Having been out of cooking commission for most of fall, I missed the season of fancy party snacks and holiday breakfasts. I spent December gazing at a certain very delicious little face, foregoing the mistletoe and the cocktail parties. Now it’s January, and the cinnamon rolls and champagne flutes are fading in the rear view mirror on your way to the gym. 2015, you came quickly.

But I’ve been making up for lost time, now that the babe and I have hit our stride. We’ve had scones and omelettes for brunch, wintry mixed drinks at happy hour, and plenty of snacks. I’ll spare you the over-the-top breakfasts and the bourbony indulgence — for now — but the snacks I’ve been making these past couple weeks are too good not to share. Think of it as some belated holiday cheer.

These dates snapped back into my repertoire after I received a version of them from a friend, shortly after Adi was born. Jana, an excellent cook (and now a maker of very fancy cakes), slipped some chevre into pitted dates, and topped each date with a slice of pistachio and a pinch of minced chives. I ate one, then shamelessly ate all the others before D could get any. And then, the very next day, I added a TJ’s run to our itinerary to pick up dates and chives and chevre and do the whole thing again.

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Since Adi was born, we’ve been the extremely lucky beneficiaries of meals that our friends have prepared and delivered to us a few times each week. While I’ve managed to cook and bake a few things, the opportunities tend to come in very short spurts: 30 minutes of down time in the morning means I can put up a bread dough or simmer some lentils, and if I’m lucky, I get an hour of quiet in the afternoons to bake off that bread or season those lentils. Lunch time isn’t downtime, though, so I often find myself reaching for a few apple slices and a hunk of cheese from the fridge, just enough to tide me over. I’ve got a bag of mixed nuts and raisins that I keep on the side table where I nurse, and I’d say I polish off that bag and call it lunch more often than not.


There was a time when apples and cheese weren’t just snacks to grab on the go. We’re part of a wine club, which meets once a month for wine tasting and a dinner, cooked by the host, to match the wine. Before the babe was born, my brother- and sister-in-law Adam and Julie hosted an evening of Rioja tasting, and Julie made an absolutely bang-up meal to go with the wine, riffed on tapas she’d eaten at restaurants around town. Pretty much everything on the table was a standout, but one recipe in particular has become a staple in our house ever since: a simple, addictive apple salad with shavings of manchego cheese, buttery marcona almonds, and roasted garlic dressing.


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Curried Carrot Apple Soup

December 18, 2014

In the weeks leading up to Adi’s birth, I started baking and cooking food intended entirely for the freezer. If I’m being honest (and inviting you all to take some jabs at my sensibilities), some of what I stowed away was a bit…frouffy: butternut sage scones and carrot bran muffins, for the absurd but oh-so-likely […]

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Any-Chile Hot Sauce + Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry

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These past few weeks can be summed up as an epic attempt to fill our freezer with as much ready-to-eat food as possible. I’ve frozen unbaked scones in little zip-top bags. I’ve filled about ten containers with Persian beef-rice stew and carrot-ginger soup and plenty of chicken stock. I’ve even baked and frozen whole loaf […]

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Apple-Cheddar Scones with Sage

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Since this pregnancy, I’ve taken a rather uncanny – you might call it obsessive – interest in apples. I buy them by the bushel, which is silly when you consider that we’re still only two of us (excluding the wee thing) and my fridge isn’t even regulation-size. But it’s true: I buy all of the […]

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Easier Rugelach

October 29, 2014
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Growing up, toward the end of Saturday morning services, we kids would lurk in the social hall of the synagogue, near the refreshments. Ostensibly, we were there to help set up. In actuality, about 5% of our effort went to helping out, while a round 95% we spent angling to be near our favorite snacks. […]

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Nutmeg Apple Cider Doughnuts

October 24, 2014
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It’s Friday, which means it’s almost the weekend — which, in my strange wonderland, means it’s time to choose weekend cooking projects. I’ve got my eye on this lovely, meringue-topped walnut cake from Food52, and possibly homemade bagels. I’m also contemplating steeping bourbon with some apple peels, a cinnamon stick, and some star anise, for […]

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