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October 2011
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December 2011

How Did My Holiday Wish List Get Overrun with Cookbooks Again?

stack of presents from Christmas 2010

I hadn't done a holiday wish list in years, before starting up again a few years ago at the request of my significant other's mom. Despite our sharing a common interest (loving to cook), since she rarely comes to see us in the City, she thus doesn't know what books and tools I have or do not. I get the impression it allows her to make some more informed gift choices.

I keep the Amazon wish list widget on my bookmarks bar so I can add things from anywhere I am on the web. That way I can tag adorable patterns on etsy or a Malificent pop vinyl doll on a geek news site. But somehow, every year, I end up with a stack of cookbooks in my list. Even though I have long been out of room for even 1 cookbook more on my shelves.

Here are the cookbooks that made my list this year:

  • Everyday Food made the list because of how often I make recipes from the magazine's pages.I love that on a whole, their recipes are always relatively quick and easy, yet do not rely on canned or processed food shortcuts to achieve the speed-to-table.
  • Both Bi-Rite and Cooking My Way Back Home are San Franciscan-authored, and focus on taking advantage of all the amazing seasonal produce and handcrafted food stuffs available to us in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have a feeling these two would give me a ton of new ideas for using up my Farmers' Market bounty.
  • And finally, Mozza. This one made the list due to my admiration of La Brea Bakery founder Nancy Silverton, and the fact that other than my well-worn Marcella Hazan paperbacks, I actually don't have a real Italian cookbook.

What's on your wish list this year?

WTB More Hours in the Day! (a minor lament)

stained glass detail from Glasgow

I am having a slight case of melancholy.

It's probably not fatal, mind you, but it is there all the same.

The days are getting short and colder.

My to do list is never ending -- so many letters I mean to write, friends I would like to catch up with, craft projects to start, books to finish reading, recipes to try.

So many things I want to do and so little time!

Somehow, my workday now stretches from 7:30 until 5:30 or 6:00 each day.

By the time I reach home, it is often a struggle to tackle that ever growing list. I wind down from the day playing an MMORPG, chatting with the folks who are still hanging out on twitter, and then suddenly it's time to make dinner and then POOF! another day has vanished.

How did I used to have the energy to be out at concerts until 2 a.m. on a work night? Or time to even keep up on all the amazing events that were going on (let alone to write about them!)

This is a lament, but only a small one. These are 1st world problems, to be sure.

xo e


almost aioli

I am not one to make mayonnaise from scratch. Thus I give you: an almost aioli that will be close enough for most folks...

In a small ramekin or glass bowl, mix together the following:

  • 2 heaping soup spoons of mayo
  • a splash (1 tsp?) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated w/a small hand grater
  • juice of half a lemon
  • two twists of pepper from a pepper grinder

Use a fork to blend the ingredients together. Cover w/plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Very tasty on baguettes, as a sandwich spread or for dipping your artichokes leaves in.