Here I am, cruisin’ down Rt. 91 on my way home from Easter at my parents – a time for new sundresses and a refreshing spring thaw – and it’s snowing. Again. On April 2nd.
Happy second day of Spring! How’s everyone’s snow day going?
I have a great Easter brunch for you. How ‘bout that? This may be the first time I’ve had the forethought to share something with you that is seasonally relevant while also being published in a timely manner before a holiday. After a year plus, I’ve learned some things about the blogging world.
The weather in suburban New Jersey today is ideal for the lazy vacation day I’m taking. It’s one of my favorite kinds of days: a grey and drizzly day in December during which I feel perfectly content to order Christmas presents from bed while snuggling with one of my loving pets. What it is, is the perfect afternoon for a bowl of soup. But all of my soup is in Brooklyn, frozen and waiting for me to have the forethought to thaw it before I want it. Where did I learn how to do that? Well, from my mother, who also has several soup varieties sitting downstairs in her freezer, perfectly frozen and hard as a rock.
Looking back at all my previous blog posts, I realize that I can come across as a little one-dimensional. This post will both reinforce that idea while also dispelling it. I can be a bit of a Vermont-loving, comfort food-makin’ one trick pony. I can’t help but be inspired by Vermont and I can’t help loving warm, comforting food. But I do, in fact, branch out. With the arrival of spring (or so I’m told. It’s currently snowing in NYC), comes my craving for fresh and healthy foods. What better way to welcome the spring than by making a big ole salad inspired by my trip to Vermont last weekend (is anyone really surprised)?
This right here is a perfect leftover dish. You can use almost any leftovers you have in a quiche, and quiche itself makes for great, no-fuss leftovers. I went so far as to use a leftover store-bought, pre-made pie crust (we’re not getting super fancy here – we’re cooking with what we have on a weeknight). Or, at least, I tried to use a leftover pre-made crust. It was from a year and a half ago (from that French week of cooking that I somehow keep talking about) and when I unrolled it, it crumbled everywhere. UGH. What I had hoped would be an easy evening was, like the pie crust, crumbling around me.
Let me begin at the beginning.
What feels like a month ago forever ago, I took a cooking class with my dad, good ole Chris, at the Brooklyn Kitchen (otherwise known as that place that takes all my money every time I go in). I took him there as a Christmas present, so the class choice was all his to make. Brooklyn Kitchen has so many different classes to choose from and they’re constantly changing. Some stay the same due to popularity, like the Roberta’s pizza making class. Chris didn’t feel the need to attend that one because the recipe is online and he’s already mastered it, so he doesn’t need anyone to teach it to him. (I’ll back him up – my dad makes mad good pizzas, y’all.) If you’ve ever met him, you’ll probably know that he loves Rome from that one time he visited. And you’ll probably also know that on that visit, he had the best pasta alla carbonara ever at this small, hole-in-the-wall, local place. So when we saw there was a February Taste of Rome class in which we would make carbonara (as well as amatriciana* and cacio e pepe), my dad was sold. We were going.
What kind of food do you make when you want to appear virtuous and wholesome after a rather hedonistic start to the weekend? You make panzanella. “What is panzanella?” some of you may be asking. It’s bread salad. A salad…based around bread. Um, YOU’RE WELCOME, EVERYONE.
Last Thursday was perhaps the most overwhelming and panic-inducing day at the office. It was our annual office potluck. I eagerly anticipate and fear the day all at once. Imagine 240 people surging forward to get to delectable, indulgent, and lovingly made dishes after waiting all morning for a feast. Hectic doesn’t begin to describe it.