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Ragu alla Bolognese


I went to a wedding recently, and the man giving the homily said this thing that I wrote down, he said, "Tell each other the story of being someone who has been loved well." 

Or something like that. 
And I thought, what a beautiful thing. 
The story of someone who has been loved well. 


I've been thinking a lot about marriage recently, maybe because all of a sudden, people my age and a little older are starting to get married, and I’m seeing all these newlywed people pop up in my facebook feed, and also in my real life. 
Some of them are even having babies. 
And it's all so magical and wonderful, but at the same time-- 

what. 

I mean. 

What. 

And the sort of quiet realization that the people you meet and maybe wake up next to and spend your minutes and hours and days with, does it all suddenly matter more? Is this the big leagues of life? Has it always been the big leagues and I just haven’t been paying attention???

It all suddenly seems much, much more real. 

The story of someone who has been loved well. 

In addition to being recently obsessed with the whole concept of marriage, I've also been obsessed with recipes that are stupifyingly simple. Because painfully and perfectly simple things are usually the best. So fuck crazy spices, fuck elaborate and trendy and especially fuck everything to do with quinoa. (I keep trying and I keep wishing and the supposed actual taste-goodness of quinoa keeps not happening.) 


But this ragu. 
This humble meat sauce with pasta. 
This is it. 
Like most painfully perfect simple things, it takes time and a little heartache and attention and also confidence. Because you have to be gentle with it, and you have stir it for forever, and you brown everything, and let juices evaporate, and then, most importantly, you let it simmer for a million years.
By the end of making this ragu, you’re basically in a relationship with it. 
And that’s okay. 

Baby, I’m wishing you good things. 
But more than that, I hope you know that you already own the story of being someone who “has been loved well.” 
You are already that person. 
You really are. 
But if you feel like maybe you need a little boost of confidence, then make this ragu.  
You’ll like it so much, you’ll wanna put a ring on it. 



I love you. 



Ragu alla Bolognese 
via TheWednesdayChef.com and her book My Berlin Kitchen 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, finely minced
2 large carrots, finely minced (you want roughly equal amounts of minced onion and carrot)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup red wine (open a fresh bottle and drink the rest with dinner)
1 28-ounce can peeled San Marzano tomatoes, pureed
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1) Put the oil and butter in a large cast-iron pot over medium heat, to melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 7 minutes, until the onion is well cooked. Do not let it take on any color. Add the minced carrots and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring now and then.

2) Add the ground meat to the pot, and using a wooden spoon, stir and chop up the meat so that it cooks and breaks down into uniformly tiny pieces. Raise the heat to medium-high or even high as you do this. It takes a good amount of elbow grease and a little bit of time. Continue to stir and cook until the meat is no longer pink (at no point, however, should the meat be browning). There will be liquid at the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until that liquid has mostly evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.

3) Add the wine and stir well to combine. Simmer until the wine has mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.

4) Add the pureed tomatoes and the salt and stir well to combine. The sauce will come to a simmer almost instantly. Lower the heat to the lowest possible setting, put the lid on the pot, and let the sauce simmer for as long as you possibly can, stirring it occasionally. Seven hours would be wonderful, 5 hours is pretty good, but any less than 3 and you're really missing out. The longer you cook the sauce, the richer and more flavorful it will get. At some point in the cooking process, the fat will separate from the sauce and float at the top, so just give the sauce a good stir every so often to reincorporate the fat.

5) At the end of the cooking time, taste for seasoning and add more salt, if needed. Then serve tossed with pasta or use in a classic lasagne (this recipe makes enough for a 9 x 13-inch pan).

Chicken Curry with Cashews


My whole life I've struggled with self-doubt. 



I've wasted so much time asking myself "Am I worthy?" of work and love and questioning over and over and over again if I am enough or capable or deserving. 

So much doubt. 

I don't know why. 
I don't know where doubt comes from. 
Fear, I guess. 
And specifically the fear of failure and pain. 

I don't doubt myself when I cook. 
Because there is something to measuring, there is something to learning how to knead bread, and follow a recipe-- that makes my doubt melt away. 
Because all you have to do is whatever comes next, and that is enough. 
That's all you can do. 
And if the recipe is bad, or you mess something up, fundamentally, it doesn't really matter. 

So I like taking risks in the kitchen. 
Because why not? 
Because thinking that I'm not capable of cooking something is stupid and only leaves me hungry. 
So I made my first ever curry, because surprisingly, I had all the right ingredients.  
And I made it and I liked it. 

And making it made me feel capable. Like I was enough. 

Of course, doubt comes back to me, all the time. 
It's a problem that all the curries in the world probably can't solve. 
But maybe. 
Maybe with each new recipe,  I'll keeping doubting a little less, until all the doubt is finally gone. 
I hope so. 

I love you. 

