I am developing a love affair with La Tartine Gourmande. Reading this beautiful website reminds me that the parts of life that I tend to summarily dismiss as being appealing yet unavailable to me—the rich, delicious, simple pleasures I sort of associate with rural living, destroyed by city commutes and the brain-buzzing confusion of balancing work and home—are in fact always there, if only I make room for them. If I take the time to slow down and appreciate the moments as they come. If I elevate, instead of minimize.

Food is such a lovely thing. I hate that I so often make it a convenience, a something to stuff in the mouth without thought.

Speaking of food, I had an insanely good meal with my friend Ashley tonight. JB’s out of town and it seemed like a great time to call on our beloved babysitter, smack dab in the midst of a long solo-parenting weekend and all, so Luciana came over and I went pelting out the door at top speed to meet Ashley for dinner at Boom Noodle. Boom! Oh, it was SO GOOD. My plate of udon came with these crazy paperthin shavings of dried fish bits—what they describe as “dancing bonito flake”—and they curled and waved on the heat of the noodles like a living thing. Deliciously creepy, a salty little zombiefied carpet of yum. And it was such a wonderful mental cache-dump to be out and about with a good friend, no kids in tow, just bullshitting and peoplewatching and relishing our freedom.

The weekend is chugging along. It’s hard being on my own with the kids, but there’s a part of me that sort of craves hogging all those boysnuggles to myself. (When Daddy’s gone, I get to wear that gold medal for a little while. Silver’s not so bad, you know, but everyone loves being number one.) I feel like today was a little too heavy on the TV side of things; tomorrow I’ll try and . . . you know, elevate. Find something bigger to do.

The boys are asleep right now and the only sound is the dog half-snoring nearby and the muted click of my fingers, type type typing to you. It’s nice, and man, this is why those 6 AM wakeup calls are KILLING me—because I can’t stand to go to bed early instead of enjoying this time.

So hey. Let’s talk about food. Tell me, what’s the most wonderful thing you’ve eaten recently?

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Jinxi
13 years ago

I just had an Orange Chicken-Less dish at our favorite little vegan restaurant and it was divine.

It looks like Boom Noodle has some vegan options too. Woo hoo!

Enjoy the quiet time while the boys and dog are sleeping. =)

Ginger
13 years ago

At home, it is hard to beat buttered egg noodles with sea salt. Simple and oh so right. A slice of cheese toast with my evening internet can be so heavenly. What I want to go out for soon is tuna tartar, a special handroll at one local sushi place – it is raw tuna chopped fine, with Japanese mayo, flying fish eggs, green onion and a whisper of hot chili oil. I could eat that until it oozed out of my ears. Not a vegan, obviously.

honeybecke
honeybecke
13 years ago

We’ve got a family tradition of picking the crab apples right in the perfect window of time–they have to stay put long enough to ripen to a ruby red, but not long enough that the frost gets them, so the best thing I’ve eaten lately is the homemade crab apple butter I made ever so Ma Ingalls-like.
It’s all-spice and tarty goodness.

So glad you had a wonderful time last night. That noodle description made me hungry! Aren’t girlfriends the best? I also had a great night with a girlfriend last night, we watched Twilight for the umpteenth time and spent the whole time talking about the little quirks and details about what we like and what bugs us and it was very satisfying and very twi-geeky.

Melissa
13 years ago

Pasties (with a soft “a” – not to be confused with the things strippers wear)

Locally, it’s eaten with catsup, though I’ve seen it blasphemously served with brown gravy

Recipe link: http://kenanderson.net/pasties/cornish.html

p.s. We usually make ours with ground beef (because we’re poor and have many mouths to feed) and it tastes GREAT.

sara
13 years ago

We went to Delancey tonight in Ballard. Came home and had a piece of pumpkin pie made from an actual pumpkin we grew in our yard – crazy good.

Kate
13 years ago

Today we went to an apple orchard to get some apples – turns out they weren’t a u-pick farm – but they had a tasting area and I tasted the YUMMIEST apple. It’s called a tsugaru and it’s the #2 highest rated apple in Japan. SO GOOD. It was so crisp and the first burst of flavor was sweet and then it melted into a bit of spicy tartness. And they also had this Honeycrisp Apple Cider that was virtal liquid heaven. I can’t even describe it. The kids were climbing up me to take away my tasting cup. So naturally we bought a half gallon for an ungodly amount of money ($4). And it’ll be gone before Monday.

