Besides a week-long stretch when I was sick and lay on the couch watching the entire first season of Grey’s Anatomy, The Great British Bake Off is the closest I’ve ever come to obsessively binge-watching a tv show.
Ever since returning from our October trip to Venice and Slovenia, I’ve been unable to stop baking.
I’ve struggled with the concepts of change and control for as long as memory serves.
Deborah Madison has been an unquestioned member of my kitchen for over four years now.
Each day I face a dilemma sometime between the hours of 11:30 and 1:00.
If you walked into my kitchen one afternoon, the winter light reflecting off of cabinets and counters like a blue-ish laser beam, and saw this cake sitting on one of those counters, delicate and decadent, you might feel your shock crowding out your hunger.
As adults, we tend to think of our personalities as fixed.
Have you ever thought about your most vivid food memories?
Around the fifth time we dropped a few pounds of eggplant into our red market basket, we paused and took a closer look at our selection.
In the summer, the words “Oregon” and “berry” are practically synonymous.
Justin and I have a running joke in our kitchen.
When I hustle down the basement stairs to grab another jar of jam, what stops me from reaching for the cherry?
The feature article in the Portland Mercury this week implores readers to “Eat Your Vegetables!”.
When faced with a cluster of purple, white, and pink radishes, their shapes alternating between perfectly round orbs and oval-like eggs, what sane person would shove those enticing shapes to the side and opt instead for the greens attached to them?
We’re now so far into Spring that daffodils have been replaced by eager tulips, and camellias have faded to make room for the first tentative rhododendron buds.
In late March and early April, there’s a limit to my cuisinal inspiration.
With the exception of that incredibly hard freezing snap that wreaked havoc on farms throughout Oregon, Portland’s winter has managed to cast itself as both mild and one of the driest in recorded history.
I’ve never been able to consistently keep a journal or a diary.
Two summers ago, this tomato jam recipe transformed me from a canning dabbler into a canning convert.
This summer, I’ve noticed a distinct – and seemingly permanent – change in how I approach cooking.
If you look closely, you’ll notice slight differences among several of the photos.
There are hundreds of varieties of panzanella, the classic Italian tomato and bread salad.
There were a few food trade-offs I was prepared to make when I moved to Portland.
Copious amounts of summer fruit have invaded my house.
Sometimes it takes me 45 minutes before I’m intriguted enough by a recipe to feel ready to head to the farmers’ market.
By June, I’ve become dismissive of rhubarb – a feeling I hate to admit, because it means that in the span of a month, I’ve transformed from actively, and eagerly, seeking it out at the market, to haphazardly tacking it on at the end of my shopping list, well after strawberries.
Throughout strawberry season – which lasts all summer in Oregon – our kitchen is rarely without a few tiny blue baskets of strawberries.
I can never eat enough quinoa – which is not to say that I consume quinoa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but rather that no amount of it seems to fill me.
Carrots are always heaped on tables at the farmers market, but when overwintered carrots appear in April, I renew my enthusiasm for this versatile root vegetable.
You wouldn’t know it from this post, but we cooked with asparagus and strawberries this weekend.
As soon as I saw the picture of these almond and jam pastries in the latest Sunset Magazine, I took immediate action.
The ease I referenced in my last post has stayed with me in the kitchen this week.
I'm selective about the recipes I share on this site.
If I were to hazard a guess as to how many times I've talked about 4 and 20 Blackbirds, or how many hunger pangs I've felt thinking about their pies, the numbers would seem ludicrous to you — unless you yourself have eaten a slice at 4&20 (or live close to the pie shop, as we used to).
I didn’t reveal this in my previous post on beet brownies, but the reason I had a a few extra beets – the perfect quantity for those brownies – was because I’d over-purchased beets for my pickling project.
These beet brownies were supposed to be my sneaky way of transforming a decadent treat into a partially ‘healthy’ snack.
First, it's early January.
After a nearly two year hiatus, I’m surprised to write that we’re once again CSA members.
Certain things change when you get married.
If anyone had walked through my kitchen the Monday after Thanksgiving, they would have stopped in alarm.
I’m writing this post with my back to our dining room window, which is currently the main source of light in our house.
