Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy Happy, Daddy!

This is my Dad. He reads my blog every day, and Tuesday was his birthday.

I love my dad for lots of reasons. Some of them are:

1. He's incredibly handy. A couple of years ago, he made a career switch- he had done all sorts of work with cities and small governments (my dad loves things like zoning laws, the most boring thing on earth), but then he decided he wanted to have a contracting business. Now he and his guys build gorgeous fireplaces and cabinets and rooms.

2. When we were growing up, Dewey and I lucked into one of the most hands-on dads around. He took us on camping trips and, best of all, coached all our sports teams. (He even taught himself how to play soccer so he could coach those teams!)

3. My dad is exactly the person you want to have around in an emergency. I have never seen anyone else react so calmly to the most stressful situations. We all depend on him for that, and we're all grateful for it.

4. My dad also makes really impressive birthday cakes. The one he made for Dewey's third birthday had three tiers and dalmatian spots, and it was delicious.

5. My dad is more generous with his time than anyone else I know. Need someone to pick you up at the airport at two in the morning? He's your guy. Same goes for someone to take you out to breakfast and help you study at 5:30 on the morning of a big test.

6. My dad taught me about music. When I was fifteen, he drove me to school every morning (which was unusual because everyone usually just took the T), and we listened to Simon and Garfunkel and Dylan and the Beatles, and my musical taste was born.

Happy Happy, Daddy!
I'm so glad you were born.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The weekend started with breakfast on the back porch

The weekend started with breakfast on the back porch, and just got better from there.
There were trips to the BPL, pedicures, and the beginnings of a blog redesign. Going into work today was really hard- I started so many projects over the weekend, and I just wanted to go home to work on them. Alas, sometimes even I must act like a real grownup.

Tomorrow is a double birthday day- my dad AND my friend Marissa, and have tons to do at work. I'm busy busy busy.

Okay, getting loopy. Time for sleep. Good night!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Happy Friday, friends!

Tonight, Emily and Ben and I are going to go eat dumplings in Chinatown, then at 11 o'clock, I'm picking Lisel up at South Station, and we'll have a weekend of adventures. I can't wait!

How about you? Anything fun in store?

p.s. Aren't these ranunculus gorgeous? I'm sort of in love with them. Not to mention, they were only a dollar a stem!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010



It occurs to me that I've told you about making biscuits on Saturday mornings, but I haven't directed you to the recipe I use.
"But Abbie," you say, "I already have a recipe for biscuits! Everybody has a recipe for biscuits. Why would you even think about posting a recipe?"
I would think about posting a recipe because this is, quite simply, the best biscuit recipe out there. You don't cut the butter into the flour, so they don't ever really have the opportunity to get tough like biscuits often do. They come together really quickly- if I start making them at 10, I am spreading butter and jam on them at 10:30.
Try them sometime. I find they go especially well with a cup of coffee and a good novel.

Best Drop Biscuits

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon, but my roommates and I prefer sweet biscuits. 2 1/2 tablespoons makes them sweet without being sickeningly so.)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold buttermilk (I usually just add some lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly.

1. Heat oven to 475°F. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk and melted butter in a 2-cup glass measuring cup, stirring until butter forms small clumps.
2. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with a fork until incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.
3. Using two large tablespoons, scoop biscuits of your desired size onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. (Note: they will expand while cooking; space biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart). Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes for medium-sized biscuits.
4. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool for five minutes before serving.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Here is what I think:

1. All this ballet flat weather is a beautiful thing.

2. Green trees are good for the soul.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday, friends!

Today is Patriots' Day, which means that here in Boston, some of us don't have to go to work. It's also the day of the Boston Marathon, which is possibly my favorite sporting event all year. My roommate Anna and I are going to go watch the elite runners race down Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay in a couple of hours. I can't wait- I haven't seen Boston live in years.

I'll leave you with this breakfast nook. I can't stop staring at it- can't you imagine yourself sitting here on a lazy Saturday morning, drinking coffee and eating baguette and reading the newspaper? (An actual paper newspaper, not the New York Times online, which is all I ever read anymore). Heaven.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Busy Day Cake

Glee is back, Glee is back! I found myself getting hopelessly addicted to Glee last season, like, oh, half of America. I was borderline distraught when it went on hiatus, and so, so happy when it came back.

