kimchi potato skins

kimchi potato skins | two red bowls

I spent the summer between high school and college working two jobs, one as a hostess at a Chinese restaurant and the other as a waitress at a T.G.I.Friday’s. Most of my time at T.G.I.Friday’s was spent (1) trying to raise my voice enough in the kitchen that they could hear me when I asked for more ranch, (2) forgetting to enter orders, or (3) eating breadsticks out of the breadstick bin.  (I may have been the worst server they had.)

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herbed focaccia & pimento romesco

herbed focaccia with caramelized onions & romesco | two red bowls
herbed focaccia with caramelized onions & romesco | two red bowls

Hi friends! How was your weekend? We spent a fun one down in North Carolina at the wedding of one of Bowl #2’s college friends. This might just be me and the fact that I haven’t gone to that many yet, but I feel like I love weddings more and more with every one I go to, even when I’m a plus-one and I’ve never met the bride and groom. (But also there’s a 20% chance you’ll find me crying in my office to YouTube highlight reels of strangers’ weddings on any given afternoon. Just so you know what kind of constitution you’re dealing with.)

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swiss chard & quinoa cakes, with garlic yogurt // a lodge giveaway!

swiss chard & quinoa cakes | two red bowls
swiss chard & quinoa cakes | two red bowls

Oh man. So here’s a thing about me — I am really, really clumsy. Like, if I were a candy bar, I’d be this one. And if I were an idiom, I’d be a bull in a china shop. Sometimes I think it amazes Bowl #2 — who does everything thoughtfully and deliberately and un-clumsily — how little sense I have of space and time and, you know, where my body is. (It amazes me too.)

And I’ve been on a roll lately!  I don’t know if I’ve just been really out of it from a few long weeks at work, but I am a bull in the china shop of life these days.  Yesterday I was slicing a chicken breast and overturned the cutting board into a sink full of dirty dishes.  A few weeks ago, B2 had to play ceramics doctor on a beloved Akiko Graham plate after I broke it and almost had a heart attack, and this weekend I spilled an entire ink bottle all over the table, myself, and the floor in the middle of addressing our wedding invites.  I don’t even know.  But all’s well that ends well — thanks to B2’s magic, the plate is as good as new (can you even tell?!) and thanks to Jesus, the ink missed our wedding invites (and our white couch, ohmygosh) and our first batch of invites actually made it into the mail this morning!  We finally mailed (some of) our invites!  Small miracles.

(I don’t know what to say about the chicken.  Or my ink-stained legs, which currently look diseased.  But otherwise, miracles!)

swiss chard & quinoa cakes | two red bowls
Pinch dishes by The Fortynine Studio and the incredibly lovely Yossy Arefi; plates by Akiko Graham from The-Commons; oblong dish from Crate & Barrel; 10-inch seasoned steel skillet from Lodge.

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maple sweet potato casserole & thyme marshmallows // thanksgiving stuffing dinner rolls

maple-brown butter sweet potato casserole + thyme marshmallows // stuffing-flavored dinner rolls
Pinch dishes from The Fortynine Studio.

We had a mini impromptu Friendsgiving last weekend! Even in miniature, it was my first time putting together anything remotely like a Thanksgiving meal on my own, and it was so much fun. For the main, I braised an abundance of chicken legs using Jamie Oliver’s milk chicken recipe, which was life-changing and totally worth the hype, at least in my opinion (also, one day I will stop being scared and I will roast a whole chicken, I swear). For the salad we had mixed greens with ridiculously ripe Bosc pears and shaved Parmesan, drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil — simple and easy. But my favorite dishes — as it should be with Thanksgiving — were these sides.

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pear & gorgonzola salad with cinnamon-glazed walnuts

fall salad with pear, gorgonzola, and cinnamon-glazed walnuts

After vacation last month and a slow start getting back into the swing of things, these last couple of weeks feel like we’re settling back into old routines.  Slow mornings aided by snooze buttons (why is it so much harder to get up when it gets chilly out?) later evenings in the office with a salad and extra coffee with PSL syrup. On my commutes I tap out ideas for these posts on my phone, or play with Steller.  Other times I doze off on the person next to me and things get awkward.

Lately, in an effort to keep my forehead from landing on my neighbors’ shoulders, I’ve been reading a lot — the ubiquitous Fault in Our Stars; The French Lieutenant’s Woman; South of the Border, West of the Sun; on Molly’s rec, Jeffrey Steingarten’s awesome and hilarious essay compilations.  Reading food writing (well, the non-blog kind) is new for me, but awesome — I’ve been nose-deep in One Souffle at a Time by Anne Willan, and I’m super loving it so far.

To be totally honest, I’m a spring and summer girl all the way. But I kind of savor the evenings after busy fall days in a certain way that I don’t summer nights. Bowl #2 puts on some TV series or another (right now, a rewatch of How I Met Your Mother — yess) while he keeps working and I pretend to work but actually just lie prostrate under the favorite extra-nubbly throw blanket I’ve been longing for since May, nursing a cup of hot tea.  We stay up too late, then spend too long talking in bed, leading to … another slow, snoozed-alarm morning, when it starts all over again.

fall salad with pear, gorgonzola, and cinnamon-glazed walnuts

Awhile back, when we were still in the midst of summer and spontaneity, B2 and I trekked up to New Haven for the day and visited an old haunt of his, Bar, to do a little recon on a recipe I’ve been wanting to recreate. We went for the pizza, but as it turns out, they also serve up a pretty mean salad — the one that gave rise to this version.  The combination here is nothing new, so I won’t say too much more, but I thought it was a perfect fall segue salad, with the sweet spiced decadence of autumnal comfort foods, but the freshness of crunchy fruit and leafy greens for balance.  It isn’t the kind of salad you order for dinner at work when you’re trying to be good, the kind where you’re thinking about protein and good fats and staying power.  It’s just the fun kind, the kind on the side that’s kind of dessert hiding out in a camouflage of greens. But it’s cool, because we have like five years before it’s beach season again, right? 🙂

fall salad with pear, gorgonzola, and cinnamon-glazed walnuts
fall salad with pear, gorgonzola, and cinnamon-glazed walnuts fall salad with pear, gorgonzola, and cinnamon-glazed walnuts
fall salad with pear, gorgonzola, and cinnamon-glazed walnuts
fall salad with pear, gorgonzola, and cinnamon-glazed walnuts
fall salad with pear, gorgonzola, and cinnamon-glazed walnuts
fall salad with pear, gorgonzola, and cinnamon-glazed walnuts

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