DIARY

Still There

I've had many summers that felt like little jewelboxes of time, sweet and slow - the one we spent living in temporary housing while we waited for our daughter to be born comes to mind - but there was one that was wonderful in a completely different way than all the others.

It was the summer after Kendrick and I moved from our tiny Hell's Kitchen place to our slightly-less-tiny Upper East Side apartment. The summer that I quit my office job, and started writing for a living (well, that was the plan, in any case). The summer that we were working out how to be married and wondering how in the world we were going to pay our rent and trying to figure out what we wanted to be when we grew up...but it was so exciting. The sheer possibility of it all. We were children standing on the edge of adulthood, thinking about jumping.

We had a little crew that summer. Stephen and Dave, of course - we had rooftop cocktails with them most nights, Lucy whizzing in circles around us while we watched the setting sun light up all that silver paint. Francesca was living in the city then, just a few blocks away, and a few of Kendrick's other friends from college lived at various points along the 6 line. We'd all go out to terrible bars and drink terrible drinks and stay up far too late, because we were still so young, and it still felt like bad choices were a life imperative.

Eat

The Spooky Black Geode Cake

This cake was, shall we say, a freewheeling design. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do for my son's annual Halloween-themed birthday party - an all-black cake (inside and out) with bugs somehow involved (because eight-year-old boys, et cetera), and I thought maybe it'd be cool to have the bugs sort of coming out of the cake as if they'd been inside, but when I got to the part where I'd actually do that, I was stumped.

I wanted a crack in the cake of some sort, but didn't want it to look like, you know...a mistake.

And then I remembered the geode cake. It's all over Pinterest these days, and I've been dying to try one, and you know what geodes have?! CRACKS. (Sort of; you know what I mean.)

Eat

11 Pasta Recipes For National Pasta Day

Me. Rooftop. Ten million years ago.

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She wore blazers and red lipstick, and lived in a fourth-floor walkup apartment with a hole in its floor and a stove that routinely tried to kill her. One day, she decided that she wanted to quit her terrible, horrible job in HR (a job that mostly involved her crying at - and sometimes under - her desk), and write a blog.

...What would this blog be about?

Eat

This Beef Stew Is Made With An Unexpected Ingredient…And You Have To Try It

Noritake China dishes

I love happy accidents. Like, say, when you're all set on making beef stew, and have purchased all the ingredients and even begun the cooking process. And then discover that you've forgotten one of the key ingredients...but then the ingredient you end up swapping in makes it miles and miles better.

I'm talking about beef stew made with - yes - chicken stock. I know what you're thinking: That will taste like chicken soup. If I wanted chicken soup, I would make chicken soup.

Eat

Simply Steamed Artichokes With Lemon Butter

Noritake China dishes

I used to make artichokes all the time. Like literally: There was a time period, circa 2010ish, during which I made them for myself and Kendrick every. single. night. I had only recently discovered them, and became fully obsessed once I realized that their true identity is a butter-delivery system that you can feel virtuous about, because vegetables.

Fun little fact: The artichoke is actually the bud of a thistle flower.

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