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

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_ _ 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

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_ _ 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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I Used To Think I Was Boring, But Then I Got A Lot More Boring…

“All the knives and forks were working away at a rate that was quite alarming; very few words were spoken; and everybody seemed to eat his utmost in self-defense, as if a famine were expected to set in before breakfast time tomorrow morning, and it had become high time to assert the first law of nature.”

-Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit

Chocolate-Strawberry Jam

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_ _ Despite being the target of significant mocking from my friends (who have now been downgraded to “associates” for their unsupportiveness), I’m proud to have channeled my inner 70-year-old woman this past week. Putting my slow cooker to more use than I had since I purchased it, I spent my days making chocolate-strawberry jam, homemade pizza sauce, and peach butter, as well as baking scones, homemade brownies, and handing out Werther’s candies to the neighborhood children… and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I spent the hours while the slow cooker was at work, watching an excess of “pawn” shows, including but not limited to, Antiques Road Show. I also successfully canned all these homemade jellies and condiments, and thus began my love affair with mini mason jars.

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Slow Cooker Peach Butter

“Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond…”

-Mark Twain

Spiced Honey Peach Butter

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Like the classic apple butter… but with peaches. Perfect for summer! Because this is a recipe done in a slow cooker, you should make it on a day that you can spend your time around the house.

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Slow Cooker Pizza Sauce

“The best of us must sometimes eat our words.”

-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

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Beautiful, dark red pizza/marinara sauce that’s so much better than store bought.

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Phonics Will Be The Only Thing You’re Not Hooked On…

“I love long life better than figs.”

-Billy Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra

Slow Roasted Tomatoes on Crostinis with Mozzarella

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_ _ Lazy food is just the best. Food that you can throw together and look like you’ve spent time preparing it, while really you just sat around in your pajama jeans and caught up on True Blood… This post is not autobiographical.

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