Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Potato Leek Lemon Thyme Frittata

A couple of nights ago my dad and I made a potato-leek-lemon thyme frittata loosely based off of this recipe.

On Sunday after a secret tip  I headed to the Hardware Store for some local, fresh produce from Lancaster County farms. Yes – you read that right – the Hardware Store! For produce! Between the cash register and the door knob selection was a sprawl of muddy red potatoes, wiry green beans, deep maroon colored cherries and pale green, marbled watermelons. Outside near the rakes and lawn mowers nestled in giant wood crates lay plump, bright red tomatoes, ears of corn, zucchini or courgettes as they say in French (how cute right?) and cucumbers. I also managed to snag a (free!) lemon thyme plant from Whole Foods. They let me have it for free because there was no price tag, but I’d like to think it was a complimentary customer appreciation gift. I am pretty sure I am single-handedly keeping them in business…

After searching for recipes that included lemon thyme I found this one and decided it would be hearty enough for my dad to want to eat. As soon as we got home from work, we went to work. Rinsing leeks, chopping onions, peeling potatoes, cracking fresh eggs (with bright yellow-orangey yolks!), sprinkling parmesan, sautéing, whisking, slicing and dicing. The smell of sizzling leeks and onions in olive oil (natural aphrodisiac) and the heady aroma of lemon thyme infused potatoes had me a wee bit dizzy. I was also majorly hungry. After reading this book, I’ve decided to limit my snacks to one per day, that way I eat more heartily at meal times. But I was (and have been) struggling a lot with that concept. I managed to limit my pre-dinner snacking to only a few bites of some vegetables here and there and a spoonful (ok, or 5) of some black-truffle infused hummus. (It’s the after dinner before bedtime snacking that really gets me.)

This recipe is a bit unusual as it calls for a vinaigrette on top of the frittata. My dad pointed out that much of the recipe such as preheating the oven to 200 degrees celcius pointed to the possibility of it being a European, most likely English, recipe. The spring onion vinaigrette on top of the frittata was an interesting and nice twist. The recipe was a bit “oniony” for my taste though and if I made it again I would definitely use less onion in the vinaigrette and less leek, and make sure to have fresh parsley instead of dried parsley.

Now, what to do with the two whole drawers of produce still in our fridge…   Ratatouille, anyone?

P.S. here is the recipe we went with:

For the frittata you will need...
2 tbsp. butter
2 leeks (whites only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced) *If you are using leeks for the first time, keep in mind that they look like giant scallions. Also, you MUST rinse them or bathe them in water to remove sand-like sediment. 
2 cloves of crushed garlic
8 sprigs lemon thyme with leaves picked 
2 large russett potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm pieces
1 tbsp dried parsley (or 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley)
1/2 cup parmesan
8 eggs

For the spring onion vinaigrette you will need...

2 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
1/2 tbsp. dried parsley (or 2 tbsp. fresh)
2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. honey
1/4 cup olive oil

To make the vinaigrette simply place all of the ingredient in a food processor and mix until combined. Season with s&p to taste. 

As for your frittata... first preheat oven to about 375. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a frying pain over medium heat. Add leaks and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until leeks soften.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining tbsp. of butter in an oven proof frying pain over medium high heat. Add the thyme, potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and drain on a paper towel. Add half of the potatoes to the leek mixture and season.

Place parsley, parmesan and eggs in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour egg mixture over leek mixture and stir gently.  Transfer the pan into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until your frittata is "firm but slightly wobbly in the centre (it will continue to cook)." 

Top with the reserved potatoes and drizzle with spring onion vinaigrette.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality,
a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy’s wing.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Slow & Subtle

I dare someone to watch this video and not feel at peace. Also, I would like to have an experience and meal just like this some day! Happily, I would even oblige for that day to be my wedding day :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Me & Dad
Wise words from my Honest Tea bottle cap
 New Panama chapeau
Hilarious sign in Bed, Bath & Beyond
Curious flower that reminded me of the human spine
A helpful book that I want to apply to raising myself

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's Ok

Yesterday I was having “one of those moments” that come frequently when you are having “one of those days.” Someone said something to me in such a way that it made me feel approximately this big. Except. They didn’t make me feel anything. I did. And after feeling sorry for myself for about 10 minutes (and texting a friend and calling my mom) I decided I would go outside for a breath of fresh air. I walked to and around the park. I smushed my face into a bouquet of baby-soft blue hydrangeas and inhaled deeply.  I sat in the moist, warm grass in a spot of sunshine. I watched as a little toddler-aged girl ran back and forth and back and forth through the grass, from the bench where her Nana sat watching her, all the way up to the hedges that rim the park from the sidewalk. I watched her trip and fall onto her hands and knees. I watched her rise shakily, her voice breaking at first until she realized that Nana had not seen her fall (or atleast was not reacting to her fall.)

