Blue Bottle Sesame-Absinthe Cigars

Sometimes I like to marvel at how far my tastes have come in the past ten years. If you’d told my barely-20 self that my poison of choice in the future would be gin, I’d have said you were crazy. If you’d prophesied that I’d cook with coconut milk on a regular basis and have an uncontrollable addition to chocolate-covered macaroons, I’d have recoiled in horror. And if you went on to tell tales of my love of anise, you would have made me straight-up sick.

For years, anise was my sworn enemy (second only to the onion). I can still remember rifling through one of our snack drawers when I was a child and happening upon what appeared to be a bag of hidden, secret candy, only to remove it and discover that it was black licorice. Still candy, but the worst kind. Gross, old people candy. That bag hung around for a while (I think my brother was the only one who would eat them, infrequently), and it tricked me numerous times. It was evil and I hated it. The end.

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Savory Kale, Garlic, & Cauliflower Purée Pop Tarts

A few things occur to me as I begin to write this post. One, this main photo looks an awful lot like the monster cookie stack picture from two posts ago — derp. Two, these pop tarts, while very deserving of being shared ASAP to avoid depriving the world of the recipe a moment longer, have nothing to do with Thanksgiving. Three, just over a week ago I began a weekly rewind series with a mission to begin posting more frequently than once a week. And here I am with a new post……one whole week later. (My focus was derailed mid-week by circumstances beyond my control. But I’m back on track, and I’m ready to make up for lost time by cramming in two posts, back-to-back. So today, we talk pop tarts. Then tomorrow, a slightly belated weekly rewind in the form of a Thanksgiving round-up!)

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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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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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Asparagus & Caramelized Ramp Hand Pies

So as some of you may know, I have but one sworn food enemy. That sweaty-tasting, eye-stinging, vile orb of slimy-yet-crunchy layers: The Onion.

My dislike of onions has existed for as long as I can remember. My mother swears I used to eat them when I was very young, but I have no recollection of this. On occasion, she would accidentally add a bunch of onions to something before separating out an untainted portion for me, then try to pass it off as onion-free in the hopes that I wouldn’t notice. That never worked. I could spot them in food from 10 feet away. I could smell them from even farther. I’d smush my dinner all around the plate, pick out every onion I could find, then still refuse to eat it, igniting a dinner table standoff: Carey: Hater of Onions vs. Parents: Lords of After-Dinner TV Privileges. Even today, finding them in my food ignites a childish, fussy frustration within me. If I order a dish sans onions at a restaurant and the waiter asks if I have an allergy, my go-to response is, “I’m mentally allergic to them.” This is usually met with a somewhat bemused look, but it keeps them out of my food.

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