Pigtales 05: On Thankfulness + News

Family Photography by Kait Miller

Pigtales is a glimpse at the going-ons that take place (mostly) outside of the P&Q kitchen. Baby stuffs, things I love, general musings and other tales from my life as a momma, wife and semi-professional goofball. I wanted to share this post before the holiday. Wait, scratch that. I wanted to share this post a month ago — on Monday, October 24th, to be exact. The day that, as Lana and I were driving home from ballet, singing Five Little Monkeys for at least the twenty-fifth time and cursing the already setting sun, I received the phone call telling me I had breast cancer. I was shell-shocked. Dumbfounded. Numb. I mean, once I stopped the car and got Lana into the house, I was a snotfaced, convulsing mess. But aside from that first tidal wave of emotion (which was triggered by the singular thought that if I die, Lana won’t remember me), I kind of entered a silent zombie mode, punctuated every so often by a spoken aloud what in the actual fuck. Fifteen days later, the electoral college determined that Donald Trump would be our next president. It was a rough couple of weeks, you guys. But here’s the … Read More

Ultimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette

Ultimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #vegan #dairyfree

There are no new words to communicate how quickly this holiday season came upon us. There are even fewer words to relay how unprepared I am for the coming days of packing, travel and stretchy pants. And the internet knows far more than me about how to put your best bird forward, so I’ll spare you my attempt. Instead, as has become habit of late, I’ll keep things on the short side (I’m actually working on a new pigtales piece that will exhaust whatever vocabulary I leave on the table in this post) and just drop this most colorful salad into your laps. Something to brighten what can often be an otherwise beige holiday table. Or something to greet you on the other side of decidedly beige weekend. (To be clear: beige in these references is not necessarily a bad thing. Gravy knows no bounds, and rightly so.) I’ve so named this salad ultimate fall based on the foundation components, alone, but the dressing is truly something to behold, so I’ll start there. A hefty dose of turmeric, given away by the dressing’s beckoning golden hue, meets honey (or maple syrup), freshly squeezed tangerine juice, plenty of black pepper and just enough apple … Read More

Coconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque (Dairy-Free)

Coconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree

Phew. What a weird week, huh? Chances are, if you live in the US, the past couple of days have been a trip. An SNL sketch that has gone on and on, until you’re starting to feel more than just a little uncomfortable for the actors. And I say this not as a woman or a parent or a proponent of preserving love and withholding judgement — though I am all of those things. I say this an American. And I think that, regardless of which way you voted, you probably feel the same. Things got a little circus-y. Or more fittingly, we let things get a little circus-y. And now it’s time to take down the tent, shovel up the elephant shit, and act like grown-ups. To the best of our ability. Also, pretty sure elephants aren’t allowed in the circus anymore, but you get me. It was that or a Tim McGraw reference. Let’s talk about soup. Soup is, for me (as I’m sure it is for many of you) the very near epitome of comfort food — bested only, perhaps, by potatoes in any iteration. It makes sense, then, that soup largely comprised of potatoes is as close as … Read More

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew recipe (via thepigandquill.com)

If you have any penchant for food blogs at all, you know Cynthia. She’s the quiet, quasi-anonymous beauty behind Two Red Bowls. The kind of writer who uses just enough big words to make you feel a little shy about your own prose while keeping everything warm and casual and best-friendy. A food-styling sensation. And creator of such culinary masterpieces as these beautifully storied umami-bombed noodles; these temptingly grabbable (steamed) buns; and this nostalgic Korean stew that is topped with not one but three of my favorite post-war convenience foods: spam, hotdogs and American cheese. (I die.) If you’ve been reading along in this space for a bit, you might remember when Cynthia popped in with bacony tomato soup and sammies (the bacon being in both the soup AND the sammies, because we are clearly of the same mind) when Chris and I first welcomed Lana. And if you happen to know Cynthia as a fellow blogger, you know she is famous for leaving the best comments ever — friendly and personal and anecdotal and sweet. In short: she is one magnificent gal, oozing with talent and charm and irresistible appeal and completely humble despite it all. And now she’s a momma! To a … Read More

#Totoroweek Katsudon with Furikake + “No Recipe” Fried Rice

#Totoroweek Katsudon with Furikake + "No Recipe" Fried Rice (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree

Oh haiiiii twice in one week mah peebles! (Sorry.) Just checking in quickly today to bring you the (quasi-non) recipe for these little dudes. Typically, katsudon entails a breaded and fried pork cutlet simmered with sautéed onions, soft-set eggs and a simple little sweet-salty sauce over hot rice — and that’s basically what’s going on here, sub baked tonkatsu for fried and garlicky fried rice for plain steamed. I didn’t do it to be confusing, guys. It just turned out that way. OH. And in honor of Steph’s #totoroweek, the katsu cutlets have been stylized into (some admittedly pretty abstract, because #lazy) little totoros – yay! With cheese bellies and nori features borrowed from the hostess, herself. Thanks, girl! There’s rain in the forecast this weekend, so we’re staying in with friends to carve pumpkins, snuggle up with scary movies and brunch on all the things. The perfect little pre-Halloween weekend without the pressure of getting dressed up all slutty or donning a costume that cleverly ties into the presidential election. I’m not saying those are the only two options, but they’re basically the only two options. Unless you count the inevitable #NastyWoman getup, which is kind of a “best of both worlds” … Read More

Savory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage (Dairy-Free)

Savory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage Recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree

