New Year, New Site!

by rivka on January 15, 2016

in uncategorized

Friends, the time has come. This trusty old site of mine isn’t so trusty anymore, and for a while now, I’ve been craving a fresh, new space to share recipes with you — a space where I could focus more on the food, and less on the technical parts of the site. After a little staycation and a lot of elbow grease, I’m finally ready to share my new home with you. Come check it out: I hope you like it!



NDP will keep its little spot on the web, but I won’t be updating it anymore. From now on, new posts, pictures, and rants of all kinds will be housed at Happy cooking!

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Maple Walnut Squares

by rivka on December 24, 2015

in uncategorized

I know it’s almost Christmas, but I’m about one month behind (on everything) and right now, I need to commit a tiny act of Thanksgiving blasphemy. I tell you this: the best dessert I ate on Thanksgiving was not pie.

By 7 pm the evening of the holiday, our house was full of neighbors who had decided to stay local. Our table was overflowing with pies, many of which our friends had brought: a glistening, lattice-topped sour cherry pie; several bourbon/brandy-filled pumpkin pies; a gorgeous rendition of Deb’s chocolate tart with gingersnap crust (a slice of which I carefully set aside for myself, which my unsuspecting and always-cleaning lady accidentally threw away, *sob*) and many more. I tried too many; I loved them all. But I think my favorite bite of all was a slice of these maple walnut squares.

The crust is a shortbread, from which I accidentally left out two tablespoons of the butter, yielding a somewhat crispier, sandier texture. The top is like pecan pie, but – dare I be even more blasphemous? – better. Little bits of walnuts instead of big nutty chunks; maple syrup instead of corn syrup, duh; a different ratio of everything else. Just a better overall texture. Not that I’m knocking pecan pie: I especially love the one we served, from David Lebovitz, which has bourbon in the batter and a whole load of chocolate chips mixed in. Yum.

[click to continue…]

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How to Give Thanks

November 23, 2015

Do you also feel like you need a breather from the onslaught of unbearable news? Me too. I cannot stop thinking about the children paralyzed by instability, hunger, and fear. But I doubt you need me to pile on more sadness and anxiety. I’m sure you have plenty of your own. Here’s my contribution to […]

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Croissants (really, I made croissants) + other croissant-ish things

November 5, 2015
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Oh, hi! Yep, we’re still here, I promise. Just busy. Work is nuts, the kiddo is rounding the corner on her first birthday (!!), and cooking at this stage is….funny. It’s not over, not by any means: if you open my fridge, you’ll see a rather sundry assortment of edibles, including a stuffing that I […]

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Spicy Creamed Feta Spread

September 21, 2015
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Earlier this summer, we met up with a couple friends and their kids at Right Proper, a not-so-new brewery in Shaw. They’ve got a great selection of beers brewed onsite, plenty of high chairs, and a passable food menu. Still, it’s a perfect spot for Sunday with little ones, whose grabbing and clapping are rivaled, […]

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Roasted Cauliflower with Red Onion-Yogurt Sauce

August 26, 2015
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It makes no sense to start a post about cauliflower with a public service announcement about plums. That said, I happened to pick up a bag of methly plums at the market a couple weeks ago; they were juicy and wet, sold as seconds because they were…on the verge. They were begging to be mushed […]

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How to Summer

August 19, 2015
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I know, I’ve disappeared lately. We’ve been summering. I don’t have a full post for you today, because doing summer properly in Washington involves lots of time away from Washington: we spent a weekend up in PA, where I snapped the above photo of the team roaming through a lavender field. This is the right answer. […]

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Mushroom and Kale Breakfast Strata

July 20, 2015
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Turns out, unsettling from the old place was much harder than settling into the new place. Luisa told me that I shouldn’t worry if, for weeks after the move, I still wondered when we’d finally go back home. That’s just what I expected to feel. But those final weeks pre-move were so stressful and sleepless […]

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