Pan-Braised Meatballs with Spring Onions + Parm (Toddler Friendly!)

First, a tremendous thank you for the comments, messages, virtual hugs and social media shares in light of my last entry. Shortly after pressing publish, I asked Chris how he felt about the post, and he pushed back with “how do you feel after writing it?” To which I offered, “Better.” So. Thank you for listening, for allowing this spot to be about more than just side hustle and SPAM. For indulging me. If I could hug and squeeze every one of you, I would. But as I cannot, I’ll offer up this — the coziest, most comforting gift I can share via the internet: meatballs. I’ve talked before about the beckoning allure of meatballs — how they’ll call to me from one of the glossy covers at the checkstand and suddenly my carefully strategized meal plan is abandoned on the spot. (Kidding. I don’t meal plan.) Even in the current phase of my life, where I’m actively seeking more sustenance from plants than animals, the solitary promise of a saucy, perfectly braised meatball is an easy reminder that moderation will always remain the name of the game around here. Meatballs for breakfast, lunch and dinner? A lovely idea, but … Read More

Three Cheese Butternut Squash Pasta Bake with Mushrooms + Chard

Three Cheese Butternut Pasta Bake with Mushrooms + Chard Recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #burrata #casserole

Some weeks ago I saw a Tasting Table video on Facebook I couldn’t resist. Jumbo shells, stuffed with roasted butternut squash and ricotta, topped with burrata and baked. It was undeniably appealing, instantly evocative of the frozen, cheese-stuffed jumbo shells my bestie Whitney and I used to heat up for summer lunches back when Costco was Price Club and we still owned more cassette tapes than CD’s. Looking in my fridge, I was heartbroken to remember using the last of our ricotta on that morning’s toast (with sliced pears and honey — never a bad idea) — but was blasted with hope in the form of plenty of parmesan and at least a cup’s worth of aged sharp cheddar, otherwise known fondly around here as “orange cheese” (and exponentially more appealing to a rapidly-approaching 2-year-old whose entire world seems to hang on the texture of her dinner). Taking the same tiny being into mind, I got the squash roasting and browned up a heap of quartered criminis — we’ve had weeks of late where they’re one of only things we’re certain she’ll devour — then wilted down a massive bunch of chard we’d just received in our CSA (in the same pan, no worries) and crossed my fingers … Read More

grilled artichoke and cherry tomato pasta with parm, parsley + garlic toast crumbs

Grilled Artichoke and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Parm, Parsley + Garlic Toast Crumbs from @thepigandquill | via thepigandquill.com | #summer #vegetarian #brunch

There are so many ways to start this post today, I almost don’t know where to start. It’s (un)officially summer! It’s officially mah berfday month! I’m eating dairy again! BRUNCH PASTA! I suppose if you needed to weave all of those items into a common tale, we could talk about how all I wanted for my birthday was to put milkstuff in my facehole again and this totally brunch-worthy pasta that sings of summer is making all those dreams come true. In fact, that’s basically it. I should probably end the post here. But you know meeeeeeeeee. So first off: did you all have the loveliest holiday weekend, or what? Tell me about it. (Really, I wanna know!) We did a whole lot of nothing, which was — which always is — glorious. Lotsa walks to the park, takeout from our new fave Mediterranean spot (I think I ate there three times in the past two weeks?), the perfect Hello Summer barbecue hosted by lovely friends that began with Lana skipping her morning nap for the first time ever and ended with rosé, cake and everyone eating their weight in fish tacos. Perfection. And as for the rest, well, it really can be rolled into … Read More

tomato-bacon bisque + apple-bacon grilled cheese | two red bowls guest post

tomato-bacon bisque + apple-bacon grilled cheese |two red bowls guest post! (via thepigandquill.com)

