Jun 30 2012

mint julep (perfected)

Mint Julep

No, mint juleps are not just for the Kentucky Derby. It’s a terrible, terrible misconception that they are. First of all, they are made with bourbon. And secondly, they are packed with mint and ice, making them fabulously refreshing in every sense of the word. The sad thing is that it wasn’t until this year’s Derby that I suddenly realized all of this.

mint simple syrup

Mint Julep

How did I suddenly come to see the light? Well, in early May I posted the mint julep recipe that I made last year for the Kentucky Derby and shortly afterwards received an e-mail from my sister-in-law’s mother with her family’s recipe. And ladies and gentlemen, when you get a recipe for mint julep from a woman like Debbie Farmer you better listen up. Debbie is many wonderful things, including an excellent cook and a fabulous host and it just so happens that she hails from Kentucky. So this year we made Debbie’s recipe for the Derby and after just one sip I was completely smitten. I declared right then and there that mint juleps should be enjoyed all summer long.

Mint Julep

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Jun 17 2012

the most perfect buttermilk belgian waffles

Buttermilk Belgian Waffles

I’ve really come to love living in New England (despite the snowy winters, which I continue to despise), but I hate being farther away from my parents in DC. Particular days are harder than others, and lately it’s been harder than ever. I really, really enjoyed my brief trip over Memorial Day weekend and I’ve been feeling a little homesick ever since. As I’ve gotten over my awkward teenage years and independent 20s, I’m now realizing how cool my parents are. What can I say? I like hanging out with them.

Blackberries

And like I said, some days are harder than others. Today happens to be both Father’s Day and my sister’s birthday. My sister isn’t in DC anymore (and wasn’t even on the East coast this weekend) but that doesn’t keep me from thinking about family and wishing we were all in DC today. To make matters much, much worse, my grandmother had a bad fall last weekend and isn’t doing all that well. She’s ok, but she’s not great and that is more than enough to make me really, really wish I were in DC today.

Buttermilk Belgian Waffles

Buttermilk Belgian Waffles

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Jun 14 2012

chewy chocolate chip pretzel cookies

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Where have I been, you ask? Just a few weeks ago my excuse was that one of my big projects at work was ending and I was super busy. Well, now I’m on a new project and find myself just as busy, trying to meet a very important deadline next week. Earlier this week I was getting to work at 6:30 in the morning in order to coordinate with folks in South Africa, a time when I’m usually snug as bug in my bed. I may have been a morning person as a kid, but those days are long gone and these early mornings and long days are hitting me pretty hard.  I’ve been able to sleep till a reasonable hour the past two days, and today is the first day all week that I didn’t feel like a walking zombie.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookie Dough

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookie Dough

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Jun 5 2012

wild rice and edamame salad

Wild Rice and Edamame Salad

This dish is so many things, and yet it is so simple. It’s the perfect side dish for summer picnics and barbecues, but it also easily works as a light, refreshing dinner or lunch. You could just as easily make it a day or two ahead as you could make it on a weeknight just before digging in. And best of all, it all comes together in an explosion of color and great textures.

Wild Rice and Edamame Salad

It’s such a complete meal that I didn’t even notice until Joseph pointed out that it’s vegan. But between the almonds and the edamame, there’s plenty of protein and the carrots and scallions make it even healthier (and more colorful!). Sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey give it a delicious Asian flare and dried cranberries provide a sweet, tart contrast (and even more color!).

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