a frittata-inspired pep talk

failed frittata

The above frittata took from me five eggs, three stalks of red chard, half a zucchini, a block of feta, an onion, some garlic and a tablespoon of coconut oil, and what did it give back in return?

A giant, sloppy mess.
With browned edges.
And rose-colored liquid all over the counter.

In short, DISASTER.

Now can I be honest with you? People, I have days (ok, weeks) like that frittata, and I don’t mean in the kitchen. There are times (recent times) where I feel like I’m investing a lot of hours, energy, effort, what-have-you into something (say, self-employment), expecting certain results, and when those results don’t come: DISASTER! Panic! Stay out of my way!

It’s not pretty. Again, kind of like that frittata.

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Happy Birthday to Me! (with Talenti Gelato)

I know I’m only going off a few hours of experience here, but listen: 28 is going to be a very good year.

And while I’d love to tell you about the way it’s started—with a leisurely brunch at Honey (a favorite local cafe about which, side note, I have some exciting news to share soon!)—or about the way it’s heading—leaving again for a Nashville weekend tomorrow!—one thing is especially important, given that birthdays call for celebration and, hello?, celebration calls for ice cream.

So let’s get to the good stuff: Let’s talk gelato (and sorbetto!). From Talenti.

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It’s Not a Blog Party, but It’s a Blog Party!

blog birthday

Food Loves Writing turns two on Wednesday. How did this happen? Doesn’t it feel like just yesterday that we were having its one-year party in Downers Grove, and a bunch of you were coming out to say hi, and we were hot and sweaty, but mostly we were eating and laughing, happy, I was happy, thankful for all the blog had done and brought?

Yet here we are, and while this second year has been a lot different from the first, it’s been no less good, no less filled with surprises, no less something to be very thankful for—because you’ve been there, each one of you. So to celebrate this August 4, while I’m not having a real-life blog party, I’m having a virtual one!

You’re invited.

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two new things but no new recipes or, time

the first tomato

There are two things on my mind this morning, seemingly unrelated, and I am sorry to say that while they will involve food, they won’t come with a new recipe, just one that’s been posted here before. You could say they’re two culminations, the kind that build for months and months, the kind that reached fruition this week, like recipes that rumble around in your head until you make them or tastes that stay with you until one day, you’re at a party and someone hands you a cracker with an interesting spread, and you say, aha! this is what I been wanting! That’s what they’re like.

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from up above

from up above

I have been wanting to write something about food here—since, you know, this is a food blog or, it’s supposed to be. I have been wanting to cook something and take pictures and tell you about it, I really have.

And I’ve tried. I mean, Monday, after being out of town for the weekend, I barely unpacked before I roasted broccoli in coconut oil, which is a new way of making it for me. Tuesday, I ate grilled tilapia and grilled asparagus with my family. Each morning this week, I’ve made eggs, first over easy, then sunnyside up for breakfast, usually with a smoothie on the side. And last night, using the same method I blogged about here, I roasted golden beets to put in a salad with greens and goat cheese and red onions.

But every time I think about blogging one of these things, I come back to that picture up there, the one taken from my airplane window Saturday, bound for Cincinnati. It’s crazy how different everything looks from up above, you know? On the ground, I can tell you about the scratch on a bumper, but from the air, I can’t even single out a car. Trees become parts of forests. Fields become parts of huge sections of land.

Perspective changes everything.

golden beets

I like that. And it’s just as true with blogging as with anything else. In a ground-level way, this post is about beets, yes, about how to roast them the same way I have done before, with a few pictures sprinkled through of beets on blue plates. But from up above, it’s about something greater, about the kind of cooking that doesn’t always try new recipes but that remembers routines, feels what is familiar, is more everyday. I like finding more of that type of cooking in my life lately. I like that very much, indeed.

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Review: Grow Great Grub

grow great grub

Like I said last month, book reviews aren’t really the emphasis of this site, but we’ll make exceptions. Since Grow Great Grub has inspired me to launch past my existing gardening attempts (i.e., beautiful summer tomatoes and a sad Meyer lemon tree) into the world of potted herbs (stay tuned!), I thought you might like to hear about it, too.

I was so excited to get a review copy of this book because the whole point of it is that not only can you garden anywhere, but also you can grow food anywhere —even in the city, even in a small space. Rather than fancy pots or planters, you’ll see gorgeous photos of seeds sprouting in repurposed tins, wooden crates, trash cans, even toilet paper rolls in this book. There’s attention given to making these creative gardens aesthetically pleasing as well as practical, which anyone in a small space would recognize as important and which I think makes the process seem much more approachable and worth trying.

grow great grub inside

The Author:
I love reading about bloggers who became authors, particularly ones who were blogging when I was in high school, which was a time when, let’s be honest, I didn’t know what a blog was. That’s exactly the story of Gayla Trail, who has grown her YouGrowGirl.com site (launched February 2000) into a community of modern gardeners filled with forums and articles, as well as written two books: You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening and now Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces.

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