It’s been a Smitten Kitchen Day

This morning there were scones, gorgeous scones, from a recipe on smitten kitchen.

Then, after a morning hand washing sweaters and mending things (I know how to live, right?), another smitten kitchen recipe, chard and white bean stew, when I got distracted by the excellent poached egg tutorial and made poached eggs for lunch. Yum.

Back to the stew, I’m switching the chard out for a combination of greens and the recipe calls for hearty bread and a poached egg on top and, yes, that’s how I’ll serve it. More eggs, please!



Where I am a cheap date or Sofra fits the bill for a Tuesday dinner (and breakfast the next day)

I just decided that I am vain…about my blog. I am writing this post about dinner last night – even before I have taken any photos – because that ugly double down is the first thing you see when you pull up my site.

So, dinner. A rare (really rare) dinner out with my husband (during the week! without the kids!) and I wanted…a fancy candlelit dinner? Wine? Table service?  Nope. I wanted… Sofra. I am all about the food. Fresh, beautifully prepared food. Fancy does not factor – well, sometimes it is nice but this is what I craved.  Sofra is open until 7  p.m. and we  made it there from our house in just 15 minutes (the ride may have seemed longer to my husband as I was starving and maybe more than once might have mentioned it).  I have been wanting to go back since my like-minded foodie friend brought me here. I may have mentioned that to him once or twice, too…grin.

So even though we got there around 6:30, fairly close to closing time, the staff was unfailingly polite and lovely. We didn’t feel rushed (any sense of urgency was self-imposed) and had a delicious chicken schwarma and a wonderful stuffed flatbread and a gorgeous salad platter with extra bread  – always opt for the extra bread!   Their herbal iced tea was sweet and light and refreshing (I need no caffeine at this hour – old, so old!  – but rarely like an herbal iced tea when out) but this was perfect.  We sat at a copper topped table and shared everything and talked. It was really relaxing and exactly right for a Tuesday night in the ‘burbs.

Dessert is never an afterthought – for me, anyway.  I peeked past a stunning crumb cake and saw…three earthquake cookies left! I asked for all the remaining and was told there were more! I only got four, one for me after dinner, one each for the children and one more for me sometime tomorrow?  I had to compare them to the Chocolate Cinnamon cookies that I just made….these are different (more cake-like, brownie-ish) and so so good.

I also picked up some of their perfect hummus and the pale pale eggs of slightly different colors (I think of these as Martha Stewart eggs because that’s where I first learned that eggs could be so gorgeous). The eggs will be a later breakfast, I got a lemon poppyseed cake to have with my tea this morning. Maybe that is why I am up so early.
Sofra Bakery and Cafe on Urbanspoon

A job for litl webbook – Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts Recipe at Epicurious.com

rainbow chard preparation by capability momSwiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts Recipe at Epicurious.com.

I am dragging my laptop to the kitchen counter and upping the zoom level to 150% – this looks like a job for a litl webbook if I ever saw one.  The recipe looks great but leaving out pine nuts and changing golden raisins to cranberries (reason: a dinner guest has nut allergy and I don’t have golden raisins).

A rare warm sunny Easter and I wish I were a calmer hostess.

Dinner today was a feast – antipasto from Venda Ravioli , my roast turkey roulade (a little dry, truth be told), ham, spinach pie (my grandmother’s recipe), salad, broccoli and cheese casserole, pastea (another recipe from my grandmother), baked rice (recipe from Progressive dinner and orginally from my friend’s mom, Batia Gittelman) and a green salad. I forgot to put out the bread – sorry, family! Too bad, I had an interesting cranberry bread and Iggy’s rolls. We also had gorgeous cupcakes, a chocolate panetone, carmel apples, and lots of chocolate in many different shapes (bunny, egg, kisses).

I think I need to prepare more and stress less.  I ironed while watching Easter Parade but probably should have done that two days ago. Too many things were oven-dependent and luckily the timing worked but I should have split the stove top and oven prep stuff.  I need to breathe more and drink less caffeine (this is true in general, not just when we entertain).  Luckily my family is lovely and we all ended up on the patio soaking up the sun, while all the children played in the yard. Happy Holidays.

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