Green Monster Ranch

Ahh springtime… Colorado is warming up, the days are getting longer, and the moth population is exploding. Few things make me miss Boston more than feeling like I’m living in the middle of a mid-west biblical plague.

“A quarrel is like buttermilk, once it’s out of the churn; the more you shake it, the more sour it grows.”
-Irish proverb

It’s almost a good thing that Nick isn’t here right now because I know my shrieks and attacks of pure panic as they dive bomb my head while I attempt to watch a movie in my own living room, would only get me annoyance and looks of disdain from him… Much like the looks he gets from Sox fans as he walks around Yawkey Way with his Yanks cap on. Now THAT’S what I call a segue!

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Apple Cider Vinaigrette…

“Tart words make no friends; a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Apple Cider Vinaigrette with Mixed Greens and Cranberries


_ _ This recipe is amazing, I love vinegar and it goes surprisingly well the sweetness of the cider to make a light and tasty dressing, perfect for Fall and pairing with dishes like my stuffed pork chops, to cut the heaviness!

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Not “Just” Mayo…

“Such young unfurrowed souls roll to meet each other like two velvet peaches that touch softly and are at rest; they mingle as easily as two brooklets that ask for nothing but to entwine themselves and ripple with ever-interlacing curves in the leafiest hiding-places.”

-George Eliot, Adam Bede

Garlic Basil Aioli


_ _ I recently had a friend make fun of the fact that “aioli” is just a decorative word used to get away with serving people more expensive mayo… Fair enough. But when you add things like garlic and fresh basil into the mix, it’s so much more than just mayonnaise; it no longer makes me want to die at the thought of dipping vegetables in it; it makes me feel like a fancy lady. And to your friends who don’t know what aioli is, it sounds like you put in a lot more effort than throwing a couple of ingredients into a blender.

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Fresh Bruschetta…

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.” 

-Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Tomato Bruschetta With Garlic & Basil


_ _ As I’ve mentioned (read: whined about) before, being in my mid-twenties I feel that although I’m starting to find some direction, I’m still having trouble pinpointing what exactly I want to do with my life. Since the time I began writing, I’ve always been able to take scenarios and imagine them with great precision, and I became better and better at putting these images into words… but I have yet to write a story with a satisfactory ending; I can set the scene, but when it comes to driving the tale with a plot, I’m at a loss.

            He stumbled outside, catching his sneaker on the lip of the step. Turning back he glanced into the smoky darkness. A red light pulsed somewhere in a back room. The only moving figure was a man slouched over the counter turning his head to mumble a slurred query at the sudden fresh air let in by the door now swinging shut. As the rusted tumblers fell back into place he finally withdrew and took in his surroundings. The alley he now faced was little different than the scene he’d been part of inside; the smell of years of garbage permeated the area and empty cans of cheap beer littered the ground. Only the slight rise and fall of what appeared to be a pile of newspapers indicated another living being might be present. He looked around feverishly pausing after every turn of his head, waiting for his vision to shiver back into place. No one could have seen him exit. The old surveillance camera that had been mounted atop the building countless years ago had a dirty white tee shirt thrown over its lens, yellow stains circled the underarms and spread partly onto the chest; he wondered briefly what its owner hadn’t wanted filmed. It was still early evening, light enough to see, and he made his way down the backstreet snapping his fingers in an unconscious, agitated movement.

_ _ Not too shabs, right?  I’m using this factoid about me as some sort of loose metaphor for the stage of life that I’m in—I have areas of interest that are coming into focus, but as far as a long term plan, things are still painfully unresolved. Cooking remains my one constant, and despite my quest for a career being complicated at times, this recipe couldn’t be simpler.

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Hold On To Summer…

“…the butlers set the silver domes in from of them. The lights had dimmed, and the lids were whisked away. There, on the plates, Bern saw the tiniest bird carcasses imaginable, browned and glistening with butter. There was a collective gasp; L’ortolan, a woman murmured, her voice thick with longing.”

-Lauren Groff, Delicate Edible Birds

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions


_ _ I have the ultimate “grass is always greener” attitude: when it’s summertime and I start sweating on the walk from the front door to my car, I find myself longing for the cozy sweaters and excitement of a first snow… in the winter, when I’m shivering in bed and trying to warm my popsicle toes against my boyfriend’s legs, I think fondly of the warm sun and curse the itchy sweaters and unending sleet. So, since I’m always trying to improve myself (I’m so close to being perfect), I’m going to appreciate the present–carpe diem! These caramelized onions are so delicious on top of summer’s BBQ burgers and if your friends and family try to tell you they look like a certain earth-dwelling invertebrate– tell them you won’t stop singing until they take a taste… “No body likes me, everybody hates me, I’m going out to eat…”

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