Rosemary Almond Chicken Salad

February is always hard for me here in the land of eternal grey. Writing is work. Cleaning is work. Cooking is work. In years past, I’ve been able to escape for a week or so to more southern and sunnier climes. This year, with the baby, I’m lucky to escape to the bathroom for a nice long soak (still a February goal). So, since I can’t fly away, I’m trying a trick from my poverty-stricken grad school days, and acting like it’s spring inside my house.

This week, we cranked up the heat a bit, I pulled out a “transitional” clothing items (aka not wool), and we dined on one of our favorite summer dishes: Rosemary Almond Chicken Salad.

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Herb-Crusted Pork Loin

How do you do so much hosting with a new baby? That’s a question I’ve been getting a lot these days. The answer is mostly that Toby is a super-pleasant, super-easy baby…and there is only one of him. Turn Toby into a toddler or add another baby into the mix, and having friends over will most likely mean ordering a lot more pizza.

Until then, I’ll keep cooking as much as I can, although most of what I cook are dishes that don’t require a lot of time in the kitchen. Like the Baked Pesto Tortellini dish I cooked for Chris’ office Christmas party. And like the Herb-Crusted Pork loin I served along with it.

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A Grilled Cheese Party

On Sunday, it snowed. Again.

On Sunday, my plans got cancelled. Again.

On Sunday, I wanted to throw knives. Again.

But, instead of throwing knives, I decided to throw something a little less deadly: A grilled cheese party.

Everything 2

It was a good decision, requiring only a few good friends (who conveniently live within walking distance), plus all the bread, cheese, meat, and fixins I could scrounge up.

The pickeled and smoked jalapenos from last summer’s garden? Perfect. The leftover mozzarella from last week’s pizza disaster? You bet. The fig jam I picked up on an outing to Cleveland’s Westside Market two months ago and have been wondering how to use? Even better.

Grilled Cheese Party

Grilled Cheese Party Fixins

Fig Jam

Cheese

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