Baked Occasionally, desserts

baked, occasionally: election day palmiers.

baked, occasionally: election day palmiers.

There’s a quote I heard randomly while watching 2012’s national election coverage. Tom Brokaw, who is probably my most favorite newsperson of all time, said this at the time.

“What I love about the process, and what I love about this country and the way we govern ourselves…is that [people] will get up this morning, they’ll go to the voting booth, and they’ll decide who they want to run this country for the next four years; and they won’t do it at the point of a gun, there won’t be any tanks in the street. It’s an amazing process that we’re about to go through, it really is.”

Things had gotten a little crazy-tastic, it was election morning, and it really resonated with me, because it puts something many of us take for granted sharply in focus.

If our 2012 selves knew what was coming in 2016, election morning would have looked like a walk in the park. Continue Reading…

Baked, Baked Occasionally, breakfast, brunch, desserts

baked, occasionally: peanut butter + jelly muffins.

Baked, Occasionally: peanut butter + Jelly muffins.

C’mon guys: it’s October. We all know this could be a pumpkin post, and yet IT IS NOT.

What do I think of when the weather starts to turn chilly in the mornings as I eagerly add my sweaters and boots back into regular rotation? I mean, yeah, pumpkin things, but also, peanut butter and jelly. Why? Because here, the onset of crispy fall weather reminds me of school. It has for years, and I haven’t been in school for…well, let’s say awhile, shall we?  Continue Reading…

Baked, Baked Occasionally, desserts

baked, occasionally: nonnie’s blueberry buckle.

baked occasionally: Nonnie's blueberry buckle. | a periodic table

August is not a month for baked goods, it seems: at least not in the Baked Occasions book. For the first time since Natalie and I began this project, I was underwhelmed by my choices. There was a birthday cake offering which I had basically done in its Sunday Night Cake form (indeed, it’s the same yellow cake, scaled down and paired with a slightly different chocolate frosting), a salted caramel souffle which seemed much more at home in autumn, brioche ice cream sandwiches (homemade brioche in the middle of summer? nope!) and chocolate chip hush puppies. I don’t know about you, but frying things in August seemed like a bad idea, plus I have a difficult time wrapping my head around what exactly this would taste like. Continue Reading…

salads, sides

vinegary carrot ribbon salad with sesame and cilantro.

vinegary carrot ribbon salad with sesame and cilantro. | a periodic table

I am not a lover of carrots. The possible result of decades of limp carrot coins and five hundred too many vegetable trays, I’m just not a huge fan. They seem to lack something: you expect something more from a bright orange vegetable than their often bland, distantly soapy flavor. Roasting them in recent years adds something I like, but still doesn’t push them into “yeah, I want that right now” territory.

As it turns out, all carrots need is vinegar and a little sweetness to turn them into an irresistible treat. Continue Reading…

appetizers, feast magazine article, salads

charred octopus salad (and a horror-level guide to defrosting) for Feast Magazine, July 2016.

charred octopus salad. | a periodic table

I’ve been waiting to share this with you for ages, so maybe make this right now? Soon, maybe; no pressure.

Why? Because this salad is worth it. Because summer is the perfect time to try new things, or revisit things maybe you’ve tried a few times and think about occasionally. I’ve never cooked octopus before; I’ve eaten it several times, and loved it, but it always seemed rather daunting. I’m here to tell you it’s not: if you can get past the defrosting, that is, because it’s the worst. Continue Reading…

appetizers, snacks

sticky pine nut and artichoke spread.

sticky pine nut artichoke spread. | a periodic table

I posted a photo of this on Instagram the other day, and one of you lovely people who follow me was like “Recipe?” and I thought, you know what? Recipe. This one’s for you, Jennifer; you know who you are. Thank you.

I don’t need to stall just to think of something awesome to say about this little plate of food, because – brown as it may be – this little plate of food is already awesome. Why make anyone sit through words if they don’t need to? There’s no rule in life which states that I have to write x amount of words about anything. Continue Reading…

appetizers, brunch, salads, sides

summer stunner: persian watermelon + cucumber salad.

persian watermelon + cucumber salad. | a periodic table

Something about summer makes it seem so appropriate to throw things together. To be lazy. To not care. I blame the fruit.

Summer fruit doesn’t give two rips if you do anything to it: it exists and is beautiful, period. Berries are perfectly formed into their wee shapes, cherries practically glow at you and look like cartoons of themselves, melons are just thrilled to be hacked into a rainbow of cubes or triangles and thrown on a plate. Sometimes, when I’m feeling fancy, I dig out my melon-baller; most often, I don’t. Continue Reading…