If I tell you what I did today, you will be totally jealous. Ready? I took a pasta making class with Mrs. Wheelbarrow. Taking a class with Cathy was on my culinary resolutions list from 2011. So, finally, a few years later, I can check it off. It was totally fun, informative, and tasty. Cathy really knows her stuff and shared lots of helpful tips. We made pasta dough, ricotta and potato gnocchi, and, my favorite, spinach and ricotta gnudi. Oh, and how could I almost forget? We also made super fancy raviolis with spinach, ricotta, and a soft boiled egg gently placed inside. You cut into the ravioli and it runs a river of creamy, yolky deliciousness through your pasta, creating a creamy sauce. How impressive is that?
Since I knew I would spend a lot of time in Josie's nursery --sitting, singing, soothing--I required a comfortable chair. The problem with nursery gliders are that most of them are dumpy and unattractive. I wanted a pretty chair that could serve as starship baby, a command center I could sit in comfortably for hours. After what seemed like an eternity shopping around, I finally found one I liked at Pink and Brown, "an organic trendy children's boutique" in Old Town Alexandria. Those are not fake quotes. As in, their words, not mine. The store is absurd. I say absurd, not because of their tagline (which is absurd), but because the store is absurdly expensive. But also, they sell absurdly cute things, like onsies so tiny a medium sized pear would complain it was too tight.
Wait, why am I talking about baby stuff again? I'm getting to the food part, soon, I swear.
I'm a big fan of Cava Mezze, a local restaurant mini chain that began in Rockville and now has outposts on Capitol Hill and in Clarendon. This growing and benevolent empire has a product line made up of tasty dips that you can buy at Whole Foods. You already know I'm a fan of the harrisa. This week at Whole Foods, the sample lady (my favorite kind of lady) offered me a bite of Tzatziki served on Stacy's Pita chips. Tart, creamy yogurt with bits of garlic, dill, and cucumber. Sold.
The "Shepherds of Cyprus"bring you halloumi, "the cheese that grills." How can you resist a tag line like that? I mean, seriously, who are the Shepherds of Cyprus? Are they gorgeous, brawny men that raise goats (or cows, or sheep, where ever halloumi milk comes from)? They sure sound like it. Do they look like Russel Crowe in the Gladiator (not Russel Crowe in The Insider)? Makes you want to buy some, doesn't it?
Putting aside the brilliant marketing, grilled halloumi is summer's favorite cheese. It cooks up quickly. It's perfectly salty. It balances vegetables without adding meat to the grill, so your veg friends will love it.
I've never really thought of myself as a collector. Things like beanie babies, Hummels, or White House Easter eggs, make me snicker. But recently I've noticed quite a few owls cropping up in my presence. I'll admit it: I love them. I can't help myself. Recently I played a game with my neice. She had to run around the house and find the owls. She found nine. Crazy owl lady. That's me.
Here's the thing, now that I'm a crazy owl lady, people buy me owls. ALL THE TIME. Isn't that nice? Here are a few owls hanging around my kitchen. The first one is a butter dish (above); it's from West Elm and it's on the way. It goes perfectly with my mid mod place mats and teak serving ware.