favorite favorites

laura and jessica this june enjoying some dough doughnuts at the brooklyn flea

laura and jessica this june enjoying some dough doughnuts at the brooklyn flea

On September 6th, we celebrated our third blogiversary. It hardly seems possible that it’s been three whole years since we first took a deep breath and pushed publish, but 140 posts later, here we are. In some ways the time has flown, and in other ways we’re both so far from where we were back in September 2012. This has been such a special project for both of us—keeping us connected around one of our favorite shared subjects, pushing us to try new recipes always, giving us a reason to write—and looking back over the last three years definitely has us a little nostalgic.

One of our favorite things about blogging together is that we get to enjoy each other’s writing. During the summers in high school, we used to write snail mail letters, then came looong emails in our 20’s, and now most often we swap texts punctuated by carefully chosen emojis. Blogging has become another way to hear and savor each other’s voices—we rush to click through to read new posts as fast as we used to tear open those summer letters. This anniversary seemed like a great excuse to share some of our all time favorites of each other’s posts. We tried to be thematic and stick to just three each, but we ended up doing four a piece (one for good luck!).

Thank you so much for following along with us and we hope you enjoy butter poached as much as we do.

Jessica’s Favorite Laura Posts:

a cake worth requesting; tendresse aux pommes; back in the kitchen; gwenyth and me

clockwise from top left: a cake worth requesting; tendresse aux pommes; back in the kitchen; gwyneth and me

a cake worth requesting
This is one of Laura’s very first posts, and it’s still high on my list of favorites. I love it for the story it tells about Laura and Ed’s sweet relationship and how she shows care through cooking, and I love it for her brown butter tips and tricks. Laura is a fantastic teacher, and one of the best kitchen lessons she’s taught me is how to more confidently brown butter. Prior to her lesson I was always too hesitant, and it never quite got brown enough. Now, thanks to her, I can brown with the best of ’em. And every time I do it, carefully sniffing for the moment when the aroma goes from popcorn to nutty like she taught me, I think of her.

tendresse aux pommes
Laura and I have both been Paris-mad for as long as we’ve known each other, and visiting her there during her 2008 trip is easily one of the most fun and special things I have ever done. We ate and we walked and we ate and we sang our favorite song from Beauty and the Beast and we ATE. It was awesome to get a peek into what Laura’s life in France was like on that trip, and I love the way this post shows us how she brought Paris back with her and into her kitchen. It’s also one of the first examples on our blog of Laura’s awesome travel writing, which always makes me hungry in the best way.

gwyneth and me
When Laura and I graduated from high school–go Vikes!–she was named “best sense of humor” in the Senior Superlatives (and “most likely to succeed,” because, awesome). I had never agreed with my fellow Vikings more. Pretty much every time La and I get together, I laugh til I cry. And for me, her hilarious voice comes through so clearly in this post. She strikes a perfect balance between silly, servicey, and sarcastic, and I love it. I can just see her telling the story of her Gwyneth adventure, laughing as she describes the worst “best” green juice. Plus, those chicken burgers are seriously delicious.

back in the kitchen and eggplant meatballs
My bestest is such a beautifully honest writer, and this post just plain made me proud. So many folks I know have quietly described the deep letdown they felt after their wedding was over, and La addresses it so kindly here. It’s hard to admit sadness after a time of such joy, but Laura’s writing is vulnerable and validating, and I relate so much to her wise words about the grounding power of getting back in the kitchen. I kept this post in mind when I was planning my own wedding, and felt reassured.

Laura’s Favorite Jessica Posts:

clockwise from top left: spicy tahini mustard; podcast cooking; moving forward; very favorite chocolate cake

clockwise from top left: spicy tahini mustard; podcast cooking; moving forward; very favorite chocolate cake

podcast cooking—stuffed delicata squash
It can be difficult to find something to say about a recipe beyond, “try this—it’s good!” Jessica is especially good at finding personal connections that flow naturally with the recipes. This one is a favorite example of how she shares so much engaging personal detail in a single post. We learn a little bit about the adorably silly duo of Joie and Bess (her sister and her sister’s best friend), we learn that Jessica likes to have the company of Joy the Baker podcasts when she cooks alone, and that she wants to know what other people’s Thanksgivings smell like (note to J: it’s not weird—I want to know, too!).

very favorite chocolate cake
By now you know very well that Jessica has an amazing, brilliant, beautiful sister Joie, whom she loves very much. This post is a tender, nostalgic, chocolatey valentine from seester to seester. Jessica tells us how thoughtful Joie is, shares the backstory of the cake’s place in Cannon family tradition, and sends enough love into the ether to soften even the hardest of hearts. On top of it all, she shares the only recipe for chocolate cake you’ll ever need.

spicy tahini mustard
Jessica and I have husbands who are smart and kind…and silly. One way they both make us laugh is that when it comes to food, they love what they love and they want a lot of it. Jessica and I both get such joy from making the foods our men adore and watching them indulge in their happiness. This is a terrific story of Jessica wanting to make Hal something he’d flip for, being amazed at how easy it is to make mustard, and Hal’s moment of confusion, followed quickly by delight when he realizes what his love has made for him.

moving forward.
Jessica’s profound talent and remarkable resilience are displayed here in equal measure. She gave us a deeply vulnerable, loving, eloquent piece of herself during the hardest period of her life. We got a glimpse of her dizzying new normal, swinging as it was between “both my heartbreaking loss and…my huge newlywed joy.” I’ve read this post many times in the past year, in part because I like looking at the pictures, in part because I treasure the story about Jessica and her mom daydreaming about delicious meals, but mostly because it helps me know that my best friend is healing.

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4 thoughts on “favorite favorites

  1. You guys made me weepy! Love your friendship and you are both such beautiful writers. I feel like I know your friendship and can cherish it from a far. Bravo ladies on a wonderful blog. You guys are so lucky to have each other.

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