Saturday, July 16, 2016

My Paris Kitchen: Galettes and Slaw

This post will likely be brief. I'm attempting to draft it on my phone. I hate typing on my phone, but I'm applying the same thought process to this post as I am to emails to my 2 dear long-distance friends who refuse to join Facebook (!!!). Namely, that I need to stop waiting until I find time to sit at the computer, because it'll never happen. Emails don't have to be comprehensive--just send SOMETHING. So, same with this. Currently writing this left-handed, while nursing, before managing to get downstairs for coffee, so if it's a series of lines of gibberish, I apologize.

Also, I don't have Lebovitz's book in front of me, so you'll have to buy the. book or head over to Cook the Book Friday's if you want details.

I made the slaw with garlic dressing two weeks ago, but never posted. I don't love slaw. Any slaw. This one was good, as far as it goes, but the leftovers languished in the fridge (and turned brown because of the apple.) I did enjoy the colors, as I used red cabbage, broccoli, and carrots. Didn't take a picture, though. Oops.

This week's recipe was for buckwheat crepes with ham, cheese, and eggs. I found them tricky to make, but delicious too eat. The baby is not compliant with on-the-spot cooking at the moment, and I grossly underestimated how long it would take the egg whites to set. I felt like u was standing at the stove an eternity while Oliver screamed from the other room. Also, by the time the eggs set, the crepe was crispy, and it was hard to fold the edges without snapping them off.

We enjoyed these, though I doubt I'll make them again until things slow down.

Odd. I DO have a photo, but the program isn't letting me access the pics on my phone. If I ever get to the computer, I'll add it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Paris Kitchen: Fattoush and Chicken Lady Chicken

I feel pretty accomplished. Not only have I managed to keep this alive for a month:
but I also cooked the two recipes from My Paris Kitchen that were on the docket for June.

Up first, albeit, late, was Fattoush, a delightful, crunchy salad that involves lots of herbs (mint and parsley, and I threw in basil, because I had it), radishes, cucumbers, scallions, sumac, and, most importantly, toasted pita bread. I took a cue from some of the French Fridays crew, skipped a step, and just used pita chips. I make no apology for that. I also added chicken. This was very tasty, and I appreciated that I could chop things throughout the day, as my hands were free, and pull it all together at dinnertime. Matt and I both enjoyed this, and it felt clean and virtuous to eat. Unfortunately, we were both starving again two hours later, and each had a hot dog. Woops. So much for nutritional virtue.
I also made Chicken Lady Chicken, which is meant to be a whole chicken, marinated for 1-2 days in an intriguing mixture of garlic, oil, lemon juice, wine, soy sauce, sriracha, mustard, and honey, browned on the stove, and then baked in the oven.

I had the butcher cut my chicken into pieces, because I knew I wasn't going to have time/the will to removing backbones and cracking breasts. I also only marinated the chicken for about five hours. I'm sure it would have been even better with a longer soak, but it was pretty delicious (and smelled amazing), regardless.
As with the fattoush, I appreciated how low maintenance this recipe was. It was pretty easy to complete, even with the bambino around, and the leftovers made a very tasty chicken salad for the next day's lunch.

Now, if only all the recipes in the book were as conducive to cooking with a newborn...

Friday, March 18, 2016

My Paris Kitchen: Belgian Beef Stew with Beer and Spice Bread

On the one hand, I was looking forward to a nice long day of slow cooking. On the other hand, I'm admittedly not a huge fan of stews. Especially stews that require you to make a separate recipe, for pain d'epices, a day or two ahead of time. However, some of Dorie's recipes in Around My French Table have opened me up to enjoying stew--sometimes--and the honey spice bread sounded delicious on its own. The idea of slathering slices of it with mustard and stirring it into the stew? Odd.

I'm not sure that my bread turned out the way it was supposed to. The photo in the book is domed and looks like it has an airy crumb. Mine came out of the oven already sunk in the center, and it was dense and kind of chewy. It tasted good, but I kept re-reading the recipe to see if I had missed a step or an ingredient. Nothing jumped out at me.
I started the stew right after I ate lunch. It smelled amazing while it was cooking. I wish I'd followed my gut and crisped up the bacon a bit before adding the onions. I know perfectly well that any time a recipe tells me to add bacon and onions together, the bacon stays flaccid and fatty. Yuck.

