I stumbled on these muffins when I was flipping—well, scrolling—through old issues of Feast by Lukas and I remembered how good and easy they were. Sturdy but tender, and just under-sweetened enough sans glaze to pass as breakfast, but with it, you’ve got a casual dessert. And like most muffins it’s a simple process of stirring the wet ingredients into the dry ones, then popping them into the oven. I made them with walnuts last weekend, but hazelnuts and almonds are also great.
I’ve just returned from a quick-but-long trip down the west coast, from Vancouver (BC), to Seattle, to San Francisco. Quick because it was only a week and a day, but long because it felt like much more—which is how I think trips ought to be. In Vancouver, Creative Director Steve and I saw the next issue of Jarry printed. (Above is the cover, fresh off the press, featuring Nik Sharma in a portrait by Patrick Byrnes.) There wasn’t a lot of free time to eat, but lunch at Nelson the Seagull was a standout.
For Seattle and SF I got a lot of enthusiastic recommendations from friends and colleagues. I thought I’d share some of the highlights here, gallery-style. I’d wanted this trip to be as much about the eating as possible, so it’s got a decadent slant. (It turns out I don’t really have the stomach for this style of travel, because at many points I craved only a smoothie, but I persevered. There are times in life to indulge and this, I decided, was one of them.)
L to R: Charred baby leeks with lime and dried yogurt at Bar Ferdinand (Seattle); pancake decadence topped with ricotta and lemon curd at Talullah’s (Seattle); 2 scoops of ice cream from Kurt Farm Shop, tomato jam and Flora’s Cheese (Seattle).
Last week I found myself making hash browns a few times, which is strange behavior on my part. Idaho boy that I am, potatoes are not a vegetable I crave. I got my fix growing up, when there was a baked potato at almost every dinner, and if not a baked potato then some kind of potato dish: twice-baked potatoes in a casserole, scalloped potatoes from a box mix, sour-cream mashed red bliss potatoes, et cetra. After I moved to New York I’d meet someone new, share that I grew up in Idaho, and brace myself for his or her response: “Did you grow up on a potato farm?” (I didn’t grow up on a potato farm.) Potatoes—my bête noire.
But as summer swiftly came to a close last week, I was more often than not making hash browns with dinner, and I think I figured out why. For many years, my dad would make hash browns for my brother and me before we left for school. The fridge always had a few leftover foil-wrapped baked potatoes in it, and so Dad would grate them up and fry them. (This may have also been a way to improve on his own usual breakfast of Honey Nut Cherrios.) When we came to the kitchen, showered and ready for school—we could hear the garage door cranking closed, because Dad would have just left for work—there would be two plates of hot hash browns on the counter waiting for us. Sometimes they had melted cheddar on top. We’d bastardize them with ketchup, shovel them down, and run off to catch the bus. Continue reading