Sriracha-Roasted Chickpeas & Cauliflower
with Pickled Mustard Seeds

Sriracha-Roasted Chickpeas & Cauliflower with Pickled Mustard Seeds

For everyone that celebrated Easter this past weekend, I hope you had a great time! I hosted again this year (and gave a little run-down of the menu on Saturday), and we had a blast. Good friends + good food + many emptied bottles of champagne = best. easter. ever.

While I was extremely happy with the way all the dishes turned out (despite the fact that we ate about an hour later than I intended), the stars in my eyes were two very simple things that I prepared the night before. So much so that I actually remade both so I could tell you all about them. We’ll talk about the other next week. (I’m super psyched for that, as I think I actually managed to improve it the second time around with the slightest of tweaks. Also, it involves booze. Huzzah.) But right now, we’re going to talk about my new favorite condiment: pickled mustard seeds.

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The Extra Mile:
A tale of fruit, heat, and booze

The Extra Mile

This week, I am restless. Our Spring began with nearly a foot of fresh snow on the ground, and I spent the past several days glaring at the dreary, dull-white landscape outside my desk window, feeling rather unenthused about everything. (Don’t worry, I promise my entire post isn’t this grumpy. It gets better, and there’s booze!)

For me, yesterday was the first day of Spring. I say this because it was the first day this year that I opted to walk rather than drive to the UPS drop box near my house. When I say near, I mean three blocks away. And when I say three blocks, I mean three Burlington blocks, which is maybe the equivalent of one block in NYC. It’s less than a mile walk, total. I hate winter. And having to put band-aids on my feet every time I want to walk downtown so I don’t get boot blisters-turned-calluses.

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Root Vegetable Slaw & Swiss Chard Fritters

Root Vegetable Slaw & Swiss Chard Fritters

I, as a Libra, am apparently indecisive by nature. (Whether you buy into astrology/zodiac stuff or not, I can confirm that I am extremely indecisive. I may also be a little obsessed with fairness and balance. I share a birthday with Niels Bohr and Desmond Tutu — I think that’s pretty awesome. Wait, what am I talking about?)

That, actually, is exactly what I’m trying to talk about. Every year, the winter-spring and summer-fall cusps render me completely, totally spaztastic bonkers. My indecisive, somewhat flighty nature is amplified by a thousand. I am extremely excitable. I write run-on sentences with lots of exclamation points. It feels like my brain has been replaced with a hummingbird, causing my mind to flit about without ever landing for a moment’s rest. (This is also the time of year when I need to be hyper-aware of my mood if I’m at a party or out having a drink, because half a glass of booze will turn me into the Chattiest Cathy ever. And if I happen to realize in the middle of a conversation that the person I’m talking to probably thinks I’m totally bombed, I can’t exactly stop in the middle of my sentence and say, “oh by the way, I’m not drunk, it’s just the MANIA!” Yeah……I’m not crazy at all.)

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Three Delicious Shrubs

Let’s begin with a couple of apologies: First, I’d like to say sorry for posting this much later than intended, as the fruits included in these tasty things are no longer in season where many of us live. I’d also like to apologize for the shots of the final product, which are not my finest. I tried on numerous occasions to take pictures of the individual drinks, but things just were not working for me. So this weekend, I just said “screw it!” and crammed them all together into one shoot, hoping that the varying colors would bring some life to the photos. But still, I was not happy with what I managed to capture. After trying a ton of slight adjustments in Lightroom to get things where I wanted them, I lost it. I gave up and applied a color filter. So now, I present you with photos that look like they were created in Instagram. Except it took me hours. But it’s OK, because I have plenty of nice ingredient pictures to supplement them. (Focus on the positives, Nersh! And stop complaining like a psycho . . . also, stop referring to yourself in the third person.)

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Cherry Balsamic Shrub

It seems that season change is, at last, undeniably on the horizon. I think many of us felt it approaching weeks ago, when otherwise normal summer afternoons gave way to cooler nights and brisk mornings. It hit me as I was riding my bike home early one morning in mid-August: “Ah! There it is — the smell of fall.” Bring it on. I am so ready for boots and cider. Butternut squash and cardigans. Scarves, scarves, scarves!

This is also the time of year when I find myself especially drawn to food bloggers in the southern hemisphere. While we’re dragging out canning equipment and preparing to throw elbows to get our hands on the first cider doughnuts, they’re experiencing picnic weather and spring wild flowers. It’s a welcome reminder that the world is so much bigger than me and my scarves.

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