Friday Reading & Eating

What we’re reading and eating this week:

Imagine living in this house? Cooking in that kitchen! (Yes, that’s Jens Risom and yes this is an old link that says he’s 97, so he must be near 100 now.)

I agree with Dana Goodyear: I think the backlash against Mast Brothers is not really about being suckered into paying nine bucks for sub-par chocolate.

Looking for a little healthy breakfast inspiration? Loving these infographs for EggsOatmeal, and Avocado.

How Stanley Tucci’s Big Night helped kick off an American dining revolution

A guided meditation for the anxious mind. Hilarious.


Under the Category of Simple Comfort Food I Want to Eat Now.

Well, I’d say she’s pretty impressive for ELEVEN YEARS OLD. (Her official fundraising page is here.)

10 books that should be required reading in school

35 Healthy-ish Super Bowl Snacks

Since Tidying Up is the New Black: A Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks

Well that’s just great.

This guide to dishwasher loading is extremely practical, but my favorite part about it is that someone actually woke up one day and said “I’m going to upload every dishwasher guide from every major maker onto flickr.” (via The Kitchn)

How Rich Parents Exacerbate School Inequality

I’ve always liked Amanda Peet.  (I especially like this moment: “I have daughters, so I try not to have that calorie-counting mentality. I try not to expose them to that because I think girls should just play sports and not think about food until as late as possible.”)

Reminder of the Week: For those of you who like to print recipes, at the bottom of every post, down on the left side, there is a little green button that says “Print Friendly.” If you click that, it offers all sorts of options for file types and allows you to delete photos, paragraphs, or whatever before you print.

Question of the Week: What’s the most WOW-ish cocktail party food idea you’ve seen/tried/experienced lately?

Photo credit: HiConsumption

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I’ve been making this app for decades and it never fails to delight. Mix sour cream or creme fraiche (about 1/2-3/4 cup) in a bowl with a little heavy cream to thin it down. Stir in some pressed garlic, fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of salt, and some chopped chives. While this sits a bit to meld the flavors, pick through a chunk of smoked salmon (about a pound), carefully removing all the bones and skin. You should have a flaked heap when finished. Now spread your lemon/chive cream on the bottom of a platter. Sprinkle the salmon all over. Top with more chopped chives and thinly sliced chili peppers (you choose the heat). Serve with homemade crostini or crackers if you don’t want to make crostini. (I specifically left out the amounts b/c this recipe is so easy and you can taste the cream and adjust as desired.)

Sarah M.

Yes!! I think this was by far the best appetizer I’ve ever made, since it ticked all the boxes: it was cheap, it was easy, it was quick… and it looked damn good. Any appetizer where I can get ready for the evening while it’s in the oven, then serve at any temperature is just about perfect. Oh and I did I mention it was delicious?? That too.


I can’t claim this is “lately,” this is pre-kids, but making your own ricotta and bringing it with caramelized onions and toasts is pretty impressive. I used smitten kitchen’s ricotta recipe.


My favorite thing about the Risom house is that even in that beautifully minimalist kitchen, they have two fondue pots.

Serena R

Two things:

1) A Shrub bar – I’d had great luck with a beet balsamic one (lovely with bourbon) and a cucumber one that’s nice with gin, but the combinations are boundless and it’s a cool way to serve a number of different cocktails with 2 ingredients a piece but many more flavors. Plus they can be made well ahead of time and leftovers keep!

2) my all time favorite crostini recipe is these tomatoes (they are incredible regardless of when in the year you make them) – on toasted slices of baguette ontop a slather of goat cheese.

I probably make them 20 times a year and they keep in the fridge for a few days and are a lovely addition to omelettes the next morning! Ps – we like to add a dash of crushed red pepper or cayenne for just a bite of heat.

So simple and yet so great.


Where do you audition to be Amanda Peet’s new best friend? She is always great. I am *usually* a very careful, or mindful, eater. I’m almost relieved i don’t have a daughter (i have an 8 year old son) because I know i’d pass on my food issues (that i inherited from MY mother!). Little girls just don’t need that in their heads! My son doesn’t notice what I’m not eating, except when i come around his ice cream cone begging for just a bite. ha!


Reading the Atlantic article, I wasn’t surprised to see our former Chicago public school named as an example. The parent fundraising group there does amazing things…but only because they have the resources to do so. The financial inequality in a city as large and diverse as Chicago is vast. Our children benefited from our neighborhood’s wealth and ability to give whereas the school two miles away barely escaped closure.

We now live in an equally prosperous community outside Austin, TX and are quietly watching the fundraising season begin. The local education foundation gala and school auction dates are right around the corner…time to open the pocketbook.


I love the concept of a dishwasher guide….but not everyone owns a matching set of dishware! And what about all the irregularly shaped tupperware??