We are now in the single-digit countdown for Marathon Sunday. My friends, teammates, and friend-strangers all over the world are settling into the zone called “the taper” — the Catch-22. Both dreaded and welcomed, it’s the time when we bring our mileage and our intensity down in order to rest and recuperate after months of depletion. It’s the time when we pull together our marathon outfits and plan our fingernail colors, go over our race strategies, and, of course, worry. Why does my ankle hurt? Why am I so tight? Can I really do this? Oh god am I getting fat?
But possibly the best part (which raises the “fat” question) is the carbo-load — a necessity to shore up the body’s glycogen stores to fuel the 26.2-mile haul. Granted (and I think I’ve said this before), I generally don’t need to do anything too out of the ordinary to make this happen. I’m a pasta fool. But after my longest, hardest effort two weeks ago, in the form of a 22-mile run up to the Little Red Lighthouse and back, I decided to shake it up a bit and go beyond my usual penne alla vodka, or spaghetti aglio e olio, or simple tomato and basil, and put in a bit of effort. I decided to make a true bolognese. Continue reading →
There are days, when the rain is pouring, the wind threatens to stop you in your tracks, and you’re sick and in need of antibiotics, but genius hits, and you need to go out of your way to pick up that something special you know you need for magic, weather and aching body be damned. That day was last Friday, and that something special was Speculoos Cookie Butter. The idea: Speculoos Breakfast Buns.
It was almost like lightning struck in my office, my mind wandering from censorship to food, as it inevitably does at various points each and every day. Speculoos Cookie Butter is already genius — I want to shake the hand of the person who one day thought it was a good idea to turn Belgian spice cookies into a spread — sweet and naughty like Nutella, but somehow almost savory like peanut butter. I eat spoonfuls of it straight from the jar when I’m hungry and out of cereal — standing over the stove making pasta, chopping vegetables, or staring wistfully out a window. You’ll know it if you’ve ever stopped at the Wafels and Dinges cart at the southeast corner of Central Park after a run, or at one of their other carts parked throughout the city; Speculoos’s pairing with Belgian waffles is heaven. And so, suddenly, while dreaming of weekend bakes, I thought, wouldn’t it also be perfect in roll form? Continue reading →
Are you slipping comfortably into fall? Sliding into the harvest? It fits me, like the warm sweater I’m wearing right now, on the first 50-degree day of the season. Like my favorite pair of cozy slippers. Like a perfect run in cool, crisp air, the wind at my back, my mile pace transformed. Like melty grilled cheese and tomato soup.
But not just any grilled cheese. Cheddar apple grilled cheese.
Continue reading →