I first made this coffee cake last year, around the start of Fall.
On Sunday, our neighbors invited us over to pick plums from their Italian plum tree.
I have to be honest: I prepared and ate this romano bean salad three weeks ago.
"Pudding" is a common item on any British menu.
Lately, I’ve been feeling apathetic about zucchini.
Cherry season was finicky in New York.
I don't have a great track record with cooking rice.
After yesterday's Fourth of July festivities, Thanksgiving's standing as my favorite holiday is in danger.
I've come to rely on afternoon snack breaks.
I love it when dishes take familiar taste combinations and present them in slightly altered ways.
When I brought home six pints of strawberries, my vague ideas about what to do with them consisted mostly of what I didn't want to do with them.
I first started canning last year; because it was my first year, I kept things fairly straightforward.
Fresh produce can have an extremely limited shelf life; I have to stay on my toes to make sure we eat the produce we bought from the farmers' market before it loses its flavor.
I've stated before that my ideal weekday lunch is seasonal, nutritious, and filling.
I'm clearly on a rhubarb streak, as the last recipe I wrote about also features the stalky vegetable.
I learned last year that I don't have the tastebuds or palate to eat rhubarb as a main part of a savory dish, like in pasta or soup.
I could eat pizza four days a week and would still excitedly say 'yes' if someone suggested grabbing a pizza on the fifth day.
I tend to glance at the 10-day weather forecast more often than is healthy.
This cabbage was truly massive.
It's challenging to create a recipe when you're faced with both ingredient and time restrictions.
To ease the transition, I've tried to replicate certain arrangements we had in our last apartment: our ubiquitous eiffel tower print is now hung above the television, per usual.
Smelling a ripe peach immediately brings to mind several food memories: summers on my parents' deck, eating the fruit as quickly as I could as it leaked all over my arm.
I used to sporadically watch Jeopardy and my favorite segment was always the cringe-worthy question and answer sessions between Alex Trebek and the contestants.
I knew I wanted to tackle one more canning and preserving project this Winter before we move.
When thinking about how to prepare beets, roasting them is a given.
This is a punchy winter salad destined to bump you out of any winter doldrums, for a brief moment at least.
A quick search for "Super Natural Everyday Bran Muffins" yields multiple results.
These gingerbread people are a motley crew.
I'm listing this meal as a weekday lunch, but that's not how I originally envisioned it.
These pumpkin wedges capitalize on the remaining whole pumpkins you can still snag at the farmers' market or grocery store.
After my previous disastrous canning attempt, I needed a victory in the preserving department.
I hesitated to pick this recipe initially.
Thanksgiving 2011 is one for the record books.
Sometimes I make a dish and realize that I'll never have to experiment with another version of the recipe again: the one I just made is the only one I need.
The most recent thief of my cooking motivation is the Fall time change.
When I make a satisfying and seasonal lunch (and have time to take a few pictures before devouring it!), I want to share the recipe with you because if you're anything like me, lunch can be a sore spot in your day.
If you caught my recent post about Fleisher's you saw that after two years of vegetarianism, I've started to eat small amounts of meat again.
My dad hates Brussels sprouts to the same degree that I love them.
I'm intrigued by how certain recipes incorporate flavors in untraditional ways.
Do you think this looks like "the death star exploded" (Justin) or something "otherworldly and beautiful" (me)?
I sometimes dread when the clock turns to noon.
While my closet moves confidently into Fall, my palate is less gung-ho.
Canning and preserving tomatoes felt unsettlingly like participating in a high school biology class experiment.
We made sweet corn polenta last Thursday and it was heartbreakingly good.
You say tomato, I say tomahto.
I brought a bagful of Red Jacket Orchards’ apricots home with me on Thursday.
It happens every few weeks: I crave a fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie.
This weekend, we turned these plump sap green okra into a delicately fried appetizer, topped with homemade tomato jam.
I’m so hot right now that I’m tempted to write: yum peaches.
We've now made this galette two times in the last three days.
For me, blueberry pie evokes images of Maine, sunflowers, and sitting by the ocean.
I wanted to prepare a low impact dessert, one that wouldn't heat up the kitchen to an insufferable temperature.
