Friday, August 29, 2014

Twelve Months with Anthology

I am brought to reflection on various milestones this year, and this one adds to the list of sweet accomplishments added to my day-to-day. Yay for this anniversary! 

I picked these figs from trees heavy with fruit one evening before going on set, with the fermented fragrance of more, too quickly ripening to all be plucked, heavy around me. So many different types of fig trees to wander through. It was my quiet weeknight rendez-vous as I prepped this story, at the urban teaching farm known here as the Jones Valley Teaching Farm. It's only 10 or so blocks away from my home, and what a beautiful series of gardens they have.  

To mark the occasion of this anniversary, I've made a delectable fig-bourbon vanilla-almond brittle-pistachio honey-gingersnap ice cream cake. Perfect for the still-hot weather here, and a fun bite worthy of most any celebration. I hope you love it. Full story and recipe now at Anthology.

Pennants to add to the celebratory note….

The cake melts, but that's part of the fun! The mess of those delicious layers….This simply means you have to invite friends over to gorge with you, or get savvy at parceling out and freezing the leftovers.

To revisit the last twelve months of Anthology stories, here are some of my favorite images and their respective recipes….

The gorgeous - and still very relevant - panzanella salad.

One of the three salads for summer staples I created, from this story.

The extraordinarily satisfying strawberry-rhubarb crostadas to herald in spring.

Simple and colorful: my kind of daily eating. This crunchy and flavorsome slaw is where it's at. 

A ridiculously easy and delicious apple flognarde. What else matters when you have this?

That amazing layer cake I did because people like layer cakes. And because this was basically my wedding cake and I wanted more of it.

The savory meat pies to keep you comfy. Warm buttery crust and herby meat filling. What better way to bear down and cope with winter?

A favorite of mine: savory slow-cooked lamb shanks and melted onions. I get hungry just reading those words aloud….

Classic apple tarts tatin. Half the work of pie and just as pleasing as if all the effort was exerted. Dig in.

Best-ever cheesecake, made with muscadines. Newly to the south, I discovered an easy way to make a mark with these brightly sweet southern orbs.

And for my first post, this as-awesome-as-ever pesto-not-pesto. Nutty, savory, addictive. You'll pretty much want to put this on everything. 

Do you have a favorite? Please let me know! As I breathe life into the second year of posts, I want to hear from you which recipes and stories have really stood out, and why. Thank you.

And thank you all for following these adventures. I couldn't do it without your enthusiasm, your hunger for details, the back-stories, and wanting to see a peek into the what's next. And as to what is next, there are a bunch of beautiful things getting cooked up.... 

If you haven't seen the new Anthology Journal, here is an excerpt with my grandmother's heirloom recipe story. You can find a copy for yourself by clicking here

Happy eating. Make something delicious for yourselves! xxx

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tomatoes: Favorite Panzanella Salad, My Family Gazpacho, and More

It's tomato season here. Which means I have been gorging on my favorite heirlooms. This panzanella, constructed of oil-soaked torn-and-fried bread, the bright kick of fresh basil and alliums (in this case chive blossoms), and the juiciest tomatoes around, my favorite tomato salad is something you should make. Go to Anthology for the recipe in my latest installment and revel in edible art. 

I've made this heavenly thing three times in the last couple weeks. It is that good.

When this or fat tomato wedges, eaten one-after-the-other (and dressed in the barest of sea salt and olive oil)  haven't been on the menu, I've been swimming in my family's gazpacho recipe. Recently produced for Food52's Heirloom Recipes column, this bowl of veggie confetti is perfect. Like it says: looks like a salsa, eats like a soup, tastes like a salad. Yum.

Plentiful sunshine and bright food which needs so little done to it to be amazing… it's summertime!

If you're hankering for more summery eating, don't miss this story from last month's Anthology feature. Three succulent recipes definitely worth incorporating into your daily eating.

That is not all.

The newest printed Anthology Journal - out in just a couple weeks - showcases my lushly produced piece featuring some of my grandmother's recipes. It's a beautiful story. Catch a preview of it, here:

There are many more goodies lining up. Here is a new one which debuted last week in The New York Times.

Just add the grill and you are good to go!

I'm trying to really savor this food, this time. I know delicious fall recipes await me, but I am loving the simplicity and perfection of this summer. Closing my eyes to relish these moments and make time slow down. Just a little.

Thanks as always for accompanying me on this journey. xxx ;)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer: Eat Simple and Bright

It's that time. Full on summer, where the mere idea of cooking feels like too much. Keep a Negroni or Last Word close, and throw fresh ingredients together. That's the speed of summer. And so happens to be the theme of my latest at Anthology

I thought, for this time around, why not share a few favorite go-to's as summer's heat bears down on us all? Side note: I just traveled to New Orleans for a travel story, my first time. 1. Why the hell haven't I been there before?? It was amazing. 2. Holy Mother of God, it is hot there….. Anyway, summer is hot and we want to eat delicious things that don't keep us chained to the stove. Right? 

I happened to have a refrigerator full of fresh produce from my CSA with Harvest Roots Farm and my good friends at Sanctuary Farms, and another friend leaving town for a few days said, "have at my veg patch 'cause it's just going to go to waste"…. Why go crazy in this heat for a story, when the one that needed to be created was right in front of me?

Here are three amazing salads that will have you and your guests smiling. Maybe gushing. See the whole story, with recipes, here.

Broiled peach and butter lettuce salad with sheep's cheese toasts and toasted almonds - bright, juicy, crunchy, and every bit the epitome of summer.

My riff on the Ni├žoise - briny, sharp, crunchy, creamy, buttery, peppery - a savory lover's paradise.

Wilted chard and prosciutto with toasted pine nuts - soft and velvety, salty, tangy, buttery, crunchy - as simple as it gets.

Which one suits you?

Also! If you haven't seen it yet, this week's New York Times features my couscous-inspired paella…. (I did some cooking after all) Ridiculously photogenic and delicious. Here it is, as well as a few outtakes -

I just completed a massive load of photo edits for some recent projects. Very excited to see what the editors choose, forming the shape of each story. Next week brings a new, ambitious project, shooting one of the pioneer chefs (and his delectable food) here in the South….  

Stay tuned!