Maybe I didn't cut my chuck roast into small enough pieces. After five hours, it was still not fork-tender.

I cut the difference on adding the spice bread to the stew, and only used two slices. I'm glad I didn't use the full four slices, because I think it would have made the broth too sludgy.

I ate a little. I didn't really love it. If the meat had broken down more, I'd have been happier. The flavor was okay. The meat was way too tough for me. I didn't have more than five hours to let it simmer.

Conclusion: Liked the spice bread, especially slathered with plum jam. Didn't really like the stew.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bad and Good

The photo on the cover of The Food52 Cookbook is so well-shot, so accessible, so attractive, that it makes me want to eat Zucchini Pancakes (pg 77) immediately.

I made them for dinner last week. First of all, it broke my little adopted Neapolitan heart to pay $3.60 for 3 zucchini. That's $1.20 per zucchini! In Italy, I could get at least 2 kilo of zucchini for that price. At least. And their zucchini would be so fresh that they'd still have the flowers attached. I have produce problems in the US. (Operation: Learn to Garden goes into effect next week).

Much to my dismay, these pancakes were awful. Universally reviled. I hate when recipes instruct you to generously salt a vegetable to draw out the moisture, but then there is no mechanism by which to remove the salt. I have this same problem with eggplant recipes. I much prefer the Neapolitan method of drawing moisture from an eggplant (and it, presumably, would work for a zucchini, too), which is to put it out in the hot Italian sun for an hour. Or, another method they have is to soak it in salt water, and then squeeze all the water out. I can personally attest to the success of the water-soaking method. Anyway, I followed the instructions provided by the cookbook, and produced salt bombs. Apart from the salt, they were flavorless. We barely touched them. Bummer.

Conclusion: Hated it.

For a quick lunch, I made Yogurt and Spinach Dip "Borani Esfanaaj," In the Persian Manner (pg 304.) Delicious. I ate the whole thing. I gave a few bites to Matt, and when I was done with the rest of it, he licked the bowl clean. He actually licked the bowl. That counts as success.
Conclusion: Loved it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Food52: Soggy Quiche

I'm a quiche fan. Every time I have one, I say to myself, "Hey! Make more quiche!" The problem, as I've whined every time I ever have to use it, is that I hate making and using pie/quiche dough. I know it's worth the effort, I just really hate doing it. The Leek, Lemon, and Feta Quiche (pg 246 of The Food52 Cookbook) caught my eye, not because of the quiche filling, but because it circumvents the pie crust problem by using storebought puff pastry.

Right off the bat, I thought the ratio of 3 eggs to a full cup of half and half was weird. I also thought it strange to be instructed to just briefly cook the leeks until they're wilted, but before they give off any liquid. This sounds to me like a recipe for wet quiche. I would think you'd want to cook those leeks until all the liquid is out and they've had a chance to sweeten up and take on flavor from cooking. No? Apparently not.

Result? Wet quiche. The eggy part was very soft. It was an odd texture. I didn't like it at all. There was not a lot of flavor. The lemon zest came through, but, as Matt said, "Why do these eggs taste like lemon? Yuck." Basically, lemon was the only flavor that came through. It smelled delicious while it was baking, but that was an illusion.

Yuck, yuck, yuck. I ate one slice, Matt ate as much as we could, and we threw the rest out. This is the first quiche I've ever made that we didn't obliterate.
Looks good, smells good. Tastes bad.
That said, I loved the puff pastry trick. It was so easy, and cooked up really nicely.

Conclusion: Hated it. I'm keeping the puff pastry idea, but filling it with other quiche mixtures.

Friday, March 4, 2016

My Paris Kitchen: Dukkah-Roasted Cauliflower

I'll admit, I wasn't overly enthusiastic about cooking this week's Cook the Book Fridays selection so early in our time with My Paris Kitchen. I've only made a handful of recipes prior to the group starting, and this was one of them. Instead of making my own dukkah, or "Egyptian Spiced Nut Mix," I'd used a jar of Trader Joe's version. It was disgusting. I immediately threw out the jar.

