ugly egg salad

egg salad is not, even in its traditional form, particularly attractive. or even appetizing, necessarily. there is a curried one they serve in finger sandwiches at a tea shop near my house that is quite nice, and i’m sure i’ve had others along the way that aren’t offensive, but by and large i think of egg salad as a squidgy, gloppy mess you might find in a sandwich at the bottom of your lunchbag, smushed and probably a little stinky.


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but this one’s different! i promise.

first of all, it’s uglier.

secondly, it’s mixed in to the brim with a bunch of beautiful-tasting things: sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, fresh dill, kicky dijon mustard, a squeeze of lemon.

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the play of flavors is so fun to eat. the textures of the mushrooms and the hard-boiled eggs mimic each other, there are soft pockets of sweetly browned onion bits, and the dill and lemon brighten everything up. piled on a soft slice of deep dark rye bread, or sandwiched between two, you’ve got the perfect one-handed meal. it’s just the thing to pack up for a springtime picnic, along with a jug of ice-cold sweet tea maybe, and a box of fried chicken. it’s also perfectly wonderful to eat while sitting barefoot on the porch, with a book in the other hand and soaking in the warm sunshine that has gleefully made its return.

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Russian Egg and Mushroom Salad
Adapted from Saveur, via Orangette
Makes about 2 cups, or enough for 3 to 4 sandwiches

5 Tbsp. canola oil
1 lb. white button mushrooms, roughly chopped
½ medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/3 cup fresh dill, finely chopped (I bought a 1 oz. package and used all of it)
4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a 10” or 12” skillet over medium-high heat, and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 14-16 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to soften; then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until lightly caramelized, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms. Add the dill and eggs, and stir to mix.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice. Add about half of the dressing to the mushroom mixture, and toss until evenly combined. Taste, and add more dressing as needed. Season with salt and pepper and more lemon juice, if desired.
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red!

it’s not a color i wear naturally, but paired with cotton-fresh whites, a bit of sparkle, and a cold drink or two, i think it’s just the hue to usher in a new season of warmer weather… punchy pops of juicy ruby tones to combat the haze of summer heat. (never mind that california is struggling under a layer of storm clouds this week. sunshine and brighter days are coming – i am sure of it!)


chiffon scallop shorts at urban outfitters

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mini crystal wildfire necklace at j.crew

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essie nail color in “chubby cheeks”

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huarache gladiator sandals at urban outfitters



breezy eyelet sundress (with pockets!) at jcpenney

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pink ruffle cake by call me cupcake

{more pink cakes here and here and here… and learn how to make those buttercream ruffles here!}

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ambi glass at cb2

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homemade rhubarb syrup {photo and recipe by seven spoons}

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{photo via oncewed}

frosty lava flows

cinnamon-bun scones

as i’ve said before, i’m not exactly a morning person. the few times i’ve found myself springing out of bed, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, i usually a) have just returned from another time zone and my body has been tricked into resetting its internal clock, b) have something really really exciting that is happening that day, or c) know for a fact that a delicious breakfast awaits me.

…sometimes b) and c) are the same thing.

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these scones are definitely a fantastic morning treat. (and with a carafe of hot coffee and the right company, you could easily have the makings of one of those really really exciting things…) they do take a bit of handiwork – it’s a tender dough you pat together and cut into wedges, unlike the scoop-and-bake kind i usually make – but luckily for you and me and all involved, they can be baked in advance: store them un-iced in an airtight container (giant ziploc bags are my go-to kitchen tool here) until you’re ready to serve them. then just before breakfast time, give them a quick run through the toaster oven to warm them through and re-crisp their corners before slathering on the smooth cream cheese icing.

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there are few things better than the scent of cinnamon and butter coming at you bright and early in the morning. for a day you want to keep things simple-dimple, you could just dribble melted butter over crisp toast and sprinkle with cinammon sugar – one of my favorite things to eat as a kid; or keep it classic and slice off a piece of cinnamon-crumbed coffee cake. but on the days when you want a little something special, an upgrade on the usual but comforting and delicious all the same, these are good: close-your-eyes-and-sigh good.

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Cinnamon-Bun Scones

Makes 16 scones
adapted slightly from Food & Wine, March 2003
original recipe by Marcy Goldman

2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch dice, plus 2 Tablespoons, softened
2 tablespoons softened
1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Line two large, heavy baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a pastry blender and then your fingers, combine brown sugar with the 2 tablespoons of softened butter and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon until soft crumbs form. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the 3 cups of flour with the granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Add the diced butter and – using a pastry blender or crisscrossing two knives – cut into the flour mixture until it resembles small peas. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center.
  3. Add the cream, egg and vanilla to the well and stir to combine. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in the flour mixture until a firm dough forms. Crumble the brown sugar mixture over the dough and knead it into the dough, leaving some streaks.
  4. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto it and knead 3 times. Pat or roll the dough into a rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise to make 8 squares.  Cut each square on the diagonal to make 16 triangles. Transfer the scones to baking sheets and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until browned. Let cool slightly on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with the lemon juice. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread the icing over the warm scones and serve immediately.
  6. Scones can be baked ahead 1 or 2 days: store un-iced scones in a resealable bag or other airtight container. Before serving, toast them briefly in a toaster or regular oven; then spread with icing.