The Christmas decorations are up, and I’m already starting to twitch a little. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I wince. The house looks festive but full, maybe too full, especially with the tiny messes in every corner. Hal, age 4, is into wrapping the whole house and putting it under the tree. She, like most of us, thinks that empty space needs filling. For that very reason alone, minimalism is hard. It’s hard to do less. Minimalism is a continual, deliberate choice that manifests itself even in the space between the last branch of the lit evergreen tree and the hardwood floors. How will we fill that space? That’s a question we’re asking ourselves more intentionally this year, especially now that Hal can comprehend our decisions. Read more
I have two favorite games in the kitchen. The first one: Dishwasher Tetris. He doesn’t realize we’re competing, but I always beat him. I can rearrange that appliance to fit every last dirty dish, even dishes Kev swears will never fit. And the second game: Fridge Foraging. (It’s important to note, these might be the only two games in life that I have the upper hand on Kev.) Read more
Here we are again. December will be here by the end of the week, and 2018 will be here the day after that. December is shorter than February. I’m certain. It’s the season of gift giving, which I’ll be talking about over several posts. My extended family is comprised of some of the best gift givers on this side of the Mississippi. Christmas is their Super Bowl. My Super Bowl, on the other hand, just passed. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I did not inherit the good gift giving gene.
In a few short days, this large bird will be the centerpiece on so many tables across America. And yet, very few of us feel confident in our turkey cooking skills. For good reason. We typically only cook a whole bird 1-2 times a year (which is not easy in the first place), with a good 11 months in between each attempt. It’s hard to feel confident in something you don’t make often. For the past 9 years, I’ve been making the same recipe. After 9 attempts, I’m ready to hurl my method into the internet—everything from the recipe to the tools. Read more
Sometimes (most times), I’m cooking so fast, I don’t realize what I’m doing—that I just made a roux, which turned into a béchamel, which turned into a proper cheese sauce—until I do something wrong. Then I notice. You know those workouts where they tell you to do the move in slow motion so you can feel every muscle contract? That’s how we’re going to make these Potatoes Au Gratin today, slow enough to feel the roux, the béchamel, and the cheese sauce. Read more
You’re not supposed to cook with Moscato. I learned that for the first time after submitting my book recipes for testing. (There’s a reason I call myself The Faux.) In the recipe notes they sent back, they mentioned their hesitancy to add Moscato to the soup, but that they were very pleased with the results. They even called it lovely. Read more
I had two main objectives for the master bedroom (that took a solid year to finish). First, I wanted it to feel as much like Kev’s room as it did mine. And second, I wanted it to feel special, like a boutique hotel. Not the formal type, the collected, eclectic type. It needed to feel minimal, too, like the rest of the house. Maybe I had three objectives. Read more
In one of my college design classes, the professor said, “Do it so well, they don’t even notice.” As designers, he was telling us to get out of the way. He was telling us to design it so well, that the end user didn’t even consider a designer had touched it. “Don’t make them pause,” he said. Read more