Dateline: March 22, 2016. I moved! Houses, that is; the blog is obviously in the same place it always was. This was a months-long process of falling in love (with this house), getting our house on the market, and then settling into this one. It’s perfect for us: I don’t have to use my kitchen table as my office anymore, and we actually have room for all the vintage cookware I’ve amassed over the years. There’s a formal living and dining room (if you’re keeping up, that’s two places to eat!) and at couldn’t be more in love with a house if I tried. It’s all I can do to keep from doing the Sound of Music Maria-in-the-mountains spin over and over again.
This is a grand old dame of a house, let me tell you. And I’d probably feel like a fancy lady except that I’m sitting here in yogas and a tee, and this is my break between mopping hardwood and doing laundry, because there is work to do before I really feel like it’s 100% mine. It’s getting there though: my heart was a total goner from the minute I set foot in this place during one fateful open house Sunday, and I kind of can’t believe it’s mine yet.
It’s beautiful here, with amazing mid-seventies bones (much like my own) and not a thread of carpet to be found, which is beyond wonderful for us. It’s spacious and classic, and there’s lots of fun projects awaiting us: not even close to a renovation, but I go after a particular neutral color scheme, and this house is the opposite of that currently. So expect this turn into a bit of a before/after house project blog for a bit, but this house (specifically the kitchen) makes me want to cook, so there will be food also.
As we were moving, I finished two recipe collections: one will be out in the April issue of Feast’s print (and online edition), but the one I’m talking about today is on Feast’s new offshoot website, Feast Eats. I’m gonna PSA here for a second: I haven’t talked nearly enough about Feast Eats yet, but it acts as an online companion of sorts to the national syndicated section they (we?) launched in September 2015. It’s first-run, original content, recipe and photo driven, and those recipe collections are basically me. Remember my nerdy videos? Those are over there too. So if you like my stuff, go follow Feast Eats on Twitter and Instagram: liking them is like liking me, only they’re way better at keeping up, so chances are you’ll here about the recipes sooner there (although I’m trying SO HARD to get better with that). The photos are always gorgeous, and we have such a fun time at the shoots, that the whole thing is truly a labor of love, and I hope you love it as well.
Now: time to brunch! So this collection is tailor-made for springtime, and if you don’t have set-in-stone plans for your Easter feast yet, allow me to humbly suggest some – if not all? – of these recipes for you. They’re low-maintenance, most of it can be made the day or two before, which means all you’ll have to do is throw some stuff in the oven that morning and you’re set for the day. Would I ever steer you wrong? I wouldn’t: certainly not with brunch, because I’m the last person who wants to fool around with a bunch of fussy things when people are arriving before noon. Brunch should be relaxing, not stressful, and it’s spring: you’re going to want to be outside hunting eggs, not agonizing over whether things will turn out. Here’s what I made for you (and click over to see the photos, too, because they are incredible, and the work of Jonathan Gayman):
Shirred Eggs with Asparagus and English Cheddar – seriously the cutest eggs ever, and a great way to make eggs for a crowd without doing a quiche or frittata.
Caper-Dill Mini Scones with Smoked Salmon and Whipped Goat Cheese – do I need to talk about these? nope. I’d eat these ever day, and the recipe is about half-size (because they’re mini and sliced in half) so you won’t end up with stale scones the next day.
Pea Shoot, Feta and Toasted Almond Spring Salad with Lemon-Rhubarb Vinaigrette – I feel like rhubarb in anything right now gets me extra food pro points. Have you seen the rhubarb out there? RUBIES.
Cardamom-Chamomile Glazed Carrots – tea is such a thing now, and chamomile adds a really interesting flavor component to an otherwise straightforward glaze.
Herbed Wild Rice with Pine Nuts – bread stuffing in the spring seems heavy to me: wild rice stuffing with herbs and pine nuts, though? Perfection, especially when it’s piled inside a…
Crown of Lamb with Arugula Pesto – this sounds scary, but it’s so not. If i can do it? you can do it, and I’m not just saying that. By the way, when you’re done, you have a crown of meat that you get to serve to your very-impressed guests. With a spring pesto, in case it wasn’t delicious enough.
Pavlova Bar – basically you pick from a pile of little clouds, add whipped cream and fruit to it, and eat all of it. And you won’t feel bad about it because it’s honestly like eating a cloud. You all know how I love a dessert bar, and it’s just really practical for a brunch versus you fussing about with dessert.
Honestly, this one was a walk in the park compared to some of the other collections I’ve done, because spring is just the best for vibrant color and flavor. It’s not my favorite season (Autumn takes that particular cake), but for food, spring is a much-needed break from the heft and heaviness of winter food.
So head over to Feast Eats because hey, it’s fun over there, and it’s me over there doing what evidently I love to do, which is craft recipes and occasionally get to hang out with a talented and amazing group of people from time to time. This go-round (as I mentioned above) the photos were taken by Jonathan Gayman, and they really are stunning: maybe my favorite photo shoot yet.
PS: I’ve been a punk lately (ermm…for months now) about blog reading, and i have a news feed a mile long. I refuse to delete them because FOMO, which means I’ll be catching up with all of you hopefully over the course of this week, now that my crazy house move has come to a close. If you see a comment on a post from maybe November? Hi, just me.