If you come up my way, I’ll point you in their direction!

Kate
13 years ago

Can you share your grandmother’s pastie recipe please??

willikat
13 years ago

My god, the farmers’ market. About four months out of the year we get amazing, amazing food. I walk down there every Sunday morning and buy armloads, ARMLOADS of veggies and fruits. Ripe, juicy tomatoes, sweet carrots, sweet gypsy peppers, corn on the cob, tangy, crisp kohlrabi, sweet snap peas, firm green beans, soapy-citrus cilantro, fingerling potatoes, Thai basil, sour-sweet Zestar apples….and …. no more Farmers’ Market. I relish those memories through the frozen tundra into the next growing season.

Sassy
Sassy
13 years ago

Just about anything at Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle. Lately I’ve been digging their pear danish. Ssooooo good it’s like time stops.

Leslie
Leslie
13 years ago

I have trouble matching pastas with sauces so I was really pleased with the lemon-pepper pasta with pesto and chicken I made last weekend … and will repeat tomorrow night.

theGoriWife
13 years ago

Ramadan just ended a few weeks ago and I ate these Pakistani fried vegetable fritters called pakoras almost every day for a full month beforehand. It’s hard to remember after that much fried-ness, but they’re sooo good. It’s these crackly-crispy spicy wafer thin potatos dipped in a thick batter made from chickpea flour and eaten fresh and hot and so crispy that biting into them is like glass shattering, and then you dip them into this cool-cilantro-yogurty-garlicy dip. Mmm mmm mmm.

Maggie
Maggie
13 years ago

Where shall I start? Live in LA, no kids…and BF & I are huge foodie. The most recent amazing dish? 1 of 10 courses of a tasting menu, corn ravioli w/ lobster…but soooo much better than this sounds. Also, at a new French restaurant that is just pushing the envelope of food combinations…a “foie gras composition”, including the classic favorite, seared foie gras…and then, OH THEN…foie gras with marshmello and foie gras with chocolate. Oh yes I did just say that. Amazing combination that you would never dream of, and yet, they both worked spectacularly!

Chaya
Chaya
13 years ago

I made this buttermilk ice cream: http://tinyurl.com/dzbzxn on Friday, and oh, my. I may never go back to plain vanilla. It’s the perfect combination of tangy and sweet.

Also, pomegranates just came into season here in Israel, and the seeds are such pretty little tart jewels (they’d probably go great with that ice cream. too). It takes a few minutes to get the seeds out of the rind, but it sharpens the anticipation of the taste.

Jennifer
13 years ago

My husband (who would be a gourmet cook if he could afford to quit his computer job and just do anything he wants) put together this fancy apple pie from Alton Brown’s recipe:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/good-eats/super-apple-pie-recipe/
Ohhh it was so wonderful. 5 kinds of apples, minimal sugar so it wasn’t all sickly-sweet. Tasted fresh and delicious and appley.
And lucky me, he’s all pumped to make it again because “he didn’t get the crust quite right.” Yay!

Jo
Jo
13 years ago

Yay, I love these food stories!

I’m doing a chef’s course at the moment and last week was Lamb Week. On Friday we made the scrummiest Thai Marinated Lamb Salad, omg, so good! The marinade had lime juice in it which I would have never thought would go with lamb but it was divine. Ooh, and dessert was apple flan with creme anglaise. Honest to god, I could have drunk a vat of the creme anglaise, it was *that* good.

Sonia
Sonia
13 years ago

Funny you should ask tonight….just got back from Tommy Bahama in Wailea. Coconut prawns, nut crusted goat cheese (heh) and ahi tuna steak, rare, with demi-glace and shiitake mushrooms. For dessert? Pina Colada cake.

*Burp*

But last week was even better. Sansei Sushi in Kihei, Maui. We’ve been back 3 times now in our 2 week vacation, and made absolute pigs of ourselves there. Haven’t found anything bad on the menu yet. But just to be sure, we’ll go again on Monday.

Who’s a gloaty gloaterson? MEEEE! Seriously though, we’ve been eating WAY too much good food on this trip, and enjoying the hell out of it.

Saw on your Twitter page that you went to Lush? Is there one in Seattle?!! I just discovered Lush…on this trip, in Lahaina. How sick are you of me right now? ANYWAY….picked up the sea salt scrub and OH EM GEE!!!! Gooooood stuff.

