Em-i-lis in Review: March 2013

Who loves Benedict Cumberbatch more than moi? No one. Lawd a'mercy can that man wear a suit! Who is tired of winter? Moi! It feels like we're living on Hoth; at least that's how I am experiencing this January.

In any case, the Em-i-lis 2013 Year in Review continues with... MARCH.

Em-i-lis turned 2!!! And Oliver celebrated his 4th! Both were such happy occasions though only Oliver had a spectacular Wonder Woman cake and received a real Golden Lasso. I dare say my birthday cakes are getting awfully artistic and skillfully done.



As Oliver's birthday is St. Patrick's Day, I made a magnificent corned beef and cabbage meal, a la Suzanne Goin, for dinner that night. This recipe was immediately filed in the Awesome: Make Regularly category.


We went to New Orleans for Spring Break, discovered and ate at Coquette (a must; great place) while there and for the first time ever, had to buy jeans because of a cold front. In Louisiana! In late March!

Tom and I co-wrote this lengthy post about knives: types, honing and sharpening them, ways to do so, etc. Very helpful! And when Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In, burst onto the scene, and the whole Sandberg-Anne-Marie Slaughter conversation commenced, I wrote this essay: Leaning In.

Lastly, my obsession with homemade ricotta and candied kumquats reached new heights in this tart. Aah...makes me want to go make one now!


All in all, in looking back, March was not the most exciting of months so I'm hoping for better as this one rolls around.

Gully-washer to gorgeous

Last night, I made my old Meatless Monday standby, Yotam's burnt eggplant with tahini. T just can't find much love for this dish so I tend to make it when he's away; all the better because then I can enjoy the entire serving, like a lone pig at a terrific trough. burnt eggplant with tahini

This morning greeted the boys and me with a steady rain, and just after I got home from dropping them off at school, the skies opened; it was a solid gully-washer punctuated with brief intervals of retreat- perhaps the nimbused reservoirs used those moments to regain critical mass. Sitting near a window, emailing to friends, I loved every minute of the storm.

It moved on, and as if issuing an apology left behind unadulterated spring glory. I finished up a good amount of my to-do list for Oliver's birthday (shamrocks, Wonder Woman, golden lassos and Hello, Kitty! = what a mix), ran some errands and noodled further on how to turn my new favorite snack of ricotta + candied kumquats into a more formalized dessert. I also realized I'd soaked since yesterday morning, a pound of Rancho Gordo cassoulet beans so best figure out something to do with them. I had some gorgeous pork belly, in bacon-style strips, in the fridge, an onion here, a leek there, a can of good fire-roasted tomatoes too, marjoram, garlic, thyme, good oil. A stew of sorts came together and cooked over a slow heat for north of three hours. The boys enjoyed it for dinner, and I'm planning to do the same.

In the meantime, I took my first step in the ricotta-kumquat direction by making some shortbread dough and pressing it into a rectangular tart pan. I baked it for 20 or 25 minutes and then spooned into it a ricotta pudding batter. Upped the temp, baked that until middle-jiggly and, when still warm, dressed it with a scattershot of the candied kumquats. I can't wait to try this!

ricotta pudding-candied kumquat tart on a shortbread crust


Another cool part of my day was seeing an old high school friend I've not laid eyes on in at least a decade. N and I correspond regularly via Facebook but despite the fact that we live in the same city, we've not managed to see each other. After making the greatest greenie bargain - I offered Ol's beloved crib mattress and changing pad for her sourdough starter and some lettuce seedlings she's been nurturing- over she came, bringing with her the most charming little lady bug (her 1 year old daughter) I've been able to get my mitts on recently. Plus the other goodies and some homemade yogurt cheese. It was a real treat to catch up, reconnect, meet in wildly different circumstances than the atmosphere that was high school. (Amen for that).