one year ago...

one year ago today, we rolled into grand forks, north dakota, in a van filled with ikea furniture, pencil skirts, and entirely not enough sweaters. i didn't know what a combine was or how to frost a cake, and part of me thought that i could get around by foot and bike alone. 

today my closet is filled with flannel shirts, frosting-stained overalls, and boots that are still damp from yesterday's romp through a sugar beet field. i don't have a bike yet, but driving on the always-trafficless highway listening to minnesota public radio might be my new favorite hobby.

out our window, some corn stalks in our garden have grown just tall enough to say hello and giggle at us in our underpants because... for the first time in my adult life, this year has meant no roommates. 

with one year under my belt, i've found myself morphing my introduction from "i just moved to the midwest from brooklyn," to a plain and simple, "i live in the midwest."

it feels good. settled. it makes me all smiley and ready to get married and stuff. 

one percent of me still craves a bagel and lox at all hours of the day, but heavens me, if this past year is any indication of what my future in the midwest holds, i am so gosh darn excited.

(someone stop me before i get too mushy.)

happy anniversary, mister midwest and me! i'm gonna go stand outside and let you bite me with all the mosquitos you got!


rye challah

we've been carefully noting our "firsts" in our new home. 

first movie watched: star wars

first supper: frozen pizza

first freak-out: where the f*** are my boyfriend jeans?

this morning we went on our first run, down a gravel road where farm land on either side of us stretched as far as the eye could see. topped with some perfectly crisp weather and a sunny as can be sunrise, it felt surreal

today is eggboy's first day back to farm work and his commute time of approximately eight seconds has so far allowed him to stop in for a wrench, a smooch (!!!!), and another reason, I can't remember. I'm expecting him back soon because it's been like an entire hour since he ate last and that is very long for him to go. maybe i should start some quinoa.

i know we didn't live in our temporary home in town for too long, but it was still weird and nostalgic to clear everything out and have a bunch of lasts. last episode of game of thrones, last chance to order pizza delivery*, last photo taken at my photo stationa lot happened in that little home and i am forever grateful for it.

*have i mentioned that we now live so much in the middle of nowhere that no restaurants will deliver? i'm trying to deal with it by not thinking about it. but... ohmygod. i literally cannot.

one of the last things i baked in town was challah. a nice little loaf, all bursting with glee and caraway seeds. it's a rye challah and i used rye flour from the little organic market in town. i really love rye flour for its yummy and healthy qualities, and i mean the color! it's just begging for some home-cured pastrami, which by the way tops my list of things to do once i've finally unpacked.

rye challah

makes one loaf


2 1/4 tsp (or 1 packet) dry active yeast

3/4 c warm water

2 tb + 1 tsp sugar

2 c all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 c rye flour

1 tsp kosher salt

2 tb caraway seeds

3 large eggs

1/3 c canola or vegetable oil

3 tb honey


Pour warm water into a bowl with 1 teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit and proof for 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy. (If it doesn’t foam, start again)

While the yeast mixture is proofing, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, both flours, the salt, and the caraway seeds in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together 2 of the eggs, the oil, and 2 tablespoons of honey.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients and the yeast mixture. Stir with a spoon or paddle attachment until just combined and then let the mixture sit for 20 minutes uncovered.

If kneading by hand, transfer to a floured work surface and knead. If using a stand mixer, switch to a dough hook and knead. Knead for 7-10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, until you have a smooth dough.

Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise for 2-3 hours, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide into 3 equal logs, and braid them, tucking the ends under. Place the loaf on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 more minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and tablespoon of honey. Brush it evenly over the loaf and bake for 25-35 minutes, until browned and cooked through. You can test if it’s done by thumping the bottom of the loaf and listening for a hollow sound. Let cool slightly and serve.



citrus mini cakes + friday links

we moved to the farm yesterday! (i moved to a farm!!!!!!!) it feels so grown-upish and exciting and weird and fantastic. two years ago, if you would have told me that i'd be moving to the farm of that quiet trombone player with the mozart tattoos, i would have lol-ed so loud. and also two years ago, if you would have told me that there exists a land without traffic and a quality of life the size of texas that i would soon be calling home, i would have called you a liar and ordered another bagel.

the farm welcomed us with a purple-pink sky and a few bits of yummy rain. we slept in the guest room, on our king-sized mattress plopped onto the queen-sized bed, because there's still a lot of work to be done on the house. we need floors, mainly. i also need to learn how to navigate the basement so i don't feel the need to store all of my fondue pots right in the kitchen.

the great news is: we have kitchen shelves with a custom cutout for my kitchen-aid, i have a baking station complete with a cookie cutter drawer (but food coloring is invited), and we've officially labeled our two main rooms the parlor and the studio because after 27 years eggboy still does not know the difference between a living room and a family room.

this open shelving thing has got me on a hunt for cute bottles for my vinegars and little jars for my sprinkles. any ideas???

i have some citrus mini cakes up on betty crocker today, just in time to celebrate! they were so much fun to create because i had a reason to buy every piece of citrus from the store. the layers in the recipe are lemon, lime, and grapefruit, and they're held together with a bit of lemon curd, but really any combination of citrus will do. get the recipe for these cakes here.

i am off to spend the day unpacking! but first, some links...

friday links


this is highbrow/brilliant, also my next halloween costume

you know why i love the internet? because it shows you how to replicate the holy grail of drunk foods so you can have it in places that are not new york city, for example, a farm

if t.r.l. could come back with more videos like this i would watch it every day with handi-snacks and dunkaroos

swirly bread with red bean paste!!!

lemon, lavender, and earl grey mini cakes and mini mini cakes!!!

the milk carton kids live on npr is a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon in your jammies.

it's my savory crepe cake dreams come true

despite all of my halva failures, i think i would be delighted to attempt this semolina halva

oh this is what i can do with that dukkah that's been lying around

this week i enjoyed tom brosseau's tiny desk concert, especially the long part about marilyn haggerty

i want to crust all of the things in salt, but first, these potatoes

these photos, ohmygah




my vintage pyrex collection is on display. my grain library is all filled up. we have string lights, a tea bar, and a couch from eggboy's grandma's basement. tomorrow i become a baker at the town bakery, and today we celebrated chocolate o'clock with chocolate covered jalapenos from the town chocolate shop. we have moved in! 

i live in north dakota and i can't hardly believe it. it's sweater weather here, and the air is so clean! i can practically feel my innards relaxing into mush (in the good, de-stressing way, not the bad, out-of-shape way... although that's probably true too).

i'm so excited to be here! a little bit nervous for the winters, but very very excited. here's to new beginnings and new winter coats!