tomato-braised eggs and creamy baked polenta

creamy baked polenta with eggs and tomato sauce | two red bowls

tomato-braised eggs and creamy baked polenta | two red bowls

Earlier this summer, I spent a few glorious hours in Venice at The Tasting Kitchen in what felt like an endless parade of dream brunch fare. Before this I’d never had any kind of chef’s menu or omakase-type meal, but a group of us opted for their tasting menu (because that seemed like what you should choose at a restaurant similarly named) and it was a culinary romp that makes me wish I could splurge on that kind of treat all the time:  a smorgasbord of baked goods to start, with tender, butter-yellow biscuits, dense and moist breakfast cakes studded with fruit or dark with spices, and sticky pecan buns drenched in syrup; little lox and cucumber sandwiches in crunchy, unabashedly buttered toast; omelettes tucked neatly around tomatoes and creamy avocado; perfect parfaits (redundant?) with sweet sliced plums and berries on top.  

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watermelon, grilled corn, & feta salad

watermelon, grilled corn, & feta salad | two red bowls

I have a confession — I was not a fan of watermelon & feta salad for the longest time. I wasn’t even really a fan of watermelon with anything other than itself. Why, I thought, would you ever eat watermelon in any kind of way other than straight out of that striped rind with a spoon, ice cold and crisp and sugary sweet? (B2 says, “Really, with a spoon?” OK, or in slices, if you’re not weird like me.)

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easy, crispy oven fries + some news

crispiest oven fries, with rosemary & garlic | two red bowls

One of the things I like most about this little space is how easy it’s always been to come here and tell you (or, at the very least, future me) about all the things that have been happening in the world of the two red bowls, even if most weeks it’s literally nothing but the same old, same old, plus a recipe for cake.  

So it was really and truly weird earlier this year to try to continue writing here when we’d discovered a little something that I couldn’t quite share yet on the blog, but was all Bowl #2 and I could talk about.  It translated, as maybe you were bored into noticing, into a solid month of talking about the weather in every post (after which B2 told me please not to write about the weather) or writing some things about foods that were delicious at first but always unappealing to me by the time I posted it on the blog.

But now I can finally share what you might have already guessed — we’re having a baby!  And we are over the moon.  I am sorry for the weather one-note that I have been for the last four months.  The good and bad news is that now I will be a one-note about this wee boy in my belly who’s heading into the world in November and so far, making me look like I have constantly had way, way too much pizza.

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asparagus, spring pea, & goat cheese quiche

asparagus, spring pea, & goat cheese quiche | two red bowls

For the first twenty-two or so years of my life, my experience with quiches was limited solely to the miniature frozen variety — the ones from Costco that came in boxes of half Lorraine and half Florentine (or, in my mind, half yellow and half green), most often bought for my mother’s potlucks or just for late-night snacks, pale and anemic until you popped them in the oven and warmed them to golden life. (Or microwaved them, in which case they stayed pretty anemic but still tasted delicious.) There’s plenty to love about those already (I still love them, no shame) — tiny bites of buttery crust, giving way to creamy, salty-savory middles with a hint of salty bacon or spinach.  So it probably goes without saying that when I finally tried a quiche in all its full-sized, deep-dish glory from a Cambridge bakery a couple of years ago, thick and substantial, stippled with caramelized leeks and smoky from thick-cut bacon and good Gruyere, I was more than sold.

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