Gluten-Free / Life / Recipes / Salad / Summer / Veggie Love

Grilled Melon and Prosciutto Caprese (grain-free) – and a P&Q birthday

Grilled Melon and Prosciutto Caprese | www.thepigandquill.com | #grainfree #summer #saladSomehow, today marks two years that I’ve been blogging here with all of you (!!), and I’m feeling rather romantic about a number of things. About the blog, yes. And also: every stitch of clothing in the latest Anthro catalogue. This sofa.

Chef Sean Brock.
Be still my beating heart, this is a crush I won’t be shaking any time soon.

I had the chance to dine at the original Husk restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina when my mom and I embarked on our unforgettable Southern Eats birthday road trip this time last year. We arrived for lunch just as the restaurant opened, my pulse as tickled with anticipation as my skin was tacky with the coastal Carolina humidity. The burger lived up the hype. The impossibly creamy grits a whimsical celebration of a cuisine that, as Sean insists in his season of The Mind of a Chef, really is rooted to the soil of the South and the fruits, veggies and heirloom grains it pushes forth. Of course there’s pig, and fried chicken, white gravies — all of which is slap yo’ momma good (I refrained, as she was to be my travel companion for a good week or more). But it’s so much more seasonal in story than my Calicentric self allowed me to imagine. And Sean talks about it with an infectious joy that my Samsung flatscreen is powerless to contain. That has found me stupidly grinning to the point of cheek strain, fists curled into balls, on the literal edge of my seat, on more than one occasion over the past couple of weeks.

Netflix, you matchmaker.
With Chef Sean Brock, I maintain, I am irrevocably smitten.

Or rather the wannabe chef within me, I suppose. The green-thumbed heroine of farm to fork persuasion that wields a paring knife as one might wield poetry, skillfully exposing one sun-ripened verse at a time.

She and Sean are a match made in heaven.

I can only try my best.

Grilled Melon and Prosciutto Caprese | www.thepigandquill.com | #grainfree #summer #salad

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Flying Pig / Life / Misc

And we’re off! AKA: #TacosAndTanLines

Hello friends! Just a quick note to tell you little piggies that I’m jetting off to Mexico to join a mariachi band for the next week. Rumor has it they need someone to play that stick fish thing, and if second grade music class is any indication, I’m quite possibly the world’s best stick-fisherer. Who knew? (I knew.)

Ok, that’s not entirely true. But I am headed off for a few days of tacos and tan lines, so it might be a little cricketsy around these parts. A better blogger would have had posts prepared weeks (months?) in advance with this little summer vacay in mind, but that’s just not my game. Flying by the seat of my pants and all that.

SLPO_MeetEm

If you can’t bear the absence of dated pop culture references and izzle-isms, maybe check out that time Gina interviewed me over on So…Let’s Hang Out. If you’ve already been there, done that, and you’re still here reading along — well, thanks. There was some scary stuff in there, so you’re a rockstar (and-a-half)(and a bag of chips?) in my book.

Speaking of rockstars, I think I hear a stick fish thing calling.
Back in a few!

xo and margs cheersies,
Em

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Life / Recipes / Summer / Sweets

Browned Butter Panna Cotta with Maple Syrup & Stone Fruit

Browned Butter Panna Cotta with Maple Syrup and Stone Fruit | @efstoffel | www.thepigandquill.comYou guys are going to think I’ve become completely unhinged with this one, and that’s ok. Because maybe I have, a little. I blame far too many episodes of The Mind of a Chef — or just a complete and utter devotion to forcing as much browned butter as possible into a dessert that, scientifically speaking, is kind of anti-browned butter. (I’ll explain later.)

A few months ago, Chris and I had the most spectacular meal at Manresa, included in which was a browned butter panna cotta, AKA Mindsplosion Central. I died, you guys. Ok, I didn’t die (clearly, jeesh, I don’t give you guys enough credit), but I think I uttered something alone the lines of “I could die at this moment and have no regrets” as soon as the first spoonful graced my lips. It was utterly silky, nutty and essentially browned tasting. It was nearly outside my realm of comprehension.

The single most delicious bite of food I’ve had in recent memory, in fact. And that is no small statement.

Browned Butter Panna Cotta with Maple Syrup and Stone Fruit | @efstoffel | www.thepigandquill.com

Browned Butter Panna Cotta with Maple Syrup and Stone Fruit | @efstoffel | www.thepigandquill.com

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Asian / Life / Paleo(ish) / Recipes / Spicy Love / Summer / Vegan

Green Chili-Garlic Sauce (gluten-free, paleo, vegan variation) and our chapter on Ohio

Homemade Green Chili-Garlic Sauce | www.thepigandquill.com | #glutenfree #vegan #paleoThis morning I woke up certain that I was still dreaming. A glimpse outside revealed a slate sky heavy with anticipation, a thick-striped greenbelt under the window screaming words like verdant and lush that have become few and far between on the West Coast.

And then: the staticky buzz of cicadas, audible even over the light hum of the outer belt.
Ah, yes. The midwest. Again. It’s no dream.

More years ago than I care to count, Chris and I packed up our tiny college apartment just outside of downtown San Luis Obispo and dove (or rather drove) into a new life — a presumably grown-up life — in Columbus, OH. We did it for our jobs, first — and for the small thrill that accompanies decisions that are ultimately the result of late night brainstorms brimming with youthful proclamations: we’re young! we’re nimble! extra ranch and peperoncinis!

Living in Ohio was both exactly and not at all what we expected. It was opportunity — to advance our careers, to buy our first house, to explore a part of the country we had previously (perhaps selfishly?) ignored. And to forge incomparable friendships. But it was also isolation — from our families, our friends, In-N-Out Burger, literally everything that we knew as home, all of which was still back in California.

Homemade Green-Chili Garlic Sauce | www.thepigandquill.com | #glutenfree #vegan #paleo

The four years we ended up spending out here taught us more about ourselves, about each other, than we ever could have guessed. Missing our families transformed into becoming each others’ family. Our boy-meets-girl story was slowly filled in with all those nothing really anecdotes that make up a history. Riding bikes in the thick of a summer thunderstorm. Shoveling — or rather, not shoveling — a drive. (Rookie mistake.) Crying over a dented box of Cheez-Its in the middle of the grocery store. A story for another day, I promise…

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