First we eat, then we do everything else.”
– M. F. K. Fisher
A recipe is a wonderful thing. Someone today, yesterday, fifty years ago – a thousand years ago – cared about the food going onto your table. Creating a lasting record of how to make a meal is really a labor of love.
Some recipes are elaborate and festive – a feast to read about, with many steps, much technique, and fanciful ingredients. My favorites are the ones that include a few simple directions, foodstuffs that are usually on hand (in the freezer or the pantry) and can take a little bit of improvisation – I confess, I almost never follow them to a T.
Our Care Team (Pilar, Co-Founder, Ali, Social Media Manager and myself, Writer) have chipped in to provide some of our favorites, especially now when cooking feels so important. We’d love to share them with you, and hope that you make them (or enjoy hearing about some of the foods that bring us happiness).
Pilar has two delicious, family-friendly recipes (full instructions provided at the bottom of the post). Sunday Morning Scones are her son’s favorite – they always make them in the kitchen together. Happily, there’s no need for a mixer – and making scones works out perfectly for all ages. Her family loves to eat them almost as soon as they’re out of the oven, with strawberry preserves (homemade or from the store, it’s up to you). Tortilla Española is a great dinner dish, only requiring eggs, potatoes and onions (the last two are pantry staples that will keep a long time, when stored in a cool, dry and dark place). Pilar always serves this with mesclun salad and a lemon vinaigrette.
When it’s quick comfort food you crave, Ali suggests easy Avocado Toast or Egg in a Hole. Slice the bread you like and heat it to your preferred degree of toastiness. Mash an avocado with lemon (or without) and top with chili flakes, sea salt, chopped vegetables – whichever combination that your heart desires. Egg in a Hole is another recipe that could become any meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cut a circle in a slice of bread (for me, the kid’s Halloween cookie cutters will do) and butter both sides. Toast in a nonstick pan and crack an egg right where it needs to go. Cook to your desired level of doneness.
(Michelle) Lately I’ve been cooking as a way to enjoy spending time with the little ones (6 and 4). And what do six and four-year olds want to eat? Let’s start with a “p” and end with “izza.” We took Smitten Kitchen’s Broccoli Pizza recipe and watched the chemical reaction take place, turning water, yeast and flour into dough. It was fun asking them questions, like “is yeast alive?” and “how big do you think the dough will get in an hour?” Each child was an artist, of course – one went with the traditional red sauce, while the second wanted only chopped broccoli (yes!) and mozzarella, with the cheese arranged into a happy face. Another perk – making your own food tends to increase your children’s appetite (it’s scientifically proven).
Perhaps there’s other worthy recipes we haven’t addressed:
Happy Hour for One
Find a quiet place, pour a large glass of wine, arrange a few pieces of chocolate or cheese and crackers on a plate and (that’s it).
Your Best Bath
Dim the lights and light the prettiest candles you have been saving – there’s no time like the present. Draw a bath for yourself with an extraordinary amount of foam (in a pinch, the kid’s bubble bath will do just fine). If you have them, Epsom Salts work wonders for soothing tired muscles – especially after all that apartment or house cleaning!
Some books are almost as good as a meal, especially one written by M.F.K. Fisher. Try The Art of Eating – a main course about food, love, family and longing. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat is a most educational and accessible cookbook. My Life in France, Julia Child’s autobiography, vividly recreates both American and French food history, a lasting love story, and a woman’s persistence to create a masterpiece.
Pilar, Ali and Michelle
PILAR’S SUNDAY MORNING SCONES
12 scones | PREP 10 mins | BAKE 12-15 min | Oven 375ºF
1 ½ cups / flour
1 teaspoon / cream of tartar*
½ teaspoon / baking soda*
½ teaspoon / salt
3-4 tablespoons / cold butter
2/3 cups / whole milk
*You can substitute cream of tartar and baking soda for 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Lightly butter a baking sheet.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Cut in the cold butter and mix with a pastry blender or a fork into large flakey crumbs.
- Gather to a soft dough by mixing in the milk with a knife. Do not overmix.
- Roll out to a thickness of ½ inch or just over on a lightly floured surface and cut into rounds with a biscuit/pastry cutter 2-2 ½ inch.
- Arrange them on the baking sheet.
- Powder the tops with flour.
- Bake in a preheated 375ºF oven for 12-15 minutes. Scones are ready when they turn light gold.
8-12 slices | PREP 15 min | COOK 20 min
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon / olive oil
1 medium / yellow onion thinly sliced
3 medium / Yukon Gold potatoes peeled, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon / salt
8 large / eggs
- Heat ½ cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add onion and potatoes and cover skillet for 10 – 12 minutes.
- Cook until potatoes are tender, do not let them turn brown.
- Drain potatoes and onions and let them cool down.
- Beat 8 large eggs with salt in a mixing bowl.
- Gently mix warm potatoes and onions to egg mixture.
- Heat large skillet adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Pour egg and potato mixture into skillet and tilt skillet to let uncooked egg run underneath.
- When the bottom and side are set use a large plate to flip the tortilla onto a large plate.
- Carefully slide back into the skillet to finish cooking the other side for a few minutes.
- Slide onto a large plate.
- Cut into wedges and enjoy with a green salad.