I made these portable pies yesterday and we've been munching on them all weekend.
I'm going to keep this short and sweet because it's a holiday weekend.
I fear I may be too late on this post...but I'll share this recipe anyways, in case you spot some rhubarb at the market this weekend.
On Monday, we picked up our first pint of cherries of the season!
Several Saturdays ago, we brought a cardboard box up the farmers market.
Behind the scenes, we're slowly redesigning Cheery Observations.
I wanted to share this recipe as soon as possible, before it's too late to make it!
I have a recipe binder that I'm slowly filling with interesting recipes I've clipped from magazines and newspapers.
Rhubarb never overstays its welcome at the farmers market: it shows up, people flock around the bins, and then it's gone.
Since I’ve weathered the storm—though my kitchen, even after cleaning for an hour last night is still in disarray—the recipe at the end of this post is my adapted take, with the steps in the order I think they should be.
While we were in Portland, exploring the farmers market, we couldn't help but notice how many farmers' stands featured stinging nettles.
As I wrote yesterday, our kitchen turned green last weekend.
It shouldn’t be a secret that I have a fondness for pistachios.
Saturday's dinner took an unexpected turn.
Everyone loves brunch on the weekend--especially, it seems, in Brooklyn.
"If you've never made jelly before, this a great place to start.
I’ve been attempting to inject some life into our staid Winter meals.
March’s weather is wacky.
As previously mentioned, I've spent a few chilly Winter days researching the intricacies of canning and preserving, with the goal of capitalizing on the glut of strawberries, tomatoes, and more that will soon overtake the farmers' markets.
My husband loves scones.
I will humbly admit that I loved how my first cake came out.
On Thursday, I spent 45 minutes searching for a carrot recipe.
I found many options, both online and in a few of my cookbooks, for my previously mentioned task of reviving acorn squash's reputation to be something I want to eat.
I wandered down to Root Hill Cafe yesterday with high hopes that they'd be serving my new favorite soup, mulligatawny.
Each time I write a Fresh from the Market product post, I'll follow that post with a recipe I've tested.
This past Fall, I acted like (some) people do before a big snowstorm and stocked up like I wouldn't be able to leave the apartment all winter.
This is actually a dish I was hoping to make the day before Thanksgiving, for all of us to munch on while we were cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
How about Cacio e Pepe?
A reflection on this year’s Thanksgiving dinner starts out in a nearly identical fashion to last year’s Thanksgiving dinner post: we’ve just moved; we want to cook Thanksgiving dinner because we love sourcing and cooking elaborate meals; we view Thanksgiving as a fitting celebration after an exhausting move.
My favorite kind of baking doesn't involve icing cupcakes, decorating cookies, or layering a cake.
A few Sundays ago, we were in the mood for a filling, warm, and frankly heavy Sunday dinner.
Yes, chocolate pots.
Last weekend I realized that it had been weeks since I had made anything fruit related.
It's time to say goodbye to a busy, memorable, and extremely hot summer.
My love for pistachios is practically predestined.
Yesterday demanded an easy meal.
Thanks to Pixar, the first image to pop into your head when you hear the word ‘ratatouille’ might in fact be a rat!
I've been having a love affair with cherries this summer.
Frankly, the size of this zucchini is intimidating.
I view a homemade tomato sauce as a blank slate.
We viewed the 4th of July as the official kick-off of our summer in Brooklyn.
When we returned from our honeymoon, we faced the end of vacation woes: an empty fridge, piles of laundry, and exhaustion.
Fiddleheads are the unfurled fronds of an ostrich fern, their name derived from their close resemblance to the musical instrument.
Our final CSA from the always wonderful Garden of Eve Farm resulted in….more potatoes!
Until moving to Brooklyn, I was unaware of the relative insanity that surrounds the start of ramp season.
I was unaware of exactly how delicious and fleeting pea shoots were until they became a surprise addition in our Garden of Eve CSA share this past weekend.
I love the idea of cooking with tea and, in fact, own a different tea cookbook, Tea Cuisine.
In the February issue of Cook's Illustrated, I spotted a challenge that I was eager to take on: Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza.
For our family of two, making chocolate chip pancakes has come to signify a leisurely weekend morning.