Basically, she doesn't want a department store, she wants a boutique. Molly Wizenberg's Homemade Life is a boutique -- small, spare, exquisite, expressing a very specific and personal culinary aesthetic. I love that kind of shop, and I love this kind of book.
Night One of Homemade Life: big success. Wizenberg's sliced spring salad -- radicchio, endive, avocado, cilantro, feta -- was straightforward and excellent. Elegance and clarity are hallmarks of Wizenberg's prose, and also of her recipes. Here's a strange story. Isabel hates cheese. She picks cheese out of her burritos, barely tolerates it on pizza, and will not touch a quesadilla. While eating this salad she mistakenly bit into a chunk of feta and said, "What is this cheese? I love this cheese!"
Feta. She loves feta but can't stand Monterey jack?
Owen didn't eat any dinner, but that is hardly news and I am willing myself not to care.
Dessert: yogurt cake. See photo at top of page. This recipe, first posted on Wizenberg's blog, was how she met her future husband. A friend of his was searching for a French yogurt cake recipe, stumbled on Orangette, etc. "It may be simple, but to me, it borders on the magical," Wizenberg writes.
It is indeed a lovely cake. I didn't find it magical, but this isn't my boutique.
Night Two of Homemade Life: Owen did eat the dinner, which consisted of arugula salad with chocolate and pistachios.
There was a more substantial meal planned, but stuff happened. The chunks and shards of chopped bittersweet chocolate married surprisingly well with the arugula, though arugula is better alone. Or with feta. For dessert: white chocolate coeur a la creme, which was delicious, but would have been even more incredible without the chocolate. If I ever open a boutique, there will be lots of vanilla and nuts, very little chocolate and it will all be milk.
In other news:
-I owe wrap-up reviews for Milk and Fat, both of which were wonderful.
-Have completely lost track of our April food budget.
-The bees are coming on Sunday.
-There is also this Slate piece that I recently wrote about the cost of cooking vs. buying various basic foodstuffs. I don't resemble the woman in the illustration, though I do covet her purse.