Our couples cooking classes kick off this Friday at 6pm! I think we have 1 spot left. So, if you want to woo your honey with Jamie’s Sherried Shrimp and Grits and my lump crabmeat omelets, sign up now.
“And I don’t like to smell pork shoulder at 2am!” –definitely the best quote I’ve ever given to a journalist.
Our piece in The Nest (the same folks behind The Knot) is out today! The article is all about you and hubby following your dreams.
For a slightly more readable image, click here (and continue clicking on image). Now, you and your hubby go make a documentary or something!
The crush could be based on many factors. There’s the accent, the dark, flowing tresses, the pillowy bosoms and, of course, her ability to whip up a Yorkshire pudding and roast loin of something-or-other at a moment’s notice.
Nigella is a devastating adversary. My somewhat fried blonde locks and mediocre grasp of family’s gumbo recipe make me a distant second. When this Nigella fixation arises (i.e. when her television show airs Sundays, 9a.m. EST), the scenario unfolds something like this:
(Me) “Stop staring at the television and smiling like that.”
(Hubby) “But it’s a brilliant recipe, honey! And so simple. Just look at the way she transforms that ______ (insert offal–kidney, intestines, thymus gland–here) into a plate of genius.”
(Me) “Fine. Then I have a “thing” for her billionaire Saatchi husband who owns more art than the Vatican.”
(Hubby) “Huh? What was that, sweetie? I was just taking a few notes on her fried sweetbreads bathed in a lemon, butter, caper sauce.”
Hubby then returns attentions to Nigella and yellow chef’s notebook.
SO. Just short of licking wooden spoons with wild abandon and wearing plunging-V-neck-cashmere-sweaters-that-I-can’t-afford whilst cooking, I’m going to start whipping up rustic (i.e. fast and simple) irresistible treats that make our apartment smell like Nigella’s flat. (These recipes also fall into the “On the Hip” category.)
My great Aunt Violet, who just celebrated her 100th birthday, had her own set of domestic shortcuts. Before Uncle Billy came home, she’d boil onions and garlic to make the house smell as if she’d been cooking all day. Really, though, she had just finished a power session of Bridge at the community center and thrown together a tuna casserole at the last minute.
My fig crostata accomplishes the same task as great Aunt Violet’s onions and garlic. The baking crust fills our kitchen/living room (the same tiny space as we live in Overpriced Real Estate Land) with the smell of warm butter while the honey and figs impart a light sweetness to a room that has taken on the permanent scent of baby powder and baby booty ointment. And because this is a crostata–a free-form tart and not a pie–it can be thrown together in 15 minutes.
Recipe is coming. First, I have to pry my husband off of me…
If we lived anywhere else, we’d mark down very different “firsts” in Parker’s baby book. There would be the first visit to the park, the petting zoo, the road-side vegetable stand near Grandmother’s house…
Well, we live a little differently up here in New York City…
A page from yesterday’s baby book would include Parker’s first chinese take -out experience and her first photo shoot. I figure there’s no cuter face to feature in my New York Daily News column than that of my daughter’s. And with that bow, she’s definitely ready for close-up. (In all honesty, I’m insanely jealous of her HD camera-ready skin! Ahhh… to be 4 1/2 months old again…)
My New York Daily News page is up and running… but, alas, not live. We’ll be working out the electronic kinks over the next few days. And then, then, “Full Plate” will take on a life of its own. (Well, really, it’ll be documenting my, Jamie’s and Parker’s lives through fabulous food stories and recipes…)
The time and the drink never changed. At five thirty on the nose, my grandfather would ask my grandmother for a toddy. Vodka on the rocks with a twist of lemon. She’d have the same, though she might omit the lemon. She might even scoot over to his side of the swing after a few sips.
Every night, they enjoyed one drink a piece (never any more) and, most importantly, they enjoyed each other. The conversation was leisurely, the air light–it was cocktail hour, adult recess, time to forget the kids and grandkids and to remember each other. I love the notion that they had a special drink–a simple concoction that they considered uniquely their own– set aside for that particular time of day.
As parents of a newborn baby girl, Jamie and I haven’t yet designated a time–or a drink–for our adult recess. There’s always that glass of wine on the fly while we test recipes, change diapers, warm bottles and organize Parker’s onesies and pink rompers. (How is it even possible for a newborn to have a messy closet?) But I don’t consider that a proper cocktail hour.
The couples’ cocktail hour must include the following… MyScoop Couples Column
(And Jamie included his amaaazing version of Planter’s Punch–our soon-to-be nighttime cocktail of choice–in this column. Try it out and let us know what you think.)
Carrie Bradshaw-turned-June Cleaver would sum things up. Because somewhere along the way this fine dining, free-wheeling, single girl went domestic… and decided to eat in.
Ten months “with child” did a number on my dining out style. I had to forget about my favorite red wines, my sea urchin, my blue cheese fondue and Saturday nights at Buddakan.
Then, after 40 weeks of waiting–and abstaining from my favorite Grenache/Syrah blend– we welcomed our cooing, crying bundle of deliciousness into the world. Baby Parker Lee was healthy, happy… and I was once again free to eat overpriced raw fish and deeply veined blue cheeses!
Or, so I thought…
Finally, I realized this: I have a new life and the menu has changed.
My new online column for the New York Daily News, “Full Plate,” (debuting Monday, September 21st) will chronicle this new mom, new wife and decidedly spunky city girl’s cooking adventures in a small West Village apartment. I’m forced to share counter space with a breast pump, a bottle drier and my chef husband’s sausage grinder and deep-fat fryer. Whaaaaat??? Is this really my life?
Follow my mistakes–and small casserole triumphs?–as I embark on this cooking adventure.