buttery garlic naan.

It’s been a few years since I ventured to India, but I remember everything about it like I was there yesterday. The sights, the smells, the sounds (the honking. OHHHH, the incessant honking) all are still so fresh. When I was there, for a course to complete my anthropology degree, I took it for granted. Like the majority of my classmates, I spent the greater part of the trip sick, exhausted, constantly sweating (hott) and even more constantly complaining about our third-world conditions. “There are cockroaches in my room!” “There’s no air conditioning on this bus!” “I can’t believe they’re not letting us take a nap!” Yeah. We were a lovely bunch.

Our attitude toward the food wasn’t much different. Instead of letting my curiosity take over and trying the authentic South Indian dishes, my eyes always scanned the menu (if there was one) for two things: Anything non-Indian (which included, on separate occasions: manicotti, pizza, omelettes and apple pie. I KNOW.) and naan. The latter was, nearly every time, our best bet. So, instead of even dipping our fingers into foreign and unfamiliar sauces, a group of us girls would order basket after basket of fresh-baked naan and try to subsist on that. All that bread probably explains why we were so grouchy.

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portobello sammich.

Let’s take a minute to talk about my morning routine. My alarm goes off. I turn it off. I shut my eyes again in hopes that my alarm didn’t actually go off, but my cat already knows what’s up and decisively sniffs my face until I get out of bed (which, on some days, can last quite a while. He’s persistent.). I drag my zombie self straight to the coffee maker. I make coffee (duh). I sit in a stupor until I hear that glorious beep signaling the coffee is ready to go down my gullet. I drink about a gallon of it and begin my day. Which almost always includes watching the Today show until Kathie Lee and Hoda come on. I just… I just can’t. That’s my cue.

I tell you this because my morning routine has a lot to do with my evening routine. If my morning routine is off, my evening routine is off. And if my evening routine is off, then my morning routine the next day is off… and then it’s all over.

Unless these portobello mushroom sandwiches are involved — in which case, everything is made right again. They’re pretty magical like that.

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summer panzanella salad.

So.

The next time I decide I’m going to tackle The Perfect Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread the WEEK we’re moving (ergo, our apartment looks like the morning after a tornado/hurricane/thundersnow storm/war battle of the century), please tell me not to do it. Please tell me that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard. Please tell me to instead bake something fun and easy and reliable, like muffins or pancakes or s’mores. Whatever you do, don’t tell me this is a good idea.

Why?

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mexican grilled corn chowder.

This is what summer’s about.

It’s about ice-cold drinks and hot dogs, sprinklers and sparklers, sunburns and sunsets. It’s about friends and family, road trips and staycations, catching fireflies and throwing baseballs. It’s about joy and playfulness and praying you put on enough sunscreen so you don’t look like a lobster like you did that one time.

And, it’s about sharing yummy, homemade recipes that celebrate the season, like this Mexican grilled corn chowder.

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6

sundriedpenne

Hello, friends!

I’m spending the better part of this week cleaning out our future house (so excited! gah!), so the meals are going to be quick, easy and (cough) not all homemade. But tonight’s recipe was, in fact, made from scratch by my mama — and it was oh so delicious. It was the perfect way to cap off a looooong two days of serious deep-cleaning of floors, walls, cabinets and carpets. Along with some ice cream for dessert, of course.

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all up in my bisque-ness.

There are few foods the husband has consumed in his past that he still talks about to this day: A lobster souffle he made himself when he was younger (just let me know when you’d like to make that for me, too, dear), gazpacho, his sister’s creme de menthe cake, his grandma’s Swedish meatballs, steak from Ruth’s Chris (pre-flexitarian days) and tomato bisque (not to mention the umpteen frozen pizzas and pizza rolls that he craves on a daily basis, but that’s a different story). So, when we were planning our week’s meals last week, it was no surprise when he requested tomato bisque to be put on the menu.

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