Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CATCHING UP

This post will be old news for those of you who follow me on  Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. So if you think of it, please check back next week for some newness involving Dash, chasing girls, and caramel apples.

But for those of you who aren't following me on social media and maybe thought I had fallen off a cliff, I've been busy with the following:

Working on my book (due in six months). 

Killing rats (I take no prisoners). 

Trying to drink fewer martinis (no comment).

Tending to sick kids (but not too sick to be dragged out of bed and enlisted as photographers).
photo credit: Isabel Ross (my daughter)

Making Baked Alaskas (Dash + blow torch = all kinds of excitement).

Celebrating 25 years with my husband (yes, we met when I was a child of 19).

Cleaning out my closet (exciting finds: a 10-year-old bong made from a Miracle Whip jar and a pair of over-the-knee UGG clog boots). 

Shaving my legs (once, on February 3rd). 

Talking Dutch Baby Pancakes on Yahoo Food.

Doing an interview with Saveur Magazine in which I ramble on about the birth of my blog, how I develop a post, and what I've learned over these past four years of blogging. Here's the pinch-me-is-this-for-real intro: With a deeply personal emphasis, and style ranging from confessional to light and jocular, Phyllis Grant's blog Dash and Bella is a prolific and poetic log of daily life that focuses on food and cooking... (continue reading on Saveur)

And I've been writing every few weeks for Food52. I'm loving working with my editor, Kenzi Wilbur. Nice to get out of my crazy head. Very freeing to have someone guide me. Here are the last five pieces from my "Cooking What I Want" column. There is a link to each story if you want to continue reading or check out a recipe. 

POMEGRANATE-ROASTED CARROTS
In a fit of hunger, I have never opened the fridge and exclaimed, “Damn, I need to eat some carrots. NOW.” 
To be honest, carrots in both their raw and cooked iterations have always made me feel depressed...(continue reading)
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Year round, my freezer is a treasure trove of sweet treats. Often, when friends come over, they walk right past me, head into the kitchen, and start foraging around until ahhhh yes they find what they’re looking for: chocolate chip cookies. They take a huge bite and sigh out a thing or two from this list:
They’re intoxicating.
Can I live at your house? In your freezer? With those cookies?
They’re perfect.
They need ice cream.
They’re so you.
They make me happy.
OMFG.
They are the reason I come over to your house.
I’ll trade you some for a bottle of gin.
Can I have another?
(continue reading)
HAZELNUT BRITTLE WITH CHOCOLATE
I’ve always baked during my daughter’s birthday week. Obsessively. Epically. You name it, I’ve whipped it up. Vanilla bean cupcakes covered in marzipan bumble bees. Three-tiered pink princess cakes peppered with Playmobile figures. Crushed candy cane fillings. Ganache waterfalls. Towers of donuts. Her yearly birthday dessert vision appeared weeks ahead of time via a sit-down meeting and an intricate drawing. I welcomed the challenge. The more advanced the pastry adventure, the less time I had to trip out on the passing of time and the fact that this phenomenal girl was going to be heading out of the house before we knew it. But this year was different...(continue reading)

MINI PISSALADIÈRES
Peel and thinly slice an onion. Throw it in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add a knob of butter, a generous splash of olive oil, and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir until the onion softens a bit over medium heat. Don’t listen to that voice telling you you shouldn’t caramelize one onion because if you’re doing one you might as well do eight. Drop in a sprig of thyme, cover. Feel extravagant. Turn the heat down as low as it will go.
Water your plants. Scrub some paint off of the kitchen wall that you’ve been staring at since your son was three years old. Sort the socks. Start re-reading the Molly Bloom chapter from “Ulysses.” Smell something sweet and beautiful. Remember the onion. Run for the onion...(continue reading)
BROWN BUTTER CUPCAKE BROWNIES
Friday morning. I stare at twelve duck legs, two frozen lamb shanks, and twenty sausages. I don’t quite believe it, but by Sunday night, in order to celebrate multiple family birthdays, this pile of meat will morph into an enormous pot of French stew. I open my recipe journal from this time last year to find notes on how to make a cassoulet. It was so delicious that I want to replicate every last detail. I search and search. I finally concede that I didn’t write anything down. I burst into tears. I’m on my own.
Saturday morning. The beans are simmering with salt pork. The duck legs are smothered in salt and garlic and bay leaves. The lamb is seared off. I am making shit up as I go along, but I am optimistic. While bashing garlic, anchovy, and tomato paste into a purée, I start thinking about the post-cassoulet dessert. It must be chocolate. It must be elegant...(continue reading)

17 comments:

  1. Holy moly! You have been busy woman. Even though I follow you on all of your adventures, I'm still staggered (and made hungry) by your list. And the Ugg boot bong rocks my world - my brain is still trying to figure that one out.
    xoxox
    E

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    1. Haha me too! I read it over a few times and still couldn't figure out the contraption.

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    2. it's a bong AND ugg clog boots. 2 separate items. bad writing on my part.

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  2. Hey Phyllis! I totally forgot you were writing over at Food52 ... oops. And as far of the book goes, remember that Dash was only 2 inches long with 6 months to go. xx

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    1. thank you, amanda. a beautiful reminder.

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  3. Aha!! A photo! That WAS you I saw wheeling a cart around Berkeley Bowl with 2 kids when I first discovered your blog! Keep on as you are!

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  4. I have been following your blog for a while now. i am always inspired by you writing and your badass sass. and we just recently moved to sonoma county and now I want to be friends. wanna? :)
    Aria

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  5. Wow - that's a post and a half! Loved the Saveur piece and looking forward to reading the "cassoulet" piece, not least cos it's one of my favourite dishes. Plenty of reading to keep me hoping!

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  6. Excellent post as usual. I'm not sure if I have just never payed attention or I truly have not seen a picture of you before, but dang lady, you are gorgeous.

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    1. my goodness. thank you. my daughter has some skills as a photographer. and backlight is my friend. xoxo

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  7. Your chocolate recipes are really wonderful, my kids and I are having fun with this new product I recently discovered, a health bar made by Nouri, one of the companies that give back. They give one child in an underdeveloped country, one meal for each bar you purchase and since we are supporting the product's cause, we have have been looking for new ideas to work with. Thank you,

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  8. Fucking A. Just read your chapter in The Cassoulet. I am going to devour your book someday.

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  9. Just found your blog via pinterest. Your writing is so real and so lovely ! Can't wait till your book comes out!
    Margaret

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    1. thank you, margaret! it comes out in 2015. a bit far away.

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  10. I like your post very much i had nice time while reading your post

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