Clover
Clover
13 years ago

The hub and I are in Ocean Shores this weekend for our 5th anniversary. If you’ve been here, you know choices are limited. Tonight we tried Alec’s by the Sea (the A is a little sailboat on the sign) and I had the seafood fettucine alfredo. It was SO delicious – I have half in the fridge right now temping me (and NO I am not thinking about the caloric intake of it all). Salmon, scallops, prawns, other sea creatures plus fettucine and alfredo sauce… YUM

Clover
Clover
13 years ago

er – “tempting”… ptttthhhh

mnerva
mnerva
13 years ago

Hmm, I think the most recent great dish I had was while I was in Vegas (well actually Henderson, we stay off The Strip) at a steak house called Hank’s. It was a filet mignon accompanied by seared scallops in a beurre blanc sauce. SOOO delicious!! Sometimes the basics are the best.

AndreAnna
13 years ago

Last night, my husband and I went to a traditional Ethopian restaurant. The food there was probably the best meals I’ve ever had. I wish I could even describe it accurately or do it justice. There was another couple and we each ordered a sampler – one seafood, one meats – and shared it.

They were both GIANT plates with 10-12 different meats/sides, huge pieces of shrimp, beautifully cooked fish, lamb, chicken, beef. You eat all of it with these large pancake type things, no utensils. You rip them into pieces and use them to “pinch” your food. There were greens and carrots and cornmeal type sides and it was all so beautiful and delicious.

Here’s the website if you’re interested in the cuisine at all.

http://www.makedas.com/

bibliogrrl
13 years ago

pssh.

Who needs cooking? It’s autumn, and I just had a beautiful Cortland apple up in my face. If I wasn’t broke (grr rent week) I would go to the farmers market and buy all the apples I could carry home. I’ll do that NEXT weekend.

Caitlin
13 years ago

I went to a cupcake making class last night with some girlfriends, and then we met up with our husbands for dinner afterward. EVERYTHING tastes better when you’re laughing with good friends, and the whole night was about food. But the bibb lettuce/manchego/shaved apple/toasted pecan/honey-balsamic salad I had was good all on its own.

Last weekend, it was the amazing chicken-pot-pie-from-scratch my chef husband made, with my apple crisp for dessert. And again, everything tasted better because we had it in our house, with good friends and laughs, over a couple of games of scrabble while the rain was pounding down outside it was warm and cozy inside. I love fall.

Shawna
Shawna
13 years ago

We went for Thai last night that was divine: rich yellow curry chicken and potatoes, red curry shrimp with pineapple, and a fish dish with an amazing sauce that I scooped over rice even after the fish part was devoured that I only know as #21 and wish I knew the proper name of so I can be sure to find it again.

It was my husband’s and two best friends’ birthdays so there were yummy cupcakes at home afterward that I made from this recipe:
http://bakingbites.com/2007/09/devils-food-cupcakes-with-vanilla-cream-filling that Jessamyn put me onto. I’ve not had a ton of luck with the filling (it makes it almost too buttery and I haven’t been able to nail the texture I think it’s supposed to have) but the cake and icing combo is divine.

Shawna
Shawna
13 years ago

(Mental note: check thesaurus for other words that mean “divine”.)

Emily
Emily
13 years ago

A la Tartine Gourmande, lobster — at Moby Dick’s in Wellfleet on Cape Cod, with a side of corn on the cob and littleneck clams. Book a plane ticket NOW.

Heather Buckner
13 years ago

My mom’s butter tarts!

Sharon
Sharon
13 years ago

Cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan. I’ve never tasted such delicious buttercream icing.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

My Husband’s lobster rolls. Better than any lobster roll you can get at a resturant. He does all the cooking.

Scott
13 years ago

Portland. A restaurant called Clarklewis. Fresh, local greens with blue cheese & candied walnuts, pasta with a lamb ragu, and pear vanilla sorbet. OMFG. Everything was super simple, which meant you could taste every little thing. So good.

kakaty
13 years ago

You would never guess but Cleveland is quite the foodie mecca, and we have loved exploring what it has to offer since we moved here 2 years ago. So – recently we have fallen in love with The Greenhouse Tavern which is very farm-to-table oriented and the menu changes with what’s available. The first favorite thing is their ethereal Crispy Chicken Wings which aren’t the typical overcooked chicken drenched in sauce -they are crispy outside and perfectly fall-off-the-bone juicy inside with a nice kick of garlic and scallion heat and not a drop of sauce in sight. The last time we were there they were featuring a Blue Crab Gnocchi with local corn and if I weren’t in a restaurant I would have licked the plate clean – it was that good. OMG, I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Along those lines I recently had lunch at a French bistro, L’Albatros, and for $10 had a huge bowl of the plumpest, most wonderful mussels I have ever had in my life. I’ve had mussels up and down the east and west coast and have never had them as good as this. I was wowed and don’t remember any of the conversation I had during lunch because I was so focused on the perfection of the mussels. Soaked up every last drop of broth with the homemade bread they served, yum! Okay, now I need to figure out when I can go back..

