Has it been a week? King Cake, pasta, salad, Nutmeg

It has just occurred to me that I've not slept through the night since January 19, and even then, I was tired. Politics, the March, our kitchen, Nutmeg, various ailments racing through our house and community...I am so tired that today I watched a hilarious skit featuring Seth Meyers (SNL, The Late Show, and a former college-mate of mine) and Kelly Clarkson day-drinking and immediately wondered if I was drunk without my own knowledge.

I am that tired.

So, I have little for you except some recent kitchen wins and a kitchen update and an enormous spot of gratitude for hot tea and the fact that my in-laws have the boys tonight. Praise whomever for local grandparents being a fact of my life.

It's Mardi Gras season, y'all, and so, King Cake. This one was for Jack's family culture evening at school. Although we will have no kitchen starting Tuesday, I have promised cakes for both boys' classes on Mardi Gras Day. Hmm. As usual, I use Southern Living's Traditional King Cake recipe but I do NOT add the lemon juice to the icing. 


Last night: pasta with Brussels sprouts, speck, and parm. Amen for good carbs on cold nights. Also, it has a distinctly Mardi Gras feel, which I love. 


Lastly, a gorgeous winter salad of shaved fennel, avocado, pomelo, roasted and salted pistachios, shaved manchego, salt, pepper, basil olive oil, and blackberry balsamic. Is this not just glorious? It tasted as good!


The Nut acts as if he were never injured, and mercifully, our kitchen renovation finally commences on Tuesday with demolition day 1. If I could take the first swipe at it all, I would. Maybe I'll ask. I mean, this stupid Nunes memo nonsense has made my blood boil, so perhaps the crew wants a lady eager to crank through some cortisol via sledge hammer?!

Our new range -a stunning charcoal gray beauty from Lacanche via France- arrived last Monday. I have nicknamed her Gal Gadot because she is not only stunning but also strong and charismatic. She will anchor our new kitchen, but many other beautiful treasures will complete the room. I'll keep you posted, but here's a sneak peek of Gal. 

As an aside, why is not all language written in the beautiful scripts of Europe? Just look at those handwritten letters and numbers on the crate. Mon dieu. 

Outstanding carbs needed to enable our limp across the line

We have fortified ourselves with extremely satisfying dishes of pasta and grits and bread throughout the past few days as we've limped towards the finish line that I feel we just crossed by closing two tired boys' bedroom doors.

The time has come, the bags are packed and T and I are wiping the sweat from our brows.

Amen, friends. We are back to school!

A few nights back, we had pappardelle with corn, fresh herbs and ricotta. Then came my springtime shrimp and grits, and last night the grand prize: my pasta with caramelized shallots, Brussels sprouts and speck.

Of.the.gods. Tonight, carb-fest continued as we grilled pizzas and called it a day. I am going to throw myself in my bed right now and read away my sadness at having finished All the Light We Cannot See by jumping into The Girl in the Spider's Web, the fourth installment of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo et al) though, naturally since Larsson is now dead, written by someone else.

In the Spider's Web, David Lagercrantz, also a Swedish journalist and writer, takes the helm of leading us back into the labyrinthine world of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Nervous but hopeful that this one is a honorable follow-up to the original, thrilling, enticing series.

More delish food


Peeps, our meals of late have reminded me that maligning winter produce is quick-tongued. The panoply of citrus alone, a bounty of multi-hued jewels, could sustain the pickiest eater for a month. And, forget scurvy! Much can and should be done with these delicious treats. My salads of last night and this evening were made that much better because of their additions of orange: last night the Minneola; tonight the blood orange.

I figured my Italians would be yearning for some pasta by now so made my Brussels sprouts, shallot and speck with long noodles (mafaldine this time) which is always lovely!!


This afternoon, the boys and I watched the first third of Raiders of the Lost Ark. What a fun, adventurous film. Harrison Ford was so ruggedly dashing, and within ten minutes of the opening scene, Jack had donned all clothes that could possibly resemble Indy's and fashioned a whip from Zoobs. I love that kid's creative bent. A costume always makes things more real, a belief he and Oliver subscribe to completely. Here is young Indy, sans hat and chest strap, attempting to put excitement behind him so as to do homework.


Isn't he handsome?! Look at that tussled hair and rosy lips, eyebrows and lashes any woman would kill for.