I knew full well that the flaw last time around was with the jar of dukkah I used, not with any of Lebovitz's instructions, but still, my excitement was low. This time, I followed his recipe to make my own. Sort of. I thought I had some of the ingredients--sesame seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds--but I must have finished them before we moved from Italy, or they got lost somewhere between Naples and Virginia. I used ground cumin, and omitted the sesame and the fennel, though I can absolutely see this would be even better if I'd had them. I also followed his variation and used toasted almonds instead of hazelnut, because I have a big Costco-sized bag of them in my fridge.

Because I am a lazy mortar and pestler, there were some almost-whole chunks of almond left behind. These were delicious, fished right out of the mortar. I gave one to Charlie, and he said, "Wow, you're right. That IS tasty." This is of particular note, because he doesn't like nuts. I wished I'd been even lazier with my grinding, because I wanted more nut chunks to pick at.
Once the dukkah was made, it was an easy job of roasting the cauliflower and tossing the nut mix on halfway through.

Unfortunately, I over-salted my cauliflower. The pork chops I made were also too salty, so I liked this less, the more I ate. I'm aware this was my problem, and not the recipe's. I've made myself a  note to go easy on the salt next time.

I also sampled the dukkah by dipping some nice seedy bread in beautiful olive oil that I brought home from Puglia, then dipping it in the mix. Honestly, I preferred it straight up like this, rather than on the cauliflower, where the toasty flavors were lost in the salt (again, my fault).
Conclusion: For the Dukkah, liked it. I definitely want to try it again with all of the ingredients. I really think those sesame seeds would have contributed a lot. For the Dukkah-roasted Cauliflower, for now, I'd say Just Okay. Both times I've made this, the problem has been mine. Still, I'm not especially interested in making it again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


I made Daddy's Carbonara (pg 36 of The Food52 Cookbook), primarily because I had all the ingredients--spaghetti, bacon, eggs, parmesan, and the unconventional choice of peas, and secondarily, because I knew Charlie would eat it.

This really wants a lot of bacon. A pound. Holy moly. I used half, and it still seemed like more than was necessary.
The peas were fine. I don't know that they really added much, regarding flavor or texture.

I ate way too much of this. I love carbonara. Lately, I've been eating whole wheat pasta. Carbonara is all about luxurious caloric excess, and demands normal pasta, even though one of the notes for this recipe suggests that you could use whole wheat. Nope. I protest. This is not a meal that should be approached with any intention of cutting calories.
I asked Charlie how it tasted. He said, "Good. Delicious, actually. Why has it been so long since we ate this?" Because Mom has no self-control, my dear.

Conclusion: Liked it. Charlie approved.

In an effort to replace my heartburn-inducing lemonade addiction, I figured I'd try Mint Limeade (pg 362). Lime juice, mixed with mint simple syrup and club soda sounded like it might fit the bill with a bit less acid.
Turns out, this is a very strange flavor combination. I had one glass, and no desire to drink more.

Conclusion: Disliked.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Muffin Me

This'll be a quick one. On Saturday morning, Charlie and I baked Mom's Blueberry-Coconut Muffins (pg 32 of The Food52 Cookbook). I'd bought a big ol' container of blueberries at Trader Joe's earlier in the week. They weren't particularly good. When faced with questionable fruit, it doesn't take much to convince me to bake it. Charlie loves blueberries, and has always raved about anything I've baked that involves coconut, so these muffins were an obvious choice, even though coconut is not my favorite flavor.

Maybe everyone knows this trick, but I didn't. The recipe has you toss the blueberries with some flour, to keep them all from sinking to the bottom. Turns out, this actually works. I'm going to lock that away for all future blueberry recipes. 
There were no surprises here. We all went back for more.

Conclusion: Liked it, and Charlie-approved.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Acid Soup

This morning, when I was trying to figure out something cheap to cook for dinner, Smoky Minestrone with Tortellini and Parsley or Basil Pesto (pg 387 of The Food52 Cookbook) sounded really good. Bacon? Good. Leeks? Good. San Marzano tomatoes? Good. Tortellini? Good. Veg and pesto? Good and good. Only need to buy a zucchini and some chicken broth? Great.

However, by the time I started cooking, my daily heartburn had kicked in, and those same ingredients--the bacon, the onions, the tomatoes--looked like a boiling vat of acid.

