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Kick start your day with a good breakfast

Savory Puff Pastry Tart

An evening to myself can be dinner on a tray in front of Netflix or a relaxed, indulgent treat. Tonight? The treat.

I concocted a savory tart out of frozen puff pastry, goat cheese, caramelized onions, chicken, and fresh rosemary.

I lit the candles, turned on one of my favorite CDs (the soundtrack to a romantic comedy with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline called “French Kiss”), and sat down with an advance reading copy of Ruth Reichl’s Gourmet memoir, Save Me the Plums.

I savored Reichl’s colorful and touching writing, the jaunty French music, the soft light, the flakes of pastry and smears of cheese, the leisure to sit here as long as I felt like, the quiet when the CD ended.

On a Monday night, with the rest of the work week to come, I treated myself the way I would a guest, with love and respect. Hostess and guest in one…perfect together.

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Grateful for Hump Day

Yes, I’m thrilled it’s already Wednesday. Only threevwork days this week. It’s still very quiet uptown.

Also grateful for the time to think. I have a terrific solution for a donation to MAPC’s Open Table which asks a bit of me, but is a good creative hack.

But I so appreciate that I don’t have to or want to use my walk across Central Park to yak on the phone. Silence is a superb idea incubator.

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Happy New Year!


The words on everyone’s lips at the moment are “self-care.” I’m all for that!

The Goehring version includes a CD of classic carols, our tree lit, and a tea tray with a cheese savory, a piece of stollen, and a Niederegger marzipan Santa.

Please take good care of yourselves and your loved ones today and throughout 2019. Namaste.

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Buenas Noches

This is a site for healthy, fast, homemade breakfasts, but I have to show off last night’s paella. Cook’s Illustrated tackled this complex recipe and boy, did they help us nail it!

paella

Family lives on the Jersey shore, with access to spectacular seafood at The Lusty Lobster, so the scallops, mussels, shrimp, and clams were right out of the ocean. I stopped in at Kalustyan’s for  pimentón and Spanish saffron. The rest (chorizo, chicken thighs, chicken broth, clam juice, dry sherry, arborio rice, onion, roasted red peppers, frozen peas) are all available at any good supermarket.

The secret? A roasting pan on the grill. All that surface area allows the rice to get its lovely, crunchy crust while the meats and shellfish cook quickly. A keeper!

¡Delicioso!

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Taking the Plunge

Really, I’m trying to avoid that afternoon dip…that agonizing struggle to stay awake at work (funny how I don’t have this problem on the weekends). I don’t want to lose this unusual savory power bar recipe. With my stomach all in knots, I need to limit my intake of coffee which only makes things worse. I’m going to try to find some afternoon delight in a cup of green tea, but if I have this treat to look forward to with it… higher possibility of success!

Even though I usually don’t crave sweets (and I’ve been revoltingly proud of myself for it–out loud. Ugh!), I find myself popping a handful of peanut M&Ms almost every afternoon to wake myself up. This granola bar looks like a good solution.

 

 

 

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‘Bye-bye, Obama

obamas

Vaya con Dios and don’t be a stranger. I look forward to reading your next book, seeing your next interview, watching you at Sasha’s graduation and at Malia’s wedding, standing beside Michelle when she speaks out for decency and children’s health. Because watching the other guy who’s stepping into your job (which you performed with passion, grit, and honor)…?

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Happy Thanksgiving

It’s a week of gratitude at the Goehring household every Thanksgiving: on Thanksgiving Eve in 1987, I accepted Chuck’s proposal to marry him. Ten years ago, during the week before, we brought our corgi, Grace, to NYC from eastern Long Island. Let the confetti fall and the fireworks blaze!

Did you put anything new on your Thanksgiving menu this year? Chuck has a good eye for composition, so he asked for some color on the plate, more than just the brown of gravy, crisp turkey skin, and roasted Brussels sprouts. Cook’s Illustrated came to the rescue with a delicious recipe for carrots and parsnips with dried cranberries.

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Here’s the recipe; you’re welcome!

Serves 4 to 6

3 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 shallot, minced

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup apple cider

6 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias ¼ inch thick

1 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced on the bias ¼ inch thick

½ cup dried cranberries

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 TBSP minced fresh parsley

  • Melt 1 TBSP butter in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add brother, cider, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, 1 ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper; bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots and parsnips, stir to combine, and return to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 10 to 14 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves and stir in cranberries. Push vegetable mixture to sides of pot. Add mustard and remaining 2 TBSP butter to center and whisk into cooking liquid. Stir to coat vegetable mixture with sauce, transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

–from Cook’s Illustrated November & December 2016 by Andrew Janjigian

From our house to yours–this galley kitchen is now Grace’s preferred napping spot, precarious for busy holiday cooks!–have a wonderful, safe, and politics-free holiday!

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March of the Penguins

A friend at the office has just published a charming book of papercrafts, A Very Merry Paper Christmas. If you’re at all handy with a matte knife and pretty paper, there are terrific projects in here (votive lights, tree toppers, lovely winter scenes to put under a bell jar, ornaments…).

For her pub party, I decided to do a little “papercrafting” of my own: potato-stamp napkins. Thanks to a YouTube tutorial, I stamped two dozen penguins.
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Here’s the body (one medium potato painted with black poster paint).

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A smaller potato makes the stomach (painted with white poster paint).

Here’s the moment that brings you right back to pre-school: mix red and yellow to make orange for the beaks and feet.

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Let them dry between these steps.

A hole-punch makes perfect white eyes; one tiny touch with a black magic marker and you’ve got a penguin.

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The more chilled champagne you drink, the better these look!

 

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Tiger, tiger burning bright

First tiger lilies I’ve seen this year!

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Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!

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Mary Elizabeth Whittingham 

June 9, 1956…Chicago, Illinois. A blank slate is born.

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A favorite writer of the little lady above.

Having had a wonderful day–cooling winds, blue skies, bright sunshine, a delicious, leisurely, lively lunch at Cafe Luxembourg–I just want to say thank you to the Universe for a chance to fill that slate with experiences so diverse and rich and exciting, and to live a life that has been so full of love.

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A young family starts out: elegance is a frame of mind. 

Protected and stimulated, I was able to meet the world with confidence and curiosity. There really was nowhere I wasn’t encouraged to venture.

NEWPORT

I fell in love with good writing, European history, and American popular music.

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“L’il Abner,” one of American musical theater’s so-bad-it’s-good Golden Age classics

I’ve made a profession in publishing; traveled to Ireland and England, Italy and Germany, Scotland and France, Iceland and Canada; and performed on stage in classic Broadway musicals and cabaret. I’ve loved being “Auntie Beth” as I’ve watched my brothers Charles and Philip and my sister Leigh rear their own families.

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Mill Valley, CA 

I married a man who is decent, responsible, and intelligent–not to mention, handsome; our 28 years of marriage is my greatest achievement.

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The White Mountains of New Hampshire–I’d never have made the summit without him!

All that accounts for the first forty years…. The last decade has been dedicated to a creature so loyal, so entertaining, and so beautiful that I can hardly describe how much fun and joy she has brought into our lives.

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Grace Georges Goehring, champion Pembroke Welsh corgi

This weekend, I’m going to a lecture by a high-school classmate on “Self-limiting Beliefs,” a subject I know something about first-hand despite all this love and encouragement, so I look forward to working on cultivating more confidence and courage as I step into my sixth decade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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