Way back on January 1st 2014, Laura started a project of posting a picture to Instagram every single day. She did it in part to chronicle the huge changes 2014 had in store (moving from Boston to central Illinois, quitting her day job, building a house) and in part just because. Jessica loved seeing a little daily slice of Laura’s life so much that she decided to follow suit for 2015 with a picture a day project of her own. We’ve found the practice and the results to be so addictive and rewarding that we’re already two weeks deep into our 2016 collections.
The project is really inspiring and we’ve appreciated the way it makes us pay extra close attention to all of the beautiful, interesting, and silly things we come across every day. Yes, sometimes we find ourselves feeling like there’s nothing to photograph and thinking about just snapping a pic of a banana and calling it a day, but for the most part we love our daily Instas, and especially the glimpses into each other’s lives that they bring. Unsurprisingly, a ton of those glimpses are of food. Food we make at home, food we love when we’re out and about, food we share when we’re lucky enough to be together. We thought it would be fun to share our five favorite food pics each from 2015 so that you can have a glimpse of our culinary lives outside of the blog, too.
January 20 (Jessica): I love this picture because the cookie mis en place totally tickled me, but also because it represents the revamp of a special tradition. Every January my mother made cookies for a very dear friend’s birthday, and last year I decided to pick up the cookie torch. I tried three new recipes, and this one was the clear winner–the birthday girl even made her own batch once she finished the ones I sent. I like to think my mom would have approved.
February 14 (Jessica): I’ve written before about how Hal and I like to celebrate Valentines Day at home, and this was part of our 2015 dinner. We recreated the delicious grilled oysters we’d loved at Cochon in New Orleans the summer before, reminding ourselves that it’s worth a culinary stretch now and then to have a favorite restaurant dish at home.
February 22 (Laura): If I could turn one Instagram into a scratch-and-sniff, this would be it. I was making Ed’s favorite Swedish Visiting Cake, rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar, and the smell was so sweet and bright and floral that I had to stop, wash my hands, and take a picture. Sunny kitchen, sunny smells, sunny memory.
March 22 (Jessica): We make weekend breakfast at home embarrassingly rarely, with one favorite exception: almost every time I cook steamed clams and chorizo for dinner I grab a sweet potato at the grocery store and combine it with extra chorizo for next day hash. Perfect topped with crispy eggs.
June 6 (Jessica): Laura came for a Brooklyn visit in June, and we had SUCH a blast…and ate so much awesome food. These okonomiyaki pancakes with squid and kewpie mayo were a favorite among favorites, at Wylie Dufresne’s Alder. Alder sadly closed in late summer, and on a last visit in August I told the bartender how much I would miss the pancakes, which were only on the tasting menu. A few minutes later they appeared in front of me, just as fantastic as I remembered from our visit with Laura.
July 11 (Laura): Corn is king in Illinois and while there’s plenty of Big Ag commercial corn, there’s also a lot of homegrown candy corn. After I shucked a bunch one afternoon, I found myself kernel gazing, thinking about the prettiness in the ears’ asymmetry. And who says there’s nothing fun to do in Springfield?
August 13 (Laura): I ate so many juicy Illinois peaches this summer, I thought I might turn into one. The only reason I didn’t was because I ate an equal amount of cherry tomatoes. I couldn’t resist this shot of my favorite summer foods and my favorite color spectrum (pink-coral-orange) in one frame.
September 19 (Jessica): Another Milk Bar pic! This one from the kind of date night that makes me feel hugely grateful to live in New York. We started with drinks at the bar where we got engaged, walked to dinner at a favorite restaurant, stopped for a sweet treat at Milk Bar across the street, and ended the night at the bar where we got married (sensing a theme?). I ♥ NY, especially on nights like this.
November 7 (Laura): Nearly every Saturday morning from mid-May through October, I popped out of bed and got to the downtown farmer’s market by 8:30. This shot was taken the first Saturday after the market had stopped. I was used to getting up and at ’em on the weekends, so I busied myself with making these easy, delicious pumpkin muffins. When I sat down to wait for them to cool, I was struck by the peacefulness of the scene, made especially Insta-worthy by the napping Tenley in the background.
December 22 (Laura): Ed and I went to Chicago for a few days around Christmas to soak up extra holiday cheer and to feast on big city dishes. My favorite meal of the trip was at Girl and the Goat and my favorite dish was the signature wood oven roasted pig face (the cheesy brioche with ham butter in the background was amazing, too). To fully enjoy the dish, we destroyed this pretty pile: we cracked the egg yolk onto the potato sticks and pork patties and mixed everything with the tamarind dressing and cilantro oil. It was unbelievably good.