On the simple side, right now nothing can beat a local Honeycrisp apple paired with a nice slice of local sharp cheddar cheese from the farmer’s market. It’s been my nightly snack for nearly 2 weeks now.

Sharla
Sharla
13 years ago

There’s this little Vegetarian/Vegan, Asian flavored restaurant in Downtown Orlando called The Garden Cafe. Love it! It’s one of my absolute favorites. I think my favorite dish right now (and the one that always keeps me from trying something new) is the Tuna with Black Bean Sauce. They make these mock tuna fillets and drown them in the tastiest black bean sauce, mixed around with mushrooms,steamed broccoli and carrots. Delicious! It’s making me hungry right now! Pretty much everything I’ve tried at that restaurant is amazing so far. If you’re ever in Orlando you should look it up.

Jaime
13 years ago

I had a 7 oz thinly sliced prime rib in Yellowstone Park a couple of weeks ago that is still making me drool. It was perfectly cooked, perfectly tender and juicy, and perfectly paired with some very good mashed potatoes.

CBO
CBO
13 years ago

Today is gourmet day at our house. We’re having brawts parboiled in Guiness, then grilled with apple-smoked bacon wrapped around them. Served on rolls with goat cheese, spicy mustard, fresh chopped tomatoes and some roasted poblano.

Yummy.

Jan Ross
13 years ago

My daughter is a fabulous cook and is always bringing things over to our house that we love. She made this great cake recently and we are still begging her to to make it again. (I can never seem to duplicate her fabulous recipes.) http://www.examiner.com/x-10387-Easy-Meals-Examiner~y2009m7d14-Cinnamon-beer-cake-recipe

She Likes Purple
13 years ago

Two things, one was a mushroom risotto at a seafood place in San Francisco (La Mar) and then a chorizo queso at a Mexican place in Sacramento.

Best thing I’ve cooked lately has been a tortilla soup from Everyday (Rachael Ray’s magazine).

Chrissy
Chrissy
13 years ago

I love this entry, it’s so full of gratitude.

I just recently moved to Brooklyn after graduating college this past May, and it’s essentially my first earnest foray into the “real” world (however mythic a construction that may be, not to get all John Mayer on you.) I’m dead broke, and still finding my way and my routine and my friends and uh, a paying job here as I work as a lowly unpaid intern, but overall, I love it.

So. Last night, happily, peacefully alone on a Saturday night, I cooked up a simple but sooo satisfying dinner. I went to the enormous Union Square farmer’s market (OMGLOVE) on Friday, and carefully, frugally got a few things. A sullen, over it teen weighed my fingerling potatoes (mix of red and white) halfheartedly and I got twice what I paid for–sullen teen, FTW! So last night I roasted them up with rosemary, and roasted another market buy, heirloom tomatoes with basil, and ate the whole savory feast with sautéed chicken breast. It was amazing, so fresh and exploding with flavor and the kind of thing that makes your soul do a happydance on a chilly fall night.

Like I said, I’m dead broke–and have a whole city of culinary adventure at my disposal, with very little funds with which to explore it. But while eating little meals like that? I feel undeniably, gratefully rich. Mmmmmmm food.

Chrissy
Chrissy
13 years ago

Ps. OMG Sharon: Magnolia YES. I went there recently after not having been in a very long time, and for a second was like, wait are these even that good, or are they just over-hyped, let’s be real here. The second I took a bite I quickly remembered the magic and my foolish thoughts were replaced with OH YES, YES THEY ARE.

justmouse
13 years ago

Nothing too new or exciting, but had a huge tray of sushi from the little place at the mall. avacado rolls, cucumber rolls, yam rolls, and a HUGE serving of tempora veggies. the boy had salmon & tuna sashimi. was fresh and delicious, and the tempora was so hot we laughed at each other trying to eat it without burning our tongues. it was fantastic. but now that i think of it, i don’t think it was the food so much as the afternoon spent with my boy laughing, and philosophizing, and people watching, and generally being dorks.

also yesterday, bought myself a Fancy chocolate from the way overpriced hand-made chocolate place at the big new tacky mall. was dark chocolate and crystallized ginger. ate it in the front seat of our beat up old pick-up truck, holding hands with my husband on our Date Day. was devine.

