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Saturday, February 27, 2021

I love love.

This sometimes surprises people, but I can’t blame them. I work in biotech, wear Timberlands every day, and look more like a young carpenter than a sexy rom-com heroine, but I love love.

I’ve read every Jane Austen book twice — Persuasion even more (that final letter? Be still my Regency-era heart!) — and forced my family to sit through the entire 6-hour BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice. I find the sociology and psychology of emotion fascinating and think the most brilliant stand-up comedy is as romantic as it is darkly comedic.

Given the above confession…

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Monday, February 22, 2021

I’m all about everyday traditions.

Most of us have them: the little, habitual acts that we perform day in and day out, scarcely thinking about them and even more rarely consciously appreciating them, but which nevertheless get us through the day.

Your morning workout, that cup of coffee on your desk, the satisfying click of shutting your laptop for the evening.

One of my favorite daily rituals is too often neglected in the hustle and bustle of the workday but has become very important to me in promoting a healthy work-life balance. …

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Friday, February 19, 2021

“You can choose your friends but not your family.”

People say this often, but I have to admit it’s always confused me a little bit.

First of all, why can’t my friends become my chosen family? Sharing genes and sharing kinship are by no means mutually inclusive. Secondly, can’t your family also be your friends?

Though my siblings and I were originally brought together (and into being) by our parents’ decision to have children, now that we’re living independently of one another, it’s our choice to maintain and extend that relationship into adulthood.

I enjoy spending time with my sister…

That sounds delicious, Gary! And your sourdough looks amazing - I can't say no to good bread.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

It’s the little things.

The other day while video-chatting, a musician friend played me a little tune from Disney’s SOUL; inspired by Music Man’s performance, I snuggled up that evening with the cat and a mug of cocoa to mooch off my roommate’s Disney+ account.

I was not disappointed.

Without spoiling this charming movie, I can say that it makes the every day feel special again, celebrating little things for the little wonders they are. A slice of pizza on a street corner, a musician in the subway, leaves falling against a clear, blue sky.

While the credits rolled, I…

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Friday, February 12, 2021

It’s finally here: the first snow of the season!

It’s just a light dusting really — powdered sugar on a gingerbread village — but enough to inspire cozy cravings for steaming soups, piping hot chilis, warming stews, and mugs of hot cocoa big enough to drown in.

While I fully intend to indulge in all of the above and more, today I want to share one of my favorite back-pocket recipes for cold weeknights when you’re short on time but still want something hearty, healthy, and hot for dinner.

This vegetarian chili is made with basic pantry staples — canned…

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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

I have a tendency to be self-critical, especially when it comes to my baking.

So I have a new rule: I cannot claim that something “isn’t that good” if I also can’t stop eating it. Such is the case for these cookies.

As I hovered over the cooling rack nibbling away, I kept saying, “I don’t know, I feel like it’s not that special — the miso could be stronger? Well, actually, it balances the peanut really nicely, and it’s a good salt level… Maybe more nuts? No, I like the creamy chewiness of the center; that’s really nice, actually……

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Monday, February 8, 2021

A quick note: this is my first submission to an exciting new publication, “Recipes — Long & Short,” a forum for minimalist recipes that cut through the chatter and get straight to the tasty truth! This is the perfect recipe, because when you’re SHORT on time, this bad boy of the cruciferous vegetable world can be ready to eat in only half an hour (including a 20-minute marinade!), but when you’ve got time on your hands, it lasts a LONG time in the fridge, so it’s the perfect salad for meal-prep lunches! Now, without further ado: My Favorite Broccoli Salad!

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Friday, February 5, 2021

I cannot believe I am saying this in the current age of digital media and social distancing, but I have too many book clubs.

I know! I can hardly believe it myself, but here I am, with two weeks to finish three books, not to mention my personal reading, which has been glaring at me mournfully from its relegated position at the bottom of the stack.

Though an incredibly privileged, trivial, and honestly comical pickle, this is nevertheless the briny situation in which I find myself.

There’s the book club at work — Zoom, of course — focused on “So…

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Don’t worry: this excellent soup delivers far more than my poor photography skills could ever express.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

I love my Dutch oven.

To be fair, I’ve always been the kind of person to become disproportionately attached to inanimate objects. As a child, I rotated my stuffed animals each night, always worrying that Burt was growing jealous of Hoppity Head or fearing that the latter was self-conscious about her thinning fur. My poor mother had to wash my blanket in the dead of night, and when I woke up once to discover its absence, the tolerant woman let me claim my sopping wet prize out of the wash.

I wish I could say I outgrew these childish behaviors…

Helen Grace

Pursuing the simple joys of butter, flour, and eggs, 52 weeks a year.

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