What's that you say? Eileen, you know this baby is crowding your stomach and giving you heartburn every day. Why in the world would you have two glasses of lemonade with lunch? Yeah, that's fair. You're right. I have no excuse, except that I can't get enough lemonade or olives (not together) this pregnancy. Would I have avoided this evening's reflux, if not for that lemonade? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. Don't you judge me!

I carried on and cooked the soup, mostly as written. I omitted the leek, because the Giant near me only stocks organic ones for $3.99 each. No. Not paying that. The first time I couldn't find generic leeks there, I thought it was a fluke. Apparently not. Isn't that weird? Other supermarkets around have leeks, but going to a second store smacked of effort. Oh well. I also cheated, and used a dollop of pesto from my Costco jar. I love fresh pesto, but the jar was just sitting there in my fridge, already made.

I ate a very small bowl, and it was pretty delicious. I've never had tortellini in minestrone soup before, and it's a very satisfying addition. I look forward to having a bigger bowl for lunch tomorrow. I'll try to refrain from the lemonade. No promises.

Conclusion: Liked it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Food52: Steak for an Alexandria Kitchen Grill Pan

Whereas I found the name of "salad dressing" charmingly simple the other day, Steak for a Brooklyn Backyard Barbecue (pg 65 of The Food52 Cookbook) made me roll my eyes, just as all the snobby, posing, transplanted hipsters who act like they own the borough I was born and raised in do. I mean, man-buns? Who are these people? Okay, so the recipe didn't fill me with the same level of rage as the people do, but I feel fairly confident that the author of this recipe (since the recipes in the book were all taken from those submitted by people on the website) is a non-Brooklynite who thinks she's obtained a higher sphere of cool by moving to Brooklyn. These transplants loooooove making it known that they live in Brooklyn. Do they think it makes them tough? There's nothing gritty about Park Slope or Williamsburgh anymore. Oh, they annoy me. Primarily because they give so many dirty looks to those of us who are actually from the area, who dare to go out for breakfast without a fully planned and coiffed "outfit." Anyway, identifying the author as a transplant is the only way I can account for Brooklyn's presence in the title, since the location of one's barbecue has no impact on the outcome of the meat. It's not like this spice rub is a regional specialty. So weird. I digress...

Anyway, the meat is rubbed down with chopped mint, salt, paprika, garlic, and oil. Ideally, it is then thrown on the barbecue. I don't know how to light a barbecue. Don't tell anyone. If Matt's not home to do it, the barbecue isn't going to be used. So, I opted for our grill pan.
I understood as soon as I applied the rub that I was going to lose a lot of flavor. There was no way all that glorious garlic and mint would stay on my meat instead of adhering to the grill pan. I was right.
What did make it to our plates was delicious. Matt grunted, "Good meat." Charlie ate his, though he said, "It tastes strong." Because of the garlic? I don't know. He didn't argue about it--simply commented, so I didn't press him for details. I definitely want to try this again when Matt can give it the proper treatment on the bbq.

Conclusion: Liked it, despite the annoying title. Charlie approved.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Food52: Green and Pink

To accompany Lebovitz's steak on Saturday, I also made a simple salad, dressed with Food52's Salad Dressing (pg 39). I find it charming that the title is so simple. It's just salad dressing, but it's a damn good one. The dressing is a familiar blend of vinegar, oil, garlic, and dijon mustard. In addition to balsamic vinegar, it calls for white balsamic vinegar, which I didn't even know existed, but found easily at the supermarket. In the opening, they consider Worcestershire sauce to be one of the recipe's nice surprises. Personally, 1/4 teaspoon hardly seems like enough to impact the flavor. I certainly couldn't tell it was in there.
This came together easily, and I like that you just shake it up in a jar to emulsify it. It was tasty and balanced, and got me to eat two big portions of salad. Also have salad on the menu for tonight, because the recipe made a lot of dressing for someone who only likes the barest coating on her lettuce.

Conclusion: Liked it. 

On Sunday, I made Risotto Rosso (pg 347). As long as I add no green components to risotto, it's one of the few meals that I can consistently get Charlie to eat and enjoy without a fight. I've had good luck with mushroom, leek, chestnut, and saffron risottos, so I crossed my fingers and hoped that I could add Food52's version to the list of acceptable foods. Unlike the others, this one stains the rice pinkish with red wine before fattening the grains up with a mixture of beef and chicken broth. Additional delicious ingredients include pancetta (always a good start), shallots, mushrooms, and parmesan.

