gwyneth and me

I have done a few nutty things in preparation for my upcoming nuptials, but the pinnacle so far was the week I went 100% Gwyneth. I gave up gluten, dairy, booze, sugar, red meat, and a bunch of other random things (tomatoes?) to ensure that my wedding gown would zip all the way up during my first fitting. I was roughly following Paltrow’s “elimination diet” as outlined in her new cookbook, It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great.

gwyneth and me

think she’ll come to the wedding? we have a vegan option on the menu…

A few weeks ago, fresh off of a lovely and indulgent vacation with my mom to Hot Springs, Arkansas, I was feeling rather, ahem, full, and was concerned that I had only a week and a half post-vacation before my first wedding dress fitting. One day at work, I was mulling over my predicament, trying to recall some—any—healthy recipes, when Rachel walked in and told me she received Gwyenth Paltrow’s new book as a Mother’s Day gift. She was impressed by the chicken meatballs and spied a bunch of other recipes that looked tasty and healthy. My ears perked up. I was interested, but highly skeptical. Hadn’t this cookbook been referred to as the “air and water diet” and been ridiculed across the world wide web? Later the same day, Rachel sent me a link to a hilarious New York Magazine article by a woman who dabbled in a number of the diet plans Paltrow outlines in the book and found herself liking many of the dishes. Through the humor, I got the strong impression that this book had a lot of healthy recipes that were easy enough to prepare and darn delicious. At that moment, I decided to catapult myself out of vacation eating mode by jumping on the elimination bandwagon.

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butter poached bon: popcorn crunch sundae

This was probably our easiest “what should we make from the Bon this month?” decision ever. It wasn’t even a discussion–as soon as we saw the recipe for ABC Kitchen’s salted caramel popcorn sundae, it was a done deal. Witness our text exchange (on a day when Jessica had already gotten some different great news):


In other words, we were psyched. We first had this sundae on Memorial Day weekend 2010, which was Laura and Ed’s first couple-trip to NYC (or anywhere). The three of us had an early dinner at ABC after seeing a Sunday matinee performance of Next Fall. We were high off of seeing a great play and the food at ABC pushed us even higher. The crab toast, the mushroom pizza with a farm egg, the cheeseburger–all of it exceeded our expectations. We capped it off with a dessert that Laura has since described (rightly) as a “crack-laced bowl of opium.” It’s salted caramel ice cream, candied peanuts and popcorn, fudge sauce, and whipped cream, and the two of us ate it like we’d never see food again (Ed liked it, but wasn’t quite as entranced). We’ve discussed this particular treat not infrequently over the past three years, and jumped at the chance to recreate it at home.

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my favorite eggs are deviled

This is hard thing for a lady of my age and station to admit, but for most of my life I haven’t totally loved eggs. Or (harder still to say), even really liked them very much. When I was a little girl my breakfast choice was always scrambled–as much as I coveted the family egg cups, if only for the cuteness factor, the runny yolk of a softboiled egg gave me the icks. Even early in my New York life, when brunch started to be part of my normal weekend routine, I would push the eggs off of my Benedict and carefully eat only the white so as not to pierce the yolk and get my English muffin soggy (shudder). In the last several years I’ve made a concentrated effort to open my heart to eggs, and have had some definite successes. I’ve learned to love a poached or fried egg over pasta, breakfast hash, and salads, and would say my life is tastier for it.  But my favorite egg, from way back when, is definitely deviled.