mains, sides

hot oil-flashed chard with ginger, scallions and chiles.

hot oil-flashed chard with ginger, scallions and chili. | a periodic tableI’ve fallen victim to the flu epidemic. There I was, rolling along through my January, minding my own business, and boom. Saturday morning I woke up wondering why the stairs felt like they were moving under my feet, and an hour later I was half-conscious under 38 blankets shivering my buns off.

The flu is the worst, friends. I wasn’t a sick kid – just the occasional sinus infection and a strep throat here and there, but never this. This is something else, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Five days out, and I’m feeling better, albeit relatively: still some coughing, a stuffy head, and the energy levels of a honey-buttered biscuit. Continue Reading…

mains

cavatappi with chèvre, arugula + walnuts.

cavatappi with chèvre, arugula + walnuts. | a periodic table

I love the first few days of January, but not for reasons you’d expect. There’s something magic that happens in those first days of the year – days where the rush and crush of the holiday has subsided but you’ve yet to dive back into work – that can restore your soul if you let it. Continue Reading…

feast magazine article, sides

roasted beets + fennel with tahini-dill dressing.

beet and fennel in tahini-dill dressing. | a periodic tableEver had a recipe you just couldn’t shake? Me too…this one. I wrote a feature for Feast which celebrates our beautiful and bountiful creameries around the midwest, and this was one of the recipes I developed for it (because hey, that’s my job.)

Often when I step back from a feature, long after it’s wrapped and published, I see my mindset during recipe development. Spring features are always challenging to work on; you find yourself working in a completely different season which looks nothing like the one you’re aiming at. I can’t think of a more stark contrast between months than that of March (the publish date) and January, especially when you’re talking about seasonal ingredients. Continue Reading…

breakfast, brunch, desserts

chocolate babka.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: there is a singular, luminous joy I get from simply following a recipe versus having to create it from scratch for an assignment. It’s a completely different experience than development, or even tweaking in that you just don’t have to think. It’s a hands-off, no-thought-required, King-Arthur-take-the-wheel situation, and it’s blissful.  Continue Reading…

brunch, salads, sides

grilled cantaloupe salad with hot paprika vinaigrette.

grilled cantaloupe salad with hot paprika vinaigrette. | a periodic table

I made this salad two years ago, and I’ve never stopped thinking about it. It was part of a series of menus I did for different times of the year – this was meant to be the first installment, set to publish in late May. Due to circumstances far too buisness-y for me to be involved in (I’m less Don Draper and more Peggy in these situations), the menu series didn’t begin until late September of that year, which means most of the recipes I had done for May had to be scrapped or reworked for the season and theme. Continue Reading…

brunch, desserts

rustic apple galette + caramel sauce.

apple galette + caramel sauce. | a periodic table

Current status: actively avoiding my job.

Sometimes recipe development and finding weird things for people to use in their cooking feels awesome: sometimes it feels like the worst job ever. “Worst” is an overstatement, yes, but it’s not all sunshine and adorable Asian fruits, if you know what I mean. Continue Reading…

appetizers, mains

pork + vegetable potstickers with soy dipping sauce.

pork + vegetable potstickers with soy dipping sauce. | a periodic table

Potstickers, dumplings, whatever you want to call them, these little wonder-pockets are an outtake from a project I work on quarterly where I’m assigned an exceedingly normal, seasonal ingredient and two recipes per month, every month. I develop the recipes, photograph the finished product, send it off to an editor, and my work is done. It’s kinda fabulous for someone who’s job is usually the polar opposite: weird ingredient, article and recipe, shooting with a pro. It feels good to flex my “hey, I can make a solid apple galette” muscle once in a while; this project satisfies that.  Continue Reading…

desserts

summer strawberry pie.

summer strawberry pie. | a periodic table

This little space came up in conversation towards the end of this school year. Normally I run a pretty covert operation, but some of the other moms were onto me: my own fault, because the “what do you do” question does tend to come up frequently as you spend time with people. Don’t get me wrong: I never try to hide what I do…I’m just not up in people’s faces like “Hi! Do you know me? I’m the author and content creator of A Periodic Table, and I work for this great magazine, blergety-blerg, and my work has been featured in…” and on it goes. I suck at that.

There’s an anonymity to blogging which gets shattered the instant someone in “real life” knows about it. Instead of say, one of you talking to me from Baltimore, Halifax, Scottsdale  or points beyond over email, suddenly it’s like, one of your school-mom friends hanging out with you at a kid’s birthday party. They are right there. There’s no real reason it’s weird: it’s just the context is very different at first, and even after almost 6 years, it’s still something I have to get used to. Continue Reading…