Rosemary Raisin Sour Cream Scones

rosemary raisin sour cream scones

When I was younger I used to make my home in Providence, Rhode Island.

I lived in a small, two bedroom walk-up apartment with various roomies on a street called Hope.

I used to be an artist model back in those days.  It was one of my most favorite jobs I ever had and though I spent many an hour freezing what-my-momma-made-me off and developing the crackitiest, creakitiest of joints, spending my days as one was great.

I modeled at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and at the Providence Art Club as well.  But my most favorite place to work was with a private painting group of mostly older ladies at Lippitt Farm, a sprawling private estate at the edge of country of Tony J’s, an amazing artist and RISD instructor who hosted them there. Continue reading

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Brown Butter Slow-Rise Soft Pretzels

brown butter slow-rise soft pretzels

Many, many years ago, in a land far, far away, there was a young art student named Christina.

The world was brand new back then and the possibilities, endless.  And everyday, lugging an enormous black portfolio almost as big as she, young Christina would head to day-long art classes to paint dead fish.

And although, after many, long, balmy hours left unrefrigerated, the fish would inevitably spill their guts (literally) — and give her the driest of heaves — it was still something to see. Continue reading

Best Homemade Strawberry Shortcakes (or What It Really Means)

best homemade strawberry shortcakes

Birthdays can have their way with you if you let them.

(And not in a good way).

They tend to be viewed by much of Western society as simply markers on the passage of time to a place we’re all headed to known as Older.

And Western society does not like Older.

It’s true, time does speed up the older one gets and with The Big Day (i.e. Moving Day) a mere 15 days away now, I am all the more aware of the passing of time than ever before. Continue reading

New Orleans-Style Skillet BBQ Shrimp with Bacon

new orleans style skillet BBQ shrimp with bacon

I have this thing for shrimp.

It’s not because of how they look.

They’re not particularly pretty.

And let’s face it, they look kind of alien too.

Now, not that I have anything against aliens — I’m sure they could be very nice — but I’m not quite sure putting anything on one’s plate (let alone one’s stomach) that looks like it could pilot a space ship would be such a good idea. Continue reading

Best Goat Milk Bread Pudding with Mapled Rhubarb (or For Mama)

best goat milk bread pudding with mapled rhubarb 3

Sunday is Mother’s Day.

The day we set aside to honor the good mamas of the world.

A simple “thanks” however seems hardly enough.

Especially for the extra special ones.

Like mine.

Now, I know that a lot of girls think this about the first, major female figure they laid their newborn eyes on but in Mama Lazarakis’s case, it’s extra true. Continue reading

Banana Molasses Cake with Sweet Crème Fraîche

banana molasses cake with sweet creme fraiche

I have no real stories to tell this week, dear readers, except to tell you that this cake rocks.

And I don’t even really like cake.

And if you’re not in-the-know already, I’m also here to spill the beans on a super-duper top-secret:

Bananas + Molasses = Awesome

And I don’t even like bananas.

But I do like molasses.

In fact, I love molasses.

If I weren’t madly in love with my husband, seriously, I’d probably run away with the stuff. Continue reading

Red Wine Red Velvet Cupcakes with Buttermilk Mascarpone

red wine red velvet cupcakes

Love.

We all want it and we all need it.

Tennyson said it perfectly:

Love is the only gold.

And when we have it, we are truly rich indeed.

It can be found in the most expected and unexpected of places.

In food made with it, in a heart filled with it and especially when we give it. Continue reading

Cheesecake Brownies

cheesecake brownies

res·o·lu·tion

/ˌrezəˈlo͞oSHən/

Noun  A firm decision to do or not to do something.

Truth?

I’ve given up on New Year’s resolutions years ago.

Not to be a downer at all, but though well-intentioned, they’ve historically tended to be embarked upon with inspired, unabashed vigor yet have very often crashed and burned without so much as a single woot. Continue reading

Cast-Iron Cornbread with Salted Molasses Butter

cast iron cornbread with salted molasses butter 3

With the holidays now in full swing, I’ve found myself getting sentimental.

Now, I am a sensitive creature by nature and commercials have (and still do) make me cry.

But this time of the year, the emotion-meter is even higher than usual.

Perhaps it’s the Christmas carols making their way to my ear in every store, or the Christmas lights twinkling everywhere I go, but it all finds me thinking of family. Continue reading

Bacon-Arugula Mashed Potatoes

I saved my plants yesterday.

From a certain watery demise.

Just between you and me, it could just be putting off the inevitable.

But I’m not telling my plants that.

You see, it’s been raining a lot here in the Seattle area.  And when I say a lot, I mean The-Second-Coming-of-The-Ark a lot. Continue reading

Baked Bourbon Pudding Cakes with Cherry Cardamom Sauce

With a year wrapping up and Thanksgiving just around the bend, I’ve lately found myself thinking about many a thing short and sweet.

Things like:

Quick trips with one’s family and my mom too.  She’s the itty bitty one in the picture … Continue reading

Pumpkin Pancakes with Spiced Maple Walnut Brown Butter

I have a terrible habit of waiting too long to eat.  Usually by the time I do, I’m pouring ketchup on my shoe.

When I do that, things tend to go down like this:

Stage One

I notice I’m hungry, but too engrossed (okay, obsessed) in whatever it is I’m doing and forget.  Yup.  Forget.

Stage Two

I notice that I’m really hungry and think for a moment this time that I should do something about it but — much like a squirrel — I get distracted and then forget.  Some more.  But — unlike a squirrel — I don’t go get me some nuts. Continue reading