chats, 11.21

Everyone knows I drink my coffee black with zero accouterments.  I tried a double-shot latte on Sunday at Breaking New Grounds in Portsmouth whilst hanging around with Mack.

I don’t think I’m a fan of foam?

suspension, 11.21

A flight at the Portsmouth Brewery with Mack; pretty much the best way to cap a weekend that kicks off a holiday week, no?

Perusing the list of beers.

A cheers, of course.

And….finished?

fresh baked, 11.15

Round loaves of gorgeous Pueblo Indian oven bread (different from fry bread!), a staple of my childhood and reminds me of morning toast before school.

Some people may find this oven bread to be “bland” because it lacks sugar–but no siree, you are simply and completely wrong. In New Mexico, this bread is baked in large ovens outside behind the house and goes with absolutely everything. That’s the beauty of it! Toast with jam, a sandwich for lunch, pinto beans and hot peppers for dinner (read a NY Times travel article from 1982 about Pueblo baking culture).

It’s brilliant and always reminds me of Mum, or home, when I eat it.

dough, 11.9

Typical scene in my kitchen–dough limping about the dough hook ready for some hand kneading. I squeezed in my favorite cinnamon bread recipe last night before a gig so one of my best friends could munch on this during the late night trip home. You can see her whacking away at it over at her blog, Compendium of Delights.

I love having a go-to bread recipe; no need for a recipe to follow, and the comfort of knowing exactly how long it will take to get her done.

gifted, 11.9

I made some fingerless bicycling mitts for a friend in a gorgeous pumpkin-ish colorway as a thank you. Crocheted up in a tube, I used the soft as butter and general favorite fiber (of mine!) Malabrigo Merino Worsted for these and I’m fairly pleased with the results.

Maybe I can convince the recipient to model them for the blog in the future. They’d look great photographed whilst wearer was holding an autumn ale.

What do you think?

(These mitts were inspired by the ah-mazing Sandra Juto, who makes delicious “Wrist Worms”. I took a look at photographs of her gorgeous creations and tried to recreate my own of sorts. Hers are better. Buy them here, or read her incredible blog.)

dinner, 11.8

An adaptation of the Braised Chicken with Orange and Scallions from Food Everyday. I added segments of orange to give it a bit more oomf and substituted capers for green olives since I didn’t want to make a trip to the store for extra ingrediants.

Braising is downright gorgeous. The chicken thighs were tender and slightly crusty on top and the scallions were so wilted and delicate. And the capers did the dish justice, providing that simple salty bite against the orange zest.

Totally easy, totally works its magic in the oven, and totally scrumptious.

mini tarts, 11.5

…because sometimes you just have to have a miniature pie crust filled to the brim with a deliciously light cocoa ganache, homemade whipped cream, and a citrus infused strawberry on top.

These tarts are equally as yummy with other kinds of fruit–raspberries, blackberries, you name it–and the perfect little dessert to bring to a party.

sorbet (and mum’s visit #2), 10.31

The most gorgeous sorbet I’ve ever bought–courtesy of J.P. Licks, this fresh apple delight was beyond amazing. Filled with flecks of Macintosh skins, I felt like I was eating the whole pie in this one little cup (and the “pie” is figurative, for there were no useless filler spices in this sorbet).

I have studied this sorbet several times over with the hopes of making it at home. Up this month at the licks? Cranberry-Orange, which I think could be equally delicious, no?

mum’s visit #1, 10.31

My mum came for a weekend visit over Halloween and she is hands down the most generous, giving person in the world. We frolicked about the city and had a glorious two days–including a trip to Brookline Booksmith, where she bought me Doctor Zhivago (I love reading Russian literature in winter!) and an adorable silver pig ornament for my Christmas tree.

Aren’t mums the best?