Honey Balsamic Sauce

There are so many reasons why summer is grand.

There’s the beach. And swimming. And ice cream on nighttime walks. And the sweat (oh, that part kind of bites). And, when it’s the right combination of sunshine and lack of humidity, there’s nothing better than just sitting in an outdoor space, people watching, without the need of scarves and jackets and mittens. Preferably with a super cold, glistening drink.

And there’s also the fruit.

I’ve waxed romantic about the farmer’s market before. How my love affair with it comes bubbling up at times and catches me way off guard. It’s come to the point that I have to stay away from it, literally get off at a subway stop past it so I don’t walk through and spend half my salary (given the fact that my income is already not very much and those heirloom tomatoes are so gosh darn expensive) there.

The real issue is, I have no self-control when it comes to fruit, especially from the farmer’s market. I can justify eating the entire 2 pounds of whatever fresh deliciousness I bought earlier that day. And the problem is that I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY to do that. Not to mention my body goes into a sugar shock. Details, I know.

But these cherries. They were calling to me. I love anything that has the potential to stain everything it touches (red wine, pomegranates, dark chocolate, etc.) and cherries are such a beautiful little package.

But the real kicker is the sauce. I had nothing to do with how perfect the cherries were. But the sauce.

It’s possible that at this point you may be saying to yourself, “balsamic vinegar and honey? Together? Why, that sounds repulsive!”  To be honest, I thought the same thing the first time I read about it on Cookie and Kate (Kate love!). But I made it. And I love it.

There’s the tang of the balsamic vinegar, which is cut by the sweetness of the honey.

Trust me on this. Embrace the strange.

It’s perfect on Greek yogurt. It’s incredible on ice cream. Kate suggests using it as a dipping sauce for a strawberry, basil, and goat cheese panini. Killer!

I’ve been eating it for breakfast, doing the yogurt+sauce+cherries+slivered almonds combo- a slight stray from her yogurt+sauce+cherries+pistachios (um, because I never have pistachios because… they’re a pain to shell).

It’s like liquid black gold.

[keep reading! there's more here]


Wowza Wednesday?

 

I’ve been in a conference all week, bettering my teaching skillz, so needless to say, Manic Monday was neglected. Mega regrets! But a mid-week dose of links should still soothe the soul, right?

 

A song for mid-week.

I’m pretty sure it’s on the food pyramid.

There must be support groups out there for this disease.

Big fan of #9.

“Don’t Got Milk?” doesn’t have quite the same ring.

Now if this website could just dress me too, there’d be so little for me to do in the morning!

Perfect pitch.

Just another vehicle for this awesome fruit. I wish I had a porch I could sit on while drinking this.

He just wants to be friends.

Not quite reading over shoulders, but close.

 

(Gorgeous picture via Cannelle et Vanille.)


Margarita Cups

It’s always important to have a friend who will eat anything you bake.

Not the ones who will assure you, “Oh, I don’t care; I’ll eat anything!” in that pseudo-passive-aggressive way, which really means they actually don’t like raisins or crunchy things or odd flavors like lavender or cardamom, but they don’t want to tell you because then they’ll seem picky and then you’ll never offer to bake for them again.

No. The ones who will legitimately try anything.

Those are the friends to hold on to. The friends who you can use as your tester for weird combinations of zests and extracts and experiments and “I think I might have under baked them, but you try them”s. They’re the ones who encourage the crazy, but will respect and love the sane, should you bestow peanut butter chocolate chip cookies on them and their loved ones.

Even better than just having that friend? When that friend has a birthday.

Can we talk about birthdays for a minute?

They used to be hard. Like, truly difficult to attend.

You spend time picking out a present for a friend, or maybe even someone you don’t really like that much, but you’re obligated to go because you got the invitation and when you’re young and you don’t have a legitimate reason not to go to a birthday, you just go.

So you pick out this gift, which, let’s face, most likely you would actually like to get yourself because you still haven’t learned that just because you like it, doesn’t mean you’ll end up with it. There’s still that hope that your grown up will turn around and say “Let’s get one for you, too!” And then you celebrate this other child’s “special day,” watching them get attention and adoration and love and then the CHERRY on top is observing the present opening.

All those delightful presents that you could absolutely and totally see yourself playing with all day, every day, have no chance of being yours.

And what is supposed to comfort you? A goodie bag.

10 to 1 says that the plastic game where you try to get all the balls in the tiny holes breaks on the way home. But those little pop up rubber caps were pretty cool.

SOMETIMES, if you were lucky, there was candy. But it was usually those dumdums that were never as good as you hoped they’d be. Although, they did temporarily turn your tongue fun colors.

BUT! When you are baking for a friend’s birthday, and that friend just happens to be the kind that will, f’real, eat anything you bake, it’s like you get to go to the party AND have the presents, too.

