Five Things


MONDAY. Hope you all had a great weekend celebrating mom and, well, doing your best weekending. Danny’s mom, Kathy, stayed with us this weekend so we brunched and tried a few new-to-us restaurants that I believe are going to become new favorites. I did not do much cooking. I have a saucy chicken dinner that will be making the weeknight and small dinner party rounds at our house coming to a post near you, but til then, I have some links to share with you.

(1) This roundup of thoughts from 25 famous women on female friendships. Hint: they’re the best.

(2) You probably already follow A Cup of Jo, but I’ll mention her here just in case. I really enjoy the content on her lifestyle blog, and she has such a following that sometimes it’s fun just to read through the comments, especially on posts with simple questions. I love her Motherhood Around the World series (it’s fascinating!) and recently I loved this post: 12 Relationship Tips From a Wedding Reporter. This is spot on:

The question to ask before getting married: At the end of the day, marriage is about asking, “Who do you want to sit next to on the couch?” There is so much time on the couch. Who do you want to be next to when you’re sick or feeling down or just want to watch bad reality TV? If you can find that person, then you’ve found something worth hanging on to.

(3) Girl crushing on: Chrissy Teigen.

(4) The best way to store fresh herbs is important information that I’m always wondering about when grabbing a bunch of parsley or rosemary. Now I know why that basil I placed in a jar wilted so quickly! Thanks, Serious Eats, for taking the guesswork out of this.

(5) My Abuelita (pictured above) schooling us on how to work a bar at wedding. Her tip this wedding season? Order a drink for each hand.

Society for News Design Award of Excellence: My Cauliflower Cover!

Cauliflower cover story

My cauliflower cover won an Award of Excellence from the Society for News Design! Say WHAT.

Besides my regular column for the Tampa Bay Times Taste section, I occasionally contribute other features as well. Last spring I turned in a cover story + recipes + photos for a trend story I pitched on the now ubiquitous cauliflower.

I was especially excited about my vision for the cover photo: a moody and sorta sexy cauliflower. The whole point of the story was that cauliflower was having its moment. This versatile vegetable was no bland wallflower anymore, and I wanted the cover photo to convey that. I loved the nearly black and white contrast and the focus on the cauli, especially with recipes that roast the vegetable whole becoming so popular. And of course, I loved the Times’s design and type for the headline. I’m so glad SND loved it, too!

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Raspberry Rose Fizz

Raspberry Rose Fizz

Renee, who blogs over at Will Frolic for Food, came up with the awesome idea to host a blogger potluck with recipes celebrating edible flowers. The flower party is happening today! And I, who love love love anything with flowers, was totally in from the first email.

With thoughts of chamomile, lavender, and lilac sugar doughnuts on my mind, I ended up landing on roses when I spotted a bouquet of just barely pink ones. I’ve been so caught up in ubiquitous peonies, daffodils, and hydrangeas lately, I’d forgotten how alluring and beautiful classic roses are, too. Dried rose petals were already in my pantry and this was a perfect opportunity to finally use them.

St. Pete has been sunny, breezy and all kinds of gorgeous lately with winds swirling the heady scent of jasmine into the air every time I walk to the park or sit on our front porch. It became clear pretty quickly that what I need to make was a bright and fizzy cocktail to sip outside.

Raspberry Rose Fizz


Of course this pretty little cocktail had to be pink to match the roses. Since rhubarb has unfortunately not hit any of my grocery stores yet, I went with on-sale raspberries for a Raspberry Rose Fizz. The rose water syrup is concentrated and combines the sweet, tart, and floral elements needed for this drink in one step. The recipe makes a lot so you can serve a crowd or be halfway to springtime cocktails all week.

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Ricotta Pancakes

Ricotta pancakes

I was going to say that I owe Lila, my littlest sis, a pancake, but I’ve been meaning to share these ricotta pancakes here for two weeks and I feel like I owed them to you, too.

A few weeks ago, I’d taken Friday off to hang out with Lila, who was on spring break, and if given the choice still wants just one thing for breakfast: pancakes.

We had big plans for watching the Star Wars original trilogy on our day off, and I started to make breakfast. But since I usually go for waffles instead of pancakes on a weekend morning, a basic pancake recipe didn’t immediately come to mind and I quickly Googled my way to a recipe. And it was okay. They were okay pancakes. But I don’t want to bother making pancakes unless they’re good, and I don’t want to serve my sister pancakes that aren’t great. Continue reading  continue reading