I was amused to find that the recipe gives preference to Carnaroli rice over arborio. This is the first risotto recipe I've seen that specifically asks for Carnaroli. While living in Italy, I mentioned to an Italian friend that I'd made risotto earlier that week. He asked what kind of rice I used (because these things matter to Italians. They have a lot of food rules.) I said arborio. His jaw dropped, and he quickly set me straight--that around Naples, risotto is ONLY made with Carnaroli rice. I had never heard of Carnaroli, but went straight to the supermarket and bought some. Is it different from arborio? I don't really know. It seems the same to me. Mauro says that arborio gets mushy faster, while Carnaroli maintains its integrity. I choose to believe him, and am now afraid to make risotto with anything else. I brought three boxes back to the US with me, and am carefully rationing them out. I opened my second box for this recipe. Time to start worrying about where I'll get more.

Anyway, back to the meal. Charlie was skeptical at first, because of the color. He asked what the "orange" things were, but once I convinced him it was bacon (which I used in place of pancetta), he cleaned his bowl. For the record, the bacon was not orange. I don't know what he was talking about. My only complaint is that we all wanted seconds, and there was none left.

We ate it before I remembered to take a picture. Oops. 

Conclusion: loved it.Charlie approved.

My Paris Kitchen: Steak with Mustard Butter and French Fries

I'm a few days late with my post for Cook the Book Fridays, but I needed a day or two after returning from our vacation in San Diego (so lovely!) to get into cooking mode.

On weeknights, Charlie and I eat before Matt gets home from work, so I planned to make Steak with Mustard Butter and French fries for Saturday, because nobody wants cold french fries and reheated beef. I was grateful that this recipe was so easy to scale up at the last minute, because Matt decided to go out and buy a piece of furniture for our basement at around 3, then realized after he got home that I, being six months pregnant, should probably not help him carry it into the house. We lured a friend over with promises of steak frites, ran out to buy a third ribeye, rubbed it down with salt, chili powder, and parsley, let it sit in the fridge for an hour, then proceeded as planned.

My steaks must have been thinner than Lebovitz's. I cooked them according to his timing, and they lost all blush of pink. They were still juicy, but not my ideal cook. He'd specified that he likes his steaks to be thinner so that there's more surface area, but mine must have been too thin. Ah well. Much to my surprise, because I'm not a huge mustard fan, I lo-oved the mustard butter with the steak. I see a lot of mustardy steaks in my future.
No pic of the steak, because I felt dumb photographing it in front of company.
The french fries were good, too. I mean--french fries. Unless they're cold and dry, they're always going to be pretty good. Even if they're oven fries.

That mustard butter stole the show.

Conclusion: Liked it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Food52: Blueberry Almond Breakfast Polenta

The recipe for Blueberry Almond Breakfast Polenta (pg 140) caught my eye nearly every time I've flipped through The Food52 Cookbook. One reason for this is that the picture accompanying the recipe is pretty and cozy and makes me want to eat it. The other reason is that I have two bags of polenta in my pantry that I never use, and I've been trying to do a better job of working through my grains. I have too many.

Bulked up with almond meal, flavored with cardamom, and sweetened with honey and blueberries, this is my kind of food. It almost had the satisfying appeal of rice pudding, but to a much less sweet degree. I loved it. It was a good thing that I halved the recipe, because I ate the entire pot (2 servings) over the course of the day, and would easily have eaten the entire 4 servings, if that was what was in front of me.
Hmmm...this bears a striking resemblance to the mushroom soup from the other day. I promise I'll stop cooking gray food.
My photo doesn't look nearly as delicious as the one in the book, but trust me. This is good stuff.

Conclusion: Loved it.

And now, I'm off to San Diego, to visit friends for a week. Until then!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Food52: Celery Root and Loads of Mushrooms

Whenever Matt travels for work, I take the opportunity to cook things for myself that he wouldn't want to eat. Primarily, this means mushroom recipes. He's learned to like some mushroom dishes, but not those that are too in-your-face with the flavor and texture. He flew out today, so I spent the afternoon making Creamy Mushroom Soup (pg 119-120).