XOXOXO




Chicken Curry with Cashews
from Gourmet Today by Ruth Reichl 

NB: Though the recipe calls for a cut-up whole chicken, you can use an equivalent amount of chicken parts or all thighs. 

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) chicken, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 10 serving pieces (breasts cut crosswise in half) 
1 (14 to 15 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
3/4 cup cashews (toasted or raw) 
2/3 cup whole-milk yogurt 
garnish: chopped fresh cilantro
accompaniment: basmati or jasmine rice

Heat butter in a 5 to 6-quart wide heavy pot over moderately low heat until foam subsides. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, cumin, and cayeene and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring to coat, for 3 minutes. 
Add tomatoes with juice and cilantro and bring to a simmer; then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes. 
Just before serving, pulse cashews in a food processor or electric coffee/spice grinder until very finely ground (do not grind to a paste). Add to curry, along with yogurt, and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. 
Serve chicken over rice, sprinkled with cilantro.  

Sweet Potato Fries



Right now. 


Right now, I am relearning how how to spend days alone with myself. 
And I’m trying to figure out if a Friday night ever made me truly happy and if I should part my hair to the left again and if I can drink coffee on an empty stomach (I can’t) and that I like waking up in the morning and walking alone and also that I like howling along to the same three CDs I keep in the car. 
These are tiny, quiet things. 
Sometimes, life is very quiet. 
I’ve been trying to not write too much. 
And not think too much. 
Because I am trying to be light. 
Just do the best for the day, and let that be enough. 
And not get bogged down in futures or pasts. 
Because otherwise it is all so difficult. 


So the leaves are rosy again and November looks and smells and tastes exactly the same. 
I’ve been eating a lot of apples lately and not doing anything in the kitchen because the mental forethought that that takes is kind of beyond me. 
I’ve got three sweet potatoes languishing in my cupboard that I wanted to make sweet potato fries with, but I keep forgetting which spices to buy. 
However, you should make them, because you will be popular and famous if you do. 
That is a promise. 
And darling love, Thanksgiving is just a few days away. 
And I am so thankful for you, so thankful for the more than two people who have returned to read about recipes here. 
It means a lot. 


Be safe. 
I wish you only the good things. 

xoxo

Roasted Spiced Sweet Potato
from The Gourmet Cookbook

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds medium sweet potatos, scrubbed
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Put rack in middle of oven adn preheat to 425 F.

Coarsely grind (or finely chop) coriander, fennel, oregano and red pepper flakes in coffe/spice grinder, a mortar with pestle, or chop them together very finely. Stir together spices and salt.
Cut potatos lenghtwise into one inch thick wedges. Toss with oil and spices in a roasting pan and spread out in one layer. Roast for 20 minutes.
Turn wedges over with a spatula and roast until tender and slightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes more.


new york city finds me.

Beloveds, 

I am in New York City. 




And I am eating bagels and arepas and pastries and so much coffee. 
I've breakfasted, brunched, lunched and suppered. 
I ate sea urchin that tasted like the ocean was giving me a kiss and I drank sangria that tasted what nectar must taste like and I ate biscuits and pickled beets and fried chicken all in the same meal. 
I ate a croissant that came in an actual puddle of butter. 
I ate pizza with crust that was more of a crisp than a crust. 
I ate scrapple. I still don't really even know what scrapple is. 
Margaritas with fresh squeezed orange juice. Campari and prosecco with lime. 
Bread and butter. 
And I ate macaroni and cheese from a box one day when I was too tired to go out and feeling childlike and lonesome. 



What is this life. 



I think I am very happy for the first time in what feels like a very long time. 

I don't feel like looking back and discussing what has been.
And I don't feel like looking forward and asking what's next. 
I just want to be

I read this quote a while ago, from one of my favorite musicians, a man who goes by the moniker Shakey Graves. 
He said, 

"I am what I am, and with this old knowledge of new places I stand on the verge of wandering the earth until I am found. 
I am soon to be found."



I love this.
I believe it. 
I have believed it for so long. 
That you can be found. 

You are never so lost that you cannot be found. 

Whether it is by New York City, or a person to hold you, even just sharing a meal. 

You can always be found. 




And right now, I feel found. 


Places to Eat in New York City and Brooklyn 

Marea
240 Central Park S  New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-5100

Egg Restaurant 
135 N 5th St  Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 302-5151

Marlow & Sons
81 Broadway  Brooklyn, NY 11249

(718) 384-1441

Jacob's Pickle
509 Amsterdam Ave  New York, NY 10024
(212) 470-5566

Momofuku Milk Bar 
561 Columbus Ave
New York
(347) 577-9504


Ost Cafe
441 E 12th St  New York, NY 10009
(212) 477-5600


Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 E 7th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-2314Epicerie Boulud 
1900 Broadway  New York, NY 10023

(212) 595-0303
Petrossian Boutique and Cafe
911 Seventh Ave
New York, NY

(212) 245-2217