Last year was a seriously big year for my family. We had not one; not two; but three weddings (including my own). The first of these was my little sister’s, last May. I would not hear of anyone else throwing her bridal shower–I felt very strongly that I needed to throw it myself. My original plan had been to co-host the shower with our cousin-cum-sister Krissy, and to make it a very festive, shamelessly ladylike tea in the charming garden of my mother’s new house. But though the weather was perfectly springy and sunny all week on the day of…
Pimiento. Pimiento. What-have-you. The only thing divisive about this delectable, classic Southern spread is the spelling of the little red peppers. I think of it a bit as the gumbo of the cheese world–everyone has their own, secret, ritualized way of making it, and rarely does that ceremonial mixing of the cheese involve a real recipe.
It’s that time of year again–tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, in case you’ve been living under a rock–and if you’re still looking for inspiration about what to make for your sweetheart (or something to make to spoil yourself!), this mini strawberry rustic cake is simple and chock-full of sweet berries. A hint of almond extract brings out the natural sweetness of the berries, which tend to be wonderful this time of year. With billowing stabilized strawberry whipped cream oozing out between the soft, moist layers and no frosting on the sides, it’s not only charming, but that much easier to make than a proper, has-to-be-perfect iced layer cake.
Like almost everyone I know, I love ramen and eat it often. I find it even more irresistible when the weather is rainy and chilly. Then, just try to keep me away from a big bowl of noodles and throat-soothing, savory broth. I dare you. I fell in love with ramen in earnest while living in the East Village in New York City. As luck would have it, the wonderful, postage-stamp sized ramen spot Minca was just a few blocks away. People came from all over to wait outside, no matter the weather, for a chance to sidle up to their bar overlooking the tiny open kitchen or to squeeze into a table and hunch over a bowl of rich, slurpy, nuclear-hot heaven.
You might be able to tell that I’m on a little bit of a baking bender lately. Maybe it’s the cold weather (for LA!–I know, I know; I’ve become pathetically warm blooded, as they say), but I keep finding every excuse to whip up some batter and fire up the oven. Bran muffins seemed like just the thing the other day, when I needed something portable and breakfast-y for an early morning drive