Today I’m beyond elated to have Cynthia from Two Red Bowls generously pinch-hitting for me while I gorge myself on baby Lana cuddles (ok – more like baby Lana feeding. after feeding. aaaaafter feeding. someone takes after her momma…). I’ve adored Cynthia’s culinary creativity (these biscuits + Chinese sausage gravy! this SPAMmy budae jjigae! those pineapple buns!) and distinctively styled photography since shortly after I joined the blogosphere, and her warm heart and sincere voice always keep me coming back to her space time and again. She’s truly an inspiration! If you don’t already follow Cynthia (you silly duck, you…), I implore you to check her out just as soon as you’re done reading about the knockout bacon-studded soup and sammy combo she put together, below. And be sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, too. With a wedding in the works for this summer — cue confetti pop/bride/blingy ring/hearty-eyes/more confetti pop emojis!!! — she’s extra social media stalk-worthy these days. 🙂 Big hugs for the helping hand, Cynthia! And so many congrats on your upcoming nuptials. Yay! Hi friends! I am so, so excited and honored to be here in such a special time for P&Q. When Emily first asked me … Read More

(party-perfect!) deviled cheese crisps + farewell 2014

Super simple cheese crisps made with crisped rice cereal!! Great for cheese plates or party trays. Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #partyfood #NYE #recipe #cheese #snacks

Crumbly. Spicy. Almost-shortbready-but-they’re-made-with-rice-crispies-whaaaaaaa…CHEESE CRISPS!!!!! Yes. But first. There’s but a single day left in 2014 (or two? do I count today?) and I’m trapped somewhere between having too many words to share and not a clue what to write. Which, if you blog or journal or have even ever tried to write a particularly clever email to your boss, is something you’ve all experienced. (Side note: that clever email thing = really hard to pull off. And not for lack of trying, trust me…) Generic as it may sound, 2014 was a year of substantial changes in our little abode. There was the work stuff — like how, at the tail end of 2013, Chris bade farewell to a job he loved (the job, in fact, that brought us back to California, for which we’ll always be grateful) and stepped into an exciting new role that has kept his bright and boundless engineering mind alight with happy challenges. And then this spring, I left my job in marketing — and the second family that went along with it — to explore more personal passions, both here on the blog with all of you (one of my sincerest joys!) and beyond. I never officially … Read More

duck fat-roasted potato + wilted kale salad with miso-mustard dressing (gluten-free)

Fancy, cozy and totally easy -- on the table in 30 mins! Full recipe at thepigandquill.com. (#glutenfree with #vegetarian mods.) #fall #salad #recipe #potatoes #kale

I can already tell that this winter is going to be about DUCK FAT IN ALL THE THINGS. If you’re a veggie-terry-an or a vegan or a fish-a-whateveran, feel free to read that as OLIVE OIL IN ALL THE THINGS. Just know your tastebuds are getting royally ripped off. Because le fat of le duck is le bombdiggidamndamn. (Would you believe I almost considered going into technical writing in college? True story. Something about wanting a paycheck.) Per the usj, for this Thanksgiving’s brunch we ditched the turkey (figuring everyone heads off to a turkey household for dinner) and opted to cook up the whole rest of the barnyard instead. Thassright, lerdies and gernts: we cassoulet’d till the cows came home. To live. In our stomachs. We followed every critically outlined step of this Serious Eats cassoulet recipe, save for swapping the garlic pork sausage for a garlicky beef kielbasa, and were rewarded with one of the most purely satisfying comfort meals I’ve ever sat down to enjoy. Duck fat, dark meat chicken (yep, chicken, not duck — read the whole background article, it gets right into the who’s and why’s), salted pork belly, those smoky beef sausages and tender … Read More

parmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage

parmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipe

When we lived in San Luis Obispo — that is, a near lifetime ago, full of workdays ending at 4pm, leisurely evening bike rides and long morning strolls through the quaintest of downtowns (remind me why we left again?) — one of our favorite lazy Saturdays was a drive through the hills of south county, taking the seemingly less-traveled backroads past horse farms and vineyards, through sun-shattered corridors of black oaks, all the way to Pismo Beach. Ok, full disclosure: it’s maybe a 20-minute drive, but as the saying goes, distance — or maybe just time — makes the heart grow fonder, and the nostalgic poet within is apparently wholly smitten with every detail of those carefree jaunts, efficient as they may have been. We’d pass the time at Pismo with a nap on the sand, bread bowls of briny chowder thicker than sausage gravy — and too many instances of me charging down the pier, attempting to sneak up on seagulls and instead reeling with fear when they’d boldly stand their ground. Because apparently I was (um, am?) a hyperactive 9-year-old. At dinner, we’d forego the trendier Pismo dining scene for the comfort of Rosa’s, a homey enclave of heirloom Italian recipes, … Read More

