five things, may 9


1. I think the highlight of my week was when David Lebovitz retweeted my tweet about his cookbook yesterday and said, "Nice job on the ribs!" No! Really.... the highlight was Neel coming home from a conference, and that means I don't have to make the coffee any more. No! Really! The highlight is Neel coming home. Really. :)

2. I think Cal has been working hard on a post that answers your questions about the Page Program. Let's face it, I'm last on the to-do list after homework and baseball. Let's face it. Baseball is first on the to-do list. If you have any other questions you'd like him to answer about any aspect of the program, leave it in the comments, and we'll add it to the list.

3. I think I love the internet! So how's this for a small world story for you? I'm following lots of Italy-based folks on Instagram and checking out their blogs for tips and inspiration. If you're headed to Rome anytime soon, you should really use Gillian's Lists as a reference. She's an American expat in Rome, and as soon as I commented on her blog, she was lovely enough to email me so many wonderful suggestions. So guess what? Earlier this week, when I wrote that post about the rice paper candies and my home town, Gillian commented, and we grew up just half an hour apart! How crazytown is that? Not only that, but someone else I "met" on Instagram through #perception_collection grew up near me too. Crazy making, for sure, in so many ways, but this? This is why I love the internet.

4. I think I loved all your comments on that rice paper candy post, by the way. They really meant a lot to me. It's funny how memories get triggered. Every time I think back to that summer, I'm sitting on a shuttle bus next to my grandma. We must have gone together to the Fair. Also, if you're looking for me, I'm with Rooth, devouring a bag of Swedish Fish.

5. I think I also wanted to tell you how honored I am to be part of an amazing group of photographers who are rocking their Fuji cameras. I have a lot to say about this little camera and my decision to add it to my bag. I've been working on getting my thoughts in order, and I hope to share them with you next week. The group that contributes to this blog is made up of some amazing and inspiring photographers (it took me awhile to work up the courage to be part of it), and they've also contributed a great deal to my growing understanding of my new tool. The FujiXCrew post goes live each Friday, and I hope to be there each week. Thank you for taking a look.

his paris kitchen {still + life}

It seems the best birthday presents are when comments that aren't meant as hints are taken as hints. A few weeks back, I linked to a great article about the behind-the-scenes of the shooting of David Lebovit's My Paris Kitchen. For me, it was all about the article and how fascinating it was to read about the making, particularly the photographing, of that cookbook. Was I dropping hints? Not intentionally. But my friend Jackie surprised me on the day after my birthday and my friend Megan was mad that she'd beat me to it!

I'm so glad they heard what I wasn't saying! I tend not to go for regional cookbooks, unless they're Greek (and I'm getting worried that Italy is about to steal my heart, but that's a story for another day), so I really would have bypassed this one, I'm afraid. But My Paris Kitchen is the best kind of cookbook. It's about life in Paris and cooking in Paris, and cooking regional, simple foods that you can enjoy anywhere. If you love Paris, you'll adore it, and if Paris isn't your bag, then the simple satisfying meals are sure to steal your heart.

I texted Jackie right away to tell her how excited I was to try some of the recipes. We'll have to have her for dinner soon. I spent a really satisfying evening on the phone, flipping through the pages and reading the titles of some of the dishes to my friend Megan. Lemon-pistachio Israeli couscous. Ham, blue cheese, and pear quiche. Apricot kernel ice cream. Almond cakes with browned butter.

We made the Caramel pork ribs (pictured above), and while I'm hesitant to share the recipe since the only modification I made was to substitute beef for pork (vegetarians need not apply), I can tell you that it was easy, delicious and satisfying. The glaze on the ribs was one of the best we've ever had.

I'm already flipping through for ideas for our next dish. What should we try next? Scalloped potatoes with blue cheese and roasted garlic? Chicken with mustard? Smoky barbeque-style pork? So many options!

Note: My instagram friend Rainydaybites is leading a monthly cookbook club where we cook recipes from different cookbooks each month. This month is My Paris Kitchen! So if you do get a chance to try out this delightful book and you're on Instagram, tag your photos #rainydaybitescookbookclub.