needed rainy spring weather. But mostly to the fact that I am, for the first time in a long while, single. After nearly four years, Johnny and I decided to part ways last week. It was not preceded by constant arguing or festering animosity, nor was it entirely unexpected. We’ve simply realized that we are better friends than anything else, and that freedom from the constraints of a relationship would be best for both of us, as individuals and as friends. Despite the fact that this is the most amicable end to a relationship I’ve experienced, the sadness is no less difficult to bear. It makes food taste bland, turns seemingly normal breaths into heavy sighs, and makes it impossible to write this post without pausing to brush away a few tears.

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A Walk in the Weeds

A Walk in the Weeds

Of all the things to experience crazy synchronicity over, celery seems one of the more unusual. And celery drinks, at that — stranger still. I mean, the universe could point me in any number of directions, like towards giving up my possessions and traveling the world, or quitting my job and devoting my life to helping the less fortunate. But apparently, at this moment, it really just wants me to put celery in my booze. Who am I to argue with that?

It began with the newest issue of Imbibe and a little piece called Put a Stalk in It, which discussed celery as a versatile ingredient in cocktails, along with three recipes. As I read it, I thought about that one time many years ago when I bought a can of celery soda purely out of curiosity, and took barely two sips before declaring it mega-nasty. My palate has come quite a long way since those days (that was also the time when I couldn’t stand gin — can you even imagine?!), so it occurred to me that it might be time for me to give celery-flavored drinks another go. Then a couple hours later, Alanna sent me an email discussing, amongst other things, celery soda. “Ooo! Weird!” I thought, and I told her all about the celery cocktails. Then the next day, as I was perusing Liqurious, two more cocktails caught my eye, both of which also happened to contain celery. And to top it all off, one of them was photographed by another one of my favorite food gals, Linda. I mean, can we all agree that this is some totally weird celery mojo?

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Thyme-Kissed Pear-Infused
Honey Syrup & The Bee’s Knees

The Bee's Knees

Last week, we talked about one of the simple little things turned newest obsession that came out of Easter dinner. Today, we’re going to talk about the other: pear-infused honey syrup.

(I am pretty excited about this post, you guys. First of all, this syrup is dang delicious, especially with just the slightest hint of thyme added to it. And second, I get to talk about one of my favorite Vermont businesses, whose raw honey and booze [yep, they do both] are rarely absent from my kitchen and liquor cabinet. We’ll talk more about this in a moment. I just wanted you to know that I’m psyched.)

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Veggie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

There are times when magical things are created out of desperation. When a lack of the usual ingredients leads to the unearthing of dusty jars and bottles buried in the depths of cupboards or stored on the highest shelves. Sniffing and tasting lead to modest, then less modest additions, followed by a dash of this and that, until a perfect balance is achieved. The end result is a new, inspiring dish. A reminder that creating food for yourself and others is an amazing, empowering experience.

And then there are the days when I eat oatmeal.

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Ginger Tonic
(and several ways to use it)

There’s nothing quite like discovering you can make the simplest of things yourself. I can recall very two distinct Holy Sh*t, I Can Make That?! moments from my past. The first occurred shortly after I discovered stumbleupon many years ago. (This moment actually sparked my love affair with food blogs, so it’s kind of a special, landmark point on my timeline.) For anyone who isn’t familiar with stumbleupon, it’s a site that allows you to select a bunch of things you’re interested in, and then SU lets you bounce around to various articles or posts online that align with your interests. Basically, an Internet user’s ADD-esque dream. So I, having probably selected an interests lists that was something like science / food / kittens, was clicking through posts one day, when SU brought me here. How to make butter? For freakin’ real?! I was locked in. I spent the next couple hours reading pretty much every post on Aleta’s blog, and I was convinced I’d found the most amazing thing the Internet had to offer. And then, I discovered that there were more food blogs out there. Run by other talented people who make delicious things. (Does it seem ridiculous that I didn’t know food blogs existed? I guess I just assumed blogs were for people who want to whine about their problems or broadcast way too much information to the world. Silly me!) And that marked the start of my food blog obsession.

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