our first house.

september-6-2014-3

Friday afternoon, a few hours after that last post published, Tim and I sat in a real estate office south of Nashville with our agent, a closing agent and a stack of paperwork, doing something we've never done together or apart: we closed on our first house. We first found it exactly a month ago today, just two days after that post about our house hunt published last month. Tim and I were rushing around that morning, about to leave for Ohio for the weekend to see family, but we'd emailed our agent (shout-out to Josh! we love him!) about a few new places we wanted to see, and bless his heart because he showed us at least 20 houses this summer, he worked out a way to see two of them. The first house was as gorgeous as a design magazine, but it was also in a flood plain, and there were 101 reasons why we shouldn't have made an offer. The second house, though, had just had its priced lowered and it was also, go figure, on the exact same street as the one we almost bought last year. … [Read more...]

Tim’s Indian Dinner in a Tiffin Box (MightyNest Giveaway)

tiffin box from mightynest

Sometime this summer, Tim and I watched the movie "The Lunchbox," an Indian flick in which a man receives the wrong lunchbox---or really, the wrong tiffin box, a tall, stainless steel contraption with multiple containers stacked in a tower that clips together and keeps different foods apart---over and over again. Instead of the boring restaurant food he'd been ordering to come for him every day in the sea of tiffin boxes that delivery guys on bicycles take to offices at lunchtime, he starts getting a housewife's meals. That housewife is lonely and trying to make her stoic husband happy through home cooking she pours herself into. But instead, her meals are going to this crotchety accountant. He writes her a note, she writes him one and the plot develops from there until it culminates in a (spoiler alert) rather unsatisfying ending, but (!) I was glad I watched it if only for the tiffin box. I knew I wanted one! So when the people at MightyNest said they'd send one over, along with some … [Read more...]

Week in Austin, Texas

austin texas

We went to Austin because of a crazy Southwest deal a few months ago. At this point in our summer, taking a vacation seems like the greatest extravagance, and my penny-pinching heart would have canceled but for the fact that our flights and AirBNB accommodations were already paid for---great birthday gift we unintentionally gave to me. And while most people go to Austin for the creativity, the food, the music, the shock value ("Keep Austin Weird"), we went to get away to someplace new where it would also, conveniently, be ridiculously easy to eat well. Austin is where Whole Foods started, so there are five of them in town, despite the city's being smaller than Nashville. I'm not too cool to tell you we went there a lot. But because there's organic and locally sourced and farm-to-table EVERYWHERE, you can literally walk into a 24/7 retro diner and get a farmer's special bruschetta on toasted sourdough (and we did). We liked the dry heat, the Southwestern style, the modern architecture … [Read more...]

Early Girl Tomato Tart in Spelt Crust

finished early girl tart

Hey guys, this is a quick dispatch from Austin, Texas, where Tim and I are holed up for the week. We flew here on my birthday Monday and picked up groceries from one of the five Whole Foods Markets in town (we are in the WF motherland here) before checking into our rental. These Early Girl tomatoes won me over from the first moment I spotted them in the produce section. Known for being some of the first to ripen each season (hence their name), Early Girls are also some of the last tomato plants to stop ripening at the end of summer. Perfectly round, red and meaty inside, I felt like they were just begging to be placed in a rustic tart, so after we bought some spelt flour from the bulk bins, butter from the dairy case and small bags of mineral salt and thyme from the herb bulk bins, we were in business. We made this tart for a vacation dinner last night, and it was too good to wait to share. [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:74] … [Read more...]

Blueberry Whole-Grain Kamut Scones

Blueberry Scones Made with Kamut Flour

I’m a rusher. I do things quickly. Case in point, sometime years ago, I read about a cool cookbook, emailed it to Tim as a part joke, part serious suggestion of something he buy me for an upcoming gift, and as soon as the note left my draft screen, I forgot about it. On to the next thing. Good thing he didn’t though because that’s how Breakfast Lunch Tea joined my cookbook hoard last August, when he gave it to me as a birthday gift. It’s such a fun cookbook. Written by a bakery owner, it’s super spare and minimal in style but filled with highly tried and tested recipes and the kind of inspiring headnotes that say things like “everyone loves these at the bakery” or “this is one of my favorites.” I loved it afresh when he handed it to me last year, and I loved it afresh again last night when we got talking about it and I immediately jumped up from where we were sitting to grab it from its home on our waist-high wooden bookshelf in the dining room. Soon the two of us were talking about … [Read more...]

Simple Summer Tomato Cucumber Salad

food loves writing cucumber tomato salad

Summer 2014 will go down in my mental history books as the summer when: Tim and I drove a friend's beat-up truck to East Nashville so we could load my old roommate's queen-sized mattress and box spring, strap it in as best we could with ropes and gravity, then truck it back down the highway like those crazy people you never want to wind up stuck behind, praying it wouldn't fly off. It will be the summer both my old roommates moved away. The summer of days so hot, sweat layers on sweat. The summer I did things like look up the owner of a property on public records, cyber-stalk him and email a "Hey, have you thought about selling your place?" The summer of sweet old ladies like Edna, whom we met this week, who lived in her house for 50+ years and whose husband worked on airplanes and who is only trying to move now because he died last year. The day after I met her, I sat at Provence with my work buddies, thinking about people who can't get out to coffee shops in the middle of the day, … [Read more...]

this is how I like my French Fries (+ some links)

baked french fries

Up next in Things That Are Better Roasted with Coconut Oil: French fries. I'm such a sucker for matchstick potatoes, roasted with coconut oil, salt and pepper, little else. Greek potatoes are nice and I can get down with a good breakfast hash, but tall and skinny French fries are my fave. I'm talking about the kind that are 90% about the cutting and 10% about everything else. It's a similar method to what we do with sweet potatoes, and it's so simple I've almost talked myself out of posting it, especially after watching a screening of the fancy-food-centric Hundred-Foot Journey movie tonight, but it's summer and everybody wants easy food, and besides that who doesn't like French fries, so here you go, along with some also hard-not-to-love links, below. Other things worth noting: + When Tim and I first met, I was blogging here, and he was blogging at ETTLT.com. ETTLT stands for Eat Today to Live Tomorrow, and although the site took a hiatus for awhile, while Tim … [Read more...]