“I’m OK, Nana!” she said waving both hands in Nana’s direction, “I’m ok!”

And WHAM! It hit me. Chills, starting at my temples, around to the back of my skull, down my jaw, to the back of my neck and shoulders, to the outsides of my arms, to the outer edges of my legs. Tingling in my toes.The threat of tears prickling and stinging behind my eyes. A whoosh of warmth bursting in my chest. A smile tickling its way onto my lips. “Nana,” I smiled. A teeny sparrow as big as my palm flew from behind me and landed right in front of me – inches from my folded legs. I could have touched it. I saw every fleck of brown in its feathers . It looked directly into my eyes and hopped even closer jerkily twitching its head side-to-side as if to ask, “Ok?”

“Yes, Nana. I’m ok,” I smiled.

A year before she passed, my Nana suffered a severe stroke that left her almost entirely paralyzed and unable to speak. She used her eyes to convey emotion, used her good hand to squeeze yours reassuringly, she nodded and sighed, and repeatedly sang this three syllable song to us daily:


"It’s Ok," she would say, tilting her head down and up in one strong and swift motion, in what I imagine was her way of saying, "end of story."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Life Lately

Me & Stephina
An apt and timley message from the steps of the Art Museum
Mom & I at the new Barnes Foundation location!
Peace bracelet from lou lou Boutique in Washington, D.C. from Taylor

Also this weekend? This. This happened.

An improtu photo shoot at another one of my favorite boutiques, Gingy's,
that just opened their second location in Stone Harbor, NJ!
(don't you love the Missoni-style bandage skirt and the breezy, grey silk shorts??)
 They sure know how to make you feel special over there! Thanks again, guys!

Friday, June 8, 2012

"The world is made up not of atoms, but of stories" - Muriel Rukeyser

There are so many stories I want to tell you.
stories I made up,
stories that happened to me,
stories about the other side of the train tracks, 
stories I am afraid to tell,
stories that made me slip and fall,
stories that make my mouth water,
stories that freeze my insides,
stories that tell me I am no good,
stories that tell me I am awesome (*side note: I am neither. And I am both.)
stories that momentarily remove my face from my head and my head from my body,
stories that remind me I have blood and a pulse,
stories about the man I saw fishing for stars in the Schuylkill,
about the dragonfly - as big as a hand! - that we found stuck in the doorway,
the little girl who found her hips and her self at the Italian Market,
a man carving glass circles for a wood circle in the grass,
about the ball game and the Win and the brandest-newest pride I felt sputtering in my chest like a rusty old boat motor brought back to life,
the flowers - oh the flowers! - stuck deep in the soil, spilling onto the streets, climbing up walls, wedged in cement,
about the double Bowl of Beauty peonies who burst into life the same year their owner was diagnosed with cancer,
about the ashes of a leaf that were caught, suspended and held in a spider web,
that quiet grey morning on the train on the way into work,
about the peace, and the softness from a nothing-is-right-but-nothing-is-wrong-either-and-that-is-ok kind of moment
the view from the steps of the Art Museum and how it always makes me feel like I can fly,
about the naked stone woman who hugged herself and loved her thighs in front of every one,
about the masterpiece painting waiting to be painted but the painter is too afraid to try,
the butterfly who let me take her picture (she loved my brightness and jumped at my shadow,)
about the drive-by shooting,
the biker who I saw fall on his chest in the middle of a busy, city street -
(and how I dropped everything I was carrying to clutch my own chest,)
the two hours of Latin dancing on oily and slippery and sweat-laden floors,
the "right" words,
the "wrong" moment,
the kiss at the stop sign

“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter until they bloom, until you yourself burst into bloom.”

A Little Alliteration

Mirrors . Mare . Mallows . Molten . Melting .

How's that for some alliteration, eh? My 8th grade Language Arts teacher would be so darn proud. Ya know who would also be so proud? Harry Houdini (or Criss Angel or whatever) - by my remarkable ability to make it seem like I sliced my body clear in half in that first photo with the two mirrors. True story: I had a magic kit as a kid. Oh, and a doctor/dentist kit. There was a brief period of time where I actually ran around wearing a white lab coat, pulling out my own "half-loose" teeth before they were actually loose... (I figured that if they were going to come out anyway, I might as well get the pain over and done with on my own time thankyouverymuch.)

Unrelatedly, here are some things I got into this past weekend:
- saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - magnificent!
- went to FARMiCiA (and ate pretty much everything on the menu because it was all tremendously tasty)
- went to Frankford Hall where Mariana and I roasted marshmallows with giant steel skewers over a fire pit cauldron (Mariana wisely noted, "I can't believe they have these here with drunk people." She was referring to the skewers, not the fire pits - although I think the same could be said for those too...)
- visited a cool art shop in Northern Liberties that had framed songbooks from the turn-of-the-century that I am still dreaming about...

Well, that's all folks!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One Memorable Day

That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.

- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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