Potato Fritters with Roasted Zucchini, Cucumber Corn Salad & Cumin Dill Yogurt Sauce

potato fritters with csa vegetables

I've fallen into the habit this summer of roasting whatever vegetables we have on hand for dinner, usually with just coconut oil, salt and pepper, sometimes with one or two other spices from the cabinet added in, and then arranging them all on a plate like they're fancy. These potato fritters are a perfect example of that. At first glance, they seem elaborate, but when you get down to it, they're really just local vegetables arranged and barely adorned in a new way. There have been times in my life where I've thought that arranging a plate---or picking out an outfit or cleaning the sink or organizing a bookshelf---is a shallow, silly, empty thing to do. It's not reading a book. It's not deep discussion. It's nothing cerebral or heady or life-changing in and of itself. Nobody looks back at the end of her life and says I wish I'd made more dinners prettier. And yet somewhere in my soul I think I've always also known that you can't argue with the way it hits you when someone … [Read more...]

10 Things + Pumpkin Pie You Can Drink

pumpkinpiesmoothie

A few notes from here in Nashville, here in this first week of October: 1 / An autumn that’s all big mums and our neighbors’ porches filled with pumpkins, right alongside bare feet and sundresses. 2 / A few blog updates, some obvious (design changes) and some not (new hosting). If anything seems wonky when you stop by this space, it probably relates to one of the things we’ve changed, and we probably don’t know—so please tell us. 3 / A a new library book I’ve been waiting for, an interview with its author (posted here) and my favorite quote from that interview: “My description of this room will differ from your description of this room will differ from everybody else’s description of this room because we are limited and graced by our own pair of eyes, the things that we notice in the foreground versus the background—That’s the beauty of creative work.” 4 / A good chunk of time thinking about this story, especially because of one line about always wanting everyone to … [Read more...]

Sweet and Spicy Squash Noodle Soup

EARLER TONIGHT, I FOLLOWED TIM OUT OUR KITCHEN DOOR and down the driveway to the garage, where we both got in the car. He turned the key in the ignition, looked at me and asked, "Where are we going?" and I shrugged with a "Anywhere you want!" So he backed out passed the chain link fence where our neighbor's flowers grow and the giant bush sprouts a spider's web longer than my height, pointing the car anywhere and nowhere, warm Tennessee air flowing through our open windows. We followed I-24 West to Shelby, which is a confusing thing to say because Shelby is East Nashville, and we live in South Nashville, but to get there you take I-24 West. In East Nashville, we cruised down Gallatin and eventually down the street where I used to live, passed my old yellow bungalow that I already have a hard time remembering, just over two years after I left. And somewhere between the piece of pumpkin vegan cake we ended up sharing from Wild Cow on the Jeni's patio and the soup bones we ended up … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Cake + Pumpkin Trifle

pumpkin wedding cake | FoodLovesWriting.com

Exactly one year ago today, Tim and I were up in the Chicago suburbs, driving out to the DuPage County courthouse to lift up our hands and solemnly swear that we were who we said we were and get the nice lady in the sea of cubicles to hand us our marriage license, our marriage license! I remember walking out of that building, into the crowded parking lot, hand in hand with Tim and thinking, our marriage license! It’s official now! Not just in terms of a giant dress in the closet and a chalkboard seating chart, but, as in, according to the government, we’re actually about to do this thing. Three days from now, we’re getting hitched! I know I’ve said this here before, but, seriously, there are so many more details involved with planning a wedding than I ever would have imagined, and, when you plan your wedding fast, like we did in six months, you learn to scrap a lot of those details in the name of staying sane---like a wedding cake maybe. We had pretty much ruled it out, thinking … [Read more...]

The Best Pumpkin Bread You’ll Ever Have

Remember what I said before about pumpkin being the kind of fall you could eat? Well, it’s still true---only, OK, listen: this hasn’t just been any fall. This year in Chicago, fall’s gone above and beyond. Literally. Yesterday was the third day in a row where temps soared into the 70s. Yes, you read that right: 70s! In late October! While the trees are already ten shades of orange and red! I went somewhere last night and had to take my sweater off, that’s how warm I was. It’s the kind of thing people talk about wherever you go---church, the grocery store, chatting on the phone---as if, no matter what your feelings or indifference about this crazy gorgeous season that transitions from the long daylight of summer into the snow and frost of winter, one thing remains, at least this year, at least where I live: autumn’s got your attention. I guess the same could be said of many things, from football to TV shows to the pleasure of reading a good book: the die-hard lovers will … [Read more...]

blue skies on a Saturday

I have been trying to write this post for the better part of two hours. I keep writing something and deleting it, writing something and deleting it. To be honest with you, I guess that is because I don’t know what to say. A dear friend of mine got some very bad news this last week, the kind you never think you or someone you love will get, and she has been on my mind ever since. I wish you could meet her. I wish you could know the kind of friend who extends grace when you don’t, who challenges you by example, who makes you laugh out loud with her stories. The kind of friend who, when you show up unannounced at her doorstep Wednesday night, welcomes you inside, no questions asked, comforting you more than you are comforting her, demonstrating faith in the One Who Made Her as you recount specific Providences together. … [Read more...]

it’s come to this

It's not very interesting to hear that someone's content or that she's counting her blessings, but that's really all I've got for you today, all frustrations and disappointment eclipsed by other, fuller emotions, so I'm sorry. What can I say? At least there's a recipe at the end. This weekend, I went antiquing in Gurnee (where I bought seven white plates, a gift and a vintage camera, all for under $35!) and had dinner at Cracker Barrel, after which I fell asleep in the car, just like I did when I was eight. I stayed up late watching television, I went to church, I phoned an old friend from freshman year who still makes me laugh like crazy, and the skies were always blue, and the sun bright, and people I loved nearby. One of my best friends went on a first date this weekend, too, after we spent the morning shopping, and she looked so nice, I was so proud of her for giving it a shot, and even though she and the guy had an only OK time, the whole thing reminded me how much I love … [Read more...]