WineShelfTalker

Guaranteed to get you ‘suburban mom drunk’ and other funny wine reviews. (Thanks, Margaret, for the tip-off!)

A jaded look at what makes for a best-selling cookbook.

I’m always looking for a new way to roast a chicken. Besides having to clean the oven rack afterwards, I can’t find any issues with this! Looking forward to trying.

Finding truly ethical meat is like looking for nice apartments in the tony parts of Brooklyn, with demand way outstripping supply. Here, a look at some of the realities farmers face when having to scale up production.

Hate your tile backsplash but can’t afford to take it out just yet? Paint it.

ToDoListI’m interrupting this regularly scheduled program of food and drink to talk about an easy way I changed my to-do lists to help me feel more in control of my time. Hope you enjoy!

I’m a list-making junkie. I start my day by reviewing a to-do list and end it by creating one for the next day.  I think Bullet Journaling is just brilliant. I was this way before I became an entrepreneurial mom and now I’m even more diligent.

The problem is that sometimes, I over plan; I  jam too much into a day and feel defeated when it’s not all accomplished. I realized that I wasn’t building in time for the grunt work that surrounds many fun tasks. So, guess what? I started adding them all to the list.

For example, when developing recipes for my book, I put “clean kitchen” as a to-do. Why? Because before I did this, I’d finish testing the recipes on my list but ended my day with the kitchen in chaos right before I’d have to get my daughter from her babysitter. Then the kitchen would stay dirty until after she went to bed, leaving my husband with an unfair number of dishes to do at night or leaving me with a dirty kitchen to clean before cooking in the morning.

By adding “clean the kitchen” and other similarly boring items to my list, I acknowledge that these tasks are necessary parts of my day and then budget time for them. And, of course, I get the great satisfaction and happy jolt that only checking off a “to-do” can provide. (Fellow to-do list junkies will know the feeling).

Pasta is used as more of a sideshow rather than the opening act in this delicious summery mussels recipe.

This post could also be titled, How I got suckered into buying a $10 bag of pasta, again. Have you tried the pastas from Sfoglini? The company puts the dough through brass dies and extrudes fun shapes with textured surfaces that sauces love to cling to. When I splurge on this pasta, I like to use it as part of a dish rather than as the main component. That way, a bag of it lasts longer and a dish is often healthier (with more veggies and protein than pasta) to boot.

I most recently bought the Sfoglini Malloreddus, which look a lot like cavatelli but contain a bit of saffron. The shell shape and slight saffron flavor had me thinking seafood, so I added a few handfuls to some steamed mussels made fragrant with fresh, mild red chile; basil and tarragon. I also threw in some corn because, you know, it’s still summer, even though it’s September.

Wine pairing here is a bit tricky. The sweet corn tends to make dry wines taste pretty awful. The solution: A wine with a little bit of sweetness and a lot of acidity to go with the mussels. I like a slightly off-dry Riesling; something marked feinherb or kabinett from Germany is a good bet. Just make sure it doesn’t say trocken, which means dry. If that’s all just too confusing, get this wine. All you need to know: It’s a Riesling from New York and it’s delicious.

SfogliniPastaSfogliniPastaOpenBagSfogliniPastaDetail continue reading

The International Food Court at Knoebels!

The International Food Court at Knoebels!

I’m off to this fine place this weekend. Look for me on the log flume or, perhaps, with a plate of kielbasa and haluski in the international food court.

Yum. Cumin lamb.

What we all should make before tomatoes go out of season. Oh, and this, too. So, so tasty.

Apparently, it’s actually quite fine to eat most oysters in the summer.

I’m proud of my friend Jeni Britton Bauer and how she handled these challenges and changes in her ice cream business.

I’m the queen of signing up for 20-day self improvement challenges or 30-day yoga challenges. Whether I follow through on them is a different story. Here’s a fun one: A 20-day kitchen cleaning challenge. I’m up for it!