St. Patrick’s Day!

Today was a bit of a crazy day–hardware failures (fixed, courtesy of Apple), interview prep (Tim) and just plain busyness. However, I felt it was necessary to celebrate my Irish heritage, even at 9pm. Irish soda bread! Perfect.

Here’s the story behind Irish soda bread, and my recipe from Bon Appetit, 1996. Best with Kerrygold Irish butter and honey or jam. Mmm.

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From County Wicklow last year:

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A few shots of our weekend (so far):

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Above: the new MOM’s Organic Market, which is around the corner and amazing; my pink Sperrys are ready for Spring; Scargo in the backyard; Utah beer on the deck; reading outside in the snow.
It’s still snowy here but the 50 degree temperatures and sounds of birds do wonders for our winter-weary souls.

And how amazing is this furniture?!

Prematurely mature

I mean, I know I work with older adults, but really?

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You’d think AARP would want to cut costs and not send to people under 30.
However, I do take pleasure in Tim receiving these cards before his older and wiser wife…

In like a lion

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Above: breakfast at IHOP (surprisingly good!) while waiting for KD’s new hubcap; reading lots of books courtesy of our local library; KD hubcapped, clean and fancy-free; records in Chestnut Hill; pretty packaging on chocolate treats.

We are supposed to have another snowstorm tomorrow! Spring has to find its way to Pennsylvania eventually, right? Right?!

Scenes

…from around here, lately.

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Above: new aubergine rug, a late afternoon nap in late winter, cooking wild rice for chicken soup, spring green inside the Haverford College greenhouse.

Hope all is well!

Aubergine

Below, some shots of our weekend:

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We relaxed last night and took it easy today. A long walk in Valley Forge, coffee and writing, grilled cheese and soup for dinner. And a new Madeline Weinrib rug for the living room in, what else…aubergine. Very excited.

The Cape got quite a bit of snow! Photo courtesy of the Moz:

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Have a good week!

Winter

“In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.”

The above quotation is from one of my favorite books, A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway. We are eagerly awaiting Spring after 3 significant storms in less than two weeks. We have been fortunate in many ways. Below are some photos from the aftermath:

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We’ve spent a lot of time writing and reading, perfecting our French press coffee, making snow day waffles, shoveling, eating lots of grapefruit, and maintaining our habit of beautiful (if somewhat treacherous) nightly walks. In short, things are good.

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Kale, onion, and ham torte

Yesterday, I decided to take the afternoon off due to the heavy snow. My tart pan has been getting a real workout from my Linzer Torte and the below savory torte, loosely adapted from here.

Crust:

1 cup flour
1 stick cold butter cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
4-5  tablespoons cold water

Cut the butter into small pieces and add the flour and salt. With your hands, break the butter into pieces and form a pebble-like consistency with the flour and salt. Add 4-5 tablespoons ice-cold water (or 1 tbsp vodka (helps with flaky crust without an alcohol taste) and 2 tbsp water) until a soft dough forms. Form into a ball and cover in wax paper. Freeze for about 30 minutes.

Filling:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
1.5 cups kale, shredded thin
2 tbsp dried thyme

1 slice deli ham, sliced thin
½ cup cream (heavy or half and half)
2 eggs, 1 egg white
4 oz. fig goat cheese (or 4 oz goat cheese, with 2 oz fig jam)

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan/dutch oven and add sliced onion. Stir to make sure the onions are coated, turn heat to medium and cover.  Carmelize onions for about 20 minutes (stir occasionally) until browned, add sliced kale, thyme and ham. Cook covered over medium-low heat  for 10 minutes. Keep onion mixture off the heat while mixing the cream and eggs.

Roll the chilled dough, ensuring that the dough will fit up the sides of your tart pan (mine is about nine inches and it took a little flour to roll the dough thin enough). Pre-bake the crust if you’d like.

When the crust is ready, pour the cooled onion mixture evenly into the bottom of the tart pan. Add the egg and cream mixture evenly over the top of the onion mixture. Add slices of goat cheese on top of the egg mixture, with fig jam dollops on the top of the goat cheese. Slide into a preheated 350F oven for 50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and push the bottom of the tart pan (if pan has removable bottom), slice and serve. We had ours with baked beans.

 

A nice, comforting meal on a snowy night!

Lehigh

Yesterday we went for a hike in Lehigh Gorge. It is a steep uphill followed by a meadow plateau at the top. We only saw one other person during the three hours. It was peaceful and rejuvenating. Just what we needed!

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It was lovely. About to make some Cuban black bean soup and salad, start a new book, and get ready for a busy and snowy day tomorrow. Back here soon.