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I have food on my mind. I’m nursing like crazy and that makes me hungry. I’ll never ever lose my post-pregnancy weight if I eat every time I’m hungry.

My last post was a crispy tofu recipe from my mom. I also emailed some pals and asked them to share some easy recipes and I got a ton of really good and simple ones and even some funny suggestions like “I have this amazing recipe called seamless.com but it’s pretty complicated so maybe you guys should work up to it?” from my friend, author Gemma Burgess.

Another friend Aran Goyoaga is one of the most talented cooks, bakers and photographers in the world and maintains the gorgeous site Canelle et Vanille. You can’t see all the comments on the last post because I’m having a problem with the back-end of both Maquette and my portfolio site so stay tuned for that to be fixed.

In the mean time I want to share Aran’s ideas because they’re beautiful, hearty, and definitely something on my agenda for this blustery autumn and impending winter. Plus, Thanksgiving is coming up and these two recipes would be perfect! Thanks for sharing Aran. XOXO.

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meringue with a layer of rose-flavoured cream topped with pomegranate jewels

I’m on the hunt for some yummy and easy recipes. I usually throw veggies into the pan and stir-fry them with sea salt, pepper, olive oil and some herbs and serve with pasta, quinoa or rice and a protein like tempeh or tofu. When I first had Vivian friends dropped off some yummy dinners for our family such as veggie lasagne (thanks Liz Libre) and the ingredients for assemble-your-own soft tacos (thanks Linsey Laidlaw). Having prepared food in the fridge makes life so much easier. You can just grab it, heat it up and serve.

Last night I went to my favorite event of the month, articles club. We talked about these articles: On Cooking for Others, Why I’ll Never Cook Again and What If You Just Hate Making Dinner? They inevitably led to scintillating conversations about our familial food histories, motherhood and guilt, how we run our own family’s meals and our tips and ideas for fast family dinner. So I thought it would be fun to share some recipes with each other and get some ideas cooking (both literally and proverbially).

I want simple recipes with less than 5 main ingredients, preferably stuff we might already have in the fridge. I’m hoping for pretty healthy ideas with a protein (as I’m a vegetarian). I can’t wait to hear the club’s ideas. If you have any you’d like to share please do so (on your own blog and leave the link here in the comments or just share an outside link).

One of the article’s club girls works for Apartment Therapy and touted their site The Kitchn. I definitely plan to do some hunting and gathering there. Do you have a favorite site for simple, yummy, healthy recipes?

Here’s my mom’s Crispy Tofu with Sesame Asparagus or Green Bean recipe:

A coating of panko is the secret to these ultra crispy tofu triangles. A delicious sweet and tangy dipping sauce accompanies the tofu… 4-6 (4 as a meal or 6 as a snack )

Ingredients:

  1. extra firm tofu
  2. 3/4 hoisin sauce
  3. 4 Tb seasoned rice wine vinegar
  4. 3/4 tsp. Asian chili garlic sauce
  5. 2 lg eggs
  6. 4 tsp Asian sesame oil
  7. 2 cups panko
  8. 1/2 c cornstarch
  9. 5 TB corn oil
  10. 1 lb. asparagus or green beans (trimmed)
  11. sesame seeds
  12. salt

Prep:

  1. Slice the tofu crosswise in half and then on the diagonal so each piece of tofu yields 6 triangles. Arrange triangles on thick layers of paper towel and put paper towels on the top and press out the water.
  2. In a small bowl make the dipping sauce. Whisk hoisin, vinegar and the chili sauce..set aside.
  3. In another bowl beat the eggs with 2 tsp sesame oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Put the panko and the cornstarch on large pieces of waxed paper. Dredge each triangle of tofu in the cornstarch, shaking off the excess then in the egg mixture and then in panko, setting the triangles on a plate as you finish each one.
  4. Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large non stick skillet over med high heat. When the oil is hot add as many triangles as fit into the pan and cook turning once until golden and crisp. abt 2 min per side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle lightly w. salt.
  5. Wipe out the skillet add the remaining Tb of oil and return to med high. Add the asparagus or green beans (that the campers have snapped the ends off) and cook 3-5 min. Add the remaining 2 tsp sesame oil and toss. Sprinkle w. sesame seeds.
  6. Serve the tofu with the dipping sauce on the side.

(author’s note: We recently did the same recipe but instead of pan frying the tofu, we baked it in the oven and it was still very yummy…just not as crispy.)

Above is one of my food illos (done for Stella Magazine).

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Have a happy weekend!

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My baby Vivian is nearly 2 months old now and already such a solid member of our family. It’s hard to believe she’s still technically considered new. It’s amazing the way humans adapt so quickly to new environments, new relationships, and other changes. Sometimes we get anxiety about how things are going to be when we see a change on the horizon but then change comes and becomes engrained in our lives in such a way that we could not imagine what life was like before. Right now there’s so much to rejoice about. I feel so very lucky to have my family and friends in good health, a flourishing career, and only good things on the horizon.

I hope your weekend is full of love, laughter, silly dancing, and perhaps a pancake breakfast.

“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”–Voltaire

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Uncommon Goods limited edition prints copy

I’m so thrilled to be able to share the news that prints of some of the most popular female characters in literature from my book Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines are now available exclusively through Uncommon Goods.

Limited edition prints from the original watercolors are available framed with a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by me. Prints are made with archival pigment ink, and a archival paper exclusively at UncommonGoods in editions of 200.

Characters include: Antigone, Anne Shirley, Ophelia, Juliet, Emma Woodhouse, Emma Bovary, Wendy Darling, Clarissa Dalloway, Alice and Anna Karenina.

Uncommon Goods prints2

“Celebrate the spirit of literature’s classic female figures with this limited edition series of character portraits. Each sensitively rendered and paired with timeless lines of text. They make thoughtful, empowering gifts for well-read women or anyone in your literary circle.”

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Happy Halloween

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Happy Halloween. We’re excited to trick-or-treat around our beautiful/autumnal neighborhood. It’ll be fun to ring all of the brownstone doorbells and see the neighborhood children in their costumes. Here are some beautiful but also spooky Halloween images and a dark little poem by Edgar Allan Poe to get in the spirit of the day. Happy Halloween!

From “Spirits of the Dead”:

Be silent in that solitude,

Which is not loneliness–for then

The spirits of the dead, who stood

In life before thee, are again

In death around thee, and their will

Shall overshadow thee; be still.

–Edgar Allan Poe

1. Anoush by Manray

2. Pumpkin by Yayoi Kasuma

Here’s a snap of me as a hippie gypsy on Halloween when I was Henry’s age. And, here’s Henry as a ghost pirate last year and the year before as Super Mario.

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