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zucchini, spinach + goat cheese fritters

vegetable fritters

I’ve never been good at keeping things under wraps–my excitement always gets the better of me. And I haven’t been this excited in quite some time. This feeling of eyes widen open, of awe, has happened in only a few key moments of my life: writing my new book, publishing my old one, leaving my job and finding a new one, launching a literary magazine that would go on to feature talented, burgeoning writers and great minds, and that one day, in 1999, when I decided to shift from an ebay powerseller in favor of launching a website (so new at the time!) where I sold designer clothing and accessories at a discount.

These moments are rare and as I grow older I realize the importance of holding on to them.

A few days ago I hinted at a new direction, and so many thoughts and ideas have consumed me since. It’s become such that I’ve become distracted because all I can do think about is the thing I can’t yet tell you about.

But it’s happening.

In the interim, I’m seeing friends who always have a way of inspiring me. And I’m cooking and baking up a storm. Here’s to hatching great plans. Here’s to living the questions and following a life of musts.

INGREDIENTS: Recipe from Anna Jones’s A Modern Way to Eat
9 ounces grated zucchini
2 handfuls (about 3 ounces) spinach or collard greens, finely chopped
4 tbsp soft crumbly cheese, such as feta or goat cheese (I used goat cheese)
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (I nixed this)
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
A few sprigs dill or basil, finely chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
5 eggs (the original recipe calls for 5, but I would use 4 for a crisper fritter)
Olive oil for cooking

DIRECTIONS
Toss all the greens into a bowl. Crumble in the cheeses, garlic and zest with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to mix. Crack in the eggs and mix well.

Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add a good glug of olive oil – you want to be generous with the oil here. Once the oil is hot, carefully lower generous tablespoons of the mixture and flatten to form little patties. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then carefully flip and fry on the other side for a final 2 minutes, until the egg is completely cooked.

Place on a plate in a low oven to keep warm until you are ready to eat.

zucchini and spinach fritters

bacon sandwich with almond, goat cheese, and parsley pesto

What better way to kick off the weekend than with a little bacon, copious amounts of carbs and some pesto? Chalk this up to a freelancer’s life, but I love the fact that my days are such that I get to come home and indulge in a delicious lunch. This weekend, I’m packing for Dublin, cleaning {cleaning, cleaning} and testing out recipes from Ms. Dahl’s stunning cookbook.

Bye the bye, if you have any recommendations for eats in Dublin, please leave them in the comments!

INGREDIENTS: Pesto recipe courtesy of Sophie Dahl’s Very Fond of Food
For the pesto
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper
2 large handfuls of fresh parsley
½ cup /50g blanched almonds
1 cup/200g soft goat cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice or some lemon zest

1 ciabatta roll {warmed slightly in the oven}
3 strips of applewood smoked bacon

DIRECTIONS
In a food processor (or Vitamix), blitz the pesto ingredients. Season, giving the mixture a squeeze of lemon juice or a grating of lemon zest if you feel like it. This recipe yields quite a bit of pesto, so store the remainder in an airtight container {Sophie’s recipe had you adding this to a pound of delicious penne pasta as a dinner course}.

In a large frying pan, space apart three strips of paper and cook for two minutes on each side. When done, generously slather the cheesy pesto onto both sides of the warmed ciabatta roll. Fold the strips of bacon, and if you’ve got a handful of arugula or spinach, feel free to toss that into the lot.

Enjoy!

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love.life.eat of the week

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I plan to make a lot of yummy treats this weekend, and I’m thinking that this goat’s cheese cake with figs + honey will top the list | As I continue to pare down my possessions to only that which is loved and necessary, the simplicity of this lovely abode intrigues me | Somewhat of a voyeur, I always love peeking into a writer’s room, especially Jhumpa Lahiri’s place in Rome. You know I’ve already pre-ordered her book, The Lowland, and it’s as much anticipated as season three of Homeland. True story. | I purchased two of Everlane’s Seed Stitch sweaters, and they are perfection. Lightweight, cozy and forgiving for those of us who don’t possess taut abs. | Lauren Grodstein’s magnificient The Explanation for Everything: A Novel is on my lap and I’m subsumed. I’ve read all of Lauren’s books (a fellow Columbia alumn and friend), and her writing is superb.

Brief note of disclosure: I’ve just joined Amazon Affiliates, as I tend to recommend a lot of books on this space. I’m using this service to pay for annual maintenance of this site, and I’m only using the links for products I have purchased. I’m just tinkering. If you don’t dig and I don’t dig, I’ll change the situation.

baked squash with millet and caponata

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Why not have a big life? — Emily Dickinson

Why not have a big life? Have the most extraordinary life there is? Why settle for anything less than extraordinary? Why not live every day jumping out of bed and hurtling yourself into the trees? Why not fall in love with yourself all over again? Why not sleep the sleep of children? Why not take the sun like sacrament? Why not read a book and then read it again? Why not ride the subway to the end of the line? Why not eat a slice of cake in the morning? Why not forget the calories? Why not watch cartoons like you used to? Why not email everyone you know and tell them you love them, love them, love them, just because.

Why not break ranks? Why not tumble out to the unknown?

Today I woke and fell in love with my life. And I finally could see myself here, and then myself, there. And I could finally draw a line between the two.

Did I mention I took my first French class today and that I. LOVED. IT.? And did I mention I got over my fear of eggplant and dove right into this delicious bit of healthy heaven? Did I…Did I?!

INGREDIENTS: Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron Meals (serves 2; 525 calories/serving)
2 medium acorn squash
1/2 cup millet*
1 small zucchini
1 small eggplant
1 red pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch parsley (2-3 tbsp chopped)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp raw (cane) sugar
2 oz goat cheese
2 tbsp of olive oil

*If you can’t access millet, I think quinoa or bulgur wheat would do quite nicely.

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DIRECTIONS
First, pre-heat your oven to 425F and put a medium pot of water to a boil. Cut the tops off the squash, then scoop out the seeds. Although this recipe doesn’t use the seeds, I love them roasted and tossed with some chili (yum!). But I digress. Drizzle the squash with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then place them in the oven on a baking sheet. Since the oil drizzled on my pan I managed to set off the fire alarm in my apartment every thirty seconds. Note to self: line the pan with parchment paper to prevent smoking.

Dice the zucchini, eggplant and red pepper (making sure you de-seed the pepper). Then chop the garlic and roughly chop the parsley. Once the water is boiling, add the millet and boil for 10 minutes, or until the it is tender.

Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil into a medium pan, then turn the heat to high. Sauté the eggplant, zucchini and red pepper for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are soft. It’s important that you cut your vegetables around the same size so that they’ll cook evenly. You may need to add another tbsp of olive oil while your cooking the veggies. After 4 minutes, add the garlic and sugar, and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add the vinegar and most of the parsley. This is your caponata.

Once the millet is done, drain and add to the pan with the caponata. Stir until well combined, then remove from the heat.

Next, remove the squash from the oven and fill with your caponata mixture. Sprinkle the goat cheese over the top, then bake for 15 more minutes, or until the squash is completely tender. If you have extra filling, save it to serve alongside the squash.

Once the squash is tender, remove from the oven and garnish with the remaining parsley and DIG IN!

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