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Remember: You are alive.

To my August 26th self,

Today you will do something that scares you. You will wake up early, put on your armor, and head into the battlefield. You will cover your eyes and open your heart, and you will make yourself vulnerable to someone in a way that you have never done so in the past. It won’t be the right someone. I’m sorry. I hope you’ll keep reading.

I’m here to warn you: Tomorrow may hurt a little. But not in the way you think. 

After you push past sadness, you will feel a little angry. You have every right to. Talk it out with your bro. He will tell you to yell. You won’t, but you will love him even more because he will yell for you. He will say the things you’re feeling but still don’t have the courage to say. He is your people.

Tomorrow you will cry. But not for the reasons that you think.

In a couple of days you will finally get to talk to your person. She will make you feel better. You will realize that the tears you shed were because you couldn’t talk to her when you needed to and wanted to most. It’s not her fault. You can blame Time. It’s ok–he can take it. She is your people; Time on the other hand, might not right now. 

You will also realize that you have another person. You will find yourself in a moment where you have never respected this man more than today. He won’t be there. And even though you want to call him, you won’t. Maybe you’re scared, or maybe you’re trying to protect him. Maybe talking to him about matters of the heart (or more specifically, your heart) will be a little tough, but whether he is there or not there, you will always think of him as one of your most important people.

So, even though you will open up to “not the right” someone; remember that you have other someones. You have other very important someones. Someones who love you whether they are your first, second, or one-week later phone call. Whether you are able to tell them this story or not. These someones are proud of you. They are rooting for you and will always have your back. They will always hold your heart. These are your people and you are theirs.

Oh, my dear August 26th self: Today you will do something that scares you. And embracing that fear will change you–in every way that you think or want it to. It will awaken your heart (and honestly, girl–you need that right now) and it will force you to be brave–braver than you thought you were. It will shake up your insides. But remember that that tremble, those butterflies, and that racing heart of yours–these feelings are there to remind you that you are alive. 

Remember: You are alive. 

Thank you for showing up today. Your people are so proud of you…and I am too.

With love,

Your September 1st self.

Ghosts of Recipes Past: Your Last Minute Recipe Gift Guide

Looking for a few things to whip up before tomorrow’s festivities? Here’s a quick mini recipe gift guide for all those last minute gifts or “What the heck am I going to bring!?” moments.

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Don’t worry. I gotcho’ back.

For your super sweet bestie: Salted Caramel Apple Pie

For those special Little Ones in your life–or if you’re looking for something to keep those L.O.’s busy in the kitchen: DG’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheerios Bars

For your spicy and fun neighbors: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

For your healthy family brunch: Almost No-Fat Banana Bread

For your “eff-it-let’s-eat-bacon-and-donuts-because-we’re-awesome” family brunch: Mini Maple Bacon Bars

For the perfect present topper: Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

For anyone (but actually more or yourself because these cookies are seriously life changing): Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

For your night cap and dessert hour with friends: Crispy Apple Panko Rings

For your in-laws or S.O.’s family: Chewy Ginger Cookies

For all those leftover gingersnaps: Pearberry Gingersnap Crumble

For the morning after Christmas: Bacon, Gruyere and Green Onion Scones 

Or if everyone sleeps in later and you have a bit more time: Ann Sather’s Cinnamon Rolls

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from this hungry table to yours.

Xox.

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Did you know that today is National French Fry Day?!

It’s not too late to celebrate one of America’s (and MY) favorite fried treats (next to donuts!) and try out this unique and slightly, mind-blowing way to fry your “tater sticks” resulting in the the crispiest, NOT OILY french fry in all the land. Cold oil, and not much tending–sounds crazy, right? My friend told me about them for MONTHS but I never believed her until she invited me over and walked me through the recipe itself. I still couldn’t believe how crunchy and creamy the result was, even though I ate every last one. I can see the look in your eyes. You think I’m speaking crazy too. Well then you should probably try this out for yourself and know that French Chef Joël Robuchon doesn’t cook his fries any other way! (He had me at “french chef.”)

SLOW-FRIED FRENCH FRIES

Source: Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS

French Fries

  • 2 lbs Large russet potatoes
  • 1 Qt. Canola or vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

Optional: Ketchup

  • 6 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
  • or 2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning

DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel your potatoes and cut into long french-fry sticks, about 3/8x3/8 inches thick. Rinse; shake off water and pat dry with a a couple paper towels.
  2. Transfer potatoes to a large deep heavy pot (a dutch oven or something with an enamel-coated bottom to prevent sticking seems to work the best), spreading potatoes so they’re no more than 2 layers deep. I usually stack them like “lincoln logs” and cross them for balance…it’s also just fun.
  3. Pour in your oil to cover potatoes by 1-inch.
  4. Place pot over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes (oil will begin bubbling gently). Continue cooking, occasionally loosening potatoes from the bottom of the pot with a heatproof spatula or spider strainer, until potatoes are very tender, 25–30 minutes more. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes longer (oil will bubble more vigorously).
  5. OPTIONAL: While your fries are getting all good and tan, spice up your ketchup a little with either Old Bay seasoning or Sriracha. To about 6 tablespoons of ketchup, add either 2 tablespoons of Sriracha or about 2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning. Use a little less first and add more if you are apprehensive about the spice levels.
  6. Using a a spider strainer or slotted spoon, transfer fries to a colander lined with paper towels to drain. Season with coarse sea salt and a little bit of cracked pepper. Lightly pat with other paper towels if you need to remove any excess oil.
  7. Now try to share.

No more baking, no more deep-frying (ahhhh my little professional deep-fryer will have to sit the bench for this recipe now on!)…this will change everything you thought you [maybe] knew about cooking fries at home. 

Garlic fries anyone?