With a pound of cremini mushrooms, and an additional pound of mixed mushrooms (I used portabello, oyster, and shiitake), I knew as soon as I saw it that this recipe would exceed Matt's mushroom threshold. The tone of the directions annoyed me once I got started. It actually says to "beautifully and precisely chop the mushroom caps..." I don't beautifully and precisely chop everything. Especially two pounds of mushrooms. Do you know how many mushrooms there are in two pounds? A billion, give or take a few. I did read the recipe through before I started, but I must have been so distracted by that irritating instruction that I glossed over the following sentence, which said to add them to the pan as they were chopped (presumably to avoid crowding). I chopped all my mushrooms in one go. Oh well.

The finished product is a hair shy of being overwhelmingly mushroomy. It was nearly too much for me. Matt would have hated it. A sprig of rosemary is cooked in the pan with the mushrooms, and later removed. It didn't impart much flavor. Thyme sprigs should have been given the same treatment, but I couldn't find any at the supermarket, so I sprinkled some ground thyme in as the mushrooms cooked. I also couldn't get chives, which should have been added in at the end. I wish I had them. I think they would have added a nice additional flavor and cut the earthiness a bit.

All in all, a nice soup. It was brothy, despite the cream and loads of mushrooms, but not especially filling. Two hours later, I'm hungry again. This might be better as an appetizer than a main course.

Conclusion: Liked it.

The other day, I made Autumn Celeriac (Celery Root) Puree (pg 133.) I don't have a lot to say about it. It was pretty bland. I always thought that one of the appealing things about making celery root puree instead of mashed potatoes was that it was a little healthier. This recipe adds heavy cream, which undermines any calories saved by using a celery root, and frankly, mashed potatoes are way more delicious. I didn't take a picture, but it just looked like white puree. 

Conclusion: Just okay.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Get In or Get Out

Now that we've moved from Italy, and are settled in our home and our routine in the US, I've been thinking about returning to this blog, in its original format, in which I spend one month cooking as much as I can out of one cookbook in my arsenal, to decide whether the book is a keeper, or should be tossed (aka, donated). Part of my motivation is that I find myself returning to the same books over and over--Curtis Stone's What's for Dinner?, Hugh Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg and River Cottage Every Day, and, of course, Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table. All of these books are rock-solid, but I have quite a collection that I've barely used. I do dip around a bit, but I know there are plenty of recipes that I'm not trying, simply because I'm not pushing myself to. While in Italy, I compulsively collected vegetarian and vegan books (I've been more and more drawn to a more veg-centric diet. I'll never go all the way there, but I feel happier when I'm eating more vegetables and whole grains), and oh-so-many books on Italian cooking. And a few Indian books. And, basically, at least one ethnic book for nearly every country we visited while living in Europe. Many untapped resources.

As much as I love Dorie, I just haven't been able to commit myself to baking through Baking, Chez Moi. I still keep an eye on which recipes Tuesdays with Dorie is baking every week, but it's just not good for me to make so much dessert. Matt and Charlie aren't big eaters of sweets, which means that I end up taking down the bulk of it. I'll still cook along with that group sporadically, but I'm releasing myself from the expectation that I'm going to.

I do, however, hope to cook along with a new group that just started today, called Cook the Book Fridays, which will cook it's way through David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen. This group is stemming from the same group that worked through Around My French Table. Same group of home cooks (though anyone is welcome to join), still exploring French food, but with a different author.

That said, I have to skip the first week's recipe, because it's for Winter Salad, which revolves around Rocquefort cheese. I'm pregnant (just about six months!), so am supposed to avoid soft, moldy cheeses. Sounds good, though. I'm pretty excited about Week 2's steak and frites. GET IN MY BELLY!

To start, I'll dive into The Food52 Cookbook, by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs. The book is lovely to flip through, and has lots of tasty-sounding recipes, but I am perpetually put off by books that are organized according to season instead of meal. I find it hard to wrap my brain around what's inside when the meals are scattered all over the book. It's not a dealbreaker for me, but it is certainly one of the reasons that I've barely touched this book in the time that I've owned it.

I'm going to be out of town for a week this month, so I'm tacking an extra week on to this book's month.

Hopefully, I'm not biting off more than I can chew. If I can't keep up with it or start to get bothered by cooking primarily from one book, I'll probably say, "Oh forget it" and give myself permission to psychologically abandon the blog. Fingers crossed it doesn't come to that.