No-Knead Breadsticks

by rivka on August 21, 2014 · 4 comments

in appetizers, bread

tomato and olive stecca

In recent years, seemingly in complete indifference to logic and better judgment, I’ve settled on and stayed loyal to a bread recipe that’s a royal pain in the hinder parts. That recipe is Tartine’s Country Loaf, which I make plain, but also with olives, or cherries, or semolina and sesame and raisins (a favorite to get us through the colder months). It takes forever and is extremely involved. Did you want to do something fun on Sunday? I’m sorry, I can’t; I have to make bread.

the dough.

But then summer rolls around, and summer in DC, as you know, is terrible, and my will to sit through hours of proofing and kneading and rising and 500-degree baking wilts as quickly as my poor plants in the August humidity. Fortunately, there are sane people like Jim Lahey in the world, who understand that sometimes, you don’t want to knead the bread, or sit at home and watch the bread, or really fuss with the bread at all. You just want to eat the bread. Is that so much to ask?

Turns out, it’s not. That’s why no-knead bread is wonderful (as are the many variations thereof). And in an effort to spruce up a recent Friday night dinner party with bread other than challah, I turned to yet another variation on Lahey’s original no-knead recipe: the Stecca.

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Easing Back In

by rivka on August 18, 2014 · 0 comments

in travel

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We’ve just returned from a week at the beach, full of silky sand and mid-afternoon beach chair dozes and lots of home-cooked meals. As anticipated, the bounce-back to real life is taking its time. We got back from Saturday lunch both ready to crash – what, we can’t take catnaps every day? – and the home fridge is still empty enough that there’s nothing begging to be cooked. I think this is what they call easing back in.

I’d love to give you a full write-up of where to go in Hilton Head, and what to do, but we went to none of those places, did none of that stuff. Instead, we cooked all our meals at home, basically owned the beach, and let the brain cells uncoil. It was glorious.

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We biked the trails and strolled the beach at sunset. I made four pies. Could we be more cliche? I don’t care.

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I’m in too much of a haze to share an actual recipe today, but I will share a couple links that are perfect for this moment in summer.

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Zucchini-Currant Bran Muffins

August 6, 2014
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In a month where you can find sweet, dribbly nectarines and burstingly juicy tomatoes pretty much everywhere, you might not be jonesing for zucchini. And considering you can pile those nectarines into a bowl of yogurt, or put some of those tomatoes on your morning toast, you’re definitely not seeking a way to eat zucchini for breakfast. Convincing […]

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Fuchsia Dunlop’s Pantry Noodles

July 30, 2014
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There are days – you know the ones – when you must make a meal out of nothing. In winter, my go-to is Jen’s Linguine with Sardines, Fennel, and Tomato (often with onion instead of fennel, since that’s always around). In summer, it’s slices of sourdough and perfect tomatoes and some sort of cheese. When it’s […]

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Reading: July 2014

July 28, 2014
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Turkey’s on my mind this month, since my brother has spent his summer doing research and meeting interesting folks in Kurdistan, Tel Aviv, and now, Istanbul. I spent a week in Istanbul back in 2006, but according to my brother, so much has changed since I visited. I feel like I missed at least half […]

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Absolutely Perfect Bittersweet Chocolate Eggless Ice Cream

July 23, 2014
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In trying to avoid hyperbole when sharing this ice cream, I have rewritten the first paragraph of this post twice. I started to try and tell you about why I made it, about what I was looking for, and about how I was pleasantly surprised by the results. And then I decided that my measured approach […]

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Summer Squash and Herb Gratin

July 21, 2014
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The most obvious solution to the “problem” of those oversized, seed-filled summer squash is to make a gratin. When you slice those massive squash as thinly as possible, blanket them in something creamy, and top the pile with something crunchy, the so-called problem is a problem no more. However, gratins cause a problem of their […]

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Chilaquiles

July 16, 2014
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This is the most glamorous thing to do with the half-bag of stale tortilla chips languishing at the bottom of your snack drawer. (Come clean: it’s there.) Instead of throwing them away — or, as I do, letting them sit there getting even more stale until not even the greatest of hunger pangs can motivate […]

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