Blue Corn Muffins with Honey Butter

DSC_0131Growing up, my mom made corn muffins and my dad made cornbread. There is so totally absolutely a difference–cornbread is not sweet, it pretty dry, and you make it in a cast iron skillet. Corn muffins, however, are a little sweet, more moist, and can have actual corn kernels in them. I love both cornbread and corn muffins. They both serve their own purposes, and I appreciate both for their own qualities. These corn muffins, made with blue cornmeal, are soft on one hand, crunchy on the other. They have a little bit of sweetness from the corn and a tiny bit of sugar. They’re breakfast or dinner. And the honey butter, oh my God. Honey and butter belong together. It’s a match made in heaven. Continue reading

Easter Egg Roundup

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs--the Kitchn

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs via the Kitchn

This Easter, I’ll be celebrating with waffles instead of Easter eggs. I just got a waffle iron this week, and we’re having friends over to have breakfast for dinner tonight. So, I’m not dying any Easter eggs, but I have been running into these really cool ideas for eggs, and I wanted to share! Even if you just appreciate these eggs for a few minutes and skip the part where your fingers are all dyed blue for days and smell vaguely like vinegar, I think that’s cool. That’s my plan this year. The first option, from thekitchn.com, are dyed with natural dyes–vegetable scraps, in fact! Aren’t the colors great? Between beets, turmeric, red cabbage, and onion skins, you’ll come up with a variety of great colors. I think these would be really fun for an older kid Easter egg hunt because they would actually be hard to find outside. Continue reading

Tortilla Soup

DSC_0586A few months ago, Jason and I went out for dinner at the Mexican place here in Carrboro. It’s sort of a hole in the wall (hole in the strip mall?) and we had never been, so we gave it a try. I was planning to order some kind of standard Mexican restaurant combo plate, but saw tortilla soup on the menu. Now, to explain my decision, I have to say that there is a Mexican restaurant in Wilmington that has tortilla soup that is to. die. for. It’s cheap, cheesy, a little spicy, a perfect for weeknight dinner. It comes with chunks of avocado and it’s always exactly the right thing. Always. Admittedly, I chose it with high expectations from the little place in Carrboro that I have no previous experience with. I didn’t know how disappointing it could be.  Continue reading

project 365: week ten

This week is technically last week. I did that thing where I thought I had time to do everything and then learned the hard way that I, in fact, do not always have time to do everything. A classic case of over-booking. Anyway, here I am, with my week ten pictures.
muffin Very much of my week looked like long lists and notes to myself. This, however, was a high point among the craziness. A sweet potato muffin and a cup of hot coffee. Continue reading

Book #25: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

628x471I love Barbara Kingsolver. I’ve read most of her books–excluding Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and The Prodigal Summer. This one is her most recent, and it totally holds up. The novel is set in modern Appalachia–East Tennessee, specifically. The protagonist, Dellarobia Turnbow, is a young mom who married her overgrown child-husband when she got pregnant in high school. She and her husband Cub were rushed into marriage, a home on the corner of Cub’s parent’s property, and a sheltered life in their mountain holler. At 28, Dellarobia is on her way to cheat on her husband when she sees walks into a scene she doesn’t at first understand. Continue reading

Books #23 and #24: Truth and Beauty and Autobiography of a Face

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I put these two books together and decided to write about them at the same time because they’re like best friend books. Truth and Beauty was written by Ann Patchett about her friendship with Lucy Grealy, the author of Autobiography of a Face. Diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma at nine, Lucy Grealy spent two years undergoing weekly chemotherapy and radiation.  Most of her jaw was removed, leaving her face disfigured. She lacked half of her jawbone, which caused her face to appear sunken-in on one side. She was left with irradiated bone surrounding her remaining jaw that would not allow for grafts or transplants to re-create a jawbone. After undergoing one major surgery after another, her replacement jaw would look great for a year or so, then slowly dissolve into her face, leaving it looking like it did before the surgery.

As for Grealy’s book, Autobiography of a Face, I really loved entering the world of a fearless little girl faced with so much to be afraid of. Her story was honest, painful, and real. Although she never really seemed to understand what her own experience with cancer would mean for the rest of her life, she had no choice but to face it–and to live with the memories and scars that it provided. Autobiography is a story of self-identification and self-awareness at its heart. As Lucy familiarizes herself with her own illness and her own face, she struggles to find her place in the world. It’s when she’s in college at Sarah Lawrence that she first feels comfortable in her own skin and comes to know and own her face.

It’s when Lucy starts grad school in Iowa that she meets Ann Patchett. They both went to Sarah Lawrence, and Ann remembers Lucy, but purely for the fact of her renowned oddly shaped face. When the two arrive in Iowa, they become fast friends. More than that–according to Truth and Beauty, they become inextricably linked to one another. Continue reading

Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

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Did you know that you can bake with coconut oil instead of butter? I did not know. I was almost positive that these cookies were going to be weird, flat, crunchy discs that tasted too coconutty–like sunscreen. Somehow, despite all my misgivings, these cookies are absurdly tasty (and easy to make). The coconut flavor is present, but it allows room for the sharp bite of molasses and the sweet/salty combination of the turbinado sugar and sea salt on top.  The cookie itself is dense and chewy without any of the raw softness that sometimes plagues chocolate chip cookies. I can’t imagine a better result.  Continue reading