There was a point a few weeks ago when I just wanted to call a timeout. What was already a pretty packed July was rapidly getting busier. The e-mails, the requests, and the invitations kept coming in. I have trouble saying no. This is especially true when it comes to work, but it occurs with other engagements as well. A dinner? Sure! A trip? Of course! I want to agree to it all, afraid that declining will result in a missed opportunity. But I hit a point when I just had to politely inform folks that I was booked for the next month.
Today, however, marks a number of deadlines for me. I’ve been working on a few marketing campaigns and a cookbook shoot for the last month and a half and the majority of the work wrapped this past weekend. I’m taking the day off before I gear up for three full days of work. Despite the heat and humidity, I’m heading outdoors, picnicking in the Boston Common where a music festival is currently underway.
Before leaving you with today’s recipe (or, in this case, a link to a guest post I did), I wanted to direct you all to the summer issue of FoodieCrush Magazine. If you don’t already know about it, stop whatever you’re doing and check it out. It’s a beautifully designed publication from my friend Heidi and I’m so honored to have contributed photography for the last couple of issues. Oh, and it’s FREE! Check it out here (and page 42 for the article I contributed to).
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Isn’t it neat how the weather directly effects our eating habits? A month ago, a dinner of soup or stew or pasta wasn’t out of the question. But now the mere thought of turning the oven on makes me sweat. Thankfully, I have a talented grill-master of a husband who knows how to cook fish perfectly, so we’ve taken most of our food preparation outside.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been preparing a lot of bluefish. Caught along the East Coast, bluefish is meatier and more oily than a lot of other seafood from this region. It’s a turn off for some, but I find that grilling it takes care of the “fishiness.” The price of bluefish, which is usually found in local stores for $7 or $8/lb, makes it very appealing as well. We’ll often buy an extra portion or two to make this salad, which we enjoy for lunch throughout the week. Credit must be given to our friend, Kat, who served a bowl of this when we were together on the Cape last month and had mixed in some minced lemon slices. It’s a wonder I hadn’t thought to do the same before, since I’m known for adding lemon zest or juice to almost everything I make. It provides a surprising amount of zip, which is exactly what I want in summer fare.
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“All men are created equal. Now matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words.
That is what America is about.” - Harvey Milk
How far we’ve come.
Last week, when the Supreme Court announced it’s decision to strike down DOMA and to allow same-sex marriages to resume in California, I sat at my computer, stunned. I wasn’t exactly speechless. In fact, I screamed so loud I’m pretty sure our neighbors heard me. I hadn’t expected to be so emotional, but it hit me hard. As much as we’ve tried to tell ourselves that our marriage (which took place four years ago on June 20th)… our love… our life… was no different than anyone else’s, DOMA was always there to point out that it wasn’t real. At least that’s how it felt… and it hurt terribly.
When the decision came in, I knew we had to do something to celebrate. Maybe lobster and champagne. Something decadent. I spent the afternoon buying groceries to prepare a nice meal. By the time Eric got home from work that evening, I had the table decorated with wine glasses, cheese and cut up rounds of baguette. As he entered the kitchen, I rushed over and threw my arms around him. ”We’re married… again!” I said. He laughed and gave me a kiss. ”Yay,” he replied. “Now let’s pop open some vino!”
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Yesterday afternoon I looked at Eric and suggested that maybe we head back to Boston in the morning. Yes, we’d have to wake up at 5:30 to give ourselves enough time to get to work, but it’s totally worth it. It would mean another sunset, a few extra glasses of wine, and, most importantly, additional time surrounded by nature… rustling leaves, chirping birds and croaking frogs, and the soft, repetitive sound of rippling waves hitting the dock.
This weekend was rejuvenating. Amidst the stress in our lives, we took these few days to have some friends on the Cape to eat, drink, and play Taboo. Unfortunately, we need at least a few days to get into vacation mode (isn’t that sad?) so when we all began chatting about departing, a few of us suggested that calling in sick to work would be a good idea (unfortunately, Facebook ruins this). We just all felt like this was what we needed right now… some time to clear our heads, to enjoy the presence of close companions, and indulge in epic feasts.
Before our journey down here, I made sure to have a few containers of food prepared. When I was making this bowl of tabbouleh and frantically photographing each ingredient, something I completely neglected was that I’d already posted a quinoa tabbouleh. The good thing, though, is that they are quite different from one another. The first is loaded with tomatoes and cheese and beets and can stand on its own as a meal, where as this is definitely a taboulleh that you serve with other dishes, like hummus and pita and all that good stuff. But I do apologize. I hope you’re not sitting there at your computers, completely bored by the site of this bowl. I promise, though, it’s quite delicious and worth giving it a try.
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This is the week of milestones. Yes, it was Father’s Day yesterday. But it was also Eric’s birthday (the big 32… I like to remind him that I’ll forever be his younger man). In addition to this, we attended (and I photographed) our dear friends’ wedding. Despite a week of rain, things lightened up Friday afternoon, just in time for their rehearsal dinner, and stayed bright and sunny for the next 36 hours. The weather reminded me of our own wedding, which occurred four years ago this week. It’s hard to believe that time has flown by like this. I couldn’t be happier with the life we’ve created with each other. Full of laughter and love (and no shortage of delicious food and drinks). We don’t have a lot planned in the way of celebrations, but I can guarantee a lobster dinner and a bottle of champagne will grace our table.
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It occurred to me as I sat on the plane to Vegas that I hadn’t read a book in a while. Like, a really long time. Articles in The New York Times or pieces in The New Yorker, yes. But an actual book? It’d been over a year. Before our trip, though, I purchased the latest David Sedaris book, thinking that maybe he could set things right. And, you know what, he did. As always, I found his words engaging, his stories honest and hilarious. Just what I needed to get back on the reading wagon. As I finished the book and flipped the last page (or, in this case, tapped my phone), I gave myself a pat on the back. And now I’m searching for another great piece of literature (any suggestions are welcome).
Memorial Day marked the start of my family’s annual summer reading contest, where we see who can read the most books. When it was just the four of us participating (meaning my parents and sister) the race was tight. Over the last few years, though, we’ve invited other relatives and friends to join in and I’ve pretty much given up any notion of winning. It’s still a lot of fun, though, and I’m so happy that we’ve continued this tradition.
Books and breakfast seem like the perfect summer pairing. Mornings are when I get most of my reading done, either in bed or sipping on a cup of coffee at our kitchen table, the windows open to let a warm breeze in. Leisurely mornings like that make every day feel like vacation. While I’m kind of a scone fanatic, sometimes a muffin is what I crave. As we roll into berry season, I feel the need to pack all of my morning treats with them.
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