It’s finally Friday, and an absolutely beautiful day in the Bay. We’ve been promised some spectacular weather this weekend, and Sean and I are already dreaming about hiking in Marin tomorrow. We have tickets to the A’s game tonight, and I have an exciting Sunday dinner planned. I thought I’d jumpstart all the goodness by sharing with you some of the things I’ve been really loving this week.
1. These pickled cumin green beans were a Christmas gift from Sean. Yes, Christmas. I have no idea what on God’s green earth prevented me from opening them before now, but I was a fool, I tell you. These are a-a-a-mazing. I am imagining them chopped up in a hearty salad, topping off a perfect bloody mary, and tucked into a melty grilled cheese sandwich. You can check out the Happy Girl Kitchen Co. website to find out where you can buy them, if you’re local. If you’re not, might I suggest a trip to the Bay Area?
2. I believe it was Matt Armendariz from whom I first heard about the American Spoon company. They sent me a beautiful catalog that totally seduced me and I ordered $50 worth of jam and whatnot. It was so worth it, especially because of this crazy maple cream. I’ve been stirring it into my oatmeal in the morning, or adding a drizzle to my peanut butter and toast. It is super sweet, so a little goes a long way, but the maple flavor is outstanding. I can’t wait to open the milk caramel I bought from them.
3. Fleur de sel. I finally went ahead and bought some at Sur La Table a few weeks ago. I’m in love. And it’s not just the totally perfect packaging (yes, I’m a sucker for good packaging). My favorite use so far is sprinkling a bit over a salad right before serving. It’s great on deviled eggs. I don’t think I have to tell you how awesome it is. If you haven’t splurged and bought yourself some yet, I recommend it. Everyone deserve a little special treat now and then.
4. I believe I mentioned an exciting plan for Sunday dinner. We got a giant country ham this week in the mail, and I will be cooking it up this weekend. The ham was courtesy of Sean’s mother, who sent us a gift certificate for Burgers’ Smokehouse. We were a little skeptical, because honestly, the catalog looks like the Lillian Vernon of Meat. But then I read an interview with a Portland chef who said Burgers’ was a favorite, and saw a random mention somewhere else a mere day later, and I knew we had to order. It’s an aged, uncooked half ham. We’ll be eating ham all week. (We also got some pulled pork, what what?! Health month? What’s that?)
5. Lists! I am a total list maker and planner and organizer, and a few months ago I bought this notepad to help me plan out meals for the week. It’s perfect: there is a column for daily dinners, and smaller boxes for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Since breakfast is pretty much always the same for me, and lunch is leftovers, the space allocation works well. I usually plan Sunday through Wednesday, and then finish the planning for the week after we pick up our veggie box on Wednesday night. We don’t always stick scrupulously to the plan, and there are definitely nights when I just don’t want to cook, or don’t want what I thought I would want. But planning meals ahead of time is a key part of my week, and helps us to use not waste food. Plus it feeds the librarian planner in me.
And finally, I love that someone put this sign up in my office. You see it right when you get off the elevator. I work with some quirky folk.
I hope you all have excellent plans for the weekend, and some super fun cooking plans on your list.