I effort to make these posts honest, but positive. Yes, there have been hard things, but I try not to focus on them. This week, the unimaginable happened, and I cannot tell the story of this summer without divulging the worst nightmare coming true.
Not once, not twice, but three times this week, me or one of my children woke up in the middle of the night to discover a roach in the bed.
Are you okay after reading those words? Because I’m not sure I’m okay after writing them. I don’t know what happened this week, but it was the worst week. Timm and Jake were on the hiking trail, completely off the grid, unreachable, and the bug situation in our home went from a non-issue to a crisis-level emotional trauma overnight. I am not sure Norah will ever be the same.
Yes, we called an exterminator and it was quickly remedied, but still. The blow was too much to bear. How do you get that out of your mind? Our strategy (conveniently) was to cook a delicious meal every day to try and self sooth. The only silver lining to this story is that I am writing it in the past tense, aware that we all survived the worst week of summer, but in the moment, I was not sure we would still be standing.
WHAT I COOKED
Italian Wedding Soup, Back to Basics
Pizzaladière, Barefoot in Paris
Fresh Fig & Ricotta Cake, Cook Like a Pro
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Figs, Cook Like a Pro
Chicken Salad Sandwiches, At Home
Heirloom Tomatoes with Blue Cheese Dressing, At Home
Lemon Yogurt Cake, At Home
Grilled Tuna Niçoise Platter, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Zucchini Pancakes, At Home
Mango Sorbet, Barefoot in Paris
Moroccan Lamb Tagine, Make It Ahead
Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting, Make It Ahead
Lobster & Shells, How Easy Is That?
Breakfast Fruit Crunch, At Home
Easy Cheese Danish, At Home
Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart, Make It Ahead
Tomato Mozzarella Pan Bagnat, Make It Ahead
Tuna Tartare, Family Style
Whipped Hot Chocolate, Family Style
Rugelach, Barefoot Contessa Parties!
Summer Paella Salad, Make It Ahead
Vanilla Semifreddo with Raspberry Sauce, Make It Ahead
WHAT I LEARNED
ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP.
This soup is a year-round winner. It is kind of involved, but I made the meatballs the day before and had all of the vegetables chopped and ready to go when I made the soup. It came together very quickly. The flavor is clean and bright, and the meatballs are tender and make this feel hearty without being heavy.
I have always wanted to try this recipe, but wasn’t sure making homemade pizza dough only to top it with anchovies was something I was game for. I have used anchovy paste in salad dressings, but whole anchovies are a completely different endeavor. As it turns out, this is now my new favorite first course. The anchovies are super salty which is the perfect balance to the sweet caramelized onions. I could have made a meal out of this and gobbled up every delicious bite.
HEIRLOOM TOMATOES WITH BLUE CHEESE.
If you are looking for a no-fail blue cheese dressing recipe, this is the one. I have been making this for years, and it is my favorite. If you cannot find tarragon vinegar, substitute white wine vinegar and add 1 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon. If you love blue cheese, this is going to bless your soul.