exodus in easton

The boys and I spent the last week of the summer in exodus at my parent's house in Easton Maryland. And it was there, with little to do except play Pokemon, that I discovered Ottolenghi's Jerusalem cookbook (on my mom's bookshelf). I spent the next few days cooking almost exclusively from it and realized that many of the recipes I had stored on my Paprika app or noted in Food52 were actually adapted from this book: Food52's "genius" humous is actually the traditional Israeli recipe for humous that uses dried chickpeas and ice water. (I made about 10 cups of it by accident but we all wound up eating all of it--it's that good.) See recipes and pictures of humous-making in the previous post!

I also made these turkey meatballs—minus the zucchini (err courgette) since I knew Nate wouldn't eat them if they were green and of course he didn't eat them anyway. And twice I tried the Fattoush salad which was so much better when I substituted kirby pickles for fresh cucumbers. Loved the creamy nan which soaks up the yogurt dressing.

Nate turned 6! But more importantly check out this cake!

Birthday cakes were pretty important to me growing up. My mom, an amazing artist, used to make the most beautiful and original cakes using icing pointilism—perfect dots of many different colored icings which formed a detailed picture of that year's favorite character. They were colorful, elaborate, heavy on the icing and stunning. When Nate turned one, I thought: I'll carry on the tradition. 10 hours later I was covered in food dye, vowing never again. The cake (a big number 1) was not attractive and Nate fell asleep before we even lit the candle. As my mother-in-law whispered during Saturday's party, cakes have a very important meaning in my life. (ie I am somehow always trying to live up to my mother's grand talents, and of course failing miserably.) This year, I had a revelation while in Exodus in Easton... an old school cake, with a photo top! How far from tasteful could I get? Carvel in Bay Ridge made my dreams come true! 

paella 2015

Every summer since my mom bought a paella pan in Spain, we make paella on the grill in Easton. This year we used this Paella Recipe but added more sausage, as well as some peas and green peppers.

the closest I'll get to farming

Last weekend on the way home from my parent’s house in Easton MD, we stopped at a wholesome family farm that was hosting an awesome kids festival with games, rides and a pumpkin patch. So much cooler than anything we could have hoped for in, say, New Jersey where every city family I know heads to show the kids “fall.” Nate was completely not interested in the idea of a farm until we mentioned “a bouncy thing” and he was off running. 

Ten minutes in, Mack had lost his shoes and started looking like the poor dirty homeless barefoot child he seems destined to be. We feared marching the shivering kids through the mud to a distant pumpkin patch so we called it a day with a basket of apples, a mini pumpkin, a bunch of beautiful ($2 a head!) broccoli. 

The best part for me was – nope, not the bouncy thing (though that was surprisingly fun) -- but the squash sale.

I really wanted a snake squash but it seemed a bit excessive so I bought this guy.

I brought it home expecting to turn it into something delicious but I couldn't cut into it without ruining my knives. I thought about cooking it whole to soften it (like a spaghetti squash) but it seemed so hollow, more like a gourd so I decided just to put it on the balcony where it has a lovely view of New York City and can reflect on it's life in the city vs. the farm. 

But I was determined to cook the broccoli we bought. I often just oven roasted broccoli with olive oil and salt/pepper but I wanted to do something more "fall." Soup! The vitamix! My first few attempts at Brocolli soup resembled a thick puree:\.

Although Michael deemed it delicious, we both admitted it wasn't really soup. After a couple more tries, I found a delicious keeper of a soup recipe.

Super Simple Broccoli Soup

  • 1 head broccoli chopped
  • 1 lg clove garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp parmesean cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese
  • salt/pepper
  • greek yogurt to garnish

    In a large pot cook broccoli and garlic with chicken broth. Let cool slightly and pour into vitamix or blender. Add remaining ingredients (not the yogurt) and blend on high one minute, or until uniform. Top w. a tsp of yogurt.