Better living through organization.

I recently made a batch of chicken broth with a carcass I had stashed in the freezer. You do this, right? Have a stash of roasted bones in the freezer just for making stock? So anyway, I was down to my last jar of broth and needed to make a batch. There was just enough meat that came off the bones to make a pot of soup, but I sensed by my family’s reaction that one more pot of straight up chicken soup – or really, any variation thereof to be honest –  might be one pot too many for this winter soup season. That’s when I realized I hadn’t made Dorie’s White  Chili in some time and that might be a nice change.

See the reflection of my bedroom windows on my lap top screen?

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Celebrating them.

A few months ago, my girl had asked if we could rent a nearby cabin for her sixteenth birthday party.  We had previously rented Dunlodge for her dad’s fortieth birthday a few years ago and found it to be a lovely hidden little spot in town.  Sixteen being a big deal, I went for it.  And since I had to take the cabin for the full weekend, I thought I’d throw a party for her one night and a party the next evening for my dear husband, who also had a birthday that weekend. It seemed slightly ambitious, but not overly so.  Just to be sure, I texted Pat’s best bromance, Will, to make sure he was in and when he was, I went with the plan. Continue reading

Ladies Who Brunch.

There was an absolutely lovely party this past summer, the sort that felt like everyone who was still left in town had to have been in attendance, where at least a few of the worlds of Charlottesville collided. And as happens as these things, there was much chatter about how we – me – should invite people over for wine to continue the worlds colliding fun. Because apparently, this is a thing I do – have random gatherings with cool people where they met other cool people.

Of course I obliged, sending out an email to inquire as to when people might be free in order for us to have a ladies wine night. As it turns out, working moms are busy people and the best time for all of us to gather for drinks was Sunday morning.  And thus came the inspiration for “Ladies Who Brunch”.

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Crazy mixed up.

A bakery here sells Panettone every December, which I tend to buy several loaves of in order to stockpile in the freezer. A traditional sweet Italian holiday bread studded with dried fruits, I happen to think panettone makes an amazing French Toast, particularly on cold, snowy mornings.  I may have once or twice lobbied the owner of said bakery to consider making panettone more than just once a year – pitching a “Christmas in July” idea – so that I could have access to this treat more than once a year. Gerry was not buying what I was selling, but, he did manage to plant a seed that I could learn to bake panettone myself.  I spent some time looking for a recipe, but most of them seemed pretty intimidating. And then this King Arthur Flour Co. recipe came to my attention.

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