Suddenly the doors were flung way the heck open and I could concoct anything that I wanted! The freedom! The joy! The rapture! I knew she would eat it and I knew (almost positively) that she would love it! Goodie bags be damned!

And so, I created the Margarita Cup.

[keep reading! there's more here]


Manic Monday


Summertime funtime. A new Manic Monday post!

 

I could read books like these all day every day.

Moo? Really?

I’m pretty much in love with everything about this song.

This would have been my fantasy when I was 4.

Interesting ideas about spoiled children.

This makes me remember my back-of-the-door-shrine to teen heartthrobs of the mid-90s.

Maybe taking it a bit too far?

Be happy that you are who you are!

No more bright kiddie bandaids that everyone notices, huh?

Beautifully simple.


Manic Monday

 

If I only had the guts to do this, I’d do it all the time.

While we’re on an Instagram kick, turn your iPhone case into a gallery of your photos.

I still think that this is such a moving interview.

STD by vanilla.

I can relate to some of these. Where did you go, friend?

This was perhaps one of my most favorite movies from age 12-14 (or maybe still, what?).

You always need cute animals on Monday.

The farmer’s markets were all about rhubarb this weekend. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever had it. Maybe I should attempt this?

Looking for a summer job?

A song for the week.

(Photo of a glamorous Audrey Hepburn via the impossible cool.)


Reflections on reports

 

I’m currently in the thick of report card writing.

Certain things disintegrate when I start to write report cards.

 

1.  Eating real food: I can justify ice cream and frozen peppermint patties for dinner. I can’t make it to the grocery store or plan any REAL meals because that just takes valuable time away from “working.” Coffee is acceptable at all hours of the day. Seamless is my new best friend.

 

2.   The gym: This is a problem, given number 1. Getting dressed, walking to the gym, working out, and then showering takes far too much time away from all the “good” writing I could be doing. Clearly. Unless that elliptical is going to tell me a nice way to write “your child is incapable of raising his/her hand and calls out all the time and it drives me NUTS,” it doesn’t deserve my attention right now.

 

3.   A normal amount of sleep: When you stare at a computer for hours at a time, you lose track of what a real-life schedule is. 10am is the same as 3pm is the same is 9pm is the same as 1am. Which becomes a problem when you’re still being held accountable for being up and functioning at 5:30am.

 

4.   Any sense of an “appropriate” amount of time spent on social networking sites: Why aren’t other people updating their status enough? Stop enjoying the weather and write something on Facebook so I can read it.

 

5.  Real clothes: Gym shorts (despite lack of gym-going) and sweatshirts become my uniform. Who puts on an actual outfit and then sits on the couch all day? If it was still acceptable to go out in PJ pants, maybe I’d leave the apartment. Until then, real clothes are shunned. Which cuts down on laundry. Win!

 

6.  Realistic sense of how much I can accomplish: I become the master of my Google Calendar during report card season. For some reason, fitting all those little boxes with “finish 3 math sections” in between “shower?” and “sleep?” makes me feel so productive. What doesn’t make me feel productive? Realizing that there is NO WAY I’m going to get 3 math sections written during that itsy-bitsy pink block of time. So then I go back and re-edit the schedule. Good use of time.

 

7.  Interactions with anyone other than my roommate: Goodbye, real-life interactions! New baby? New boyfriend? New blue jeans? If you have anything important to share, post a status update.

 

8.  Replacing anything that needs replacing: Lightbulb burned out? Switch it with a working one from a different lamp that you don’t really use all that often. Batteries drained? Rotate the same 4 double As from every single device that requires batteries. CVS, once these reports are uploaded, I’m gonna be dropping a ton of money at you.

 

If I wrote a report card for myself, currently it would read: “Kate excels at spending time doing things that aren’t directly related to her final goal. Even though she is aware of the choices she makes, and acknowledges that they are not always the best ones at the time, she is incapable of changing her behavior.”

 

Manic Monday tomorrow. Baking at some point soon.

 


Manic Monday

Let’s pause and realize that it’s almost May. Good, I’m glad we had that realization.

 

I will never be as cool as these toddlers.

Interactive health map of meals around the world. I’m also obsessed with this infographic on their site.

Beyond sad. Make every Saturday count, then.

Yes, yes I would.

I’ve watched this video so many times and can’t get over how incredible it is. He also made one of his son.

I want to know all of them. 

This might be in my future, especially when blueberries are in season.

I had this song stuck in my head all weekend. It’s so happy and sunny and springy.

I may have fallen victim to some of these Instagrams (in picture form, not text), but these are still amazingly and hilariously true. Also, if Instagrams are your thang, you can make them into magnets, too (again, in picture form, not text).

Life according to Paul Simon songs.

(Photo of Janis Joplin being fabulous(ly arrested) via Retronaut)


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