Maria
13 years ago

This isn’t something I’ve had recently, but as soon as the weather starts to get cold here in NE I start thinking about my grandmother’s eggplant parmesan. This is interesting timing, because I’ve been thinking about making her recipe for several days. There’s nothing really gourmet about it, and it’s not exactly healthy…but oh my god it’s wonderful. It takes like 3 to 4 hours to make (thinly sliced little round pieces of eggplant dipped in egg, bread crumbs, and seasonings, and fried in oil…repeat repeat repeat) so I do not make it very often. The thing is, while it always comes out awesome, I never get it quite right. I suspect my problem is I do not have her old seasoned cast iron pan. The location of said pan is a mystery since her passing. But still, it comes out pretty close, and every time I make it I am rewarded with heart warming memories of my childhood.

Jill
Jill
13 years ago

Right this minute I am eating rice crust pizza. A real treat for someone who doesn’t eat wheat.

Sarah
Sarah
13 years ago

Uncharacteristically, both of the most delicious things I’ve eaten recently have been meat (heh). THe first was a delicious piece of filet mignon at a small Italian cafe in Portland’s Pearl that was so perfectly cooked that I easily cut it with a BUTTER knife. YUM. The second was a fabulous lamb and pork sausage from SuDan Farms at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. Served straight off the barbeque on a stick. PERFECT!

Penny
13 years ago

We went to an italian restruant last night and the tirimsu (sp) and canoli’s were heavenly… all fresh and so fattening….

amber
amber
13 years ago

My grandmother came over yesterday to see my new house. She brought a loaf of cardamom bread from Home Baking in Astoria. It looks like a braid with raw sugar on top. I ate a third of the loaf, spread with real butter and a cup of coffee. There aren’t many foods that bring me back to childhood the way that bread does. Except maybe grandma’s Swedish meatballs… Thanks for the trip down memory lane and the reminder that that what we put in our childrens mouths will be a memory for them someday as well.

warcrygirl
13 years ago

I recently volunteered my services at church; between me and two others the church was able to print in-house our most recent church directory. As a thank you the minister took us out to Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon where I got to eat a Bubba Burger (thick burger, cooked to order with cheese, BBQ sauce and strips of bacon) and steak fries. Not gourmet my a long shot but I didn’t have to fix it myself, I didn’t have to clean up and it wasn’t fast food. PLUS I got to have adult conversation that didn’t involve the kids or scouts or PTA or anybody else’s kids. Man I need to do that more often.

Swistle
13 years ago

I made chocolate milk with double the Nesquik, and then I mushed up vanilla ice cream in it.

Shannon
13 years ago

I can attest to the deliciousness of Maria’s eggplant parm. She made it for my family during a particularly tough time and it was much appreciated and much devoured!!!! I was never an eggplant parm person before then but I got the recipe and I’ve been making it since!

For me a recent meal that was particularly memorable is Ravioli’s with Balsamic Brown Butter My local grocer had some pumpkin ravioli and I made this sauce and topped with parmesean cheese and pinoli’s…so Yummy! And besides the ravioli (which I usually have cheese ravoili in my freezer) all ingredients were on hand.

Meggish
13 years ago

I went to the Westside Tavern in Santa Monica with some friends last weekend, and we shard this side of mashed sweet potatoes and kale. And you might think “eew, kale” (at least one of us did) but srsly, they did something to that kale that I suspect bent the laws of physics. It arrived *standing on top of the potatoes*, and was all crispy and salty and flaky. Like potato chips, only nutritionally righteous. Mm mm mm.

Mary
Mary
13 years ago

My husband has this funny habit of getting obsessed with a food and buying a ton of whatever it is. (The week it was beets–that was an interesting gastrointestinal experience.) Right now it’s apples, and we suddenly had eighty gajillion apples in the house. So I made a huge steaming hotdish of apple crisp and Sweet Jeesus our house smelled wonderful, and I covered it in a blop of cold vanilla ice cream and every bite reminds me that there is, indeed, a loving God who has created the most simple and splendedly enjoyable things.