My friend Emi came over on Tuesday to watch with the roommates and me, an occurrence which obviously necessitated the making of cake. She'd never been to our apartment, see, AND our favorite show was back. Two things to celebrate. Plus, it had been a year since I'd made busy-day cake.

You all read Orangette, right? If you don't, you should start. Molly's descriptions of food and the stories that go with them are so wonderful, so luscious, so nice, if you will, that I often find myself cooking the dishes she writes about within days of reading the posts. Such was the case with busy-day cake. I will never forget my roommate coming into our tiny kitchen, the one that housed the bunnies and looked out on the most charming tiny backyard in the world, to ask me what I was doing making cake at ten o'clock at night. But, you see, I had read what Molly had to say about Edna Lewis and the busy-day cake, and I had to have it. Once you read that post, you will, too, and you won't regret it: served with sliced strawberries and a glass of milk, it makes a delicious high-school-musical-melodrama-watching snack. The next morning with a cup of tea, it makes a delicious, if indulgent, breakfast. It's all gone already, but I'm already planning to make it again next week. I won't let it be a year in between times again.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Springtime Walk

Yesterday was so gorgeous, it seemed like it was a good time to take another lunchtime walk.

Magnolias are my favorite

I am obsessed with the cupcakes at The South End Buttery.

I love all the brick in the South End

The South End is such a gorgeous neighborhood, with such a rich and fascinating history* (not to mention delicious cupcakes), I am always so inspired after these walks. I need to keep that in mind for grumpy days.

*True story: I wrote a paper about the history of the South End for my City of Boston class in ninth grade.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, everybody! I am on the Dartmouth Coach, headed to Dartmouth for a little visit with a family friend who
is going on a college tour. It's rainy and a little grey right now, but I have faith that the sun will poke through for at least a little bit of our trip, so Hjoerdis can see just how beautiful Dartmouth can be.

How about you? What adventures do you have planned this weekend?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On Inspiration


I am a huge magazine fiend.

I love buying them at my favorite newsstand (I know subscriptions are so much cheaper, but seriously, who wouldn't want an excuse to go to this place whenever possible?). I love reading them while I drink a latte on the patio at Hi Rise. When I'm done reading them, I love cutting out all of the most beautiful pictures and sticking them in the back of my moleskine, then gluing them down in exactly the perfect combinations, creating portable inspiration boards for every mood.

Lately, though, I've been so busy I haven't had time to go through and pick out the images that spoke to me, so my magazines have been piling up. The stack was getting to be nearly a foot tall- just thinking about it overwhelmed me. This is not ideal for something that's supposed to be inspiring. So last night, I came home, changed into shorts and a t-shirt, threw open my windows, and sat down.

I haven't been this inspired in quite some time.

Seriously, you should try it some time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring has burst into Boston.


Today after lunch I sat in the park by my office for twenty minutes, drinking a latte and marveling at all the pretty that surrounded me.

I foresee a lot of outdoor lunch breaks in the coming weeks.

Spring! part 2

Friday, April 2, 2010

I have always wanted to be one of those people who can look at a pile of ingredients and invent a meal. The idea of doing that seems so creative, so delicious, but it's never really been something I could do- I'm more of a "make the same three things for dinner every night for months, get sick of those, and then find three new things to eat on repeat" kind of person. For the most part, this system works well for me- I am definitely a creature of habit, and buying the same things each week certainly makes grocery shopping a very efficient endeavor, but I miss the element of spontaneity that many cooks enjoy.

Tonight, though, I think the warm weather got to me. I was inspired. I knew I had a bunch of kale I needed to use up (perhaps the last of the season!) and upon further thought, I remembered a cup of lentils in the pantry and some sausage and homemade chicken stock in the freezer. Soup! I could make soup!

It all came together surprisingly quickly- forty-five minutes, tops. With a juice glass of two-buck chuck and a hunk of bread from the most adorable little foodie store right down the street, it was the perfect early spring meal.