Summer Street Corn Two Ways (gluten-free)

Ok guys. Here it is: the post (or rather, posts) that’s officially gonna take your “waaaaaah it’s already August, Poopiecakes McBacktoschool” and turn it into “it’s peak sweet corn season beeeyahs, mah summer’s juuuuuuust getting started!!” Because a summer without corn is just pool hair and ReddiWip. Ear cuffs and Dippin’ Dots. Rollerblades and boy bands. Oh, sorry, thought we were listing our fave childhood shit. Are you still there? The shameful thing is that corn actually isn’t all that commonplace in our house, even when it’s at the peak of candy-sweet, 10-for-a-dolla awesomeness. The simplest explanation would be that Chris is so neutral on corn that it breaks my heart a little each time he fails to give it even a passing glance. But really, it’s because corn in our house turns into, without fail, all the corn in my belly. Ever. Like six ears in one sitting and then it’s at least half an hour of “baaaaaaaaaaabe whydyoulemmeeatsomuch cooooooooooooooooooorn.” And then some corny bathroom comment, because together Chris and I have a combined age of, like, 11. This season, though, I was lucky enough to find corn in our crisper more than once, and after seeing vendor upon vendor … Read More

Creamy Baked Eggs with Chimichurri (Christmas Eggs! w/ gf option)

This week has been a whirlwind. I’d point out my lack of posting, but perhaps you’ve already noticed? We learned a few days ago that Chris will be starting a new job in two weeks (he’s such a smartie!), we’re toying with the idea of moving (locally, but is moving ever easy?) — and after months of anticipation research, we finally sealed the deal on some new wheels for this little lady. Which begs the question: where was this heated steering wheel thing when I was driving to work in Level 3 snow emergencies a few years ago? Or 4WD, for that matter? Doing things backwards is fun. Happily, Thanksgiving weekend also marked the arrival of a snazzy 6′ Noble Fir, which is looking positively handsome in his Christmas skirt and wing-ed angel top hat. He’s a classy dude. And he’s totally rocking big, floppy plaid bows like it’s 1991. And a few well-placed My Little Ponies, just to keep things kitschy. We’ve even got this grapevine twine garlandy thing going on in all its Pottery-Barn-meets-actual-barn glory. It’s so freaking hip in here, you guys. I can’t even. And I don’t know about you, but once the tree goes up, … Read More

Snap Pea, Parmesan & Bacon Salad with Dijon Dressing

Evening friends. Quick post tonight as I want to save a few things for a bonus post I’ll be putting up later in the weekend. A little sunt’n sunt’n about a certain blog turning one. We might even light a candle, but let’s not get ahead of things. This week has been, in a word, flaughghg. I’ve been operating in a bit of a fog, attempting to nurse myself back to health with a winning mixture of green juice, Emergen-C and DayQuil, but only after a trip to the doc and a five-day stint of antibiotics am I finally starting to feel better. Summertime bronchitis. Who knew. The great news is that we’ve got so much fun shig on the calendar this coming month that there is, quite simply, no time for coughing, wheezing or one-eyed nose blowing. (Do you close an eye when you blow? Is that just me?) Next week brings a trip to the great Midwest to meet the BFF’s new baby boy, then it’s THREE back-to-back weddings for three sets of dear, dear friends — and lastly, almost a full week of hosting this crazy girl (and her slightly less crazy beau) in our teeny-tiny one-bedroom … Read More