Serious Coffee

Black Coffee

I’m not here to talk about the half-hearted brownish beverage that comes from a standard pot. I enjoy bold, black coffee, and I prefer to make it in a device as straightforward and aggressive as the brew it produces. That’s where the Bialetti Moka Express comes in. Its sharp, geometric lines and no-nonsense style encapsulate everything that it embodies. It’s the most simple and aesthetically pleasing way to make a shockingly strong cup of coffee.

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Porch Cocktails No. 1

Gin and Tonic

What says summer afternoons on the porch like a gin & tonic? It’s the perfect drink to have in hand while I lounge and read, which is the inspiration for my summer porch cocktails series. Sadly, I’ve finished my spring stash of the stellar nectar that is Hendrick’s gin. It was a wonderful transition into summer, and made even a standard weeknight cocktail feel like a treat. Now that I’ve taken off my academic hat in favor of a little summer downtime, though, I’m embracing less formal concoctions. I stumbled upon this WSJ article—with tons of suggestions for upgrading a G&T—just as I was transitioning from my favorite spring cocktails to their summer cousins. I was inspired to experiment, so I sampled a few G&Ts made with Hendrick’s gin and Fentiman’s tonic. They were incredibly delicious—with more complex botanical flavors and less sweetness—but I don’t find that their undoubted superiority warrants the steep price of the ingredients. A humble combination of Seagram’s extra dry gin and Canada Dry tonic is perfectly acceptable, in my opinion. I pay this drink the same respect I would its pricier counterpart, and find the ritual equally enjoyable.

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Downtime

The past few weeks have been unimaginably hectic! I’m used to functioning at full throttle, but not like this. I finished up my own classwork earlier in the month, and wrapped up my work for the class I was teaching around the same time. Then came a week of graduation ceremonies and all of the school and family celebrations that accompanied them. I spent the following week moving out of my apartment, and cursing myself for accumulating such an ungodly quantity of stuff in a third floor walk-up. Finally, I brought the month to a close by performing bridesmaid duties for my friend Ellen at Pretty Neutral. All the while, I’ve been keeping up with the endless administrative requirements for my upcoming first year in veterinary school. Read more

Actually Good Turkey Burgers

Turkey Burger

Most people seem to approach turkey burgers because they think they’re a “healthy alternative” to traditional beef burgers. In reality, there’s no way ground turkey can be substituted as-is for ground beef. They’re completely different beasts, and ground turkey should only be served in the same final form as ground beef when prepared using different methods.

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Spring Cocktails No. 4

Song Bird

Welcome to the final post in my spring cocktail spree. I’ve waxed poetic about a simple classic, the perfect drink for a lazy afternoon, and a wild mess of my own creation. Now, it’s time to introduce another springtime favorite: Green Chartreuse. Hang in there, because I can’t do this miraculous liquid justice with a brief description. Skip to the end if you’re only here for the the recipes. Then, maybe jump back up here when you have a drink in hand.

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