Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fava(rite) New Beans

Beautiful things come from humble beginnings.

Butterflies from the caterpillar.  Summer thunderstorms from a few wisps of clouds.  Love from friendship.  Soul-friends from a simple introduction and smile.

This Fava Bean Puree from a funky and long green bean pod.

I finally tried some of spring's first bounty in the form of fava beans last week.  Of course, Alice Waters, in her infinite wisdom, guided me in finding the most perfect introduction to my newest veggie crush:  Fava Bean Puree (with Rosemary and Garlic).  And kids, friends, readers, please, please do this:  crack open some of these bean pods, blanch and saute the darn things with garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and smoosh them with a fork. Then enjoy as much as you can heap onto a plate, because this is, officially, my new food crush.

Fava...just the name brings to mind words like 'favorite' and 'favored' and 'savored' and I'm sold.  I can't describe to you why this bean is different than shucking some fresh peas, or why they're so unique from a green bean, or edamame, any other of the multiple types of beans we have.  But trust that they're special.  They aren't dried, they aren't canned, they're not frozen...they're only fresh.  And they're only around for another few weeks, so get thee to thy nearby grocer or farmer's market and hug them close.

Beautiful things sometimes come in the most surprising of packages.

Like my return to (northern) Arizona, where I'm currently enjoying the forests and somewhat slower-paced life of a mountain town.  Flagstaff is a gem, friends.  So please, bear with me as I settle into a new life from the one I left a year ago, and dig my hands into a new job, juggling a new puppy, relationship, closer proximity to my family, adventuring, and cooking (finally, again) just for myself. 

With that being said, what a journey it's been!  But absolutely the best kind of adventure, one that started with a humble and simple need to do something with my hands, rather than my computer/desk, all those months ago in DC.

Turns out I like following those simple little whispers of the good life....They seem to be pretty spot on.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Let's Have Dessert

For starters, I've missed you.

This past year was a big one.  Bigger than I can even wrap my mind, or my arms, fully around.  A quick review: I left DC, helped get my sister married off, moved to a farm in the middle-of-nowhere Northern CA for almost 7 months, road-tripped to Portland, Oregon, road-tripped back home to AZ, and here I am.  Phew.

I thought I was going to move to a coastal place, maybe San Francisco, when I left my beloved DC.  Instead, I have curiously found myself back in the Phoenix area, with skies like this one on the regular:

It's a funny thing, being slipping into your favorite worn-in sweater and wanting to wear it forever.

One of the things I've had some time to do again is cook.  Not much, but a little, and it's a nice start.  For example, we had a game night with stir-fry, wine, Cards Against Humanity, and these Honey-Ricotta Turnovers for dessert.  I could've had four of them, but I consoled myself with two and a bite out of my neighbor's.

The recipe's not too hard, a little messy, but perfectly decadent with crunchy phyllo dough on the outside and creamy-sweet ricotta (with blackberries!) on the inside.

After these turnovers, I'm fully ready to embrace this new year with all of it's dreamy possibilities and unexpected surprises.  Let's do this, 2014!