Why Iceland?

My 11-year-old son Flynn is obsessed with Iceland.

“I think I want to learn to speak Icelandic,” he declared to us at some point.

He now has two different Icelandic apps on his iPhone and paces around the house working on his pronunciation.

“Kveðja!” he says cheerfully by way of an Icelandic goodbye to our 5-year-old daughter Imogen as she heads off to summer camp.

Svið (singed sheep's head)

Svið (singed sheep’s head)

Why Iceland? I take some responsibility, having introduced him to the Icelandic band, Sigur Rós, and taken him to one of their very dramatic concerts.

I’ve always been a bit intrigued by Iceland myself. I’m Irish, I like cold and dramatic northern landscapes and broody people who drink a bit too much and write mournful poetry and music. More

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My Best Idea

I remember watching a Ken Burns documentary series a few years back about the National Park system. It was called, “America’s Best Idea.”

I was thinking about this on a particularly hot Southern California summer afternoon, the desert winds blowing through the canyon and out to sea. It was stifling, I was thirsty… and then it came to me: My best idea!

Watermelon Aguarita

Watermelon Aguarita

It began with a half-eaten watermelon sitting on the kitchen counter. I was reminded of a post about watermelon agua fresca on my friend’s Jessica’s blog, Attempts in Domesticity. I pulled up her website, glanced at the instructions, and made myself a nice cold pinkish glass of watermelon agua fresca, which was just as refreshing as the post had suggested. More

Skinny Girls Roadshow LIVE from Sonoma — Tearing Down Thanksgiving

As my mother, who is sitting in the next room, can attest, I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. If you knew my mom, you would realize I come by it honestly.

Turkey confit on the stove

Turkey confit on the stove

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’ve certainly got her to thank for my rebelliousness. After years of bucking the standard Thanksgiving traditions — particularly turkey, stuffing, gravy, et. al. — we were dragged back into the fold by partners and family members who favored a classic approach to the holiday. I did manage to produce an interesting German Thanksgiving dinner one year for my wife’s family, who at that early stage in our relationship were already confused and confounded by me. More

Credit Where Credit Is Due

I appreciate it when people tell me they’ve made something I featured on the blog and enjoyed it. (Likewise, I’m mortified when people making something and it doesn’t turn out well … which I think has only happened once when a friend tried to make my bagna cauda.)

The food blog world is a unique universe. I subscribe to a variety of food blogs which I enjoy reading, and every so often read a recipe that I know I will have to try myself. And I thought it only fair to share a few of my favorites.

Erica's crab dip

Erica’s crab dip

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Forbidden Wings

It’s no secret that I think the chicken wing is the best part of the bird. I recently commented on an Asian chicken wing post on one of my favorite blogs, Attempts in Domesticity, that I heard they were engineering chickens with eight wings — spiderchickens! (A combination of humor and wishful thinking.)

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One of my favorite kinds of wings, along with original Buffalo wings and twice-fried Korean wings, are Chinese salt & pepper wings. I used to get them back in the day at cheap Chinese takeout counters — you know the kind, with the compartmentalized styrofoam take out boxes where you can choose between noodles or fried rice and two entrees for $5.99. More

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