A pack of muffin liners and permanently lemon-laced taste buds and a can of baking powder later, I think I’ve finally perfected these healthyish lemon poppy seed muffins that take me back to Saturday mornings and oversized t-shirts and freckled noses and boxed muffin mix. Mini lemon poppy seed muffins were our favorite growing up. These aren’t so mini, but I’ve made sure they’re composed of all of my favorite parts of those muffins—tender yet dense, bright in flavor, good out of the oven, and even better the next day.
I’m back in the saddle, the quick and ready-in-under-30-minute, pantry-friendly, dinner-making saddle. You know, the as-few-pots-and-pans and as-much-flavor-as-possible saddle. The use-up-every-ingredient-in-the-fridge saddle. Which is how I landed on this recipe for Pantry-Friendly Thai Red Curry, to use up the little bottle of Thai Red Curry paste that often sits idle yet lasts forever on the condiment shelf of the fridge. That, and to use the last hunk of broccoli and the loyal green bell pepper patiently waiting to be consumed. It’s quick, ready in under 30 minutes, and tastes almost as good as my favorite takeout Thai Red Curry from down the street. Almost. Read more
I’m not sure how to be online right now and hold space for everything in the periphery, which is taking up the little, foggy, postpartum brain space I have left, and filling every offline conversation with friends and family. Recipes feel trite and yet we still eat. This 15 minute Lightened Up Pasta al Limone has saved us once or twice lately. My words sound hollow and yet I still jot thoughts in the Notes app and on here, mostly little poems, if you can even call them that. There’s one titled “The Moon Still Hangs and So Does My Empty Stomach,” a hopeful poem written on an early dark New Years’ morning with a headache from only drinking half of a Cosmo. Read more
Remember when? When I used to talk about finding ordinary magic in the mundane and beauty in the repetition. I’m eating my words right now (and these Chocolate Cardamom Rye Cut-Out Cookies, too). The mundane is more mundane than I ever imagined, and the ordinary is so repetitive these days, it’s almost lost its meaning. We’re living in a never-ending page out of Olivia, where I make breakfast, pick up
Edwin the cat the living room pillows, make lunch, pick up the living room pillows, and make dinner. (Minus the baby snuggles that I could never tire of.) And every time I go to post something, I usually press backspace. Backspace, backspace, backspace. I’ve said that already, I say. My life isn’t that inspiring these days, I think. Maybe the mundane isn’t so magic, especially during a pandemic. Ho ho hum. Read more
There are two types of pie makers—people who make pie and people who don’t. There’s good reason to skip pie-making altogether, as it comes with a whole lot of issues—like shrinking pie crust and uncooked filling and soupy filling and overcooked crust and mushy filling and soggy-bottom-crust-syndrome and no insurance that your hard work will be worth it. I made this pie for the people who don’t make pie. I also made this Doable and Delicious Almond Apple Pie for the people who need a little extra pie insurance, like me.
The beauty of pressing publish on a creative endeavor before getting interru… “Mom!” “Hey, Mel.” “Muh, muh,” says the littlest one, which we’re pretty sure is her effort at saying “more” not “mom.” …Is such a luxury these days. As is the ability to archive the perseverating thoughts that come with chasing down an idea, even an idea as simple as a recipe for Browned Butter Pumpkin Muffins.
I never know where to begin these days with a blog post. I’m still digging out of the hole from taking time off, sacred time, to welcome Linnie into the family, which has left a lot of little piles everywhere, both the literal and figurative kind. (Thus, I’ve titled this stage of life: Little Piles Everywhere. If only it were snow.) Today I’m picking up a pile from April, when I found out my cookbook, The Minimalist Kitchen, had finally been reprinted after selling out a year prior (!!!). And then I’ll tell you about this Creamy Dairy-Free Butternut Pasta recipe, an adaptation from the book. Read more
I really wanted to like jackfruit, a fruit that can be purchased in a can and stored in the pantry, that has the texture of meat, that takes on the flavor of just about anything. But every time I tried it, it was too acidic and salty, and I like acidic and salty food. And I couldn’t get past the fact that it’s often used as a stand-in for meaty protein, yet it lacks much protein. Or the fact that it wasn’t filling enough. But, if I’m anything, I’m persistent (when it involves solving a recipe or design problem). “I’m going to try those BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches one more time.” “Oh, Mel. No. More. Jackfruit.” Oops, I did it again. And I got it right this time. Kev approves. Read more