As I write this, Lana is on the baby cam arranging her bed buddies around the perimeter of her crib, and her baby doll just won’t sit up the way she wants. It’s fascinating to me the way she’ll prop her up, watch her slouch forward, frown, prop her up again, etc., without so much as peep — when I know that, if I were in the room with her, she’d be whining almost instantly for my help. It’s moments like this — little, stalkery episodes where I stand back and admire her persistence or strength (she deadlifted a compost pail full of rocks and carried it across the backyard when I was just out of sight) — that I wonder if my constant presence isn’t a hindrance of sorts. When she comes up against a step and reaches for my hand. When she shoots her arms skyward the moment I walk into her room. (Ut! Ut!) When she pushes her spoon toward me, followed by the oatmeal. Like, you scoop it, mom, not me. I question if all my help is actually hurting her a little, or if she’s just an opportunist. And if it’s the latter, shouldn’t I take advantage? … Read More

(You’ll Never Guess They’re) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

(You'll Never Guess They're) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #dairyfree #eggfree

Let’s talk about fears. Is it weird to kick things off that way? Here, I’ll add some bogus relevance. It’s almost Halloween: super spooky. Let’s talk about fears. Better? I’ll tell you what I’m afraid of. One thing, really, and I’m getting real vulnie putting this out there for all the internet to read/take advantage of. Ready? Creepy tiny repeating textures, mostly those occurring in nature and especially those occurring on flesh. We’re talking: beehives pores/spores/those things on the underside of ferns VOMMITTTTT aerial views of penguins en masse See also: geico guy made of money skittles chicken pox guy OMG NO tree trunk arms guy from Grey’s And most definitely: adzuki beans beards I’d like to point out that I’m intentionally not linking to these examples because it would mean searching for and therein (re)witnessing them for myself, but google to your heart’s content if you feel like having a major effing panic attack. Seriously chills vom chills repeat vommmmmm. Are you still reading? Are you breathing into a paper bag yet? No? Just me? Because you guys, I’m not alone. It even has a name. Trypophobia. OMG even just typing that is making the hairs on the back of my … Read More

Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns

Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #holiday #desserts #breakfast #pastry

We’re down to one nap. Have we talked about this yet? We’re down to one nap. And while it’s a helluva lot easier to schedule our days around a single snooze, it’s a doozy for my personal time. And my email inbox. And the taking of photographs during (diminishing) daylight hours. Oh, and also my sanity. See again: lack of personal time. Remember the days when Lana would snooze on my boob to the tune of a Pretty Little Liars marathon? I’m pretty sure I was still too busy fuh-reaking out about new parent shit at the time to fully appreciate the glory that was the nurse-nap, but man, that was a sweet deal. These days, I’m lucky if I can get the dishwasher loaded and a single episode queued up before the distinct dahhhhhhh-dah-dah-dah of a freshly woken babe trills from down the hall. Good thing she’s so gosh-daggin’ cute. Despite the shorty nap, Chris and I are rapidly learning how fun it can be to have an older kiddo on our hands. There’s the whole ballet thing we talked about last week, which, in its second week, is still charming as hell. There’s the way she picks up, inspects and … Read More

Nectarine + Prosciutto Galettes with Gorgonzola + Thyme

Nectarine + Prosciutto Galettes with Gorgonzola + Thyme recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #pastry #baking #pie #dessert

This post was supposed to be published two days ago, but I’ve been spending my evenings shopping online for tutus. Talk about a rabbit hole. I’m down it so far, I’m thinking it’d be shorter dig my way out through China. Which wouldn’t be the worst idea, since that’s where about 100% of tutus you can buy online are made. Also iPhone 7 cases. But that’s a hole nother story. (Yes, I’m laughing out loud at myself.) In a move I was almost certain we’d never make, we signed Lana up for ballet this week. To be clear: I have nothing against ballet. There is much about it to admire, and I even did my own little stint as a tot. But even in the little baby class, it’s structured. Where the itty bitty gymboree classes encourage you to run amuck (a skill Lana has all but mastered), ballet encourages composure. When Miss Patricia asked us in a sing-song voice to sit on the purple dot, Lana ran away and tried to break into the bathroom. When Miss Patricia asked us to hold our daisies high above our heads and tiptoe across the room, Lana brought hers down like Thor’s hammer on the girl adjacent. … Read More

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit (DF/GF)

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert

Alanna (The Bojon Gourmet) and I met when I was just baaaaarely pregnant — those first days when you’re still wincing at sneezes and consulting your sustainable seafood app for fear of mercury poisoning at every turn. Both of us being only somewhat formally employed at the time (note: if you’ve read the tale behind the name of her blog, you’ll know she takes no offense to this; note-within-a-note: she is now a bonafide cookbook author!!! while I am still…whatever the hell I am…), we met up for a weekday brunch at Plow where I promptly broke out into a cold sweat over how to slyly avoid bacon, runny eggs and booze at a meal traditionally designed around all three. “Should we get champagne? Mimosas!” she suggested. (Clearly we were designed to be lifelong friends.) “Oh, how fun! But I’m driving back right after this. Plus, you know…Asian. Low tolerance. I turn sooo red…….” I wet blanketed back. Which is why I didn’t have the heart to confess, when we ordered a delicately dressed salad topped with an undeniably soft-cooked egg, just how many early-day preggo fears were wrapped up in that taut little trembling sack. But what kind of food blogger doesn’t eat runny … Read More