Stolen Moments

I'm working on a post - Miracle of Miracles! - but it's not ready yet.  Which is a way to say that I'm going to post it once I've had less wine and can proofread it properly.

It's been a busy month: visiting my best friend (aka Soul Twin) in Virginia, a week in Texas for a conference, a week of my mother-in-law (aka MC) visiting, and a week of my parents visiting (which I'm still in the middle of).  In the midst of the craziness, though, I've felt full and blessed.  In particular, we took a trip to Eataly* with MC and it was inspiring - I felt so centered when I left.

At one point, Bug hijacked our camera and started taking pictures of her own.  Can you guess which photos are mine and which are hers?

Eat, drink, and enjoy your stolen moment of calm and beauty...

* My previous post on Eataly


Simple Food

I know my last post was about crostini.  And you know what?  This one features crostini too.  But there's a reason for that: I need simplification.  It's Conference Season at work, which means three conferences in three different cities for the next three months.  And all I want at the end of the day, or during the weekend, is simplicity.  A steaming cup of coffee...a dozen oysters shared with Adam paired with Veuve Clicquot...bread dipped in olive oil.

And the seasons are so weird right now.  All the cellared apples are turning mealy.  I despair at the idea of any more root vegetables.  But I haven't seen asparagus and fiddleheads yet.  Just as the seasons are in limbo, so am I.

Thus, I find myself making things like crostini a lot.  Simple, easy, flavorful, uncomplicated, straightforward.  Here is my latest:

I started by brushing a large piece of thick-cut bread with olive oil and then grilling it on my cast-iron stovetop grill.  I like a light black char on my bread and, once achieved, I take it off the grill and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

I added fresh ricotta (to taste), followed by roasted red peppers (yes, from a jar) which I julienned.  I topped the peppers with red onion sliced thinly.  Last but not least, I had some leftover basil in my fridge, which I sliced into a chiffonade and sprinkled over the top.  Paired with a spinach salad, it was a light and satisfying meal.  And here is Bug's boring version (in my judgmental opinion, anyway...):

But I got dairy, fruit, and a starch in her (super dark picture but those are grapes to the right).  I argue that this is well-balanced...

This meal - and the others like it that I've been preparing lately - wasn't challenging.  But you know what?  With three conferences between now and June, if it scores me more time with my family, then I'm a very happy woman.

Eat, drink, and savor your free time.

Wine pairing note: I recently visited the Soul Twin and we visited Villa Appalaccia, a lovely winery in Virginia (see my photos from the last visit).  I bought a bottle of their Simpatico, which is a blend of three grapes: Malvasia Bianca (30%), Pinot Grigio (5%), and Trebbiano (65%).  It's a sweet wine with some heft, but still has a bit of the crispness that I like in a white wine.  Wonderful pairing with this meal.