Saturday, May 25, 2013

Brilliant Ideas Converge

I can't even tell you how long I have loved this idea that David Lebovitz wrote about on his blog.  The picture above (borrowed from his blog - definitely taken by David Lebovitz and NOT me) shows a set of napkins he spotted at a farm.  Diners were encouraged to write their names in permanent marker on napkins so that each would know his own.  Over time, the napkins show the history of visitors to the farm, recent ones marked brightly, some others faded into near obscurity.  I'm not doing it justice, so read the whole post here.

For years I have dreamt of having a set of napkins at my own house that could be used for company, labeled, washed and treasured as a record of guests in my home.  Of course, this would require that I actually have guests in my home, which at present is certainly nothing but a dream.  It would also require the perfect napkins.  I have yet to find the perfect napkins.

Until this week...

They are completely perfect right?  They'll go with anything, the stripes will be perfect for collecting the names.  Just perfect.  

They're available from Furbish, but I spotted them on the owner's design blog, i suwannee.

Now if I can just get my act together to order two sets (four in a set) before the end of the weekend, I can even get 15% with the code LONGWEEKEND...

Then I can focus on finding some guests.  Any takers?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pretty Healthy

Generally speaking, I am not in charge of the vegetables.  I leave them to Ryan.  Sometimes, if he asks about them, I manage a slightly dismayed and mystified expression, as though I have somehow inexplicably forgotten.  That really, I'd planned for some but somehow it just slipped my mind.  I'm sure this stopped working years ago, but I still try.  It's not that I dislike vegetables exactly, it's more that I forget that I do like them.  At least, I like them certain ways.  And I definitely like them as red cabbage slaw.  It's tangy and crunchy and with the apple, just the slightest bit sweet.  Also, it's really pretty.  Ryan likes it because it is entirely mayonnaise free.  It's the perfect dish to master with summer right around the corner because it goes fabulously with bbq and fried chicken.


1/2 head of red cabbage
3 carrots
1 apple, julienned (can you julienne apple?  I certainly tried)
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C chopped shallot
2 t celery seed
1 t sugar
salt and pepper

Slice your red cabbage into bite sized pieces.  I like pieces on the longer side.  So basically I core the half and then slice down to make long strips and then cut those long strips in half.  Put all the cut cabbage into a strainer, rinse with water.  If you have time, you can sprinkle with salt and let sit (around 30-60 minutes) to remove some of the water, but if you don't it's not a big deal at all.  If you do salt it, rinse it again once you're ready to use it.  After you've rinsed the cabbage, pat it dry.

In a very large bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, celery seed, sugar and a healthy amount of black pepper.  Whisk them up.

Peel and grate your carrots.  I did mine using the mandolin, which made nice long uniform strips.  Use whatever kitchen tool you prefer.  Your goal is carrot strips.

Put the carrots, chopped shallot and cabbage into the large bowl with the dressing. Toss it well to coat and let sit at least 1 hour.  Add the apple.

This was still delicious several days after making, although it did accumulate more liquid at the bottom of the bowl.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo

In theory, I love this holiday.  I support any holiday that involves Mexican food and people getting to drink their fill of whatever festive alcoholic beverage strikes their fancy. But in practice, I don't think I've ever gotten my act together to actually celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  (Probably, this is good and I should stand on some sort of moral high ground for not co-opting the holidays of others).  This year, for example, I will be having crab cakes and artichoke.  Not even a little bit Mexican.

But just in case you're in the mood and are hunting for some probably inauthentic but tasty and manageable by the home cook type of recipes, here are some Hungry Hippo offerings...

Really good vaguely authentic enchiladas

What are your favorite Mexican recipes?  Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo?  Already?  


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